We all fall down (senryû)

Sarolta Ban


“Elaine, hurry, the parade starts in twenty minutes and it takes ten minutes to get downtown.”

She sat at her vanity staring at her reflection. “Where did those dark circles come from?” she thought. She dabbed some foundation under her eyes and sighed. No way could she hide those lines…so many lines around her eyes, her mouth. She forced a smile and half the lines disappeared; she frowned and they all came back. “Oh, yes, that would be where they came from.” Her husband cleared his throat as he came upstairs to join her in their bedroom. This was his diplomatic way to say, “Last call, get a move on.” She ran her fingers through her short naturally curly snow-white hair.

She looked up at her husband, “Okay, Sean, sweetheart, show time.” Her husband and she had to be on the city float…he was Mayor of Elliot Bay, had been for 25 years. He usually won by acclamation. No one wanted to run against Sean O’Donnell, an honest, kind-hearted fair man and especially since…the incident, people felt responsible in some way…

The float was decorated with a Southern Ireland theme…lots of green, crosses and shamrocks. The float ahead were children under eight years old dressed up as leprechauns. There were floats with Disney themes, anti-bullying and other educational themes along with floats of various workers such as miners and steelworkers, the Elliot Bay Credit Union and several local commerce . This was the Labour Day Parade and all proceeds from the after parade picnic and fair went into a fund for a children and safety programme. This had been a tradition for the past 30 years.

The float for the mayor and his lady had comfortable arm chairs decorated in emerald-green velvet. The sky was blue, the sun glowing and only white puffy clouds floated above Elliot Bay the entire day.

Children were dancing in the streets, police officers were disguised as dancers, jugglers and even clowns…Elliot Bay was safe!

The day was a success. By eight in the evening, Elaine and Sean were chatting with old friends in the park gazebo by the lake. They were both tired but pleased with their day. They sat quietly as they watched in reverence at the sun setting on the bay…some fishing boats were coming in. Some other smaller boats and catamarans were already docked…most of their owners were here celebrating the last long weekend before school started.

Some lucky children would be going to kindergarten this week, thought, Elaine. She turned her head and looked sadly at the  saw that had never been used since the incident…Joshua never made it to kindergarten…

© OK '14
© OK ’14


Josh held on tight
chanting Up, down, Up,
we all fall down!”

Submitted for MindLoveMiserysMenagerie, Photo Challenge #22 “Seesaw”



A real smile remembered (triquain)

Photo credits: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie


my mother
pretends to be happy
her words are soothing, almost convincing
tries to reassure “you know how much he loves us”
“then why are we always scared , Mommy?”
she sighs, her lips quiver,
tears escape.

my mother
so beautiful and kind
never did deserve to be betrayed
her face showed me more than words could ever teach me
one fine day, she learned to smile for real
no inked happy faces
on her hand.


real smiles are felt inside
not spoken,

© Oliana 2014/08/19

Submitted for: MindlovemiserysMenagerie – Photo Prompt #68

I had never seen this form before and Rainbow’s offering to this photo prompt inspired me. Thank you.

A Triquain
A non-rhyming seven-line poem with a
syllable count of: 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 – 9 – 6 – 3


Summer’s end (haibun)

At  Carpe Diem our task is to write a haibun on “Departing Summer”.  “Kamishibai” means “storyteller”. I did not know that. I have often shared or rather disclosed a bit of moi as well relate a story to fit photos I have posted in the past year. A few blogs had posted lovely haibun and that`s when I was drawn to learn more about that since it does fit “mon moi” in many ways.

I have not been writing as much here at Traces as I have been busy trying to improve and write haiku more. I have recently chosen a nom de plume for Japanese form poetry and micro-poetry which is Tournesol, meaning sunflower. This is on a new blog at blogspot Tournesol dans un Jardin (sunflower in a garden).

I like the idea of a nom de plume representing nature and ironically when I had made up my name here at Tracesofthesoul, Oliana, it was to always keep Oli (my son) and Ani (my daughter) in my heart. And of course my last name, Kim, which is my sister`s nickname. When searching to see if there was a meaning for Oliana, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it meant Oleander (another flower) in Haiwian. I believe I did write a post about this last year here. The reason I am so pleased is that Oliana can continue to be my nom de plume here as I do love that name for many reasons, for poetry especially and it represents flora…cool!

Why would I separate any Japanese forms with Oliana and Tournesol? (Gee this is beginning to sound like a Dear Emma post!)Well, many of my poetry on this blog is raw…uncensored and very personal, and that is why this haibun is published here. The haiku is not so blatantly personal and so I can keep that under Tournesol. Am I confusing you yet? That`s okay, I am a bit scatterbrain at times…

I have been following Chèvrefeuille’s prompts on several posts, Heeding with Ha at MindLoveMiserysMenagerie and Haiku Horizons are keeping me busy. Do I manage to write all of them? No! of course not! I get confused as to what is due, when and then forget where I first saw a prompt. Am I organized? Heck no! I blame that on my wacky creative and artistic persona…haha. Well, it sounds good, right?

Okay, now back to this prompt. Our host has asked us to write a story under 100 words! Yikes, moi, having to shut up at 100 words. Oh boy, it is like Flash fiction where I rarely would write for I just love to talk. Well, let me tell you, I have improved over the past few months. Yes, indeed, I have. Concentrating more on writing more meaningful haiku and reading so many amazing poets that follow Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and his other blogs, I am learning from real live artists. So feel free to check them out sometime by clicking on the Linkeys.

A haibun is a story (in this case under 100 words) accompanied with a classical haiku which is 5-7-5 syllable poem. The first line would be a  “season word “(kigo), second line, cutting word (interpunction) and the third line would be interchangeable with the first line.

For those whose mother tongue is NOT English, our host has asked us to also translate into that language if we wished. So I am going to have a go in French as well. Granted I am fluent speaking but not written, since my education has always been in English and I still think and dream only in English. Yet, it is the language of my mom and this province in Quebec.

Our host’s offering is a lovely tribute to the end of summer as well an homage to his grandson. As grandparents we are ALL entitled to brag brag brag because…we can!

“Look granddad”, my grandson yells. He shows me a red leaf from a tree which I don’t know. “Where did you find it?”

“It’s from a tree I have discovered”, he answers. He takes me by the hand. “I will show you were I have found it”. He points at a painting of Van Gogh in the garden of our neighbours.  

“Look granddad, the red leaf fell from that painting”. 

first red leaves fall Van Gogh’s painting comes alive in a child’s hand

© Chèvrefeuille


I have composed this in my first language, English, hence the French is a translation and not my original composition (thoughts).


© OK '14
© OK ’13 parc à Montréal (MileEnd)

Summer’s end (haibun)

She could feel a flood of emotions bathe her soul, remembering bittersweet moments when summers end. Over the years she still struggled with the bitterness of endings; her parents’ divorce and losing their house, in October. The end of summer loves that had been fleeting romances, the naiveté of adolescence! But the joys of her first-born November 15th after several fertility tests and her second child, August 31st honeyed many autumns for future years, until … she grew up, left home again at 45 and met more lovers that were meant for just one season…summer.


trees proudly stand

leaves shelter parks and gardens

for one season


trees proudly stand

exit in concert

shedding handsome hues


trees proudly stand

embracing broken hearts

shedding tears
© Tournesol ’14

Elle sentit une vague d’émotions inonda son âme, se souvenant de moments doux et parfois amers à la fin des étés. Au fil des ans, elle a lutté l’amertume des tristes fins; le divorce de ses parents et la perte de leur maison, en octobre. La fin des liens simplement des amours passagers … la naïveté de l’adolescence! Mais, les joies de son premier né le 15 novembre après plusieurs essais de fertilité et de son deuxième enfant, le 31 août invita nombreux automnes heureux, jusqu’à ce que … elle grandi, quittant la maison à nouveau à 45 ans, rencontre plusieurs amants, mais, destinés à juste une saison … l’été.

les arbres demeurent dignes

parrainent les parcs et jardins

pour une saison


les arbres demeurent dignes

terminant en concert

versant teintes gracieuses


les arbres demeurent dignes

embrassant des cœurs brisés

versant des larmes
© Tournesol ’14

Posted by © Oliana  Kim 2014/08/19

for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, Kamishibai #10″Departing Summer”

Such is life

©  '14
© ’14 View from Oli’s  kitchen

my son’s visit last night
was a mother’s delight
until he revealed
a secret had been concealed.

his somber face
written with lines of distress
had again, won a race
he sat with an air of unrest;

he tells a tale
in such detail
like a writer pens,
yet, in his mind
his tale is all mapped
a beginning,
a plot
a tumultuous climax
and a sad conclusion
with no ending at all;

such commotion
and havoc,
one could feel the pain,
accounts of such friction…
as he quizzed his emotions

I felt his confusion…
sat and listened disheartened
dismayed by his list
events leading to this place
of failures and disgrace…

as his heart bled droplets
of illusions of life
I could only sit,
and listen,
heart hung near my lobes
could feel my heart beat
resounding thumps in my ears…
I sighed numbly…
and listened,
wishing I could do more,

I know I can’t erase it,
simply, sit and embrace it
in my heart, I did grip
words escaping his lips.

Life, love,
things of the heart
never seem simple or clear
that’s what we most fear.

