Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Pinch-in-the-Pocket

All around the country, people are feeling the pinch; not the Special K Pinch-an-Inch pinch (that's très passé) thanks to America's obsession on fitness, but the Pinch-in-the-Pocket pinch from the astronomical, gag-inducing rise in prices. Gas prices, groceries, clothing, utilities; you name it, the price is UP. And the sad news is that the people fortunate enough to have steady employment are not seeing a rise in their salaries. So what is a struggling American family to do?

Pinch those pennies!

I tried just that today; I went to Wal-Mart. I remember once upon a time when Pete and I were dating, Wal-Mart was a fun place to shop. We spent many late weekend nights perusing the aisles and dreaming of our future. Oh, to be young and newly in love...

Sad as it is, though, the Wal-Mart in my city has become a compendium for criminals. It's like a pow-wow for penny peons. Reports of purse snatching and petty theft appear quite regularly on the local news. I have had several friends experience this first hand. SO... nowadays when (and if) I go to Wal-Mart, I usually drag poor Pete along.

Only this time I went alone... don't worry! I grabbed a few essentials from my purse before I left the house- debit card, driver's license, phone, keys, sunglasses- and put them in a black creates-excessive-inches (but could pass as a concealed handgun) fanny pack. I usually wear it on trips to the zoo and other fun places. I was going to Wal-Mart after all. Surely it would be fun to visit my good ole stompin' ground.

Unfortunately, my olfactory nerves were probably scarred for life, thanks to that pungent... man?... riding around in a motorized shopping cart. As soon as he pulled up, everyone scattered like birds in a parking lot. At first I had flashbacks of walking past the trash cans at the fishing pier last week (très stinky), but then I remembered I was not having fun at the beach. Could I be in a day care full of soiled diapers that needed to be discarded? I had to wonder for a brief second. No, I was at Wal-Mart... woo-hoo! My shopping trip ended right then, at that very instance. I bolted to the check-out line forgetting about the Tide I left on the laundry aisle.

When I was locked safely inside my car, I felt a familiar pang come over me because of the amount of money I spent. I was there, so I needed to stock up on things, right? I didn't buy anything we didn't need, right? Everything just costs so much, right? (That's an example of the justification conversation I have between my ears when guilt sets in). Many of you can probably relate, it's just the way things are right now- inflated.

Over all, I had a good time at Wally-World Fun Park today (even the reeking-freak show was... different). I was inside the store for an hour-and-a-half. I spent way too much money. I experienced amusement, thrill and excitement. Interesting whiffs passed me by; bakery goodies, McDonald's and... you know.

Hmmm... maybe I don't have to go the fair; after all, we are pinching pennies.



~Nourishment~

With mouth opened wide
Bearing fruit inside
Three bodies in one;
Tomato juice, anyone?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The External and Internal Tempest

WEDNESDAY PROMPTS:
Poetic Asides- a sound poem
3 Word Wednesday- loud, persuasive, riches
_________________________________________________________

The External and Internal Tempest

Mother Earth’s loud
*KABAM!
and persuasive
*BOOM! ~pause~ BOOM!
clangor
 *KABAM! BOOM! ~pause~ BOOM! KRA---KAAASSHH!
drove little Johnny
*AHHH!
under the covers last night
*KABAM! BOOM! ~pause~ BOOM! KRA---KAAASSHH! AHHH!
riches for his parents
*MMM!
as he was out of sight
*KABAM! BOOM! ~pause~ BOOM! KRA---KAAASSHH! AHHH! MMM!
until the thunderstorm passed
*SSHHH!
and moved inside
*RAP! TAP! CRASH! POW!
…uh-oh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring’s Eclectic Museum
by Laurie Kolp


Harsh March winds blew artistic
hodgepodge on my back patio
yesterday. A collage of leaf 
debris decorated the picnic
table. Flower calligraphy
adorned the fresh emerald
ground with petals of reds,
yellows, purples and pinks;
a rainbow-like invitation
to storm away from winter’s
gray and step into the awe-
inspiring eclectic museum
aesthetic spring offers for free.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Magpie Tales Monday


Peace at Sea

Portals beckon;
dare I take the chance,
cross the gangplank to your soul?

Steady mast;
dare I trust my intuition,
bare my troubles to this sober one?

Serenity sails;
dare I hop aboard,
surf rocky water to sunny shore?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring break miscellany, part II


A Party for My Sweet Nephew
(sung to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA tune)

I hopped in the van at nine a.m.
with the kids and a goody bag;
welcome to my life of mommy-hood,
do I have to brag?

Zipped through the cars,
suddenly for the first time
hit the brakes, and I worry ‘bout the speed signs;
the drivers seem so fearless,
everybody weaves through traffic.

