Friday, August 31, 2007

Full Moons and Perseverance

In January, I decided to write a post each month about the full moon. All year I have struggled to take a good photo with my inadequate equipment, and I have struggled with posting the following day. Certainly next year, I will choose something new to comment on each month, but in the meantime, I will persevere!

My Campfire Girls resource refers to the August full moon as "The Green Corn Moon." This looks more like an orange corn moon to me! Despite the difference in color, this moon did rise over fields of ripening corn, sunflower heads heavy with seeds, and trees lightly touched with autumn color.

One of my favorite things about my family is that we will actually shout to each other in excitement over the beauty of the sunset or the luminous moon. "Look at the pretty moon!" one of us shouted the other evening as this circle of tangerine light penetrated the dark wisps of cloud. Rainbows stir up a lot of excitement too. Yes, it really is a little "uneventful" here in the quiet countryside, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Sijo

I found the best explanation for writing Sijo here. According to writer Elizabeth St. Jacques, A sijo is a 3-line poem,14 to 15 syllables each, for a total of 44 to 46 syllables. In the first line, a problem or theme is stated. In the second, the idea is developed or the thought is "turned." The third line provides a resolution. According to St. Jacques, the first half of the final line should introduce a "twist by means of a surprise in meaning, sound, tone or other device." She emphasizes that the sijo should end with originality, using either wit, emotion or profound observation. This is a traditional Korean form of poetry, which has recently begun to be explored and adapted by western poets.

Here is my first attempt at writing Sijo:

The little one has a voice like vivid fireworks bursting.
Over-loud and under-modulated, it wakes the dreamers.
To quiet him I tell a story, whispered yet colorful.

Inspiration for this sijo was provided by four-year-old Tanka disturbing, with his very loud voice, the late-morning sleep of three teen-aged girls who stayed up late watching scary movies. Sometimes I think that the name of my blog should imply a house in the quiet countryside, not a quiet house in the country!

photo by Aisling, August 6, 2005, fireworks over the lake

Friday, August 24, 2007

Growing Things...

Our family is growing! After Senryu's year in Taiwan, we heard that our community was having trouble finding host families for the exchange students coming here for the upcoming school year. So, we offered to open our home to one of the students. This evening, we will be bringing our new daughter home. I'll write more after I've had a few days to get to know her. In a nutshell, she is from Turkey and is in between Senryu and Haiku in age. She seems to share their many of their interests, in music and art for example, and we are so eager to welcome her.
photo, wild asters growing in the dry creekbed, by Aisling, August 22, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Waiting for Rain

We are in a "moderate drought" this year, according to local weather sources. This week we have had a bit of rain, but still the lake levels are down, the crops struggling, the ground parched. When the wind moves along the hill it lifts sand from the road and throws it across the air. Today, the sky is overcast and heavy with clouds, and yet no rain is falling. I have been waiting all day for the rain, and the air has a humid feeling of expectancy, as if the day itself is waiting for the rain. I am predicting that it will begin to fall just as I head off with my daughters to a wellness fair in a garden this evening. Contigency plans have been made to hold the event indoors if it does rain and, even if they hadn't, we need the rain too badly to be particular about when it falls.

I wrote this haiku just a little while ago, after stepping onto the front porch between home-tending tasks.

clouds of gray and white
blue-edged and moving slowly
the earth is still dry

I jotted this down quickly, and returned to my cleaning, but I'd rather just sit and wait for it to rain. I'm like the clouds today: blue-edged and moving slowly.

photo by Aisling, August 23, 2007 (Editorial Note; I need to work on the resolution of this photo, or find a new one! Still, it gives you an idea of the sky today.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - The Cutting Garden

Black Eyed Susan and Red Zinnias in the cutting garden, photo August 22, 2007, by Aisling

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nice Matters

Being nice does matter! My friends Nan and Rapunzel, who each honored me this week with the Nice Matters Award, certainly fit that description. I met both Nan and Rapunzel back in the days when participation in email groups responded to my need for community, communication, and interaction, as blogging does these days.