I just whispered
with love,

life can certainly be messy
and unsettling for sure,
and never quite clear…
give it time to settle
feel your anger and fears
so in time, may depart
and then maybe you’ll see
if you can still open your heart
to love and accept
someone back in your life.

Such a full day and night
eldest child left in fright
of what life will bequeath
with an omen beneath
hidden joy somewhere
veiled in drugs and sweet wine
still revealing despair;
I shall pray for a sign
that will help him discover,
love and pleasure again,
I sure sound like a Mother
wishing I could retain
hold some of his pain
but alas such is life
when our children grow up
they’ll encounter some strife
such is life…
such is life.


© Oliana 2014/08/16

Dear Emma,

© OK '14
© OK ’14
it’s Saturday!

for many it is Sabbath..

It is actually mine as well,

since I work every Sunday

hence, I’m sharing today

how I feel grateful

for my family on this grey somber day,

my grandson and his mother, my daughter,

and my eldest … my son.

I had company yesterday

my grandson and his grandpapa

savoured a home cooked meal,

I then relished desert

that they brought as a gift,

yummy chocolate cake

and with icing as well;

I inhaled the warm bliss

my grandson’s hugs and kiss

and then bid them farewell.

A mere text here and there

with my daughter so fair,

I still felt so much love

travel online out there.

and then, to my surprise

with such joy and delight

my son came for a visit

at half passed nine in the night.

This is longer

I must say

so I’ve written a poem

where I shall relay

this visit at my home

and of what

he had to say.

© Oliana 2014/08/16

Poem is “Such his Life”

Time moves fast (SoCS)

© OK '14 Windsor Station, Montreal, Qc.
© OK ’14 Windsor Station, Montreal, Qc.

Friday’s reminder for Stream of Conciousness (SoCS) is “Time”.  Thank you, Linda, for this.  It seems in the past 2 weeks I have had at least three prompts for haiku on “time”.  Interesting how that keeps coming up “time and time again”.  Okay, well, the odd thing about this, although I have written several poems on “time”, this exercise at SoCS is to just write and not stop, so THAT is the difference.  So here goes with my free verse:



What time have you got, Sir?

Oh no! is it that time again?

it’s time to deal with this now!

Some time I feel there just

is NOT enough time in one day!

Time is on your side!

Time is a wasting.

What are all these expressions for?

They are such a waste of time

time and time again, I hear them

It is time to stop repeating

clichés, platitudes or any kind of saying

in this free verse, any way

anytime we repeat old clichés

WordPress corrects me on my posts.

I find that so darn annoying!

It is as if I don’t know the English language

and when it constantly corrects

my correct Canadian English spelling

…grrrr, sometimes it is just a waste of my time

checking it over and over to see if I made a mistake.

Anyway, it is time to end this verse

for I have run out of time and it is almost 2am.

Have a great time on your weekend folks!

Thanks, Linda, this was fun!

© Oliana 2014/08/16

Don’t weep for me (senryû)

© OK '14
© OK ’14

where are the children,

with carriers of white wings,

no longer weep


don’t weep for me

floating on white clouds above

I got my wings!

(c) Tournesol ’14

My first read this morning was a lovely poem, Wings at Mark M. Redfearn’s blog . I can’t help but think of children suffering lately. Not just the youths I speak to daily but children who have never known the luxury of being just a “kid” and have passed before their teens.  It is a somber thought for my first day off but, that’s what it is.

On a brighter thought, my grandson is coming over for dinner with his grandfather today.  Spaghetti sauce (his request)  is simmering…have a blessed weekend everyone, Oliana

© OK 2014/08/15

Where are all the flowers?


© OK '14
© OK ’14

where are all the flowers

the sunshine that used to glow

where are all the flowers

the blue sky disappeared

where are all the flowers

the billowy white clouds

where are all the flowers

the soft ocean breeze

where are all the flowers

the multicoloured arch

where are all the flowers

the birds sing good morning

where are all the flowers

the fish that swam away

where are all the flowers

they’re up with all the angels

awaiting all the masses

innocent children, their families

needless terminations

barbarian abominations

flowers adorn the arches

multicoloured rainbows

welcome them on lofty clouds

angels escorted

by singing birds

where are all the flowers?

in heaven, but of course!

© OK ’14

What works for me (Dungeon Promts Season 3, Week 2, The Healing Arts)

This week at The Seeker’s Dungeon, Week 3, Prompt 2, we are to write about The Healing Arts.  The video included in the prompt reminds me of a staff development day a few years ago. Every year we plan a full day of something different to unwind, get connected with self AND with our colleagues. With the work we do we do need a way to just chill out. If it were for me, I would insist on an hour a week but that’s just me. I designed a workshop to prevent vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue and so hopefully we all practice this in the meantime.

That staff development day we went up North in the country to a resort and our facilitators were drummers. All we did was drum.  Without being musicians we formed a band that created beautiful music and our spirits were lifted. So that video does remind me of that good feeling.

I used to read vicariously to unwind but then I discovered writing last year. I realized that reading stopped worried thoughts, ramblings in my mind but it just put it on hold. Writing, especially poetry or narrative fiction got me in touch with my inner soul without realizing it. So it helps me to unwind, work on difficult feelings that can be related to me, processing my own stuff or just sorting out difficult calls or stories disclosed from youths with whom I work.

I went through some difficult personal issues especially last spring and summer and I am amazed how writing helped me grow through it as much if not better than counselling.

I used to speed walk and bike a lot to vent but my legs are not in good shape lately so I continue to write and driving to work, I listen to music which truly uplifts my spirit. I listen to music until I get into the downtown core and turn the radio off and start changing my mantra. Dancing was also cathartic but that to is on hold until my legs are in better shape.

Laughter is extremely therapeutic and cathartic. I joke around at work with colleagues when the lines are not so busy and when I get home if I need to totally disconnect from a heavy night, I will listen to 2 or 3 sitcoms, like The Big Bank Theory, Roseanne, The Jeffersons…anything silly and yes, I laugh out loud alone in my apartment. Years ago I had done a presentation on laugh therapy in the early 90’s before Laughter Yoga started later in India.  Now this is a practise even in Canada and getting more and more popular.

I like to laugh until my belly muscles hurt, then I know I have had a good laugh.  Rather than explain the benefits of laughter, I will end later with a video that explains it in a few minutes and YOU just may have a laugh as well.

When I was younger if I was really worried about something, I would pray but  more like a meditation not really paying attention to the words. And when that stopped helping, I turned to books. I rarely can get to sleep unless I have a book in my hands to nod off eventually and then turn the lights out. But now with writing to work things out…I find that my  mantra I was just given at a retreat with Amma in July, seem to be sufficient for now.

Every day I  start chanting on my walk to the bus and at least 5 times I was sure I had missed my bus but for some reason, the bus always left a few minutes later…the chanting calmed me on the way to the bus and my bonus was I had not missed it.

Driving into work in the city I chant my mantra and it seems to prevent  road rage (not uncommon in Montreal) and so I chant now until I get to work. Why not? I get to work in a calmer and better mood with no accidents.

my sanity’s
usually maintained
when I write
stress may still claim
and so I fight
with mantra chanting
and also reading
all aid in ridding
preoccupied thoughts
but mostly I love,
writing poetry
and photography
blending them together
paints my world
oh! so much better.

© Oliana, 2014/08/12

 Laugh your stress away…fake it until you make it!

Benefits of Laughter Yoga with John Cleese

Here is another more detailed video on laughter yoga from The Discovery Channel

Life is a mystery (haibun)

© OK '14
© OK ’14

hot muggy day
spider finds a cool safe place
took a bubble bath

© Tournesol

My mind keeps wandering today.  I have a lot of time to think since I took a discretionary day from work. My legs feel like someone took a baseball bat to the shins and knees, ouch! I can’t describe it any other way.

Three weeks ago, my friend and colleague lost his fight with cancer. Yesterday the world heard of Robin Williams who also lost his fight with mental illness…so sad to lose such a great person. He was so real and we felt it! I loved his humour, his eyes that spoke, his voice that soothed or startled us with laughter. He has left a legacy just as my friend has. I could not help but imagine my friend greeting him at the pearly gates with his boisterous roar of a laugh and Elvis impersonations.

Tonight, my to-do list, is to watch Mork and Mindy on Netflix and just keep watching comedies in between writing.

Just before supper tonight, I phoned my aunt in Ontario to wish her a belated happy birthday and she announced that her cousin died last week. He was like her brother and my uncle. My paternal grandparents raised him and his sister. I was shocked because his family is here in Quebec.

He was a Jesuit priest and a lovely person. He was one of the last persons visiting my father in Toronto when I lived there, trying to offer him some help. Yet, my father was a proud man and was insulted at the offer. Father Michael O’Donnell leaves a sister with her 6 children and I lost count on the grandchildren. I must call his sister later. Fortunately, she is a night person like me.

How time flies. I am reminded of my childhood summers.   Our families would get together at the family cottage up North. It was a huge cottage with 8 bedrooms! A lovely covered porch surrounding the house.  The most fun was the creek at the side of the cottage. I spent many hours hopping those rocks, freezing my feet in the frigid water. My great-great grandfather built it not long after he came here from Ireland. I wish I could have met him. I would have loved to ask him to tell me more about life at Ballybunion in those days.

