Fractals Photos Poetry Prose Watercolor

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Use It or Lose It

‘Use it or lose it’ was a threat I remember from my teen years. Some time has passed. I may have lost it - I’m not sure, but I’m not using it - at least I don’t think I am.

Today a headline in the paper caught my attention. “Use it or Lose it” was printed in the darkest bold caps. I nearly ignored it. Surely it had nothing to do with me but not knowing what tomorrow might bring, I read the smaller print.

The article maintained that if you don’t use your BRAIN, you lose it. Studies show that stretching this organ increases its chances of healthy survival far into the golden years and maybe even beyond.

Over the past few years I’ve used my cells almost beyond recognition. I was a computer illiterate. Today, I can design a web page, paint a watercolor that sells and write poetry that is published in places you’d recognize. To me that feels like a stretch but I’ll have to admit there are times when I feel like I’ve lost it anyway.

After all this time, I wonder if I misunderstood that ultimatum given after a movie or a roller skating date. Were those fellas with cigarettes rolled up in their T-shirt sleeves and long hair slicked back into duck butts referring to using the brain?

I wonder. I would ask them, but I’m not sure they’d remember.


Fractal created in Fractal Explorer.

Sunday Scribblings offers this for the weekly prompt: Gotten lost in the woods? Driving? Lost a child in a store? Lost something else of value -- found it again? Lost souls, lost innocence . . . write about the word "lost." Follow the link to see what others wrote and to play along!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Always

Totally Optional Prompts suggests an anaphora form for this week.

by no means what it seems
fragile dawn breaks free
shows the book of greed

dusk hides sins of day
blurs veracity of life
by no means what it seems

by no means what it seems
dreams slip into the dark
reaching hands still seek

rain cleans the clouds
sheds dirt and mould
by no means what it seems


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cinquain for 3WW

Three Word Wednesday offers the following words for the prompt today:
Callous, Interfere, Persistent.

Thanks for the prompt ThomG!

I'll post an American Sentence first and follow with a Cinquain


Persistent with false disclaimers, the callous interfere to mask truth.


sham disclaimers
persistent party line
interfere with reality
warp truth


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frost of February

ABC Wednesday offers the letter F this week.

Timid sun before its time
shines on eager buds
small as withered seed,

a laughing crow circles
drops his shadow
on split fence railings,

tree limbs rocked by breeze
dance with snow drops and
water seeps from southern eaves

sullen green grass
unwilling to be awakened
pouts crisply underfoot.

Spring knocks.

The digital photo shows my kitchen window. Brrr.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Just in Case for Heads or Tails

Skittles at Heads or Tails prompts 'case or rhymes with case' for today. My response:

Maybe you have a small MACE cylinder given to you for protection by a fretful aunt years ago and with luck you've never had occasion to use it.

Here are don't tips if you want to know if it's still powerful enough to fell an errant assailant.

What I learned:

1. Never fire it into the oncoming breeze
2. Never watch to see if a cloud comes from the little disperser
3. Never test it indoors
4. Never do any of these in front of another party who will NEVER let you forget it

I can only assume that pepper spray works the same way because I'm not going to check.

In case you don't care for mace, I'm posting a vase, as well.

Image created on Bamboo Fun with Adobe Photoshop Elements and resized in Irfanview.


Twilight Haiku

bats and cameras
the blue hour




soft edges
flow in with day's close


watercolor sky
primed for the moon
fades to gray


One Single Impression offers twilight as today's prompt.

Watercolor by Sue.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trust for Sunday Scribblings

ounce of trust
speeds on tiny wings


hawks rotate
dive a down spiral


warm spring
tulip trust


his betrayal
pricks an orb of trust
her sun darkens


newborn trust
not a dram of fear
...turns cynic


Sunday Scribblings offers trust as the weekly prompt.

The image is a fractal created in Fractal Explorer.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Memories

Snow, cold and gray linger. Cabin fever settled in as a chronic condition. Trying to remember spring, warm and green gets more difficult. When it finally bursts, it will seem like a new season rather than a returning one, I think.

Haiku Friday offers Memories as the prompt.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Surya Namaskara ~ Sun Salutation

the essor at first light
flings diamonds on the sea
sparkles lines on salty wood

standing on the shore
bare feet aglound in sand
she commences sun salutation

deep in contemplation
fails to see dazzling gems
posed by essor at first light

Totally Optional Prompts suggests coining a word or two and inserting in a poem.

The image is a fractal created in Mandala software and altered in Irfanview.


Clean and Repeat

impulse laid a feast
too bountiful to eat

with candid words
he confronts the deceit

of those moldy days
when snake-oil risk

replaced the nectar
of the gods, where

fraud bit into dreams
too plenteous to eat

ThomG, moderator of Three Word Wednesday offers the following words as prompt: Candid, Impulse, Risk


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One Elf and an Egg

Thank you to ABC Wednesday for this week's prompt which is: E

The little boy's eyes widened as he watched the computer screen. He laughed tears down his cheeks as he shouted, 'Grammy, look at Ike! He’s a wizard!'

