Sunday May 31st, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: the movement.


So the fundraiser to cure diabetes was this morning and, just like last year, it was a beautifully sunny day. Another big turnout for the walk and the various activities before hand (face painting, mini-golf, balloon animals, etc).

As things were wrapping up they announced the total amount raised by all the participants: just under $600,000.

That's a pretty incredible total. The little bucket that I collected helped make that big lake of a number and it feels pretty good to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. I just hope that it will help to figure out a cure sooner than later.

So thanks to everyone who chipped in - I can't thank you enough.

Saturday May 30th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for the Four Line Poem this week is: biting off more than you can chew.

The fundraising walk is tomorrow - last minute donations greatly appreciated!


I think Spike is getting carried away.
"At least he's not chewing on your new boots!"
True, but it's hard to play fetch with a stick
That's still attached to the ground by its roots.

Friday May 29th, 2009

The exercise:

This week's edition of Four Line Friday Prose has an admittedly odd topic. I think it will be fun though.

The topic? Ninja trash talk. Go!


Please tell me you were just playing around. Please, please tell me that you weren't actually trying to kill me in my sleep. Because if you were, and I'm not saying that you were, but if you were, you were forgetting one very important thing.

I don't sleep.

Thursday May 28th, 2009

The exercise:

Let us have a go at writing some acrostics, shall we?


My head
Is throbbing again.
Guess this pace I
Really can't sustain.
Alright, alright,
I'll go take a nap -
No more reading
Each and every scrap.

Wednesday May 27th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter, for no particular reason, is: the milkman.


He was the famous milkman,
The Creamy King of Cheyenne.
You'd always hear him coming,
Since he couldn't stop humming
When he drove his white milk van.

His fingers always drumming,
His manner unbecoming,
While staring at poor Diane.
Ask about his wife Suzanne -
No answer was forthcoming.

The day his dear Diane ran,
Was when the killing began.

Tuesday May 26th, 2009

The exercise:

Inspired by my view from work, today's starter is: storm clouds.


The clouds overhead were thick with rain, causing the sun to darken their underbellies to a menacing grey that was so dark it was nearly black. In turn, the clouds cast down their shadows onto the land, sending the poor folk of Dawndale scurrying for cover between fearful skyward glances.

They knew the price of being caught in the coming downpour and none were willing to pay it.

As the first poisonous drops broke free from the gathered masses and hurtled downward, all of the citizens of Dawndale were safely under shelter. All but Simon Toll, who stood defiantly in the middle of his waving field of corn, staring stubbornly at the drops which approached him at suicidal speeds. He glared as though he would stop their progress with the force of his hatred.

But the rain spared no thought for Simon Toll and he suffered the fate of all the obstinate fools before him who thought to stand against the rain.

Monday May 25th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt comes courtesy of the lovely g2 (she can also be found here): ¿Qué te pasó? I shall patiently await her corrections of my attempts at Spanish. At least I didn't try rhyming in it!

Oh, the English translation: what happened to you?

Isn't the Spanish version so much better?


What happened to you, compadre?
I thought that I could count on you -
Were you not mi tesoro?
Did you forget what we went through?

Now we can't say buenos dias
Without envy joining the fray.
You can forget buenas tardes -
This is me bidding you good day.

Sunday May 24th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter is: at the lakeside.

I went for a nice hike today around Buntzen Lake with Kat and two very good friends of mine. We had a great time in the sunshine and fresh air... and now I am sleepy.


The trail leads us through the pines,
In dirt covered wavy lines;
To the right the lake does call,
Promising to catch our fall;
The sun's rays we do evade,
Sticking to the cooling shade.

We're as silent as the dew,
Our words muted by the view;
Too soon it is time to go,
Back to the electric flow;
But though we return in lines,
We carry the scent of pines.

Saturday May 23rd, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this fine, fine Saturday's Four Line Poem is: claustrophobia.


Look, I know it must sound rather silly;
I don't understand it myself, really.
But I'd prefer to face a starving fox
Than have a rest in that polished pine box.

Friday May 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

Four Line Friday Prose returns with: under an unrelenting sun.

Yeah, it was pretty hot here today. I loves it, I really does.

Oh yeah, as promised, here's the view from my new desk:


The skin on his neck was oh so pale this morning. Now, after a day's hard work in the fields, it has transformed into a shining, radiating pink. The change is fleeting though.

Soon the pink will peel away and all that will be left behind is what was there to begin with - chalky, pasty, immaculate white.