© OK Killarney Cottage, Shawbridge, Quebec
© OK Killarney Cottage, Shawbridge, Quebec, artist: Mae Giroux, Oakville

I realize as I am getting older that I may be hearing of the death of someone I knew more often than I would like to admit. In my 30’s I thought this was such a natural occurrence but when it hits this close and so often, it seems surreal. It’s not scary per se, just feels so unreal, and yet…

I think of all living things and it all has a lifespan, an expiration date and then there are sudden unexpected endings…unforeseen but never unheard of. Life is unpredictable in its humdrum way. Does this make sense? Well, I know where I am going with this…so bear with me.


August sailing
gusty winds tense the jib
crow kissed a windshield

fly fidgets
buzzes around his arm.

spider spins
all night long diligently

children’s park
swings, teeter totters, slides
barbarian invasion

children giggling
bright coloured kites catch the sun
string floats silently

© Tournesol



(free verse)

If I were an insect,
who knows how my life would end?
If I were a bird,
who knows how the wind would blow?
If I were a child living in the wrong part of the world,
who knows when my life would end?
Life is a gift for some,
a puzzle for so many,
an affliction for too many…

© OK 2014/08/12

Dear Emma (haibun)

© OK '14
© OK ’14

Oh boy do I need to talk to YOU!  I feel I am at a crossroad today. I read up on the ISIS massacre in Iraq last night on a blog. I stopped reading the news, watching the news on the tele since 9/11 and try to avoid any news on facebook…well, I just don’t go on fb much anymore except to share my most recent post.

Last night I fired up my laptop late in the evening. I had spent the day and evening with friends celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  I scrolled through my reader and saw on Dr. Rex’s blog a reblog of an account of these monsters from ISIS;  looking at the photos and I tried to just skim through them quickly, I could not help but imagine the father of the girl who was beheaded. I could not help but visualize how it might be if I lived there. Would I have been the mother or sister? Would I have been the girl’s playmate or would I have been the girl for have the “sin” of having Christian parents. How totally unbelievable to see such horror?!!

I did not sleep well. This morning I tried to catch up on some writing promtps, write some haiku for Chèvrefeuille at CarpeDiemHaikuKai and looked at MindLoveMiserysMenagerie and I could not concentrate on anything beautiful…nothing poetic came out…I was stained with the visual blood of that girl. I felt shame for North America not getting involved and even if they did…would it be for ulterior reasons or for the rights of human being?

My heart bleeds for the lost souls and weeps for the survivors. How can one continue living with such turmoil?  How do people continue? I have no clue how I could sustain each breath in such a situation.

So I wrote a story and a senryû. That helped a bit.  Then I cut and pasted the same story with a different senryû in my other blog. Sooner or later readers are going to get the hint who I am. I am slowly slipping in clues. Anyway, it helped to vent and this fantasy story was my way of working through my feelings because I need to be positive and comforting for youths who call me.

I have not come out and said directly who I really am because I am still waiting for my work to eradicate my name Oliana and then once that is done, I can come clean.

Anyway, Emma, that is of little importance.  I am slowly trying to simplify my life.  I want to write Japanese poetry and micro poetry under one name, or maybe it would be easier to have a poetry blog and an “everything else” blog. But this blog does have my most deepest thoughts, my uncensored feelings about many issues and I am still not prepared to go public on some of those…yet. (to protect family and friends…okay, mostly family).

Tonight on my way home, I almost hit a cyclist with my car.  Two youths ran across Sherbrooke Street at corner of Cherrier,  in the middle of the street, lots of cars turning onto them. They were dressed in dark clothing and they were far from a crosswalk or traffic light.  When I saw the two go by me, I slowed down a bit and kept looking to my left to see if another pedestrian was going to whiz right  by me but suddenly, I heard cars honking and I saw a cyclist flash by me, I slammed on the breaks, looked behind me in case I was going to get rammed in and swore the “F” word several times.  What are these kids thinking?!!

Just minutes ago, I had a cyclist cut me not far from my work. Another cyclist cut me off on my right (blind spot). Do they not know we cannot see them?!!!

I had to pick up my prescription for thyroid medication and as I was  backing out of the parking spot, another cyclist just whizzed by BEHIND me…another person I could have maimed.  He did not have any reflectors, lights or a helmet on. Why don’t the police stop these people or warn them of the dangers?!!!

Last Thursday, at the same intersection where I almost killed a cyclist, two youths on skateboards cut me off on MY green light…dressed in dark colours…not a care in the world.

I think there is a pattern here and I seriously feel I need to call the police to maybe put some officers around that area for a few nights between 10:30 pm. and 11:30 p.m.  My heart was in my throat and my mind is boggled  just thinking of what could have happened.

I have been  chanting my mantra Amma gave me last month every day and mostly when I am driving downtown in the city. It seems to calm me and prevent road rage. Let me tell you, it is hard to keep calm when people drive STUPIDly but the mantra helps. I may have to chant it at night as well…it seems to still keep me alert but calmer. I seem to take thinks more in stride even when people do STUPID things.

When I have a minute, I want to list some of the things that have happened that amaze me since I have been chanting my mantra.

Maybe I should jot down some of these before I forget because I am starting to just accept them as the grace of G-d or some special connection with Amma, maybe it is both.

Thanks for listening, Emma. I want to read a few posts and then turn in. It has been a long day!

Best, Oliana xx

 people act crazy
not a care in the world
full moon

© 2014/08/11

Innocents die (senryû)


Photo: Phoenix – desktop nexus


Innocents die,
barbarians thrive
spreading despair

Phoenix had only thirty-six hours to finish his work. His world was in a Gehenna. Seeing his people tortured, tormented and massacred with dirty warfare at the hands of hedonistic madmen, crushed his soul. His heart was bleeding at what seemed to be, yet again, a cursed legacy. His ancestors suffered, and no one then, thought it would ever get to this point of madness. And yet it did.

His people were good souls who struggled to live, not much to get by yet always willing to give to whomever was in need. They prayed for the souls of their own as well as the world around them. They believed in the Golden Rule and never went to sleep at night unless they had offered a selfless deed to someone.   THIS was their true legacy…to spread the word of love and compassion worldwide.

Last week, when Phoenix was kneeling in prayer, tear streaked face, pleading to the Great Spirit for peace, he was filled with despair.  He leaned on the rock near the precipice and was planning to give up.  He could no longer face the mayhem.  suddenly, he saw a shadow behind the rock moving. At first he thought it was a vision but wiped his eyes and saw it was a shaman. He held a package in his arms and spoke briefly to him.

Phoenix was absorbed by what this wise shaman was telling him.  He listened silently and with reverence. The shaman asked him if he had any questions. Phoenix asked, “Why me?” The shaman simply smiled and left.

That was twelve hours ago and he was given strict instructions to douse the special syringe in the bottle the shaman had given him. Only 3 cc’s it would take, the shaman had told him, to do the job. And when the liquid in the bottle went down to ¼ of the bottle, he was simply to add water and it would continue to multiply its special powers. It would never lose its strength but he must start by August 10th at the fullest moon of the year for it to proliferate. Whoever would touch a person who had been pricked by this needle would contaminate anyone who breathed within a ten foot radius.   If this was so, thought Phoenix, “there would be hope. Finally this madness would disintegrate as well as the thoughts of this militia of maniacs.”

Now was the time. Phoenix, disguised as a warrior of this militia joined the officer in chief and served him his wine. Everyone was partying, celebrating their victory.   They bragged at their barbaric deeds.  Phoenix started choking and fought back his anger and sadness for he had to keep up this role for the greater good.

That night most of the fighters passed out around their festive table that was a shamble of food rotting like their souls.  Phoenix injected everyone and knew it would only be time before there would finally be an end to this plague of misery.


© OK – 2014/08/11

Submitted for Mindlovemiserysmenagerie Wordle 21

Write a poem or story using 10 of these words

  1. Delicate 2. Dirty 3. Legacy 4. Shrapnel 5. Gehenna (any place of extreme torment or suffering) 6. Douse 7. Hate 8. Syringe 9. Precipice 10. Hedonistic 11. Rot 12. Disintegrate

Pictures of ISIS brutal killings in Iraq


where are we headed
in a world that tortures
innocent men, women,
children for no reason?
where are we headed
in a world that exists like this?
ISIS represents something
too evil to describe
the devil is a sweetheart
by comparison
what kind of people
behave with such venom
in the name of their g-d
bullshit!! they lie!
no holy book teaches to slaughter
No higher power would condone
such atrocities,
what is the world waiting for?
why not intervene now?
I can’t believe our governments
make us believe it is a local war
it IS a world tragedy
violation of human rights
it is murder!
these are massacres
what are we waiting for
to protect these people
children dying so young
assassinated for what?
tell me one good reason
ISIS had committed such treason
to the human race?
Praying for these losses is not enough
I feel powerless
unable to make a dent
or take notice where it counts
Pathetic, useless,
weak, helpless.

