Haiku In Haste

In yesterday’s post I mentioned an old Japanese haiku legend about the haikai master, Saikaku: he supposedly composed 23,500 verses in 24 hours. So I compose an hour’s worth of verses myself. Here are a few “looking out my window” haiku:

in my garden
an unwanted rooter
pig weed

north wind this morning
the scarecrow sheds his flowered shirt
for a white pullover

two dozen sparrows
cling to the caraganas
ornamental visitors

Image by GLady at Pixabay

Spring Fever?

What is so rare as a day in March,
when sunshine knocks out stiff winter’s starch
when the blanket of snow spills into a trickle
and bloggers once faithful to post become fickle?
Eschewing my blog I now lounge in the light
and – making things worse – have been painting at night.

Spring came to our land last week. In a few days the temp went from -30 to +3. The citizens went from parkas to light jackets. We love the sunny skies and seeing more and more of our lawns appearing!

Looking out the back window yesterday, I noticed a black dot like a stone, lying in the deep snow behind the house and realized that it was the tip of the fence post, buried for months under six feet of snow, now poking through. Two days ago I walked through the back yard, picking the spot where the bank was lowest. It was pretty hard-packed, but where my feet sank in, the snow was knee-deep, so we have a ways to go yet before the back lawn appears.

I’m not sure what’s with me these days, that I’ve abandoned writing and posting for a week. Is this spring fever? The utter abandonment of responsibilities? Too many irons in the fire? But I want to peek in today and say “Hi. Yes, I am alive and reasonably healthy.” To my newest followers, “Thanks for following. I hope you’re finding stuff to read in my archives.”

And I’ve gone from blogging every morning to cleaning house, getting rid of excess stuff, and spending a few hours splashing paint on canvas. Mediocre scenes maybe, but I’m just a beginner. After watching a few demonstrations I tried doing an impressionist style – which didn’t impress friends or hubby – but I think I’ll keep on splashing and dabbing. It looks so easy when I watch the pros do it!

OCD I have: everywhere I turn now, I see something I want to paint! So I reach for a new canvas, then my perfectionism kicks in and I’m afraid to start because I may make a mess of it. I spend too much time looking for a picture I think I could manage, but still have to tell myself often, “It’s okay to make an unrecognizable mess. That’s how you’ll learn.” Do any of you readers have these inner battles that keep you from starting some bold adventure?

Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying life, in fairly good health, seeing lots of sunshine and blue skies wherever you are.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: BLANKET
Yesterday’s Prompt: CLEAR SKIES

A few haiku

key under the mat universal self-delusion

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

parking lot valet
a well groomed magpie
cleans my grill

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tender little dove
how that peregrine ogles
your plump breast

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

all those remarks
she should not have made
beetles in the rice

Midnight Tales

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WREST

One definition, according to M-W, is “to gain with difficulty by or as if by force, violence, or determined labor.” Our newest cat, Tuffy, though he’s only half-grown, doesn’t seem to have such great difficulty wresting small creatures from their hiding places, but I’ll use this word in my response. Since the writing prompt is to be a quick, fun thing I’ll offer my little rhyme.

The temperature has turned quite mild recently, to the delight of our cats. They’re ready to rush off to adventures whenever the door’s open. Yesterday Tuffy raced across the driveway, over the big snowbank on the other side left by the plow, and up into the crotch of a nearby tree. Heaven help the birds come spring! Last night when I let Tuffy out the back door he started nosing along the side of the trailer. Before long he stopped to investigate one spot intently.

 Outside in a flash
 nosing in the tall grass
 surrounding our dwelling,
 Tuff found a small swelling.

 Oh, joy! 'Twas a hole
 smelling strongly of mole – 
 or maybe a mouse
 entry into our house.

 A wee mole was stirring,
 his cat nature spurring
 his talon to wrest
 pipsqueak from its nest.

 That sad little creature
 became the prime feature
 in a game of delight
 for Tuffy last night.

The Dark Creatures

Dark, Fluffy, and Very Playful

We seem to be dealing with our share of unique black creatures these days. Two weeks ago we found this black-and-white fluffy stray kitten on our doorstep. Bob had him to the vet on Saturday and he got his first shots. Lori, the vet, said Tuffy’s the most uniquely colored kitten she’s ever seen – and all the girls at the clinic thought he was adorable. 🙂 Lori’s never seen a cat with two-toned fur like his before. Tuffy’s back and leg fur is made up of black and white strands intermixxed, which gives him that hoar-frosted look. And his mostly-white ruff is so long it’s almost a cape around his neck.

The Odd Bird in the Flock

I have mentioned different times that we’re putting out bird seed and feeding a flock of sparrows that hang around – mostly in our Caraganas or in the woods on the east side of our trailer. A few different times I’ve noticed a rather large sparrow in the flock and one day I realized it wasn’t a sparrow at all. Not with a long tail like that. A closer look revealed that it was a red-wing blackbird. I don’t know why this bird decided to pass the winter hanging out with a flock of sparrows here on the chilly prairie. Was he injured or too weak to fly south with his own kin?

I’ve been keeping an eye out for him this week and today, using my binoculars, I was able to get a good look at this misfit. I have never in my life seen a blackbird quite like this one. He’s black for the most part, a black beak, too. But his upper back is kind of mottled or streaked with grey – which blackbirds never are. He has the curved wing markings of a red-wing, but they are white, or light grey. Perhaps this is the red-wing’s winter coloring, but we never see them in winter, so how can we know?

He hangs out with the stubby little English sparrows most of the time but appears to consider himself above them because he shoos them off if they get too much in his way. And he never comes to the feeder pole – at least I’ve never seen him at the feeder or on the ground below. Maybe when the weather gets colder he will? My first thought was that he won’t last; surely a blackbird can’t survive our winters. However, if the sparrows can survive, why shouldn’t he, too? Time will tell.

My Gobbling Google

I’ve had some issues with my cell phone lately – the G-mail has been gobbling up my plan’s bytes like teen boys at an eat-all-you-can buffet — and we can’t figure out why. One thing I have tried: I changed my settings and cancelled notifications so I’m not getting so many incoming e-mails with photos from other bloggers. I can rather check my Reader for new posts. I’ll see if this will make any difference this month. So if you’re inclined to post a lot of photos and you aren’t hearing as much from me, it’s because I’m not getting all your notifications right now.

One last thought — but quite important: I’d like to give a warm welcome to all my new followers. I’m not sure where everyone is finding my blog, but I see the numbers going up. 🙂 You’re all welcome to browse in the archives, read and comment on posts.

Wishing everyone a “Happy Hump Day” – as another blogger calls Wednesday, since it’s the middle of the week.

Snow – Lampman Verse

Sorting through a few of my Dropbox files this evening. Hope you enjoy this verse:

Snow

By Canadian poet Archibald Lampman

White are the far-off plains, and white
The fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height,
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree,
Falls down scarce audibly.

The road before me smooths and fills
Apace, and all about
The fences dwindle, and the hills
Are blotted slowly out;
The naked trees loom spectrally
Into the dim white sky.

The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere.

Save when at lonely intervals
Some farmer’s sleigh, urged on,
With rustling runners and sharp bells,
Swings by me and is gone;
Or from the empty waste I hear
A sound remote and clear;

The barking of a dog, or call
To cattle, sharply pealed,
Borne echoing from some wayside stall
Or barnyard far a-field;
Then all is silent, and the snow
Falls, settling soft and slow.

The evening deepens, and the gray
Folds closer earth and sky;
The world seems shrouded far away;
Its noises sleep, and I,
As secret as yon buried stream,
Plod dumbly on, and dream.

A Pixabay Image