Excavating the Mind Day 5: The Observer Effect

I am working on a week long photography and poetry challenge inspired by a prompt from Poets & Writers called Excavating the Mind.

Day 5 notes and observations

Today, I thought I’d switch things up and make observations inside. I didn’t want to just take pictures of stuff; I wanted to really observe something. At first, since Levi wanted me to open doors so he could wander around, I thought I would take pictures through doorways.

I quickly realized I was only putting lines and edges on spaces. Then I saw myself reflected in a light fixture and started thinking about how the observer alters what they are observing. So, today’s observations are a philosophical study of how I put myself into the images and the observations.

Now I’m brushing up on quantum physics. Though my observations were originally more philosophical, I’m playing with light, so physics it is. The observer effect is the theory that observing an object or phenomenon, changes that object or phenomenon.


In today’s images, I put myself, in reflection, into the images as I took them, thus changing the image through my observation. I know that this happens naturally, often not recognized or observed. It was different doing it with purpose.


  • taking pictures through doorways only works as a frame
  • my reflection shows up in unexpected places
  • certain illusions can’t be photographed
  • I wonder if my reflection and shadow are in my photographs and I never noticed
  • I find how objects end up together in space intriguing
  • example hulk hands and taxidermied hornbill–hard to make that up


my feet and their shadows

There you have it, Day 5’s pictures and observations. For fun, I recommend going back through some of your photographs and finding yourself in reflective surfaces or shadows.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Excavating the Mind Day 4: Ooo Hummingbirds

I am working on a week long photography and poetry challenge inspired by a prompt from Poets & Writers called Excavating the Mind.

Day 4 notes and observations

As if the birds knew I was focusing on them today, two geese greeted me at the dock as soon as I went out and didn’t seem to care about me, the camera, or the cat. They swam back and forth in front of me until I had all the pictures I wanted.

The mountain has a new puffy coat

Sadly, the light wasn’t nice like it was yesterday. It only wanted to light the snow on the mountain and nothing else. However, the birds did cooperate and after spending a long time chasing a little screamy bird flitting about the bushes, hummingbirds filled my morning.


  • bird alert: loud, sharp, and short
  • the light is not cooperating
  • I find it funny when little birds have loud, screamy calls
  • this little guy sounds like a fire alarm in a hotel
  • getting a good shot of little screamy birds takes a lot of patience
  • ooo hummingbird
  • two hummingbirds chasing each other
  • hummingbirds have a tight chirpy song
  • I know what they sound like now


There you have it, Day 4’s pictures and observations.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Excavating the Mind Day 3: Evolving Mysteries

I am working on a week long photography and poetry challenge inspired by a prompt from Poets & Writers called Excavating the Mind.

Day 3 notes and observations

Levi, the neighbor’s cat, was very excited to get me out observing this morning. At seven am the air was brisk. The sun was at a great angle for creating dramatic light and shadow especially under the trees.

I took a metal poker and poked at the hairy-looking thing in my fire-pit. It had a concrete plug with three tiny nails (?) sticking out of it. The hairy section separated easily with a little prodding into eighth-inch-wide, soft, white fabric strips. I still have no idea what this is. I’m enjoying the evolving mystery.


  • the suds are gone
  • the water is much clearer
  • the neighbor has a golf cart on his lawn
  • I don’t see any ants
  • why would anyone keep that? (strange blob of rusted bolts and nails in concrete sitting on top of an old metal pail)
  • it’s strangely phallic
  • it looks kind of like a human heart

why would anyone keep that


Yesterday, I heard some very upset birds by one particularly large rhododendron, so I thought I would look for a nest. This morning, no birds there at all. However, it was a beautiful morning for bird watching. I thought I would change lenses and attempt some bird observations, but my camera battery died, so tomorrow’s observations will most likely be about birds.

There you have it, Day 3’s pictures and observations.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Excavating the Mind Day 2: Sudsy water

If you didn’t come by Experience Writing yesterday, I started a week long photography and poetry challenge inspired by a prompt from Poets & Writers called Excavating the Mind.

