libretti in absentee (free verse)

intermittently on my mind
despite my long repose
my thoughts of you divine
it’s just a line or two away
a word here, a verse there,
concepts, notions, dreams
simmer idly in dark recesses
deep in the subconscious
dark, elusive or suggestive
unabridged and sordid
not meant for weak of heart
nor feeble minds or partial traits
just liberal and unbiased mind
embracing innovations
and liberating change

in spite how hard I try
I close my eyes shut
and press my lips together
and hold my breath
and fill my cheeks
wishing for a word or two
would slip upon my tongue
you know, just at the tip
so I can spit an introduction
a preface or preamble…
alas, ensuing only
in choking and then wheezing
inhale a shot of Ventolin
and not a word upon my page
no use to get into a rage
one mustn’t force the arts
at any given stage.

and so I put away my pen
acquiesce to three lined poems
open my mind to Mother Nature
spirituality and meditation
and hope there’ll be a day
I`ll write short stories
and poems that rhyme
perhaps that day just might return
and I shall write so feverishly
feeling blessed and satisfied.

©Oliana 2017/02/24


not quite suburban life (free verse)

in a French Canadian village
shops lined la rue Principale
six salons de coiffure
four general practioners
three dentists
and one drunken notary
in a village of three thousand residents
two banks and one Caisse d’Epargne (credit union)
the message was clear in nineteen-sixty
stuffed mattresses can go up in flames.

two carpet factories that fed the town
the linoleum plant, glass company
and rubber manufacturer
made nipples for baby bottles
the military base, now that was huge
impressive men in uniforms
all playing pretend war they called them schemes
outside the limits of Ville de Farnham

those were the days when people worked,
played and walked to church
those were the days when factories
filled huge orders for department stores
like Eaton’s, Simpsons and Hudson Bay
yet, we were still too far from the great big city
to qualify as suburbia
but we’d kid ourselves every day
when travelling to the United States
“Why, we come from a town
just outside of Montreal”
boasting as if we were
a hop skip away from the great big city
however we did have a railway train
called Canadian Pacific that passed
through town five times a day
and rode on to Montréal.

Many years before I was born,
my grandpapa was Chef de Police
grandMaman une Sage Femme (midwife)
and I grew up watching my mother
style the hair of so many ladies
who’d hold me and rock me to sleep
the sound of hair dryers, my lullaby

this was the time of babies booming
with four Catholic schools and one convent
and one big Protestant school
two Catholic churches, a United Church
and an Anglican Church next to a cemetery
Oh! I almost forgot
one boys’ Catholic college
run by a few perverted brothers
oh dear, the scandal in 1962, oh my
one pregnant nun, one defrocked priest,
not to mention the scandal
in the presbytery
but punishment was different then
no jail or police intervention
just shipped them out to another parish
and brothers to another school
those were the days such sordid stories
were whispered in taverns and beauty parlors
and I had first dibs to some juicy tales

let me describe one advantage
living in a small town like Farnham,
one day I took a shortcut home
when walking home from school
a weird old man stopped his car
and tried to stuff me in his Ford
my mother called the local taxi
he drove around and looked for me,
and sure enough, he came in time
and saved me from that sick old man

the cons of course for a teenage girl
was necking in the village park
the old snoop who lived across the park
got on the phone and ratted me out
GrandMaman sure told me a thing or two
I cried and prayed that the Lord have mercy

And then I grew up and left that town
married my lover from the village park
and then we settled in suburbia.
now that could be another story
but there weren’t many juicy tales
the small town’s secrets were hard to beat
in our Peyton Place French Canadian village.

©Oliana 2017/02/21

Written for Dverse Poets Pub where  Oloriel is  tending the poetics and the bar tonight and asks us to write a poem about suburban life.  Her poem at Color me Cyanide  is just stunning and so many have written masterpieces I’ve enjoyed reading at Mr. Linky’s Magical Widget


I choose you by Sara Bareilles (Song Lyric Sunday)

So often I check out the prompt for Song Lyric Sunday and I can spend a few hours listening to music on Youtube starting with one song in mind and then one thought changes and another video draws me in until I just cannot choose out of a dozen amazing songs.
Today, I looked at the prompt; listened to the great piece Helene posted and loved the video as well as the lyrics. The first person that came to mind as a singer was Andrea Motis. I am her new groupie. I discovered her a month ago listening to music at work on Youtube. I usually watch videos of various mantras, listen to Motown hits of the 60’s and 70`s and when I really want to just sit back and let the music take me away, I log onto Jango which is a free radio channel online where you can choose the genre you like as well as several categories. On this site, I listen to Indie/folk/songwriters only. Every now and then I get a song that just blows me away, so I watch the video (it gives you that option) and click the thumbs up so it will play more often the next time I log on. I have discovered amazing new artists this way.

So for today’s prompt, is to post a love song; One of my favourite love songs is More than Words by Extreme however, I have written about them several times.  That song is also on my list to play at my funeral…sure why not, eh?

I decided on a love song interpreted by Andra Motis…to me, she reminds me of Billy Holliday…I will let you decide…


Love is Here to Stay, 

music by George  Gershwin and Lyrics by  Ira Gershwin

It’s very clear
Our love is here to stay
Not for a year, but ever and a day
The radio
And the telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies
And in time may go
But oh my dear
Our love is here to stay
Together we’re going a long long way
In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They’re only made of clay
But our love is here to stay
The radio
And the telephone
And the movies that we know
May just be passing fancies
And in…


Of course I have to add Nat King Cole singing this song…his voice is so dreamy, it sounds like he is actually singing to me…only me!


And from my Indie songwriters, I chose Sara Bareilles.  I fell in love with her Gravity, a song she wrote after a break up.  For this prompt however,  I have picked  “I Choose You”       But when searching on Youtube, I fell in love with this video of I Choose You.   Yep, I wept throughout the video and you will see why…so touching. I hope you enjoy it!

There, I finally posted in time and only had about six videos to choose from. I think the fact that my Day 3 of migraines slowly lifting made me feel the love today. (smiles)

“I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles

Let the bough break, let it come down crashing
Let the sun fade out to a dark sky
I can’t say I’d even notice it was absent
Cause I could live by the light in your eyes

I’ll unfold before you
What I’ve strung together
The very first words
Of a lifelong love letter

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you

There was a time when I would have believed them
If they told me you could not come true
Just love’s illusion
But then you found me and everything changed
And I believe in something again

My whole heart
Will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start
To a lifelong love letter

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you

We are not perfect
We’ll learn from our mistakes
And as long as it takes
I will prove my love to you

I am not scared of the elements
I am under-prepared, but I am willing
And even better
I get to be the other half of you

Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you
I choose you






Shameful behaviour (SoCS)

I just finished watching “Changeling”, a movie directed by Clint Eastwood starring Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich and Jeffrey Donovan. It is a true story about a mother’s missing son, Walter Collins in March 1928, from Los Angeles in the Riverside County. I won’t say more in case some are not familiar with the story. I tried my best throughout the movie not to check online until the end of the movie. Angelina Jolie’s acting is outstanding!! Anyone watching this can feel the frustration, the pain, the agony of waiting until police can find her son.

What struck me the most, however, was the shameful behaviour of the L.A.P.D. towards citizens both innocent as well as criminals. Granted, this was the turn of the 20th century where there were lots of crime and bootlegging but oh my gawd, the way they treated people and especially women then!

After five months, the police found a boy and said he was the missing child. When Christine Collins, the mother of Walter said this boy was not her son, they told her she was just paranoid and wanted her to just accept this boy as her son. Police were getting a lot of criticism from the public and wanted this all to go away if ONLY this mother would comply!  She was eventually put in a mental institution because the police were tired of her making them look bad. The psychiatrist even tells her she can leave the hospital if she signs a paper confirming that the missing child the police brought her is her son.