Thursday May 21st, 2009

The exercise:

With a week and a half left before the Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraiser I thought I'd throw up one last reminder that I would be extremely pleased to receive any donation amount that you can afford to give.

Also, supposedly international donations are now accepted from select countries, including the States, the UK, India, and France, just to name a few.

So if you're willing and able, please head over here:

Marc's donation home page

And click on that Support Me button. You'll have my unending thanks and appreciation.

Alright, getting back to business, today's starter is: Forgetful Jones. For those of you who were not lucky enough to grow up with this cowboy... you missed out.


If my head wasn't screwed on,
It would be long, long gone;
If I didn't have this list,
So many chores would be missed.

If there were no butterflies,
I'd forget to see the sky;
If you were not here for me,
I just might forget to be.

Wednesday May 20th, 2009

The exercise:

There's a big jackpot up for grabs tonight in the British Columbia lottery and I couldn't help but join in on an office pool to purchase some tickets. If I get my five million dollar cut tomorrow... you'll probably hear the yelling from wherever you may be.

Anyway, the starter for today is: the lottery.


"I hope, oh how I hope, that my name is drawn," whispered my dear brother Shawn. I silently wondered when the knowledge would dawn that he was merely aspiring to become a pawn.

The barrel of names went round and round; our eyes were caught, our heartstrings bound. Though thousands were gathered, you could hear not a sound.

At last the rotations were halted and the lid clicked open. A frail old hand reached in while we all watched, dreaming and hoping. I suspect that I was the only one praying for my name not to be spoken.

"The winner, sweet children, of this year's lottery," announced bony old Douglas McGee, "is none other than... young Shawn Gentry!"

My brother let loose a yell and pumped his fist. He embraced me briefly, planted on my forehead a quick kiss. Then he ran to the front to collect his prize, thinking nothing amiss. And to this day, he is dearly missed.

Tuesday May 19th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: that's gonna leave a mark.

The actual inspiration for this is an angry red cut on the back of my right hand that I received this afternoon at work playing volleyball, of all things. I just like to share the inspiration when my actual writing has nothing to do with it :)


I don't need to remember the pain,
The scream of twisting metal in the rain;
Why have flashbacks of crawling from the car,
When I can just look down to see my scar?

That jagged line is all I need to see,
My tiny tattoo that I'll always carry;
I could never forget your silly grin,
When your memory is etched in my skin.

Monday May 18th, 2009

The exercise:

Made it back to Vancouver, mostly alive and generally in one piece. The cold was reasonably nice to me on Friday and Saturday, before kicking my arse on Sunday. Today has been okay.

Had a wonderful time despite my lackluster health - it's hard to complain when you've got great food, great company, and thirty degree weather.

Feeling like some haiku today, so let us have a go at offering up some three line tributes to... whoever comes to mind.


Ode to a camper:
Tell stories 'round the campfire
While missing TV.

* * *

Oh hot dog vendor,
Don't you ever consider
Where your fare comes from?

* * *

Dear high school teacher
I don't know how you manage
All those bratty kids.

Sunday May 17th, 2009

The exercise:

Let us have another go at continuations, shall we? But this time around... poetically. Feel free to break off into new and exciting rhyme schemes.


Come along, come follow me,
Grab a pen, it's so easy.
I'll go first, I'll lead the way -
Once I'm done, you'll have your say.

Let us start, in a dark room -
What's that sound, is it our doom?
Or is that you, come to help?
Please let me know, I won't yelp!

Saturday May 16th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's four line poem is hopefully something I won't be this weekend: lost in the desert. Osoyoos is desert territory, don't ya know?

Bonus points to whoever decides to read the prompt as 'dessert' first and posts a poem about it.


Heat rises in wave after wave -
I try to smile, try to be brave;
But I know this path we walk on
Will look the same, dawn after dawn.

Friday May 15th, 2009

The exercise:

The starter for this week's Four Line Friday Prose is: long weekend.

Kat and I are off to the Okanagan this weekend and I'm not sure what my 'net access will be like while we're there. I've scheduled posts to go up Saturday and Sunday just in case it's a no go. We should be back early enough on Monday to do that one from here.

Have a good weekend, whether yours is long or just regular sized.


I'm leaving in less than an hour to spend the long weekend in the Okanagan at Kat's parents place. I always enjoy my visits there but I'm particularly looking forward to this one.

