Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Prose in my Heart

sunshine heart
on a cold grey day
new life starts up
in promising ways

a hug passed here
joyful eyes offered there
t'would seem I live
by my cheeks so fair

these words I dig
and hand out to you
have found wings so light
and are now coming true

a writer, i dreamed
A Writer, I am
til my hours fill up
now true I stand

the words, they fill me
the words, feed too
my soul blossoms slowly
and sun's rays pour through

I will keep on working
hold the prose in my heart
pray life fills completely
with this promising start...

One Shot Wednesday

Happy Birthday to the One Stop Poetry site! It has been a years since they started their poetry community and they are still going strong. I am trying to get out of town, but couldn't help but stop by to celebrate with them on such a special anniversary. I wish you all many more anniversaries to come!

Monday, June 27, 2011

All Dressed Up - In a Smile

With the door closed again, I feared that my brain would be so a'goggle with thoughts of the stranger I had just met that sleep would elude me. It was direly needed though, and I surprisingly drifted off almost immediately. I needn't have feared forgetting him though, as when I woke a luxurious smile still lingered lazily across my face. My brain might have needed sleep, but it vividly remembered the image of my new friend  Neale. Oh sweet memories indeed. I stretched cat-like in my little cot, then jumped out of bed to hurriedly start my day.

Once upright, I glanced sadly through my backpack to see what I could wear. Everything had been worn almost threadbare. There wasn’t much there that could impress or hope to turn the eye of the South African lad, whom I had promised to meet that afternoon. There was nothing that could be done about it though, so I showered, then slipped into a gypsy skirt – the prettiest thing I had to offer. My hair hadn’t been cut in many months and any makeup I might have had at the beginning of my trip was long since gone. All I could do to gussy this time worn traveler up, was brush my hair and put on my sparkliest smile. That would have to do.

And you know? I think it was perfect!

I found Neale downstairs in the common area of the hostel waiting for me. While I hoped he hadn’t been waiting long, I also secretly hoped that he felt his wait would be worthwhile. We headed out into a bright afternoon and leisurely meandered through markets, side streets and wherever our feet took us. Conversation flowed between us, like we were long-lost friends. His sense of humour had me giggling like a school girl and his dazzling smile lit my cheeks with a natural blush that money just cannot buy. I forgot all about my tired appearance and fairly bubbled with life again. He seemed honest and truthful, and was a breath of fresh air after some of the conniving men that had tried to woo my hand in other ports. I was amazed by how comfortable I was in his presence and had no urge to leave it any time soon.

So when he asked if I was interested in stopping for a drink, I was more than happy to oblige. We ducked into a little local pool hall and ordered a pitcher of beer. Yes, I am not quite the purely angelic damsel and I do enjoy a cold pint or two. Neale seemed to approve my choice though and poured us some frosty libations with a flourish. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had felt so pretty and doted upon in such a sweet manner. Even before the alcohol started to have its effect, I knew that I was interested in spending more than just this afternoon with Neale.

While time would tell what our fortune would be, today we basked in flirtatious ways. Apparently it was obvious too, as when a young man stopped to chat for a moment, he introduced himself, then asked for Neale’s name. He then proceeded to ask Neale what his wife’s name was, and turned to me! Ha! A lovely thought, but we quickly explained that we had just met that day. He was surprised, but predicted that it would not be the only day that we would spend with one another. I secretly hoped he was right. The chemistry that flared between Neale and I was pretty heady. By the time we had played several games of pool with Nimesh, our new local friend, and tottered out of the bar many hours later, Neale and I were arm in arm. I was pretty happy to be there too. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Adding This One To My Bucket List

Saturday's Email of the Week

Okay, this is a pretty wicked looking adventure excursion. I might have to add it to my bucket list at some point. If I had one, that is. While I might just start out with plain old skydiving, can you believe parahawking? I have never even heard of that, and I bet it would be an amazing thrill! You have to check this out.

Happy Saturday everyone! I am still buried under a mountain of strawberries after last weekend's strawberry picking excursion, but the goodies are lining up on the shelves; strawberry jam, strawberry-raspberry freezer jam, strawberry syrup, strawberry lemonade (concentrate). I still want to attempt strawberry leather, and am debating between strawberry-rhubarb jam or strawberry-banana jam. What do think? Anyone else have any good strawberry recipes?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feathered Friend

Little bird tapping
on my wet window pane
come in from the rain

ah, you knock again
my camera cannot capture
your thoughts today

Dear gold finch friend
insistent on coming in;
thanks for the company

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Trip to the Circus

elephants and clowns
poodle dogs through hoops with hops
high flying ring swings
skipping ropes, balancing poles
The circus was in town tonight!