© Oliana 2014/08/11

Originally posted on Lotenna Blog:


The ISIS militants have taken over many Iraqi towns and have committed horrible atrocities

    I’m writing this with a completely broken heart and a torn spirit. I’m so shocked and pained that I can hardly put my emotions into words. I am equally frustrated that I can hardly do anything about this situation that gives me so much heartache. I was shocked beyond words when I saw the horrific pictures of ISIS massacre in Iraq. I’m going to share some of them but let me first warn that these pictures are extremely distressing and discretion is adviced.
    The blood thirsty LUNATICS, ISIS in Iraq and Syria who have since declared an Islamic state after conquering large portions of the country have been uncontrollable in the extent of terror they have unleashed. My previous post was about the ISIS attack on religious minorities including the Yazidis and the Christians which caused thousands of the Yazidi minority to flee into…

View original 240 more words

I called on you

I called on you, Yesterday,
you always seem to have
clouds in your way;
I left a message,
did you get it?
I came by today
did you see me?
the day was glorious
blue skies with glowing sun
you used to love days like this
finding them so much fun
the clouds tried to cover
but that blazing star won over
all the clouds ,even the grey ones.
When I came by
I met your special guy
he seems so lonely
I should drop by some day
…I enjoyed my visit today
you got some folks worried
not able to eat of late,
good thing I came by
and fed you lots of snacks
Haagan Dazs, yogurt
portions of Ensure too
cos you did not eat dinner,
Yes, we had a good visit,
but this will only be filed
in your folder of Yesterday
with all the others.

© Oliana, 2014/08/09


Double your trouble (SoCS Friday reminder)

Linda has given us the words:  double two bi for our prompt of Stream of Conciousness (SoCS) This is the Friday reminder but I am writing it right away as I relax in my son’s lazy boy, the girls (dogs and cat) are napping and I have no clue what I will say but once I start it is like when I talk…you gotta shut me up!

Double Two Bi (or anything that relates to two)

Title: Double your trouble

The first thing that comes to mind when I see this prompt is double trouble and so, I may as well just go with that and see what comes forth.

When life is going well, I guess I could take a double double of that, wouldn’t you? And yet when things seem to be going  wrong, the world seems bleak and bad luck is tripping you a lot, that seems to come in three’s they say. Well, who the heck said that anyway? It must be a Catholic thing, one bad thing faces you and then another and low and behold you have a friend or relative that rushes to say well, “jamais deux sans trois” (literally translated: never two without three). Oh, I just though of another expression we say in English “double trouble”. So maybe it is my French upbringing that expects bad things to happen in three’s. I don’t mean any disrespect when I say Catholic thing, it’s just that I grew up feeling guilty if good things would be coming our way. Anyway I am sure that way of thinking has certainly changed in many circles by now…I sure hope so!

Whatever…now where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, when life is going well and we just want more where that came from., maybe we could expect a bi-weekly splurge of happiness that will carry you over with wonderful, fuzzy wuzzy feelings for the rest of the time when bleak times creep back in. And then again, why do we expect anything to begin with? Why can’t we just make our own happiness? A few minutes ago I was reading a post a blogger, Pavanneh, had reblogged from The Mirror Obscura  about expectations of happiness versus sadness. I read that article and kept bobbing my head in agreement especially when the writer talks about changing our attitude. The part that touched me most, becuase I actually practice this,  is to smile at people more, even a complete stranger, give them a seat etc….just be more compassionate towards people and you will feel real good because their joy comes back to you DOUBLE. Yep, that is for sure.

I have volunteered most of my adult life and if there is anything that can lift your spirit is to reach out and touch/help someone. You know that guy that told us many years ago…um, 2014 years ago (more or less) who preached to people to be nicer to their brother…to their neighbour? Yeah, that guy, Jesus. Well, I do believe that since then there have been more special people like that over the years that have taught the world to just give a bit of yourself every day…it is better than taking two aspirins, costs double nothing and it will leave you feeling pretty darn good.

When I say there are people who have preached all over the world about being more compassionate, I can think of many but don’t want to forget a lot so I will simply name the last person who has touched me with her grace, her love to humanity, her compassion that is felt…and when she hugged me, I felt the same love only GrandMaman gave me…that is, real unconditional love. You guessed surely by now, I am referring to Amma. (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

As for sad days, I have to say that especially since I started writing last year, I embrace those grey, dark days. Living with chronic pain does bring on sad days sometimes because it is so draining emotionally as much as physically…so double your trouble when two parts of you (body and soul) are hurting. However, my muse is a bit of a sadist I think. She just goes nuts when things are chaotic, depressing and especially very painful days.

I  also feel that grey times are needed in order to appreciate and see the difference with good times. It is through pain and suffering that we learn so many important life lessons, that we grow spiritually…now I don’t mean to be a martyr…no, no, I am not saying either to seek and expect negativity. I am saying to embrace it when it comes your way and learn from it.

In conclusion, it is worth doubling your efforts to reach out and touch someone because then it will propagate. Gee that makes me think of pollination …ha! so if you are busy as a bee and spread joy and happiness, you will get back more than double your investment plus it spreads to other people. Now that is smart banking!

(c) Oliana ’18-08-08

Written for: LindaGHill’s FridayReminder StreamOfConciousness SoCS August 8, 2014

Pet sitting soon over

This morning I took some photos of the girls after texting my son to see when he will be back from his road trip, I have one more sleep here and then I am back home with my Bette. I stopped at my place on my way to work to cool the place and spend some time with Bette. Boy did she chew off my ear. Nag, nag, nag…but she missed me so that’s totally okay. It must be a bit painful for her smelling the scent of the girls on me too…soon, Bette, we shall be reuinted.

Heidi was playing with her sister and I decided to take a few shots…

Where have you been dear one?

Where have you been dear one?
I have missed you so much
thought you had left me and gone
but no, here you are once again
making my heart pitter patter
feeling my soul flutter
especially when you grin,
as if I’d committed
some outrageous sin
and you praise my bravery
my shocking behaviour
and I feel like none other
but your only true love.
Where have you been dear one?
how long will you stay…this time
before you flee and are up and gone
once again?



lovers reunite
do not cling, nor make promises
love is simply free

(c) Oliana ’14-08-08

Past sense of scents (haiga)

I know the prompt asks to write about childhood scents but it is summer and that evokes memories of childhood, yes, but also lovers …so these are memories I`ve written often here of my Black Knight.


Photo by David Cooper

baritone voice
football frame, spoons expertly
trace of sweetness

lost love
days pass, longing
pillow case recalls…

crowded bus
pushing, shoving, man leans close
sweet recall


(c) Oliana ’14-08-06

Submitted for Carpe Diem Haiku Ghost Writer 20, The Scent of Poetry. 

Photo originally posted in Love is to Me

Poor Bette…

OK '14
OK ’14

poor sweet Bette,
has been left all alone;
I’m busy with Heidi
Mya and Gigi too.

My son announced Sunday night that he was going on a road trip for 4 or 5 days and could I pop by his house once a day to put the girls out (dogs of course). He also has Gigi, the Persian but she is easier to deal with…she loves me and yes, my son has asked me many a times to adopt her…nope…one is enough and Bette needs undivided attention.

© OK '14
© OK ’14

Now I work in Montreal which is close to home but his home is an hour away from my work place. Hmm, and does not a dog have to go out in the morning and at night? So I am driving to his home to sleep at night; we have a little visit again in the morning with my cuppa and relaxing. Then off to my home to change clothes and visit with Bette. But she is sure telling me off right now. I think after 30 minutes she has finally forgiven me…she is relaxing too next to my laptop. But she sure will be unhappy cos I am not coming back until Thursday now.
On the positive side, I asked work if I could do some online counselling from home so I could keep my Bette company. Good thing I have a great supervisor who is also a cat lover

© OK '14
© OK ’14

Forgive me my sweet but you know that it is for a good cause and when I go away my son comes to visit her and she just loves him to death…I’m a tad jealous, I think.

© OK ’14/08/05

Dear Emma,

I went for a visit…not a good time to take photos…no more photos, Emma, she would  be too upset…not for the world to see her like this, not her anymore…her soul is in between here and somewhere else…maybe that`s why she comes in my dreams so much…Oh! how I love those visits, Emma…

he was mixing some concoction
when I entered the room
just in time for her “collation”
he handed me the bowl with relief
I was pleased because feeding
her makes me feel useful
coming here I’m often filled with grief
and so much remorse, it is so
palpable … sour acid guilt
she looked up at me, eyes glazed
knew not her daughter,
suspicion marked her face,
or was it fear and frustration?
the Jello with custard concoction was disgusting
she kept spitting half way,
sticking out her tongue
feeling the texture of the food
just like an infant tasting his first solids
she is forgetting more
and more how to eat
soon she will not be able
soon she will waste away
her body will follow her mind…
I swapped that Jello
with a chocolate pudding
I just happened to have in my purse
same food ceremony with her tongue
but she seemed to enjoy it better
… when I asked her a few times, “Encore?”
she replied, “Oui” vehemently
now THAT made me smile:)
we held hands for a long time
I put a cold facecloth on her forehead
the hot humidity was making it uncomfortable.
for both of us, her throat glistened with the heat
somehow that facecloth
on her forehead make me feel cooler
“is that better, Mum?”
a brief nod, “Ya”
Another visit, another snack,
somehow, it felt lonely today…
everyone has their role
my sister goes mornings orfor lunch
my step father goes for supper
I go for a bedtime snack Fridays or Saturdays
it never seems enough, it’s all I can fare
for now
when she gives me that confused stare
sometimes I feel she thinks, “Why have you abandoned me?
Your visits here are so rare!”
…again that look…searching…that stare…
My only excuse is my work,
my energy, my…my my my…
feeling so ashamed to even think
of me me me me me! (sigh!)
I just want to cry
but don’t for she feels the tension
and pinches or slaps me
when I cry…like a young child
gets confused and sometimes angry
if their mother cries…
my son would feel sad,
my daughter would be outright mad
emotions made her feel uneasy..
so I try to keep good thoughts
happy memories and feelings
sitting here,
she, clutching my hand…
just one measly day a week
sometimes I skip a week or two
and feel like hsit
Maybe someday, we will have a chat
about all of this…someday
in the afterlife…
yes, that is what comforts me
someday we will all have a party
a real family party with
GrandMamans cooking,
s harmonica
jigging, singing, laughing…
until then…

(c) Oliana ’14-08-05

le rendezvous (shadorma-elfje)


Photo credits: Bastet


At the bridge
she leans on the rail
river flows
water falls
serenely, waits by the dam
for their rendezvous.


smoothly approaches
shoulders lightly touch
electricity rushes entre deux


eyes gazing
he strokes her long hair
she quivers,
holds her close
breaths fuse, lips barely touch, sigh
able tongues tango.

