Books and Magpies

I just found this post (unpublished), so I shall combine it with Tessa’s picture challenge at Magpie Tales as the second part of the post. It has simply been so long since I have blogged that I had forgotten how to actually enter a post! I hope that this finds my friends in the blogosphere well. I do believe that I have finally settled in and actually “feel” this to be home for a change.

I am excited about a project for which I have volunteered. I hope to be doing a writing project with a group of veterans should our Central Library be able to pull together a group. This is meant to take place during January and February. I was also to be a part of a new Haiku Group, but I have found that my commitments are def (as Brian would say) too many. As a result – no haiku group.

When I was a child, I read Mummy’s books. Her book plate stated: “Books Are Like Friends”. And they, (books) have been that way for me for a lifetime. We grew up with a library. It was the most beautiful room in the house. It was filled with leather bound books from the 1800s. They had been my great, great grandfather’s books. I never met him. The books were meant for me one day. Unfortunately, my mother chose not to heat or air condition this room, in Vermont of all places. The books were a complete loss – except for a very few.

David and I bought our first house in 1983 because it had a library. Well that is overstating it a bit. It had significant shelving in one room that became the library. I do not have that here, as we are only 3 rooms, albeit more square footage than our first home. I do have bookshelves enough to place one half of my library into. Leaving the other half of my “friends” behind was difficult. Choosing who to take along was very hard indeed. Quite! Anyway, my books are all in the shelves hodgepodge. Now that I am finally feeling at home I look forward to organizing them. Below please find two haibun. The second is for Magpie Tales.

Books have for so long been such very good friends to me.
Leaving one half of them behind during our move was
gut wrenching, like leaving family or old friends. I do
so hope that they feel at home with their new owners.

I have forgotten
yes forgotten my friends
left to dustiness

For Magpie Tales # 247:
Thank you Tess for Maurice de Vlaminck’s Snowstorm. Unfortunately I cannot seem to upload it – ah well.

I grew up with snow. A lot of snow, in Vermont. In 1965 when I was 19
I moved to NYC. The biggest snow storm of my life took place. My family
sent me photos of snow above the roof line as they tunneled out.
This is November of 2014 and there are places today
that have had this kind of snowfall.

thick strokes of snow
brackish sky dwindling lights
in the outer world

For Magpie Tales # 247

Words, Words, Words

With a nod to Yousei Hime who truly had an influence upon my haiku writing last winter … no, it was the winter before, when I was not able to do a whole lot else. I learned to truly enjoy one line haiku. So these four haiku are for the prompt at The Imaginary Garden With Real Toads . Kind of stupidly I wrote the haiku incorporating words from the list before I paid attention to kigo … something that I now must do. The wordlist is from Patricia McGoldrick whose blog can be found here. Her word list from which poems were meant to be written follows the 4 haiku. Thank you Patricia for your prompt and hard work.

I am adding these words 1:57 PM 10/03/13, sort of for accuracy, I guess. 1,2, and 4 are haiku because their subjects are related to nature. 3 really is a senryu because it is like a haiku in form but as it is about human beings it is called a senryu.

with the death of weeds – wildflowers spring to life

snow laden cherry tree branches – shelter a chickadee

share sake and borrow laughter – to quench your tears

leaves turning color – make a painted fall fence

Patricia’s Word List

Neighbor / Neighbours



Barbecue Potluck

















It Was The War

Mummy died in 2000, Pup in 2003. I had the tasks of property management and medical care management for my father utilizing the services of 8 employees between the time my mother and father died. I returned to Vermont from the Midwest more times during that first year of oversight than I had visited in the last 34 years. I would oversee the administration of two estates while attempting to manage my own business at home. All done while my siblings would attempt to sue me. I was soon to discover two WWII scrapbooks of my mothers. They were astounding. She served in London in the European Branch of the OWI. The Office of War Information was the Propaganda Wing of the US Government. I have no idea what she did. A while back I read something within these books that makes me believe that she was at one time behind enemy lines in Europe. She endured bombings of London. I do know that it radically changed and reshaped her forever. Today I fully understand her ghastly mothering.

screeching kingfisher
dives and skims the cool water
minnow for dinner

“The War was the most exciting time of my life” she said to me in 1998 on the phone. I could only think: “who finds war exciting?” War is grim, grotesque, horrific and evil. I lived through the fears of the Vietnam War Era. I did not relate to Mummy’s nostalgic trip back in time at all. In 2005 I had a spiritual experience that initiated me into my parent’s world. Willingly, I placed myself inside the mind of a Vietnam War Veteran, a stranger. This experience one of shattering pain and one of pure ecstasy lead me to (among other things) study war. The experience in its entirety taught me things that I otherwise would never have known, nor understood about life. It was a truly life altering experience.

firefly lightening
stretching across the meadow
like doodle bugs

Doodle Bug was the British name for the Flying V-1 Bomb(s) dropped on Great Britain By Germany during WWII.

