Thursday, March 29, 2012

For Real Toads: sketching poetry

Yesterday, Ella (and I thought she was my friend) introduced poet and poetry-teacher Sandford Lyne to the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Lyne's theory is "poetry sketching" or, as it says above, sketching poetry. The reasoning behind the theory is "artists sketch before they paint" so poets can do the same. He suggests keeping lists of words in different categories, and referring to the list before writing a poem.
This is contrary to all of my own poetry techniques (which I keep to a minimum) and doesn't seem to require major life events, like falling madly in love, or being deserted by the loved one, or war, or even peace. Just a list of words. You look at the list and art springs forth.
So, I grabbed my shopping list, and nothing sprang forth except dog hair.
Try again. Try all day yesterday. Jaywalk across busy streets thinking about lists of words.
Something sprang forth at 2am last night.
I sent my husband out of the room at 7am while I drank lots of coffee and looked at the four words.

flower storm cactus desert

Richard Schear photo, copyright Richard Schear and Kay Davies

Cactus Flower, Desert Storm

elegant flower
with cactus spines;
dangerous storm
wild with wonder --
why does the beauty
hide the danger?
how does the danger
hide the beauty?

Nature hides the beauty of the desert storm,
to protect the wanderer, urge him to safety.
so, too, the beauty of the cactus flower hides the spines
so insects will come to pollinate.
the wanderer, from a window, watches with wide eyes,
sees the beauty of the storm.
so, too, the spiky spines discourage those
who would pluck and eat the wondrous cactus flower.
Kay L. Davies, March, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thursday Theme Song: springtime...


I was looking through some old travel photos this morning and found these of my husband Dick and other tourists in 2007. Not all of them looked unhappy, but none of them looked warm and cozy, either, especially my intrepid photographer.
I'm typing this on the morning of Wednesday, March 28, 2012, and it's the big guy's birthday. After he took out the garbage, I set him free for the day, to go do man-things, uninterrupted by wifely nagging, until I take him out to dinner this evening. You know what they say, if you love it, set it free. LOL

Meanwhile, here are the photos from one of our vacations in 2007, to accompany the song I chose for Hootin' Anni's musical meme Thursday Theme Song... HERE!

Kay Davies photo, 2007

(Happy birthday, sweetie. Love you all to bits! This one's for you.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

K is for Kay and koi, at Pono Kai Resort, Kapaa, Kauai

Pono Kai Koi Pond                   Photos by Kay Davies, December, 2010

"What do you mean, you don't have any fish food? They sell it in the office, you know."

"I'll swim over here, maybe there's someone with fish food."

"You again? Still with the camera? And no food? Feesh, some people!"

As she swims away, the pretty white koi meets the grandpappy of the pond. "Kay doesn't have any food," she warns him, "just a camera. Some tourists are so rude. She's probably a blogger!"
Posted for the letter K in Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme,
ABC Wednesday
To see how others around the world have used the letter K, please click
Wishing you all the best, from Kay

Sunday, March 25, 2012

For Real Toads: the heron and his friend

The Sunday Photo Challenge at the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads this weekend featured the photos of talented Canadian poet-photographer Kat Mortensen.

I loved her photo of a horse happily looking out the side window of its horse-trailer, but this picture of a fsherman accompanied by a heron caught my heart. It made me think of my sport-fisherman photographer-author father. I'm sure he would have welcomed the companionship of such a bird when fishing one of our local rivers in South Surrey, British Columbia. I was thinking particularly of the Nicomekl River, where I've met (okay, seen) many herons over the years.

Fishing’s a hobby for two
So he met his heron friend Blue
Down at the river
Each time he went there
And they told one another what’s new.

“What’s tearin’, Heron?”
“What’s rude, dude?”

“Got any fish?”
“Not many fish.”

“I have a new fly.”
“Worth a try, guy.”

As the fish started to bite,
Some boys came by, lookin’ to fight.
“Hey, don’t you be starin’
 At my friend the heron
’Cause you can’t chew all that you’d bite.”

“Oh, yeah, old man?” yelled out one boy
“That heron’s most likely a toy.”

With that, Big Blue flew at him,
“Hey, wicked boy, can you swim?”

Blue held him under a while
’Til he lost his sarcastic smile.

Then, when all the riff-raff were gone
The man and the heron fished on
And successfully
’Til sunset, what started at dawn.

Shadow Shot Sunday 2: Lindy and other dogs

This little dog is almost hidden in Lindy's shadow on the brown grass, but it makes its presence known quite loudly, telling Lindy to go away.

The little dog's companion, a laid-back Chocolate Labrador Retriever, comes along behind it. Lindy smiles at the Lab, but he's not paying any attention to her.

Also not looking at Lindy that day was Sarge, the husky who used to love her. Lindy stopped and looked at him, but he ignored her, as she always ignored him.

Lindy and her dad did have a good walk that day, however, and saw plenty of lovely shadows in the coulee.

