Tag Archives: home

Old Pond

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Furuike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

— Basho

The old pond

frog jumps in

sound of water

                 Bashoo

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Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya,
ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into)
mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)

Translated by Fumiko Saisho

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An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Translated by Harry Behn

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Antic pond–
frantic frog jumps in–
gigantic sound.

Translated by Bernard Lionel Einbond

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MAFIA HIT MAN POET: NOTE FOUND PINNED TO LAPEL
OF DROWNED VICTIM’S DOUBLE-BREASTED SUIT!!!

‘Dere wasa dis frogg
Gone jumpa offa da logg
Now he inna bogg.’

— Anonymous
Translated by George M. Young, Jr.

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The old pond, yes, and
A frog is jumping into
The water, and splash.

Translated by G.S. Fraser

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The old pond,
A frog jumps in:.
Plop!

Translated by Allan Watts

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Weekly Photo Challenge:  It IS easy being green!

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Who’ll Turn the Grindstone?

ax-grinding-great-grand-1946

Ax grinding was a necessity 70 years ago. A well sharpened tool made work more satisfying. Skill in ax honing was an art. The man or woman at the grinder peddled foot pumps to turn the grindstone. Notice the grinder’s posture as he leans against the tree and holds the blade at a certain angle. He looks fully focused on the task, perhaps in mindful meditation as he listens to the steel and grindstone in harmony with the motion he creates using his body.

When I feel nostalgia* for times gone by, like this sort of work that was part of rural life before I was born, I wonder if people really felt satisfaction from such tasks. Certainly life moved at a slower pace for most before all our modern conveniences, but was it any more pleasant or annoying than our lives today?

*Nostalgia:  a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition. (Mirriam-Webster  Dictionary)

How do you spell ax or axe? Where did the phrase “an ax to grind” originate? What is the story “Who’ll turn the grindstone?”?

By the way, that’s my Great Grandfather Barlow grinding the ax in this image from family archives. He was known for this skill and for growing bountiful vegetable gardens. And this image is my response to this week’s photo challenge:  nostalgia.

For a beautiful photograph of a blade sharpener in a different culture click here. The photo tells a story.

 

Frank’s Place

sepia tone abandoned house

Frank’s place

Home was never for you

your too many wives

your too many sons.

You lived

on bacon

and beans

and beer.

Modest shack called home,

called Bear’s Den,

Bear Cat Proprietor.

Even your ghost cannot rest

on that old chair.

road gate and sign

This post is my response to the 2015 March Photo-a-Day challenge/course prompt: home. And since I took the poetry 101 challenge the last 2 weeks of Feb,,  but didn’t post many poems, I wrote a poem for today’s photo. Last weekend I participated in a writers workshop to learn more about Ekphrastic writing. That means the writing is inspired by or related to an art piece, be it visual, music, performance, architecture or other art forms. Truly, this is my neighbor’s place, or his ghost’s place. He died several years ago and his family only camps here once a year to hunt nearby. Look behind the yellow caution sign and you’ll see my place up the hill, adjoining Frank’s. I adjusted the photo in Photoshop CS4 to a black and white image, added noise and tint to make it look like an old photo or newspaper clipping. I made the photo in late Feb.. To participate in the March Photo 101 course and challenge click here.. You can read a dark flash fiction story about Frank’s outhouse here..