Art From Nature

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “art from nature”. The art here is the hook, trellis poles and grape arbor. Nature framed it.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. We moved back to Miami Beach, but could not get our internet re-connected for a couple of days. Everything seemed to go bananas and the excuse was always “covid”. Then the problems vanished after going to the cable provider’s offices personally, covid or no covid. I look at it as divine blessing. I did realize we need to prepare for extended periods without the internet. That realization was the source of my smile this week along with every opportunity to offer gratitude for blessings.

Art From Nature

Low Light

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “low light”. I lowered the light on these, perhaps too much.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The leaves are gone, but the forest preserve is still a peaceful place to walk conducive to many smiles.

Here is a poem I wrote for Chel Owen’s Christmas Newsletter challenge. The challenge is open until December 11th for any who might want to participate. These poems are supposed to be funny. I am not sure that mine is, but if I did achieve that rare state of humor, that would bring another smile to my face.

Christmas Newsletter

Larry’s Earth is on the Moon.
Greg’s might be on Mars.
Lulu’s livid with the news.
Sue shoots shooting stars.

I’m the final one who’s sane.
At least, I can pretend.
I have no time to rush away,
so Merry Christmas, friend!
“HEAPS & HEAPS OF URGENCY”, Graffiti found at Skokie Lagoons

Splash of Color

Oranges, reds and watery blue -
Wintry grays though seep on through.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme “a splash of color”. Against the gray of coming winter there is still some color in the woods and along the lake.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. Most of the leaves are gone and the weather turned cold, but I still enjoyed a trip to Lake Michigan. All worth a smile or two.

Red Berries Blue Water

The First Breath of Winter

First comes cold with winter's snow
To make a mess and cause distress
But spring will bring much to behold.
Have patience now for that caress.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “the first breath of winter”. These photos were from last year’s first snowfall which melted quickly but left a lot of snow. We might get a repeat this coming week.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The forest preserve provided many smiles. I also went to parts of the preserve I had not visited in decades. I was surprised I could remember the trails after such a long time.

Another smile arrived this morning when I saw a story of mine, “Patience”, in Whispers and Echoes. I am grateful to Sammi Cox for accepting it.

Beautiful Winter
Beautiful Winter

Spooky Exorcist

I have no fear of ghosts or such,
But humans - compromised, possessed -
They do cause trouble - very much -
They're twisted, troubled, without rest.
They think they're tough. What do they know?
They aren't so difficult to see.
When eyes blaze hot with hate they show
Their weakness then their fear of me.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “spooky”. I doubt these photos are all that spooky unless one imagines an appropriate backstory. So imagine dark secrets, including those long forgotten nasty ones that you don’t want the kids or your parents to know, suddenly polluting the light, standing out like these silhouetted trees.

If that doesn’t work, here’s a happy pumpkin.

Happy pumpkin

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The forest preserves and parks were beautiful this past week. We went to many that I had not seen in years including some along Lake Michigan.

Light and Dark

Vertical

The vertical rise of the morning sun
Carries our hope when the day’s begun.
Though the darkness returns in late afternoon
Then the dreams, those sweet dreams, show the dreamer what's true.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Prompt where Dales offers the theme “vertical”. The top photo looks vertically into the forest canopy. The bottom shows a contrast between the vertical trees and the flat region that has been cut as part of forest management.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. The forest preserve has been beautiful and the weather has provided many opportunities to enjoy it. Even after a rain, I smiled.

Another reason for a smile is that a very short story of mine, “Cliff”, appeared in Whispers and Echoes. I am grateful to Sammi Cox for accepting it.

Contrast Between Vertical and Flat

Shadow Play

It's ominous when shadow play
Deceives and hides the truthful way.
We need good light and strength to seek,
But shadows love to keep us weak.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Prompt where Dale offers the theme of shadow play.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. There is no news on the 3x+1 problem, but the forest preserves have been beautiful. Many, many smiles watching the leaves change and drop in the wind and rain. I think I will go back again today right after posting this.

If you go down in the woods today

Green is fading from the leaves.
Yellows, reds surround the trees.
They seem to know that winter nears
Approaching it with trust, not fears.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “if you go down in the woods today”. These photos were from Friday in Sunset Ridge Woods Forest Preserve.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I did nothing this past week with the 3x+1 problem. I don’t know if that is something worth a smile, but it did make me smile. The changing forest preserve was clearly worth a smile. I took so many photos yesterday, I used up the battery on my phone. Perhaps that was a sign that I took enough of them. It amazes me that the trees know winter is coming.

I am also linking this to Robin’s Walktober.

Trail in the Forest Preserve

Sunday – 2 PM

I worry now if I'll remember -
"Take a photo, 2 PM."
While wondering about November
I'll take those photos. I'll remember
Then post a few or all of them.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of photographing wherever we are within one hour after 2 PM on Sunday. I set the alarm on my phone and planned to walk through the Chicago Botanic Garden at that time.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. One of my poems, Narrow Trails, appeared in the October 2020 issue of Snakeskin 277. I am grateful to George Simmers for accepting it and thereby giving me something to report for the weekly smile besides the many walks this past week.

Still Green Maple Leaves

Inversions

From summer green to autumn red
To winter white and rest.
Arise from winter's silent bed.
Spring has passed the test.

Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of inversions. While walking in the forest preserve, I ran into a maple tree that had turned deep red earlier than the others. Unsure of what an inversion was, I thought of this change as an inversion, moving from summer green to autumn red.

Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. Outside of an email exchange with someone offering a proof of the 3x+1 conjecture, I did not update my program further. So no excuse for a smile from that quarter, but weather was beautiful, I explored new trails in the forest preserve and I enjoyed (online) The Return, the Washington Prayer March on Saturday. Many smiles there.

Another smile arriving this very morning came from listening to Crystal Grimes’ composition Gratitude DSE #9.

Red and Green Inversion