“Wee timorous beastie” indeed!

It’s Wednesday again and Biff seems to be AWOL as yet. Nevertheless, I’ll do a Whatnot Wednesday post anyway — mainly because I don’t know what else to do with this verse-of-sorts. 🙂

The following poem is based on a real life experience…

The moon rains silver on my window
pierces the darkness of my eleventh hour,
draws thin slats on my carpet as
warm ambiance enfolds me like a cloak
woven of droopy eyelids, wool-gathering.

My book slips from my hand; sinking into
the fronds of fern casting their shadows
in dark splashes on the carpet
rubbing the rich brown of the old
grandfather clock poised to chime.

Shattering my doze like a snare drum,
the steady rustle I have come to dread.
That MOUSE again!
Intrepid raider of the cat-food dish.
Its toes scratch on the floor tile as it creeps
forward toward its goal – then I hear
that brazen crunching I detest.

It knows – I’m positive it bides its time until
some telepathy reveals to its pea-brain
when I am most vulnerable. Too burdened
and half asleep — can it hear me breathe — 
to give chase. Then out it creeps
to fill its emptiness with a cat food snack,
which it erroneously believes
has been provided for its benefit.

I will the clock to strike, to boom
a hickory, dickory, dock. A horrid shock
that causes said mouse to die of fright.
Yet Grandfather has nothing to say just yet,
so
I sit here trembling in the darkness
while my cat, a warm ball on my lap,
snores on, oblivious to mouse or man.
Waking, only to glance at me in peeved disdain,

when I screech, “You’re FIRED!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In my dreams…

Cat + Mouse.K Tyl

Alone

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning:  MOVIE
Word of the Day prompt:  RIFF

Like a boring old movie
the neighbors are at it again
that weary riff of picking
at past gripes and hurts,
festering wounds.

If only they could peek
into the dark years to come,
get a glimpse of “future me.”
If they could feel how lonely
life can be when you’re
left. Forgotten. Alone.

Having worked in seniors’ and nursing homes myself, I think everyone should have to spend six months working in one. Here’s where you clearly see the truth of “What goes around, comes around” and “You reap what you sow.”

Replacing Clichés

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is NOTHING.

When it comes to clichĂ©s, I feel there’s nothing that can successfully replace some of these one-bite-wisdom quotes, like “Least said, soonest mended.” Yet editors want us to get rid of them, which is what led to the following writing exercise.

At a writing conference, each person was to think of an old gem of wisdom and write it on a sheet of paper. These were handed around and others in the group were to suggest more modern replacements for the given clichés. Yesterday as I was working through my stash of papers, I found one of these sheets. The saying:

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Bird.shutterbug75
Image: Shutterbug at Pixabay

In other words, you may get lucky and find that second bird in the bush. Or, while you’re chasing that one, this one you have may escape and you’ll have none.

Like the gambler who’s just won fifty dollars. If he puts it in his pocket, he has $50. If he bets it again, he may end up with $100, or he may lose it all.

This can get into even higher stakes, as when employees go on strike for higher wages. They may win the dollar per hour increase — or the boss may close down the shop, which will put them all out of work. Or they may get their pay increase after weeks on strike, but lose three or four thousand dollars in wages in the interim. When put to a vote, they may rather opt for “the bird in hand” and be content with their current wage.

But it’s a challenge to put this in a nutshell like the original saying did, and still get the meaning across. (Oh, dear! “Put it in a nutshell” is probably another clichĂ© to avoid.)

Here are some responses people gave:
— What we actually have is better than what we wish we had.
— She went with a sure thing.
— She made the safe choice instead of stretching for more.

And this practical example:
—She didn’t love Harry, but she figured he was better than nothing.
(Poor Harry!)

Here are my suggestions:
—Best grab the first bus. The next one might be full.
Better one eye seeing something than two eyes seeing nothing.

How would you replace this old cliché? Put your thinking cap on.

My Cave of Misc

The Daily Addictions word for today is CAVE.

Cave.DmitryAbramov.png
Dmitry Abramov — Pixabay

This brings to mind the story of Ali Baba and the Forty thieves. The brave young Ali Baba dared to speak the password, “Open Sesame,” and explore the cave. What he discovered was a stash of hidden treasure.

