Here, There be a Writer

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Post challenge

Well, I made it, Dear Readers (okay...maybe a little late)!



Okay, I am VERY late with this post; between finishing A to Z and my Kickstarter getting funded, and then getting cast in a production of Curtains: the Musical, there has been little free time lately. I am working on changing that though. In the meantime here are some thoughts on this years Blogging A to Z.

First, I actually planned out my posts and having a theme and something planned for each day really helped. That helped, especially on days that I had little spare time. Books were my theme, I picked a book that corresponded with the days letter. There are plenty of books I have read, so I was able to blog about each book. Although something to consider is that as I read books I should take some noted, just in case I plan to use that book for a future A to Z challenge, or any future blog. It is a bit more work, but I think it might help me to focus on details of the book.

Second, when I decided to do NaPoWriMo-National Poetry Writing Month, which means writing a poem a day-as well, it gave my posts a bit more substance. I'm a poet by nature, so it only makes sense that I would write a poem about that days featured book. Even if I wasn't doing NaPoWriMo I think I would still write a poem about whatever topic I was writing about (book, movie, etc.), because that is what I do.

Third, I need to push myself a bit harder when I do these challenges, because I find that when I have something to strive for then I manage to achieve those goals. This means next year I will plan out my April, and outline each post. It feels like a lot of work, but I think I can make my posts more engaging and provocative.

Blogging from A to Z has always been a challenge that I love to return to, and I hope you have enjoyed this years posts. Happy Reading!

jeltovski at morguefile

Monday, April 30, 2018

Z is for Zebra (On Beyond)

What lies beyond Zebra? Past the letter Z? There appears to be a whole new branch of critters that exist solely beyond the letter Z and zebra.

On Beyond Zebra written by Dr. Seuss always fascinated me with the strange creatures and the strange letters that looked sort of like runes, or the ogham alphabet. That was before I knew what the ogham alphabet was. I think I imagined trying to write sentences with these new letters, I don't  was successful in this venture.

There were a few books of Dr. Seuss that feature new creatures, from On Beyond Zebra, If I Ran the Zoo, and If I Ran the Circus are the main ones that featured undiscovered creatures. But the thin about many Dr. Seuss books is that there was usual an animal, or place with a strange and ever-long/how-do-you-pronounce that name in the stories. I definitely remember the names, and certainly imagining what those places looked like, beyond the actually stories.

What are your favourite Seussian creatures from any of the books? Leave me a comment below, Dear Readers.


Beyond the Known

When striking the last line
at the bottom of the letter Zed.
You should know there is a lot more than
what you already know.

At the bottom of the letter Zed,
there is a letter called a Yuzz.
What you already know
about life after Zebra?

There is a letter called a Yuzz,
the beginning of the 'after Z safari,'
about life after Zebra,
and all of the things that exist.

The beginning of the 'after Z safari'
will surprise you with it's diversity
and all of the things that exist,
beyond what you know.

Will surprise you with it's diversity
and maybe some rhyming,
beyond what you know;
maybe even want to know them all.

And maybe some rhyming
as you begin to explore the terrain,
maybe want to know they all,
like some sort of game.

As to begin to explore the terrain,
you should know there is a lot more;
like some sort of game
when striking the last line.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

NaPoWriMo: Hidden Identities


Shakespeare Sunday and a pantoum for 12th Night. Enjoy! 

Also, I am a little glad that April and NaPoWriMo/Blogging A to Z is almost over I am a little whupped in the poetic department. It's been fun, and planning ahead as certainly helped, but I am ready to be done. Still, today was a challenge as I haven't actually read 12th Night all the way through. I hope I did it justice anyway, Dear Readers.


Hidden Identities

A hidden gender truth
from one who wants to find her way.
Mistaken identities run loose 
from the company in Illyria.

From one who wants to find her way,
is loved by a lady, who is also loved by the Duke
from the company in Illyria,
where a sibling lost has returned;

And is loved by a lady, who is also loved by the Duke,
but also finds the stranger in town familiar,
where a sibling lost has returned
and holds the fancy of the Duke's love.

But also finds the stranger in town familiar,
in his care for the lost Sebastian who,
and holds the fancy of the Duke's love,
a pentagon of love.

In his care for the lost Sebastian who;
a story of he loves she, loves her or him,
a pentagon of love.
Here's a clue, all works out in the end.