I could not help but notice the women locked up in this hospital for no reason other than they were a nuisance to the police and how vulnerable women were in those days. And the staff at this hospital was right out of a horror movie, only this was a true story!

I kept trying to imagine what my grandmother would have done at that time; she would have been 28 years old and wondered how things could have turned out if she lost her son who would have been about the same age as Walter Collins. My uncle Normand used to run away from school often to go fishing. Being the son of the chief of police at that time, I guess, this situation would not have happened. My grandfather was a family man and well…um, my grandmother was actually the matriarch in the family. So I doubt what was going on in big cities then, may not have occurred in our small town…not under my grandfather’s watch!

I guess we have come a long way since those days but it took a long time even after 1928. I remember in the `50’s and early 60’s how women were often institutionalized if they did not comply to the wishes of some men. But that is all I will say for now. All in all, the movie is truly great and I have no doubt men and women who view it will agree on the shameful behaviour of the police in those days.

This was written for LindaGHill’s Stream of Conciousness and the prompt is “ham”


On my walk to work (muse in transit)

Yesterday, I woke up with an interesting dream which I will share in another post…I still have to figure it out.  My mom visited me in that dream and for some reason, I felt there was an important message there.  I hurried to jot down a snapshot of that dream and got ready for work.

I usually chant my mantra walking to the bus but I felt a need to take a step away from my thoughts, so I just continued imagining the face of Amma and of course with my racing mind, I had images of Jesus and now and then my mom appeared…like a slide show.  By the time I got to the bus, Amma was my sole image in my mind’s eye and I could feel myself relaxing a bit.

I chose a single seat on the bus and was finished whispering my mantra a third time and thought I might read.  Nope, my mind jumped back into a cacophony of images…it was like I was smack in the middle of rush hour traffic!   No kidding!

I decided to sit back, holding my beads and continued with my mantra. I wanted to get to a place of relative calm before starting my shift.

I left a bit earlier for work so I could stop at my favourite local grocery store near Metro Laurier which is a longer route to the office but prettier.   I picked up some sushi and walked along side streets to get to work.  There is a new path cleared by the city behind our office building, so I could enjoy walking along the same route and admire the snow covered street…I kept looking for a nice door to photograph but remembered the  nice old buildings were on another street and I wanted to get to work in time to eat my lunch.

Behind the office is a church with a long stone wall I usually see at night on my way home on a shorter route…I must visit that church sometime; I’m curious to see inside.  So I walked along rue Julien up to the path along the side of the thicket that looks more like a snow covered field now.

The above photos were taken just as I walked along Laurier near the Metro.  I chuckled when I took a photo of the bikes in the snow since across the street were similar bikes in front of the same building I photographed two years ago with gnarled bikes in the snow which was the result of city snow ploughs plowing  through the street.  I used that photo on my header at Tournesol dans un Jardin.

After I picked up my sushi I turned on rue Julien and saw this bike in front of a condo. Smart cyclist to park the bike on the sidewalk…at least the snow plough could not attack it.

The rest of the photos below are walking along rue Julien.

The above tree is at the corner of Julien and McGuire facing the local community garden.

70aec941-9494-4f15-ab29-0e7f697e6aff-238-0000001bc696d31e_tmpI really love this tree…I must take photos as it changes in spring.


The building on the right is where I work. It is so nice that the city has made a park out of my favourite shortcut, so now I don’t have to walk on the long street of warehouses slowly converting into business lofts and too many trucks blocking the street. It is a dark and dreary street, however, there are some amazing graffiti on some buildings.

I must try to leave earlier for work when it is not too cold like yesterday at only minus 5C. When it’s colder, my IPhone is not always cooperative…but looks like the temperature is on the rise slowly but surely.


hidden dreams (Haiga-Troiku) daily moments Feb 12

Tournesol dans un jardin

Daily moments February 12 2017

(C) Clr'17 (C) Clr’17


Hope mixed with despair
from my bedroom window
dreams beneath the snow

hope mixed with despair
buried under heavy layers
winter laughs at me

from my bedroom window
lull of rumbling snow ploughs
drifting off to sleep

dreams beneath the snow
fleeting thoughts of blossoms
tulips pierce the snow


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Dear Emma,

What a day!! I have spent my entire afternoon reading and mostly writing poetry, stories, comments on some posts. And you know what? I feel good about it! I look in my fridge and know I should have gone to the fruit and vegetable store but I did not feel like walking in the cold, and waiting for a bus to get there. I’ll go tomorrow or Monday but I do need to go, I know that. Maybe I will take a gander at a natural food store with organic products near here first to check out their prices and then another nearby Asian grocery store and I won’t even need to go to that other place.

I went to this new reknown fruit and vegetable place last month when I rented a car for the weekend. The prices are good and the choices are amazing. But you know, the lady that was at the checkout ahead of me was missing some money and the cashier was very impatient with her and I just had a very very bad feeling…you know, it was so frigging depressing. I looked for that lady when I left to see if I could give her a lift since I had my car still for another hour.

The store is also very dark with a lower ceiling than most grocery stores. I don’t know why…even if the prices were good…that incident with that poor woman upset me. So normally I go with my gut feeling and for now, my gut is telling me to check out other places.

I love my Asian grocery store. They are such nice people who work there. They hardly speak English and a bit of French but they are genuine. One day my license permit slipped out of my wallet when I was at at the checkout. I did not even realize it yet. I walked ten minutes to get home and within five mintues, the manager of the store was at my door delivering my permit. How nice is that?!! Yeah, Emma, I can feel what you are thinking…go to the places close by my home. And you are right. Even if I pay a few dollars more, I did not have to take a bus and I get to walk a healthy 3 km back and forth. Done! That is my plan tomorrow. I will also try to go to the mall across the street afterwards to pick up some sushi from Mary and bring her a cuppa hot chocolate with whipped cream so we can chat a bit. I miss her.

I must ask her when she intends to go back home to visit. She keeps telling me to save my money to go with her to Cambodia with her. Yep, that is a grand idea, Emma. Stop thinking about what I could have done right in the past and focus on today and my dreams. I love having dreams, don’t you?

I have some worries and concerns about my personal life and the future but I refuse to talk about that here.

Oh yeah, you did not know, Emma, did you , about some of my dreams! I have a list of things I want to do and buy before I grow up. Yes, I did say “grow up”. That is the time when you are all grown up and retire from a paid employment. I am not quite there yet but soon enough.

So I want to buy a portable sewing machine, a murphy bed for the time I may be living in a studio apartment, a good digital camera with lenses to take micro images and especially to take photos of the sky at night…being a night person, this is very important; then I want to travel to Australia, India, Malaysia, Ireland, Italy and Brazil. I want to travel north stay for at least a week to see northern lights…maybe I could arrange to stay in Northern Saskatchewan. I know I don’t have to go too far …maybe even northern Québec or Nunavut. I want to buy a pair of tabla drums, take courses in drumming and get back into yoga and tai chi. Once I get back in the two last items, I hope I will get into a healthy regime and it will never matter where I live…I have other wishes but those are the ones that cost money…oh, yes, of course getting one last good computer so probably a Mac as it will probably be my last purchase in this type of technology.

So there you have it! Now it is almost 20:00 and time to fix dinner and relax with a brainless movie or comedy. I am sure Bette will be pleased to sit by my side so I can pet her although I have taken dozens of breaks to comply to my obligations as her loyal servent.

©Oliana  2017/02/11

Image may contain: cat
©Clr’17 Bette sitting by my laptop.





