Rhymes


A little Sunday sunshine.

There was a Crooked Cat and another Crooked Cat.
They found a crooked painting and yelled a crooked “That!”
They wrote a crooked story and took a crooked look.
And it all came together in a little Crooked book.

CrookedWomenFriendsExcept that it wasn’t as easy as it sounds!

The Women Friends – coming early in 2017.

Just a bit of fun. Or is it?

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St Petersburg: Hermitage General Staff Building (photo by David Drori)

From her window seat,
Using arms and feet
And an energy burst,
She gets out first.
Olga and Sasha
Belong in Russia.

First she is, through
The passport queue.
Then she waits for her case
Despite winning the race.
Olga and Sasha
Belong in Russia.

He stands with a pout.
The two hurry out.
No time for a joke.
They both need a smoke.
Olga and Sasha
Belong in Russia.

In the evening okroshka
With beef and vatrushka
Then out to Tchaikovsky,
Chekov or Ostrovsky.
Olga and Sasha
Belong in Russia.

Hong Kong Whirl

Despite not having packed my case,
I spent the morning at Esther’s place,
Where, guided by our experienced mentor,
We budding writers, who number four,
Ate, drank, talked and laughed,
Our misunderstandings often quite daft.

Our driver, Ilan, carted luggage and all,
And talked all the way to the terminal,
Where we boarded our El Al 747,
Stomachs full of sushi heaven,
And sat in seats our boarding cards did show
Only to be told we’d got the wrong row!

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Eleven hours later we travellers three
Arrived in a thoroughly modern city.
Soon clutching train cards, money and SIMs,
On the Metro we dragged our weary limbs
To our hotel suite with a view that was lacking,
Though we found the inside to be quite cracking.

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Son promptly lay down and soon was out,
But the two of us needed to get out and about.
Along one long street we exercised our paws,
Amazed to  see so many jewellery stores.
At the end we reached the view we did seek:
Over water to the island and Victoria Peak.

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Next day we walked on an island called Lamma
In temperatures that felt almost like summer.
Lamma for us means why, oh why
Do we climb up and up and up so high,
Only to get to the top and descend
Once again to reach the end?

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Every day, without fail,
We walked along another trail
Dragon’s Back and Maclehose
And Hong Kong are some of those.
The amazing views from Victoria Peak
And Lantau Island are unique.

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Each evening we ate with a new ambience:
From Italy, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and France.
The hotel breakfasts, laid out as buffet,
Gave us plenty of choice every day.
The food on the plane, on the other hand,
Was aeroplane food, okay but bland.

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On the last day, we visited Kowloon Park
Before we really had to embark
On a journey that took us all the way back
To the place where our cases we could unpack.
Not London, Paris, Madrid or Rome,
But Jerusalem — home sweet home.

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Welcome Back! (From our plum tree)

As part of the May Mayhem challenge, I wrote two poems this month.

For the first, I took the acknowledgements from my novel, Neither Here Nor There, and turned them into rhyming verses.

Acknowledgements for Neither Here Nor There

NeitherHereNorThereCoverSeveral people a role they took.
Without them there would be no book.

Gill reappeared from a thorny past —
One that I had tried to cast
Away. She helped me understand
Myself, and taking me by the hand,
With friendship, advice and support,
She showed me the ball was in my court
And told me with tact and sobriety
All about social anxiety.

I joined a local writing group.
Its members formed a merry troupe.
They helped me learn how to write,
Critiquing till I saw some light.
Of David the mentor I’m in awe.
He always finds what no one saw.
Judy, who ran my other group,
Brought fresh ideas into my hoop.

Romance themed Sally’s excellent workshop,
Where I created a heroine and a heartthrob,
And devised a plot with conflicts in heaps
That threatened to separate these struggling young peeps.
Sue and Gail, course-made friends,
Critiqued my drafts from beginnings to ends,
Turning the words that came from my head
Into a novel that could be read.

I hadn’t let anyone close to me read,
Expecting disapproval I didn’t need.
But after acceptance Other Half found
Bloopers. So glad they left the ground.
Crooked Cat Publishers, Steph and Laurence,
Introduced me to authors in their torrents,
And produced an opus with delightful cover,
My name below its troubled lover.

A big THANK YOU to those and others, for they
Provided support and showed me the way.

Here are the original acknowledgements for comparison:

Several people made this novel possible and I will always be grateful to them.

Gill Downs, who has been my friend, advisor and supporter ever since we remet twelve years ago.

David Brauner and Judy Labensohn, who taught me about writing.

