Monday May 31st, 2010

The exercise:

The prompt on this last day of May: the hourglass.

I'm getting married in exactly two months.

That has nothing to do with the poem I wrote, but it seemed like something worth mentioning.


I hear each grain of sand
As it falls through stale air;
I say I'm not worried,
But you know that I'm scared.

I just want to freeze time,
To make this moment last;
But the sand keeps flowing,
Now I'm stuck in the past.

My present is too tense,
My future too unknown;
If I can't find answers,
I'll find myself alone.

Sunday May 30th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt: the prince.

Went to see Prince of Persia this afternoon with a couple of friends. It was pretty good, in a big action summer blockbuster kind of way. Some bits made me cringe, but there were a few good laughs scattered about to go along with lots of fun action.

Anyway, on with the show.


The royal party entered the smoky tavern and seated themselves at the round wooden table at the center of the room. The man dressed in crimson and black, the preferred colors of the ruling family, sat facing the entrance with his back to the kitchen.

"Elric? Order us a few pitchers of whatever passes for their best ale," he instructed the servant to his right. His bodyguard, a man with more scars than teeth, frowned slightly but said nothing as Elric scurried to do his master's bidding.

A few moments later the barmaid, who bore a striking similarity to an inbred donkey, arrived with a tray of pitchers and empty mugs balanced in both hands. Setting them down on a nearby empty table, she quickly distributed the drinks around the table, making sure to serve the young prince first.

"A toast, then!" The man raised his mug and studied the men gathered around him. "To the king!"

"To the king!"

In unison they took deep swigs of their frothy beverages. As one they returned them back to the table with a mighty thud. And together they belched appreciatively.

But only the man in the royal garb turned a sickly green and pitched forward, landing face down on the table and spilling his drink over its surface. It took only a cursory investigation to realize he was quite dead, his drink poisoned.

"Well then," Prince Elric said with a long-suffering sigh. "Which of you shall be the next to pretend to be me?"

Saturday May 29th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four line poem topic this week: the bachelorette party.

Kat had her bachelorette/hen/stagette party last night and it sounds like it was a really good time: a trip to the spa, a nice dinner, a few drinks. 

I'm doing my bachelor party next weekend and I'm already looking forward to it - sounds like we'll be heading down to Seattle to catch a baseball game and then hit a casino, possibly staying overnight. Final details are still being figured out but I'm sure it'll be a blast regardless.

A little idle chattering,
A little girly pampering,
And plenty of good food and ale...
But the groom said no Chippendales.

Friday May 28th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four lines of prose this week shall be about: clowns.

Because why not?

Yay, weekend!


Mary was in the kitchen washing dishes when a knock at the front door disrupted her daydreaming. She quickly dried her hands while checking the time on the oven's electronic display before rushing to see who it was.

I hope that's not the kids already - Damon's birthday party isn't supposed to start for another hour!

But the three clowns waiting for her on the porch, with their painted white faces, neon red wigs, billowing yellow and blue costumes, and concealed black guns, didn't much care what time the invitation had told them to arrive.

Thursday May 27th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: empty words.

Too much talking at work, not enough progress being made. Other than that, it was a pretty good day. I am pooped though. Weekend, I await you most eagerly.


it's hard
not to notice
the echo
when you speak

it's as though
you're a bard
forever trapped
in a cave

and though i'm wrapped
up in your glow
i still see
your hollow

Wednesday May 26th, 2010

The exercise: 

Your prompt today: the run-around.

Survived until the end of the day today at work. I suspect I'm about to crash though.


“Hello there! How can I help you?”

Her smile was as fake as her suntan, but not nearly as phony as the warmth in her greeting. With clenched teeth and tensed jaw muscles it was difficult to manage an intelligible reply. The fact that she was the tenth customer representative I had been directed to in the last hour didn’t help matters either.

“I’m sorry sir, could you speak up?”

I considered, only for a moment or two, repeating my profanity-laced request that she place her stapler in a rather uncomfortable location on her person, but chose instead to bite down, hard, on my tongue. Then I waited until the blood pooled before giving her a wide, bright smile and letting it leak from both corners of my mouth.

As she ran screaming around the office, her arms flailing around like fish in the bottom of a boat, my smile only grew wider. It felt good to turn the tables at last.

Tuesday May 25th, 2010

The exercise:

Your Two Haiku Tuesday prompt this week: in the marsh.