© Oliana ’14/08/04

Submitted for Bastet’s Shadorma Prompt – August 2, 2014

Hello World!

Bette March 21, 2014 {BFF - Best Feline Friend}
Bette March 21, 2014
{BFF – Best Feline Friend}

we’re back online
internet connects the world
communion of words

We (my muse and my BFF, Bette) are back online! The weirdest thing occurred while the technician who is contracted for this “new” internet provider arrived. The technician works for our largest telecommunication company.  Now this new company is smart! Why? Because since all these new service providers are actually tapping in on this largest telecommunication company’s lines, why not put qualified technicians who don’t screw up the lines, right?  Exactly!  The largest Quebec telecommunication provider screwed up the lines a few years back and it took hours for the technician to correct the faux-pas of that company.  So I can see this as a great idea.

This was a first time this technician however (wearing his polo shirt with the logo of said telecommunication company) was connecting a new customer using the same modem and not buying a new one from this new service provider. Why not recycle and reuse these items?

My connection went perfectly well, the modem (with hesitation on the part of the technician) went fabulously well and now I am back in business.

Last night I was checking to ensure I still had my laptop configured with wireless and I had disabled it by mistake…so I went back to restore to a previous date but when a window popped up asking me to save anything before as I would lose it all…it flashed too fast and I lost 5 series of haiku I had just written in my Word document.  I managed to remember…sort of 3 but the longest series, of course, it slipped my mind.

You know when you are inspired and your muse takes over? Well, that happens a lot actually. I reread poems I wrote a few days ago and I am shocked that it is “I” that actually wrote it.  No, no, it is not my short-term memory loss…yet…that is going.

So now I am trying to get back into my “zone” so I can retrieve some of those thoughts on Justice for Horizons Haiku.

Now to catch up on reading, writing, reading, reading…but on the plus side, I finished two novels when I was not online.

Still two hours to go before leaving for work…plenty of time to post a few things here:)

A happy camper

© OK 2014/08/04


While you were sleeping (photo challenge #19)

Photo: While you were sleeping Martin Stranka

while you were sleeping
an angel came to me
heeding advice,
leaving this warfare strife
joining heaven’s peaceful life.

© Oliana Kim, ‘14/08/02

Submitted for: MindLoveMiserys Menagerie – Photo Challenge #19 While you were sleeping

Here or Hear (SoCS Prompt August 2, 2014)

Hear/Here (SoCS Prompt August 2, 2014)

As I sat down to write some of my posts today, I turned on the radio. I liked the Québecois balad I could hear and commenced composing my own form of art with poetry, haiku and shadorma for starters. My desk is right next to my bedroom and I had left the window open and pushed my dresser beneath this open window so Bette, my BFF (best feline friend) could look out at the trees and smell the fresh air.

The next song was not as sweet to my ‘hearing’ and then I heard the birds chirping here in the back of my apartment. Well, I thought to myself, I’ll have none of this competition with brass versus beauty and so I turned the radio off so I could hear nature’s music as I continued to write here at my desk.

I was quite surprised and delighted as well at how much I was able to compose here in these few hours only because last night I had cut and pasted here in my word document and then saved it on my flash drive so I could enjoy writing here at home despite the fact that I still did not have internet services. Yes, there are ways to adjust to the here and now. It did take me almost one month however but I hear that it takes at least 21 days to cause or change a habit. So there you go, in 21 days plus 7, I managed to find a creative way to still show my presence here on the World Wide Web on WordPress. Now if only I could catch up on my readings though.

I do miss reading the contributions and wonderful offerings here at WordPress and Blogspot and I hear that is the way to encourage other writers but also improve my own writing…yes, indeed. I do miss this. But soon I will be part of the blogosphere, here.

© Oliana ‘2014/08/02

Submitted for: SoCS Prompt August 2, 2014 Here or Hear.

G-d is Love (Dungeon Week #1, Season 3)

“God is not a limited individual who sits alone up in the clouds on a golden throne. God is pure Consciousness that dwells within everything. Understanding this truth, learn to accept and love everyone equally.”

  • Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)


Welcome back, Sreejit! We have been deprived of deep soul searching prompts on Thursday mornings. Well, afternoon for me as I am a night owl {grins}. What a pleasant surprise to see in my emails Thursday “Dungeon Prompts”!

And yet again a very thought provoking prompt. What is my concept of G-d? Over the years my concepts have changed slightly or perhaps I should say, they have broadened.

As a young child in a small town, there were thousands of Catholic followers among hundreds of Protestant (Anglican and United) faiths. Of course this is only because I grew up in a French Canadian town that was probably 90 percent Catholic. At the turn of the twentieth century many immigrants came from Italy and Ireland for that specific reason, Catholicism. So it was quite vibrant and strong when I grew up in the sixties.

I liked the idea of Jesus who was my brother and lived on earth like you and me. But his dad sure scared me…then. We were taught to watch out because He sees and hears everything. I mean for Pete sakes, how is a girl to go pee in private, with that thought? No, I mean it! As I grew up into the teen years, some of my friends were of other faiths and of course jokes went around and some may have been a bit vulgar of a sexual nature. Boys especially would tease me that I would have to go to confession for hearing these lewd jokes. They were right too! I would confess to our parish priest (the only priest who understood English) that I had heard three dirty jokes, said bad words twice, took the name of the Lord in vain once (well that was not my fault really cos my dad did all the time! rather than call me Oliana, he would just say J.C you are stupid!). I would confess for disobeying my mother, thinking badly of my father and on and on because G-d knew anyway, so may as well come clean, right?

My last confession was April 2, 1971 the eve of my wedding for some weird reason; I thought that would make me pure for my wedding day. I remember asking the priest if it was okay to use contraception and he told me, “Go according to your conscience if you feel it is right.” What a guy! He left that parish soon after and he was not the one who married us either…too bad. Yes, we were wed by a priest who had excommunicated my mother (divorced my dad at the recommendation of the former parish priest due to his abuse and infedility); this priest who took my ex husband aside and warned him that he should not marry me because I came from a broken home; this priest who excommunicated my divorced sister (also married a physically abusive husband).

I was angry at the church for shaming my family. My mother who said the Rosary every night! If she woke up in the middle of the night, her fingers may have been half way to the end of the rosary, and she would continue praying. My grandmother who did the same and as she got older purchased a rosary with ginormous beads to help her finish before going to sleep. My family who lived and breathed compassion which, to them, spelled Christianity.

However, I still believed but the church disappointed me big time. A dear aunt once told me that having faith was not the same as following some church dogma. That relieved me so I could still pray (speak to Him) ask for support, guidance and most mornings would wake up asking G-d,  “Help make me a better person and more patient.”

And so my beliefs changed a bit. I believed my G-d was the same as Adonis, Jehovah (to name a few) and that although some may not have accepted Jesus as their messiah, most acknowledged Him as a prophet. I found more similarities in other religions than differences. And soon I was trying to practice one rule…The Golden Rule which was universal in all faiths.

Later in life when I struggled with heartaches, I read “Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. Rather than see my struggles as a “cross to bear” I liked the idea of

“embracing the pain” because then and only then would I see enlightenment. I think that is when I came up with a metaphor I used in counselling youths about “light at the end of the tunnel”. The tunnel being a ginormous connection of pipes that curve here and there, that join with 3 others sometimes and you are faced at a crossroad. If you want to finally see the light, you have to walk in the darkness, hold on to that pain like Dorothy should have to a tree for dear life. Hold out your hand so a friend, trusted adult or counsellor can walk you part way along this path and eventually you will see that light.”

I believe that we all have the light within us as well as G-d. G-d is in all living things and in every part of the universe including the skies, oceans, lakes and rivers. So here is my concept…


G-d is love

I see His love up in the sky

soft curved cribs for tiny cherubs

billows forming angels’ couch

sun that glows

can almost touch

filled with grace

I feel His trace

inside my heart

deep in my soul

rays of colour

within a rainbow

whispers of love that enfold

His graceful way

He smiles that day

nature wraps me with His love

summer’s breeze

that Willow tree

scents of flora

that aim to please

bees move pollen here and there

worms peak after a summer rain

birds chirping everywhere

thanking Him for this fair day

glorious sunsets

I see most days

spiritual moment

on display

and when I thought

I’d seen it all…


shine my path with light

while stars wink

to say goodnight.

