Friday, October 30, 2009

A Little Haiku

Somewhere along the way I asked myself, “Why write haiku at all?” And I realized that the purpose (and the fascination) is to capture a moment in time – to capture it with such perfection that it can be experienced even by those who were never there.

There are some moments so vivid in my memory that I can almost smell them – so real I can see them as though they happened only 5 minutes ago. I can feel and taste them. I can hear them. They fill me with a yearning that is almost painful. They make me laugh. They make me quiet. They bring me suddenly to tears. They have the power to soothe and refresh. They have power to jolt and disturb. They are slices of life that can be both re-lived and shared. They are intensely personal and yet almost universal to the human experience.

The discipline required to adhere to the strict 5-7-5 syllabic form within which I have chosen to work is good for me. Though much of the haiku written in English today does not follow this form, it is still a worthy one and deserving of the effort required to do it well. These stern boundaries, I feel, serve to force a thoughtfulness that might otherwise become laziness.

One last mention: Though I call it haiku – and much of it is – some will drift into a hybrid of haiku and senryu and involve the human rather than the natural. I hope to be forgiven for this license. Finally, as with my fiction, I strive for excellence but make no claim of expertise. I write for my own enjoyment and hope that, perhaps, someone else along the way will enjoy my work as well.


A whale surfaces
In the distance -- far beyond
the suspended gull.


Beneath a Peace rose,
beside a fallen petal –
ants in fierce battle.


Cardinal pair and
belligerent jay discuss
living arrangements


Hawk circling against
a crisp blue dotted swiss sky –
a handsome danger.


Foraging squirrel
noses the lawn for a nut
hidden yesterday.


Devoted geese float
together on glassy pond –
content just to be.

© October 2009 by Alexandra Scot

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Theme Thursday - Halloween

I was just getting dressed for Halloween.
Here I am in my costume. Ain’t I a honey?

Well I guess I HAVE changed a lot over the years.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t recognize me. I’ve changed my hair.

Here is a photo of me way back when. Oh my gosh! I’m so cute even *I* want to hug me.

And here I am a few years later in my award-winning (I’m not kidding) costume that my incredibly talented mother made for me:

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen…
For your Halloween entertainment, I offer the following:

They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. Today’s cartoons barely have any movement at all. Lazy animators, I guess. Or something. I’m not sure what.

Here’s a little something more current:

This guy has quite the talent, hasn’t he? The puller of the strings, I mean.
It's pretty obvious the LITTLE dude has talent.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and safe Halloween.
As for me, I’ll be kicking back with a nice glass of red and trying to come up with my next short story. I might even bake some of my famous banana nut bread. Yum!

Happy Halloween, everybody!

p.s. - If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to take a look at my latest short story that follows this post. I called it “TAPS”. It isn’t about Halloween, but I think you might enjoy it, anyway.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Theme Thursday - Traffic

I so hate traffic that when I saw it was this week’s theme I immediately thought back to a time when there wasn’t any. At least there wasn’t any compared to today.

Years ago (many years ago, now I think about it), there were no Interstate highways. Two lane “highways” served to get us from state to state and humble little motels and cabins, though few and far between, dotted the route with places to lay our weary heads. And a highway with a median? Woo-Hoo! Now THAT was something.

This was back before the impressively useful invention of the solid white line down the outside edge of the road to tell you what was road and what was potentially death at the bottom of a mountain cliff.

Traffic, as we picture it today, was something almost unheard of. Of course, we had less than one third* the current population, too. (Sometimes I long for those good old days – as long as I get to keep my computer, of course. And internet and big old front-loading washer and dryer and all the other conveniences that I just can’t live without.)

Entertainment, while traveling, consisted of spotting license plates from faraway places and reading the always fun Burma Shave signs.

My maternal grandfather used to scare everyone witless when he got behind the wheel of his car. I was too little to know what kind of car it was but I suspect it was black and boxy and had a Ford label on it. We lived in Florida on a little crushed-shell road that connected to the main paved road that ran between the towns north and south of us. Grandpa would get into his car and go hauling down the shell road and then, without looking either way or even slowing down, barrel out onto the main road toward whichever of the towns he was headed for. Everyone would shut their eyes and hope for the best and comment that it was a wonder he hadn’t long ago been killed.