The boys are gaming and Katie turns the tunes up,
too much noise and I am about deaf.
That’s when the GPS came out of nowhere
and said I would get lost,
“Stop at once and turn back,
turn around this minute.”

So I put the brakes on,
“Stupid voice, you’re wrong,”
but the butterflies come this way
swirling inside my head,
doubting with thoughts of dread.
Then I rev the gas up
“Stupid voice, you’re wrong,”
and I trust I know the way.
Yeah, it’s a party for my sweet nephew,
Yeah, it’s a party for my sweet nephew.

Get to the place without GPS
everyone’s happy to see we’re here;
the kids hug their cousins,
I help Chels get ready.

So fun spending time with family
visiting and watching the baby
eating cake and pizza,
jumpin’ in the Bounce House.

The boys are gaming and Katie turns the tunes up,
too much noise and I am about deaf.
That’s when the GPS came out of nowhere
and said I should leave now,
“Stop at once and go home,
say goodbye this minute.”

So I put the brakes on,
“Stupid voice, you’re wrong,”
but the butterflies come this way
swirling inside my head,
doubting with thoughts of dread.
Then I rev my gas up,
“Stupid voice, you’re wrong,”
and I know how long to stay.
Yeah, it’s a party for my sweet nephew,
Yeah, it’s a party for my sweet nephew.





Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring break miscellany, part I

Spring is my favorite time of year. I like staying home during the kid's week off from school planting flowers and gardens with them, going to the movies and out to lunch, spending time with friends and family, driving to the beach for the day... the list goes on and on.

We have done all of the above this week during spring break. Perhaps the most interesting thus far has been the trip to the beach. I could inundate you with pictures of the kids running in the sand and jumping through the waves, but I've done that enough. This time I want to share the bizarre and interesting sights from the beach.
Portuguese man-of-war with its tentacles

Another one without tentacles
Good ole' American oil wells pop up ALL OVER the Bolivar Peninsula (and vicinity) just pumping away, and a Cardinal towing sign

Remnants of a gas station ruined during Hurricane Ike (but it still shows up on the GPS)
Some of the many nails we found around my friend's rebuilt beach cabin

Part II - Tomorrow we get to spend the day out of town visiting relatives and celebrating my nephew's first birthday party.  Please check back later.

What have you done over spring break this year?

Big Tent Poetry — smashing your words around —

Those Eyes
I. Original poem:

Covered up with lies
those eyes can hide no sin
and even though those eyes may smile
they are miserable within;
pain escapes from deep inside
like an outpouring of resin
but those eyes mask the tears
and the snake recoils again.


II. (via cut-up machine and a few tweaks)

eyes.
pain.
again. within.
lies within.
smile.
masked smile. fake.
those eyes, eyes. dolorous.
recoil. ouch.
lies.
with those eyes. horror.
eyes. shrink back.
hiss. sss.
those eyes, eyes. piercing.
up, no down. eyes.
slither, sneak. green snake. envy.
miserable.
pain.
eyes.

*Read more smashed poetry at Big Tent

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You are…

Sun, son
sunny son;
I love you son,
my sunshine one.

Bright, light
warm delight;
you fill me up,
my warming light.

Sweet treat
girl so sweet;
you tweet with joy,
my sweetened treat.

Hazy, lazy
crazy ways;
you entertain,
my family days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Words from Three Word Wednesday: dual, volley, identical

Sporting stalemate-
dual dispositions volley
involuntary idiosyncrasies, identical rage
negating narcissistic nonsense, never-ending war.

PA prompt: Spring

Spring Has Sprung When…

Pastel adulation decorates world
murals in meditative Claude Monet
reprints, an appeasing sight trailing
months of shaded gray. Symphonic Mozart
renditions harmonize melodic tunes.
Gentle breezes, sometimes gusts,
motivate revelers to wave hello.
Mother Nature’s temperate forces
unite in unspoken promise--
resting winter-weary bodies,
motivating secluded souls.
Season’s fever breaks out the Kleenex.
Pestilent pollen, budding blossoms
spring leaks in tender window eyes,
feather-tickles runny noses.
ACHOO!
That’s how you know spring has sprung.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jingle Poetry Potluck Prompt: Lies, Deception and Misrepresentation!!

Monkey Cage

You take drama apart,
pull it piece by piece
like sticky monkey bread
oven-fresh goo.
This! and That! and Oh,my God!
Cinnamon temptation
so sinful, deceiving
flying sugar high
whirlybird whim.
Then splash! You crash!
Stinky muddy mess,
a monkey with no bread.