Day 2 notes and observations

It has been raining for two days. It stopped for a moment, so I thought I would focus today’s observations on the water. Levi, the neighbor’s cat, greeted me at the door and joined me on my walk to the dock. But when we got there, the water was covered in suds.

The suds only gathered on one side of the dock
Levi stood guard while I took pictures
I love that he takes walks with me

The water was choppy and murky.
I wonder if Cascade Water Alliance put in that awful chemical to kill the milfoil.
It has been pouring and yet there are spiderwebs on the ladder, strong stuff spider silk
The neighbor’s buoy is the clown nose of the lake

The sky is so blue, the sun makes a lovely lens glare onto this fluffy cloud, hard to believe it’s been raining all morning
I see a fox head in the shadows on the water’s surface
Levi is getting impatient with me; he wants to continue our walk
I don’t know what this is in my fire pit, but it looks like rolled up hair, a lot of rolled up hair

There you have it, Day 2’s pictures and observations. I may have to get a stick and poke at that thing in the fire pit, but I’ll save those observations for tomorrow.

Happy Reading and Writing!

A Poetry and Photography Project for May: Day 1 the flowers stole focus

I started my day by taking another look at Molly Spencer’s revision post. I followed her link to Poets & Writers The Time Is Now series and found an inspiring prompt:

Excavating the Mind

The prompt, inspired by Bernadette Mayer’s book Memory, challenges to jot down notes about several images and observations each day for a week then write a poem that combines them into a single sequential mass.

The project for this week

Bernadette Mayer’s shot a roll of film each day for a month for her project. This week I intend to take (at least) twenty-four pictures each day and take notes about the images. I’ll share some of the images and observations and create a final poem at the end of next week.

Day 1 comments and observations

I talked to my mother this morning and she was very excited about all the flowers in bloom, especially the rhododendrons. During my photographic observation, the flowers stole focus.

My notes and observations:

My herbs are flowering
I don’t smell by herbs enough
rosemary has a strong delicious smell
flowering thyme doesn’t smell much

rhododendrons look like tropical pine cones
perhaps Tahitian?
just before they bloom

the dead ivy on the side of this tree feels like a bad omen

Is that white flower gentrifying that blue flower?

Join Me

For those of you who just finished NaPoWriMo and were looking for more prompts and inspiration, I hope you will join me for this week-long poetry prompt. I’m already having fun with it. Please share your observations and links to your images in the comments and we can enjoy this adventure together.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#OctPoWriMo Day 4: The Guilty Man and other animals

The Guilty Man and other animals

Wild eyes darting
All claws and fangs
Each hair erect
Sprouting from goose flesh
Jaw tight
Muscles twitching
Blood rushing from core to extremities
Flush and frothing
Fight or flight
The uncontrolled response
Is the same

dVerse Meeting the Bar: Bridging Southern Florida

Today’s dVerse poets prompt is a fun one. The challenge is to pick a line from two books then start your poem with one and end with the other. I just so happen to be reading  Rum Punch: A Novel by Elmore Leonard and Razor Girl: A novel by Carl Hiaasen. The first is set in Miami and the other in Key West. That should make for an interesting bridge.

Southern Florida Bridge

Always On The Grift

Sheepishly she displayed the razor
as she lowered her skirt

Flashing her wide whites and woollies
innocent as a lamb while

Hiding her black sheep, freshly shorn,
back into the fold

But he keeps visualizing
a fresh, pink clam

The wolf in sheep’s clothing
so well disguised

Even the shepherd was blinded
if only long enough for the crime

He follows her bleating
until he is fleeced

No apology or acting sheepish
about it, wanting to explain

She re-opens the straight blade
Just like that, back in the game


The first line, “Sheepishly she displayed the razor as she lowered her skirt,” was taken directly from Razor Girl: A novel by Carl Hiaasen (pg. 43) and the lines, “No apology or acting sheepish about it, wanting to explain” and “Just like that, back in the game,” were taken from Rum Punch: A Novel by Elmore Leonard (pgs. 143 and 144). I chose these lines to create my bridge because I found it interesting that two different authors in books separated by twenty-four years would choose “sheepish” to describe women who were committing crimes and in acts of deception.

