The Constant Sea

Image by K Moser — Pixabay

The salt smell of the sea, the foamy breakers, the incessant screaming of the gulls in their wild play. These familiar sights and sounds soothe old Matt as he walks along the beach. When life is out of kilter he wanders down to the beach again to watch that constant rolling reminder that life goes on. There’s something solid about the sea. The thought makes him smile. It’ll be here ’til the end of time.

He delights in recalling the days of long ago when he worked with his uncles on the Doughty Daisy before a vicious storm tossed her on the rocks. He sees again the line of fishing boats heading out to sea, imagines the wind, the spray, the thrill of it all when, as a young deck hand, he was part of the crew harvesting the sea.

He thinks of the wild storms that held them in port for several days – or worse, swept down on them while they were filling their nets. All hands on deck back then, fighting to ride the waves and keep the equipment – and each other – from washing overboard. Those were the days when you worked, boy!

The fishing isn’t good now, the new crews tell him. Too many fish harvested by the factory ships; stocks haven’t had a chance to replenish like they should. Cod are about gone, they say, and rarely do you find the big tuna anymore.

He turns to watch the gulls wheeling, ever on the lookout for some tasty gift from the sea, and squabbling over it when they find it. Ah, now they’ve spotted something further up the beach. A couple of gulls have landed beside it, one’s carefully inspecting it while the other argues “finders-keepers” with his mates in the air.

“Now what do you suppose those birds have found?” Matt slowly makes his way over to the spot. By the time he gets there the gulls have flown away. He looks down and laughs. A tube of Paradise Suntan Lotion – Economy size. Just what he needs. He sticks it in his pocket; there’s a trash can up along the walkway.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: INCESSANT
Your Daily Word Prompt: SUPPOSE

The Lost Cabbage Leaves

And now, dear readers, here’s a story that’s 100% silly. When I opened my e-mail first thing this morning I saw word prompts from several sites, plus a big one from Merriam-Webster giving their Word of the Day and their Words of interest this week. So I’ve decided to write a tale incorporating all these words:

From M-W: Docile, Joke, Manipulate, Synonym, Soup, Besot, Hair-trigger
From Word of the Day: Dilatory; from Your Daily Word: Loyal,
From Ragtag Daily Prompt: Again, and from Fandango (FOWC): Excuse
And because the image of a snail on a rock popped into my head…
this one is from Pixabay, shared by photographer Carpi23auto.

So now I give you…

“The Saga of the Snail Siblings”

Sally snail made her way over the rock in a dilatory manner.

“You’re such a dawdler!” her brother Sangster called from the ground below. “Why did you have to go over that dumb rock, anyway? Honestly, the snow will be blowing by the time you get over to the cabbages. You’ll miss munching all those delicious leaves.”

Another brother, Sander, added his reproach. “Yeah. They’ll all be chopped up and in the soup before you get halfway across the garden.”

“Well, there’s more to life than cabbage leaves,” Sally told them as she slid off the rock. She joined her sister Salvena who’d opted to go around the rock and had found a few discarded green beans near the base.

“Just ignore them, Sally.” Salvena, ever loyal to her sister, offered to share her find. “Help me eat this green bean. It’s a bit limp, but still lots of flavor.” She nibbled on an end in her careful way.

Sander hooted. “Beans are blah! That’s just an excuse for quitting. There’s nothing like a cabbage leaf for flavor.” He started off again toward the cabbage heads that so besotted him.

“Race you,” Sangster shouted at him.

“Those guys racing. That’s such a joke,” Sally muttered to her sister. “Well, I’m not going to let them manipulate me into rushing around, getting my lovely shell muddy. Or have those flea beetles jumping on my head.”

“Oh, I hate those fleas! That’s why I never go near the radish row,” Salvena told her. “They have such hair-trigger paranoia. Anything sets them off and they spring willy-nilly all over. Next thing you have one or two riding on your antenna.” Salvena shuddered. A docile creature by nature, she eschewed sudden or erratic movement.

“A flea on your antenna is like red ant on your foot. A nuisance you want to get rid of as soon as you can.”

“That’s a really good synonym, Sally.” Salvena turned her eyes toward the cabbage patch. “It looks like the boys have almost made it.” Then she gasped. “Oh no! One of those monsters! Oh, I do hope the boys will be safe.”

“It’s picking them up,” Sally exclaimed. The two sisters watched as the monster flung their brothers out of the garden. Sander and Sangster flew over their heads and landed in the grass just beyond the onion row.

Ten minutes later the boys came crawling out of the grass, back to the rock where their sisters were still working on the beans.

“Maybe we’ll join you after all,” Sangster said. “Though I’m still feeling pretty dizzy. I’ve never moved so fast in my life! I used to think it would be fun to be a bird, but not anymore!” Sangster wiggled his antenna to test them.

“You poor things.” Kind-hearted Sally moved over to give her brothers some space. “So much for the cabbage leaves, eh?”

“Yeah. Guess we can’t always have our first choice. But this is okay,” Sander admitted, chomping into the fat bean.

Public Announcements

Sunday morning church bell
calling the flock to the pews
for an early blessing.
The sleepy raven complains,
its peaceful rest disturbed
by the unearthly clang, clang.
Who can sleep through that?

Saturday morning and the flock
sleep in after a fun Friday night.
But a raven’s stridently
yawping the news: successful
pre-dawn foraging of a tabby –
who should be sharing but isn’t.
Who can sleep through that?

