Monday, 29 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Halloween

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is Halloween. Join Diane, Delores, and me as we knock on all the doors in our brains and yell "trick or treat!" and see what happens . . .

You can leave your Halloween treats poem in the comments on any of our doorsteps blogs, or post on your own blog, in which case please leave a hairy eyeball comment so we can find you and eat your brains cheer you on! I don't know how those extra words keep finding their way in, but trust me, you're about to be frightened out of your wits safe here with me! Mwahahaha . . .

* * * * *

Well, the craft sale is over, and I am mostly recovered. All four fingers on my left hand fell victim to hot glue, and I burned my arm brushing against a hot oven wall, but on the plus side I didn't burn a single one of the fifteen dozen oatcakes that I made to sell, so the whole "luck" thing balanced out. I spent almost everything I made on products from the other vendors (to give for Christmas and birthday gifts), so the whole "money" thing balanced out, too.

And then, just like that, it was Sunday night, and I had nary a line of poetry written.

But I had been thinking about it, in between hot gluing my fingers ornaments and baking my arm oatcakes.

And here's what I was thinking: after falling down the basement stairs last Halloween, that date is inextricably linked to the concept of "hurt" in my brain. When I think "Halloween," I think "pain." Isn't it strange how the mind works?

My back, which took a hard hit on the corner of a stair, took a couple of months to "come right" as they say, but I also hurt the last two fingers on my right hand, and they are almost back to normal one year later.

How did I hurt my fingers by falling on my back? I was letting our cat up from the basement, and going down the stairs to get her food and water, incidentally also carrying a small fake pumpkin to put into storage for another year. This was the pumpkin . . .

Has a mean look to it, doesn't it?

 . . . and because it was awkward to hold, I had my index and middle fingers through the eye holes. When I fell, I must have whacked the pumpkin (and my hand) against the stairs, too, although I didn't feel it at first because my back hurt like crazy. I'm assuming that hurt cancelled out the other hurt.

I'm also assuming the pumpkin put a spell on me to make my fingers take so long to get better, as payback for sticking my fingers in its eye holes, and also for cracking it in half when I fell. I used my trusty glue gun to fix it after about eight months, because I was tired of seeing it on the kitchen counter and being reminded of my Halloween trip (haha, pun intended), but the damage to me and the damage to Mr. Pumpkin clearly balanced out, just like the crafting burns and the oatcakes and the money in and money out at the craft sale.

Anyhow, I actually went for an x-ray at about the six month mark, because it was still hard to write and carry things, there was still pain and limited flexibility in those fingers, and I wanted to know if there was any damage to the bones before I went for physio. It took so long to get the x-ray taken and then get the results back that my fingers had improved some more by then and so I said to heck with physio and just kept using my fingers as best I could for housework and so on. Home style physio, if you will.

So . . . that's the long preamble over with; here's the poem.

* * * * *

Pumpkin's Revenge

Halloween was finally over for another year.
Pumpkin Head had done his best to fill the kids with fear.
Donkey headed down the stairs to store him in a trunk,
Fingers in his eyes -- and then she landed with a thunk.

Mr. Pumpkin split in half, and thought that he would die.
He said, "My life is over, and I've never made a pie!" (haha, another dreadful pun)
His pride had suffered, too, from being carried by his eyes;
"That's no way to treat a friend!" he thought -- a silent cry.

He listened to the Donkey's moans, and grinned a bit in spite.
"I guess she's hurting too," he said. "It serves her bloody right!
"She thinks it's just her back that hurts but I've a clever plan:
"I'll put a hex upon the frailest fingers on her hand!"

And sure enough, within the day, how Donkey's misery grew.
Her fingers pained and swelled and then they turned all black and blue.
A year went by and it was nearly Halloween  again --
A year with Pumpkin's awful curse: The Double-Finger-Sprain.

We shouldn't judge the Pumpkin for his lack of empathy --
His head is filled with empty air; his eyes, they cannot see.
But you can bet the Donkey will be handling him with care,
Not poking fingers through his eyes when taking him downstairs!

*****

Have a Happy Halloween! Please don't take any unexpected trips!

. . . And be careful with your decorations . . .  😈

 

Update:  Next week's topic is . . . common sense . . .




Monday, 22 October 2018

Poetry Monday: The Grandma/Grandpa Club

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is The Grandma (or Grandpa) Club.

Diane, Delores and I are all Grandmas, but if you're a Grandpa -- or if you're neither -- you can still join us in crafting a poem. Leave your offerings in the comments of any of our blogs, or if you post on your own blog, please leave a comment telling us how to find you. The point of this challenge is to exercise our brains and have fun.

*****

I've been a grandma for a bit less than four years. We have two grandsons, who live within driving distance, but only just close enough for a day trip. With two cats requiring a lot of care at home, our trips are all day trips.

Something is about to change, though. In a big way -- and not in a good way.

In less than one month, our daughter and her husband, with our two little grandsons in tow, are moving very, very far away; on the opposite side of our continent and out of our country. They are moving so our son-in-law can take a new job. The current plan is to work "away" for five years and then move back to Nova Scotia.

