Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghostwriter in the sky

the ghost and his dreadful pet
haunt me yet—
streaming, gleaming from the skies
howling, yowling mournful cries
dancing, prancing 'fore my eyes
my fear I fear I can't disguise
terror, trembling, ague, and yet
I somehow like
his dreadful pet

                                 © Kay Davies, 2012

Over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, my friend Ella asked us if we believe in ghosts (I think maybe I do). Then she asked us to write a haunted poem using a line from previously published verses, some of them famous, from the list HERE.
However, I was just googling around today and, when I saw the above photo, my poem wrote itself.

Image credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF Aug., 2009 with wide-field Mosaic Camera on Mayall 4m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory

A little late poetry for Open Link Monday

as the sun sinks
slowly into the east
we realize

Posted for the online writers' group
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads 

There is no prize but praise for the first person to notice what I've said.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unhappy blogger unhappy about Blogger

I've been trying to change the type sizes on my blog, because some commenters have mentioned they have to strain to read what I've written.

I don't know if this is any improvement. I made some other changes, like the background, so I'd know if my changes were being made, but if anyone would like to let me know if it's more readable, I'd appreciate knowing.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's mini-challenge for Toads and friends

© Ellen Wilson

stars fade as clouds hide the moon
but the laughter of children
is still heard
from one door to the next
excited and free
though watchful parents stand near
to conquer their fear

© Isadora Gruye

To: Kerry
I made several seriously dreadful attempts at writing to your prompt for this weekend's Sunday mini-challenge. I copied out the rhyme scheme, line by line, and studied it, tried to do it, but failed completely.
I did, however, manage the syllable count, Kerry, and my last two lines do rhyme as per instruction! I'm so relieved you provide us with a free verse option, and so glad you also included photos. The ones by Ella and Izy turned out to be just what I needed. My submission is certainly predictable, and possibly quite banal, but I can't quite write Hallowe'en horror, being of a somewhat nervous disposition, you understand.
Thanks for continuing the Sunday challenge. I always enjoy it, whatever my result.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I remember summer, says Lindy

© Photo by Richard Schear
Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India, at their 
Pets Forever blog.
Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. I remember being right here, right in this same spot, when the sun was warm and the grass was cool. Now this spot is covered in snow, and the sky is covered in clouds. But I remember summer. It sure looks like summer where you are, with those nice plants and flowers, and no snow. Oh, and I'm glad you chased that bird away from your territory! Bad bird being in Bozo's place!"

Snow time here for deer on Camera Critters

The critters Dick photographs on his walks with Lindy now are almost always deer. This lovely critter is my favorite from one of their recent expeditions in the snow.

Posted for
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Photo by Richard Schear, October, 2012 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekend reflections on the clouds

© Richard Schear photo, October, 2012
When I first moved from mountainous British Columbia to the Alberta prairie, I couldn't believe the size of sky. It's so big! And the sunsets go all the way around. Another thing I love about the prairie sky is the way it reflects light just before sunset.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections
hosted by James, who used to live in Newtown, Pennsylvania, as his photo of Newtown this weekend reminds us.

Pet peeves posted for Mary at Real Toads

Today's challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads comes from Mary, who asks us to write about pet peeves. She mentions some things that peeve people, and even provides a link to a list of annoyances, for those among us who might not have any of our own.
I do have a few pet peeves, so I've picked some things that bug me (litterbugs really bug me) and have written three little verselets thereupon.
I'm sure some people see red when others make up their own words, so I've made one up and used it here, just for you.

Public Domain photos

inconsiderate drivers might annoy me
but inveterate gossips make me cringe
don’t say 
“I hear he’s an alky and he beats up on his wife”
instead, please tell me how it makes you feel.
is there some way you can help
rather than talking?
and how do you know the rumor’s really real?



litterbugs should be exterminated
and polluters dangled from their chimneys high
so they can breathe the smoke they have created—
the smoke that’s making other people die

poor grammar makes me cringe,
and texting makes me whinge
about my husband texting during dinner;
but chewing his gum so I can hear
him chewing right beside my ear
in my own list of peeves might be the winner

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finally got these from Dick's camera

We were in Red Deer, Alberta, when we saw this full moon a few weeks ago. It's still gorgeous, I think. The dark trees and the little wispy clouds make it look rather mysterious.

 © Richard Schear photos, 2012

Posted for
SkyWatch Friday

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kenia's challenge is surreal this week

Once a month at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kenia Cris challenges us to stretch ourselves as writers and poets, to reach beyond what we usually think and feel, to seek the unattainable, and to become what we thought we were not.