A story of he loves she, loves her or him,
mistaken identities run loose
Here's a clue, all works out in the end,
a hidden gender truth.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Y is for Year of the Flood (The)

The sequel to Margaret Atwood's dystopian series, The Maddaddam Series: The Year of the Flood takes the story of two new characters and their fighting chance to survive the world after the waterless flood.

Set in the same world as Oryx and Crake, you now get to see life in the city and beyond, how people ho have survived are surviving. There is Ren, a trapeze artist trapped in a sex club and Toby, former member of the cult God's Gardeners and is trapped in an abandoned spa. This is their story about breaking free and what waits for them on the outside. Imagine the world of Snowman and Crake's Children it is wild and dangerous, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Margaret Atwood's created a wild world that so invests your time and attention in the details, but not sacrificing the story.

Have you, Dear Readers, ever read Margaret Atwood? What books, or short stories? Wat do you want to read? The MaddAddam Trilogy is still my favourite.


Waterless

When there is nothing left,
after the flood has passed;
is not one of water that takes the lives
and leave the world's survivor left.

After the flood has passed,
what will you do;
and leave the world's survivors left
to inherit what's left of the earth.

What will you do?
Are you meek enough
to inherit whats left of the earth
after everyone is gone.

Are you meek enough,
to take on the wrath of Animalia
after everyone is gone,
and all that is left to eat are cocktail wienies?

To take on the wrath of Animalia
in the days after the flood
and all that are left to eat are cocktail wienies or
to eat something called Jolt Bars.

In the days after the flood,
locked way, safe and sound
to eat something called Jolt Bars
and avoid starving to death.

Locked away, safe and sound--
is not one of water that takes the lives
and avoid starving to death,
when there is nothing left.

Friday, April 27, 2018

X is for Xanadu

You want a trip in the surreal? Maybe with rock music? Someplace where ELO meets Big Bands...and Gene Kelly. Oh, and there's roller skating too!

Sound like a fever dream? Maybe...

It's Xanadu!

First a poem titled Kubla Khan in 1797 by a poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (belo w is the first stanza), it's about the Mongolian ruler Kubla Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan dreaming in his pleasure palace;  a movie in 1980; and later musical in 2007.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree: 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea. 

Xanadu is defined as an idyllic place, a place place of great beauty, luxury, contentment. From dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Xanadu is many thing all rolled into one. The primary story centers on the Greek muses, nine sisters and one muse in particular, Kira's (real name is Terpsichore. Clio in the musical.) and her adventures on earth. The funny part is the movie is adaptation of a movie from Down to Earth (1947), which is an adaptation of a play Heaven Can Wait. The movie is filled with rock music from ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), Olivia Newton-John, who plays Kira in the movie, and early animation from Don Bluth. Never mind that it is about a roller disco and features Gene Kelly in his last movie role; and one amazing scene that blends 1940s and 1980s music into the most intense mash-up ever.

It was also one of two movie nominated for the first ever Golden Raspberry Award, but lost out to the Village People movie, Can't Stop the Music.

It also needs to be seen to be believed.


A Musing Inspiration

Where is the inspiration?
The Greeks believed the Muses inspired,
giving mankind a leg up in creativity
in song, poetry, and dance.

The Greeks believed the Muses inspired,
nine sisters to grant humanity gifts
in song, poetry, and dance;
to create something out of nothing.

Nine sisters to grant humanity gifts,
although I prefer my gifts to be my own,
to create something out of nothing,
but maybe I am wrong.

Although I prefer my gifts to be my ow,n,
weaving words across a page or colours across a canvas,
but maybe I am wrong,
that gifts are given to us, for us make our own.

Weaving words across a page or colours across a canvas; 
that is our job, isn't it?
That gifts are given to us, for us make our own,
out of the spiritual ether around us.

That is out jobs, isn't it,
make the art that the world needs
out of the spiritual ether around us?
That might just be the gods bequeathing their gifts.

Make the art that the world needs,
giving mankind a leg up in creativity
that might just be the gods bequeathing their gifts.
What is the inspiration? 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

W is for Witch (of Blackbird Pond)

This was a school book that I read in middle school. This is a book that I love so much I went out and found me a copy and reread it years later. This is a book that is worth the read, young or old.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond was written by Elizabeth George Speare and published n 1958.