As you might imagine, I am pretty sad about the moving away part. I am sad for our daughter, who would rather live in NS (although she has come a long way in accepting and even starting to be excited about some aspects of the move). I am sad for me, and for my husband, and for our moms, who are both elderly. A lot can happen in five years. And a return to our province is not guaranteed.

But.

It can't be changed, so it must be endured.

And, in some ways, even embraced.

I am happy for them that they have this opportunity -- to earn, to travel, to have new experiences and to meet new people.

I am also very grateful for the internet -- email and videoconferencing, especially. We aren't the first grandparents who will keep in touch in those ways, and we won't be the last. Many, many young families from our province have moved west (mostly to Alberta) for work, and if you're out of easy driving range, it doesn't matter if your loved ones are in Alberta or on the west coast of the USA, as ours will be. Face to face visits will be few and far between, and if we want our grandchildren to recognize us when we see them in person, Skype (video) is a great help.

(And I am a terrible traveller, so Skype is good in another way -- no worries about food issues, bathroom issues, sleep issues, motion sickness, or finding a cat-sitter!)

Anyway, all of that is the background for my poem today. It's another short and simple haiku, because I keep getting emotional and can't see the screen for the tears.

*****

Two Little Boys

Such tiny humans
To have so captivated
Your families' hearts


The Donkey's grandsons. In real life they are not donkeys, of course. But the Awww factor is the same.

*****

Before I go mop up my face, may I just wish you a good week, my friends -- one where, if necessary, you endure and even embrace change, as hard as that may be.



Update:  Next week's topic is (unsurprisingly!) . . . HALLOWEEN-N-N-N-N . . . Mwahahahaha  😈





Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Poetry Monday on Tuesday: Doors

It's Poetry Monday, a day late, but all the better for marinating an extra day (she said hopefully), and this week's topic is "doors" . . . join Diane, Delores, and me as we fling open all the doors in our brains to see what drops out.

If you'd like to write along with us, feel free to leave your poem in a comment on any of our blogs. If you'd prefer to post on your own blog, please leave a comment to let us know where to find you, so we can come along and cheer you on. Use the topic, or write about something else -- it's up to you. The object is to work our brains and have fun!

*****

The topic of "doors" brings to mind my reliance on those hinged wonders to keep my warring cats separate and safe. About a year ago, my husband installed French doors throughout our living/dining area so that we can close off one or two rooms at a time.  I like this arrangement better than putting one cat in the basement while the other one is with us. I think they like it better, too. They can see us even if they can't be with us every minute.

The other side of this is that they can see each other.

Here is a picture of Lulu, our warrior cat, looking through the little windows, trying to see Missy, our lame cat.





I don't know if she is thinking that she'd like to make a meal of Missy, or if she's afraid Missy is ready to come after her, but she likes to keep an eye on things all the time. It's a good thing the windows go all the way to the bottom of the door. Otherwise we'd have to install a set of stairs and a viewing platform. Oh, Lulu. I know what it's like to be short. Maybe I need to write a post about that. 😜


Anyway, today's poem is written from Lulu's point of view.


*****

Haiku For Doors

Doors. They keep me out.
Or maybe they keep me in.
Either way, I'm safe. And bored.


(Yes, there are too many syllables in that last line. Not all cats know the rules about haiku. Or maybe they do, but -- as usual -- they don't care.)


*****

October is always busier than normal for me. It starts with Thanksgiving, morphs into two weeks of deadlines at work, and ends up with a double bang -- my annual craft show and Hallowe'en. The craft show is the thing I am least prepared for. So I'm busy sewing and stuffing and gluing and sequining and burning/stabbing my fingers -- trying to do in one month what I should have been doing all year. Procrastination strikes again. 😬

The upside? Short poems!! Enjoy it while it lasts! 😝

And I've just discovered the Blogger emojis, if you hadn't already noticed. 😵

Feel free to leave me your thoughts on doors. Or even The Doors. Speaking of which, here's Light My Fire to take you waaaaaay back:







Now I shall go light a fire under myself and get some more crafting done. Wishing you a good week, people!


Update:  Next week's topic is . . . "The Grandma Club" . . . (or "The Grandpa Club" if appropriate)





Monday, 15 October 2018

Poetry Monday . . . Delayed by a day at the Donkey blog

Poetry Monday at Procrastinating Donkey will be held on Tuesday for this week only.

Check out Diane and Delores for their take on "doors," the topic for this week's poetry challenge.

Sorry for the delay, and see you tomorrow!

Here's a lolcat to tide you over until then:


I hear you, kitty. Let's have a nap, okay?

Photo credit: icanhas.cheezburger.com

Monday, 8 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Giving Thanks

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is "giving thanks" -- which is no accident, really, because today is Thanksgiving in Canada, and all three of our hosting bloggers are Canadians. That would be Diane, Delores, and me!

You can join us: use the topic or write on anything else you like. You can post in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you'd prefer to post on your own blog, leave a comment to let us know where to find you. It's easy, it's fun, it's calorie-free, it's good for your brain. How many things can do all that?

