favorite colors, trees, autumn sky

all time favoriteAll-Time Favorites
An autumn day in California -just passing by as a traveler does.

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Let’s twist again, like we did last summer

Twisted

twisted
ladies’ fingers (okra)

When I see this week’s photo challenge, I think of Chubby Checker and his famous “Let’s twist again” which I randomly came across on YouTube last week. I also found a picture of an okra (ladies’ fingers) plant I took in 2014 in a remote Cambodian village resort. Somehow the two have come to my notice. Amazing match. So, here they are—please like.
https://youtu.be/eh8eb_ACLl8

Excerpts quoted from wikipedia:
“Let’s Twist Again” is a song written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, and released as a single by Chubby Checker. One of the biggest hit singles of 1961, it reached No.8 on the U.S. Billboard pop chart (No.3 on Cash Box) in August of that year and subsequently reached No.2 in the U.K. in February 1962. The song refers to the Twist dance craze and Checker’s 1960 single “The Twist”, a two-time U.S. No.1 single (in September 1960 and again in January 1962 on re-release). Chubby Checker (birth name Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock n roll singer and dancer. He started performing at eight and introduced his version of “The Twist” at 16. By 22, he was a millionaire. He is widely known for popularising many dance styles including the twist dance style. He also popularized the “Limbo Rock” and its trademark limbo dance, as well as various dance styles such as The Fly.

a place I may decide to call home

A Place in the World
2018-05-13 airport After sending-off a friend, I waited at a fast food place at the entrance to the airport. When daybreak came I walked to my car and saw this picture from a distance. As I drive into the increasing light of the day, I think about how difficult it has been for the people in this land to change the system of half a century old. I have been told that this is the first time they manage to change against all odds, like peeling off the decayed leaking wine skin and replacing it with a new one, so that they can pour strong new wine into it. I have grown to like this place and have decided to stay a while longer.

unlikely charity, yet she smiles

Unlikely charity encountering reality.

I have not seen such irony before. This poor woman in the outback of a third world developing country in her late twenties who was given unwanted teddy bears in lieu of food continues to maintain her smile and gratitude. She seems to have cognitive challenges and has not gone to school. She lives alone in an old run-down house inherited from her parents who have passed away.

How did the teddies get there? We asked. A volunteer teacher who could communicate with her explained that some charity bodies came to the village and donated used toys among other stuff. That was how the left-behind teddy bears found their way into her home.

unlikely foodDuring our visit she just had her dinner, plain boiled rice with a small bowl of salt water. She proudly showed us the remaining half of the rice and something on the rice. She said it was half of a fish which she had saved for her next day’s meal. She happily declared that the fish was a gift from a kind neighbor.

Her smile remained bright and sunny as she waved goodbye.

Is this not an unlikely positive sunny story?

a universal language: smile poetry

 

One morning I met Smiles when I took a walk to the back of a restaurant. I was told that the owner employed widows to give them a home and a better living.

The local women are gentle and shy. We could not communicate so they smiled and I smiled. Smile is a good universal language. I thoroughly enjoyed the encounter and the food.

A HAIKU ~ON SMILE
i know we are friends
because you smile i smile too
willing to walk extra mile

a varied view of ocean in our heart

My heart’s Variations on a Theme, my ocean. variation of ocean Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings. There are two views of the same section of the Pacific ocean being superimposed in this picture. I took them at the end of 2015 on a clear sunny day in California. I have inverted the bottom half of the second picture. The inverted waves are symbols of what are moving inside a heart that cannot be stilled. The top half of the original first picture has the bird facing the opposite direction, flying away from the shore. But during my editing she has somehow turned around towards the shore and nearer to the audience. I have seen many gulls onshore in the city. I am told that they come in to scavange for food often near the dump-site or where passers-by have left unwanted stuff behind. Has the ocean become less habitable for gulls? Or perhaps the shore is a more convenient however brief respite? Sometimes I wonder whether we have unwittingly domesticated gulls because I just read a poem about tame gull.

What a sad thought it is. Given an option I would choose the ocean if I were a gull with wings.

A conversation (excerpted*) between the fishermen:
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”

They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”

They answered Him, “No.”