Master of fury (Six Word Story & short story)

Rage is the prompt at Six Word Story Challenge today and I cannot seem to get enough out of that word. See my first contribution here on my other blog Tournesol dans un Jardin   However,  rather than being inspired by a poem after my sentence, a short story came to mind…more fact than fiction and the names have been changed of course.


Fury chased them out all night.



“J’ai froid, Maman,” whimpered the young boy. The three of them huddled together on a park bench one September night. Samuel was only six and longed for his bed.

His mother was still sleeping but Annie-Pierre wrapped her sweater around her little brother.

“Mais, tu vas avoir froid, Annie!”

“Shhhh, don’t worry about me, Sammy. Whisper softly in case Papa is out searching for us in the park.” She looked around the park warily. For the past few months she had prepared a “getaway” bag with juices, granola bars, three sweaters and a wool wrap.

Their father had arrived much earlier than usual tonight and Samuel and Annie-Pierre were watching a movie. Their mother had fallen asleep out of exhaustion  from her twelve hour shift at the nursing home.

The heavy shuffling and sour stench of alcohol was the first sign of his entry. Annie-Pierre poked her mother gently. Sleepily she looked at her twelve year old daughter with one eye and recognized the sign, her daughter had with her thumb pressed against her lips.

They knew this man’s habits. He always went to the washroom before making his entrance of raging master of the universe after a night out drinking.

They heard him lift the toilet seat…BANG! “hostie d’colice!” he cursed.

The three tiptoed to the entrance grabbing their shoes and the bag, quietly making their exit. The old master never had a clue where they were.

Annie-Pierre paced around the park bench…her own rage keeping her warm, trying to think of a long term plan before the police or social services meddled into their lives. There was no way the system could help them fight the famous, Maître Jolicoeur, procureur de la Couronne.

©Oliana 2017/02/11


J’ai froid, Maman =I’m cold, Mother.
Mais, tu vas avoir froid, Annie!” =But, you are going to be cold, Annie!
Hosti d’colice = a Québecois curse slang – word for word: host of the chalice.
Maître is the title of a lawyer in French
procureur de la Couronne = lawyer representing the government (state) – crown attorney


touched (haibun)

Tournesol dans un jardin

among the bustle
trains, cars and buses
a beggar sits
a gift touches his cup
graced with silence

graced with silence
the eyes speak
a spirit touched

An image swims inside her head how one can truly touch the soul of a human being and they can respond silently with their eyes. Her heart is warm and filled with love. Do you hear it…screaming in the empty silence of the traffic? Do you hear the silent praise a mother shouts when her child comes home from school? Do you hear the echoes of refugees waiting in silent patience, the pain that touches us not enough?

in silence
meditating upon our sins
asking forgiveness


I had noticed two different prompts with the words Silence at Writing Wednesday and Touch at Tale Weaver at MindLovesMisery and the image was in my head but not sure if I could write this in a…

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renga (Carpe Diem Haiku Kai)

Tournesol dans un jardin

waves come into the cove
one at a time {Jane Reichold 2000}

silent mist sprays
over our nakedness


sandals in petals
yet he’s so poor
his hat’s a sack {Matsuo Basho}

my starving artist
fills me plenty


sleeping outdoors
with friends
summer constellations {Matsuo Basho}

backs on ticklish grass
seven sisters beaming


Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Renga

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Alone (tanka) (Daily Moments Feb. 10 2017)

Tournesol dans un jardin

comforting silence
swoosh of passing cars
sounds of life
alone I am – but,
still part of the living


Alone (tanka) (Daily Moments Feb. 10 2017)

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joy of love ~ Senryū (daily moments Feb 9 2017)

Tournesol dans un jardin

love’s rapture
so much better
in my dreams


Daily Moments Joy of Love  (Senryū) February 9 2017

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butterfly moment (troiku – haiga)

Tournesol dans un jardin



sometimes I wish
I was a butterfly
one brief moment

sometimes I wish
one heartfelt scene
and, time would stop

I was a butterfly
one sweet moment
forever prised

one brief moment
seals the heart


Troiku is a new form of haiku created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

daily reflections February 8 2017

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 Embrace the moment  (haiga) Daily Moments February 8 2017 

Tournesol dans un jardin

wish I could vanish
while migraine tiptoes away
thumps above my head

thumps above my head
know not better

©Clr'17 ©Clr’17

when storms abate
inside my head – just,
embracing moments

embracing moments
hearts beating
my friend and I


 Embrace the moment  (haiga) Daily Moments February 8 2017 

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winter scene (Senryū) February 8 2017 Daily Moments

Tournesol dans un jardin

winter silence breaks
squeals of children
snowball fight


daily moments Feb 8  2017  Winter Scene

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my pen (Daily moments Feb 7 2017)

Tournesol dans un jardin

my pen and I
writing a haiku


daily moments February 7, 2017  My Pen

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cleansing rain (haibun)

Tournesol dans un jardin

©Clr'17 ©Clr’17

Walking home from work,  she sometimes feels the pain of many weigh on her. Shuffling home with heavy foot, tears run down her cheeks.

clinging to her shadow
rain washed it away

rain washed it away
leaving just one
tear on her cheek


Haiku Horizons: Rain

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tea ceremony (senyrū)

Tournesol dans un jardin

softly brushed his arm,
gracefully pouring tea
her silk kimono


CDHK – Tea Ceremony

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spiritual way (tanka)

Tournesol dans un jardin

on the rooftop
in quiet contemplation
sun bows gracefully
wishing love and happiness
shanti shanti shanti


She likes starting and ending her day wishing peace and happiness worldwide.

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Namaste

Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu

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Daily Moments – Chasing the pain (haibun)

Waking up with dread to see today was the first sign of something coming. Calling in sick and sleeping throughout the day, dreaming the silliest dreams. Surely my mind was still in the head of Winston in 1984…another side of hell on earth.

But oh, upon awakening,

the throbbing did begin

and even after that first pill,

the vice just gripped me harder.

I waited the required time

to take a second pill,

while writing in my journal…

pouring all emotions

filled with love and guilt.

Alas, a mother is created

with three distinct  emotions

love, worry and guilt

I know not when the latter

will ever leave my side…


Boom Boom Boom

the pain reverberates

it loves me too damn much

I swallow my first pill

tic toc tic toc

the clock is too damn slow

my head is drowning

in liquid pain

my stomach starts to churn

tic toc tic toc

a snail could win this race

but finally in the prescribed time

I swallow that last pill

hoping for relief that’s due

so I can see at last

and write a poem or two

I comb my fingers through my hair

I cringe, the pain too much to bear

and then I think perhaps I’ll try

massaing these tensed up roots

a shower may just be the answer

to wash away some of this pain


Awww, now I feel my eyes can see

the throb is slowing backing up

and turns into annoying hums

like someone with a nasal whine

you know the kind!

when courtesy will stop you

you’re too polite to say and shame

but still you wish he’d leave your side

he’s driving you insane!


Now stop complaining

I scold myself

at least now I can use my pen

and scratch a word or two

writing ‘bout the pandemonium

residing in my head


Aw yes!  the vice has loosened

ever slightly even though

it lurks around my neck

at least the heavy stomping’s stopped

it seems further away

my ears pick up

the threatening echoes

only slightly far away

reminding me

that such a pain

might just return

some day again.


savour the moment

my cat beside me


©Tournesol 2017/02/08

Daily moment – Feb 8 2017 chasing the pain  Haibun


Chaos ~ February 2 2017 Daily Reflections

Tournesol dans un jardin

in midst of chaos
between rock and a hard place
never safe


Daily Moments – Feb 2 2017  chaos

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one moment in time (haibun)

Tournesol dans un jardin

We’ve come to the end of The Pilgrimage, our host, Chèvrefeuille has generously guided us through this journey on the Road to Santiago. Paulo found his sword at the right moment.