I have two different caves, one being the spare bedroom that I’ve appropriated for my sewing space. I’ve been working at cleaning that up. The other is right here at my desk. But rather than treasure, you’ll find half a lifetime of saved scribbles, loose and in cheap coil notebooks, that need to be gone through.

Cluttered desk
Ali Baba would have given up in despair.

This reminds me of an account I once read, the confession of a none-too-neat homemaker. She finally saw the light one day when she arrived home from some outing to find a police car in her driveway. An officer met her outside her door to explain the situation:
“One of your neighbors saw a stranger enter your house through a window and called us. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you’d best be prepared: he’s completely trashed the place. I know it’ll be hard, but you’ll have to go in and have a look around, tell us if you notice anything that’s missing.”

It was a lot harder for her, after having a look around, to swallow her pride and tell the officer, “Doesn’t look like anything’s missing. Everything is just as I left it.”

Last winter I made a start at cleaning up all my scribbles and made a small dint; now I’ll  renew my efforts while it’s -35 and I don’t want to set foot out of the house. So be prepared for a sudden gush of haiku, other micro-verses, and tidbit tales here on my blog.

Ali found a heap of treasure
hidden in a deep dark den;
in my cave, a heap of scribbles
a life of plying pencil and pen.

Daylight

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is DAYLIGHT

Sadly, it hasn’t arrived yet, though it’s almost 7 am. As I look out my window I see only inky blackness with points of light indicating surrounding farms, plus the moon above us, made fainter by the clouds drifting in front of it. But my husband happily assures me that we got two minutes more daylight yesterday, and days will increase in length steadily now.

who will wash
the moon’s dirty face?
ah, the dawn!

Of Vain Regrets

Regret Quote
There is a grief that’s common to all and inescapable. The sense of loss, missing someone who’s gone on, regretting you won’t be able to turn to them anymore. No more phone chats, no more visits over coffee, no more celebrations or sharing memories.

And there’s a grief that wants to depress us. Everyone feels regret or remorse at times, that sense of having done wrong or missed opportunities that will now never be recaptured or enjoyed. But this kind of grieving can become chronic and swallow us whole.

Sometimes a person does need to ponder what they could/should have done different, to repent; and make amends where possible. At times we need to say “I’m sorry. I was wrong to do or say that.” It really pays to understand how we could do better the next time and make positive changes, be more respectful, develop a softer way of expression our opinions, etc.

The night we got home from my sister’s funeral I couldn’t sleep well, understandably, and felt so blue. Mine was a combination of both griefs: the sorrow of “she’s not there anymore” and regret for lost chances. Why didn’t I do more, call more, visit more…about the really important things of life? Why didn’t I say “I love you, I appreciate you”?

I felt the need to read something upbeat, and spotted an old Our Daily Bread devotional magazine lying in the bathroom. Someone had once given me a bunch and I pull a few out now and then for “bathroom reading.” Seeing it was the January 1978 issue, I turned to the Jan 1 page and read “THE FORWARD LOOK.”

Included was this poem — and it seemed just what I needed at that moment. Googling, I see this verse was published in the mid-1800s and lists M.H.W. as the author.

The past is o’er;
waste not thy days in vain regret,
grieve thou no more.
Look now before
and not behind thee; do not fret,
the past is o’er.
Thy pain is sore,
and thou hast cause for sorrow yet;
grieve thou no more.
Close memory’s door;
that day is dead, that sun has set —
the past is o’er.
There are in store
for thee still happy days. Forget!
Grieve thou no more.
Smile as of yore–
no longer let thine eyes be wet,
the past is o’er.
Grieve thou no more!

I took this as a message from the Lord to me, one that I needed to hear at that moment. While I won’t stop missing Rose or regret we can no longer communicate, I need to shut the door on that insatiable remorse of “I should have…” For one thing, it’s actually a self-centered grief. For another, I can’t improve the past one speck by regretting it.

“Where to from here?” is a better question than “Why didn’t I?”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: SHUT