Today's challenge asks us to borrow a line from a friend's poem and use it as inspiration to write a surrealist poem. 
Surrealism might elude me, but I can understand borrowing.
I have chosen my first line from the last stanza of Mary Mansfield's poem Driven to Perform on yesterday's personal challenge at the Garden.
To go with my submission, I have borrowed a photo from the poetry blog of Brenda Bryant, surely Australia's most prolific (and entertaining) poet.

Thanks, Kenia. Thanks, Mary. Thanks, Brenda.

it’s just two sides of the same coin,
the real and the surreal
and which is more real
I’ll surely never know
the inside and the outside
the night and the following day
are both dawn for an instant
until night goes away

Monday, October 22, 2012

Down in the coulee: for Our World Tuesday

Dick and Lindy have been leaving the red-shale walking path and venturing down into the nearby coulee (rocky valley below the level of the prairie) in search of interesting photos (that would be Dick) and smells (Lindy). They've both managed to find what they sought, but I can only share a couple of photos with you. Lindy, I'm happy to say, didn't bring any smells, interesting or otherwise, home with her.

© Richard Schear photos, October 2012

Posted for the October 23 edition of

Another Limerick for Open Link

I often use my Mad Kane limerick on Open Link Monday at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads because I seldom, if ever, write poetry except in response to a prompt these days. Hmm, it's hard to believe I used to write poetry in response to everything and everyone I saw, heard, or imagined, when I was young.

This week's opening line for Mad Kane's Limerick-Off is "a woman would frequently pose" which, of course, led to all kinds of men as well as more than a few women having entirely too much fun.
Madeleine always offers an alternative ("a fellow would frequently pose") but also says everything in the first line can be changed except the last word. Thanks, Madeleine!

Retired teacher, Mr. Richard Schear
© Photo by Kay Davies

a teacher would frequently pose
odd questions to which no one knows
the answers, so guesses
produced several messes
in poetry, lyrics, and prose

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Toads' Sunday Mini-Challenge: Jueju

© Ellen Wilson photo
At the Imaginary Garden for Real Toads, Kerry continued the quatrain theme and introduced an ancient Chinese form of quatrain called Jueju.
Kerry included some beautiful photographs by Real Toads members, and I wanted to write about Ella's photograph of tea and pearls, but the poet part of my mind was not in step with the inspired-observer part at all.
Therefore, I took two of Kerry's words and used them. My photos are of the first beach I remember, the one always in my mind when I think of the ocean.
This is my home town, White Rock, British Columbia, where, at low tide, are miles and miles of soft sand and fascinating pools beyond the rocky beach. Those tide pools have fascinated children for a long, long time. The thought of the creatures hiding there is enough to tempt the most sensitive feet to cross the rocky beach.
© Kay Davies photos

susurrating sumptuous sea
singing deep in the soul of me:
advancing with your rhythmic roars
then, sighing, leave for other shores.

what can I do to keep you here?
you’re much too strong for me. I fear
I cannot hold the heart of you—
sensuous sea, you’re never true.

suggestively erotic sea
your need is always to be free,
to come and go at night or noon,
influenced only by the moon.

©  Kay Davies, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pet Pride: portrait of a pampered pet

Portrait of Lindy by well-known Canadian plein air artist Aleta Karstad. Lindy's mom commissioned the portrait as a gift for Lindy's dad.

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family
at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India.
Lindy says, "Hi there, Bozo. Isn't this a wonderful surprise?
I didn't even know my mom's friend Aleta was painting a picture of me.
I didn't have to sit still to pose for it or anything.
She painted it from a photograph, and it looks just like me."

Camera Critters: elephant and buzzard

There was nobody home at this modern wind-powered bird condo we found in Calgary recently, but, not far away, we saw a colorful elephant at the base of a tree and a ferocious buzzard on a gate.

© Kay Davies photos, September, 2012
Posted for the
Camera Critters meme
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meditation and me, for Real Toads

At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Laurie's word this week is "meditation" — a concept with which I've struggled for years, due to my body's inability to relax.