[…]”…And when I think about it, I guess it is true that people always arrive at the right moment at the place where someone awaits them.” […] (Source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)

Our host writes:
the sound of rain
on young leaves of Ivy
I bow my head

© Chèvrefeuille


They spent the day in the sun planting seeds of various vegetables. Bent over with their straw hats, mother with her white Ralph Lauren sunglasses, the little three year old in her polka dot sundress and heart shaped sunglasses.

“Ah phew! That’s sure a lot of vegetables, Mommy!”

She beamed at her little helper, “Come, sweetheart, let’s sit in the shade. I`ll bring you a Popsicle.”


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the ear sees (haibun)

Tournesol dans un jardin

An interesting exercise Petrus gives to Paulo especially when he makes him close his eyes to listen to him tell a story. Not for a moment can he open his eyes and he can smell the oil from the old locomotive where they are sitting…and he listens.

When I think of listening, I cannot help but be reminded of the work I do. Seventeen years ago, I would strain my ears to listen to a caller tell his story. The strain was not to hear the words, it was the body language I was used to that now I had to learn to hear it through the phone. Within months, my hearing became sharper and grew a lense to see. I could hear the frown and sadness at the beginning of a phone call and after a long time…minutes or hours, I could hear an image of this person who…

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spellbound (tanka)

Tournesol dans un jardin

The Pyranees - The French Way The Pyranees – The French Way

We are inspired by the photo above to continue on the Road to Santiago:

the road to Santiago
along mountain sides
roused by the clunk of stones
more pilgrims leave their mark


CDHK The Pilgrimage – a Milestone marker – Imagine this

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a moment in time (tanka)

Tournesol dans un jardin

I love this section of the book where Paulo Coelho not only describes the picturesque scene in the mountain but all the activity, a shepherd, the sheep and the old castle.
I remember reading where Petrus tells Paulo, The House of the Lord has many mansions and it goes on to elaborate the Knights Templar towards the turn of the fourteenth century believed in putting a stop to the fight and division of the three religions of that time, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. When I read this I was not surprised these knights were arrested under false pretenses for the world (King and Pope) were certainly not ready to accept such a great idea…way too threatening. And yet, eight centuries later and we are still far from that utopic idea. Greed, vengeance and entitlement get muddled in the mix. A recent unnamed leader has fallen from the path.

{…}“Their spiritual…

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Poets unite (troiku)

Tournesol dans un jardin

In this section of the book, The Pilgrimage, Paulo tells us about the crimes and robberies committed along The Road to Santiago. Knights began protecting travellers but there was a time the knights competed among themselves. They would challenge each other and do the fighting on a bridge to ensure they did not retreat.
However, I like the last comment by our host, Chèvrefeuille, as it reflects so much of his selfless dedication to hosting haiku meme where poets from all over the world unite and form a family.


“Bridges … bring people from different sides together, in a way our Haiku Kai can be compared with a bridge. Here we come together, haiku poets from all over the globe … we have build virtual bridges from a lot of countries to here … and I am proud of it.” Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai


poets unite

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Dear Emma,


Today my neighbour phoned me. I had not seen her and her family since Christmas day when I invited them for coffee and give them small Christmas gifts. I wanted their son to see the lit Christmas tree. They seemed touched although surprised that I had asked them over. I was pleased.     Although their little guy does get loud with the jumping over my head late into the night or passed midnight, I have grown to attached to that little guy.

I asked my neighbour if she had purchased a second car as her husband was using my parking spot and there was a black Honda Civic in their spot. I had told them before they could use my spot when I did not have a car but if I rented a car for a few days they would have to remove it.   Things have been going well since last fall and then they told me our landlord sent an email to her husband telling them they can use my parking spot anytime they need it. How odd, I thought. Then I remembered, her husband had told his friends to use my spot even if they did not live in the building and when his wife and I became friends, it must have been an inconvenience. He also purchases cars at auction to resell but puts them in our parking lot so yeah, my spot was convenient. His wife just says it’s her car.

Then other past behaviours came to mind. It started to make sense.

I was hurt, angry and sad.   Then I thought about it and maybe my landlord wants me to get rid of me and hopes I will just get fed up and not renew my lease.  If I do leave he can put the rent up. I realized these tenants have more advantages not being involved with me. My landlord received two emails and a registered letter from me regarding the parking spot that is in my lease but he just ignores it. I did not go to the rental board because I thought I had made a good arrangement with the tenants upstairs…they could use my spot any time and I`d let them know when I rent a car. This morning she said, even if I rent a car, the landlord said they could keep my spot and it was clear they would not budge. Oh shoot! I hate conflict and having to finally go to the rental board. Obviously this landlord treats me with little respect and does not honour the agreement in my lease.

I did not want to spend my first day of my weekend consumed by this with thoughts of “poor me, people taking advantage of an older single woman”, “poor me, thinking people like you selflessly” and so I did what I usually do when I am upset, the Mary Tyler Moore Syndrome, of course, I cleaned out my dresser. Of course dumping all the drawers on the bed and sorting out what I want to keep and then folding them would take up a lot of time. A lot of silence giving me more time to think. So I brought my iPad in the bedroom and listened to recordings on YouTube of Swami Amritaswarupananda and Satsang Nuggets with Swami Paramatmananda Puri. After two hours I was finished cleaning my room but still wanted to hear the soothing and wise words so I listened to another hour before going out to do groceries.

Before leaving, I was not sure if I would stop at a restaurant before doing my errands; it was late in the afternoon and I had not written anything yet. I stuffed my notebook in case I stopped for coffee and might be inspired to write a haiku. And then I had a few words coming to me, so I wrote a haiku and then developed a troika and posted it on my other blog before leaving.

Daily moments – some truths hurt (troiku)

naivety hangs on
realness is in every friend
such foolish thinking

naivety hangs on
authenticity and,
goodness reigns

realness is in every friend
in the land of Utopia
such childish thoughts

such foolish thinking
cruel realities



The store is about 2 km away and I dressed warm for the walk but my mind was wandering back to upsetting thoughts, so I took out my beaded bracelet and chanted my mantra a few times until I reached the store. Coming out the store, I checked the bus schedule and was pleased to see a bus was expected in less than 3 minutes. I thought for a moment stomping my feed to stay warm, Amma helped clear my mind…it was really a nice break.

I watched a sitcom on Netflix and then a movie with Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston, Mother’s Day.

As I write this, I realize what hurts more than the legal issue of my landlord was that a young woman who was like a daughter to me pulled away. I’ve experienced this a second time in less than a month with family pulling away when I don’t give what they want or their way.  Maybe there is a lesson in this.

For a split second I was feeling anger when I walked into the apartment and I remembered the words of Swami relating a story about not hating or taking out anger on people. He talked about being angry or even hating God still brings you closer to Him and that way you don’t hurt other people. Of course the lesson explained more, but I understood. As I write this I remember long ago, my sister giving my mother a hard time from adolescence throughout adulthood; one day, my mother knew I felt bad as I wanted to visit my sister and my godson. She told me she wanted her daughters to get along and she preferred I be with my sister than be with her. “Be mad at me like she is but be with your sister.” I was angry towards my sister as well for hurting my mother.

I think she wanted to giving me the freedom to feel I was not being disloyal to her if I visited my sister even if my sister was in the wrong or the hurtful one. Mom loved us both so much!