Posted for
Shadow Shot Sunday 2
and for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's pal Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekend Reflections: selfies and scenery

© Photos by Kay Davies, 2007

I took these photos from the 4-wheel-drive vehicle in which we left Luna Lodge, an oasis of sustainable tourism on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica. We drove through creeks and rivers as though they were small puddles, and we glimpsed the beautiful Pacific Ocean at the mouth of each waterway. It was an amazing ride through an amazing jungle.

Posted for Weekend Reflections
hosted by James in California. Thanks, James!

For Real Toads, with Mary: ordinary things

the dishwasher
sounds like
mom’s old wringer washing machine
water sloshing
back and forth
back and forth
back and forth.

we usually turn the dishwasher on
at bedtime
and it soothes me to sleep
with memories
of childhood.

I put the dishwasher on this morning,
and it's making me
sleepy, like a child
hearing a lullaby.

Today, for Mary's Mixed Bag at the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Mary shared the poetry of Stuart Dischell, who wrote Thin Song of the Leaky Faucet, as well as As I Dispose of an Old Encyclopedia.
Our challenge is to write a poem about an everyday thing. The everyday thing I've chosen is our dishwasher, which brings back memories of the laundry machine of my childhood.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Real Toads: Kenia's nature challenge

volcanic rock and shallow soil
delicate vegetation, easily bruised
spectacular view of town and lake
trees few and far between
ground soft with fallen needles—
gentle footfalls save the soil,
don’t damage plants

the mountain of our youth
we often climbed
but there were few of us,
few and far between

the fragile ecosystem
is threatened
by people who don’t love 
the mountain of our youth
will it die, our mountain?
will it live?

Posted in response to Kenia's challenge to the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
Kenia introduced us to some of the work of Manoel de Barros, a great nature poet in her country of Brazil.
I could not write in the almost-inimitable style of Manoel de Barros, but Kenia asked us to write about our personal relationships with nature. 

Thursday Theme Song: I didn't need a shove

Baby face, you've got the cutest little baby face.

There's not another one
could take your place,
baby face,
My poor heart is thumpin'
You sure have
started somethin'

Baby face, I'm up in heaven
when I'm in your fond embrace,

I didn't need a shove
'Cause I just
fell in love
With your
pretty baby face.

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
Thanks, Anni.

Click HERE for more Thursday theme songs.

Sort of volunteering to be tagged

My blogging friend at Jabblog in England was tagged by Mary from  ‘In the corner of my eye’ and cheerfully answered Mary's questions, but was reluctant to tag others, so she asked for volunteers.
I think this might just be what I need today. My husband and I were driving back from Medicine Hat this afternoon and I told him I was feeling 'blank' — not bad, not good, just sort of not there. 
However, a tag game that includes giving 11 fun facts about myself is sure to cheer me up. Or drag me down. We shall see.
But first, the rules. 

The Rules Are:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 more to ask the ones you tag.
4. Tag however many bloggers you wish.
5. Let them know they are tagged.
6. Have fun!!

Well, I asked my husband. He came up with three or four. Not a resounding show of support from one's other half, but...

1. My writing often makes people laugh.
2. My hobby is making floor-plans, or revising and improving floor-plans, for houses. (I don't do commercial architecture.) I've been redesigning my kitchen for 10 years now, and it will finally be renovated in May.
3. I try to identify jazz and swing music (and 50s/60s rock and pop songs) whenever I hear any, because my father was a musician long before I was born, and he insisted I listen to music from his era as well as my own.
4. My lack of musical talent is astounding. That's why Dad taught me to listen.
5. I don't remember when I started writing, but my mother did save a story I wrote when I was six. It was called The Life of Tommy John Atwater. It seems Tommy John Atwater was orphaned at the age of 15 and adopted by two men, two women, and a sea captain (gender of sea captain unspecified but presumably he was a third man in the adoption group).
6. Last year I finally figured out how I knew the word orphaned when I was six. I was going to a memorial service for a friend, and the route took us through the neighborhood where my grandparents lived when I was born. "Do you remember the orphanage that used to be here?" I asked the driver, and the light came on. That's where I learned the word. Someone said "orphanage" when I was small and I asked "What's that?"
7. I've always stood up for my own right to write. When my brother Clint submitted a poem of mine to his school teacher, claiming he had written it, I was furious. I stormed off to my brother's school, loudly asserting my authorship to the authorities (i.e. Clint's teacher).
8. I never had children of my own, but my brother Rob was born when I was 21, so my parents let me serve an active role on The Committee That Raised Rob. It was the most fun I ever had.
9. Like my friend at Jabblog, I talk to dogs and cats, my own or anyone else's dog or cat who will sit still long enough to listen. I would talk to squirrels, too, but they never sit still long enough for anything.
10. I don't drive as much as I used to, but I was once a ball of fire on the freeway. For six years in a row I got what my family called "Kay's annual speeding ticket."
11. I like to eat fresh bread without butter or any other topping.

Whew, okay. Eleven things can be exhausting. Now to the questions.