The child had no idea how long it had taken me and the website of Office Max Elf Yourself (appears every December for holiday fun) to turn his dog into a 'wizard'. He's learning about the computer and before long he'll be elfing his own peeps.

I hadn't planned to see this child on Easter and suddenly found myself wondering how to come up with an impromptu egg. A boiled egg (by me) and a quick color (by the grinning boy) with Memorex CD markers provided one that he was happy with. As the old saw goes, 'If he's happy, I'm happy.'

I know you'll be pleased if you check out the ABC Wednesday site and play along.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Legend at Heads or Tails

Skittles at Heads or Tails posts this prompt: Make any kind of post using Legend. She mentions that it's fine to think outside the boot box.

Legend. A foot or something? Leg End?

Maybe I don't understand the word. Some day when I master the art of multi-tasking, I’ll check its etymology. Well. Okay. I can do it now. Hold on.

Wow! I had no idea how complex this word could be so I’m providing the Wikipedia link so you can read for yourself.

But if it was leg end, this might be it - around December. This was a Bamboo Fun drawing using Adobe Photoshop Elements but the program crashed so I had to use a digital camera to take a screen picture before I re-booted.

I'm looking for a new legend.


Haiku for OSI


wrapped in fog filter


cocooned by gauzy mist
late winter dawn


Spectral is the prompt offered by Rooted and posted by One Single Impression.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out, Ms. Sommers

Disclaimer: Sports, not so much. Exercise, a little.

Dancing unclad on a beach with a gorgeous guy and shaded by the waving shadows of palm trees when feral cats under my bedroom window awakened me in the middle night, I spent two hours trying to return to the sand man.

Lured by the tube’s narcotic effect, I surfed 'til a woman flaunting impeccable pecs, six pack gut, buns of steel and bleached teeth smack in the middle of an airbrushed face and herbally colored hair explained that a small investment of principal plus a dutiful amount of interest would guarantee my body to be cloned in her image. There was no sleep for me now.

Flinging myself from bed, I stood in front of the full-length mirror to fluff, preen and peer to see if I resembled the beach dancer from my dreams. Aaargh. There was, however, something I could do. I threw on a nightgown, stomped down the hall, out the front door, into the garage to drag the stationary bike from the designated Goodwill pick-up area back to my bedroom.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. It was, after all, a stationary bike. Breathless by the time the bike’s skid marks were planted beside my bed, I vowed to climb on board at first light and pedal my thighs into shape, my stomach pouch into oblivion. When next I nudely met my knight on a secluded tropical beach, he would be entranced, enthralled and I would have mail.


At dawn, I recalled my middle night promises. Aaarggh. So the TV lady was forever young, forever beautiful. Nothing to do with real life, was she? On the off chance...

I forced my body upright, mounted the bike to begin my new regime. I started slowly, then increased speed until I imagined myself racing down the narrow roads of high France while residents came from streetside homes to toss bouquets, offer cups of Perrier and compliments. Faster, faster, until...

The pedals locked tight. My neck froze in pain resembling a butcher knife in the carotid. My right shoulder was yanked to waist level. I tried to get off the bike. Paralysis was a definite possibility...

There must be similarities between getting your sock caught in the escalator and your nightgown caught in a stationary bike belt. The best difference is that no one watched me tip the bike onto my waterbed and extricate myself from said nightgown. No one laughed.

And that’s how it was the day I willfully exercised.

Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for the prompt: Sports.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Haiku Friday

black cats and ladders
bad luck ahead of Cupid
Friday the thirteenth

Haiku Friday offers celebrations and awareness for today's prompt.

The image is a combination of Bamboo Fun, Adobe Photoshop, two fractals and Pixia. I might have overdone it all. :)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Devil’s Laugh

worn Levis, black hair
VO5’d to a duck tail
sleeve stiff with Camels
tattoos exposed
slack-kneed stroll
teasing fight-hungry fists

every mother’s warning
every father’s fear
naif that I am
you could have
your way with me
you and your devil’s laugh

Totally Optional Prompts offers an aubade form as the challenge for this week. Mine is not so much.

Image created on Bamboo Fun Tablet with Adobe Photoshop Elements.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And then there were...

a murder of crows
a rabble of ravens
all in wilding disarray

cawing, raving
over the same bad meat
to validate their stance

a magpie, black and white,
swoops from highline wire
boosts fare from the fight

wings away in mock salute
another bona fide success
in an endless feudal row

a murder of crows
a rabble of ravens
all in wilding disarray

Three Word Wednesday, moderated by ThomG, offers disarray, validate, rabble as the word prompt today.