I do understand that…I would like nothing more to see my son and daughter get along…I don’t need them to come and visit me. I am not lonely. I love them and they know I love them. But they could be such comfort for each other if only they stopped their sibling rivalry at their age. They will still be around when I go and I wish they would try. I know, I know, Emma, I have no control over this and I need to let it go and let them sort their own lives.   Of course I have never said anything to them if I don’t want to hear an earful. I do know better. (chuckles)

I wonder if I should start looking for another place to live …I don’t want to react to my landlord’s childish behaviour…it is childish…he insists since he owns the building he can tell us to do whatever he wants, not realizing we all have signed contracts with certain conditions. But I don’t know if I want to pursue this…yes, he could owe me money but I don’t care about that. It is the principle though and my right and yet, I don’t really care about that much either. I am willing to let it go. I want to move if it is a right decision.   My son gets upset with me that I let people take advantage but I don’t see it that way …I see it as the landlord giving tenants a false right. They don’t do it to me and if it accommodates them, why not…why should they care what it does to a stranger. Everyone is a stranger in most apartment buildings. So moving would do what? Unless it is a great deal that allows me to travel less and be closer in the city, maybe yes. But until my mother’s house is sorted out, I prefer staying closer by where I am which is a convenient location. I am a five minute walk to the bus terminus and close to stores. No, I will sit on this for a while still.

The politics at work is stressing me out, so I don’t need to add more with a move which is costly and a lot of work. I plan to see Amma at least two or three times this year if I can…so I will focus on her. When I am upset, I will visualize her and her infectious smile.

Thanks for listening, Emma.



R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

I realize this is a week late but I was thinking about Mary tonight who died January 25th, 2017 and wanted to share my thoughts on this woman who marked my life in many ways as she did many men and women in the 60’s and 70’s.


I remember when I missed school and my mom would tell me if I was really sick, I should not be well enough to watch television. Right, okay…but by 10:00 am. I had to get up and watch I Love Lucy, 10:30 Dany Thomas Show and 11:00 Dick Van Dyke Show where I just loved watching Mary Tyler Moore. Boy oh boy, those were the days all you saw was this elegant, slim lady with the longest legs and what a dancer. I always wished she would stop being a housewife and become a professional dancer. Even at six years old, I thought she was wasting away staying at home. The world had to see her, I thought!


As time passed she did the Mary Tyler Moore Show and I found I fit between Rhoda (Valerie Harper) and Mary. Mary was always so patient and

ValerieHarper as Rhoda
ValerieHarper as Rhoda

kind yet Rhoda was more outspoken and eclectic.  Many girls in the sixties were influenced with both Mary. The way she dealt with anger and frustration…she would go into cleaning mode in her tiny apartment. She even took out all the books in her bookcase, dusting and placing them all back. That is one thing I adopted as a young woman, married at 19 and not daring to assert myself. If I was brooding Friday nights because hubby was out with the boys at a strip club, I would dust, clean, scrub and shine our little 2.5 room apartment. I would rearrange the furniture often…change is what I needed and not willing to work on changing things in our relationship or myself, I would move dressers, bed, fridge and couch. One time in the wee hours of the morning after the bars were all closed, I had moved the bed around in our bedroom and hubby came home inebriated staggering into the bedroom and fell on the floor thinking the bed was there.

The cleaning to vent difficult emotions, I used to term “The Mary Tyler Moore” Syndrome. I guess lots of women in the 50’s and 60’s worked out their frustrations like that. I didn’t learn this behaviour from my mom because she just cried and my grandmother, well! No one every crossed her and my grandfather would never dare…she was such a strong woman way ahead of the times.

I loved how Mary evolved in the newsroom and learned to assert herself. We saw how she struggled at first, wept instead of speaking up if she was passionate about something. I think she slowly grew and it was not such a shock for many women to learn to gradually stand up for things they believed in. No, no, I am not talking about feminism or any of the “isms”. I felt that show was very sensitive to some women who may not have it in them “yet” to stand up or it may just not be in their nature. Mary did it with class. That’s the part I think I vacillated from Mary to Rhoda. I think I wanted to be more laissez-faire like Rhoda.

Mary was loved both by men and women. Men in my age group saw her as the girl next door that many guys would daydream about having such a treasure and be proud to introduce to their parents…it didn’t hurt that she was beautiful…inside and out.

R.I.P. Mary…you will be missed but never forgotten.


Wordless Wednesdays

(c)Clr’17. Bette my bff
(c)Clr’17. Bette my bff


Dear Emma,

I’m bored!

Monday is my last day off and I usually do some cooking for a few days to bring scrumptious homemade meals for lunch. Getting home well past midnight, I don’t feel like cooking nor do I want to get up earlier to cook and clean up before leaving for work.

I do not have t.v. so I have watched some news bulletins and spent many hours writing (catching up with poetry) and watched one full series of Suits on Netflix. I love lawyer shows even if this has gone beyond legal issues but I cannot get over the designer clothes the female lawyers wear and their size…my goodness! How the heck does one get a waist that tiny?!

I would watch reruns of Law and Order of any series including Special Victims (they are shows about some of the types of calls I get) but the quality sucks on Netflix for this particular show; too bad because I love that show. They are believable but the legal stuff is very different than in Canada. We do not grandstand in the courtroom with designer suits…no reason to do that since it is covered in a long black robe anyway. But we do not wear wigs like in UK. My daughter worked 3 years as a Court registrar for Judges in criminal court. Definitely, everyone should get support and some kind of debriefing or counselling for being exposed to some of the cases they are exposed to. But I digress, so I am bored.

I don’t feel like going out…it is colder today. But I don’t feel like reading either. Nothing on Netflix is catching my attention and I am not inspired to write…my muse usually gets around after eleven at night…she is a night owl too (smiles)

My vegetarian chili is cooking and I am waiting for the potatoes to cook so I can eat my dinner. I like eating around eight in the evening. I used to eat at that time at work but with new rules, I eat at 5 or 6 and by the time I get home after midnight, I am starving. But what can I do? I do share my concerns yet it is coming from way at the top…I mean way past over the head of the jolly green giant top. So it takes a while before they hear our concerns. I am positive however they might hear by the summer. Like I said, it takes a long time to reach the top.

My potatoes are almost done, so I am going to enjoy dinner watching some boring show with the drumming sound over my head…yes, that little guy (3 yrs old) he is quiet all day …must be glued in front of a monitor and by seven or eight starts jumping around non-stop until midnight or later. So I did something …just for fun.

My upstairs neighbour is my facebook friend…no worries she does not know about this blog nor my pseudonym. Anyway, I wrote in my status for today: “I cannot wait to get my 2 tabla drums I ordered so I can play mornings before going to work.” You see my neighbours do not usually get up before 11 am or later. Of course I have not ordered the drums…yet. (chuckles)


friendly visits (Six Sentence Story)

Cher awakened in a dark mood and decided to write for several hours  trying to shake this off before calling her friend in America.  Her muse was like her guardian  angel, carrying all her emotions and transcribing them into poetry  or narratives.  Two poems later and having read heartwarming and thought provoking posts on several blogs, she felt like a new person.

The sun had already set, when she realized it was time to call her friend out west and thankful for the time difference which allowed her to turn from moody to downright cheery.    It was so delightful  visiting her friend on their I-Phones since they not had a chance to see each other in over a year. The wonderful thing about this phone visit was sharing their joys,  concerns and most of all their laughter and compassion that could be felt not only their voices but especially in each other’s eyes.