There is an area of protected marsh on the west side of the lake in Osoyoos and Kat and I had a nice walk over there on Sunday afternoon. Both of my haiku are based on that. But only because I didn't have my camera with me - if I'd had it I wouldn't have seen a thing.

Managed to only leave work two hours early today. Hoping to last the day tomorrow.


A real live beaver?!
At last, I'm officially
Canadian now!

*     *     *

A red-winged blackbird
took time from its busy day
to show us around.

Monday May 24th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: distant city lights.

We're back and I shall get to the comments that arrived while I was away shortly.

Tomorrow I head back to work for the first time in four weeks. Hurray?


The street lights are so far away
They twinkle like electric stars;
The soft calls of nocturnal birds
Drown out the shrieks of angry cars.

A shy moon hides behind black clouds,
The air has been sprayed by lilies;
The grass beneath my naked feet
Has been flattened by our fillies.

In the morning the sun will rise
And the city will reclaim me;
But tonight I am nature's son,
And that is all I wish to be.

Sunday May 23rd, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: in the hot air balloon.

Heading home tomorrow, new post should be up either late afternoon or in the evening.


Silent flight.

Without the rumble of airplane engines, with the crisp air pressing jacket against skin and tossing hair in fifty different directions at once, you can close your eyes and imagine that you have become a bird. Transformed and free, above it all. 

It is magical. 

It is empowering. 

It is rejuvenating. 


“Can’t this thing go any faster?” 

… would be a whole lot better if Aunt Edith wasn’t up here with me.

Saturday May 22nd, 2010

The exercise:

Your four line poem prompt this week is: obsession.

Updates from the road:

Yay: internet access, sunshine, space.

Boo: forgot my camera in Vancouver, I think I might have a sunburn already.

I'll get to the comments on the previous posts when I get back on Monday.


They are all gonna die,
That's what I'm predictin'.
I never woulda guessed
Weedin's so addictin'.

Friday May 21st, 2010

The exercise:

This week's four lines of prose are sponsored by the prompt: dance partners.

I do believe this is all I'll schedule for now, so if no posts show up in the next two days then I didn't manage to find net access while I was away. I don't expect that to be the case, but if that's how it turns out... please accept my apologies in advance.


The fourth time he stepped on my toes I began to pray for a freak lightning strike to take out the lead singer of the band to put me out of my misery.

After the seventh time I thought that perhaps my toes were finally going numb and relief was at last mine.

The eighth time proved that to be terribly optimistic thinking.

When my poor toes were crushed a twelfth time I knew there was only one escape route that would do the trick: faking an epileptic seizure.

Thursday May 20th, 2010

The exercise:

On this, the 711th day in a row for this blog, it only seems appropriate to have a prompt of: the corner store.

For those of you outside of North America, 7-Eleven is our Kwik-E-Mart.


Mister Anderson
Seemed to live
Behind the counter
Of our local corner store.

He never said hello,
Nor goodbye,
Nor much of anything
Now that I think of it.

But that didn't stop
Us kids from loving him
And spending our every penny
On his bright sugary treats.

I guess I just miss
Old Mister Anderson,
But not as much
As I miss my youth.

Wednesday May 19th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt on this stormy Wednesday night in Vancouver is: the escape artist.

Kat and I are escaping the city this weekend for one last visit to Osoyoos before we make the official move. We'll be hauling some stuff with us that we won't need between now and then, mostly books and winter clothes.

I'll schedule the next few days posts but I might not get them all done before we have to go. Hopefully I'll have net access while I'm away but if I miss a day or two, know that they'll be up when we get back on Monday.

Here's one more picture of Vancouver before I return with more Osoyoos pictures:


My hands are tied behind my back, having been secured by a bearded man who smelled strongly of the sea. The blindfold sits snugly around my head, ensconcing me in a darkness deeper than midnight in the countryside. I can feel the eyes of the crowd studying my every move, seeking out the secret to this escape, every one of them wanting to be the one to point it out.

A gust of wind takes me by surprise and sends me teetering to the left, the crowd gasping in appropriate horror, but I manage to maintain my perch atop the telephone poll. It's all good, I've got this.

But then a crow lands on my left shoulder and his buddy lands on my hand. They hold a brief, raucous discussion over the matter at hand before the first one decides to take a lower perch and I can't help but wish that I hadn't agreed to do this trick naked.