The story is of one Kit Tyler, who after her Grandfather's death travels from Barbados, where she was raised to Wethersfield, Connecticut. After she becomes an orphan she finds  her Aunt Rachel and Uncle Matthew in the north and happen to be puritans. Kit is not! She's lives on atropical island with servants her whole life. Now she has to learn how to fit, smack in the middle of a colder and darker world, one that thinks anything different is wrong and she has to work to earn her way. She meets and befriends Hannah Tupper, a Quaker, and fellow outcast. The village believes is a witch. Kit tries very hard to fit in  and wants to help, but finds herself suspected of witchcraft. It is only because someone comes forward explaining that Kit was just trying to help, and Kit is released from her suspicion. Her name is cleared.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a wonderful story set in a familiar time period, but is told is such a way that you can picture what Wethersfield looks like, or Hannah Tupper's house, or the deck of the ship The Dolphin. I love livid imagery and wonderful detailed places, and yet it doesn't sacrifice the story. If you get a chance, you should definitely read. it.

Island Girl

Traveling across the ocean
to a cold and faraway place,
where you know no one,
and everyone believes you are wrong.

To a cold and faraway place,
where suspicion reigns eternal
and everyone believes you are wrong,
because you can swim.

Where suspicion reigns eternal
and everything is to be feared,
because you can swim
or teach Bible scenes through acting.

And everything is to be feared,
because if it doesn't fit with God's plan
or teach Bible scenes through acting
to the children in school.

Because if it doesn't fit with God's plan, 
like Quakers and girls from Barbados.
To the children in school
you are condemned a witch.

Like Quakers and girls from Barbados
who are a little different.
You are condemned a witch,
that is the end, you think.

Who are a little different,
where you know no one,
that is the end, you think;
traveling across the ocean.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

V is for View (from the Cheap Seats)

Something occurred to me right before I started writing this; not all books need to be fiction, and  some books are better as non-fiction.

That is a strange statement coming from me. The person who prefers fiction to reality, some days.

It  was apparent that The View from the Cheap Seats had to be today's book. There was also a mess of thoughts about how even the stories of your reality, or reality is general, can be just as fascinating as any fiction.

When Cheap Seats first came out, I was all over it. It was a Neil Gaiman book, so of course I needed it. I needed to read it. It wasn't fiction, but there was something magical about reading Neil's thoughts on books, movies, comic books, favourite author, movies of his books, his hawt musical wife, and being famous; I ate it up.

I read every single essay. No, likely I devoured every single essay. I may not have read some of the pieces that Neil wrote about, but I really got to feel like I had, or that I wanted to. Personal favourites include his essays on Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, one titled "Some Reflections on Myth", and  another titled "Make Good Art".

The whole book should be read, honestly, as there is something for everyone.

I may not even get the cheap seats; sometimes I get nosebleed seats and need to bring binoculars. Haha! So, I wrote my own tribute to the man and his book that gave to me something special: a love of non-fiction and essays. No one has done that before. And I have read some really wonderful non-fiction, but this one is special.

So, from my own place in the nosebleed seats, here's to you, Neil!

Musings From the Nosebleed Seats

In a book upon my shelf,
full of mysteries to delve into; 
not all stories have to be fiction,
sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

Full of mysteries to delve into,
from a man no stranger to fantasy.
Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction
in the lives that we choose to live.

From a man no stranger to fantasy,
a writer writing on writing.
In the lives we choose to live,
and the books we choose to read.

A writer writing on writing,
yet it is the nature of the writer
and the books we choose to read,
that build our mythologies.

Yet it is the nature of the writer,
to find these connections
that build our mythologies
and to wax philosophical.

To find these connections
between our fantasies and realities
and to wax philosophical
from the nosebleed seats.

Between our fantasies and realities,
I have uncovered my own truths
from the nosebleed seats,
that maybe there is still hope.

I have uncovered my own truths;
not all stories have to be fiction,
that maybe there is still hope
in a book upon my shelf.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

U is for UP (Great Day for)

The Letter of the day is U. It was hard to find a U title to use, so I had to get creative and use a title that features the letter U. I will utilized my grey matter. The umpteen entries for words that starts with Un that I find, but I won't take umbrage with that. Maybe I'll just buy a ukelele and sing you this book? It just so happens that Dr. Seuss is good for that-alas I don't have a ukelele-with a book called, Great Day for Up.

A rousing tale to help you wake up and start your day. Although, I am just a tad cynical when it comes to early risers, or getting up in the morning in general. I tend to like my bed and being burritoed in my warm and comfy blankets. But get UP I do.

At least a Great Day for Up is a good book to write a pantoum about.

