Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just for fun... A "Trip" in Mexico...

Here's another fun piece I did over at Pictures, Poetry, and Prose. The blog features a daily picture and a suggested prompt. I ignored the written prompt, but I used the picture instead.

Hope you enjoy it! Happy Saturday!

The photo is by Lisa. More of her work can be seen at
Lisa's blog - Wearin' My Heart on My Sleeve

A "Trip" in Mexico

Sheila watched him closely. Stu was showing way too much interest in the hibiscus flower. He was almost beside himself with delight as he gazed at the flower. They were on holiday in Mexico, and Stu had brought along a bit of hallucinogenics: window pane acid to be exact.

This was not the first exciting bit of nature Stu had discovered. Sheila had diverted him from the red brick bathroom where he had sat for a half an hour enthralled with the wall. "What colors! What beauty!" he had declared.

She was trying to keep him from drawing undo attention from the Federales who strolled through the resort from time to time. Mexican jail is not where she wanted her boyfriend to end up, so she quietly pried him away from the flower. It was pretty, but... really?

They moved down by the water and sat on a low wharf that offered a view of the afternoon sun bouncing like a many faceted daytime disco light. That ought to keep him occupied, she thought.

She had no idea. It was so beautiful he was moved to tears, weeping for a full fifteen minutes at the drug-enhanced view he was seeing.

It would be years before scientists would discover how LSD interfered with the optic nerve and photographers learned to mimic the effect in their pictures. But for now, Sheila was watching Stu sitting on the edge of lunacy. He wasn't even seeing what was real. She took off her sunglasses to enjoy the view while she held his hapless hand.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just for fun: Geraniums, poetry, and pictures!

When I put together yesterday's post, I collected my geranium pictures and found I had enough nice ones for two posts... Hence, this post.

So I looked through my favorite book of poetry, Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle... And Other Modern Verse. Published in 1966, I chuckled at the sub-title which contains the words "modern verse." Compared to who? Shakespeare? Yeah, then it's still modern.

I found a suitable poem for the rest of my geraniums. Why?

Because the poet, William Carlos Williams takes the ordinary and elevates it into poetry.
I give you...

This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

For breakfast most weekdays I enjoy a five ingredient smoothie: whey powder, milk, banana, Splenda, and frozen blueberries -- so sweet and so cold. (And a pretty purple.)

I noticed that yesterday was my 50th blog entry! Woo-hoo! I remember the title of my first entry. It was... This is just to say... from October 22nd.

Deja vu all over again.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Geraniums, two poems, and my people...

Geraniums are a very common plant in the warmer climates such as Southern California. They grow outdoors and rarely die. I think of them as a poor man's rose, and I have many of them.

Several years ago on a drive to the beach, I saw a window planter overflowing with a pink and white geranium that made your eyes seem out of focus. I liked that, so I started "collecting" geraniums. Unlike my rose bushes which have specialty names which I know, the names of my geraniums are forgotten.

Roses are special gifts: treasured and fussed over. Geraniums are inexpensive, usually self-bought, and often under-appreciated. Until now...

Flowers are like poems, or poems are like flowers. Both are like the people who populate my world...

Unfolding Bud by Naoshi Koriyama

One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions.

One is not amazed,
At a first glance,
By a poem,
Which is as tight-closed
As a tiny bud.

Yet one is surprised
To see the poem
Gradually unfolding.
Revealing it's rich inner self,
As one reads it
And over again.

Many people rush through life, overlooking the common beauties and simple pleasures. They miss the geraniums. A fellow blogger (Saphron) recently wrote this poem:

I wonder.
How long
will you love that my stories
always have a thousand
unimportant details

And tolerate my scattered brain
and check on
the status
of my dreams

How long
will I be fascinating

(the purple light
of a summer night...and so on)

How long
will my imperfections
be beautiful

Don't worry

Everything is great

We both
are perfect


I do wonder

Many people only find satisfaction in "the shiny new." And that can make you wonder if they'll grow tired of us. Fewer are lovers of geraniums, or daisies, or wild flowers: Buttercup? If you can appreciate the subtleties and wonders of life, then life will afford you many plants, poems, and people worth knowing, for a lifetime.

The Road Not Taken... A Path Marked Out...

Since I've been having fun with some of the pictures from the blog Pictures and Prose, I thought I'd write on a few pictures of my own... such as...

This picture brought to mind a poem, some quotes, and a principle.

The Road Not Taken (Frost, 1915)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Is. 30:21)

Life is full of choices, yet I have found that it is possible to make choices in such a way that instead of being full of self-doubt regarding "roads not taken," one may have assurance that you are running "the race marked out for you."

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Heb. 13:1-3

Listen for the voice. Discern the path set before you. Run with patience.

Live large! No regrets!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just for fun: Wolf in a cage

I've been having fun over at Picture and Prose. The blog features a daily picture and a suggested prompt. I usually ignore the written prompt, but I use the picture instead.

Here's a short post I did recently based on the picture displayed below. Hop on over and practice your craft or enjoy the other posts.

Photo by Cyndy
For more of Cyndy's Photography visit here.

Darn. I had no idea the bar was freezing cold. I know better than to lick frozen metal, but now my nose is stuck to the bar. Life is hard when you have an IQ of 17. Darn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Point the thumb...

I heard a new saying I like. My source? The NFL Network. The commentators were complimenting a coach who had said, "I'm not going to point any fingers; I'm going to point a thumb. That was my fault."

The commentators noted that players respect that in a coach. Simple concept: "My bad." No long excuses or explanations.

So today, as minor decisions loom, I'm going to take my own advice from Sunday... "Wait, and be of good courage."

I'm fond of saying, "If you don't know what to do, it's probably not time to make a decision." Others often disregard my advice (I teach), but I try to listen to myself. Point the thumb and regard my own advice. What a concept!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

When you're down, and troubled...

Sometimes life is hard, even discouraging. In such a disheartened state where can one turn for renewal of hope?

Once upon a time, in my early twenties I found myself in such a state. Eventually, after several months in a real funk, I got down on my knees with an open Bible and prayed, “Oh God, if this is really your book, and you speak to people through it, please speak to me. I’m not sure if I can go on living in such misery…”

Six chapters into the book of Matthew, words of comfort lept off the page… “Seek and you will find…” The phrase provided me with just a glimmer of hope, but to a hungry soul, any bitter thing is sweet.

This episode was the beginning of a lifetime habit of seeking comfort in the Scriptures. Today, Sunday, I share two lines from a poem that have inspired me over the years.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

I have learned over the years to assume that God is good. I have also learned that delays are not denials, and sometimes the answer to my prayers is “not yet.” These two premises have led me to places in life of meaning, contentment, and growth.

Two lines from an old poem, yet they are able to transform the discouraged, disillusioned, and distraught. I should know…