Here, There be a Writer

Friday, April 20, 2018

R is for Round Robin

I had a huge collection of books as a kid, and I still have a bunch of the books including today's book, Round Robin by Jack Kent. It is the story of a very hungry robin, who eats and eats, and by the time winter arrives he, 'looks more like a ball, than a bird' (actually line from the book).

It's a funny little story with some pretty awesome artwork that chronicles Round Robin's attempt to get south by hopping the whole way. He is chased by foxes and cars, sliding on ice, conversation and generally fearing for his life, until surprise, surprise he is able to fly the last bit on his own, because he lost weight with all that Hippity Hop, Bumpity Bumping southward.

But my favourite was and is 'Hippity Hop, Slipity Slide'', when he is sliding down the road.


We are have felt like Round Robin, just a little more, it won't hurt anything. But in reality, it is a good lesson in moderation, or watch out for foxes!


Little Bird Eat

Little Robin where have you gone?
All summer pecking at the seeds,
eating your fill and then some,
til you  become more of a ball, than a bird.

All summer pecking at the seeds,
called Round Robin, as you go,
til you become more of a ball, than a bird
and now winter is coming.

Called Round Robin, as you go,
must to the south you will travel
and now winter is coming
and there is no more seed.

Must to the south you will travel,
but to flap and flutter, now you stumble
and there is no more seed,
so off you set, hippity hopping...

But to flap and flutter, now you stumble
as you travel southward, 
so of you set, hippity hopping
and before you know it...

As you travel southward,
eating your fill and then some
and before you know it
Little Robin where have you gone.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q is for Quiet (Place, A)

Okay I have to cheat a little today. I haven't read a single book that starts with the Letter Q, and I'm slightly ashamed by this. A Quiet Place is today. Anyway, this movie was worth two novels, from the content to the acting. I usually prefer to have explanations for my characters and plot, but after re-watching Cloverfield and then seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane, I understand why storytellers will give you only a bare bones backstory (okay that was a lot of alliteration there).

A Quiet Place is a story to be seen. It is not quite the horror movie that the trailers are promoted. I think it falls into a science fiction thriller. John Krasinski wrote this screenplay, and I seemed to have forgotten that he was on the office as Jim Halpert.

Although, I did have to remind myself not to jump at the jump scares. It didn't really work this time, sadly...I enjoyed this movie. But jump scares aside, this is a solid plot with a fascinating concept, and top notch acting, especially from the non-humans.

The actors really needed to be able to act with their faces and hands as there there is little to no spoken dialogue. The actress, Millicent Simmonds, who play the daughter is actually deaf. Her and John Krasinski were wonderful together.An entertaining movie and one I would consider buying on DVD, which says a lot  because I am super picky about the movie I buy on DVD.

And, A Quiet Place was shot in Pawling, New Paltz, and Little Falls, NY. Favourite shot in the moive is of Main Street in Little Falls, so creepy and beautiful, but I have a thing for things that are old and abandon, or at least made to look abandoned.

So, some of you are probably here for the poem. Okay, I can when you are humouring me rambling on about movies and such. Today's pantoum that is so silent, well, it might kill you if you make a noise while reading it, Dear Readers. A bit of humour for you today.

Enjoy!

Silent Steps


There is nothing left but silence
throughout the empty streets.
Don't say a word, walking silent steps,
because that is how they know.

Throughout the empty streets,
the soft footfalls muffled upon sand,
because that is how they know,
when your feet hits a creaky spot.

The soft footfalls muffled upon sand,
walking to town, gathering supplies leftover.
When you make a sound,
and forget the nightmare all around you.

Walking to town, gathering supplies leftover
when your are sick with a fever,
and forget the nightmare all around you,
on prescribed paths outlined everywhere.

When tour are sick with a fever
after all the people are gone.
On prescribed paths outlined everywhere,
silent, because they can hear you breathing.

After all the people are gone,
everything becomes a chore,
silent, because they can hear you breathing
and knowing that frightens you.

Everything becomes a chore.
Don't say a word, walking silent steps
and knowing that frightens you;
there is nothing left but silence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

P is for Peter and Pan

Things I remember about Peter Pan: Robin Williams will always be Pan, Banarang!, there was one time they made Tiger Lily's tribe multi-cultural (the movie Pan), Neverland in far under everything else in the Archipelago of Dreams (Chronicles of the the Imaginarium Geographica), and if you perform Peter Pan on stage you need to make Peter Pan fly (no matter how hard to try to get around it), Peter Pan flies.