© Oliana 2014/08/02

Submitted for: Dungeon Prompts, Week 1,¸Season 3, Concept of G-DWhat is yours?

Dear Emma,


(c) OK '14
(c) OK ’14

I am tired of not being at home to write!!! Well, I write but I can’t post and I miss reading blogs, and seeing new prompts.  Just a few minutes ago, I saw Chevrefeuille from CarpeDiemeHaiku Kai posted a prompt for a Shadorma and Jen from Blogitorloseit had a lovely one included in the explanation…Well, soon I will be back in business.

I am changing my writing a bit. I will still write (talk like I usually do) and when inspired post a free verse here and there but I want to concentrate more on Japanese forms.  I want to practice and read up on this form.  I find the poetry and history of the great masters just fascinating.  It is almost like a religion…well, not in the traditional sense but what I mean is that it is a spiritual experience and I truly love that soothing feeling and just kicking back and getting in touch with nature…me and nature connecting.

Since Haiku are about nature, I find my current nom de plume, Oliana is most fitting. After all it means Oleander in Haiwan and a nom de plum as a flower is most fitting, don’t you think?

I best stop here cos I think it is near closing time and all I ate was a bowl of cereal and a cheese scone all day…not too good. But my apartment is spanking clean…well, almost dust free and clutter free…fixed up the guest room in case my grandson pops over a  sleepover.

Goodnight, Emma and thanks for listening, Oliana xx

(c) OK ’14-08-01


So here I am at my local coffee shop near home, Second Cup. It is actually located right across the street from Starbuck’s! No kidding!  I don’t know who decided to do this but I am sure the drive thru weekday mornings are equally busy and people probably choose the shortest line.  Although Starbuck’s is more expensive and it is not Canadian.

I have been to both and I prefer Second Cup at this location anyway and I do try to boy cut non local if I can.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Starbuck’s coffee too. But if there is a choice of a smaller local café like in Montreal, I find the coffee is usually better and the place is quaint, smaller and well, the way a café is supposed to be.

When I worked at another location 2 years ago, we were right next to a small quaint café…tiny tables, barely room but the coffee was excellent as well as the fresh salads, soups and panini.  We still have all this but I just have to walk further and lately, my wobbly body finds that difficult…but with aid of a cane (I put my pride aside) I manage much better.

So, what about you…do you try to support local cafés and restaurants? What about big restaurant chains, do you choose this over a Mom and Pop eatery?  Personally I do try but sometimes location and convenience takes over like travelling on Highway 401 to Toronto but if I`m not in a hurry I much prefer driving into Brockville (such a quaint town) or Kingston and find a restaurant near the water.

Now I have exactly 2 hours before they kick me out, so I better try to read some blogs and do a few posts …now where are my notes again…oh yeah…got it! How to decipher my handwriting.

(c) OK '14 Café corsé and heated cheese scone
(c) OK ’14 Café corsé and heated cheese scone

(c) Oliana, ’14-08-01 (OMG it IS August already!! summer is half over!)

Villain in thee (Tale Weaver’s #18)

Photo credits: polyvore

The villain in thee



raping the mind

the villain in thee



the villain in thee

showing the dark side

raging, whining, swearing

venom dripping down the chin

reeking havoc

causing pain

the villain in thee

hurting, jabbing,

piercing the heart

the villain in thee

invading the mind

poisoning of all kinds

entertaining thoughts

most would have fought

envy, jealousy,


pure deception


the villain in thee

shows its presence

from time to time

the villain in thee

from time to time

is in me.

(c) OK ’14-07-31

Submitted for TaleWeaver’s Prompt 18 at Mindlovemiserys Menagerie

Mini update on internet service

I finally bit the bullet and called a third internet service provider. The price $22.00 less than the largest Canadian telecommunications, $10 cheaper than 2 other smaller companies.  So this is the one and I hope they have good service.

What I like about them is they are a smaller company near my home on this side of the bridge, meaning South Shore of Montreal.  They cater to Ontario and Quebec for now.

They are the only company that accepted that use my current modem rather than purchase or rent another one too.  Now that is honest if you ask me.  Well, I won’t speak too fast in case my modem does not work but still, they are willing to give it a try and save me $80.00

Service should be up and running in 6 to 9 days, they said.  We shall see; I have to start bringing my laptop to coffee shops and not just my tablet as that tiny keyboard is not great for typing for several hours…ouch my fingers and wrists today, but it was still worth it.

Soon, I will be back in the cyberworld.  What I miss the most is writing what comes to mind at that very moment…I write it in my notebook but I can’t read my own handwriting!! Truly, my shorthand is more legible than my scratchings. I should have been a doctor!

OK <14/17/29

Dear Emma,

(c) OK '14
(c) OK ’14

Man oh man, how I have missed talking to YOU! I have written some reflections, whined, hummed and hawed a bit…okay, a lot but basically I have missed sharing my thoughts about life, living and just being.

As you know I have lost a friend and colleague recently and although we were not close friends, I had not seen him for years after he left the position of regional director where I work, he has always been close to my heart. He would often send a little note or comment on facebook asking how I was or commenting on a post I wrote on my other blog. And in January when another friend and colleague announcing that she was faced with breast cancer, would soon have surgery and mountains of treatment, this other friend came back into our lives. He had been battling cancer for over a year and I had not known…until he visited our offices in March.

I visited him once in May and knew when I left I might never see him again…I had such a good memory of his smiling face despite his tiredness, his warm tight hug, despite his weakness and his roar of a laugh that was a mix of a great thunder and Elvis! Did I not mention he was a great Elvis impersonator?

I had a great weekend, celebrating my grandson’s birthday, then Saturday spending the afternoon and evening with my best friend who lives in the country surrounded by mountains.  She and her husband will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary…boy that hits me strongly.  They are the first couple my ex and I became good friends with when we were first married.  They married young like we did and they are also the godparents of my son.

I love them like my siblings…no more! And they have always been there for me, never judging me even in our divorce.  But I do feel lonely sometimes when I leave there feeling I missed out…somehow…they were even privy and met my boyfriend last year and were just as shocked as I was with the lousy ending. Yep, I sort of feel in limbo…not that I miss being with someone but that there is still something either missing or that still needs to be done…I’ll figure it out eventually…

Yesterday was Sunday and my first day of my workweek. I took my shower and all of a sudden I just wept…could not stop and realized I was still grieving…yesterday was exactly 7 days since his death. Little did I know that I had a long shift ahead for I had forgotten that I had accepted to do an extra two hours and I finished work at midnight taking me home finally at one in the morning. I got home and felt empty for some reason…don’t know why, can’t put my finger on it but I felt a hole in my gut.

No t.v. since I cancelled satellite, I did not feel like popping in a video or any series…Oh yeah, I forgot, I do have that series of Roseanne…maybe tonight. I like her because her old show is just so…well, real!

I sat down with my notebook since I still do not have internet at home (still debating who is the best service) and finally just popped some popcorn and brought that in bed with a good book I am reading.

I dreamed so much again and it is as if I was working overtime. I woke up at 6 am. and then 8 am…well, correction, Bette, is disturbing me early mornings now. She wants to be petted all the time. I have kicked her out of my room a few times this past week and shut the door but today, she seemed to get the message.

My body was so sore, my back, my neck, my knees and left leg…I felt so achy and feverish and wondered if my mood was not taking over my body…so I phoned into work and took a sick day. Well, actually I had 21 hours of lieu time, and asked the secretary to put it on that. I slept off and on until 2p.m.! It felt good but when I got up I felt like I had to get out. This was a great time to finally renew my passport and so I went there before going to a coffee shop to write.

The young man at immigration was so nice and we chatted a bit about work and he went to the same university as I did. I gave him some ideas to pursue more education as he mentioned he wanted to get another degree. I thought about this environment and the employees were so friendly (not often seen in government jobs) and told him I would not mind applying to work here…it is a 5 minute walk from my apartment…now how great would that be?

He gave me the card with the website and told me they were also looking for an immigration agent but in downtown Montreal…no problem, I said, that is right at the Bonaventure where the skating rink is at the bus stop…now wouldn’t that be a great job to have? It won’t hurt to apply but there is still the question of my age if they find me too old…but I would be great!!! I know I would!! I seem to be carrying the positiveness of my friend who just passed…good!!

Soon, I will be divulging ONLY on this blog my real ME. A few regular bloggers and I feel, friends, do know already. I want to eventually combine some poems together and decide what is publishable…I also want to place all my Japanese form poetry in one section, again, so I can choose which are good, which I want to edit and well, get some printed even if it is just for close family…I want to leave something besides my long hair and big feet (haha).

I am really behind in reading many blogs and that bugs me because I love connecting with other writers here but that will soon be fixed, I hope. And as for writing, well, I want to purchase a few books recommended to me by Jen at Blogitorloseit by three master Haiku poets so I can improve on my haiku. Thanks to Georgia at Bastetandsekhmet   , Jen at Blogitorloseit and of course the humble maître, Chèvrefeuille, I am learning a bit more each week.

