Monday August 31st, 2009

The exercise:

Welcome to the end of August... already? Hmm, that was pretty quick.

Let's wrap up the month with this starter: by design. Kat was looking at wedding dress designs over the weekend, in preparation for her mom making her dress.

I tell you this because that has absolutely nothing to do with the poem I ended up writing.


The robot entered the room
While holding a flaming broom.
It began sweeping the floor,
Then the ceiling, then the door.
I pressed stop on its remote
As my couch went up in smoke,
But it just moved to the porch
As my house began to scorch.

With fear shaking my fingers
I did not pause or linger;
I grabbed my cellular phone
And ran from my smoking home.
Quickly I called the vendor
To stop this burning bender,
But they calmly did remind:
"It is working as designed."

Sunday August 30th, 2009

The exercise:

I see you've all had a grand time in my absence! It was quite nice to come back today to see so many takes on the prompts in the last three days - so thanks for that :)

I've thrown my takes up that I did while I was gone, so let's get back on track with today's starter: I've got nothing to hide.

I'd pretend that I'm embarrassed by what's about to follow... but I'm totally okay with it.


*While watching Long Way Down last night

*Ewan McGregor says something charming and hilarious*

*I laugh uncontrollably*

Kat: You have a man crush on Ewan McGregor, don't you?

Me: Yeah.

Kat: Oh well, at least you're honest.

Saturday August 29th, 2009

The exercise:

Your four line poem topic this week: a feather in your cap.


A feather made of leather?
In your hat made out of scat?
Good sir you should consider
A fashion with compassion!

Friday August 28th, 2009

The exercise:

Four Line Friday Prose presents: tied up in knots.


I have given presentations to hundreds of strangers hundreds of times. I have inspired them to demand more of themselves. To reach heights they previously thought belonged only to their betters.

But when I’m alone with you my tongue gets tied up in knots.

Thursday August 27th, 2009

The exercise:

Hitting the road again tonight, be back Sunday. No chance for me to do any of the prompts, but I'll at least schedule them for you good folk to have a crack at.

First up: gone.


All the cards have been dealt,
The ball no longer spins,
The dice have left the felt -
Once more I’ve lost to sin.

I’m no ruler of Rome -
I’m the casino’s pawn.
It’s time to head on home,
Since all my money’s gone.

Wednesday August 26th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: Knight crossing.

Inspiration: Knight Street is the only major street I have to cross between here and work that doesn't have a light signal. The wait can be lengthy or brief, so my commute is always dependent on the smoothness of my Knight crossing.


One sunny afternoon in May,
On a dusty road in Barclay,
Sir Grovelly of County Tick
Did cross paths with Sir Tallylick.

The knights did bow so very low
And on their way began to go
When suddenly there did appear
The Lady Tipsy of House Sheer.

Both men, being good proper knights,
Offered escorts with boasts of might.
Lady Tipsy giggled and swayed,
Impressed by the size of their blades.

"I cannot choose between you two,"
She simpered while fixing her do.
"Then only a duel can decide!"
Sir Tallylick jovially cried.

"Are you sure there's no other way?"
Sir Grovelly asked in dismay.
But as the words were being said
Sir Tallylick lopped off his head.

The happy couple onward went,
Chatting with so much merriment.
They dined that night at Flip and Dale,
Where she promptly poisoned his ale.

Tuesday August 25th, 2009

The exercise:

Two Haiku Tuesday continues, despite the end of ultimate season. Mostly because I'm lazy. Partly because I do enjoy a haiku or two each week.

The topic tonight: it's in the eyes.


My dear I must say
You have very enchanting
Windows to your soul

* * *

I can see just fine.
No, really I can. Honest!
Put the laser down.

Monday August 24th, 2009

The exercise:

Kat and I are watching Long Way Down tonight, the sequel to the wonderful Long Way Round series that we enjoyed so much.

So, to honor the occasion, let the topic today be: long way down.


"It's a long way down from up here."

No kidding, I thought. The wind pushed against me, shifting my center of balance uncomfortably forward. I forced myself not to take a step back.

"You ready?"

Hell no.

"Yeah, let's do this," I said with empty bravado.

She took my hand and flashed her dazzling smile; my knees threatened to go weak but I made them stay strong. We crouched as one, peering over the side of the building and down to the ant-like citizens on the street below. They were about to be in for one big surprise.