*****

While it's entirely appropriate that we should be writing about giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day, it is also true that I had an unusually busy week and then we had company on Sunday and then it was sometime late Sunday evening when it occurred to me that I hadn't yet written my poem. Eeeek!

This will be one of the shortest poems ever to come from long-winded me: three lines of fifteen syllables each.

*****

I Give Thanks

Of all the things in the world for which thanks I could be giving
Simply I am grateful to be in the land of the living
Because relentlessly the march of time is unforgiving



The river doubles the Autumn colours as time marches on.



What is one thing you are thankful for today, my people?

(Please don't say "short poems" ha ha)



Update:  Next week's topic is "doors" . . . interesting! Thank you, Diane, for your bottomless supply of ideas!




Monday, 1 October 2018

Poetry Monday: Harvest

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

Join Diane, Delores and me as we gather words from our thought gardens and preserve them in our verse.

If you'd like, feel free to leave a poem in the comments on any of our blogs, or if you prefer to post on your blog, leave us a comment so we can find you and cheer you on. Use the topic, or not. Have fun!

*****

The equinox has passed, and here in Nova Scotia we are officially in Fall/Autumn. The summer heat I was whining about recently has suddenly left us -- probably in a huff at not being appreciated -- and has been replaced by moderate days and some very cold nights, including one that dipped below freezing and left frost in its wake.

In my little corner of the world, I've been doing seasonal jobs like cleaning the cat hair out of the electric baseboard heaters, which I thought were already cleaned out until I turned one on and smelled the singed fur. I've started wearing socks again so I can continue to enjoy having feeling in the parts of my legs below my knees. A few trees here and there have started to turn red and yellow, Thanksgiving (in Canada) is one week away, and the Halloween costumes and decorations are crowding out the rest of the wares in our thrift stores and dollar stores.

These are the signs of the harvest season to me. We are not a farming family, we don't even live in a farming community, and I don't preserve fruits or vegetables. And because I have GI issues, my diet is fairly restricted, so I don't get to enjoy many seasonal fruits or berries. In its traditional sense, harvest time doesn't register very high on the Aware-O-Meter with me.

So what's an amateur poet to do with the topic this week?

Why, go off on another tangent, of course.

One harvest I have enjoyed the past few Autumns is gathering used books at the annual book sale in our town. The prices can't be beat, and although most books are a few years old, there are many I haven't read, and I choose mostly fiction, which tends to age well.

This year I wasn't able to visit the sale as often as usual, but I did end up with thirty-six books, all priced at either $1 or $2, and managed to donate six grocery sacks of books from previous years back to the sale. A moderate success on both fronts!

So today's poem is going to be about harvesting books -- how I choose from the vast array at the sale when the tables and tables of books tend to be overwhelming.

You will probably notice how this poem is very prose-y in style. I do feel like I'm cheating somehow, but, wow, I'm so tired of trying to find good meter and rhyme after the last few poems. I'm taking a break :)

*****

Harvesting Books


Preparation begins at home.
I keep a running list of authors I enjoy
And the books they've written that I have already read.
I keep another list of books I've heard about
And have been too cheap frugal smart cheap to buy at full price.

With my list and cash in hand,
I bravely enter the sales venue.
(A curling rink in winter;
Cavernous, concrete, and cool
In fall, even with the ice out).

I wear comfortable clothes
And extra-comfortable footwear
And leave the handbag at home.
Buying at the used book sale
Is not for sissies
Or the fashion-conscious.

The books are four rows deep
On both sides of long, long, long tables;
Alphabetized (thank goodness).

I ignore the weird smell in the building --
A faint odour of manure or outhouses:
Why?
I have no idea
Nor do I wish to know
Because I might not return --
And I need my books
Like a fish needs water
Like a bird needs airspace
Like a dog needs a bone
Like a cat needs naps
Like . . .
Okay, okay. You get it. I got it.

I look methodically at the spines . . .
How to choose, if I don't know the author?

It mostly comes down to the title.
(Any with 'vampire', 'knights', or 'murder'
Are passed over without another glance.)
A good title pulls me in like the smell of cookies baking.

Next, a quick read of the jacket
To get a sense of the story.

Finally, reading a paragraph or two within,
To judge the quality of writing.

Keep or reject.

Repeat until:
(1) feet get sore
(2) back gets sore
(3) time runs out
(4) money runs out

That's it.
That's my method.
What's yours?


Lulu, pretending to be a stack of books among the other stacks of books, and failing. The ears give her away every time. Points for trying, though.


*****

Today's question is the last line of the poem, but you already knew that, didn't you?

To recap, how do you choose books (used or new)?

And more questions:
If you're not a book lover, how do you choose your weakness purchases, be it clothing, music, restaurants to try, etc.? Do you keep a list of what you'd like to have or try? Do you impulse buy? Do you ask for recommendations? Do you ever end up with duplicates? So many questions. Such a nosy Donkey! (These are just suggestions! Pick one or none!)



Update:  Next week's topic is "Thanksgiving", or, in lower case but just as important, "giving thanks" :)