An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Photo from Button Central
used with permission


Prompt: Button, button, who has got the button (Gary) 


thought ~ impossible

heart dropped-

everyone same but different

never the same again
Kitchen Gardens:
A Growing Restaurant Trend in the U.K



My response to the prompt:
oh my stars and garters
watermelons ripe for eating
juicy and sweet
stars and moons ~earthly beauty
seed spitting contests each melon
Aug 28 prompt: watermelons in your life, memories, meanings, myth, significance,

Kathabela Wilson prompt:

 tanka prompt: watermelon memories, meanings, tributes


(As we wandered through the Shinto shrine on our way to the peaks of Mt. Tsukuba, 

an unusual large stone sculpture caught our attention. 

It stood out among the other carvings and monuments, gargoyles, statues and garden figures. 

I had to ask what it was and what the script on its plaque was saying. 

“It’s about a watermelon” our host said. 

We are thanking the watermelon for its delicious fruit. 

and for the good fortune it brings.” 

Shinto honors nature, has no texts, or “gods” 

in the normal sense 

so this expression in honor 

of the watermelon 

was natural and genuine to its spirit. 

How has watermelon figured in your life, 

how has it been significant, inspiring, 

integral to your childhood, growth,


Have you run into it in odd situations? 

How does the watermelon fit in your tanka?)






Prompt: bee balloons

birds do it ~ bees too
even balloon bees do it
fall in love

holding hands at dawn
Up up and away to the sky



tanka prompt – hot air balloons – up, up and away (Gary)

For twelve years we have stayed at the Blue Ox RV Park

 in Albany Oregon for our grandson’s birthday. 

Just before his big day is the Albany Art and Air Fair, 

which we have been able to witness most years. 

The balloons ascend from Linn-Timber Memorial Park’s soccer fields 

adjacent to the Blue Ox over four mornings starting at about 6 am. 

Albany is a small event with only 35 to 40 balloons. 

(The largest in the world with over 600 balloons is at Albuquerque NM.) 

Usually, the balloons are standard hot air shapes, 

but this year there was nothing ordinary about one set of balloons.

Ascending this year with last place honors were the “Little Bees” from Arizona – 

Lilly and Joey tethered together and Joelly, 

the smaller kid (but still 50 foot. 

His parents are 100 feet each.) 

Two small facts – they are the only balloon group that flies together; 


Joelly’s pilot is the first paraplegic balloonist

What is your experience with balloons, 

even water balloons? 

And other flying craft, such as hang-gliders and experimental planes? 

Given the chance, would you go up in a balloon? 

How do your tanka soar using alternative power?

For pictures of shape balloons at Albuquerque go to

And for an article on this year’s Albany balloons, including Little Bee Joelly and his pilot, Michael Glen, go to



photo (c) 2014 Gary Blankenship used with permission

Gary Blankenship's photo.


9/8/2014 Super Harvest Moon
(c) Saradunn


tanka prompt: what’s on top


Yesterday, as we were arriving home from Japan, 

Gary  gave the prompt “little surprises” 

I was surprised that it was Tuesday (again) 

and right in tune with the prompt. 

It was hard to see on my phone, 

while we were getting off the plane, 

and even later, 

what was “on top” of the stack of rocks in his picture. 

I had to ask. 

A little tree. 

So subtle and sweet. 

It reminded me of many things 

we had seen on this journey 

and everyday life too. 

How what is on top of a building, 


a person’s head is important 

and there for a reason, 

sometimes accidental, 

often purposeful. 

Even when accidental, 

it often acquires meaning 

in the eye of the person looking. 


What is “on top” of you, your head, your house, 

something you see every day, 

something memorable in travels, 

or childhood, 

what does it mean and can the significance, mystery, humor,

importance come alive

 in your tanka?)



My response to the prompt:



For photo on 9/8/2014

above the world
gazing ball bright in sky
colorful aura glows
together in spirit
gaze together ~ Harvest Moon






TPOS Prompt: what’s on top ?
(of the tree next door)
bright lit sky
stars gleam with super moon

Wow amazing delight
more amazing I can see
when you are gazing too

Photo 9/6/2014




Photo 9/6/2014
Skies to be overcast
and stormy tonight 9/7/2014



from Barbara Allan on Seize the Poem / facebook

with permission.


Please my friends in this group : (Seize the Poem)
Please share this poem .
There has been another beheading of another innocent journalist .
This poem was written from my heart for MR . Foley and his family.
Barbara Allen


Oh my God !
James Foley
An innocent
and good man .
So cruelly executed .
How this sickens
and infuriates me .
How my heart breaks
for his family . . . .
For him .
His young life lost .
Gone .
A kind and generous life .
Cut short with a brutal
and wicked end .
I pray for your warrior
spirit .
Your brave soul .
And I pray for your family
Barbara Allen



note:  9/2/2014   Isis also killed by beheading

Steven Sotloff, Journalist from Fla‏, whom I add to my prayers

with his friends and family. Siggi Saradunn



Kathabela Wilson wrote for the prompt:

We all know that life is challenging, changeable full of the unexpected and difficult. 

How do we deal with this? 

We’ve seen animals adapting to loss, and incapacity,

 and we all have such examples in our own lives and those we love. 

What are the ways of coping, confronting the natural and unnatural forces of life, 

the mishaps and the tragedies?

What have you observed,

 felt, what tangible examples

 of dealing with life’s challenges 

can you express in your tanka? 

How have you done this yourself? 

Sometimes we can help each other,

 but ultimately it is our own task and 

we are prey to the weaknesses of chemistry, 

environment and life itself.



MY RESPONSE: (I am 70 as I write this)


my mind says 

I’m in my twenties…

body says, “you wish’

mind says ok forty

body says get a walker



I find it is true … what “elderly” people

told me when I worked in a nursing facility.

If they didn’t have what ever problem required

them to be in a nursing facility,

they felt usually in their 30’s mentally.

At 70, I find it difficult to believe that I cannot

do, have the stamina to do what I did when I was

in my twenties, thirties, even older.