What the heck
shall I link in my little tanka to OSW?
Why not!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome to Dream Land

I turned out the light and was asleep before I even hit my pillow. My two-hour siesta on the extended bus ride from Mombasa left me feeling more ogre than beauty queen, and I planned to sleep the day away to try and remedy that. It was nine o’clock in the morning, but I figured that  Dar es Salaam could wait. I was exhausted. I needed sleep now.
No sooner had my head touched down, then a knock roused me back to the land of the living.
 “Ugh,” I grumbled to myself. “No.”
I scrunched my eyes more firmly shut and whimpered, “Why!”
I needed sleep! I debated ignoring the knock. I figured that it was the good Samaritan that had saved my sanity and decency on the bus. He had just dropped me back at the hostel, with a  promise to return later. I feared that perhaps he was smitten though and wanted to make later more like sooner. That attitude wasn’t much of a repayment for all the niceties that he had shown me though. He had even bought me breakfast. I felt like an ingrate, shrinking away from his presence.
With a sigh I gave in, and went to the door just as a second knock cheerily tapped on the frame. I pulled the door open and stopped. The frown on my face melted instantly. As I stood there numbly, I gazed up into the smiling face of a red-haired giant. At 6’3”, this stranger immediately dazzled me with his beautiful, green/hazel eyes. His smile lit up his face, as he explained that he had seen my name on the register when he signed in. His thick South African accent charmed me back to fully awake, and I found myself shyly smiling back at this beautiful man. He wondered if I would be interested in a wander around Dar with him, to discover all that it had to offer. I don’t know if I can say that I was instantly in love, but damn I was close! A sleep-deprived, silly grin accompanied my assurance that I would love to step out on the town with him.
“Neale,” he said, as he  introduced himself with extended hand.
Yeah, I was pretty darn near in love right then. I would wander to the ends of the earth with him, but a little piece of my brain reminded me that I was sorely lacking in sleep and perhaps not able to make the best decisions right now. While I did know that I very much wanted to spend more time with this handsome specimen, I also knew that I really needed to sleep. My sentences fumbled and I gave in to my sleep-addled brain. I wasn’t going to let this temptation get away from me though. I promised that with a few hours of sleep, I would gladly poke through the deepest darkest corners that Dar had to offer.  He acquiesced with a nod and promised to come back in a few hours to wake me.
“See you soon Neale,” I waved sleepily to him. Sleep beckoned, but dream-land was now filled with visions of promise that I looked forward to in earnest. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Talking God Today...

Saturday's Emails of the Week
This one pokes a little fun at all you good faithful out there in the flock. I took a little leeway in my interpretations of these cartoons. Happy Saturday!

In the beginning, there was light...

and it was good.

God made man, then woman and unto them, a child was born

He was a king among men...

The people recognized his words & deeds,

never questioning their faith or the path,

but times they were a changing.

Damn crazy Christians!

Happy Saturday all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Matched Strides

Hand in hand
black and white strides
matched perfectly
stepping into the future
together; now

Fist against fist
black and white shots
struck against each other
in anger over
Yesterdays past

Colour barriers
hard fought and won
on a quiet side street
for them today
and tomorrow's dreams.

I smile
them pass

55 words
crafted into a semblance of a story
for the G-Man today
(yeah, its more poetry 
than anything, I know.
What of it?)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smoothing the Rhythm Lines

the sound of the beat
so long without heat
in these hands

rhythm fantastic
slamming, we blast it
enter another plain

old familiar heart stops
dripping in memory drops
serenity stains

picking up life lines
serving 'em with drum's fine
tingling fingers demand

slowly we  bring it down
in clave sticks we do drown
yesterday's hurt refrain
-and  together withstand

It's Wednesday. I may be late, but I am going to link into One Shot Wednesday. Join me if you've got some words to share...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heading South

