Carpe Diem Haiku #582, Inner Beauty (July 2013)

Carpe Diem is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary this month! Feeling as though it’s been that long since I’ve been a part of this poetically encouraging & educational community, I wanted to stop in today to say Congratulations! to Kristjaan/Chèvrefeuille (and all the Carpe Diem Haiku family who have been a part of this wonderful site over these past two years).

 Unsure my mind was creatively ready to contribute, I was thrilled to see the following invitation for a prompt: “Today we are going further along memory-lane and we have arrived at July 2013 in which all prompts were extracted from the novel “Manuscript found in Accra” by Paulo Coelho….Now it is up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers to write an all new haiku (or if you were a member than back in 2013, you may also share your haiku which you created for this same prompt in July 2013).” So be it! Here’s my blast from the past on Inner Beauty:


in what mirror can

I see that which may escape

a world looking out


a world looking out

for itself with senses

dimmed from all concealed


no more dimmed than me

who cannot fully see who

stares from inside out



Carpe Diem “Time Glass” #6 “Pine Tree”

Spread my wings

Of broad imagination

Tip to tip

No gravity

Aim for prolific horizon

Dare not look down


Written on the spur of the moment (on a much-needed break from writing a scientific article) in response to:

Carpe Diem “Time Glass” #6 “Pine Tree”

in which the goal is to compose and link-up a haiku inspired on a given photo and a prompt within 12 hours. This feature will bring you into that “moment” as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in water, one of the base-rules of haiku.

Thanks for the loveliness of the moment! -j



Ligo Haibun Challenge – Image Week

I’ve been out of the loop with the wonderful Ligo Haibun Challenge community, who first taught me what a haibun even was (it’s the combination of prose with a haiku, in case you were wondering) and, in that, made me realize how much I love this communicating art form. This week, we’ve been given the challenge to complete our haibun task as close to 123 words as p0ssible, using one of the visuals provided. According to Microsoft, I met the challenge exactly (but, admittedly, even computer programs miscount on occasion). This time, I hope it used all its digits. Get it?! Okay, moving along…

I chose the photo that our Pirate (Managua Gunn) describes as such: “The first picture is by Marina, my first penpal, from Kazan, in Tatarstan, who took the view from her flat.”  As beautiful as it is, my heart and mind immediately thought of the hardship this scene might create for some.


I slinked outside the window of the only shop that still appeared open, listening to its television hum, scrutinizing the perfect smile of the news anchor. She only laughed at me, her teeth as white as the snow she proclaimed to be beautiful, Botox causing her brow to be as peaceful as she declared our city amidst this unanticipated winter storm. Wasn’t it wonderful for everyone to be home, snug in their beds, she insisted.

I shuffled down the alley behind the store, unaware if my limbs ached. I could feel them no more. If city folks were boarded up in their houses, from where would I beg my next meal?


Snow: no warm blanket

my trembling form – unfeeling

as those warm inside


Please don’t forget the homeless this time of year. Even if they can find a meal and a night’s rest at a shelter, many have to leave – often before daylight – in the mornings (including children), when the temperatures are bitter cold. Many others aren’t even that fortunate. Consider a Christmas gift to your local shelter or church who ministers to the homeless. Even if you’re short on cash, perhaps you have some coats, gloves, insulated underwear or blankets that you aren’t using and that could be put to good use by others. Food banks run short during this time of year as well, as people who can sustain during warmer weather seek indoor shelter with warm meals to keep from becoming deathly ill. A small donation of cash or food can go a long way at your area food bank.

May your heart be warmed & blessed,



PictureJoin the Ligo Haibun Challenge by following this image URL.

Ligo-Haibun Challenge: Mud-luscious & puddle-wonderful

The PROMPT:- The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful  – E.E. Cummings

I’m not sure when it happened. Somewhere, somehow, I forgot I had the gift. Early on, I was certain I was a gourmet chef when my father allowed me to graduate from heating hot tamales in a can for dinner to making scrambled eggs for the first time. At 7, these became my specialty, oozing with cheese.

So gone were the days of lesser dishes now, such as the reheating of frozen sausage and biscuits for breakfast, or the stirring of my father’s favorite delicacy – crunched saltine crackers in ice-cold milk, a side of salty sardines with the lid already peeled back.

One day, in a lightening’s flash, it all came back to me though. I walked outside, beckoned by bass drummers playing my song. My skin felt tingly to the invitation to join in, to dance and sing, to play to this tune. Within minutes, my feet stomped and splashed and squished to the rhythm, laughter erupting as my best friend joined me there.

In that moment, my memory was fully restored. My hands dug into soft dough, confidently mixing selected ingredients around. Within mere seconds, my masterpiece was completed for the offering.

taste buds never lie /
I present you my earth pie /
chocolate, I’d say


My Playground Trilogy

It’s been a weekend full of events, both of the positive and the negative sort. That being said, it’s nice to have a few moments to take a quick break from “the real world” to relax and contemplate the Trifextra challenge. My overtaxed brain appreciated this relaxing little walk down memory lane…

“This weekend we’re asking you to harken back to your grade school days and write a haiku.  No word restrictions, just stick to the structure as defined below.

HAIKU (noun) : an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively”

– See more at:”

Interestingly, the last haiku I’ve written as of late was part of the Ligo Haibun challenge, where “The First Kiss” was a sweet memory from my primary school days. My mind immediately went back to that school when I read this challenge and, more specifically, to our sprawling playground area in front of it – and my favorite three recess activities.

I decided that, without word restrictions, these 3 activities could contribute perfectly to making a Trifecta-style trio of haiku.

Double Dutch rope skip:
Who will I marry today?
Recess reception.

I’m head and heels over
one I called for Red Rover.
I’ll let him break through!