I have been at Second Cup comfortably writing for several hours now, so I think I should leave before they kick me out…not that they would …I hope. It is still raining and miserable outside, so it is not as busy as it normally is here. Thank goodness, there are good things despite the weather. And I am not complaining about the rain, mind you, just wish it could be spared and shared in parts of the world that need it more than here.

Goodnight, Emma, and thanks for listening as usual. Hugs, Oliana xxx

My thoughts on Advice giving (haibun)


Advice Giving


Live life

explore options

best advice


days pass

nightfall comforts

stars will always shine

written for Mindlovemiserys Menagerie Prompt #65

What have I got to say about advice? I work on a helpline for youths up to mid 20`s and most ask my advice which I cannot give. I can help guide them to make a decision, offer options and then they can decide what works best for them. I find that is the best type of support and counselling anyone can really give.

That reminds me of one of my first counselling sessions…FOR ME. My marriage was wobbly, on its last legs but I was determined to make it work just a tad longer until our children were a bit older and independent. And so I went to see a counsellor at a different location than my workplace which offered these services too because it surely is not recommended to see a friend or colleague.

This counsellor read the information from my doctor who had placed me on a leave of absence for several months. Call it burnout, overwork or Fibromyalgia (for which it was FMS mixed with overwork) but situational depression was the term insurance companies do not frown upon. Yep, we live in a system that forces us to say we are incapable of working due to mental illness and then whenever you try to get insured anywhere, insurance companies refuse you. Go figure! And you wonder why these companies make big bucks…HA! Even Fibromyalgia needs to be reported before being insured…in Canada, I don’t get it since our health care is free (paid by our hefty taxes) so insurance companies pay less and less and still charge an arm, a leg and your little pinky! for rates.

I digress. The social worker I saw kept insisting (advising) that I should leave my husband even though I told her that I was just overtired and not quite ready to leave a marriage of 20+ years. Anything I said she seemed to turn around and make it much worse. I tell ya, she must have had a thing against men or relationships. But I had not completed my degree in Human Sciences yet, and I was JUST starting my counselling course AND also in counselling later with another university to be eligible for this class.

Long story short, she sucked by giving me bad advice…laughing at me when I would tell her things from my past insisting my dad did really bad things to me as a child. Granted he was an abusive father but I truly do not feel or remember anytime that he molested me as a young child…that was only when I was a teenager but she kept mocking and making innuendos that I finally left her. I ended up finding a new doctor who acted as my therapist as well. This doctor gave me options…she would not advise me but would help me see reality and help me process this and offered to support me in ANY decision I took.

Advice is not always a good thing to give. But of course many will ask for it.

“Should I leave this relationship?” I get that a lot from youths. I tell them I can’t answer that because I don’t have to live with the decision. Maybe they are not quite ready yet…and that is totally okay. If there is abuse and physical violence, I will talk about a safety plan but that is it.

Of course I do get youths who hang up because I refuse to tell them point blank what to do. If it does not work out they only have ME to blame, right? Un-uh…no way. That is not helpful. I am not afraid of getting blamed but I do want clients to grow even if it is just a little bit. Sometimes we talk about relationships, love, mutual respect and then the seed is planted…it just takes longer for it to germinate for some people…and that is totally okay too.

When my daughter had her son she was quite young and I was working on a Parent Help Line at that time and she would ask me for advice. Again, I would explore what she would think would be a good idea first…and why not? If there is ever a time a mother feels she is questioning herself all the time, gets tons advice from other mothers and knows not what to do anymore. So yes, I would guide her if I could, tell her what worked for me sometimes but never give her direct advice except for no nonsense things like sterilizing, cooking etc. Her friends would tell her, “Wow! You are so lucky to have a mom that works at a parent help line!” And she would respond, “Well, she just responds the same way…and what would you do or think about that?”

It sometimes drove her crazy but she did an amazing job raising her son all on her own!! A single mom with of course, family, grandparents around her and friends …but she did it and still excels as a great mama in my eyes. She is tougher than I ever was and that makes sense as she has to represent the nurturer and the disciplinarian at the same time…the mom and dad. I spoiled my kids and their father was more the disciplinarian. I know, I know, I sucked…but I found him a bit too strict so I tried to compensate. I did my best and that is something I do understand when I think back on my mother`s own mothering.   She rarely told me I had to do this or that…not an advice giver unless you were asking her advice on your hair because she was an amazing hair stylist.

My mother was raised by an authoritarian mother (lucky me, GrandMaman jumped a generation and did not boss me around) and so mom’s reaction was to be more open. She would tells us as teens to go out and have fun and come home when we felt it was time and her last sentence always was, “I trust you”…WELL, how can you do anything bad with that last comment. And we did not…we were pretty good teens; we just stayed up until the sun came up often but that never got me pregnant and I did not due drugs or drink alcohol.

So advice to me is offering guidelines and options…and it is up to each individual to take the right choice that keeps them safe, healthy and works in their life.

I remember going to confession and asking our parish priest for advice about taking birth control which is basically a no-no for Catholics…his response, in 1971 was, “Choose according to your conscience” and I did and know that The Great Spirit is just fine with my choice at that time, having married at 19 years old.

So that’s it on advice for me…

(c) OK ’14-07-28

No More Strings Attached (Photo Challenge #18)


Kiyo Murakami

Don’t let them pull on your strings.  Saying Yes, Sir, Yes Ma’am, Yes, Yes, Yes all the time.

“But people will like me best if I say Yes, Sir Wilfred!”

No they won’t, they will laugh at you behind your back.

“But …but…what about  doing good onto others.”

That is just fine but it does not say anywhere in any holy book for people to walk all over you, pull your strings and, wipe their fee on you when they are done.!

“Well, it’s not that bad and I want to have friends. And I want everyone to like me.”

Not everyone will like you no matter how nice you are. In fact the ones you try the hardest, the ones you do the most for end up not liking you and disrespecting you. There is nothing worse than losing your self-respect.

“Okay, so I should be mean like you and liver forever alone.”…pouts.

No, I am not alone because I have nobody. I choose to be alone and I have plenty of friends and people respect me and I respect them as well.

“I still don’t want to be all alone.”

Start by being real nice to YOU. Start by liking YOU.  Start by flattering YOU. Start by being all that you are for everyone else…but START WITH YOU.

It took many months, lots of hard work, spiritual counselling, practice, light therapy, assertiveness training,  and after 8 months, there was a grand celebration.  Angela went to the House of Sir Wilfred and he held a grand ball for her in the Confirmation Ball Room.

Angela  wore a long silk pale pink gown.  She looked radiant. The entire village was invited.  There was a chamber orchestra playing violin. Thirty minutes at the start of the evening, Sir Wilfred called Angela to the stage where she sat on a gold throne decorated for this occasion.  The music stopped and Sir Wilfred took out his silver scissors and cut the strings that had been controlling Angela most of her life.

Everyone applauded and Angela floated down the stage to greet her new friends and suitors all waiting in line to dance with her.

© OK 2014/07/27

Submitted for: Photo Challenge #18 – Strings Attached

Birthday wish (senryû)

(c) OK '14
(c) OK ’14

ten years ago
an infant born
a soul who’d touch
us all so much
his smile
could melt
us anytime
so very heartfelt
filled with pure love
He grew
he walked
he talked
two tongues
enticing more
embracing all
a love for life
disdain for strife
a treasure and a gem
cannot imagine
my life without him.

ten years already
you’ve blessed our lives
that winning smile.

was born a mom, grand-papa
a nana and uncle too.

Happy Birthday
Tristan, sweetheart
have a smashing day!

This was originally written July 22, on my grandson’s birthday.

(c) OK ’14

Let me out! (shadorma)

Sun and Rain (C) G.s.k. '14

Photo credit: Bastet’s Sun and Rain ’14

Looking out
sighs in frustration
rain rain rain
go away
five days with Tante Josephine

Josephine la pas fine
she is so

Rain rain GO
away and don`t come back
give me time
to escape
from this boring old mad house
Josephine is mad!

she sleep walks in the night
laughs loud all

talks to herself all day
locks me in

she tells me
“rain will make you melt
ma petite
we`re witches!!
wait for the golden sunshine
doors will be unlocked.”

rain rain go away, so
I can run

(c) OK ’14-07-27
Submitted for Bastet’s photo prompt at Mindlovemiserys Menagerie

Reflections TracesPrompt #12 What if we had a choice on Life & Death?

Life and Death

Thursday already?  Golly!! Here is the deal. I am still without internet and working 9 to 10 hour shifts due to summer vacations and not all shifts have been filled, so I have little time to write…much.  Okay, okay, I do scribble in my notebook to keep my mind quiet at night.

As I am on my break at work, I decided to write some reflections I have had this past week.

Life and Death are on my mind a lot. Lots of existential questions are brewing and grieving the loss of a friend.  I shared a bit on Dear Emma asking why not me who is older, having raised my family who are well in their thirties and independent and healthy.  I felt like there should be a waiting line for those who feel they can give another person a chance to finish off what they needed to do, you know?  I am not talking about a line where people sit in wait to take their lives like suicide.  No, no, it would be different…it would be a line where a person who is sound of mind and not suffering from any mental illness but just feeling that they want to “give” a younger person some extra time.  It would not be “buying” time because it would be given…they don’t owe me anything and I don’t expect any medals or free pass to the pearly gates…if I have to take a long trip to purgatory or hell…well, then, I suppose if it is the latter there is gonna be one wing ding of a party, right?