I'm thrilled Laurie added the photo That was Zen, This is Meow I e-mailed her, but I should have explained I got it via Facebook, after heaven-knows-how-many people shared it, but it originated with Samuel Greenberg at 

The art accompanying my submission for today's Word with Laurie also came from Samuel Greenberg, from his site at:

I can’t achieve a meditative state
because my muscles won’t cooperate
they won’t relax when asked to
they don’t relax when I sleep
I’m simply just too tense to contemplate

I go to the beach and lie on the sand
the ocean and sky are both very grand
but the sun burns my skin
and it makes me perspire
so I retreat once again to dry land

I go to the forest, sit 'neath a tree
no one here but Mother Nature and me
looking up through leafy lace
I think this must be the place
where I can relax, but it’s not to be

so I pay money to go to a spa
for a massage with zen oils, lah ti dah
I feel some relaxation
while the treatment’s going on
but when it stops I’m tense again, oh, bah

I must accept “acceptance is the way”
and that this tensed-up body’s really Kay
I know I shouldn’t hate it,
I have to learn to love it,
and, if I still can’t meditate, I’ll pray 
© Kay Davies, 2012

© Samuel Greenberg

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SkyWatch Friday: yellow and blue

Yellow leaves against blue sky in our back yard, October, 2012.
© Kay Davies photo
Posted for
SkyWatch Friday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For Real Toads: a dear John letter

Dear John Deere
I can't, I fear,
understand, John dear,
what this big green machine
is really meant to mean.

I see them on the prairie
and to me they're very scary
with their great big wheels
and their other big deals.

Don't they run over gophers
and unthinking men's loafers?
Or snakes or frogs?
Or cats or dogs?
I can't help but surmise
it's not good for the wildlife
(or the shoes).
Wikipedia photos

Look at these pointy green
things which look quite mean—
torpedo-shaped, set to blow
the prairie into smithereens.

(Or so it seems to me.)


Dear John Deere
from my vantage point here
on the edge of the prairie
but not quite "of" the prairie,
I'm thinking a nice little green
might make an attractive tractor for a girl who wants to seem to live the prairie dream.

Please send a ride-on-mower by extra-special order and sent it fast and quick.

With love from your
greatly confused fan,


The wonderful and talented Isadora Gruye has asked members and visitors at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads to "write a poem about the mechanical nature of the modern harvest". 

What about those of us who came to Alberta to marry a businessman? What if I know nothing about farming and less about harvesting? What if I spent my entire life working in newspapers and printing shops? I know what a platen press is. And a California job case. I can strip a job and burn a plate. I know paper, ink, typefaces and type sizes. I can spell like a hot damn, and can find spelling and grammatical errors in everything from phone books to a Margaret Atwood book published by Oxford University Press.

But if the sheaves need bringing in, it won't be done by me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our World Tuesday: fire in the sky

© Richard Schear photo

As a British Columbian now living in Alberta, I've said it before and I'll say it again...the Canadian prairies sure do sunsets well. A prairie sunset can stretch all the way around the sky. This one burned a hole in the clouds as Dick took Lindy for their regular walk over by the coulee last week.

Our World Tuesday
To see other worlds on this planet, please click HERE.

Open Link Monday: my Mad Kane limerick

Once again, for Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, I'm using the limerick I wrote for Madeleine Kane's Limerick-off. This time my little rhyme has an explanation.
From family archives

My great-aunts were very refined.
When visiting I was inclined
To curtsey so low
That often I’d go
Flat down on my girlish behind.
From Sears catalog online
I loved my mother’s Victorian-born aunts, and knew they loved me, but I could be terrified of them as well.
When "the aunties" hosted a gathering of ladies, my sister and I were given the job of passing plates of cookies, tarts and hors d’ouevre, as well as offering tiny silver trays of cream and sugar, and wielding silver sugar tongs. "Two lumps, please."
As we weren’t particularly graceful (let’s face it, we were born klutzes) this “honor,” which was intended to contribute to our ladylike upbringing, was usually two hours of torture during which we were expected to smile sweetly at all the old dears who visited the aunties.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pet Pride: Lindy with a new little friend

© Richard Schear photo
Lindy and her daddy were out walking the other day and they met this sweet little white pup, who checked Lindy out from head to toe and decided it would be rather nice to be friends!

Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's pal Bozo and his family in Mumbai, India,

Lindy says,
"Hi, Bozo, did you look like this cute puppy when you were little?"

Camera Critters: oh, deer, you leaving?

Oh so nice, lying in a field with nothing to do!

What's this?
Are we leaving already?

Come on, Junior, let's go!

Looks like everyone's going.
© Photos by Richard Schear

Bye, Lindy!
Bye, Lindy's daddy! 
Now everyone's gone!