Tuesday May 18th, 2010

The exercise:

This week's Two Haiku Tuesday brings with it: the alphabet.

Against my better judgment I signed up for Protagonize's Spring Poetry Tournament and the challenge this round is alliteration. The thirty of us have been split into ten groups of three and each group has been given a letter to use as much as possible in our poems. As we're doing things anonymously this go 'round, I can't tell you my letter right now but I think I'm going to have fun with it.

Wedding update: outfit purchased. Now I just need a pair of shoes to go with it.

Did I really just type that?


As Aloysius
brazenly bartered babies,
craven Cole called cops.

*     *     *

Why are U and I
so far apart? Don't they know
we're inseparable?

Monday May 17th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt: playing dress up.

I do believe I found my wedding outfit today. The store I was at didn't have the pants in the right size, or the shirt in the right color in my size, but they found another location that has both. So I'm dropping by tomorrow to try them on together and most likely buy them.

And, if I'm allowed to say so, I reckon I'm going to look damn fine on my wedding day.


They had all agreed to wear suits,
Those three men who were in cahoots.
Sadly they failed to make it clear
What exactly that meant, I fear.

Harry arrived in diving gear;
Ricky came disguised as a deer;
And Tim, standing so thin and tall,
Turned up wearing nothing at all.

None of them had a thing to say,
So they robbed the bank anyway.

Sunday May 16th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the referee.

There's a girls soccer tournament of some sorts going on across the street this weekend and I'm not entirely sure what happened but the cops just showed up. I think it had something to do with the referee so... voila, your prompt.

This has nothing to do with anything, it's just a picture I took Friday night and wanted to share:

Okay, let us get on with the writing.


"The referee has called a stop to the play once again..."

"Oh, has he? I just thought that a family of banshees had arrived in the stadium."

"Honestly Eric, if you don't stop complaining about the shrillness of his whistle I'll..."

"What's that you're saying, Doug? I'm afraid I've lost my hearing. Can't imagine what might have caused it."

"Indeed. Well folks, as I was saying, with another break in the action we'll have a quick word from our sponsors and when we return we'll have the end of the match for you. Stay with us, won't you?"

"A commercial break, hey? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to reload the ole sniper rifle and have me another shot at the ref!"

"Oh, Eric."

Saturday May 15th, 2010

The exercise:

The topic for your four line poem this week is: coffee.

I met Greg for brunch this morning for one last chat before he heads home and thought I'd pick a topic that he would appreciate. Safe travels Greg and hope to see you again!


I don't like coffee.
Calm down, don't yell!
I may not like how it tastes
But at least I like how it smells.

Friday May 14th, 2010

The exercise:

This Friday your four lines of prose shall be about: the musician.

Have a great weekend!


He sits on the porch, cigarette smoke escaping his mouth with every word he sings. He strums the guitar and taps his bare feet on the worn wooden planks while he recharges his lungs with another long pull on his dangling cigarette. There is no one around to listen but he plays on anyway, for himself and the ants in the yard and the birds in the trees.

He plays for the ghost of one who has forgotten him but will never escape his thoughts.

Thursday May 13th, 2010

The exercise:

Tell me a story that happened here:

Kat and I went for a walk in the woods today (where the above was taken) and it was lovely. However I was, once again, left completely exhausted. This whole slow healing thing is a pain in the ass.


We walked that dirt path
For what felt like days.
I began to think
We were in a maze -
Isn't it funny,
The tricks our mind plays?

The sun was sliding
Down toward the trees
And the air was cooled
By a sudden breeze.
I began to wish
You'd not lost your keys.

We never found them
But that was okay,
For we found ourselves,
In our bumbling way,
And we still wander
Side by side today.

Wednesday May 12th, 2010

The exercise:

Today's prompt comes courtesy of g2: The Shadow knows.

Maniacal laugh not required, but recommended.


Who left this scratch upon my nose? Did it come from a thorn on that red, red rose? Did it happen while I dozed? Has my security been exposed?

Only The Shadow knows.

Why do you walk as though there are egg shells beneath your toes? Why are you striking such a suspicious pose? Are we about to come to blows?

The Shadow knows.

Does anyone know where this goes? Why do you suppose I compose this rhyming prose?

Not even The Shadow knows.

Tuesday May 11th, 2010

The exercise:

It's Two Haiku Tuesday. Your topic? The playground.

