Puddling about

I saw the Puddles prompt on Carpe Diem this morning and thought I could write a poem to about puddles to go with this image but I couldn’t make the words fit the syllable count.


Maybe another day when it’s less wet and I’m less frazzled.   Down here in this part of the world  summer often ends with a massive gale blowing up from Antarctica.   Usually this happens around Easter but this year it’s come early.  It’s been a summer of erratic weather anyway – blistering hot one day – raincoat weather the next – winds so strong the washing blows of the line and heads to the northern hemisphere the next.   Early this week we experienced day after day of deliciously warm weather with very little wind.  ‘I could get used to this,’ I foolishly thought.   Not a chance.  On Wednesday night the gale blew in.  After giving up on the seagull haiku I thought perhaps I could write a haiku lamenting the weather –

The problem with that idea is the exclamation mark.   Is using one in a haiku stretching the rules too far?   I shelved the problem and got back to worrying about my current set of problems.

A while ago I decided I would create an e-book of haibun and haiga.   I spent weeks finding old content on my blogs, editing it and rewriting haiku that were just too awful to even consider re-publishing.  Then began the process of trying to create the e-book.   One of my daughters is a graphic designer and suggested I download a 30 day free trial of the software program,  InDesign.   I did this yesterday.   It took ages and when I finally opened the program it was so complex I decided hiding under the bed would be a far better option than actually trying to figure out how to use the damn thing.   My other daughter then suggested I could create the book on a Tablet.   I’ve been thinking about getting a Tablet for months for they look like brilliant tools for digital art.   Fantasizing about the haiga images I could create I took the plunge, raided the savings and went and bought one this morning.   Now I’m trying to figure out how to use it!  Yikes – and I thought I had problems before.


I’ve just discovered there are over 500,000 Android Apps!   I feel like pulling my hair out by the roots – all this technological faffing about takes the idea of the tortured artist to a whole new level.

Phone photos v. point and shoot camera shots

My blogging friend Sue Judd asked what I meant when I said I found the colour in my phone photos to be more accurate than the colour in the photos I get with the  point and shoot digital camera I’m currently using.   I thought I’d post these images to show what I mean.  None of these photos have been edited.

Mobile phone photos (Samsung Galaxy)

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Similar views – Nikon Coolpix camera


The colour difference is even more obvious in these.  No.1 – camera.  No.2 – phone 0972015-03-03 14.23.23

- looking at these is enough to make me want to run out and buy a better camera.

In the middle of nowhere

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More photos of my drive around the salt lakes of western Victoria, Australia. (here)  All of these were taken with my mobile phone.  I love the way my phone captures colour – often it is a more accurate representation of what I see than my camera records

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Prompt:  Lens and Pens iPhoneography challenge – nature

On the road to nowhere

Prompt:   Freestyle Haiku

Chèvrefeuille of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai  introduces both the  concept of freestyle haiku and its original creator, Santoka Taneda in a very informative blog post.  Here’s an excerpt which explains the concept.

“Santoka is considered a unique proponent of “free-style” haiku poetry, a mode that abandoned much of the customary form and subject matter of traditional haiku in favor of a direct and unadorned depiction of human experience. He was also, as e.g. Matsuo Basho, a wandering poet and ascetic Zen priest for the last fifteen years of his life, Santoka emphasized many of the essential qualities of Zen Buddhism in his verse, including mujo (impermanence), the necessity of sabi (solitude), the importance of simplicity in life, and the pervasive sadness that accompanies all human affairs. Many of his poems point toward the Zen goal of overcoming this ubiquitous melancholy by achieving spiritual enlightenment and serenity. To this view Santoka added his concern with what was called “the vital necessity of movement and the partial release it brings to the anguish of the soul.”


Yesterday I drove through country I last visited just after Christmas. Since then the hot summer sun has evaporated much of the water in the vast shallow salt lake that stretches for miles beside the lonely backroads.   Fugitive and impermanent, the boundaries of the lake have shifted and changed with the weather.


Standing alone on the lake shore certainties diminished as I looked into nothingness.   The opposite shore was no more ephemeral shapes against the vastness of the sky and reflections hovering in some illusory space.

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Beside the lake life is simple – no more than bands of colour.   There is an emptiness that is both melancholic and serene.  No one thing is more important that any other.   All is reduced to suggestions of possibilities and the landscape itself becomes a haiku.


Space Weather: A solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field during the late hours of Feb. 28th 2015


some science to follow on from my blog post of last week.

Originally posted on boldcorsicanflame's Blog:


Taken by Mika-Pekka Markkanen
on February 28, 2015 @ Iceland

A solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field during the late hours of Feb. 28th, causing compass needles to swerve and sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Mika-Pekka Markkanen was exploring a cave in Iceland when the G1-class geomagnetic storm peaked. He looked out and took this picture

“Simply wow!” says Markkanen. “It was a spectacular display. I got so manywonderful shots from different locations during one night that its bit overwhelming!”

The storm has subsided, but only temporarily. Earth is still inside the solar wind stream, so more auroras are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 1-2. Aurora alerts:text, voice


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The light in the south

- a haibun

At night the sea roars through my dreams. Beyond my house – the dunes.  Beyond them – the shore. the wild Southern Ocean and the winds of ice that barrel out of Antarctica.

I read on http://www.spaceweather.com/  that this week solar winds again powered through time and space to hit the atmosphere over Antarctica so that it billowed in light streams that could be seen over the southerly tip of New Zealand. My house is further from the Pole and city lights dim the stars yet sometimes even here, a red glow can be discerned when the solar flares are at their strongest.

Sometimes it seems to me that these electromagnetic currents sweep through me in invisible waves. My head reels and it is as if I am swimming in the slip stream of vast currents that dislodge the old fixed thought patterns in my brain. Things I had not thought of in years suddenly break free from the calcified framework that is my conditioned response to life. It is only then that I can see them for what they are. Errant thoughts and negative patterns that have kept me bound in limited patterns of expression are illuminated by the light waves that sweep through my mind. I’m learning that the easiest, the most expedient thing to do when this occurs is to let the thoughts go – let the winds of change blow through my mind. The emptiness that remains can be disconcerting yet ultimately it is pure lightness, pure joy.


Prompt:  Carpe diem haiku kai – lightness