Chijitsu: The Lingering, Long Spring Day – A Haibun

No longer Cohesive

The Lingering, Long Spring Day

Each second, like a drip from a faucet–like the faucet he took apart, so I could clean it while he waited for the silicone to dry around the new sink–drops into the abyss. The sink leaked, then he fixed the leak, but came back and took it all apart because he didn’t like the plumbing, but it wouldn’t be mended because the old sink had corroded. A small drip now a three week project.

The seconds pool to minutes like the rain never stopping fills the lake and the river pouring over its banks. The chopping, angry waves threaten. The rain is incessant. Sheets of streams cut the gray at diagonals and meet the windows like acrylic nails impatiently waiting at the bar. I imagine them tapping on the porcelain of the new sink.

The minutes accumulate–drip by drip, converging pools to rising lake–into an hour. This hour is heavy with rain and the cleaner faucet lords over the new sink unused awaiting more hours to dry and your unexpected call brings a glimmer of cheer, but quickly whirlpools into uninvited conspiratorial nonsense and the seconds stand still until you will stop.

Fat droplets linger
At the bottom of streaked panes
Then fall to the earth


I wrote this in response to the Monday Haibun prompt at dVerse Poets Pub



Ars Poetica: Poetry At Play



Poetry At Play

Playing with words
Word play

Rhythm with
Schism and ism

With beat
iambs and feet
To make line

Or following
Syllabic plans
Or free stanz-

Playing with nouns
Strong, specific nouns
To paint pictures
And bring them to life

Acting verbs
Pushing readers
Off balance
Shocking them to emotion
and through relation
to revelation


I wrote this in response to the Meet the Bar prompt at dVerse Poets Pub

Final Days of 2017 #FD2017 Day 25: Surviving The Rare White Christmas!

For our final odd ornament visual prompt I found a gift from 1996 still in its box. The box had some interesting info. I’m loving the name Grzegorz. I think the ball is painted with drums, but that’s a guess. From this view, it could be stylized black holes.

#vss very short story

While her family continued to open gifts, Carrie’s attention was drawn to the black spot on the painted, glass ornament. She could swear it was growing. Mom must have spiked the Christmas punch because she saw snow falling inside the black spot which was definitely growing.

Carrie stood on wobbly legs and touched the now floating void in the room. She felt cold air whoosh past her and closed her eyes to protect them from the burning cold. When she opened then again, a spritely crone with a thick pile of white hair neatly wrapped in a bun on the top of her head said, “Oh, Carrie. Good. You’re here. Santa’s in trouble.”

Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem

Today’s prompt from MoSt Poetry is a form prompt. Fun! Write a tanka, a Japanese five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form, concerning an emotion associated with this holiday season — positive or negative, neighborly or not, infused with eggnoggyness or something else.


Smiling at the snow
Voices travel over lake
Love this; it’s Christmas
This winter wonderland is
A perfect morning present

Extra Writing prompts

I found a couple writing prompts @writerswrite on twitter for today.




Graphic by Anjela Curtis

Anjela informed me yesterday that when #FlashFicHive comes around again in February, it will only be weekly prompts. Sad, but understandable. I’m trying to figure out how to approach my posts in 2018. Though I love the inspiration I find in theses daily posts, they are very time consuming. I may scale back to my previous bi-weekly posts in January and see how it goes.

Don’t Forget To Read!

Today is all about reading the books you got for Christmas! Yay New Books! Believe it or not, I did not receive a single book for Christmas, however, I still have one book to hurry through this morning before I gift it. And there’s still one more gathering that has book promise.

Today is also a great day to build your reading wish list. You can start buying those books with the money you get from gift returns and gift cards (fingers crossed).


Happy Reading and Writing!