ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I put the protective jug back over one of the oak seedlings that had gotten loose, and mulched around it to keep that in place. I also put mulch around six other seedlings in the savannah garden.

The hazelnut bush has opened its catkins. When touched, they release clouds of golden pollen. :D Maybe this year I'll actually get some of the darn hazelnuts. I saw them last fall but only for a few days -- I think the squirrels pounced on them, possibly before they were even ripe.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I trimmed grass from around the row of hedge plants along the western edge of the savanna.  I think most of them survived; certainly a couple of the red-twig dogwoods have.  Some look dead, but may be dormant.

Many of my spring flowers are already showing sprouts.  The earliest -- some snow crocus and snowbells -- were up in January.  Now I can see those, grape hyacinths, iris, and naked ladies.  Also there was a fully active housefly on the birdfeeder when I went out to feed the birds.  0_o  The mild winter will mean a buggy, weedy summer.

Cloves

Feb. 14th, 2017 04:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This article has many pictures of clove plants and fresh-picked cloves.  I knew they were flower buds, but did not know they were such a bright pink-and-green when fresh!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is still mild, so I went out for more yardening.  I've started trimming grass around last year's seedlings so I can see what survived.  This time I did the row of five short-growing trees that form the inside edge of the savanna, and it looks like all of them survived.  \o/ 

Snow

Feb. 8th, 2017 03:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last night it snowed here, and is still snowing slightly, everything covered in a dusting of white.  A whole flock of mourning doves has encamped around the fly-through feeder.  :D 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This bonus fishbowl had a theme of "nature" and focused on standalone sub-epics. I worked from 12:30 PM to 5 AM, so about 14 hours and 30 minutes, allowing for breaks. I wrote 20 poems, all on Tuesday. \o/

Participation was lively, with 26 comments on LiveJournal and 65 on Dreamwidth. You can thank new prompter [personal profile] pronker for the second freebie.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Fantastic Adaptations"
"Fishing for River Monsters"
"A Forest at War"
"The Hanging Gardens of Babel"
"Into a Relationship"
"Lost and Never Looked For"
"The Might of the Mountain's Crown"
"Not a Desolation"
"Not So Black"
"owl feathers"
"Second Nature"
"The Secondhand Panjandrum"
"The Smell of Purple"
"Still Growing Strong"
"wisteria shade"


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for January 24, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

All currently sponsored poems have been posted. There were 8 donors this time: [personal profile] capriuni, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] zianuray, [personal profile] mdlbear, [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] janetmiles, and [personal profile] kyleri.


The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by the general fund.


"Not So Black"



The Jersey Devil is said to live
in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

The legends go all the way back to the 1700s
when Mrs. Leeds, mother of twelve children,
who found herself expecting another
and said, "May it be a devil!"

The stories have continued ever since,
and in 1960 some Camden merchants offered
a reward for his capture, intending to put
the Jersey Devil into a private zoo.

The reward has never been claimed.

The pineys who say they have seen him
describe him as a kangaroo-like creature
with the face of a horse, the head of a dog,
the wings of a bat, horns, and a tail.

For all the horror and the stories,
the Jersey Devil is not so black
as he is painted: he is known
to go after braggarts and idiots,

Mother Nature's very own Devil's advocate.

* * *

Notes:

The Jersey Devil is an old legend from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] stardreamer and Readera. It has been sponsored by the general fund.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] stardreamer. It has been sponsored by the general fund.


"The Smell of Purple"


Lilacs bloom in the spring,
spreading the smell of purple
all over the evening breeze.

They range from the darkest shades
of eggplant and indigo to a purple
so pale that it approaches
the shade of angel wings.

The sensation of plum
with white edges rolls
over nose and tongue.

The stems of the bushes
are as dense and intricate as
the bureaucracy of old Byzantium.

In the language of flowers,
the purple lilacs evoke first love,
while those nearing white
speak of innocence.

The blossoms open in spring,
the maiden's time, but they wear
the colors of wisdom and wild old women,
their scent reminiscent of temple prostitutes.

The smell of purple is
nothing if not mysterious.

* * *

Notes:

Lilacs have their own symbolic meaning, and so does the color purple.

See some shades of purple.