My sister Sue and her husband Jake are coming with us, for the first time. I can't wait to share the trip with them - hopefully everybody gets along (of course they will).

Thursday May 14th, 2009

The exercise:

I appear to be getting sick. Okay, technically, I appear to *be* sick. Whatever. Either way, this annoys me greatly. I literally get sick once a year, but it never fails to happen at a bad time. Right before the long weekend for this one - good job, Cold.

Anyway. Today's starter: the view from here.


I'm switching to a new (still temporary) position at work next week. It's in a different building and I went there today to get the security access, computer setup, and orientation stuff out of the way. And while doing some of my new work I also got to sit at my new desk.

Um, yes. So, so yes. I basically have the same view as we do from our balcony (which I absolutely love), except five stories higher and about eight kilometers to the east. I think I spent half the day staring out the window.

I would humbly put forth the thought that this will be a significant improvement on the cubicle wall I've been staring at for the last four months. I'll try to sneak a picture of it when nobody is around to catch me.

Wednesday May 13th, 2009

The exercise:

Feeling a little sleepy today, so the starter ended up being: asleep at the wheel.


Who put that guy in charge?
Is it 'cause he's so large?
Let me tell ya somethin':
Size? It don't mean nothin'!

Here's the thing that matters,
And it ain't who's fatter:
When spent shells start clappin',
You best not be nappin'.

Tuesday May 12th, 2009

The exercise:

Got back from ultimate about an hour ago and feeling brain tired. Good thing I wrote mine during breaks at work today.

Here's the starter for you: follow the trail.


"They always leave evidence behind," Detective Dowler told me as he eyed the limp body behind the desk. Old Dickie was full of pearls of wisdom like that. "No matter how careful or clever they are, something is always forgotten, overlooked. We just have to find it."

My eyes scanned the trail of papers leading from the desk to the smashed window that looked out onto Tenth Street and the gaggle of gawkers lined up behind the yellow police tape. I crouched down to take a closer look at the printed contents of each page, the old bullet wound in my right calf screaming in protest. I already knew I would be needing some of my Jack Daniels medicine to get to sleep that night.

"I don't get all this lawyer mumbo jumbo," I muttered as I inspected the third page from the desk. "I know all the letters but they don't make no sense in this order."

"Lawyers don't even understand that nonsense," Dowler said. "Just keep your focus on what you do know and the clues will appear sooner or later. Hopefully sooner - I've got tickets to the Lakers game tonight."

I was about to ask him how he always managed to get courtside tickets when the first clue finally decided to reveal itself to me. On the edge of the fifth document from the desk was the tiniest hint of red, the sort of mark a paper cut would leave behind. I looked up at my partner and gave him a toothy grin.


Monday May 11th, 2009

The exercise:

As the wonderfully inept Canucks ended their playoff run tonight, the starter shall be: the long wait begins again.

On the plus side - no more hockey watchin' to take up my precious spare time. Hurray?


Winter has passed us by,
Clouds slip from the sky;
Collect your hollow gear,
Be gone quick from here.

Again the season ends,
With more let down friends;
Perhaps we should give up,
Think not of that Cup.

Except when Fall returns,
So too does that burn;
Waiting begins again,
Though it be in vain.

Sunday May 10th, 2009

The exercise:

Today, like every other day of the year, is Mother's Day. My mom is prancing around Europe with my dad at the moment, so this will have to be my present to her. Feel free to share a thought or two on your mother.


Your deep seated fear of flying
Didn't stop you from complying
With Dad's desire to travel -
You just needed gin and Gravol.

Enjoy your time with your sister,
I know that you've really missed her;
And though Dad won't get you up there,
Spare the Eiffel Tower a stare.

Take in the countryside in France,
Share with Dad a slow moonlit dance;
And when you're done with those church domes,
We'll be waiting for you at home.

Saturday May 9th, 2009

The exercise:

This week's four line poem topic is: in stereo.

In unrelated news, I spent some more of my tax return money this afternoon. It's simple but it has an iPod docking station and the sound is nice and clear, so I'm happy.


"I can hear the stars in stereo."
Announced the solemn Galileo.
Saddened, I washed my ears out with soap
And listened hard to my telescope.

Friday May 8th, 2009

The exercise:

The weekend begins with the second installment of Four Line Friday Prose.

This week the topic shall be: compulsions.


I have an issue with having too many windows open on my computer at work. Those little boxes, lined up in a neat little row at the bottom of the screen, torment me. They yell and scream that I have too much work to do. So I close them regularly, even when I know that I'll need to open up that same program again in five minutes... or less.