This book was (and still is) part of my collection, although over the years this said collection has shrunk some, and I absolutely love Dr. Seuss in any form. His way with words makes you want to read the books louder and in some cases faster. Dr. Seuss books were staples of my bedtime routine for years. And I am not afraid to admit that sometimes I will take out one of his books to read. They never get old! Green Eggs and Ham, On Beyond Zebra, If I Ran the Zoo, or Scrambled Eggs Super are just a few of my favourites.

Not much else to say, except that I am UP today!

Here's your poetic slice for today, Dear Readers. I don't try to rhyme when I write, as most times it comes off as trite. (Okay, you had that coming). So, I pose to you what are your favourite Dr. Seuss stories? Please leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

UP, You Say? UP!

This little book's wishes,
states hardly more than two dozen words
(I haven't counted though)
about the joys of getting up.

States hardly more than two dozen words,
mostly using that two letter word
about the joys of getting up,
usually when the sun slowly rises.

Mostly using that two letter word
to rally the troops to get them outta bed,
usually when the sun slowly rises,
but others will UP in the middle of night.

To rally the troops to get them outta bed,
because that is what you do, right?
But others will UP in the middle of night,
but it is still UP! UP! UP!

Because that is what you do, right?
I prefer to avoid the status quo, you know,
but it is still UP! UP! UP!
Faster and earlier each day.

I prefer to avoid the status quo, you know,
but taking my time to rise though
faster and earlier each day,
I will still slowly get UP in order to follow

But taking my time to rise though
(I haven't counted though)
I will still slowly get UP in order to follow;
this little book's wishes.



Monday, April 23, 2018

T is for Time Machine

Can you imagine time travel? Race through the time stream or vortex in electric blues and greens. Who decides the colour of time?

I'm sure you have seen plenty of movies and TV shows about time travel, with elaborate machine, telephone boxes, and such; maybe even read a book or two. The concept is fascinating and Wells' novella has been made into radio dramas and four different movies.

The Time Machine, which was written by H. G Wells in 1895 and my definitive version is the 1960 movie starring Rod Taylor and Alan Young. I have also read the novella at least three times. The story is of an unnamed scientist who builds a time machine and travels far into the future, the year 801,702 to be exact, where man has become child-like and innocent (the Eloi) and under the control of another race of humans called the Morlocks, who are subterranean. The Time Traveler learns the fate of humanity, but rather than return to his time, bring a bit of knowledge to the Eloi, the race of above race of child-like man, and thus build a new world out of what was left.

It is included in the Dying Earth subgenre, where the earth is naturally dying (End of Time), and not caused by an apocalyptic situation. It goes as far back as 1805 with Le Dernier Homme but Jean-BapisteCousin de Grainville, a story about the last man on a sterile earth..

It poses an interesting question by the end of the book and movie; what book(s) would you take to help rebuild mankind?



The Traveler's Path


Not standing still, but always moving
time has a way of never resting.
A traveler hurling through time,
beyond anything he knows.

Time has a way of never resting.
onward it travels, passing
beyond anything he knows
when the world has begun to die.

Onward it travels, passing
through minutes and hours
when  the world has begun to die;
after eons have passed.

Through minutes and hours,
now more than seconds and
after eons have passed
mankind dwells within the garden.

Now more than seconds and
the serpent is revealed twisted, perverted; and
mankind dwells within the garden,
and is mere fodder for the serpents, the Morlocks.

The serpent is revealed twisted, perverted; and
raising mankind to like cattle,
and is mere fodder for the serpents, the Morlock;
is the future of the human race.

Raising mankind to be like cattle--
A traveler hurling through time,
is the future of the human race,
not standing still, but always moving.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

NaPoWriMo: Cursed Lineage

Today is Macbeth day; and all the love for Dunsinane and such...



Cursed Lineage

Foreseen by Witches,
destined to be king,
but forged deep in blood,
a darkness most desired.

Destined to be king,
the Scottish Lord Macbeth,
a darkness most desired
by steel and blood is born.

The Scottish Lord Macbeth,
converses with Weird Sisters,
by steel and blood is born,
and King Duncan lies dead. 

Converses with Weird Sisters
about fates and lineages, 
and King Duncan lies dead
and more death lines up in wait.

About fates and lineages;
the Macbeth line is cursed blank
and more death lines up in wait;
of dearest Banquo and Lady Macduff.

The Macbeth line is cursed blank
with no sons to call his own,
of dearest Banquo and Lady Macduff
with strong and fertile lines will cease.