Today, of course, it’s a different story. Today you will be run off the road (if not just flat-out run over) if you do anything as timid as actually keeping to the speed limit. Tempers flare and tires screech. Fingers are flung from windows in all manner of gestures. Snarls abound.

I hate traffic. I despise it. I hate what it does to us. I hate the delays. I hate the creeping. I hate the speeding. I hate the white-knuckled, blood-drained, trembling fear of going 80 miles an hour, bumper-to-bumper and door-to-door on interstates so packed you couldn’t slow down if you wanted to. And change a lane? Ha! You had better hope to know where you are going and get in the proper lane at least 20 miles in advance or God help you.

Here is why I don’t live in Seattle:

The most kind and domestic of people become slavering monsters once behind the wheel of a car in traffic. Hell hath no fury like a cut-off driver on his way home to his Friday night pot roast.

Give me a little one-horse town any day.

I will stay right here, happily driving rural roads and hoping to catch a glimpse of two little donkeys in a field on my way to and from a town that has only a couple of stop lights.

Of course, this little town with only a couple of stop lights is sometimes packed to the seams with tourists walking around ogling the place as though they were in Disney World and snapping up every available parking place. The half-life of a parking space here is about 2.35 seconds. So look sharp and just keep circling. It’s so worth it. And winter will always come and the tourists will (mostly) stay away.

Love this place! Yesterday, I had to go to the courthouse to straighten out a mix-up with our voter ballots and I walked in, asked to speak to the county auditor. She came out, we spoke, laughed, done! All in a matter of three minutes, max. Try that in a big city. Ha!

Of course we haven’t even touched on other kinds of traffic – like drug trafficking. But then, I know so little about drugs that you could hand me a sack of white powder and I would try to make cornbread out of it.

Ya’ll come!
*Ok, ok... it wasn't less than a third of today's population -- but it sure seems like it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not Really Theme Thursday

My little offering (below) is not really in the spirit of Theme Thursday. However, TT did give me the idea for the title. Note to Otin: I didn't kill the bast*rd, but I wanted to. :)

As for TT, I have no idea what to think. Global climate change is certainly happening as far as I can tell. I cringe at today's photos of the arctic ice -- or, I should say, lack of arctic ice. I suppose that, even in 2000, when I was lucky enough to be there, there was less ice present than in years past.

And I despair for the polar bear population that is struggling to survive. I do think that we forget that we share this planet with other creatures and in our greed and impatience we use up and toss aside anything that either benefits or does not interest us.

I have a friend who believes humans are a parasite on the planet. Perhaps he is right. I do have my doubts that we will ever wake up and treat this situation with the attention -- and respect -- that it deserves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Thoroughly Bad Guy Week

Damn! We have lived for mumbly-leven years and never been ripped off. Then, this week -- first thing -- a bad guy breaks window in husband's apartment, enters apartment, and steals that-which-has-a-serial-number-on-it. Ha! We have record of the serial number. So husband calls me at home and I dig out the serial number and give it to him. He gives it to the police. Unfortunately, we will probably still never see that-which-has-a-serial-number-on-it ever again. MOST unfortunately, that-which-has-a-serial-number-on-it could possibly be used by bad guy to commit a crime. Double Damn!

We were both upset. Not sleeping well. Feeling violated. Angry. Well, ok...feeling pretty pissed.

I hate bad guys. I mean, I really, REALLY hate bad guys. You have no idea the amount of persuading it took to get me into the theatre to see "Road Warrior" when it was first making its rounds. I would just line all the bad guys up and shoot them...but then...that would make ME a bad guy, wouldn't it? Triple DAMN!

On top of all that, there is a bad guy in my current short-short-story. And, right now, I think the whole red-lined thing just sucks. Need to find a way to kill him without actually killing him. DAMN! Most of all need to find a way to screw up the courage to post the crappy thing without my Very Intelligent - and Cool - Readers sending me sympathy cards. Quintuple DAMN!

I'm just having a thoroughly bad guy week.
Oh! And my cat just threw up.