And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish…Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

(*John 21:3-11)

2017 favorites: lost and found friends

2017 Favorites

I decide to use these three pictures to depict 2017 presentation of a phase in my traveling life. I would call it a year about friends. Old, kind and gentle friends. Old does not mean chronologically aged. It means something familiar and one has already accustomed to. I suppose I have been re-kindled in someway by an extended autumn-winter stay with a long separated family, being re-climatized and inspired to walk long walks and write lots of short haikus in their land. I have also visited my long abandoned birth place in another extreme land’s end and written a story about a love that could have been but had never really materialized. Then I was brought to a place high up a mountain range covered by snow and yet has this beautiful lake which has gently displayed its beauty and given many a perfect placement in friendship, for some it is a beginning, for some a progressing in the continuum, and for some a final maturing. I am thankful that we are friends, whatever stages we are at. These pictures are etched in only the momentary memory at the point of a contact. Will I ever forget when I grow chronologically old? Will anyone who really loves their friends?

Friends are to rejoice and celebrate together. Here are two stories about what friends are for. I recently had an interesting experience. During a house renovation I found that I had lost two items, an old laptop PC which I use to store old family photos and an old but hardly used vacuum cleaner’s accessories. They were not of any present day monetary value. However I was disturbed by the idea that an illegitimate loss might have happened in my territory, and I became restless and sleepless that night. After spending hours fine combing the house I sat down and prayed that the items reveal themselves and be returned if taken by persons without asking for my permission. I heard in my heart that I should bless and not feel upset. So I obeyed. After the renovation was finally completed I went to the same back store and saw the vacuum cleaner accessories nicely kept in one paper box on the shelf. When I went into a back room I saw the laptop miraculously appeared, clean and in tact complete with its docking system on a shelf. When I look back now I begin to understand how much it had meant to the shepherd and the woman in the following two stories to see their losses reversed. So, I too call my friends to rejoice with me!

The two parables below were told by Jesus about the true value of life. What it means to be lost and found, both to the owner and to the valued friend, both the lost and found one and also the one who rejoices together with the owner.
Luke 15: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

a peek at the octopus’s garden

Peek at an underwater space.
peek octopuspeek octopus ringo
I took these pictures quite sometime ago when I visited Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have forgotten all about the bright red octopus which disappointed many by persisting to hide in its underwater garden/cave. There is nothing much to see except a tentacle with suckers. The aquarium describes it to be “an amazing creature—brainy and beautiful…In our exhibit, you may have to look closely to find the octopus, as these animals can change their skin color to blend in with the rocks around them, and even this species, the largest octopus in the world, can squeeze itself into tiny, out-of-the-way spaces.” So here is just a peek of the amazing creature.

In a way this octopus is like human. Don’t we all choose to allow a mere peek in many aspects of our life? I am not talking about the virtual world. Even in real life we keep to our personal space. Why is it that the more civilized we are the more exclusive and distant we strive to become? I read that the Giant Pacific octopus spends most of its life alone. While it chooses to be a hermit, it can learn to open jars, play with toys, and interact with its handlers. It can mimic other octopuses. It is a master of disguise. Near the end of her three years’ life the female will find a once in her lifetime mate and reproduces. Here is a touching description of the heroic sacrificial mother.

“The mother octopus lives in the cave for up to seven months as the curtain of eggs develops, fanning the eggs with her arms or contracting her body to shoot streams of oxygen- and nutrient-rich water over them. She doesn’t eat during this time and usually dies shortly after the young hatch.” (Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Given a last line I would add that she is probably more capable of true love than many.

A window ranting at daybreak

Windows

window and chair

For no particular reason I was placed at this unusual room looking out of this window. I was supposed to be elsewhere in a grand five-star, but I actually paid more as a walk in to this humble place in a mall because it was too late to return to my five-star abode. Why? Well, it was just a simple outing with a close relative whom I had not seen for quite some time. We had a hurried dinner and then I decided to go back alone by Uber or a cab. But then I received a call that the people I was with decided to sleep and had to lock the room door. So I walked into this place at a mall that had closed and checked in. Since I had nothing to change into I slept in my dinner-wear except for the shoes. By dawn I was already wide awake. So I looked out at this window and waited until 11am for breakfast when the mall opened. There was nothing out there except busy morning traffic which the picture could not show. How strange it is to just wait at the window watching nothing and waiting for time to go by. I have nothing to write on except my mobile phone which battery is running flat. So I just sit at this chair and wait by the window. No food as the hotel does not cater food. No internet as I have to save my phone for emergency use. No sights to see as the room is on a floor that has a roof outside my window covering s large space presumably the shopping mall. No programs on the TV that I like to watch. I watch a bit of the discovery channel about a civilized man’s adventure learning to live the life of a soon extinct lost tribe in a primitive jungle in Africa. The tribe accepted him and built a hut made of straws and mud for him. There is no window but there is an open door. He has a nice scenery outside his door. People living their daily lives and welcoming him as a novelty visitor as well as a willing pupil. They show him and let him tell the world about them.

