Monday, 6 July 2020

Poetry Monday: Light

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ..... LIGHT.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, contributors in the comments, and me, as we shine some bright beams onto this topic. You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and your poem.

Use the topic, or choose another. Suggest a topic for future use, if you like. Submit a poem by someone else if you prefer, maybe a poem you especially like (and credit the author). The objective is to have fun with poetry, or at least a feeling of accomplishment, and exercise our brains.

*****

I've been working extra hours daily for the last few months, and it's cutting into my leisure time in the worst way. I'm not getting around to all the blogs I like as much as I would like, and often can't think of anything interesting to say in the comments. I think about blogging nearly every day, and just can't find the time and energy to do it.

And I'm hard-pressed to get my poems written for Poetry Monday.

So, no big preamble today.

I heard that sigh of relief, oh yes I did :)

*****

A Pillow Over My Head Will Fix That

It's summer, and
The dawn's first light
Has all the birds
Full of excite

Because they can't
Have breakfast 'til
The sun comes up
And o'er the hill

The winter makes
Them wait and wait
The sun sleeps in
'Til nearly eight

But summer gives
An early start
Five-thirty sees
Their eyelids part

I understand
Their need to eat
Alas, their glee
Disturbs my sleep





*****

Wishing you all a good week, larks and owls alike :)

Next week's topic will be ..... FAVOURITE TEACHERS.

Thanks, Diane :)



Monday, 29 June 2020

Poetry Monday: Bugs . . . and Funnies

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ....... BUGS!

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, the contributors in the comments section, and me, as we tackle this creepy, crawly, wriggly, fluttery, zoomy, buzzy topic.

You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please leave a comment here as well so we can find you and your poem. Use the topic, or choose another; the idea is to work our brains and have fun.

You are also welcome to suggest topics for future Poetry Mondays, and to contribute a poem by another author (please credit the writer).

*****

Bugs is definitely a timely topic for me this week. In just one week, we went from overnight frost warnings to 34C heat and humidity. All the little critters who sleep during the cold weather suddenly woke up (or their eggs laid last fall have hatched) and they've all been busy making sure their family lines don't die out. It's like a bug bomb has exploded around here.

The worst are the moths and some kind of little brown flying beetle thing. So many of them are getting in the house it's driving me . . . buggy. It's a full-time job catching them and carrying them back out of the house to safety.

Our cats don't appreciate my devotion, because they are, shall we say, "moth connoisseurs".

The crunching makes me feel faintly sick.

And the other bugs are just playthings for them, to be ignored once their mobility is impaired and there is no movement except pitiful legs weakly waving in the air.

The weakly waving, pitiful legs make me feel faintly sick too.

And so I trudge wearily back and forth with my little recycled pudding cup and my piece of folded paper, chasing/trapping/releasing bugs while my cats disapprove. Are you green with envy yet over my exciting life?

Oh, you're just green from the crunching and weakly waving, too . . . Sorry :)

*****

Mathy I'm Not, But These Numbers Worry Me

The bugs get in
I put them out
I'd squash them, but
I'm not a lout

The cats to whom
I am a slave
Do not know why
The bugs I save

Their help I use
Make no mistake
They find the bugs
Which I then take

I trap them in
My pudding cup
Then block the top
And pick them up

Open the door
To set them free
One goes out
... And in come three




Similar to the moths we have. I've taken pictures, but they don't turn out because I'm taking them at night with a point and shoot. My images are grainy and look like those UFO photos you see on fake "documentaries" about aliens. (Image: Pixabay)

*****

And now for a different kind of "bug" which I was reminded of when I started searching Pixabay for a picture of a moth.

This picture was included in the search results for "moth":

This is not a moth. I think there might be a bug in the search function on Pixabay.

*****

And of course we must have bug-related funnies:




























*****

I hope you have a bug-free week, although with Nature ... and New Blogger ... and a pandemic ... and all ........  there are no guarantees ......

Next week's topic is ............ LIGHT.

We've used it before, but that was almost three years ago. I bet we can find something new to say about it by now!

If you're relatively new here, you can find my poem about light from November 2017 here.



Monday, 22 June 2020

Poetry Monday: The Pandemic ... and Funnies

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic, courtesy of baili at Baili And I, is ... THE PANDEMIC.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, our contributors in the comments, and me, as we address our thoughts and feelings on this life-altering piece of history through which we are now living.

You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog; if you do the latter, please also drop a note in the comments so we can find your blog and read your poem and shout encouragement. Or whisper, whichever you prefer :)

Use the topic, or choose another: it's all good. The idea is to use our brains, and have fun - although perhaps "satisfaction" is a better description when we are feeling more serious about our subject matter.

Feel free to contribute a poem by another author if you wish (giving credit to the writer). I like seeing what you enjoy in the way of poetry and it's a good chance to find new authors.