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Our leisurely days of sipping freshly squeezed juice and dining on seafood extravaganzas with locals and other tourists, could only last so long. While it was relatively cheap to stay in Lamu, and food could be had at a bargain, my money was running thin. It was time to move on.
After a week spent on this magical, tropical island, I packed my bags and bid adieu to Lamu,  as well as Stuart and Rob. We were all headed in different directions. They were headed North. I, on the other hand, turned myself towards the South, destination Cape Town. It was time for me to wind down my trip and head towards home. My hometown was still a long ways off, but it was finally calling.
So for now, I took the ferry back over to the main land, then flagged down the bus headed towards Mombasa. The threat of road-side attacks remained unfounded, as we travelled along peacefully. We picked up our armed guards for their part of the journey, but aside from their guns serving as a reminder of ill tidings, I reached Mombasa no worse for wear.
One night in Mombasa was all I squeezed in, but I did get the pleasure of an ice cream date with Renée ‘Deutsch’ for company. He even bought me breakfast in the morning, before I jumped onto the bus for Dar es Salaam. He was a gentleman through and through, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had the pleasure of meeting him. Laughter and conversation was all we shared, but he filled my heart with a little more faith in humanity.
As the day wore on, I appreciated Renée’s lovely gesture even more so. The journey between Mombasa and Dar es Salaam was scheduled to be 12-13 hours. I had bought some minor refreshments for the drive, but apparently not enough. The trip turned out much longer than anticipated and hunger gnawed at my insides before long. To make matters worse, being hungry always seemed to make me grumpy.
When I got on the bus, I was the only white face and one of few who apparently spoke English. One man began to chat with me, dancing between English and a native language that I knew nothing of. At first, I was happy to have someone to talk to, but quickly realized that perhaps I had picked the wrong person to speak with. He was loud and I felt like he was saying unkind things about me. The women around me tittered nervously and turned their heads away from my questioning stares. It became obvious that I was the brunt of some unpleasantness, so I turned inward from his taunts and focused my eyes out the window. I tried to ignore him, and soon enough he left me to my own devices.
The road was longer than anticipated though. When we reached the border, everyone got out of the bus to be processed. Again, I was singled out by the obnoxious man, but this time I had no place to turn. Women were having their shopping bags rifled through and border guards began to unpack the stowed luggage. I had been processed quickly, but now was at the mercy of the rest of the bus passenger's paperwork. To get away from my tormentor, I wandered into the bush to squat a pee (when I opened the outhouse door, I gagged, so thought better of it), then returned to an area further away from where he stood.
By the time we finally got on the bus,  a nice young man had quietly befriended me. English was not his first language, but he managed well enough for us to have a conversation. He confirmed that the other man was indeed besmirching my character and that the others were uncomfortable, but unwilling to stop the antics. I guess better me than them.
Once we got back on the bus, I shared a seat with my newest acquaintance. I managed to get some sleep when the bus driver pulled over to rest himself for a few hours. Our border crossing had delayed us so long that no one could keep their eyes open. By 6am, we finally pulled into Dar es Salaam and I was shown to a hostel by my seat mate. We dropped off my backpack and he took me for a delicious breakfast of chapatti and tea. My eyes were getting heavy though, so I returned to my hostel with a promise to meet up with him later. I quickly scribbled the account from my last few days in my journal and turned out the light to get some much needed rest. I would explore Dar es Salaam later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Week is Done...

Quietly crept in
end of week’s hours
without scheduling,
few tasks to do
or indeed done.
A pace set by
whims of fancy,
flights of fun,
as I watch the
silent setting sun.

Monkey Man hosts a Sunday 160
where he encourages you to try your hand
at writing something in exactly 160 characters.
Care to give it a try?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Who's Got Talent?

Saturday's Email of the Week

Hello my friends! It has been a busy week for me. Lots of writing, although not much in my personal stash I have to admit. The heat here was wicked hot Tuesday and Wednesday, but dropped way down yesterday and today. All over the place, but at least it is finally beginning to look like summer. The kids have been bugging me to get our new pool set up, but now I must wait for a nice day again. As it is the weekend, rain is forecast for the day. That will forestall strawberry picking too, I'm sure. Oh well, good excuse to clean I guess. Ugh...

On that note, I will share a talented video that popped into my inbox this week. You know if you ever have anything that you think might me laugh, ponder or pause, send me a line. Maybe your email will be featured next Saturday.

Have a great weekend all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tickle Dance

Sitting in bed between them, they beg me to read this one and then that.

   “Read Mulberry Bush,” they squeal.

Okay. First one,  then the other.

   “Here we go round the mulberry bush. One step, two step, tickle you under there!”

Laughter fills my ears and heart.

   “Yes you can have a sleepover again.”