A window is meant to show something to people. It opens to another space, another realm. The space outside my temporary window is bleak with concrete jungle. Yes, I am in a capital city somewhere. Void of stories of people there is really nothing much to report from this window. I find that I have nothing to show or tell.

(By 10:30am I checked out and went to queue up for almost an hour at the first oriental noodle store for my breakfast which turned out to be really good!)

Return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: i could have loved you better

an autumn in life
an evanescent autumn day

My Evanescent Love. Kate writes in her Note III as she remembers the river. After the bridge, she continues to drive toward the alumni reunion dinner at a city seven miles (11.2654 kilometers) away. She and her sister Pam used to pedal their bicycles to that town to study before it became a city. She was 13 and Pam was 10.  Pam’s legs were short and had a hard time cycling that seemingly unending distance. But now it is too short a journey for Kate as she enjoys driving long distance alone, meditating on the plots of her stories. She has other matters on mind.

“What am I going to say to all these strangers?” She thinks of the old men and women whom she has not met, not in their adulthood anyway. She tries to think of Joe, the only boy in school who owned a motor cycle and tried to court her by daily standing outside Kate’s classroom looking at her. After they graduated from high school he wrote letters. He brought gifts to her house. He flew to visit her when she moved on to another city to continue college. She is not prepared to meet any of them, especially Joe. Of course there is no hard feeling after all these years.

It was a sunny morning. Joe flew in the previous evening and stayed with another friend. They arranged to meet in the capital park. Kate went to the rendezvous with her two best friends at that time. The two girls hid in some nearby bushes while Kate talked to Joe. Kate told him she could not develop their friendship further as she intended to pursue a higher study and a profession that might take her overseas.

“You cannot wait for me,” She said, “you are the eldest son and heir to your family plantation. You will do well by marrying another girl and fulfill your duty to your parents.” Joe did not stand a chance to proclaim his willingness and ability to persuade his parents. He was hurt deeply. Kate finished her monologue and left him standing in the park alone. She left him. Later the two friends came out from their hiding and were both flabbergasted. They told her she was crazy to dump this young man with such good prospect. He was well-mannered and good looking too. From then on they called her “Mad Kate”. Soon after that she introduced him to a distant cousin and persuaded him to marry her.

It was just her way of distancing herself. She is never the person they think she is. She was popular in high school and college because she was considered an enigmatic figure. In those days people were curious about the wide range and depth of stuff she seemed to know. She read widely and wrote profusely. The youth in those days liked to read and were drawn to her because she exuded positivity and enthusiam. She was a self-made counselor and problem-solver. She formed a “laughing club” which sole agenda was telling original jokes. She was selected for the school debating team because of her encyclopedic mind and her ability to organize and apply thoughts as quick as lightening. No, she did not have any other suitor since Joe. She was not the kind of girl with whom any young men would want/dare to approach to build an intimate relationship.

As Kate recalls this side of her past life she feels as if she is observing some random scenes in a memoir or movie of someone else. It is another person, another life. She is just a bystander, like Peter Drucker’s book in that title, her favorite. It is the personal relationship part that she has left out from her interaction with others. She has found an old autograph about her from her high school friends in Liz’s old stuff. Her late brother-in-law had wrapped it up with a piece of protective white paper and stored it in one of the display cabinets. Here is the comment (written by someone she can no longer recall) that touches her because it was an accurate observation:

“Dear Kaz (how she was known to some): Looking for a space in your auto. is just like looking for a parking lot on a busy street… It just shows how busy…oops…eh popular you are. It’s a great achievement (to be proud of) to gain so many friends in the barely 2 years here in K____(the capital).
Indeed thru’ our ‘Psycho…Club’ (?) I have come to know (to learn) so much of you that I think I’ve been doing nothing worthwhile at all. You’re so different from all the people I know of…You know, you’re quiet, yet terribly naughty; uninterested, yet so concerned; …oh…unromantic, yet ever so genuine at writing romantic stories. I like that piece of story with…”

Kate has forgotten this autograph book and all the people who had written in it for her. She looks at the name who penned the above note and tries her best to imagine who she/he is and what the writer perhaps had looked like. But she just cannot recall. Kate wanted to become a psychologist then and formed the club for those with similar interest. The person was not one of her best friends and was possibly a mere fellow club member. Looking at this note now, Kate regrets she had not made any effort to know the writer more.