Sally Quilford, who ran the excellent pocket novel workshop that led me to consider writing a romance.

Sue Barnard and Gail Richards, who spared no time or effort in helping to turn my draft into a real novel.

David Drori, who pointed out several problems when I thought there were no more left.

Laurence and Steph Patterson of Crooked Cat Publishing, who accepted me into their warm basket of cats and used their professional expertise to produce a volume of high calibre.

Thank you to all, and to everyone else who gave me encouragement along the way.

***

In a rather nonsensical poem, I varied the number of lines in each verse: 9, 7, 5, 3, 1. Someone has probably done this before and given the form a name.

Eye Spy

I wonder why
There is no Y
That I can spy
In “shepherd’s pie”
But there is a Y
In “your red tie”
Which lost its dye
In a wash that I
Set too high.

It makes me sigh
And even cry
When in your eye
I see that I
Am seen as shy.
It’s a lie
That I decry.

The bread that I
Like best is rye.
It makes my
Smile wry.
Does that apply?

Saying “Hi,”
Drinking chai,
By the by.

Hello goodbye.

I’ll tell you how well I did with the challenge in another post, later today. Sorry it has to be today because it’s the end of the month. See you soon….

Surprise! This isn’t about India. I forgot I’d promised to post this little rhyme I wrote for Crooked Cat’s Christmas extravaganza (see below).

Three Years a Year

I pity the people with only one year,
Who end it all merry, never shedding a tear.
They have to say so many things in one go,
To one year goodbye, to another hello.

They try to reflect on the year that has passed,
While also looking forward to the one that is fast
Approaching… nearly… almost… it’s here!
Resolutions transferred from yesteryear.

In Israel, you see, we celebrate three
And each, in its character, is solitary.
Different, special and unique,
They make us happy, thankful and… meek?

Rosh Hashana is one of those.
With all its rules, it keeps us on our toes,
Requesting forgiveness for our sins.
That’s “our” for humanity; not just kins.

Then we join with the world and celebrate, too,
Although some disagree and think it’s taboo.
Sylvester, it’s called, I used to know why.
It matters not when I’m feeling high.

What, you may ask, is number three?
It’s the one that marks the year of the tree.
Goes under the name of Tu B’Shvat.
We plant more trees, sing songs. That’s that?

Well no, we give presents of nuts and fruit,
And we eat same with much relish to boot.
So whatever New Year is appropriate for you,
I hope it is happy and fulfilling, too!

To see all the other Crooked Cat stories, poems, giveaways and more during the six-week event, join our Facebook group.

Neither Here Nor There, my romance with a difference, is available from Amazon, Smashwords and The Book Depository.

Cock-a-doodle doo!
I don’t know what to do.
Nano starts in just a week
And my brain is made of goo.

See what I mean?

Here’s the problem:

I want to tell you all about my trip to Japan, about the things we did, the people we saw, the food we ate. BUT my mind and my notes are all in a mess, my photos are all over the place. I have a lot of sorting out to do first. And I’m still in limbo – half there and half here.

And that’s not all.

NaNoWriMo is only a week away and I want to do it again. I have part of the plot, but there’s plenty more to plan and research.

So I think Japan will have to be put on hold for a while, although I can tell you some random facts.

The trip lasted for 3 weeks and we were kept busy all the time. We saw temples, shrines, museums. We made our own sushi and chopsticks, and were shown how they make sake, paint kimonos, etc. We travelled on trains and buses, and spent a night with families in a village, so we saw how people live. We spent a night in a Buddhist monastery. We saw children and adults perfoming traditional and other music, dance and plays.

We spent three weeks with a group of Israelis – a feat in itself – and our Japanese guide, who didn’t know how to relate to us at first, but was friendly by the end.

Certain sounds are still ringing in my ears. Cuckoos and other bird tweets every time the pedestrain light was green. Arigato gozaimas – thank you – spoken thousands of times a day. And our guide’s “and then” used to join sentences, whether it fitted what she was saying or not.

Please ask if there’s anything in particular you want to know, and I’ll try and answer in another post.

It’s raining, it’s pouring.
Life isn’t boring.
I’m off for the chance to dance and dance.
Will I get up in the morning?

Yes, rain is pouring down and will apparently continue tomorrow. Here in Israel, we know rain is good. We hope it will fall when we’re tucked up in bed rather than when we have to be outside, but whenever it falls it’s good.

And yes, I’m going to folk dancing this evening, but I’m going by car and we dance in a hall.

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