Merry-go-round’s gone;
shared laughter long forgotten;
dizzied by passed time.

The First Kiss

I am so happy to rejoin The Ligo Haibun Challenge this week, as not only have I missed being a part of this community as of late, but I’ve come to adore the expression of the haibun.

Both of the prompts were fantasy-worthy this week, but as I understand it, the true style of a haibun more often (more correctly?) relates to one’s life experiences, telling the narrative or journaling the event using the prose/haiku combination. With that being said, one of the two prompts brought with it the gift of a recollection of prior days, known to many (with grinning memories) as “The First Kiss.”

The prompt was:

A kiss is a lovely trick by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

Ingrid Bergman

And here is my haibun response:

At the back of the room, squatted low, just beneath the level of the half bookshelf, our young, smooth fingers slid down the spines of the books, both of us searching, longing for a taste of something neither had before experienced through our youthful senses. We dared not exchange ideas or glances, for fear of being called out by our teacher. My strident eyes darted from title to title, frustration building as nothing seemed to fit the bill. A little crease of frustration formed between my eyes, convincing me that I was focusing solely on my assignment; yet I couldn’t quiet the butterflies coming to life in my stomach as his arm brushed across mine to pluck his selection from the shelf. I turned to scrutinize his choice, feeling a mixture of jealousy that he’d made one so easily, along with anxiety that he’d now be returning to his seat. As I glanced up from the cover, I was taken aback by the quick kiss that brushed against my cheek. I can’t tell you what my choice in reading material was after that moment; but I can surely tell you that he was my choice for that school year.

spent rest of that day /

hand clasped over cheek to hide /

burning sensation

Carpe Diem Haiku: Inner Beauty

in what mirror can

I see that which may escape

a world looking out


a world looking out

for itself with senses

dimmed from all concealed


no more dimmed than me

who cannot fully see who

stares from inside out


Carpe Diem Haiku: (Instruction in) Tribulation

stop your wish, child, for

through trials and tribulations

patience only comes


Somewhere between teenage- and woman-hood, I once sat at my grandmother’s dining room table, impatiently pulling out poorly directed stitches. She leaned over my shoulder, adjusting her glasses for a better look at what the fuss was all about.

“I know, I know, ” I grumbled beneath my breath. “I just need to learn more patience.” It seemed reasonable to me to be the first to get the reprimand out in the open. Maybe it would have less sting that way.

My granny walked around the table and looked at me circumspectly. “If you thought I was going to say that, you’d be greatly mistaken. Whatever you do, don’t ever pray for patience, Jody.”

Old book from 1879 detailShe reached on the little cubby shelf behind her to retrieve her bible, again adjusting her glasses to help her flip to the appropriate page. She turned the Good Book as she laid it out in front of me, and tapped her finger a couple of times to direct my attention.

I began reading Romans 5:3, quickly arriving at: “…knowing that tribulation worketh patience…”

My grandmother had already walked away by the time the implication was sinking in. Looking back, I’m sure she had a smirk tucked across her lips.


For more haiku (or to submit your own), join me at Carpe Diem.

Ligo Haibun: How to Contend with She Who Holds the Reign

“Gracious,” the Ivory King sighed. “We’re being forced into battle against the Ebony Kingdom once more. Senseless…so senseless.”

His words played out yet again, as he regally stood his ground amidst an army trying their best to defend him. He knew he’d grown old and weary. He knew that, even before that, he’d never truly been of much use. He’d never led his army into battle, after all – repeatedly willing to sacrifice his peasantry of pawns early to the cause. His knights weren’t always that valiant either, pulling their steeds sharply to the right or left to barely escape being in harm’s way. And what good was his pair of rookies, who teetered from their flanked tunnel vision only when they’d had too much to consume? His bishops were just as devious, pretending to protect his interests while politically circumventing any line of attack.

There was only one who was faithful to the cause. But she frightened the beejesus out of him. She was ruthless in all her dealings, less interested in prisoners than wiping the slate clean – of all standing in her way. But as frightened as he, himself, was of her, he acknowledged that her worth was greater than all the ivory in the kingdom.

Reckon with his queen?

Battle or no, do not cross

she who holds the reign


ligo-challenge2The Ligo Haibun Challenge is one of my favorite writing challenges – first because of my fascination with the form of the haiku as part of the story (that I find myself interjecting now even when I’m not in this challenge) and, secondly, because of my wonderful blogging friend, Managua Gunn (a.k.a. “Pirate”, a seaworthy mate to any & all), who introduced me to this particular writing style.

Try to join us for the challenge – as there exists a lovely group of expressionists here – and surely stop in to browse Pirate’s wonderful designs – both in writing & copper.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge asked us to describe something personally nostalgic.

For me, there’s nothing more nostalgic (whether it was from 7 years of age to a couple of years ago) than rushing onto the field on opening season night to the sound of “Play Ball!” It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve thrown that ball around, swung that bat, jumped out of the way of an oncoming runner while turning a double, or hearing the swooshing sound of dirt rubbing the pants leg beneath my thigh as my cleats rested against the bag and my torso rested beneath a ball-filled glove – I’ve never tired of it. I’ve anticipated that wonderful moment every year I’ve played as much as the moments I’ve lain beneath that glove in anticipation of the umpire’s call (which would determine if I got to hang out for at least another play or not).

I’ve lost track of the number of years that I’ve popped fat bubbles while sliding into bases, been dragged by teammates victoriously through the mud, acted like a tee-baller rushing to beat a teammate to a fly ball during practices, or lost my voice yelling encouragement from the dug-out. For the in-between years that I had to miss due to work or family/life commitments, I know I lost a small part of myself.


A team photo taken years ago on the night we won our league championship that year. Do you think you can find me in it?

butterflies aflight

bat meets ball on the sweet spot

young lovers’ first kiss