Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Books 2008


In my continuing series of documenting which books I read, here is what I have read this summer (pre-vacation). It is a very short list because (a) work is keeping me quite busy and I have been too tired to pick up a book at night, and (b) I'm slowly (very slowly) working my way through two non-fiction books. About the latter, I am bound and determined to finish them. One I have been reading (on and off) for at least three years. The other I just bought and am a bit more interested in at the moment. But I can't read very much of either at a time.

But now on to the two I have finished. There will be a bunch more when I get back from vacation.

Child of a Rainless Year
by Jane Lindskold
I wondered for a while if I would like this one, and then decided to dive in and try it. I was a bit startled that the main character was only five or six at the start of the book. But soon the descriptions of color and its power carried me along and I found that the author was just setting the stage so that we would understand the adult that would carry the bulk of the story. So by page 37 she is in her early fifties and the story really begins there. It is a bit eerie at times, and requires "willing suspension of disbelief" although the characters described definitely ring true to me. They act like real people, although ones who may be a little off-center. I liked this one, even if the very end was prosaic compared to the rest of the story.

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
by Robert Rankin
fantasy of the most impertinent variety
I actually just finished re-reading this. I saw the title years ago and put it on my wish list. I believe that one of Chelle's siblings bought it for me, agreeing that something with a title that odd must have something going for it. It is a mystery-detective story set in a toy-town filled with walking, talking toys and nursery-rhyme characters. The protagonist is, of course, named Jack, a youngster who had set out to seek his fortune in the big city. In spite of that, however, it is an adult book, with significant improper behavior. Besides, they are trying to solve a murder that turns out to be only one of a whole string of murders.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm Off!


On Saturday morning we'll pack the car and head off for vacation - no TV, no phone, no e-mail, no Internet, not even cell-phone reception without heading down the road to find a roam signal. I'll be writing while I'm gone, but likely won't be posting until we get back. I'll miss checking on you all, but will catch up in August.

Lonely Ghazal


[This week's Totally Optional Prompts was to write a ghazal. I finally gave it a try and had better luck that I had thought I would. Now I need to write an "up" one since this one is such a downer.]

Lonely Ghazal

On darkened subway platforms, right and left, the crowd was crushed.
Without you, I am all alone; without you I am crushed.

The winter winds blew through my skin, and chilled me to the bone.
I pulled tomatoes from a can; I took each one and crushed.

The sun in springtime showed its strength; the snow banks dwindled down.
The piles of white grew heavier; the grass beneath was crushed.

Hot summer air was full of tears, unshed the dampness was,
I tried to take a lonely breath; but felt my lungs were crushed.

I wandered autumn's paths alone, beheld each barren tree.
My laggard feet scuffed on the ground, and left dead leaves all crushed.

We made our plans together, once, to travel side-by-side.
Now solitary sister moves on freely -- spirit crushed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Funk


[Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect presented a great Monday Poetry Stretch this week - to write using Climbing Rhyme (see her post for a description). I combined that with the Read Write Poem prompt to find something we didn't like about summer and came up with this.]

Summer Funk

Beautiful sky

I go by foot

I try to be

a healthy one

but, see! In spite

of sun bright and

day right I find

that I mind this

entwined bit of

bad smell shoved (not

beloved) – a stench!

need I mention?

Attention held

tight by spelled air

as swelled stink coils

'round and soils walk

and foils my proud

mood. The crowd veers

as loud shouts fall

and cast pall on

just all that I

see. So, sigh, first,

and cry (some), and

walk as planned, though

not grand, nor fine.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Loose Change


[Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect challenged us this week to write a poem with the phrase "loose change." I had several thoughts, but this is the one that got finished first.]

Loose Change

I pluck the dark pennies
from the bright silver on the table.
I examine the artwork on each
and save the old
ones with wheat sheaves,
in black plastic film canisters
in a desk drawer,
dimly echoing Dad's pastimes
of numismatics and photography,
but his favorite coins are framed
and hang on the wall in the light.