Thursday May 7th, 2009

The exercise:

To celebrate the return of ultimate season, wander over here and pick an ulti term or two to use in your writing today. Feel free to completely ignore the provided definition.

The sport has some interesting terminology, you have to admit that much.


Captain's Clause

Speak wrong, ye be walkin' the rottin' plank;
Sleep late, me hook might turn into a shank.
Betray me, ye be gettin' a keelhaul;
Mutiny, ye be eatin' cannonball.

Oh sure, it be against all of them laws -
But matey, I've invoked the Captain's Clause.

Wednesday May 6th, 2009

The exercise:

So it would seem I've done gone been chosen to be one of the moderators over at Protagonize. We don't know what exactly our role will be quite yet, but I'm looking forward to finding out and helping out our Overlord Nick. I can't imagine how he's managed to do it all himself for so long.

Anywho - today's prompt, oddly enough, is: moderation.


My dear boy has lost his concentration -
It seems like our nightly conversations
Have been replaced by his fascination
With foolish attempts at levitation!

I've told him he has no navigation;
Should he succeed in his operation
I am afraid that the situation
Will conclude with his own termination!

So I mention with great trepidation,
And with some motherly obligation:
Perhaps you should take your medication,
And do your drinking in moderation?

Tuesday May 5th, 2009

The exercise:

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone.

As tonight will play host to my first ultimate games of the year (assuming we don't get rained out), today's starter shall be: stretch it out.

The connection between the two? If I don't stretch before I play, something is sure to get pulled, strained, or torn.


Grab the rubber band,
With both of your hands.
Now take a step back,
Don't trip on that sack!
Let go when you're set,
We will win this bet.

Watch the balloon fly,
Sloshing through the sky.
Our aim is spot on,
We drenched good old Ron!
I guess when in doubt,
He ought not to spout.

Monday May 4th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter shall be: it all comes out in the wash.


Scrub as I may, it will not come clean
Got to hurry, before I am seen
Cannot leave a trace, no path to track
Dawn is coming fast, still need to pack

The end will be fair, what a great lie
It sounds real good, up until you try
If there's a yin, I have lost the yang
For this mess, I will be sure to hang

I hear the sirens, time has run out
When they see this, there will be no doubt
I did my best, I swear it is true
Lock me up, for crimes I did not do

Sunday May 3rd, 2009

The exercise:

Going to try something a little different today. The game today is: continuations.

Each contribution should be a continuation of the one before it. So I'll post mine, the first comment should carry it on, the second comment should keep it going, and so on. I'll drop by throughout the day and maybe add to things.

Multiple additions by the same person are welcome, just try to keep each one to a reasonable length. Alrighty?

Let's give it a shot and see what happens.


The dinner guests sat around the living room, chatting quietly and sipping wine as they waited to be called to the table. The hosts were in the kitchen putting the final touches on the meal and darting furtive glances at the five men and three women gathered in their home.

"I'm not sure about this," the man whispered to his wife, slipping two fingers into his collar and loosening its grip on his neck. "Do we really need to go to these lengths?"

"Darling," she replied with a painted smile, "if you back out on me now we're through. There will be no more chances, understand?"

The man swallowed noisily and bobbed his head up and down like an obedient puppy. His wife narrowed her eyes briefly before patting him on the cheek and slipping away to the living room.

"Alright everyone," she announced with practiced grace. "Dinner is ready."

Saturday May 2nd, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's four line poem is: blind-sided.


There was never any peace when she drove,
Her words kept coming so fast;
But then one morning she missed the stop sign,
And she was silent at last.

Friday May 1st, 2009

The exercise:

I'm not sure how well this is going to work, but I might make it into a every Friday thing if it goes okay. I'll give it a couple tries at least before deciding one way or another.

Def Poetry Jam Friday is going on hiatus for a while, as I'm really running low on performances I want to feature. In its place, inspired by Greg's suggestion, comes Four Line Friday Prose.

The idea: write four sentences on the selected topic, fiction or non. Run-on sentences and excessive comma usage are not against "the rules" but are definitely frowned upon. Let's give it a go, shall we?

The topic this week: surrender.


I am determined to win this battle. Losing is not an option; the stakes are much too high. I will be strong, I will be brave, I will be victorious.

I will not surrender to another restless night in a bed filled with dreams of you.