the truth about trees


Eye on Nature

ducks swimming in algae-filled pond

their young eyes
learn to see hidden
birds and beasts
under shrubs
on still logs to soak in sun
hear their gleeful cry

his young hands
pinch the greening leaves 
crinkled nose 
wary breath
whiff of cucumber and mint
welcomes sudden smile

her young ears
strain to hear the song
subtle notes
dance on wind
a beguiling pied piper
hidden from her sight

This is a trial run with a Spanish poetry form known as a shadorma,
which is a six-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines. Multiple 
shadorma can be linked together. This experiment is my attempt to capture 
what I saw shadowing Eye on Nature volunteers at the Billy Frank Jr. 
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Introducing and encouraging youthful 
love of nature is a great thing; watching these young people respond to the
experience was inspiring.

Hera’s Judgement

A new writing experiment, courtesy of the Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #35 Troiku Challenge “summer solstice” challenge. The challenge goes like so: Create a fusion haiku using the two provided haiku. From the fusion haiku, create a troiku. Needless to say, I was perplexed. Ken at rivrlogr (thankfully!) diagrammed the flow of the prompt, producing a beautiful troiku. Make sure to check it out! Ken’s diagram allowed me to get a handle on this new haiku form. So, starting with Chèvrefeuille’s two haiku:
between the wedded rocks
the sun rises to her highest throne
summer solstice
mountain stream
the ice has melted – dances in the sun
crystal waterdrops
© Chèvrefeuille
I created my fusion haiku:
Apollo’s kiss
melts ice tears of tribute
reckless snowdrop blush
to use as the base for my troiku:
Apollo’s kiss
fickle gift to fretful maid
her ardor wakens

melts ice tears of tribute
hope sprouts, cupped in joined hands
her dream blossoms

reckless snowdrop blush
too soon for durable love
her color fades


an apple a day

The June 1 prompt was apple. It sparked a bit of senryu for me. While I am blessed in my health insurance coverage, I hear and see too many examples of the high costs of coverage plus out-of-pocket costs, particularly for seniors on Medicare, and for folks falling between the cracks. And then I hear from my doctor about the impacts to his profession from the burgeoning administrative rules, and I wonder will we be able to fix this system? What will it take? I found an article that offers one approach to the conundrums created by the private and public insurance sectors. Check it out. Doctors Are Opting Out of Insurance. 

mourning song

I tend to take a dim view of forwarded and shared posts, whether it be a distribution listserve or on social media. Occasionally, though, something catches my eye and I do a bit of digging. An interesting post showed up in my feed this morning claiming someone’s neighbor killed the songbirds in her back yard by applying pesticides. A simple click on the picture led to something else–an MSc student research project on window-collision mortality of songbirds.

a bumblebee protection plan

purple flowers and busy bee gathering nectar

Part I. The Mystery is Introduced
a rusty-patched bumblebee
               in an
                               “ecological poof”

Part II. Our Intrepid Detective Stitches Together the Scene
inside a mating cage
                one queen bee
                and her toadstool
                fungus-fattened drone
                with abdomen frozen
                the learned result?
colonies starve when only males are born

Part III. Balanced on a Tightwire
trace the monetary tale of global decline
unearth one more case
of disease-carrying colonizers
and ask who
will melt
thirty silver pennies
into a savior’s silver bullet to cure this plague?

The poetry blog imaginary garden with real toads presented a weekend focus challenge on insects and bugs. I did a little digging and found an interesting article on the plight of bumblebees, and then took a side trip into poetry forms. The bumblebee article was much too long to create an erasure (blackout poem) like this one, but I’m looking forward to experimenting. Enjoy!

life rewritten

Chachani and Misti are mountain peaks found in Peru and offered up as inspiration for a foray into Japanese poetry. Looking on this picture sends my memory swirling back to the 1980s. My morning and afternoon views walking to and from the school bus also featured mountains. To the west, the Grand Tetons. To the east, the Sleeping Indian. The rising sun pulled my unwilling spirit into the world each day; the setting sun hastened my laggard spirit home again. For years I have sworn that the only thing that gave me hope during early adolescent hell was the solidity of young granite towering over all else.

got questions?

Geek Logik: Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life
Nothing to it, really.
It’s just a simple reduction
to units in time
all x-catchers required
to first ask why
life’s buffet of flavors turns
tongue to charcoal
dry eyes to sand
leaves only the xeriscape
of unloved lands
Take heart!
Name the variables
hidden behind
the written word
and seeking hand --
ask who can spread
a xenium feast in lands
where no constant ever resides?
Look you high and look you low,
search far, and long, and wide
for he who can solve the eternal why
of a man, a can, [and] a plan
will adore his Xanthippe
even if she screams Cook This, Not That!
Today’s effort was brought to you by some fun books and the letter X.
If you’d like to learn more about them, here are the links:
Geek Logik: Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life 
A Man, A Can, A Plan
Cook This, Not That!