challenging ascent

challenging ascent

challenging ascent
knowledge comes with vantage gained
each step a lesson

the weariness of travel
often has its own rewards

Carpe Diem #1254 stairs of nature
Image source: Carpe Diem (from Pinterest)




maple, ash
on northern lakes
remain with me

leaves turning
in the breeze
carrying the scent
of blue waters

surrounded now
by mid-west oak
hickory, cedar, green
that starves my senses

I take you north
smile at your wonder
your delight with

wrapped in white
scrolls that tell tales
of blue waters
to stir the senses

Golden Years

Golden Years.jpg

Golden Years

Etched into the surface of a pocket watch once held by my grandfather, and then his son, a cabin under the shade of a tall tree sits on the bank of a stream. Worn smooth in places, and sitting now in my hand, the gold case speaks of simpler times, its voice carrying across the years, conveying the value of a hard day’s work.

time-treasured heirloom
hands within to mark the time
held within each day

Using voice and watch, this haibun is my response to a challenge from Colleen Chesebro: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 50 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: VOICE & WATCH.

Deux Presque Isles

The Big Day

Presque Isle Lighthouse, Erie, Pennsylvania

At our wedding on the shore of Lake Erie, at the Presque Isle Lighthouse in Erie, Pennsylvania, we learned that Michigan also has a Presque Isle, with two lighthouses of its own. We traveled there last week and stayed at a B&B while we explored the area and a few of Michigan’s 124 lighthouses. (In Pennsylvania, Presque Isle rhymes with “desk” and “aisle.” In Michigan it’s a French pronunciation, rhyming with “eel.”)

Our route took us through Wisconsin, where we visited a close friend, past Green Bay and across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where we crossed the Straits of Mackinac on the Mackinac Bridge and on to Presque Isle, on Lake Huron. From there we went to Holland, Michigan, (with another visit with a friend in Lansing) before heading home to Missouri.

“Presque Isle” is French for “peninsula” (literally, “almost an island”). Presque Isle at Erie is a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, while Presque Isle, MI, is located on a narrow strip of land separating Lake Huron from the much smaller Grand Lake. In Michigan, the town (and county) use the French pronunciation for Presque Isle. There is another Presque Isle, with a lighthouse, in Michigan on Lake Superior and a Presque Isle, Wisconsin (on land separating two interior lakes), as well as Presque Isle in northern Maine, on a peninsula formed at the confluence of two streams. Michigan was such a wonderful experience that I’m sure we’ll be back, with more time to take in Lake Superior.

(In the slide show, each photo offers a link to a larger image.)

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We also toured the New Holland Brewery, in Holland, Michigan.

Overflowing (visiting Tu Fu)


Overflowing (visiting Tu Fu)


Image: Kawase Hasui, via

The river’s surface reflects the moon, just out of reach
A lantern shines as midnight nears
An egret sleeps, its head curled, at one with the sand
A fish jumps behind the boat, and I hear it splash

Literal translations of classic Chinese poetry can be found at This is my interpretation of a poem by Tu Fu. The literal translation, as provided at, is as follows:


River moon go person only few feet
Lantern shine night approach third watch
Sand head overnight egret join curl peaceful
Boat stern jump splash noise

Alternate (simpler) interpretation:
     Moon shining on river beside my boat
     Lantern lights my way at midnight      
      Egret sleeping soundly, its head curled in the sand
     Behind the boat, a fish jumps and splashes

What message is this simple verse meant to deliver? Is it the peacefulness of the scene? The distance of the moon, emphasized by the insubstantial form of its reflection? The freedom the fish enjoys while the egret rests? The many messages delivered to the senses? The sense of being part of something greater?
If it is the latter, are the questions even asked, or is all simply a given?
Perhaps it is all of these.

More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

ongoing struggle


ongoing struggle

In a short interview, filmmaker Monika Treut talks of the advances in the Berlin film community, and in real life, regarding the visibility of LGBTQ. She notes similar trends in other countries. However, she also points out that, in countries such as the US, acceptance is just as likely to be restricted in response to political trends, while, in countries such as Poland, art, especially as a medium to further LGBTQ rights, is unacceptable. She further notes that women, in general, face obstacles in being recognized and accepted as filmmakers.

ongoing struggle
for Q in society
life and cinema

acknowledgment sought
sans grudging recognition
for women, as well

This haibun (with haiku couplet) is in response to Haiku Review Challenge by The Secret Keeper.  The short film offered for review is An Interview with Monika Treut, found on Vimeo.