*****

This poem was difficult to write, not because I didn't know what to say, but - curiously - because I kept flipping back and forth from seriousness to silliness. It's far easier for me to write silly things than serious ones.

But eventually seriousness won out because I kept thinking of all the people who have died - unnecessarily, it seems to me. If the world's leaders had all listened to the advice which experts in infectious diseases have been trying to give them for decades now, there would have been plans in place for just such a pandemic. In fact, plans were even made in some cases and simply not used soon enough.

And, of course, if the world had worked together to give a hand up to countries where everyday life is a struggle and health care is poor, this pandemic would not be savaging those countries today.

All those things grieve me, as they grieve many of you, and it is hard to accept that perhaps the only thing we can do right now is be cautious and protect ourselves and those around us in order to conserve whatever healthcare resources are available wherever we may live.

Remember: They also serve who only stand and wait. (John Milton, When I Consider How My Light Is Spent)  We do what we can.


***** 

You're Doing Great; Please Keep It Up

This virus has us all on edge
We teeter on the jump-off ledge

Life's other woes are magnified
And far too many folks have died

It's easier by far to fight
The things that lie within our sight

Than try to dodge or try to flee
This foe's invisibility 

But over time we've learned to cope
We wash and wash our hands with soap

We check our health for signs of trouble
And keep within our six foot bubble

We wear our masks to safely breathe
And if we cough we use our sleeve

This virus will not last forever
In years to come, things will get better

Our thanks go out to all who strive
To keep the at-risk folks alive

Now let's stay strong to crush the curve
For in this way we also serve


*****

And because I can also see the silliness in some of the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, here's something to lighten the mood.

Pandemic funnies.




























































*****

Wishing you a healthy, happy week.

Next week's topic will be ..... BUGS! Very fitting here in the northern hemisphere as we enter summer and bug life has exploded :) Thanks, Diane!





Monday, 15 June 2020

Poetry Monday: The Delights/Disasters of 'Growing Your Own'

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ... THE DELIGHTS/DISASTERS OF 'GROWING YOUR OWN', courtesy of SpikesBestMate. Thank you for a great topic, SBM!

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, our contributors in the comments section, and me, as we talk about our ability ... or inability ... to bring things to verdant life.

You are welcome to post your poem in the comments or on your own blog; if you do the latter, please also leave a comment so we can track you down and applaud your efforts.

Use the topic, or choose another - it's all good. The idea is to work our brains and hopefully have some fun in the process.

We're still open to reader suggestions for future topics; feel free to mention them in the comments. 

Also, although I haven't stated it for quite awhile, I welcome poems by another author if you don't want to write an original. (Of course, please credit the author.) I've done this myself on occasion. I'd love to read the poetry that means something to you, so by all means contribute in this way if the spirit moves you.

*****

It's been a cold spring here and many gardens have not yet been planted. It doesn't make sense to plant when there is still frost some nights. So I've had to reach waaaaaay back into the dusty files of my memory bank, all the way to last summer, in order to talk about my gardening delights and disasters.

Our garden last year was the result of brainstorming a use for a catering salad bar that was put on our deck for lack of better storage years ago. The original idea was to sell it but time went by and it became weathered and unusable for its original purpose. Rather than sending it to the landfill, which would cause me a huge guilt trip, I decided to take advantage of its size and use it as part of a deck garden designed to thwart the deer who roam through our yard on a regular schedule.

It's not that I don't like the deer; it's just that I like fresh peas better.

Do you know the children's rhyme/song that goes:

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.
So she phoned for the doctor to be quick, quick, quick.
The doctor came with his bag and his hat
And he knocked at the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.
He looked at the dolly and he shook his head
And he said “Miss Polly, put her straight to bed!”
He wrote on a paper for a pill, pill, pill
“I’ll be back in the morning yes I will, will, will.”


Well, the first line of my poem took that format as it popped into my head, and despite my ninja-like efforts, it would not go away and leave me alone.

So I made the most of it, with apologies to Miss Polly.

*****

Miss Jenny Had A Garden ...

Last year we made a garden on our deck, deck, deck
It was late when we began but what the heck, heck heck
We did it on the deck because the deer, deer, deer
Will gobble up the greenery if they're near, near, near

We planted peas, tomatoes and a cuke, cuke, cuke
And potted up a transplant of a zuke, zuke, zuke
The peas and the tomatoes did so well, well, well
But Cuke and Zuke both died - oh what the he ... ck, heck, heck

It was just a small experiment in the sun, sun, sun
And we're doing it again this year for fun, fun, fun
We hope that we increase our garden wares, wares, wares
And that the deer don't learn to climb the stairs, stairs, stairs

---
*cuke = cucumber, and zuke = zucchini/courgette

*****

Our deck garden last year:

Peas on each end, lettuce in the middle. Later I pulled out the lettuce and planted more peas.