There are many things in her life she wishes she has done or not done. They were mainly decisions. Some decisions are irrevocable. A counselor cum editor once warned her, “You will one day regret this decision. Please don’t make it.” But Kate was too engrossed in her own dream to listen to the wise woman.

As she parks her car near the entrance of the restaurant, she can see a few persons standing there and Beautiful Flower waving at her. She can see Joe clearly. He has not changed much, the same built, the same shy boyish look and smile in his eyes. Has she ever wanted to learn to love him, a man? She cannot recall. She probably never even thought about it. (To be continued)

from a train window: a beautiful journey

Earth
Sierra Nevada mountain 4I decide to share this picture of a beautiful snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, taken in January 2016 from the window of an Amtrak train. Here is how the journey is described in their web site, which I find quite appropriate from my personal experience. This was the first time I traveled by this train. The experience is different and rewarding.

“Experienced travelers say the California Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you may find it hard to disagree.
The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco.”

Psalm 18:33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
Psalm 50:11 I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine.
Psalm 72:3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful.
Psalm 76:4 You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains.

A Surprise return to the house of dreaming swiftlets: a short story attempt

Lutong River
Surprise
Surprise. Surprise. She never expects to go back after an interval of nearly fifty years. She never expects to see and walk on the same street and lane that leads to her old house. Today is her birthday.
The phone call from her eldest sister Liz sounded desperate. She was in fear. So being sisterly Kate decided to buy the ticket and fly with Liz-six years her senior. Liz has lived alone since her husband passed away a year and half ago. Kate has been away from her family since thirteen. The place they have landed which lies between an ocean and a river is her birth place. Her parents and siblings have all moved away but Liz and her late husband had decided to settle in this quiet and sleepy town with a handful of old families whose shops line the main street faithfully. Kate left at thirteen. She returned once in a while to see her parents before they moved. After they moved to another adjoining town in her university days she has stayed away completely.
But today Kate walks on this street and this lane again. And today is her 69th birthday.
She has forgotten the river but the river has not forgotten her, as it shows itself as she strolls to the back of the row of shops. The scene is spectacular. She has remembered a river of black water in which lurked crocodiles, as some folks warned her. She was a little girl then and was forbidden to go near it. But this beauty that reveals herself today is different. She is a class of her own: calm, serene, and breathtaking like a painting created by an unknown sublime painter of an imaginary place.
She does not mean to walk far but the same country lane entices and beckons her to walk on. So she walks and tries to remember the little house she used to live. There are big modern houses interspersed with smaller older wooden houses. She stops at a wooden house which is far inside with a driveway leading to its front. The green lawns on both sides are well trimmed. Someone has planted lovely red and yellow flowers in front of the stairs. The little house is on low stilts. She has dreamed of this place many times and remembers its details. The verandah, the stairs, shape of the house and the large garden. It is all there in this real life picture! She remembers her dad built it and they moved in when she was eight. How can this house still stand at the spot with the same look after sixty-one years? The ocean, the wind and rain storm, the river flood…the ages, do they not corrode and wear out even human looks? Has time bypassed this place? She asks.
The only change is the coat of white wash that someone has clothed the naked wood. She takes some photos with the permission of the owner. The perspective from the side makes it look bigger. Indeed, she remembers its rooms, three bedrooms and a sitting room. The dining area, kitchen and bathroom are on the ground floor in an annexed building. They moved in before it was painted. And her dad said they would paint it before the next new year. Yearly he told them, yes, it will be painted this year-end, before the next new year. It was never painted. Once she even wrote a short story about a house that was never painted. It was published by a local press. And it is now painted white.
Who are the new residents? Edible-nest swiftlet. Someone is using it as a house for the birds to build their nest, nurse their young and rest when the sun sets. The swiftlets are the new tenants. It is daytime and she cannot see them. The swiftlet nest farmers have boarded up the windows. There used to be one through which she looked at a blue, green and red bird who perched daily on a branch which stretched its arm toward her as she sat for hours after school daydreaming of the plot of her new story. She has always wanted to become a story writer. There was no TV, no radio, no mobile phone, no PC in those days. Story books were rare and costly. All she could do was dream and daydream her own stories. Verse by verse, chapter by chapter, plot by plot she dreamed them and seized the ears of any willing heart to listen to the stories that seemed episodes of an unfinished saga. The house was surrounded by lots of green trees then, tall and handsome. Her bird friend sometimes danced from branch to branch, tree to tree.
And now she is standing here looking at a forlorn habitat without the trees. Where are they? Not one tree is left behind. They too have migrated. She wonders where the bird has flown. Has he found his new home and settled down? Do birds settle down? Are they too, like humans, creatures of habits? Looking at this sun washed white house no one can imagine what habitat the birds have behind these walls, simulation of dark caves…? She likes to imagine the swiftlet parents soaring high and far to hunt food and bring home to feed their young. A man once told her the swiftlets have flight path. He even brought her to a place where the swiftlets gather because of the richness of insect supplies. He said that they would always fly through a pathway to the food source and later return the same way to their habitat. They never missed the flight path home.