My blissfully sleeping angels have made my evening complete.
Happy Friday 55 my friends.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's Going on Wednesday

I feel like I have been away forever. I went to New York last weekend and was completely disconnected from the world wide web the whole time I was gone. I left Thursday, returned late Sunday and didn't get the shakes once (unlike the university students at the University of Maryland that went through varying stages of withdrawal symptoms during a 24 hr social media-free experiment). Ha, in your face social media!

and yes, I have been right back at it ever since.

Not here though. And I miss you! I miss you all out there in bloggy-land! I have checked in on some of you, but my own voice has been silent. I played catchup with work, and wrote articles about the aftermath of a thunderstorm cleanup, the heat wave rolling across North America and the best bathing suits to wear to the beach to beat the heat, and even delved into the joys and mysteries of coconut milk! Fascinating stuff that you should all check out and comment on ;)

But I feel like I owe myself a stint of writing too. Maybe that is because I also met up with my newly formed writing group tonight. Perhaps you agree though?

I did post a few haiku on twitter, that I will share with you again here if you missed them.

Butterfly flits by
Birds chirp, chirp, chirp hello
A break in the rain

Sunshine dreams
Offered up on ruffled leaf
My rain drop's gift

and how about a new one,

cloudless blue skies
looking cool and inviting
bake everything

Plus, I did a little gardening - trim a little here, pull weeds out of the lawn there, and snap a few pictures of the newest things that are blooming;

Fairy overseeing the garden


My favourite discovery today though, was this absolutely stunning iris! It is so ruffly and delicate. Makes me just sigh with the beauty of it...


And you? What have you been up to? Written any good poetry, prose, songs? Taken any shocking, stunning, stimulating pictures? Painted, sketched, designed any good artwork?  Tell me what's going on!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lazy Days in Lamu

Lazy days in Lamu began with a call to worship. The many mosques on the small island rang their bells five times a day to remind the Muslim population of their responsibilities in prayer.  While I did not run off to join them, I still found the island community fascinating. Just two degrees south of the Equator, with a population pulling from Chinese shipwrecked survivors back in the 14th century, local Swahili people, Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and Omani Arabs, there was a rich tapestry in the local history. It was reflected in the narrow streets, numerous markets, even more mosques and gently bobbing dhows that nestled in the harbor. Time seemed to stand still on this exotic island that begged one to slow down and stroll at its pace. As long as you watched for the donkey droppings underfoot.
In the mornings,  I sat on one of my two balconies and watched the world drift by with a book in hand. It was hard to believe that I was in the heart of Africa, as I gazed around at the culture that I was submerged in. Men would saunter along the narrow streets, kicking at the occasional donkey that refused to get out of the way. Chaste women seemed to disappear due to strict religious decrees of who they could be seen by. Their presence was noted though, in the laundry strung out to dry between the narrow alleys. The sounds and smells of locals going about their days, making chapatti, tea and crafts to sell to the many tourists that descended upon the tiny island for a taste of something exotic.
When I had enough of idling watching the world drift past, I would venture out to stroll through the narrow streets myself. I had never seen streets so small before. They were no more than 6-8 feet across, hence the lack of vehicles on the island. None were allowed, but for one solitary police car. It did little good really though, as there was nowhere that it could really go. When I got tired of wandering through the streets, I would find Ali Hippy, and sit and talk religion for hours over mango smoothies. He helped me to understand a little more of the Muslim ways of the island and I appreciated the time he spent with me.
One day Stuart and I even ventured so far as the beach. It was a long walk from our apartment, but the adventure was worth the 45-minute stroll. Of course coming home to a reliable source of running water and ample beds for the three of us, plus room for many more was a luxury that I did not experience often in my journey to date. The bugs were a bit overwhelming mind you, but for our 1050ksh for the week, it was still a good deal. I just had to remember to steal myself to the scurrying cockroaches, ants and spiders that scattered in all directions when the lights were turned on. Ugh. Better to go out for another mango smoothie or take in a seafood meal at a locals home. If we could look past the bugs and numerous donkeys that overtook the island, then it was indeed a tropical paradise very worthy of anyone’s time. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Who has this kind of time on their hands?

Saturday's Email of the Week
Happy Saturday all! I am traipsing around the nation this weekend, but queued up a video for you to enjoy while I am gone. As was noted in the email from P., these boys have a little too much time on their hands, but we can just sit back and marvel at how their brains work. Quite impressive, I have to say. I bet it took a long time to put together, but the evidence is there in their jumpers.

And they have a good message to boot;
OK - Go: This too shall pass...


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