Cherry tomatoes just starting




Poor sad zucchini - every single one ended up like this




Baby deer: "Hey, ma - let's climb up this funny looking hill!"   Miss Jenny: "NOOOOOO!!!"



*****

Well, that was fun!

Next week we will tackle THE PANDEMIC.

This topic was suggested by the lovely baili at Baili And I.

Yes, I think it's time for this topic. After all, we have all been living under its shadow for months now. Come back next Monday to see how we did :)

In the meantime, eat your veggies and tell me what your most delightful and/or disastrous gardening adventures have been. Can you beat my shrivelled zucchini story?





Monday, 8 June 2020

Poetry Monday: Pet Antics

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ..... PET ANTICS.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me as we recreate for your reading pleasure the things our pets get up to. Thank you, SpikesBestMate, for a topic rich with possibilities!

You can leave your poem in the comments, or post on your blog; if you do the latter, please also leave a comment here so we can track you down and applaud your work.

Use the topic, or choose another. The idea is to have fun and work our brains a little.

*****

Cats sleep a lot, something in the order of twelve to sixteen hours a day. Indoor cats tend to sleep even more, based on my observations.

But that still leaves them with plenty of time to get up to no good.

Take our cats, for instance. In their spare time, they reduce the upholstery to broken threads, slosh the kibble and water from their dishes across the floor, cause havoc in their litter boxes, knead holes in the good blankets, push everything off everything, and chew almost anything that dangles, including drawstrings, ribbon, yarn, earrings and hair but excluding cat toys meant to keep them away from the other things.

Some cats have put their time to better use: I'm thinking of F.D.C. Willard, Grumpy Cat, Simon's Cat, Maru, and Garfield, among others - all of whom have their own Wikipedia articles. 

Whether famous or infamous, cats do it all while looking cute and fuzzy and innocent.

*****

I Want to Come Back as a Cat

Oh cat, I wish I could be you
I'd do just what I wanted to
When found out, I'd just blink my eyes
And purr to drown out all the sighs
I'd stretch and sprawl out upside down
I'd star on YouTube with renown
I'd write a book, I'd write Haiku
I'd have the sort of life you do

Instead I'm servant to Your Grace
(Who's giving me her gimme face)




 *****

Hoping you have a week like a pampurred cat :)

Next week's topic is one that's also been suggested by SpikesBestMate:

The Delights/Disasters of "Growing Your Own" .....

Good luck!


P. S. More suggestions for topics are very welcome. Come on - challenge us!




 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

What Can One Person Do? First, Read This.

Every now and then something shocking will shake up not just a few people but a whole region or a whole country; even, maybe, the world.

One of those times is on us now.

The cruel and unnecessary death by police of George Floyd has created a tsunami of protest and riots across the United States. Protests have also taken place in Canada and Europe, because - yes - we have our problems with racism, too. People are tired of being systemically discriminated against, and other people are tired of seeing those people being systemically discriminated against.

Much of the time, racism is simply endured by all. Nothing gets us going enough to change anything.

That's where the current chaos is different.

Everybody with a conscience is upset and angry and ready for change - real change.

Protests are good.

But they are not enough.

Please read this article by former President Barack Obama, published two days ago. Whether you are of the same political party as he is or not, read it anyway, because it applies to us all.

He understands how to effect real change. He explains it well.

It's not necessarily easy. It's harder than protesting because it requires us to educate ourselves about the platforms of local and state/provincial politicians and lobby for change at a local level, not just at the national level. That can be hard work, and boring, and long-term. Protesting is pretty much "one and done". Sustained change in our behavior is different.

Put another way: protesting draws attention to egregious wrongs. Knowledge and voting, particularly at the local level, is the only way to fix them.

To quote one line from Obama's article:

"... eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands."

We've had the protests. It's time to do more.





Monday, 1 June 2020

Poetry Monday: Bridges

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is ..... BRIDGES.

Join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me as we have fun and exercise our brains to write a poem on this intriguing topic. Or you can choose a different topic altogether. You can leave your poem in the comments, or post on your own blog. If you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and your poem.

*****

Occasionally I find it necessary to exercise my brain while not exactly having "fun" as advertised above. Today's post is one of those times.

I mostly draw a firm line around what I will post here, avoiding things political, but the casual and cold-blooded killing of a black man by a white man in the United States - yet again - followed by the casual and cold-blooded response from the current occupant of the White House, has sent me well over that line.

And then there are the protests. And the riots.

And the President's inflammatory responses to both.

I apologize to readers who come here for something light.

Today, lightness is not enough.

I struggled with how much of my opinion to share, and how to do it. I hope I have not reduced my thoughts to mushy pap, although I fear I have. I did a lot of typing, and a lot of deleting, and I'm still struggling.