Here she is, today, looking at the place she once called home. It dawns on her that she too, has a flight path home. How else can she explain this homecoming after nearly five decades? Has the flight path followed her all these years of traveling further and further from home? Like a string tied to her heart without a visible sign and yet in the unseen realm it pulls the other way, so she suddenly finds herself there without any warning? During the years when she was away she remembered the place as dusty and rather primitive, to which she was ashamed to bring her teachers or classmates. She remembers being taken by surprise when her high school Australian geography teacher suddenly turned up during school term holiday in the little town looking for her! Apparently he flew in to visit the adjoining town and asked someone to take him to her house. Her house did not have a formal address. But the folks knew each other and she was the only kid who took a plane to the capital city to study. So it was effortless to find her.
Looking at the beautiful lawn, flowers and solid white wash wooden house she realizes it looks rather nice. Why was she so ashamed of it when she was a teen? The land owner’s house has been demolished and rebuilt. Yet he has kept this house designed and built by her brilliant dad sixty-one years ago. The present owner is the eldest son of the former land owner. He is pleasantly surprise when she introduces herself even though he cannot remember her. He remembers Liz and all her other siblings except Kate.
I was the little girl who left at thirteen. She explains. He smiles and nods his head. What is your name? He asks kindly. Kate. He seems confused. There is no Kate in his recall. She asks him how old he is. 77, he says. You? He asks. 69. She replies. I have never seen you, he says. She too has never seen him. I know your younger brothers. She mentions some names. Then he tells her one of them had died. What do you do? He asks. She tells him she is a writer. From his silent response she knows the answer is beyond him. However, he is too polite to ask her how she really makes her living. You have a family? She shakes her head. Then he says that it’s better as she can be free to travel where she likes. Have you traveled away from here? He shakes his head. No, I am always here.
She waves goodbye and walks back toward the row of shops that line the main street. She notices that they bear the same old names just as they have been known for decades. There are few new names. The old signboards. The same layout of their wares. The old wooden shelves. The glass display cupboards. The goods. The trade. The faces of the shopkeepers, the children of those who passed away. Nothing much has changed. When she reaches a cafe named “United Profit” she decides to have a cup of coffee. As expected, her old primary school classmate “Beautiful Flower” greets her. She cannot recognize Kate. Kate remembers her. She asks, are you Beautiful Flower or Gentle Flower? They are two sisters. The lady answers, Beautiful Flower. Who are you? I am Blue Flower. Kate answers, removing her sunglasses.
Kate’s real name is Blue Flower, a name she hated and changed the minute she left home. The lady’s wrinkled face cracks as she smiles. I cannot believe it. I just cannot. Blue Flower. O Blue Flower. Is it really you? You look so different now! Kate has dyed her hair medium brown but it turned light gold in the process. She doesn’t know why. Perhaps her real hair color has turned white. What a nice surprise! Beautiful Flower exclaimed. Kate doesn’t remember much about her. But Beautiful Flower says, I was your classmate until form five (equivalent to Grade 12). Kate pretends she remembers as the lady enthusiastically talks about the past. At thirteen the children left this little town and went to a bigger town to continue their secondary school education (Grade 7-12). So Beautiful Flower was one of them. But she returned after Grade 12 and took over her dad’s business since then. Have you ever left this place? No. Travel? No. Joined any clubs? No, unless you count joining our clan association too. Clan association membership is hereditary. Being the eldest child, Beautiful Flower was automatically awarded membership at the demise of her dad. Beautiful Flower seems genuinely elated to see her. Why? Kate wonders.
She decides to ask whether Beautiful Flower ever thinks about the meaning and purpose of her life? She has never married. No suitors? No interest or hobby. Daily she sits in the coffee shop and manages the business. Her younger siblings work for her. They seem contented and easy with lives. No stress. They live above the shop. The married ones move out. Four sisters remain unmarried and one had died young. Kate shares her own testimony of how she encountered God at the peak of her professional career with ample material comfort. She felt empty and meaningless to continue with life as she watched some of her close friends suffered incurable pains, illness and death. One day she went with a couple to a worship meeting and God poured his love on her. That was the beginning of her journey with God. she challenges Beautiful Flower to ponder over this life and death matter. They briefly talk about three women, all their former classmates, one died of childbirth, two of cancer.
Beautiful Flower, we just cannot live life without a purpose. What is yours? Find yours. Kate challenges her.
Yes, Blue Flower, I will ponder over this. I am so so happy to see you. She says. Kate wonders why.
They have black coffee and take a picture together. they exchange phone numbers.
Please come back to see us again. As Kate leaves Beautiful Flower urges her.
Why such an encounter? Kate asks. Then she remembers Beautiful Flower. A student who failed her primary six exams and had to repeat one year and thus became Kate’s classmate. In the secondary school she had the same struggles to pass exams and Kate offered to help her, took pain to explain the lessons and helped her with homework. Was Kate exceptionally good to her alone? No. Kate has lived her 69 years (minus the toddler’s time) trying to help others, the weak and the sick. She just felt it was her duty. She did not particularly love them but she looked out for those in needs and tried to meet their needs.
A boy failed his exam and had to repeat and became Kate’s classmate too, like Beautiful Flower. His name was something like Glory. But he was just the opposite. In those days, teachers beat up kids who could not perform in class. Beating became this boy’s daily routine by default. Kate felt it her duty to help him out of his dire straits. She really tried. She made him learn lessons during recess time. She taught him shortcuts to memorize important facts. But he soon fell asleep and snored loudly. It was impossible. He received his daily beating for six years. And he quit school after that.
Beautiful Flower managed to pass exams. It was like a little miracle.
Yes, we all have miracles, big and small. Kate smiles to herself. Today is her birthday and she has two presents. Miraculous presents. Who would have thought she could find her way, her flight path, home after all these years? Or rather, who could have imagined that the flight path has found her after nearly six decades? Blue Flower has returned home after all.