So now, I'm supposed to nominate 7 other nice bloggers. Many of the bloggers on my blogroll (at right) have already received this award. I have to admit, I think all of the bloggers on my list are nice... otherwise I wouldn't have listed them there! Here are a few of my blogging friends who I don't think have already been nominated (though it wouldn't surprise me if some of them have and I just don't know it yet!)

Beyond the Fields We Know

Joyful Blessings

Morning Ramble

Primrose Pages

Tales from Pixie Wood

Green Inventions Central

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Senryu

grass stains on her knees
dirt under her fingernails
the gardener sings

There are rules for most forms of poetry, and then there are the words that just rise up in your thoughts as you compose... which sometimes follow the rules and sometimes don't. My understanding of the difference between haiku and senryu is that haiku are mostly about nature, and senryu are mostly about human nature. According to, "Senryu (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal haiku." I just couldn't follow the "no references to the natural world" rule in this one. Oops! *grin*

photo of fancy pink zinnia, by Aisling, August 16, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Limerick

Most off us have probably heard a few limericks in our time. This (again Irish) form of poetry is usually humorous (sometimes off-color!) and there are a couple of rules to the structure: The first, second and fifth lines should rhyme and have the same number of syllables. The third and fourth lines should rhyme and have the same number of syllables.

I have to admit that writing this did not come as naturally to me as writing last week's Aisling. It felt more like an assignment. I'm providing two limericks: The first one is an attempt to meet the requirement for humor, and the other is more dreamy and connected with nature which, as you may have guessed, is more my style.

The Limerick Assignment

There once was a blogger on the internet
who hadn’t posted a poem for Thursday yet.
She searched through her brain;
She searched it again,
but this poor limerick was all she could get.


Is there somewhere an island serene
in a lake of clear aquamarine?
I’d like to be there at dayspring
to hear the chorus the birds sing,
and watch dawn paint the sky tangerine.

I wrote the second limerick on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning the sunrise came up over the back hill with the prettiest splash of tangerine. I wasn't on an island, but part of my wish came true! Maybe one of these days I'll learn to be my own "island serene" and be able to experience that calm and quiet wonder where-ever I am.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Slow Turning

Signs of Autumn approaching, August 8, 2007, by Aisling 1) Wild Apples on the back hill 2) Wild Grapes ripening 3) Maple leaves touched with sunshine and autumn color

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Practical Matters...

Instead of blogging, I've been tending things that were left undone during my summer college courses. I have been:

~ Attending our town's summer festival
~ Cleaning the basement
~ Preparing our house for a long-term guest (more about that later!)
~ Watering drought-stricken gardens
~ Reading novels (gasp!)
~ Cooking
~ Looking at gardening catalogs (Can it really be almost time to plant bulbs?)
~ School shopping with my daughters
~ Reading novels (again?)
~ Baking bread
~ Taking photos (Everybody needs a hobby, don't they? lol!)

photos by Aisling, August 7, 2008, 1) Nasturtium 2) Orange Calendula 3) Yellow Calendula

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Poetry Thursday: An Aisling

According to, "The aisling, dream or vision, poetry was either amatory or political in which a comely spÊirbhean, or sky-woman, appears to the poet in a dream. For instance, in the 10-century Aisling Oneguso, the poet sees a beautiful maiden in a dream, with whom he falls in love and is eventually united.... By the 18th century, although the love-aisling was still in use, the genre was more often devoted to political deliverance where the dream-woman was Ireland personified. "

Here are just the first four stanzas of the aisling I have written. When I finished it, I thought what a nice children's book it would make, with (someone else's) lovely illustrations. Once upon a time I considered myself an aspiring writer, and I've (sadly) been on the receiving end of a nicely written rejection letter. Maybe I'll actually polish up my writer's hat and send query letters to some children's picture book publishers.

How green the hills and blue the sky,
where I lay down and breathed a sigh.
How sweet the scent of clover mown
and fields of flowers overgrown.

How deep the sleep that beckoned me
with promises so deep and free.
How warm the hill where I lay long,
hearing only the summer’s song.

The song fell silent and I woke
as a barefoot nymph in green spoke.
She spoke in words as old as time.
I felt the meaning in their rhyme

She led me to a river blue.
She lifted wings and off we flew.
We saw the whole world wide and green,
and all the oceans in between.

~ photos and poetry by Aisling, July & August 2007, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007