I was the apple of my father’s eye when I was born in 1946. Tragically this love ended around 1951. The destructive results of WWII were catching up with both my parents. They each retreated within as two more children were born. The loss of my father’s love would shape my life to come and dominate it for many years in a most un-positive manner. Following my 2005 spiritual experience, I was to experienced my father’s love as it washed over me for the next couple of years replenishing and nourishing all that had been taken away.

little cicada
shedding its summer body
soon too it shall die

I am discovering that this desire to write my memoir through haibun, haiku, haiga and other forms of Japanese poetry will be very difficult. As all know there are many RULES to follow when writing Japanese forms of poetry. I wish to comply however, I must not only write poetry, I must tell an interesting story … or many interesting stories. And I have so many photos. I have removed from these scrapbooks 1/3 of the contents, leaving 2/3 left to with grave difficulty remove, clippings, postcards, letters, dance cards, dinner dates … all sorts of things. These scrapbooks are now 74 years old. Fragile. Each item must be removed with care and then I must have them scanned … by a commercial organization. All when I am not ill – hopefully. I wish to move forward, it is such a slow pace however. I will get there I keep telling myself. Thank you for reading, for your support and for following me.

Please comment critically. As relates to the paragraph just above, I have now written 5 haibun. A haibun is a paragraph of prose about a place, an object or person. My initial 2 haibun were longer – more about me. I wish to get the story across, each story in one short paragraph. I have shortened these 3 above, made theme more concise. Are they two short? Do they tell enough? Do they actually hold your interest and would they make you wish to read more and finish the book (that will be filled with photos? I don’t know. Please you let me know what you think and feel. You won’t insult me. I wish to create a thing of beauty. Remember this will largely be filled with WWII memorabilia. It will tell one how war effects those born into new generations far away from the war experienced by the generation before. It will be a book that I hope will be placed upon the coffee table.

Shared with Poets United for the Sunday Poetry Pantry.

The “N” Word


I grew up with the N word. I do believe my mother may have been the most racist person I have ever known. Her racism however did something positive to me; it gave me great empathy for those different from myself. This experience made me seek diversity as I grew up. My mother didn’t like Jews, African Americans, the Irish, and Italians; come to think of it she did not like anyone. My family did not have television when we were children. One summer I was sent to Maryland. I was at that time showing an interest in boys and apparently behaving badly. I was placed upon a Greyhound bus in Manchester, Vermont and got off somewhere in Maryland. With my little transistor radio close to my ear I listened to the news regarding the March on Washington. I was deeply moved even enraged by the injustice that I heard. Oh how I longed to get off that bus and join Civil Rights Workers as they marched on Washington! This was a defining moment in my life.

yellow butterfly
alights upon the barley
distant lightening

This is gratefully shared at Poets United Poetry Pantry

Forgive me. I had not realized when I wrote this that we had a Disney theme this week.

To Re-Fresh

barely spring now

like fresh magnolia buds

the heart can refresh

So now, that is what is taking place, now that my heart is refreshing, moving onwards and hopefully upwards, it is time for change in my blogging habits.  I have known for a short amount of time that this must be so.  However, I cannot take credit for the changes that you will see in my blog (that is once I master the technicalities).  I have been working on these technicalities all day and yet, they go un-mastered.  Never mind.  I wish to acknowledge and thank a fellow writer, friend and mentor to many, Jaime Dedes for the changes that I am making.  Her blog can be found here:

1) I will be turning off the comments section.  This will allow me more time to read and enjoy your work.  This will also give me more time to tighten up my own writing.

2) I will create a page where you are welcome to communicate with me.

3) I will be going by my given name: Liz Rice-Sosne (this is needless to say, my idea).

Posted at dVerse

Tackle It Tuesday Haiku … October 2nd 2012 … Prompt Tea

The ceremony of tea and I mean any cultural ceremony has always been one of my greatest pleasures. I love tea pots, the aroma and tastes of teas gathered the world over, taking tea say in China. Today, I can neither smell nor taste. I took this photo moments ago for the prompt.

Non traditional haiku:
warm yak butter not my cup of tea – cricket sings

Traditional haiku:
morning glories fall
into deep green muddy earth
matcha on the ground

Shared at Tackle It Tuesday

Haiku for Magpie Tales # 128.

I have been away and not writing, keeping my hand in the game by reading some of my favorite poets here upon the Internet.  Sometimes I get caught up in the cycle of writing … reading, reading, reading and writing.  Even though it is a definite cycle, it often feels incomplete and unrewarding because one feels stressed and pressed to get around to everyone.  However, while away, treating myself to “no writing” I was able to read and digest with leisure.  Of course that old guilt crept in because I was not doing my one haiku a day.  however a walk to the ocean quickly washed that away.

Image by Zelko Nedic – poetry prompt at Magpie Tales.

Today at Magpie Tales we are inspired by what appears to be a faithful “Black Lab.”  The Lab looks on intently at whom I presume to be his master, nearby a potted plant empty of its leaves.  The dog’s master is a working man.  There are above the man’s head what appear to be two ghostly hands creating a halo of light.  There are words ( “HANDS WE WILL” ) written on the background barely discernible and words written upon the masters apron, unreadable.  The dog is waiting upon his master who looks intently into the dog’s eyes.  I know nothing of this painting, but flowing from it is a sense of goodness, a sense of trust and waiting.

I chose today to write three haiku, unrelated, each a different take upon the painting.  Currently most of this country is experiencing a deep drought. We are no different here in St. Louis.  We are however experiencing a gentle rain; oh how I hope that it lasts.  For those unfamiliar with haiku, something I have been studying this past year, I do not write 5 – 7 – 5 haiku.  I attempt to always use a “kigo” or seasonal word.  In the following haiku the seasonal words (all summer kigo) are: 1 = drought, 2 = midsummer rain, 3 = midsummer darkness.

leafless plant deep drought – he walks with me

midsummer rain falling gently on the pavement – black dog

midsummer darkness – waiting patiently for his walk

Haiku associated with Magpie Tails # 128 found here.