"On three," she whispered and I nodded, a quick, sure thing. "One... two... three!"

We rose together, my hand slipping from hers as she leaped out. As I stood there, watching her fall, I wondered if she even realized that I was not with her.

Probably not, I decided. It was never about me anyway.

Sunday August 23rd, 2009

The exercise:

Kat is coming home this afternoon and she'll be staying for the week. This will be the longest we've been together since... June? I know that's not incredibly long, but it feels like forever at this point.

Anyway, today's prompt is: anticipation.


My thoughts won't stay in single file,
My lips won't put away their smile,
My eyes keep turning to the road -
I've entered Waiting For You mode.

The sky is a little more blue,
The birds sing a little more true,
The air's a little more alive -
I can't wait for you to arrive.

Saturday August 22nd, 2009

The exercise:

For as long as I've listened to music I've always seemed to pay more attention to the lyrics than most people I know. If I thought the words accompanying the awesome instrumentals were stupid or annoying, I hated the song. There was just no getting around it.

With that in mind, this week's Four Line Poem Saturday exercise is pulling inspiration from one of my (current) favorite songs, both instrumentally and, more importantly, lyrically.

So go ahead and listen to Respiration by Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Common and choose just one line to base your poem on. Here's a link to the lyrics to help you out (accuracy not guaranteed, but it seems to be pretty good).


Hard knuckles on the second hands of working class watches

Step through the door and time slows to a crawl
I do what the Man says and give it my all
No promotion this year, same as before
But maybe next year, if my health I ignore

Friday August 21st, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Four Line Friday Prose *thumbs nose at Greg* is inspired by another picture from my Cathedral Lakes trip, this one taken on the way back home, in Manning Park:

The starter: ready for your close-up.


I would love to say that I was able to get this close thanks to an amazing combination of stealth and patience. Or that I won this little guy's trust through genuine kindness and my gentle nature. But the reality, sadly, is that it had nothing to do with me.

This marmot is so domesticated that, about ten minutes before this picture was taken, a couple were scratching the back of its head and making baby sounds at it.

Thursday August 20th, 2009

The exercise:

The phrase "one fell swoop" came into my head this afternoon and wouldn't leave. So I decided to make a prompt out of it, in hopes that it would go away. I'm not certain it worked, but at least I got some writing out of it.


They were taken in one fell swoop,
By a man they had never met.
I screamed, "It can't be their time yet!"
But he just continued to troop.

"How dare you play such a dark game?"
I cried out, causing him to pause.
He replied, "I have no need for cause:
They are mine, for Death be my name."

Wednesday August 19th, 2009

The exercise:

In a 'turnabout is fair play' deal, tonight's prompt is inspired by Greg's story, which was inspired by yesterday's prompt. And 'round and 'round we go...

The prompt: weapon of choice.

On that note, you should check out this video if you've never seen it before. Full. Of. Win.


Victory is always within reach,
Even as they're storming up the beach.
Sure, their numbers are so much greater;
Defeat's coming sooner than later;
But before the first shot is fired
Peace stands ready, though she is tired,
To help both sides of your war to choose
Speech before violence... or all will lose.

Tuesday August 18th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Two Haiku Tuesday is... a picture:

I took this picture while we were up at Cathedral Lakes - oh, I forgot to mention that I created a Flickr account and threw some pictures up over there. Feel free to have a look.

I decided, for at least one of my haiku, that I'd try to actually do a 'proper' one (that would be the first one, in case you can't figure it out). I do know what a true haiku looks like, Kat did buy me a book on them after all, I just like to do silly ones more.

But a change of pace is never bad, so on with the show!


Wildflower keeps watch
As Water runs by laughing -
All is right today.

* * *

Standing in this place
It's very hard to recall
Why I work inside.

Monday August 17th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: engage.

You do what you will with that. At least a couple of people know where I'm going with it.


Apparently I'm not as subtle as I thought. But perhaps I'm more subtle than I've been given credit for - man on a mission? Ask the question? You let those slip through but 'making it official' is too obvious? Yeesh.

Anyway. Yes, Kat and I are officially engaged as of Saturday evening. I didn't want to come right out and announce it yet because my parents are gallivanting around Eastern Canada right now and I haven't been able to get a hold of them. I thought it would be appropriate if I told my parents before I announced it on my blog, you know? But it's probably going to be another week before I track them down and... I can't wait that long :)

And just for the record: there was no pinky swearing involved.