a traveling bird’s pausing and three poems

Pause

 

colorful island birdBe like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings. Victor Hugo

The Oven Bird
By Robert Frost

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

Birds of Passage
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Black shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall
Against the southern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
The fields that round us lie.

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near,

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.

I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.

O, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet’s songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words.

This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime,

From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I decided to post three poems from three poets/writers. The picture is taken from my random coloring on a cluster of stuff, mainly one-dimensioned buildings. Why the poems on birds? Well, if you look closely you can find him perching alone somewhere in the picture. The rests are unseen perhaps, flying overhead at night just as the poet said, with their wings singing the murmuring sound of rhyme.

atop a roof in the rain half musing…

Atop
atop the roofThis picture was taken one day when the river of rain swept down without notice. I just happened to be there looking out of this window, not exactly high up but high enough to take this picture of the rain. Unable to go out, I decided to browse online to find something about the word atop. Here are the results of random searches. It is amazing that there are many words which could rhyme with atop. Pity the poet is not around today. Looking at the picture I realize that the rain has written its own poem. So here it is-a poem in motion.

Rhymes with atop

Aesopairdropa popbackdropbackstopbakeshopbarhopbebopbed-hopbellhopbenchtopbig topblacktopbookshopcarhopcartopcash cropchop-chopchop shopclip-clopclick stopclop-clopclosed shopcoin-opcookshopcooktopco-opcough dropdesktopdoorstopdoo-wopdramshopdrop-topdry mopdust mopeardropeavesdropESOPestopfield cropflag stopflue stopf-stopfire-stopflattopflip-flopforetopgrogshopgumdrophardtophead shophedgehophigh-tophilltophip-hophockshophousetopjoypoplaptopmail dropmaintopmilksopname-dropnonstopone-stopoutcroppalmtoppawnshoppipe stoppit stoppop-toppost-oppre-oppro shopragtopraindropredtopridgetopripstoprooftoproot cropsharecropshortstopskin-popslipslopsnowdropsoursopspeed shopstonecropstrip-cropsweatshopsweetshopsweetsoptank topteardropthrift shoptip-toptreetoptrip-hoptruck stopunstopwineshopworkshop