©Oliana 2017/01/29

Six Sentence Stories – prompt is “share”



dreams in living colour (free verse)

This painting, posted at Jane Dougerty’s blog is what inspired this write from her post Sunday Sin/Fun

Wikimedia.org Painting by Antek Wajda


all those times
you thought you’d give it a try
others so miserable, hurt, and left to cry

your way of making a point
the cruel words that stabbed my heart
my mouth got out of joint
too shocked or scared to speak
dared not for if I did
perhaps a strap or meaner still
your words that cracked a whip

growing taller, maturing and developing
remembering my innocence
your cruel and damaging parenting
dysfunctional at its highest
for that you did quite well
disturbing yet unrepentant
your offspring was your guinea pig
through trial and error and trial and error
you never got it right!

however, you drew the line
attempting to make us lovers
how sick and disconcerting
upsetting and embarrassing
…you never said, I’m sorry

well now and then
I have to say
I dream in living colour
the weirdest things at play
a huge  masculine guinea pig
gives you  a dig or two
or three or four, you pig

and when I awaken
a smile is painted on my lips
recalling that big guinea pig
hanging on your quivering hips.

©Oliana 2017/10/29

Thank you to Jane Dougherty for her interesting Sunday Sin/Fun


I’m grateful for my work (free verse)


awakening with such greyness
morose and  so oppressive
wondering what the message
the universe to me, was sending.

I call upon my muse
my saviour and companion
I then begin to write
to free me of depression
and chase away my blight
and then my muse sends me a perk
reminding me of my work!

Thank goodness for my work
that gives me reason
to face the world
in spite of any season

a rigid awkward start sometimes
but still go out and face the world
thank goodness for my work.

and under dull or shining skies
through dryness or through rains
I still can find my drive
despite the hole inside
I do  choose to survive

beware, there is a difference!
to choose to fill the void
as if there is a choice
there’s not!
it takes enormous drive
to finally reach a place
and choose to survive

walking stirs endorphins
prayer makes them come out
writing poems that rhyme or not,
my muse right by my side
but love and compassion
a purpose that truly draws me out
despite the hole inside
thank goodness for my work

too many misapprehend
they think it is a choice
to feel the way I do
tight lip I must remain
avoid to explain
again and again

the hole remains inside
no thread or cross stich
has achieved mend the hole inside

it’s not that I’ve not tried!
the only thing that stirs the soul
is loving and compassion
praying with devotion
somehow it soothes the hole
as if kindness does cause sensations
that floods through endless holes
to be refilled day after day
with more love and compassion
to calm and ease the suffering
for those who grieve and ache
and feel tormenting pain
is something I seem destined for
and so,
I’m grateful to our Maker
despite the hole inside
His love and consecration
within me does reside
and gives me reason every day
when work is calling into play
relieves me of the pain…

to give feels so much better
a silken shawl upon my shoulder
a wrap that binds a lonesome child
the glow that warms the hole inside
is healing beyond compare
perhaps the answer is really there!
behind that endless hole resides
in giving love, rebounds inside,
for me, at last, the love does flow
if even, for a day
I’m grateful for my work.

©Oliana 2017/01/29


mind over matter (troibun)

Tournesol dans un jardin

Our host, Chèvrefeuille from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai shares a passage from The Pilgrimage for this prompt “Beyond Control”:

Beyond control … that’s the title of this episode …. And it refers to something I read in “The Pilgrimage”. During his journey, his pilgrimage, Paulo encounters several difficulties beyond control. One day he is attacked by a horrible dog and he remains with wounded hands. That same dog encounters him many times and one day he goes to a gypsy fortuneteller to ask her why this dog is so many times on his path. It turns out that this dog is his demon, his back-pack, he still has to carry. That dog will leave him alone only when he conquers his fears, his pride, his greed and more. CDHK: Beyond Control


Life has been strained lately. Thank goodness, her passion for her work in serving is still alive and…

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Dear Emma,


 Today, I watched Neal Brennan’s 3 Mics on Netflix.  I needed to see something funny and as you know, comedy can be iffy. I find culture is a huge aspect that will determine if I will like it or not.  I have walked out on stand-up comedians before…that takes guts as he or she can point you out as you leave and make fun of you too but some shows just irritate me.  It depends so much on your mood as well as culture. Politics are sensitive topics here in Québec and everywhere on various levels there is racism and bigotry, mocking disabilities or mental health…all issues that aggravate me.  I know I am far from being alone on this.


Now listening to Neal go from one mic to another, I wondered how he would be able to hold the attention upbeat for the live audience, especially when he was at the middle mic talking about really emotional stuff.  Well, he did and then some.  He was so real!  Totally a show that would be relatable to anyone and I know here in Québec it would be popular. 


Some French Québécois comedians use pretty sad and tragic events to joke about, sending their message in their way to create awareness on social issues. Jean-Marc  Parent is one comedian I had a hard time to appreciate the first few times I saw him on the tele but once I did, I was floored by his humanness when I saw him at a show at the Montreal Forum…yes, that big of an audience and he even, literally, climbed up to the top to come face to face with us folks who could not afford those expensive tickets. Parent often mimics a man with cerebral palsy and he actually mirrors the face of ignorant people who just pass by anyone with a disability or someone who is hard on his luck…at the end of the show we actually do a quick inventory of our own past social indiscretions.


Back to Neal Brennan…he talks about being raised in a violent, dysfunctional, Irish Catholic family with a narcissistic father.  I kept bobbing my head about many anecdotes he shared and he talks about depression and how misunderstood it is…he’s right!  It is misunderstood. No one seems to get it unless you have lived it, worked with clients who have struggled for months or years with it or are close to someone you care about who struggles with it (maybe).


His jokes made me laugh out loud; his personal stories made me weep but in a good way.  His show is one that millions of people can relate to at any of those three mics.  He makes reference to his father being a narcissist and not loving him. I thought about that for a moment, I do believe my father loved me, but I think he loved himself more. I’m not a psychiatric expert so what I share here is just a feeling, a simple person who is not looking for clinical reasons.  I believe our genetics have some impact on how we turn out and behave in life.  For example, I know at least three or four family members on my father’s side who have who hardly knew each other and had similar narcissist personality traits.  I suppose that does makes sense, after all, don’t we tell youths who have parents or grandparents with problems of addiction, they may be more at risk than those who do not have any family history of addiction


As Neal talks about his last moments with his dying father after having made some sort of reasonable peace with him, I thought of my last days with my father. I think we made peace in a subtle way, since feelings were not something anyone in his family shared, I had to feel it. I did the last six months of his life.


Well now, I started my day by watching a comedy to get out of the sadness and tragedies of day to day life in this world and I got it on three mics, well 2 out of 3. I think that is pretty good.


After that, I watched Gad Elmaleh in a live show in Montreal.  It is in French with English subtitles which I did have to check a few times because he was speaking so quickly with his French/Moroccan accent. Now that show was truly a “laugh out loud” show.  After one more sitcom with Michael Che, I was ready to have dinner and watch a movie in the evening…Papa, a movie about a young journalist during the Cuban Revolution, travels to Havana to meet Ernest  Hemingway, the larger-than-life author who deeply inspired him.  I did not know how Hemingway had lived his last few years.  How interesting that I started my afternoon listening to a writer, comedian, director talk about living with depression on one of the 3 mics and ended my evening watching a movie about a great writer who suffered severe depression in his last years. 


Emma, do you think the universe is trying to tell me something?


Dear Emma,



In the past few weeks, I have been writing haiku on my Waka blog, Tournesol dans un Jardin  following the prompts at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and we are on the path to Santiago following Paulo Coelho’s book The Pilgrimage.  There are some passages that remind me of several books I have been reading over the past three years on Hinduism, Buddhism and more importantly, enlightenment.  Of course the path to Santiago is the path in Spain to the grave of Saint James. I am finding the history interesting especially during the 13th century.

Now two days ago I started reading The Essentials of Rumi. I bought the book three years ago along with another book of Love Poetry but only skimmed it. I find carrying these books like The book of Living and Dying too heavy to travel on the bus and it weighs down my knapsack.  Also the books are hard cover and I want to keep them nice…stuffing them in a bag can damage them.  So I purchased the Kindle versions of two books so I could pick up and read whenever I felt like it on my Kindle or my IPhone.