Went to play on the swings in the park down the street with my friend and her little girl this afternoon. You couldn't find a bigger smile than the one she wore for miles around. Hanging around with kids is a great way to remember how awesome swings are.


Scale the castle walls
Only to come sliding down
Shrieking with laughter

*     *     *

With a gentle push
You swing away from the earth
And soar with dragons

Monday May 10th, 2010

The exercise:

Alright, I manged to resist using this prompt yesterday but I can avoid it no longer: a dog named Ebola.

Greg can give you the full story if he wants - I'm happy to leave it as a mystery.

In far more interesting news, to me at least: the wedding rings arrived by courier today. Now we just have to get them to my best man before we start wearing them all the time.


We love our puppy,
He's just so cute!
Especially when
He wears his suit!

He likes his walks,
He likes to play,
He likes to insist
He gets his way!

We just wish
He felt no shame
When at the park
We call his name!

Sunday May 9th, 2010

The exercise:

I just had a glance at the archive and realized it's been too long since we played the random CD prompt game.

So go find a song you like and use its first line as your own, either in a poem or a short piece of prose.

And on this 700th day in a row of Daily Writing Practice I would just like to confirm: Greg is as hilarious in person as he is in his writing. We had a great time yesterday and it was a pleasure to finally meet him.


Summer Wind by Frank Sinatra

The summer wind came blowing in from across the sea and tickled the hairs on my arms before continuing on to dance with the tall blades of grass on the hill behind me. The coarse white sand was warm between my toes and the blue sky was flecked with the darting white and grey of screeching seagulls.

I looked once again to my left and then to my right, hardly believing that I was alone on such a beautiful stretch of beach. I had abandoned my car at the side of the road after spotting the gleaming white sand at the crest of a hill a half mile back. I wasn't entirely comfortable having the car out of sight but I'd only seen two or three other vehicles on the road all day.

Besides, it was so peaceful there. So perfect. If there had been food in the car I would have done up a little picnic and whiled away the afternoon in quiet contemplation of life and everything else.

But there wasn't anything other than a half empty bottle of sun-warmed water and lunch time, according to my grumbling belly, was approaching fast. With a sigh I turned away from the sea to head back to the road.

I don't think I can overstate my surprise when I was confronted with the business end of a handgun.

The man holding it said nothing, only motioned for me to lay face down in the sand. I did so without hesitation, too interested in saving my own skin to feel anger or shame.

He fished the car keys out of the pocket of my shorts and tapped me gently on the back of the head with the gun, a silent reminder to stay where I was. I heard him retreat slowly, the sand beneath his shoes crunching loudly in my ears at first and then gradually fading.

I didn't move until I heard the car rumble to life and accelerate away to the south. Pushing myself up, I turned and sat facing the sea as I picked grains of sand out of my forehead and knees.

It turned out I didn't have to leave that little piece of paradise quite so soon after all.

Saturday May 8th, 2010

The exercise:

The four line poem prompt this week: let's play pretend.

This may or may not have been inspired by thoughts on how I could totally mess with Greg when we meet up a few hours from now. It's hard to say.


Shall I fake an accent
Or dress up like an elf?
Though they're both quite tempting,
I should just be myself.

Friday May 7th, 2010

The exercise:

Your four lines of prose this week shall be about: dinosaurs.

Why? Because I rediscovered my love of all things dinosaur tonight. You got a problem with that?


"Miss Brooks, I can't be Sarah's partner during art anymore!"

"And why is that Jake?"

"Just look at what she did to this T. Rex! She colored him pink!"

Thursday May 6th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today, courtesy of Greg, is: building a cathedral.

And I'm not using his prompt just because I'll be seeing him on Saturday. I'm sure there are other reasons. I just can't think of any at the moment.


Brick by blessed brick
It reaches ever higher
For a heaven it will never reach.

One by silent one
The builders stop working
So they can hear the father preach.

Word by holy word
The teachings from on high
Are shared with men cut from stone.

Brick by blessed brick
They return to building a shrine
To a god they have never known.

Wednesday May 5th, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt, on this numerically pleasing 05/05/10, is: life changing.

Tie it in to Cinco de Mayo as you wish :)


I have a handful of important dates coming up and it's about time I got around to sharing them with you. So let me get to it, in chronological order even.

June 18th - This will be my last day of work at BC Hydro. And hopefully my last day of work in a cubicle... ever.