1:  If you believed in reincarnation who or what would you like to come back as?
I'd come back as a pampered house cat.
2:  Which organism could you happily live without? (Consider carefully the ecosystem.)
The germ that causes the common cold.
3:  Are you a talker or a listener or are you a nicely-balanced blend of the two?
I'm afraid I'm a talker, but my eldest niece would say I'm a good listener.
4:  How much time do you spend day-dreaming?
Most of my time.
5:  Have you ever walked in your sleep?
Yes, apparently. When I was getting over jet-lag following a flight home from Australia, I stayed with my parents. Mother said I'd get up and eat in my sleep, then go back to bed.
6:  What is/are your favourite quotation/s?
Aha. Mark Twain. "When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not."
7:  What is the greatest advice you would give an eighteen-year-old (one who’d asked, obviously...)
Enjoy being young. We're a long time old.
8:  What is your favourite time to get up?
I would like to get up at a civilized hour like 8am, but since I acquired my CPAP machine, I've been sleeping until 10, 10:30, or even 11am. Just today, I saw someone from my church, and said I'd be back when I start waking up in time.
Kay (R) and Clint
Davies, 1949
9:  If you could choose to live in a different era which one would you choose?
It would have been wonderful to know Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Louis Armstrong, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck — I would have loved the 1920s but not the 30s. Tough question. Maybe the late 1800s, Mark Twain time. No. I liked growing up in the 50s, coming of age in the 60s, finally achieving adulthood in the 70s. The 50s were peaceful, the 60s exciting, the 70s full of life lessons. A few more years in the old era of newspapers would have been nice, but I'll take what I got.
10: Would you accept an invitation to travel in space?
Nope, the idea scares me out of what few wits I have left.
11:  Would you rather walk or ride a bike (or horse, or skateboard)?
I would rather ride a horse, but horses know I'm afraid of them, so they always throw me off. Horseback riding is like music lessons, I tried and tried, but couldn't get it.
Well, I agree, it is too difficult to tag anyone directly. What if they think I'm picking on them, rather than picking them? 
Friends, Romans, countrymen, if you want to participate in baring your soul, or baring the sole of your shoe, whichever, all you need do is choose: volunteer, or kick me out.
Post the rules (see above) and follow them. 11 fun things about yourself, answer my questions, post 11 questions of your own, and either tag some poor long-suffering blogger friends, or call for help as we've done here. Then let me know you have responded.
1.  If you had to eat the same thing every day, what would you choose for each meal?
2.  Would you accept an invitation to dinner with the Queen of England, or the Queen of The Netherlands, or both, or neither? 
3. Why? (see 2, above)
4. Would you rather own a horse, a dog, a cat, a squirrel, or a skateboard?
5. How many years in a row did you have speeding tickets? How many years in a row did you have no speeding tickets at all?
6. Have you ever had jet-lag? After how long a trip?
7. Can you read music?
8. Can you sing (i.e. carry a tune so as to entertain your hearers)? Or whistle?
9. Can you play piano or guitar?
10. Can you play bagpipes?
11. Can you hum the melody of Scots Wha Hae Wi' Wallace Bled: or Bruce's Address to his Troops at Banockburn? Or how about Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCartney?
Cheered me up, this did. If you don't care to answer my frivolous questions, at least let me know if you have responded with 11 fun things about yourself. —K

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ABC Wednesday: J is for Joan of Arc

The tower in which Jeanne d'Arc, the Maid of Orleans, was imprisoned
during her trial for heresy in Rouen, France, then controlled by the British.

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear, 2011

Dick had already climbed the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, so he  added a climb up the stone stairway to the top of St. Joan's Tower to his list.

Posted for the letter J
in Mrs. Nesbitt's alphabetical meme
ABC Wednesday

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our World Tuesday: snow is back

We're not out in the snow today. It's blowing a blizzard and the white stuff is piling up. Not fit for man nor beast. Dick had to cancel an appointment today — Lindy and I were going to go with him on his drive to Calgary, and picnic on the way. Ha. Did not happen.
We've had quite a few lovely days, and with the last of the previous snow we had lots of birds. I don't know where they are now. We don't even have penguins! LOL Here are a few of the species we have seen in our world:

Common Redpolls
Male (above) and
female (right) in
our ornamental
crabapple tree.

Blue Jay
(right )

I wonder if there's anything under here.

on the
By this
time of
year, the
are fermented.

for the
fruit, too

Redpolls (female above, male below) join the ground crew.

Photos copyright Richard Schear, 2012

Posted for
Our World Tuesday

Open Link Monday: poets are...


are pirates

we take everything—
one’s look
and one’s smile
and the way that one sings,
one’s gestures,
one’s postures,
the sound of one’s laugh

and none sees us take it
like a flash photograph,

but take it we will,
absorb it, distill
it, until
we’ve made it our own

and the essence
of personhood
shines in a poem

Posted for
Open Link Monday
at the writers' group