Rumi – Wikipedia

Today I was just reading the introduction of The Essentials of Rumi on my phone on the bus.  It was describing each chapter and a little history in the era Rumi lived.  Chapter Four traces the historical development of Sufism. ( Sufism is the esoteric dimension of the Islamic faith, the spiritual path to mystical union with God. It is influenced by other faiths, such as Buddhism, and reached its peak in the 13th century).  Now I find this interesting that I just finished reading The Pilgrimage and some of the history shared in this book is of the Knights  Templar in the 13th and early 14th century.

I have been reading more about people traveling on various spiritual paths and all to get closer to the God.

I do believe that books find me and they seem to fall into my hands or my lap at times when I am open to hear what the authors are saying.   I originally purchased the two books of Rumi was to appreciate his poetry.  Four years ago I had decided giving “dating” a chance (which was very short lived) but one gent quoted Rumi in one of our on-line exchanges.  That’s when I fell in love with his poetry not realizing how great this man was…this saint, teacher, mystic and so much more.

Sometimes I feel I could never live long enough to learn all that I want to learn.  The history of religions fascinates me as well as growing spiritually.  Well, Emma, I just had to share these delightful twists of fate.  Gosh, I love when that happens!


speechless (haibun)

“It is not certain, the number of casualties after the blast” the radio blared, “Stay tune to WWCR for the latest update on Immaculate Conception High School.”   She waited behind the barricade.

flooded with emotions
he runs to her


HaikuHorizons Prompt=Flood


dreaming in living colour (free verse)


Ardea modesta.jpg

I was so impressed by the photo Karuna posted at Living Learning And Letting Go and especially the information she added about Egrets. Karuna shares “… that cattle trust the egrets so much that they will even allow the birds to remove flies and other insects that are located near their eyes.” So I decided to write a poem about these birds.


© Karuna Poole at Living,Learning and Letting Go


lying on the grass
seeking coolness
under a blazing sun
not knowing its intention
a fly sits on my eye
surely this would not be fun
another fly walks along my nose
just when I was to have a snooze
by then my blood pressure rose
incessant sounds around my nose
the buzz buzz buzz buzz
kept me wide awake and on edge
my tail had not the privilege
to swat these measly intruders
closing and opening my eyes
did not faze the annoying critters
but then…
out of compassion
unadulterated kindness
an egret then approached me
studying my unwanted guests
then suddenly attacked
these aggravating pests
giving a one and a two
swat here and there
“Thank you!” I mooed
“for taking such good care
scaring off each pest
so I can finally rest
and slip into my dreams”
wading in a shallow river
not a fly there nor hither
only butterflies and egrets
painting my world just perfect

©Oliana 2017/01/22



  Dear Emma   January 21 2017

I left for work earlier than usual today.  I had farewell and birthday cards to purchase (since I’m still the birthday lady) and if I arrived in the city early enough, I might have gone to my eyewear place to return my sunglasses and ask to remove the bi-focals…I can read fine without glasses but since the nearsighted lense prevents me from reading, I usually have to put my glasses on my head to read.  But I tried it for 3 weeks, tried driving with them and nope, hate it.  It was a frivolous expense but since it was my last year of insurance since I turn 65 this year, I decided to splurge on eccentric frames.

Anyway, I got on the bus at about 12:30 and I noticed an alert from CNN on my phone. I usually just read the headline but it said LIVE- INAUGURATION and then more about Mr. what’s his name.  You know if you replace the U in his name to an O in French it means “mistake”.

Well, curiosity got the best of me and I logged on just as the speech had ended and I saw Barack and Michelle Obama escorted to the helicopter…sad sad sad moment indeed!! Of course, I wept on the bus; people looked oddly at me but probably thought I was some old crazy lady. 

It rained in Washington today and I found it fitting, don’t you?  Have you ever noticed on Good Friday even if it is a sunny day, around 3:00pm. it seems to cloud over?  Funerals as well, I feel it is fitting for it to rain.  Well, today the angels, old souls and Mother Nature all wept and it was fitting.

That is all I have to say, Emma.  I am starting my 3 days weekend and I want to relax a bit.  There is a lot going on at work and don’t necessarily feel like telling you about it tonight. It is 1:00 am and I just arrived from work…time to watch a funny sitcom on Netflix and finish the last chapter of The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho in bed.  Nite, Emma.


Dear Emma,

 I seem to be at a loss for words this morning.  I read and think and read some more but my muse took off for warmer climates, I think. Yes, well, I don’t blame her actually.  Last week we had frigid temperatures minus 20 but now it is so lovely at 1 degrees with newly laid snow.  Usually come February many people take off seeking the hot sun by the ocean.

Although I grumble about the cold sometimes, I would surely miss the end of winter, in March when one can actually smell spring around the corner.  The melting snow, the sky seems different and people look a little dazed filled with hope. 

I guess I will just have to wait to see if my muse is just pouting somewhere and comes back to write a haiku or two. Until then, I will enjoy my slow walk to work and observe how nature has adorned the city.


Put the Lime in the Coconut (Song Lyric Sunday)

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday is parent/child relationship.

My son, my first born, was not an easy person to get to sleep.  I think I rocked him to sleep until he was about four.  And nursing…phew!! every 3 hours and it would take him 1.5 hours each time.  Yep, he liked to stay in Mommy’s arms alright.

I suppose I was more patient about this because I took hours to get to sleep as a young child and have always struggled with insomnia. But he just was afraid to miss out on something. He wasn’t scared just nosey (smiles) especially if there was company.  Being my first child, I know I probably gave in a little too long but I still don’t regret those times…they grow so fast.

His little sister, now, she was the complete opposite.  As a newborn, I had to wake her up to feed her and nursing took maximum 10 to 15 minutes.  He did NOT dawdle at the breast and once done, she wanted to be out of my arms.  She just did not like to be held long if I was not nursing her.  But she always needed to see me wherever I was.  When she was tired she whined a little and fussed and rocking and cuddling did not soothe her…just “let me be in my bed, already!”  When there was company as young as two, she would take off to her bedroom and go to bed even if we had guests and a great excuse to stay up later.

My son was very demonstrative and it was easy to figure out his needs; as for my baby girl, you had to learn to read her.  She would not even cry in public…no, siree, she would stomp off to her room, shut the door and cry privately. 

As early as three, however, she started getting night terror and her anxiety started then.  Sometimes she would call me into her room because her heart was beating so fast and it could last as long as an hour…I would just cuddle with her (yes, after she was about three she accepted the cuddles), and I would stay with her until she fell asleep.  Sometimes she would wake up and cry to me there were monsters in her room I would ask her to show me since I only had adult vision and children see monsters better.  She would point to her closet and near the window and I would wail my arms and punch the air (which were the monsters of course) and continue until she would tell me I had done a great job to rid of the monsters.

The song I chose that put both my children in a good mood In “Put the Lime in the Coconut” and of course I chose a Sesame Street Video.  They really loved this one.

I also chose this song because my daughter would play this when my grandson was a toddler and they would both dance to the song…truly, they were connecting so often with music.  I have fond memories watching them jive.