Your Daily Word prompt for today: YAWP
(to squawk, clamor, complain)

Block-Ed + Poetry–A Trial Run

I won't let Block-Ed frustrate me
I'll practice 'til I'm proficient
So here's a bit of poetry
to see if I've learned sufficient...

I see that Sheryl at Your Daily Word Prompt 
is having her trials switching to the new Block editor,
too. Her word for today is FRUSTRATE.
A CHOICE
by Edgar Guest

Sure, they get stubborn at times;
they worry and fret us a lot,
but I'd rather be crossed by a glad little boy
and frequently worried than not.
There are hours when they get on my nerves
and set my poor brain all a-whirl, 
but I'd rather be troubled that way than to be
the man who has no little girl.

There are time's they're a nuisance, that's true
with all of their racket and noise,
but I'd rather my personal pleasures be lost
than to give up my girls and my boys.
Not always they're perfectly good;
there are times when they're wilfully bad
but I'd rather be worried by youngsters of mine
than lonely and childless and sad.

So I try to be patient and calm
whenever they're having their fling,
for the sum of their laughter and love
is more than the worry they bring.
And each night when sweet peace settles down
and I see them asleep in their cot,
I chuckle and say: "They upset me today,
but I'd rather be that way than not."

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Conclusions:
Selecting the Verse block and writing poetry works better with this editor, since single line spacing is automatic; I don’t have to hit Shift + Enter to get that, like I would otherwise. On the other hand, I now have to count Categories & Tags to be sure I don’t exceed the WordPress limit of fifteen. And poetry is automatically italicized.

PS: Now that this is posted I see I’m not so proficient after all! 😦
Now, how to fix it!

Gliding Off

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is GLIDE
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) is IDYLLIC
Your Word of the Day this morning is EXCURSION

What waits for me? Who knows?
Beyond the rippling tide:
adventures – or a lazy day
of watching seabirds glide.

A siren call across the swell
pulls me from my chair.
Away to sea, my boat and me,
with hope of havens fair!

Idyllic isles or rolling seas,
excursions o’er the foam;
I’ll spend this month meandering
intriguing paths to roam.

Methinks the month will fly…
I’ll pass through sun and rain.
I shall return when “dog days” burn
and dock my boat again.

🙂

No, I’m not really gliding off into the rolling sea, but I am taking a holiday from blogging in the month of July. I’ll continue my Ragtag Daily Prompt duties Sunday evenings and I intend to keep posting interesting words & meanings on my Word Buds site but otherwise, you won’t see me here very much before August 2.

H--Closed July

Words of Fervor & Folly

Good afternoon, dear readers. I’ve been looking at the word prompts for today, plus I read an interesting article at Pocket, now I’ll try to gather all the thoughtlets that are bouncing around.

First, I must thank Fandango for his FOWC prompt today, which is ARCANE. I thought I understood this word, but decided I’d check in the dictionary and be certain. And I was SO WRONG! Somehow I’ve gotten this word confused with INANE.

Sue’s JibberJabber prompt for today is CHANGE and I’ve had to completely change my thinking after this little visit to the dictionary. I’ll know better now if I happen to read in a story: “After making an arcane remark in answer to his question, his assistant left the room.”
How I’ve misjudged the poor person! I always thought they’d said something stupid or sarcastic.

According to Lexico, ARCANE means
Understood by few; mysterious or secret.
synonyms: obscure, deep, profound

INANE means:
Lacking sense or meaning; silly
synonyms: empty, insubstantial

ASININE, going even further, means:
Extremely stupid or foolish
synonyms: silly, brainless, nonsensical

The Your Daily Word prompt for today is PLETHORA, so I’ll tack this all together for a bit of linguistic history.

Owing to its tendency to gather words from all nations, the English language has a plethora of words that mean, or sound, almost the same — synonyms, we call them. Check out any thesaurus and  you’ll see dozens of synonyms for some words, especially slang expressions. I counted 48 shorter variations of “drunk” and a few longer ones like “in his cups.”

Quite a few dictionary words are archaic, or regional and thus arcane — do you know what a SCOP is? — while most are widely known to English speakers across the globe. Some words have shifted, like HAGGARD, which meant wild or untamed, but has shifted over time and is now understood as “having a gaunt, worn appearance.”

Over the centuries the Bible has had a profound effect on English, giving us the Ten Commandments and the  Golden Rule, along with many other expressions and lines. And poets have enriched the language with expressions that became part of everyday vocabulary.

Like Bobby Burns, with “the best laid plans of mice and man go oft astray…” Even though he wrote his “Ode To A Mouse” in 1785, I still see these words in articles today. Charles Dickens gave us Scrooge, who will forever represent the quintessential miser.

Sitcoms and stand-up comedians have added a lot of witty and/or inane wisecracks, like “He’s quite fond of John Barleycorn,” and “The elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor,” and punch lines like “Been there; done that.”

Now for a thought on FERVOR, which I gleaned a few hours ago from an article at POCKET. Here’s a list of six “weak verbs” we should use sparingly in our speech. Using these expressions make us sound INDECISIVE.* Something to consider.
I think
I need
I want
I hope
I guess
I suppose

*Synonyms: ambivalent, conflicted, doubtful, dithering,
faltering, skeptical, wishy-washy, uncertain, wavering

And now I guess…oops!…I…er…definitely WILL go and do something else. 😉