Peter Pan was written by J.M. Barrie, born James Matthew Barrie. Some people wonder how someone like J.M. Barrie could write a story like Peter Pan. And most people probably don't know that Barrie wrote plays, a couple of them are renowned, Admiral Crichton and and Dear Brutus. It makes me curious to seek these out and some of his other novels.

Barrie received a shock at age 6 when his brother died and because of an over-baring mother retained a child-like innocence of the time before everything changed, which is a strange kind of sadness. It also make a lot of sense why he ended of creating the stories of Peter Pan and Neverland.

I finally read the book, Peter Pan, sometime last year or maybe the year before, and I remember it was more detailed than the plays and movies. That isn't to downplay any of the movies or the theatrical productions, there is just more presented in the book. It is a wonderful book though.

But, where some people read Peter Pan growing up, I was much older when I actually read it. It gives a different perspective when you do it in the order.

Morning Flight

It starts with adventure
in the late hours of night,
when the windows are open wide
and in sneaks a stray shadow.

In the late hours of night,
when you are supposed to be asleep
and in sneaks a stray shadow,
followed by the most unlikely boy.

When your supposed to be asleep,
but awakened by the sound of crying,
followed by the most unlikely boy
and a temperamental faerie.

But awakened by the sound of crying
and you don't know what is coming next;
and a temperamental faerie
blows you dusty kisses.

And you don't know what is coming next
as you float off the ground,
blows you dusty kisses
and fly so far away that time will forget you.

As you float off the ground,
think happy thoughts
and fly so far away that time will forget you,
and second star to the right, straight on to morning.

Think happy thoughts
when the windows are wide open
and second star to the right, straight on to morning;
it starts with adventure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O is for Ox-Cart (Man)

O is for Ox, Ox-Cart, Ox-Cart Man!


It is a lesser known story, but one I am most familiar with. I am not even sure how many people remember the Ox-Cart Man written by Donald Hall. It was a staple of my youth, either reading it myself or having one of my parents. It was part of the Children's Choice Book Club that my parents subscribed to, and I received a book a month, I think.

It was also where I got Bread and Jam for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, Roland the Minstrel Pig, Corduroy, and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile just to name a few books from my youth. What stories do you remember from your childhood?


A Trip to Market

It was in Autumn,
when we loaded the cart;
all that was leftover from the past years work,
that will sell at Portsmouth Market.

When we loaded the cart
full of apples, potatoes, and maple sugar,
that will sell at Portsmouth Market
when the leaves begin to fall.

Full of apples, potatoes, and maple sugar
that will fetch a fine price,
when the leaves begin to fall,
but also will the cart that carries this load.

That will fetch a fine price;
the bull with a ring in his nose,
but also will the cart that carries this load,
one last time to Portsmouth Market.

The bull with a ring in his nose,
left with a kiss upon his nose.
One last time to Portsmouth Market
and a load of wintergreen peppermint in a black kettle.

Left with a kiss upon his nose,
the long walk back homeward
and a load of wintergreen peppermint in a black kettle;
a needle, a knife and some jingling coins.

The long walk back homeward
all that was leftover from the past years work;
a needle, a knife and some jingling coin;
it was in Autumn.

Monday, April 16, 2018

N is for The Night (Circus)

Speaking of traveling players, The Night Circus is a literary joy to read and even more fun to imagine. A  circus of dreams that is only open from sunset to sunrise, only to disappear one place, and then appear in another, it sounds like a dream, right? To some it is, but to others it is a nightmare. Frightening concept, right? Or exciting?

A beautifully, fantastical story, The Night Circus written by Erin Morgenstern is a book to be experienced. It feel very much like a Twilight Zone episode and a Neil Gaiman story all rolled into one. Fun fact, it was a NaNoWriMo novel-National Novel Writing Month-before it was a novel, which is really exciting for any  writing participant and/or aspiring writer.

In November every year,NaNoWriMo, a month-long challenge to write a novel is massive dedication by thousands of writers to write the daily word count of 1,667 words or more, which is harder that it looks. Trust me, I have been there. One must prepare outlines (they are your friends), plot, character sketches, and have an idea of what you are writing about. Inspiration is a must, however to acquire it! If you are interested, go to NaMoWriMo for more information.

I love the dream-like qualities of the Cirque de Reves-the circus portrayed in The Night Circus-and something about it make you want to go find yourself, or maybe just get lost.

So, hopefully today's poem will inspire you to go to the circus.

Impossible Circus

Dreaming of the impossible fare,
with high flying acrobats
and daring dos of bravery,
taming lions to jump through hoops.

With high flying acrobats,
and the wind in your face;
or taming lions to jump through hoops,
but what if you could walk on clouds?

And the wind in your face,
in an adventure most unforgettable,
but what if you could walk on clouds
or visit fantastic ice gardens that bloom?