With no sons to call his own,
but forged deep in blood
with strong and fertile lines will cease;
foreseen by Witches.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

S of for Stardust

A love story, a fantasy adventure, and drama with a fantastical theme, that is everything in the book (and movie) Stardust by Neil Gaiman. And this is a short entry, because I was out all day doing VERY IMPORTANT work! Enjoy the poem! Read the book!!



Yes I used the name of Captain Shakespeare in the movie, not the book which is Captain Alberic and the ship the Perdita.

Cheers! (cause I got this on time, meaning before midnight EST).

Stellar Love

When you wish upon a star,
does it make the star now fall?
And you now have a chance to impress
the love that you so want to address.

Does it make the star now fall,
because you willed it to?
The love that you so want to address
with a quest to prove that love real.

Because you willed it to,
now you can bring a treasure to her
with a quest to prove that love real,
but what you didn't plan for was...

Now you can bring a treasure to her,
a beautiful fallen star that shines,
but what you didn't plan for was
the love of Yvaine is a much stronger pull.

A beautiful fallen star that shines,
at first with anger, but then something like
the love of Yvaine is a  much stronger pull
after the chase, the witches and Septimus too.

At first with anger, but then something like
a dance on deck of the Caspertine
after the chase, the witches and Septimus too
when for a moment the guard is down.

A dance on deck of the Caspertine
and some lightening to sell,
when for the moment, the guard is down
that love spans across the universe.

And some lightening to sell,
and a visit to Victoria reveals
that the love spans the universe,
but not the wall, unless to dust she returns.

And a visit to Victoria reveals
that you have a chance to impress,
but not the wall, unless to dust she returns
when you wish upon a star.

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.

Friday, April 13, 2018

L is for Last (Unicorn)

"Am I really the last?" spoke the Unicorn at the edge of her forest.

An iconic moment for the most beautiful movie I have ever seen, The Last Unicorn is book and movie that capture the essence of what fantasy really means with a hero's journey, love, and battle. The book is written by Peter S. Beagle, the movie follows the book quite literally in parts.

It is the story of the last unicorn in the world. She discovers from two hunters that are hunting in her forest that she is the last; later the butterfly tell her about the red bull of King Haggard has taken the unicorns. The unicorn plan to leave her home to search for her kin, while leaving her forest (and the animals within) unprotected from her magic. While traveling the unicorn learns that men cannot see her for what she is and is soon captured by Mommy Fortuna, a wandering carnival owner, who wants to exploit her. But there is help hidden Mommy Fortuna's Midnight Carnival in form of the bumbling magician, Schmendrik. He frees the unicorn, who in turn frees all of the other miserable beasts of the midnight carnival, including one angry harpy.

Then the unicorn and Schmendrik travel into the forest where they meet Captain Cully, his band of rogues, and Molly Grue. There Schmendrik conjures up real magic and distracts Cully and his men, only Mollie isn't to be distracted and joins up with them. Once they get to King Haggard's kingdom, which is a miserable and forsaken land, they encounter the bull and Schmendrik uses real magic. They enter into the castle in plain sight, while they are force to work for Haggard as well as look for the missing unicorns. A romance later, a conversation with a cat, and a snarky skull lead them to the bull and the unicorn must face it, and make a choice.

I don't want to give a lot of spoilers, because this movie is best watched fresh and new, with as little preconceived notions, if possible. Sneaky, well maybe, but the story is really beautiful that it needs to be experienced. You can pick whichever version to prefer to, book or movie, but I leave you with this, "No unicorn was ever born with regret, but I do, I regret. And I thank you for that one..."

Many people have watched the movie growing up, which is where I first encountered The Last Unicorn. Later I read the book, and fell in love all over again. Seriously, go and check it out...

Oh, and for you graphic novel fans, The Last Unicorn was made into a graphic novel in April 2010. Also, amazingly beautiful.

Peter S. Beagle has written a number of other novels and short stories that are also wonderful, the short story collection The Line Between is a favourite.

What are your favourite fantasy, or sci-fi fantasy, or sci-fi stories, novels, movies? I have the top four (five): Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story, and Stardust.

Now for the pantoum, Dear Readers.

Mission Unknown

Standing alone, along the edge
where she sees all, but  doesn't speak
there is no one to speak to
"Am I really the last?"

Where she sees all, but doesn't speak
this is her domain, but man has intruded
"Am I really the last?"
she asked in an echo to the men.

This is her domain, but man has intruded
speaking of red bulls and lost unicorns
she asked in an echo to the men
though they could not hear.

Speaking of red bulls and lost unicorns,
she asked the butterfly what he knew
though they could not hear
the questions that she asked.