'Sensation' is a bicolored lilac.  'Angel White' is a white lilac.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It has been sponsored out of the general fund.


owl feathers


night comes on velvet wings

pale feathers ghosting through the air
dark feathers shadowing their prey

death comes in forests, in cornfields
death comes in silence, unseen

until it strikes

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and [personal profile] redsixwing.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth.

Note: This poem uses lascivious metaphors in several places. No likie, no readie.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] capriuni.


"Lost and Never Looked For"


The Great Dismal Swamp
spans the coastal plains of
Virginia and North Carolina.

It consists of murky water
and mud, bald cypress and
dense, endless thickets.

Before the Civil War, it gave
refuge to escaped slaves,
a place where one could get
lost and never looked for.

Some say it is named for
the way that tannins in
the shed leaves of oak trees
have dyed the water
the color of dark tea,

others for the tense clouds
of vicious, biting insects.

Few people want to go there
and see for themselves.

* * *

Notes:

The Great Dismal Swamp is one of a few places which sheltered a civilization of escaped slaves.  Part of the area has since become a National Wildlife Refuge.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kyleri and [personal profile] nsfwords.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] kyleri.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
You have new prompter [personal profile] pronker to thank for the second freebie from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, who also inspired this piece.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired prompts from by [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [personal profile] technoshaman. It has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem from today's fishbowl has been inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] mdlbear.


"Second Nature"


A volcano rises above the waters,
making a new island of smoking stone.

Coming from the crowded sea,
seaweed and coconuts,
fish and shellfish, crabs and birds,
bird-hunting fishermen all arrive.

Uh-oh! The volcano erupts again!

After the smoke clears,
life rebuilds its second nature:

hana aloha.

* * *

Notes:

Volcanic island formation is a violent process.  Examples of new islands and massive eruptions on older islands helps scientists to understand how species colonize them.  The process of colonization and speciation means that many species in Hawai'i live nowhere else on Earth.

This poem is written in the style of Hawai'ian poetry.  A hallmark of Hawai'ian poetry is repetition, which takes its particular form from the constraints of a language with relatively few phonemes. Partial echoes such as sea/seaweed, fish/shellfish, and birds/bird-hunting are typical of this pattern. Litanies of plants, animals, places, names, etc. also appear in many poems and chants. Nature in general plays a primary role in most traditional Hawai'ian poems.  Check out this Hawai'i Poetry Guide.

Among the letters of the native Hawai'ian language is the 'okina, or glottal stop. It does not appear in the English alphabet, and appears very rarely in English at all -- it is usually left out even with borrowed words. "Uh-oh" is one of the few native English words to incorporate a glottal stop, which helps give this poem Hawai'ian flavor.

Hana  means work, and aloha  means love. Thus, hana aloha  means love work. Originally it referred to a love spell. More recently I have seen it used in a more romantic context, for couples events intended to build a healthy relationship or couples therapy intended to repair a damaged one.  Hana aloha  is the craft of making connections.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is from today's fishbowl, inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] redsixwing.


"wisteria shade"
-- a tanka

over the clear creek
the bamboo arbor stretches,
wisteria shade
covering the cool water
and, under its surface, fish

* * *

Notes:

The tanka is a traditional form of Asian poetry.  

Kigo  are words which symbolize the seasons.  Wisteria represents late spring.

Wisteria has a woody, rambling form halfway between a vine and a shrub which produces spectacular festoons of flowers. Learn how to grow it.

An arbor is an arched structure, which may have vines growing over it, often used to separate different areas within a garden.  This combines nicely with a bridge, another transitional feature.  Wisteria is a popular plant for such placements.



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Earlier this afternoon, I saw a pair of cardinals at the fly-through feeder, and a male at the hopper feeder.  Just now I saw a female outside my office window.  :D  Cardinals make me smile.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, inspired by [personal profile] mama_kestrel.


"Not a Desolation"


Winter is the inward season,
not a desolation but a gestation.

Filled with seeds, the earth waits
while the sky knits baby blankets of snow.

Frost cracks spiderweb their way
over the frozen landscape like stretch marks.

Does carry fawns in heavy bellies,
waiting for the first green leaves to appear.

Even though it may seem barren,
winter is pregnant with spring.

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