June 25th - We're packing up our stuff and moving to Osoyoos. Initially we will be staying at Kat's parents house but we'll be renovating the cabin in the orchard and moving into that as soon as we can manage. Then we'll save up to build a proper house on another section of her parents 20 acre property.

July 31st - Wedding day. I suppose I already shared this date with you :)

So what's the plan for work? In the spring, summer, and fall we'll be focusing on growing and selling vegetables (and helping sell Kat's parents fruit) at farmers markets, restaurants, and stores. Kat was doing this last summer and I went to help as much as I could. Even with the long road trips I really enjoyed it.

In the winter Kat is going to teach school part time and teach yoga as much as she can while I... we'll see :)

The plan is to find some part time work to keep the money coming in and spend the rest of my time focusing on my writing. Failing the part time job thing... I'll just focus on the writing. It's also possible that I might get some consulting work out of my contacts at BC Hydro, which would be both excellent and flexible (possibly excellent because it's flexible).

This blog will of course continue no matter what. But in addition to this one I'm putting together a new blog for the farm business and I'll be sure to share that with you once I have it looking vaguely presentable.

This is all very exciting and scary and completely, utterly life changing. I can't wait to get out of the city and live in a wide open space with fresh air. Working outdoors is something I've wanted to do for a long, long time. I got a small taste of that last summer with my weekend trips to visit Kat in Osoyoos but now I get to completely immerse myself in it.

Wish us luck :D

Tuesday May 4th, 2010

The exercise:

The Two Haiku Tuesday topic this week: dance with the devil.

I'm still having fun putting together a playlist for the reception. I'm currently rediscovering my love of Irish music :)


This dance floor of coal?
The orchestra of the damned?
This ain't romantic.

*     *     *

He steps on my toes,
He burns my hair with his breath...
Save me from this hell!

Monday May 3rd, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: verse 47.

There's an author on Protagonize by that name who was considering changing it to something else. He was convinced not to but I became intrigued as to what the story might be behind this one and so... this prompt was born.


"And so we move on to verse number forty-six," the man spoke into the microphone, a thin finger returning his glasses back to their perch at the top of his hawkish nose.

"Oh man," I whispered to my friend Kevin, "I don't know if I can take much more of this."

"I know, but it can't be much longer, can it?" We exchanged silent glances, devoid of any and all hope, before turning back to the front of the lecture hall. Then, out of the corner of his mouth, Kevin asked, "Do you reckon he's a Vogon in disguise?"

"Not a chance," I replied softly as the speaker droned on. "They only write the third worst poetry in the universe."

I think we both would have laughed then, had the situation not become so desperate. As it was, all that escaped Kevin was a resigned giggle. Unfortunately that was enough to draw the attention of Mr. Phillips, our second year English professor, who glared at us with sufficient hatred to return us to inattentive silence.

And then the moment arrived that we had been praying for ever since our guest speaker had begun. Or so we thought.

"And now I shall conclude with the forty-seventh and final verse." I was half out of my seat, a whooping cheer bubbling in my throat. It only made what followed even worse. "Which, at two hundred and thirty-five lines, is the longest verse I have ever written..."

Sunday May 2nd, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: the dive.

My scar is beginning to itch. I'm having difficulty remembering that's a sign of healing.


He slips into the water
With his life strapped to his back,
A camera in his gloved hands,
And a smile ready to crack.

As he floats gently downward
In the watery sunlight,
He doesn't see the hunter
Who is grinning with delight.

The reef is captivating,
He can't seem to look away,
And so the shark closes in,
Ready to dine on his prey.

But a sudden camera flash,
A frantic lurch to the right,
And shark head meets jagged rock
And he's swimming for the light.

As he breaches the surface,
Not at all like a dolphin,
He thinks of his waiting wife,
And the tears that could have been.

Saturday May 1st, 2010

The exercise:

Your four line poem prompt this week is: the walking wounded.

In lieu of getting lots of writing done last week, I've been making good progress on re-reading and fiddling with my NaNoWriMo novel. I've done more work on that in the last seven days than I did in the preceding two months.

It's been a pleasant surprise that I'm actually enjoying the story and I actually have some hope for how it will turn out once I'm finished tweaking it.

I'm on page 87 of 110 at the moment and I have a feeling I won't be getting much other writing done until I get to the end of it.


It's really not that bad,
I'll be just fine...
Just don't make me laugh
Or I'll start cryin'.