She asked the butterfly what he knew
about the missing unicorns
the question that she asked
were left unanswered in fanciful song.

About the missing unicorns,
seek out King Haggard by the sea, but others
were left unanswered in fanciful song
One, Two, Three O'Leary...

Seek out King Haggard by the sea, but others
will find you in your travels
One, Two, Three O'Leary...
and away she goes into Man's Realm.

Will find you in your travels,
speak with the skull, My Dear,
and away she goes into Man's Realm
to the distant sea and the unknown.

Speak with the skull, My Dear.
There is no one to speak to
to the distant sea and the unknown,
standing alone, along the edge.

From the movie, The Last Unicorn

Thursday, April 12, 2018

K is for Knots (on a Counting Rope)

I was a Reading Rainbow kid. I knew the theme song by heart, and almost all the episodes, especiallyKnots on a Counting Rope, written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault. It also had LeVar Burton camping by himself, which I don't remember as well as the story.

when they were put in re-runs on WNED 17 (my local affiliate in Chautauqua County). The episode featured is

It is the story of a native american boy and how he learns to cope with his blindness. He was born on a special night; a special omen appears to him and his grandfather in the form of two blue horses. That becomes his name, Boy Strength of Blue Horses. The boy's grandfather tell him this story and each time a knot is added to a counting rope. When the counting rope is full, then Boy Strength of Blue Horses will know the story well enough to tell it himself.

A beautiful story and with the most exquisite illustrations.

Did you know that Bill Martin Jr. didn't know how to read until he went to college? Taught himself to read by poetry books at Emporia State University. He also went on to get an Master's and a Doctorate in early education from Northern University. Not bad for a boy from Kansas, eh?

Bill Martin Jr is the brains behind the Brown Bear, Brown Bear style books with Eric Carl.

Today's poem is an hommage to Knots on a Counting Rope; and a little bit of a retelling too. Do you, Dear Readers remember Reading Rainbow? Do you have a favourite episode? Favourite story that was featured?

Tell It Again

'Tell me the story, Grandfather.'
'You say that so often my boy.'
'But you tell it the best. Please?'
'Alright, but only one last time.'

'You say that so often my boy,
tell me the story of my birth.
Alright, but one last time,'
"It was a dark night...wild storm..."

Tell me the story of my birth.
The wind was crying for you;
It was a dark night...wild storm
it was a strange night indeed.

The wind was crying for you
and when you arrived, it was suddenly silent,
it was a strange night indeed,
until the blue horses arrived.

And when you arrived, it was suddenly silent
and so they stood in front of you.
Until the blue horses arrived
we did not know of your fate.

And so they stood in front of you
nuzzling your fingers as you reached out;
we did not know your fate
except that you would have to cross dark mountains.

Nuzzling your fingers as you reached out...
But you tell it the best. Please?
Except that you would have to cross dark mountains...
Tell me the story, Grandfather.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J is for James (and the Giant Peach)

So, James and the Giant Peach, a novel written by Roald Dahl in 1961, but I bet you didn't know that he helped invent a valve (the Wade-Dahl-Till valve) that help alleviate pressure in the brain. His son, Theo has hit by a taxi cab and suffered from hydrocephalus (water on the brain). He had also received head, nose, and and back injuries while in the Royal Air Force in the 1940s. I bet that was part of the reason he was keen to help his son years later.

It has been a few years since I read the book, so I hope the poem is enjoyable for everyone who has either read the book, seen the movie, or have heard of it. I like the concept of evil aunts, a giant peach, and an epic adventure with insects.

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book, Dear Readers? I am partial to The Witches or Fantastic Mr. Fox myself. Enjoy!

Just Peachy Adventures

Imagine if you can, there was a peach
that grew so big that it rolled away
down and down the high topped hill
and with a splash feel into the ocean.

That grew so big that it rolled away,
carrying with it a band of travelers
upon the adventure of their lives
away from the evil Aunts Sponge and Spiker.

Carrying with it a band of travelers;
a spider, a grasshopper, an earthworm, and ladybug
away from the evil Aunts Sponge and Spiker,
and one little boy, James.

A spider, and grasshopper, an earthworm, and ladybug
aboard a floating peach, quite impossible you say!
and one little boy, James
catching birds to fly further away.

Aboard a floating peach, quite impossible you say;
to some who don't believe that
catching birds to fly further away
is even more fantastic to believe.

To some who don't believe that
down and down the high topped hill 
is even more fantastic to believe--
Imagine if you can, there was a giant peach.