*Click on Jingle Poetry to read more poetry

At the Library

Shoes, shoes
Shoes that squeak
Down the aisle
Clodhoppers sneak
Ever growing strong and loud
Getting closer to the crowd
My eyes look down upon the feet
They sound so strange in creaky cheek
I see gray shoes hard years have worn 
Elephant ankles’ weary mourn
My eyes turn upward to the source
These squeaky shoes have wrought off-course
Ratty clothes, knotty hair
I wonder how she made it here
Until I watch her take a seat 
Whip out a book and take retreat 
She’s just like me, she wants to read-
The common thread to succeed

Monday, March 21, 2011

aros in July

I want to thank all of the readers who ventured over from a river of stones (aros) blog post on March 21, 2011. It showed a picture of me holding the new book pay attention:a river of stones, edited by fiona robyn & kaspalita (I'm on pg. 48 & 103). You will have the opportunity to take part in this wonderful meditative exercise in a few short months. 

On my poetry blog, Conversations with Laurie, you will find specifics on how to participate in July's a river of stones daily challenge. Click here to read the post. 

Now for a short commercial break...

This brand new badge...

 now replaces this one...

What, might you ask, do these badges mean? Well, they are visual affirmations to place on the blogs of everyone who participates in a river of stones (aros). Some people have created new blogs for their "stones" (short poems on single observations), and others (like moi) have added the "stones" to their poetry blogs.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this daily writing during January and am looking forward to July. If you would like to sign up, click on The River. You never know, maybe another book will result from July's river rafting, like:
pay attention: a river of stones edited by fiona robyn & kaspalita
*I'm on pg. 48 &103*
Below is an interview with Fiona Robyn, the creator of "stones." I first posted it on my other blog. Please click here to read the original and for information on how to get a copy of the book.

FIONA:
Sometime during December, I had the idea that people might like to join me during January in writing a small stone every day – something I’ve been doing for many years. I believe that there are lots of benefits from having a daily writing practice, and this seemed like an ideal way to share this practice with others. Kaspa teamed up with me and we created a blog and started asking people if they wanted to join the ‘river’. We originally thought it would be nice if 20 people joined us – by the beginning of January more than 300 people were writing small stones and posting them on their blogs.

We really enjoyed reading the small stones during January, and thought it would be good to choose the cream of these and publish them in a book. More than 3000 small stones (and MANY hours) later, we’d chosen the stones for the book, edited them, communicated with their writers, arranged them into chapter groupings, designed the cover, arranged them into an order and written some prose pieces to go alongside them. And – TA-DA! – ‘pay attention: a river of stones’ was born!

We do hope it’ll be read both by people writing small stones and people who’ve never written before – it’s full of beautiful short pieces. And it might inspire a few more people to start writing them….
I do hope you participate. Let me know and maybe we can link back to each other and share.

Magpie Tales Monday

Photo from Magpie Tales

4,3,2,1
?
Will it take four times
one
two
three
four
stabs in my heart
lies
deceit
evil
pain
hardened with each blow
one
two
three
four
my armored heart
shielding
protecting
hiding
harboring
blind truth, bull’s eye
whips
tussles
nabs
defeats
the last time through the core
you
can
kiss
my ass
!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Writer's Island: Inseparable

Photo from Writer's Island


Good and Evil
Amid life’s changing town
two escalators stand side by side
one moving up, the other down,
which one will you ride?

If to descent is your preference
a path to hell will follow you,
insanity, indifference
free will a tainted view.

Perhaps aspiring ascension
allures your self-control,
a certain fourth dimension
faithful filling hole.

Crazy hubbub, endless dream
good and evil inseparable
tie-binding thread a mighty seam
eternal outcome debatable.

Read more on *Writer's Island

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big Tent Poetry prompt: Stuck

Stuck Up
She had this nose
(a snout, no doubt)
this natural incline
(up there, in the air)
with dragon eyes
(two holes like bowls)
a pointy-tipped crest
(insanely vain)
and close-mindedness
(the view askew).
One day she fell backwards
(Crème brûlée, I say)
plopped down in the mud
     (spongy grunge)
and this nose she had
(a snout, no doubt)
broke right in two
(oh, hoity-toity)
the people snickered
     (at drama mama)
walked right on by
     (their turn to burn)
she was stuck in the mud
(a conceit defeat).


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hope on St. Patrick’s Day

Green springs new life-
lucky shamrocks, emerald isle.

Leaping leprechauns-   
pelting raindrops, Irish jig.

Iridescent rainbows-
prismatic windows, open heart.

A pot of glimmering gold-
eternal promise, shining soul.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PA Wednesday prompt

Poetic Asides(PA) prompt for today is to write a poem based on another one. I have chosen “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.


The Road Paved in Gold

I walk through life’s forest
one step at a time
angelic trees reach on high
so I may see the light,
flowing currents trickling by
my stream of consciousness.
Sometimes I trip
on tangled bramble,
I fall down, get lost and confused.
Dark shadows, twisted paths;
I know not which way to move.
Indecision is a leaf is a whisper

~floating without recourse~

until it lands right next to me.
My eyes follow the path it has taken,
up
up
up
I’m on shaky knees,
the path before me a cake walk
immediate gratification
sweet temptation.
The other trail
foggy, uncertain
my feet are all I see.
Faith is a road paved in gold,
paved to heaven.
I take that road to You
one step at a time.

