Morning Haiku and Waka – American Memorabilia – October 6, 2015

St. Louis

my first baseball game
watching the Cardinals lose
at Busch Stadium

little Italy
even in St. Louis
walking on the Hill

an Illinois fall
vast fields of soy and sorghum
stunning red tree tops
a tornado siren screams
deer walking Cambria’s streets

© G.s.k. ‘15

Wal-Mart ®

in the early dawn – shopping
cleaning the cart with Wipies ®
an old man in pyjamas
four litres of milk

in the early dawn – shopping
among blankets and donuts
computers, clothes and cell phones
don’t forget the bling

cleaning the cart with Wipies ®
this odd modern novelty
fear of germs and terrorists
pulsing every where

an old man in pyjamas
in the supermarket lanes
imagine an Italian
red-faced with shame

four litres of milk
all in one huge container
everything’s bigger here
walking for miles in Wal-Mart ®

© G.s.k. ‘15

I’d been away from the United States since 1979.  When I arrived, the first thing I noticed of course was the TSA, something that had not existed the last time I’d been home.  A couple in the line before me had a small child and the child, a bottle of milk, which they had to throw in the trash.   I had a box full of rings in my hand bag (we were told to carry valuables in our hand luggage) a beeper beeped and three guards jumped out and told me to open my bag and step back – slowly. A guard took out the box of rings (and just about everything else) and when I tried to help her open it another guard began to shout at me.  They asked me what they were.  I told them – rings (?).  They took my fingerprints – I was worried they’d take my rings too … one never knows what dastardly damage I could have done with them.

bling and baby’s formula
flying in the States

© G.s.k. ‘15

(Well, I got carried away with my American Memorabilia and didn’t follow our guest writer very well in his style and spirit … I may try later.)

Carpe Diem Special #171 Cor van den Heuvel’s “baseball”

The goal of CD Special is to try to write a haiku in the same spirit as the poet presented .. today we read about Cor van den Heuvel in the featured article … and here are some of this haiku from which to be inspired:


conference on the mound
the pitcher looks down
at the ball in his hand

pitcher and catcher
head for the dugout
the batter stares at his bat

© Cor van den Heuvel (from: baseball)

shading his eyes
the wooden Indian looks out
at the spring rain

late autumn-
sunlight fades from a sandbank
deep in the Woods

© Cor van den Heuvel

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – “if taken in my hand” – May 4, 2015


At the beginning of September I came back to my birthplace. Nothing of my mother remained. The grass in front of mother’s room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say, “We are fortunate to be still alive.” Nothing more. My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, “Look at mother’s white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the jewel box of Urashima Taro. Your eyebrows have become white.” We wept for a while and then I composed this verse:

if taken in my hand
it would vanish in hot tears
autumn frost

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


The original family

In September of 2010 after having been absent for about 40 years I returned to my birthplace in the United States.  I flew home because my father had reached the last stages of cancer.  To see him then, you would have thought that he would live forever but just a few short weeks after I left, he was gone.

Everything had changed so much from when I was a girl.  The country itself seemed somehow weather-worn and tired … so run-down.  It would have been hard to convince those ancient pioneers that this was the great land of opportunity, streets paved in gold.

I kissed my father for the last time before leaving for the airport to return home, he was in the hospital then.  He said: “You know, I don’t think I’ll be returning your visit.”  and I knew that he was telling me that he would die soon.

  autumn leaves
fallen on the pathway
a lonely walk

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai’s – “if taken in my hand”

Friday Fictioneers – From Sea to Shining Sea – Memoirs- January 11, 2015

Begin the Route

Back in 1959, returning from the Philippines, my family (that is my Mother and Father) decided to see America. We arrived in Los Angeles and the next day started driving across the great nation in our new station wagon.

Over the mountains, into the desert, we even passed Salt Lake City by night, my Mom told me, “There’s not one nail in that temple!” A week’s stay at Grandma’s in Illinois, then onward to New Jersey.

The only thing I remember of the trip is miles and miles of road … but we crossed the nation from sea to shining sea.