Harry Nilsson
Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one she paid it for the lime
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she call the doctor, woke ‘I’m up
And said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
Now lemme get this straight
You put the lime in the coconut, you drank ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank ’em bot’up
Put the lime in the coconut, you call your doctor, woke ‘I’m up
Said “doctor, ain’t there nothing’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?’
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’ together
Put the lime in the coconut and you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning”
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Woo-oo-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh
Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one she paid it for a lime
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put the lime in the coconut, she called the doctor, woke ‘I’m up
And said, “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?’
I said, “doctor, to relieve this belly ache”
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?”
I said, “doctor, now lemme get this straight
You put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut, you’re such a silly woman
Put a lime in the coconut and drink ’em bot’ together
Put the lime in the coconut, then you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em both down
Put the lime in your coconut, and call me in the morning
Woo, ain’t there nothin’ you can take?
I say, woo, to relieve your belly ache
You say, well woo, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say woo, woo, to relieve your belly ache
You say ya, ain’t there nothin’ I can take?
I say wow, to relieve this belly ache
I said “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take?”
I said, “doctor you’re such a silly woman”
Put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both together
Put the lime in the coconut, and you’ll feel better
Put the lime in the coconut, drink ’em bot’ up
Put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning
Yes, you call me in the morning, you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do and if you call me in the morning
I’ll tell you what to do
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind



Dear Emma, Reflections on the world I see…

Reflections on the world I see…

Did you know?
In North American culture
compost is recyclable
especially south of the border
appointed writers are dictated
cajoled and manipulated
writing propaganda
circling cyber in a frenzy
passed along as newsflash
CNN and NBC, FOX and ABC
blast a flash
we the people watch and see
may word it differently
at least they let the people rest
so they can watch
Hockey night in Canada…
discrepancies and fabrications
ludicrous to the other nations
continue to flash as confirmations;
elected orators report endlessly
their newsworthy confabulations
a streaming line from CNN
below our screens become a stapel
haunting households to no end

Fortunately the world wide web
opens up doors to other nations
people share and learn first hand
how families suffer degradations
and some that could be better managed
by “we the people” and all the wild west
mesmerized by misinformation
and others form another model
they saw once on the television
their head sinks deep into the sand
ignore their leaders’ constant deception
like news they C filled with BS
that spreads like fire across the land

Eventually some see the light
despite virusal social media
like meningitis and leukemia
festering in those feeble minds
those fingers race upon their keyboards
`cause lies and tricks that do extend
fighting, killing, maiming friends
masked as foes, cannot afford
to hurt so many innocents
merit so much more
in this cruel world

brave soldiers using pen and paper
keyboards and electronic measure
like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlet,
Pierre Le Corf and Tim Anderson
Donna Nassor and Daniel Wirt
and umpteen more that`ll give their shirt
so they can share the untold narratives
our system here just fails to give.

Today I read a few true stories
some broke my heart
and make me worry
what kind of world
with such technology
continues to spread day by day
and not hold leaders
more accountable?
I know not answers
to solve this problem…

I then have chosen
to live with passion
and try to model
life of compassion…
the helping profession
is all I know
and prayer and hope
is how I cope.

it’s a sad sad world
filled with so much suffering
Babel at the very core
tongues that wag
but no one listens
it’s a sad sad world

©Oliana 2017/01/14


Death embraced him (free verse)



Death greeted him
took him in her arms
death relieved him
took away painful things
death soothed him
ending all his sufferings
death escorted him
along that never ending lane
meeting up with souls again
never to be forgotten
especially his loving son

Rest in peace, Walter…may you find peace and tranquility with your parents and long awaiting Greg.


bruised but not shattered (troiku ~ free verse)

Daily moments

Broken not shattered (troiku)

mother – daughter

harsh words
sting the heart

misread intentions
tracing boundaries

once fed the anger
letting go with love


Bruised heart
slower when it’s family
How I understand
Mom came to me
how she understood
unhappy daughters
now I know
Mom tried to warn me
in my dream
now I understand
©Oliana 2017/01/12


compassion is the key daily moments January 7 2017


Lonely souls
unbearably hurting
lonesome souls
filled with age-old suffering
soliciting genuine attention
reaching out for consolation
where no one can trace them
narratives of sobbing tales
addicted to the soothing voices
using death, it never fails
the listener offers other choices
‘til storytellers hangs up
having filled their sorry cup
with tales from dusk to sunup
filled with loads of empathy
often leaving listeners empty

often leaving listeners empty
tired, aching, incapable
feelings that take time to heal;
takes a special one to deal
with such a deed day after day
afternoons, evenings too
and nights are surely underway
daytime’s multiplied by eight
as silences do translate
to piercing cries of dire straits
their pain and woeful agony
unfold slowly through the night
hearing with a subtle ear
but listening with a caring heart
sad stories told
the calls unfold
storytellers start feeling hope
listeners teach them how to cope;

it takes a special caring soul
to work like this and still feel whole
compassion is the magic key
to care for others as much as thee
compassion is the only key.

I have worked in a helping capacity on the phone since 1979 in a voluntary capacity as well as remunerated. Some were identified, others were not but were traceable and others were anonymous and untraceable. The unidentified and anonymous calls are the ones that leave you with mixed feelings. Sometimes you feel relieved the caller’s voice turns a tragic, dangerous or hopeless situation to happy, safe or hopeful state. To hear the tone of voice change like that tells me I may have helped make a tiny shift even for the briefest of moments, makes it all worthwhile.

© Oliana 2017/01/07


Change in progress ~ Hopeful aftermaths

Change in Progress (Free Verse)

baking for change
stir a secret recipe
adding fixings that range
from rising
to explosive
from upsetting
to chaotic
to schisms
to backbiting
rising to a degree
never really ever
ready for the decree
searching for results
win wins
or win lose
only wounds that need healing
delusions no longer standing
all on bended knees
asking what have we done?
no time to point fingers
mae culpa mae culpa
responsibility lingers
to one and all
not all but one
to one and all


Hopeful aftermath (Tanka – Senryu)

blending ideas
sentiments and politics
paths of polarity
travelling side by side

travelling side by side
empathy and understanding
meet at the middle

© Tournesol’17/01/06

Thoughts from the Writing Trenches

I love how a writer shares so generously her writing process…inviting other writers to share…read on


Fran - Bruce Witzel photo

(Yes indeed – that’s me. Wandering in the canyon of my own thoughts – LOL)

75,000 words and counting on this fourth book in the Crater Lake series. The whole story is blocked out. This is the first time I have written a draft using Word’s navigation pane function with level one and two headings to create a highly effective outline. The ease with which I can navigate through the text has turned me into a fan.

I’ve come up on the first minor climax. Writing any type of climax is an interesting process for me. I can’t do it sequentially. I need to write characters’ actions, reactions and dialogue on either side first. Knowing what led up to the action and the fallout afterwards means writing the actual event is a piece of cake. I experienced this in The Light Never Lies when it took me forever to write…

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communion (haiku)

Tournesol dans un jardin


In regard to the poem, called “Oh, Morning Glory!”, Hirshfield quotes D. T. Suzuki:

“The idea is this: One summer morning Chiyo the poetess got up early wishing to draw water from the well…She found the bucket entwined by the blooming morning glory vine. She was so struck…that she forgot all about her business and stood before it thoroughly absorbed in contemplation. The only words she could utter were ‘Oh, the morning glory!’ At the time, the poetess was not conscious of herself or of the morning glory as standing against [outside] her. Her mind was filled with the flower, the whole world turned into the flower, she was the flower itself…

“The first line, ‘Oh morning glory!’ does not contain anything intellectual…it is the feeling, pure and simple, and we may interpret it in any way we like. The following two lines, however, determine the nature and depth…

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tantalizing moments (tanka) ~ The Secret Keeper

Tournesol dans un jardin

©Clr'17 ©Clr’17

scent of spring
marks a mystical moment
tests and teases
spellbound, I surrender
light of the full moon


 The Secret keeper: moon scent era test mark

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Daily Moments Feb 20 2017 winter Haiku

Tournesol dans un jardin

from my balcony
icicles slip into the snow
winter’s shifting


Daily Moments Feb 20 2017 winter Haiku

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