Posted for
Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Real Toads: Sunday mini-challenge

When I'm at my best, I love to challenge myself with specific poetic forms, as Kerry challenges us at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. However, for this weekend's Sunday mini-challenge, I'm glad she has given us a free verse option, stipulating the poem must written specifically for one of the prompt photos.
Included as inspiration are photos by these talented Real Toads members: Isadora Gruye, Margaret Bednar, Ellen Wilson, and Susie Clevenger.
I chose the free verse, instead of working with this weekend's envelope quatrain, as soon as I saw Susie's amazing photo.

© Photo by Susie Clevenger

if hunger died around the world,
if babies cried no more,
would peace then follow
as day follows night?


would people, hollow-
hearted, still then fight?


for oil they’d fight
as once, for gold,
they threw
their lives


they have no fear
who have no love

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Reflections around Alberta

Above, by the Trans Canada Highway, as we headed west toward Calgary last month.

Left, and below, reflections in windows of Calgary heritage houses.

© Photos by Kay Davies

Above, buildings in Edmonton reflect each other as well as sky and clouds.

Posted for
Weekend Reflections
hosted by James in California. Thanks, James!

Marian's crazy prompt at Real Toads

Over at the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Marian has once again presented us with a musical inspiration, this time a man I always thought was born to sing country music. With a name like Waylon, what else could he do?
Wikipedia photo
Waylon Jennings 1958
Oh, yes, he could play bass for Buddy Holly, and, when scheduled to travel in a three-passenger plane, he could give up his seat to a sick friend. Thus, the world lost The Big Bopper along with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens, but Waylon lived to wail on.
The tune Marian chose for our inspiration this week is "I've Always Been Crazy" and she invites us to let it take us where it will.

Public domain
I’m slyer than a cardboard box of foxes
and loony as a mountain lake of loons
people call me crazy
but they never call me lazy
cuz I’ve memorized a mile of country tunes
I laugh when things aren’t funny
and I seldom have much money
in my jeans, under my mattress, in a bank
but I’ll sing, and for your dollars I will thank
you if you just don’t call me “sonny”
cuz my mama called me sunny-boy and loved me
and she expected many great things of me
but then she died
oh, how I cried!
and there’s been no more sunny skies above me


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Incredibly beautiful 360s

My cousin Ian MacKenzie e-mailed me these links. They remind so much of the  beautiful photos taken by my fellow blogger and friend Lynette Killam, and have led me to make a unilateral decision—Dick and Lindy and I are going to Utah as soon as we possibly can, no ifs, ands or buts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bye, Bye, Miss Hootin' Anni

Posted for the last week of Hootin' Anni's musical Meme
Thursday Theme Song

Anni, thanks so much for all the enjoyment I always found in Thursday Theme Song, my favorite meme because it involved music.
I'm gonna miss it, and gonna miss you!
Luv, K

For Real Toads: the unreliable narrator

Over at the website of the online writers' group, Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry has challenged us to write a poem with an unreliable narrator. She says "write a poem from the first person point of view using a narrator whose unreliability becomes clear to the reader through the course of the narrative"
and she offers a few suggestions to consider as a starting point:
Public domain Smiley from WPClipart
tall tales
poisoned pen
impaired memory
hearsay/ gossip
diminished capacity
personal gain

Pssst, don’t tell anyone I told you,
you didn’t hear a word from me,
but I know for a fact that...
You-know-who and Whatsisname are
lunching daily at that new bar.
Mr. Green has bought a sports car.
Down the street the Smiths are pregnant,
and the Joneses’ pool is stagnant.
Mrs. Brown has two new boyfriends,
gossip about her never ends.
But, of course, I’d never gossip,
don’t say you heard it first from me
because, you know, I’ll disagree.

Duck? Duck!

I've watched this several times, and now I want to share it with all my blogging friends. I don't know when I've ever read anything so sad or seen anything so sweet, so funny, so fun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Check it out if you'd like, I like it

Kay Davies photo
While attempting to recuperate from my recent illness, I was  also attempting to tackle what seemed to me to be a massive undertaking. The style of the undertaking is a poem, and it is massive only because I set out to write an epic ballad, before I succumbed to an infection in my lungs.
The idea of a travel poem from the point of view of a fictitious character  was issued to me, as a personal challenge, by a lovely lady poet named Susan, who came up with the idea before I came down with the chest infection, so none of this is her fault.
It eventually worked out to be not-too-bad, all things considered, so if you'd like to check it out, you can find it on the website Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
I'll be looking forward to your comments and opinions.