It's looking like July 31st of next summer will be the date - we're having the ceremony and reception at the orchard in Osoyoos and that's a long weekend out here, which should allow our guests some travel time.

After a little over four years, it kinda feels weird not having a girlfriend anymore. But I think I can get used to having a fiancée.

Sunday August 16th, 2009

The exercise:

Back home again, from a wonderful weekend. Saturday was particularly excellent.

Today's prompt: making it official.


Saying you will is not enough -
This right here is too serious.
We need to make this official,
Something beyond mere initials.

So if you actually want in,
And you're not just wagging your chin,
We're in agreement, fair is fair,
It's been sealed with a pinky swear.

Saturday August 15th, 2009

The exercise:

Okay, I don't have time to do my take on this prompt before I leave, but rest assured I'll have one written and ready to go upon my return.

The topic for this week's four line poem: the road of light.


Wait for it...

Edit: Here it is! Thanks for being so patient :)

Sun setting on rain-slicked pavement
Transforms the final miles back home
From a dull drive through the city
To Caesar returning to Rome

Friday August 14th, 2009

The exercise:

If this works I'll be shocked.

Edit: Well I'll be. Hurray for technology doing what it's supposed to do!

Anyway, le prompte: ask the question.


"Does anyone have a question?" the teacher growled with angry eyes. His gaze latched onto a pale, quaking hand near the back and he grunted in its direction.

"Um, excuse me, sir?" a weak voice wavered across the room.

"Well," the teacher snapped, "that's not much of a question at all!"

Thursday August 13th, 2009

The exercise:

Well I'm off to see Kat again in oooh... about twenty minutes. I'll be back Sunday afternoon, with tales to tell I'm sure. I've scheduled posts to go up tomorrow and Saturday, but I have very little faith they will work. But I decided to try anyway.

Today's prompt: ping pong.

See you Sunday!


Back and forth I go,
Go I forth and back.
Am I here or there?
There or here I am.

Is this nonsense deep?
Deep nonsense this is.

Wednesday August 12th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: man on a mission.

My take started out as one thing and turned into something else completely. I have no explanation for why, but I do quite like it.


He's a man on a mission,
He's demanding decisions;
The job will get done today,
No matter what you might say.
So stand back, make room, get down!
Ron McD's a crazy clown.

He'll fatten up your daughter,
Make her ready for slaughter;
If you think your dad's obese,
Wait 'til Ron gives him McTreats!
It's war with no finish line,
For America's waistline.

Tuesday August 11th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's Two Haiku Tuesday is: setting the record straight.

Inspiration: Kat and I gave our new landlord several post-dated cheques to cover rent for the next little while, which they deposited. Both our banks took out all the money right away. Kat's bank caught the error and corrected it; I get to call in and yell at them.


You may think you know
But you don't have a damn clue -
So just stop talking

* * *

Set the record straight -
Gently now, go slowly and
Don't scratch the vinyl

Monday August 10th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt: stop thinking, start doing.

Inspired by yesterday's feel good day of getting the crap done around the house.


You can think all you like
About stepping to the mic;
Keep listening to your lies -
That it's not fear in disguise,
You just want to be prepared.

But until you stand up there,
With the spotlight in your stare,
We will know it's all just talk
And the reason that you balk
Is simple: you're straight up scared.

Sunday August 9th, 2009

The exercise:

Short and snappy.

Write a poem, of any number of lines, but only use a maximum of four words per line.


Raindrops escape the clouds
Is that still allowed?
It's been so long,
It feels wrong!
Oh sunshine,
Where are you?
Sky so blue,
Why hide?
Have you died?
Come back!
This rain smacks
Of grey
And just may
Turn summer's end
Into depression's friend.

Saturday August 8th, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for this week's four line poem shall be: wrongfully accused.


My innocence has been proven
But the accusation is all
That is remembered, so I fall
And the healing cannot begin.