I am an ant

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
~Scott Cameron

It's funny how our world grows as we age. Think about it; a child's world is his own. Whatever is happening at that very moment is the child's understanding of life on Earth; he is the world. Then as we age, that area becomes more vast. We begin to see beyond the parameters of our existence. We realize we are but one little ant in the pile of life. With that realization comes a keen curiosity to learn more. What better way to learn about other countries than to travel and see for yourself? At least, that's how I feel.

So far, no cigar.

Pete, on the other hand, is a different story. He has travelled the world over and again. The time he spent in the Marines took him to faraway lands like Europe and Panama. Since then Pete's job has taken him to Japan, England and Greece... without me. I know, it's sickening isn't it? The main reason I have been unable to go is because I didn't have a passport. Pete's business trips come about very quickly. Until Greece, there was not enough time for me to apply.

Grease is the word Greece was the limit. I dropped Pete off at the airport and went straight to the post office for my passport application. I filled it out, had my picture taken and sent it off. Then I took the kids to get a puppy (Jake), but that's another story.

The ironic thing about this whole ordeal is that Pete has not had another opportunity to travel overseas since I got my passport four years ago, ~sigh~ but I'm ready. And times a'tickin'. My arms are open wide. I am a measly ant ready to venture out from her familiar pile. I am ready to see the world.
A much younger Pete at Japan's Shinto Shrine, pond with lotus flowers- July '98

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Writers Island prompt: Tribute

A tribute to a dear friend:

Time~
days
turn into
weeks
turn into
months
turn into
years
stack together
Lego block walls
one
two
three hundred sixty five
a thousand ninety-five
minus seven
days have passed
since
your
death
surpasses life
yellow, green, red
turns into
cardinals
turn into
a thousand eighty-eight
memories
turn into
minutes
days
months
years
turn
~time

*RIP M.E.M.: 3-22-08

Link to Writers Island

hope for Japan-
one day at a time
life resumes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jingle Poetry Potluck

The Wrath of Nature Shatters Lives

Powerful winds can desiccate
like speeding cars accelerate;
hurricanes don’t sympathize.
The wrath of nature shatters lives.

Harmless eddies masquerade
and grow into a great brigade;
tornadoes leave no time for lies.
The wrath of nature shatters lives.

Earth, the bedrock of our home,
often becomes our catacomb;
earthquakes destroy all alibis.
The wrath of nature shatters lives.

Transforming waves can lure and thrill
oblivious to man’s free will;
tsunamis haunt and victimize.
The wrath of nature shatters lives.

Magpie Tales Monday





silky plum petals

watchful leaves witness your splurge

lemon drop secrets








*Magpie Tales

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Flat Stanley goes to the beach


Elementary classes everywhere participate in The Flat Stanley Project each year. The boys took part in this project when they were in first grade. In the spring they brought home a plain Flat Stanley paper doll, a character form a children's book of the same name. We then had to mail him to a friend or relative in another town. Andrew and Nicholas sent him to their cousin Matt. Andrew's Flat Stanley toured the Texas A&M campus. Matt and his wife Jen (then girlfriend) decked him out in maroon Aggie gear and took pictures of their excursion. Then they sent him back and Andrew shared his Flat Stanley trip with the class. When it was Nicholas' turn, Matt and Jen were in graduate school near Austin. They dressed him up accordingly and took pictures. Again, Nicholas presented the results to his class.

Imagine our delight when I discovered we had the opportunity to participate in the project once again, only this time we would be the ones dressing up Flat Stanley and taking him somewhere. A friend of mine from my BD group (see previous post) told me about it. A teacher was getting the names of friends and friend's friends so that she could have each child send a Flat Stanley to different parts of the world (my pal lives in Germany). The teacher created a Facebook page for the volunteers. When he finally arrived at our house last week, I could see the envelope had been carefully addressed in a child's handwriting. Flat Stanley had been cut out with love by the child as well.

We decided that since he was from Ohio, Flat Stanley needed to go to the beach. So yesterday we dressed him in swim shorts and sunglasses and drove him to the Bolivar Peninsula. He got to ride the ferry to Galveston and back, where he saw Seawolf Park on Pelican Island and the old sunken ship close by. He witnessed a tugboat pushing an oil barge, sailboats and dolphins. Stan (we were on a more personal level by then) enjoyed feeding the seagulls, playing in the sand and watching the kids splash in the freezing surf. They never can resist the beach. Here are the highlights:


We are so happy Stan came to visit and hope next year will bring another golden opportunity.