Image created in fractal software, Apophysis, and edited in Digital Image.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

D for ABC Wednesday

Down From Under, a watercolor loosely based on a photo my grandkids took with a single-use underwater camera, was first used as a book cover and later placed as a postcard package on Cafe Press.

It never fails to create a giggle - I can hear those kids laughing when they surfaced and saw the ducks waiting for more bread crumbs and say cheese moments!

Thank you ABC Wednesday for this Delightful meme, full of fun, energy and a multitude of wonderful bloggers. Denise also asks, 'Do you have a particular event from your childhood which you look back on and laugh about?' (This is not so much from MY childhood, but I take a giggle where I find it!)


A Love Story for Heads or Tails

Skittles at Heads or Tails offers a near Valentine's Day prompt of 'A Love Story'.

This is way beyond something I can write, so I offer a quilted card which was a fun project made by slicing patterned paper into strips to build a heart. I don't quilt, either, simply because there's no delete key.

I wish you all a very happy Valentine's weekend - and I wish you all another happy and lovely year of bloggery.

Bre - wishing you a super celebration in Las Vegas! Love you, Kiddo!


Thanks, Skittles, for teaching me how to make hearts!


Monday, February 09, 2009

Haiku for One Single Impression


moving wings
treading summer air


newly seen Lulin
retrogrades across the sky
comet swooping close


waves escape
from blacktop highways


Movement is the Monday prompt offered by One Single Impression.

Digital photo by Sue.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Art for Sunday Scribblings

Paintings by famous artists often fail to generate my enthusiasm but a loose watercolor or a layered photograph catches me right by the heart. Eclectic comes to mind.

Fractals caught my attention after I saw Benoit Mandlebrot speak and the PBS presentation 'Hunting the Hidden Dimension'.

More recently I've become attached to the Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet with Adobe Photoshop Elements which takes me to surreal mind drifts.

Never sure what happens next, I follow color and whimsy in my search for personal ART.

The top image began as a digital photo of a troll doll pen placed on the shiny side of CD near a window for reflection. In Photoshop, it was cut in half and one half was flipped. On the Tablet I drew a couple of birch trunks, added a few leaves and erased some of the foreground to produce the shadows. It took quite a while and I had no idea what was going to happen but I'm enamored by synchronicity and surprise.

I might try this one in black and white, just to see...

Thanks to Sunday Scribblings for the prompt word Art. Click the link to see what others wrote and to play along.


Thursday, February 05, 2009


where chaos meets the string of hope

and quantum dreams
choked by the hands of ticktock
bounce against the rock
unseen by searching light beams

when chaos meets the string of hope

upstream gives way to downstream
ripples out another theme
to wage against the racing clock

when chaos meets the string of hope

tangled knots of the oily scheme
lack compassion to redeem
and full blown devils mock
the better angels' knock
to tread the path of a losing team

where chaos meets the string of hope

Totally Optional Prompt this week: Repetition in Forms.

The image is a digital photo of a geranium blossom, stalk and leaves altered with Pixia.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Single Sentence for 3WW

Never short of nerve, I watched him crumple at my feet in a lifeless clump all because of that third illicit affair before I erased hope, crushed my martini glass and locked the door behind me.

ThomG at 3WW offered crumple, illicit and nerve as prompt words.

Come play with us!

The fractal was created in Fractal Explorer.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

C for ABC Wednesday

The child was about three and the kitten about the same number of months. The setting was a wooden deck with a large gathering of people and the original photo showed these two cuties nestled in a bundle of legs, feet and shoes.

I cropped it, then split out the two important objects and embedded them on a fractal altered to match the colors of the boy's shirt. It took me forever. It was eventually published in I Love Cats Magazine and remains one of my favorites. I like it so much I may post it again for K(itten). :)

ABC Wednesday, Round 4, offers C for the prompt letter.


Flower of Geranium

My family gave me a digital camera for Christmas and because I feel there's something unsatisfactory about photographing plain white snow (which is usually outside in the cold) I searched indoors for something more colorful.

I have a tendency to bring a few plants inside if they survive summer. This little geranium thing sported a blossom while resting on the edge of the bathtub. (I use the shower.)

You'll notice the 'shadow' of the plant reflects on the white tile across the tub.

And in case Lucy Petals is reading: This may be silly, but I'm posting it anyway.

Thanks to Skittles at Heads or Tails -for her prompt: Flower


Monday, February 02, 2009

Comet Lulin and Winter Haiku

limping away
winter concedes to
spring’s bluster

cold with winter
memories of spring
stutter with chill

grooves back to February
Comet Lulin

The recently discovered Comet Lulin is being referred to as the ‘Comet of Cooperation’. More can be seen at National Geographic, NASA and Scientific American.

One Single Impression offers 'slowly' for today's prompt.

Fractal created by Sue in Apophysis.