If I am ranting and raving, am I building toward a solution?

If I don't speak up at all, am I part of the problem?

The fact that I'm Canadian, not American, cannot and does not keep me from stating the truth: The President's poison is spreading across the United States and it is killing that country. 


*****

The Choice

On the one hand are builders
The ones who you find
Laying foundations
Respectful and kind

Together with others who
Build from each side
They meet in the middle
And bridge the divide

But then there are those who
Prefer us on edge
They drive folks apart
Using words as a wedge

They pour on the gasoline
Fake their concern
Then they smile ... strike a match
... and watch the land burn


We all need this ...


... not this



*****

I hope we all have a chance to build a bridge of some kind this week. It will make a better world.


*****

The topic for next week's poem was suggested by SpikesBestMate, and a welcome one it is:

THE ANTICS OF PETS

 

SpikesBestMate has been submitting poems for a few weeks now; have a read in the comments of those posts if you missed them before. Thanks for the ideas for future topics, my friend! I'm looking forward to writing about - and reading about - pets next week.



 

Monday, 25 May 2020

Poetry Monday: My Favourite Smells . . . And Funnies, The All Kitteh Edition

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is .....FAVOURITE SMELLS.

Are you tired of "favourite" stuff yet? Suggestions for future topics are eagerly welcomed.

As you know, Diane and I take turns providing the topic for Poetry Monday. This week's topic was my suggestion; it came to mind the week before when I was ... hmm ... doing something ... or ... eating something ... or something ... involving good smells. Exactly what that was escapes me at the moment.

And I thought to myself, That's a good idea for a poetry topic (by which I meant: not only do I have a good idea what I'll say, but it will be something everyone else can easily write about, too). I thought to myself, I'll have to remember that when the time comes to set next week's topic.

Self said, Yes! But you know, your memory is crap lately; how do you plan on doing that?

And I said back to myself, Don't get all personal with me; I'll remember this topic because there's only one day until I have to post it, and if you'll just ... unnggh ... let go of my brain for ONE FRIGGING MINUTE I'll put this in storage right up front in the old noggin here, let's see, in this folder marked "CRITICAL", and we should be good.

And Self said (clearly continuing to try to interfere with the "save" function), You know, it's not really "critical", it's more like "sort of important", don't you have a folder for that kind of thing?

And I said, Self, you're treading on thin ice, and Self said ... (indistinguishable mumbling) ...

And now you know what it sounds like inside my brain on an average day all day long.

But, you know, I did remember it, so I guess I won. If winning over your own self counts. 

Anyhoo, please feel welcome to join Diane, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me in pondering and creating poems about our favourite smells. You can leave your poem in the comments or post on your own blog. If you do the latter, please leave a comment so we can find you and your poem. Use the topic or choose another; the idea is to have fun and exercise our minds.

Although ... some weeks I think my brain doesn't need exercise so much as it needs a sleeping pill, or a time out, or maybe both ... but let us move along now.

*****

As I've written about previously, I'm one of those people who falls into the category of being highly sensitive. This might have some good points but overall it has more bad ones, in my opinion. I would rather not be like I am, but what can you do? I've tried for most of my life to change, without success, so I've just kind of given up now.

To reiterate a few examples: My eyes are extremely sensitive to light, so I prefer not-sunny days. My ears are overwhelmed by noise, so I avoid crowds, loud music, road construction, etc. as much as I can. Which, hey, is pretty easy these days. My tastebuds are sensitive so my diet is fairly limited.

And my poor nose is sensitive to things other people don't mind, or even love, like the seashore, coffee shops, perfume, wood fires, garlic, or mint

But.

The up side of having a sensitive nose is that when there's a fragrance or scent or smell in the air that I love, I enjoy the heck out of it.

And this poem is about a few of those things.

*****

Ahhhh, Breathe Deeply

Night air in spring
A freshwater river
A cat's fur
Newly mown grass
The stem or leaf of a tomato
A brand-new book, cracked open
A spruce tree in the warmth of our house at Christmas
And a spruce tree in shady woods in summer
Rain on a warm day
Pizza baking in the oven
Freshly ironed cotton
The first lilac to open in June



Unfortunately, one of our cats has asthma and is sensitive to lilacs. We can't have the windows or doors open when our lilac bush is in bloom because she gets wheezy. But I know how she feels, being asthmatic myself, so I don't mind.

*****

And just because I haven't posted any here in awhile, here are some funnies:

Don't worry, little one, it's all kitty memes today ...



































 *****

Wishing you plenty of your favourite smells as  you go about your week ... What would some of those be? Let me know in the comments, if you like.

Next weeks' topic, courtesy of Diane, is ..... BRIDGES.

Good luck!