G.s.k. ‘15

dividerWritten for Friday Fictioneers PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Jean L. Hays

Friday Fictioneers – September 5, 2014

Reflecting On a Campfire of Many Years Ago


Sitting around the campfire the girls roasted marshmallows putting them between two graham crackers with a slab of Heresy’s chocolate … somemores!

The smell of the burning wood and marshmallows filled the air with their sweet and acrid summer smells. The last days of summer.

One girl began to tell a ghost story. The others pretended to be afraid of the dark shadows that seemed to bend closer to hear the tale.

A flash of lightning and a rumble of thunder announced an approaching storm. Though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

School would begin on Monday.

Panem et Circensis – Three Word Wednesday on Thursday – August 14, 2014

TavernThe brave free thinkers of the world,
Wished to eradicate self-serving avarice
But the mercenary culture of the times
Refused to budge or to be swayed …
“This isn’t a battle for the squeamish”
The wise man loudly stated …
Consuming chips and hamburgers
At his favorite fast food restaurant …
The mighty plastic king of commerce
Played with his rubber ducky in his bath …
“I need to have more money …
To keep the world afloat”
He cried aloud piteously
Sending for his minions
Who set about producing
A new series of commercials
Thanking everyone for consuming …
As the poor looked outside the shop windows
Perplexed and sorely wondering
Why they were failures of the system,
The politician shouted:
“Eradicate these buggers!
These useless parasites
They’re ruining our economy
By not buying as they should!”
A flash of heat lightning shot through the air,
As the climate changed its course,
Creating tropical storms
In the middle of New York …
Les Baer and Lockheed Martin
Counted up their bloody profits
Whist prophesying their fear of revolution
In the great heart land of that desert …
The evening news brought glad tidings:
Of yet more rumors of war,
Of civil strife and disobedience,
Of rape and plunder,
Glorious religious revivals,
Murder in the school-yards …
(etcetera and etcetera …)
Whilst the people watched on in silence
Panem et circensus a complete success.

3wordwednesday banner


Eradicate, verb [with object:] Destroy completely; put an end to.

Mercenary, adjective: (Of a person or their behavior) primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics; noun: A professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army; a person primarily concerned with material reward at the expense of ethics.

Squeamish, adjective: (Of a person) easily made to feel sick, faint, or disgusted, especially by unpleasant images, such as the sight of blood; (of a person) having strong moral views; scrupulous.

Sunday Whirl – The Dust Bowl – August 10, 2014

Here are the words:

WordleBend under those pails of water
Too heavy to stand-up straight
But today we irrigate the grain.
The distant sybil of rain
Another ephemeral promise unfulfilled …
We’ve looked to the east
And then we looked to the west
Wondering what we should do,
To limit the dust wind’s damage
In case the rain failed once again …
Now, as we take the short shaded lane
The dust flies into our eyes …
Kansas is just a dust bowl
I think we’ll soon leave these parts.

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More Information about the depression and the great storms that created the dust bowl:

These were also the photo sources.


Friday Fictioneers – June 20, 2014

First of all I’d like to wish Rochelle a wonderful time during her two week summer vacation!  For the occasion she’s put up a “re-run” but as I’d never seen the photo before it’s a new to me!  Got to love some re-runs!

Copyright -Mary Shipman

Copyright -Mary Shipman

Remembering (1964)

It was the summer of 1964 when grandma decided to redo the bedroom where I’d be sleeping.

She called in my uncle to do the job. He pulled down and replaced the old plaster board, the wall paper was thick: a hundred years of layer upon layer.  Ah, the “wild-life” that scuttled away! He re-did the old undulated floor too.

I got to choose the paint, lilac, which was my favorite color then. He completed the job building me a build-in closet.

Being the oldest of 4 kids, I’d never had a room of my own. It was paradise!

This is a true story inspired by Friday Fictioneers!