In an adventure most unforgettable,
you can see things beyond your wildest imagination,
or visit fantastic ice gardens that bloom
and maybe catch a glimpse of a rare sight.

You can see things beyond your wildest imagination
that of living ice sculptures that breath candy floss
and maybe catch a glimpse of a rare sight,
of the speculated reverse rhinoceros.

That of living ice sculptures that breath candy floss  
and daring dos of bravery
of the speculated reverse rhinoceros;
dreaming of the impossible fare.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

NaPoWriMo: Gruesome Players Be

A poem for a gloomy Sunday (here at least), and in keeping with the Sunday's Shakespeare theme.


Gruesome Players Be

A lordly prince to be
though at a loss of a father
to find oneself so lost,
that everyone is suspect.

Though at a loss of a father,
where now his ghost he sees
that everyone is suspect,
of grievous misdeeds.

Where now his ghost he sees
a plan germinates within
of grievous misdeeds
that will follow yon Danish Prince.

A plan germinates within,
a play to speak the truth 
that will follow you Danish Prince
and the garish players perform.

A play to speak the truth
of murder most foul, indeed
and the garish players perform
before the King's own eyes.

Of murder most foul, indeed
that young Hamlet does perform
before the King's own eyes
when all of the bodies hit thine floor.

That young Hamlet does perform,
the most gallant of deaths
when all of the bodies hit thine floor,
and Horatio is left standing.

The most gallant of deaths
to find oneself so lost
and Horatio is left standing
a lordly prince to be.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

M is for Murder (on the Orient Express)

I will not give spoilers for Murder of the Orient  Express. I will not! (fights to insert Tommy Wiseau joke here) "Oh.Hai Mark!" Dammit, I lose...

Sorry, if you don't get the joke (but not really sorry, cause it was funny).

Anyway...today is murder day. M is for Murder on the Orient Express written by the Grand Dame of Murder. Agatha Christie is pretty much considered the queen of the murder mystery and has written a few in her days (33 novels and 54 short stories with Poirot alone). Two of them have even been turned into successful plays; one is STILL running at St. Martin's Theatre in London. Yeah, I know a bit about The Mousetrap, having directed it. I wrote a bit about during the late winter of 2015. Maybe I should do a ful post about it sometime. But, I did a blog post for And There Were None, the other famous novel turned play by Ms. Christie for the A to Z Challenge in 2015.

Now is the time to talk about her other famous murder mystery, on a train, in the snow, in the mountains, and all alone. Murder on the Orient Express that has been made into a number of number movie featuring the likes of Albert Finney (1974), Alfred Molina (2001) - that was a surprise find, David Suchet (2010), and now Kenneth Branagh (2017) as the quirky Belgian detective with zee leetle grey cells and a knack for solving the unsolvable crimes. This time he may have meant he match.

As for other actors who have played Poirot, and there are a lot, check out Book Riot's Kathleen Keenan, A Guide to Onscreen Versions of Poirot. I stumbled upon this one by accident. :-)

Murder on the Orient Express is an ensemble cast, where it is not just a singular person that stands out, but the whole cast. Okay, that is as far as I get with spoilers, but the real reason I enjoy the Orient Express is because it doesn't give you everything right away.  It lets you savor the story and the characters, quite a bit different than other Christie mysteries where the focus is on a few characters, and the rest of supplemental characters to forward the plot. That isn't bad thing, but it makes things interesting on the Orient Express.

Do you have a favourite Agatha Christie mystery, Dear Readers? Not counting Orient Express, I am partial to The Mousetrap, Death in the Clouds (which feels like Orient Express at times), or The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Now for some poetry...Enjoy!

How about some murder?

Once there was a train,
famous in name more than anything.
Drawing everyone to ride the length
of two continents and many mountains.

Famous in name more than anything;
when strangers board for the Orient,
of two continents and many mountains
and a little man with a wild moustashe.

When strangers board for the Orient
and gather together to break bread;
and a little man with a wild moustashe
asks for just the right egg, indeed.

And gather together to break bread,
before the night's respite begins
asks for just the right egg, indeed 
and meets his fellow travelers.

Before the night's respite begins
and the murder most foul appears
and meets his fellow travelers
with violent stab wounds.

And the murder most foul appears
and collects its suspects like carousel rings
with violent stab wounds; 
to begin to suspect every and all passengers.

And collects its suspect like carousel rings
in a deadly ring around the rosie;
to begin to suspect every and all passengers
includes Poirot's little grey cells.

In a deadly ring around the rosie
and a little man with a wild moustashe
includes Poirot's little grey cells.
Once there was a train.