What are your thoughts about this morbid question?  It is a no brainer if we know our children are suffering from a terminal illness and I cannot even imagine this.  For those reading and have suffered such a tragedy, know that I mean no disrespect.

So imagine we live in a world that is far more advanced than it is now.  If someone wants to be diagnosed with any kind of mental or physical health condition, there is this super wand with magical powers, to ensure you are of sound mind.

Write a poem or story on your thoughts on this topic. What if we had a choice on Life and Death?…what would you do?

BastetandSekhmetLibrary – Life and death free verse

Martha0Stout – Different Phoenix Different ending


Last week’s offering at Reflections – TracesPrompt #11 – Your Vital Space:

Martha0Stout-  chaotic space 


© OK 2014/07/23

Heaven won

he’s left us
he fought for so long
but now heaven has won
he’s left us
a friend, a colleague
yet,  more a friend,
he loved life
fought for a long time
to stay just a bit longer
for his young son, wife
family, friends
He’s left us
for good
I will miss his hearty laugh
his loud deep roar
calling out my name
making me feel ten feet tall
miss his tight hugs
miss his warm smile
the twinkle in his eyes
how he made me feel so special
how he made everyone feel
number ONE
he’s left us for good
heaven has won.
he will be missed

© OK ’14/07/21

My Childhood room

My sister and I shared a bedroom in mostly all the homes we lived except our last home before my parents divorced.  I had my blue room all to myself.  But although I liked my own room, I sort of missed my sister and so two years later, at fourteen, we moved to Grandmaman’s house, my sister, mom and myself.

Our twin beds were set up in the basement, in the furnace room.  There was a big fat furnace that went off and on, every fifteen minutes. For a person who takes forever to fall asleep, let me tell you, I did not get to sleep until I was physically exhausted.  And if that was not bad enough, my grandmother had an old clock that would chime every fifteen minutes too!  I tell ya’, it was a conspiracy!!

Now this basement bedroom, in an unfinished basement was quite a transition having moved from a new bungalow.  My sister and I would hang up our school uniforms on the pipes and in the middle of the night (yes, when I finally was asleep), if I would wake up to go to the washroom, I would see these shadows of in the shape of coats, dresses but they looked like ghosts floating over my bed.  Gosh that would scare me!

Now the cool thing about this bedroom was that we set up our record player. My sister and I could listen to music anytime and just before going to a dance, we would practice our dance steps to James Brown, Stevie Wonder or the Supremes.

This was our room and my grandmother allowed me to even paint some bookshelves all psychedelic (gosh it was ugly) but she let me do my thing.  I could have friends over anytime too and even though it was damp, our clothes smelled mildew because of the humidity, we still had our privacy despite the cramped arrangement.

Summers we stayed up almost all night outside on the back lawn facing the river until the sun came up. By 9am., the sun was burning our faces and we’d just go back to sleep in the basement until noon. If there was any room that I loved and hated at the same time, that would be that furnace room.  I hated the smell, I hated that furnace but I loved the home cooked meals waiting for me upstairs, the love I had from GrandMaman and know that I was pretty lucky to have her take us into her humble home when she was sixty-six years old.  Heck, I’m almost getting there now, and I’m not too sure I’d have the patience to house two teenagers and a mother suffering from depression.

It takes a special person to make an unfinished basement/furnace room into a special bedroom/rec room. Merci GrandMaman.

my sanctuary

feeling safe and content

although smelly

© OK 2014/07/20

Written for: KellieElmoreFreeWriteFridays – Childhood room

Bastet’s Party

Party time, celebrating with food, laughter and a little vino of course.

We will all meet at the la Gare Centrale (Central Station) and have a bite at that counter, perhaps bagels and locks and cream cheese; then move on up to Fairmount Street and have a gelato and top that off with an espresso or cappuccino at Terrasse Café in Gamba;   We could have pizza later or just relax at that restaurant in our office building. We will have to take turns on that swing. It is the seat most patrons use to read during their lunch hour.  But I am sure we could negotiate to have the entire place to ourselves.

I prefer Pinot Grigio, so for those who prefer red or rosé, we will have that too…champagne gives me a headache but Jen from Lose it or Blog it, has that covered I think:D


Wine bottles for 2560x1600

Photo credits:  Pickywallpapers

and of course you can`t have wine without some cheese…

Photo credit: Bonjour Québec.

Submitted for Bastet’s Party at WeDrinkBecauseWerePoets

Times passed – a lost relic (haibun)

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I took these shots a few weeks ago thinking I would share them with Bastet eventually becuase I like the archeture and I know she admires our old buidlings.  Windsor Station was where CPR Canadian Pacific Railway arrived from various parts of the country. In 1992, they stopped running commuter trains.

I remember going to Montreal and arriving at this station and walking up the hill to go shopping downtown on rue Sainte-Catherine at Simpsons, Eatons and Morgans (now called The Bay- for Hudson’s Bay); then we would trot down back to the Laurentian Hotel to say hello to my father, then walk down to the train station. Sometimes we were early and we would go behind one of those oak doors where there were couches, tables for mothers to change their children`s diapers and we could just relax.  It was HUGE and the ceilings so high.

I was surprised to see it totally empty except for a few statues that remained.  The gates you see were where we would get to various trains.

On my way down the street to get a better shot of the front of the building for you, Georgia, I passed an employee there and asked him about CPR. He said that he thinks they are refurbishing the interior to make another indoor mall.  Hmmm, it would be nice if they had kisques and vendors who sold affordable things…one never knows.

rewind to childhood

I saw men, women and children

waiting for the train.


I heard echoes

voice bellow Track number 4!

froze open-mouthed

(c) OK ’14-07-20

Submitted for Bastet Photo Challenge Relic July 16 2014 

Desirée (Tales Weavers Prompt #17)


Tales Weavers Prompt #17 – Write about animals 

Desirée was the most intuitive and best friend anyone could ever have. She arrived in the family in 1988. The youngest in this family was allergic to cats and dogs and after trying out several canines, this miniature schnauzer seemed to fit in just nicely. Hence, she was desired and then named Desirée.

She played with the children and has the muscles to take on any kind of wrestling seven and ten-year olds had to dole out. She knew the man of the house needed special attention to put him in a good mood especially when he came home from work. And so as soon as he walked in the door with that sour puss, she would wiggle her butt, raise her head, whimpering excitedly and licking his face panting in her canine language, “I`m so excited to see you!”

When the children were sad, she`d cuddle up to them and look sad to wait until they were ready to go out and play.

Even when the real master, mother of the house who fed, bathed and walked her regularly was sick for months, she would sleep at her feet all day (if that`s what the head mistress needed) and would not peep until her mistress raised from her bed.

Her mistress would come home from work lunchtime to teach Desirée how to talk and sing and yes, indeed, she did. On the cue of, “Talk to me, talk to mommy” she would talk and on the cue, “Sing to me…only me” she would sing. If you look at any videos of birthdays, you will hear her howling in the forefront (none of that background harmony for Desirée).

One morning, the mistress and her daughter who was now 20, came back from the vet and Desirée had been given strong antibiotics for her lung infection however she suffered from heart failure…minutes later she died in their arms, on September 11th, 2001…and so nine-eleven was a tragedy for the world as was this loss for this family.

(c) OK ‘14/07/19

I may add a photo of Desirée later when I get back on-line at home.

A personal disclosure…sort of

A great person once wrote, “What’s in a name”?  Her words flowed in poetic prose and my post here, is a mere statement, explanation… a personal disclosure of sorts.

On my G mail account, I have added a “real” enough name for the Google Corporation to accept so I could have the Google+ as well…it is a great way to share blogs and information. I much prefer the clean look of it than Facebook but only a few of my friends have opted for this as well.  With Facebook, Google, twitter, tumblr et al how’s a girl to choose which mall is the best?  So I dabble in a few here and there.

The name I chose has been used many times in my past and I believe most who have read my blog several times, know that I choose and actually need to keep my anonymity due to the nature of my work…you know those CIA and  folks get quite feisty at times…I joke, but I hope you understand. Since I respect each and every one who as part of this WordPress family…community of loyal, caring people, writers, bloggers and all.  I wanted to explain to my friends here.

Oliana was created with letters from both my children’s name and so when I use this name, it IS personal.  Kim is what I used to call my sister when I was a wee child because I could not pronounce her name…must have been the earlier years when I was blabbing at such great speed that I would stutter.  I don’t  anymore but I still blab with various speeds depending on the speed limit.

And so there you have it.  OH! I almost forgot, when searching to see if “Oliana” in fact may exist somewhere on this planet, I was very pleased to learn that it means Oleander in Hawaiian (the flower…you know from the movie with Michelle Pfeiffer?).  So since I read that book and saw the movie several times, and I adore Michelle Pfeiffer, that name seems, to me to have been blessed.

Know if EVER I sign Oliana, my son and daughter are with me as they are always in my heart.

 Whispering Insights

Whispering Insights of this and that, then and here.

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