Shadorma – Memories – June 1, 2014

(C) Jen from Blog it or Lose it!

open eyes
upon a world long gone
flashing by
movies on a drive-in screen
of my youth – long gone

why do these way-ward thoughts
long entombed

ages long gone
feel like yesterday
happy smiles
of dead friends
are as fresh as spring roses
placed in cool water

though long gone
these memories like new keep
blossoming …
summer scenes
of drive-ins – picnics  – fireworks
the 50s – my youth

so I smile
as I indulge happiness
fresh mowed lawns
swimming pools
an old documentary
from my mind’s archives


A shadorma is composed of six non-rhyming lines (sestina or sextet) and the syllable pattern is 3-5-3-3-7-5.  It can have as many stanzas as you like, just as long as each stanza follows the syllable pattern mentioned above . 

Shadorma #10 from Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

Hot Fast Ball – For Ese’s Shoot and Quote


No baseball pitcher would be worth a darn without a catcher who could handle the hot fastball.
Casey Stengel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I visited the States, both in 2010 and 2012, my sister took me to a St. Louis Cardinal’s game in St. Louis…so I could see the truth in this quote!

Created for Ese’s Weekly Shoot and Quote! … the word is – hot!

My Grandparent’s House – Sunday Walk – March 2, 2 014

The rail-road cuts the town in half...and it was  here I discovered there existed a wrong and a right side of the tracks...

The house was little more than a shack if truth be told.  It’d been constructed somewhere back in the late 1800s of wood with tarred sand paper shingles. The walls were covered in a hundred years of warped wall paper, buckled and faded with generations of insect life living under it.  The floors  undulated by time were covered in old linoleum.  The windows had a strange sort of ancient plastic like screening with wire run through it, the windows couldn’t be opened, the rooms were always dark, except for electric lamps which were almost always on.

You entered the house through a screened porch. The front door opened right into the living room. The furniture lined the walls, Davenport on the right with an end table with a lamp on it as you entered, easy chairs in front of you with an ancient radio, floor lamp and spittoon and an arch-way that led to the back of the house, a coal-burning pot-bellied stove,another arch-way and an up-right piano faced the Davenport,  the TV was next to the front door.

There were no inside doors but one inside the place.  Of the two archways, one had a curtain on it and was a bedroom the other, as I said before, led to the back of the house, with the kitchen and another bedroom…if you kept going through the kitchen, you’d have found a back “veranda”, little more than a lean-to actually,  which had been added who knows when.

In this veranda there were shelves along one wall full of mason jars of pickled this or that, which no one ever seemed to eat.  There was also the “new” inside toilet and shower (here was the only door that didn’t lead outside of the house), it was added in 1960 replacing the outhouse.  There was also an old wringer washing machine. Then the  the back door.

The two bedrooms …  one was where generations of kids had slept, including myself when I came to visit.  The other bedroom was the “master” bedroom, where my grandparents slept,  big enough for just a dresser, closet and double bed which was just off from the left of the kitchen behind a second pot-bellied stove.

The kitchen was a large elongated rectangle before they curtained-off a part in 1960 for my Aunt. Here she slept in her double bed and had her dressing table and a makes-shift closet. So, it became nearly square-shaped.  Here were the second pot-bellied stove, a gas range, refrigerator, a big table surrounded by chairs a buffet and the kitchen sink with its cabinets over and under it. Everything was along the walls except for the table and chairs. The paint work in the kitchen must have been glossy white once upon a time but when I visited it had long since turned a sort of pale yellow.

The house was on a corner, with gravel roads that ran in front and to one side of the house with ditches separating the roads from the house.  Out the back door to the left, there was an old sand-box that I loved to play in and a big grassy yard with a huge tree where someone had put up a rope and old tire creating a swing.

Along the yard was the dirt drive-way that led to a dilapidated weathered grey wooden garage.  It was full of all a hundred years of stuff, including a bunch of license plates all held together with wire. It had a smell that I’ve never smelt anywhere else again.

A path led off from it to the right.  Here was the vegetable garden and if you kept following the path you came to the out-house, a foul-smelling place inside another wooden shack which no one had thought to fill up when they built the new bathroom.

Along the left side of the drive-way there was a high gravelled ditch and  embankment, then, the railway tracks.  Everytime a train went by the house shook and shivered. The house was on the right side of the tracks…but just.

This was were my mother and her 7 brothers and sisters were raised.  The house was demolished in the 80s when my grandparents passed away.

old America
wood and tar papered houses
generations grew