Friday August 7th, 2009

The exercise:

The prompt for this week's Four Line Friday Prose is: strange dreams. (Beware the brackets today - they be everywhere)


I seem to be having a reoccurring dream about forgetting my laptop in this odd, non-existent (as far as I'm aware anyway) store that's a combination movie rental/public internet shop. The latest version came this morning, in between my Wake Up alarm and my Get Out Of Bed alarm - in it I managed to get all the way back to my old job at Electronic Arts before realizing that I'd left it behind (I think I rode my bike there). I saw someone I used to work with (except he had a ponytail in my dream, for reasons unknown) in the underground parking garage (which looked nothing like either EA underground garage I've been in) and I was begging him for a ride back to the store to get my laptop before someone stole it.

I know the dream is a result of me being prone to forgetting things, and that my subconscious is just worried that I'll forget something more important than turning the dishwasher on after dinner, but I still can't stop myself from being concerned that one day I'll look back on this dream as being a premonitory one.

Thursday August 6th, 2009

The exercise:

Today's prompt is: restaurant supplies.

Yeah, I'm not sure what you can do with that one. But I challenge you to impress me with your brilliance!


While I've been stuck in Vancouver, doing my time at my desk job (which I'm still enjoying, for the record), Kat has been busting her butt in Osoyoos to get our little vegetable business up off the ground. And it's paying off already.

We've just been accepted into the Penticton farmer's market, which is significantly larger than the Osoyoos one, and I'll be heading back there next weekend to help Kat out at the table. We've got a lot of food ready to be sold and we're hoping that the larger crowds will help us to move it all out the garden door. But that's not the biggest development.

No, that would be Kat managing to get our food into the kitchens and onto the tables of two local businesses: Passa Tempo and Dolci Deli. If things work out this summer we'll be looking into taking planting requests for next summer from these places. It's really exciting and I wish I could be there to be more involved this summer but Kat is obviously doing just fine without me.

You'd think she was the one with a the marketing degree that's lain dormant for the last eight years, not me.

Wednesday August 5th, 2009

The exercise:

Inspired by a series of more and more random emails exchanged today at work, today's starter is: going off on tangents.


I'm having trouble staying on topic.
Perhaps I need to be more myopic,
So that my thoughts have less room to wander.

But you know what really makes me ponder?
How is it that some people are fonder
Of money than being philanthropic.

Tuesday August 4th, 2009

The exercise:

This week's topic for Two Haiku Tuesday is: mosquitoes.

Yeah, there were a few too many of them around this weekend.


To: all mosquitoes,
I'd just like to let you know -
Kat is tasty too.

(Just kidding. Mostly.)

* * *

Pesky buzzing beast -
What is so fascinating
About my damn ears?


Monday August 3rd, 2009

The exercise:

I'm back from a lovely weekend in the mountains. I'll get pictures up soon, but for now this is the last writing I did this weekend.

The starter: you have to go crazy to stay sane.


It's about a six hour drive from Vancouver to Osoyoos, which is the trip I made on Friday afternoon. I made the return trip today, for a total of twelve hours in the car over four days.

That's a long time to spend with a car, a road, my fellow drivers, and my mind.

I can't remember all of the silly shit I did to keep myself alert and entertained, but there was definitely some sub-par karaoke, a little pretend tour guide for my invisible passengers, and a touch of heavily accented (mostly Scottish) yelling at other drivers.

That last item was entirely good-natured - when I mean it there are no accents involved.

I remember thinking as I was coming into Osoyoos Friday night, "God it would be embarrassing if any of that was caught on tape. They'd toss me in the loony bin without a second thought."

Really, though? Sometimes you just need to go a little crazy if you want to stay sane.

Sunday August 2nd, 2009

The exercise:

Today's starter: we went out in the woods today.

I'll try to get some pictures up to go with this post - assuming I can remember which box the camera cable is in.

Edit: one picture for now, more to come later.


We went out in the woods today
To walk and climb and rest and play.
We saw so much along the way,
From snow to rocks to trees to lakes.

We'd walk awhile then take a break,
A view so pure we thought it fake.
We wished from that dream not to wake;
We talked 'til there was naught to say.

Pictures were all that we could take,
And in our pockets, tucked away,
Were moments from our special day,
To add to the story we will make.

Saturday August 1st, 2009

The exercise:

The topic for your four line poem this week: wild flowers.

A little tribute to all the beautiful wild alpine flowers we saw this weekend.

Edit: now with picture!


As we walk through this meadow
Painted with Nature's colors
It is really hard to know
If it's prettier than her