Favorite Thing Friday: Haikubes

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While poking around the sale tables at Barnes & Noble, I found what is easily my favorite thing this week. Hiding under a stuffed animal with freakishly large eyes, I found a box of Haikubes for the bargain price of $12.

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What are Haikubes? They are a set of 63 word cubes meant to inspire the writing of haikus (or any form of poetry). The words include most parts of speech and cover a wide range of language. Some words are what would be considered traditional haiku fare, like peace, whisper, and pebble, while others can only be classified as modern, like hmmmm, etc., and science. 

The interesting mix of words is part of what makes this an ultimate source of inspiration. Instead of being locked into one mode of thinking for haiku, Haikubes encourage a fresh take on an old tradition. Although, I do wonder what the syllable count would be for hmmmm!

The set even includes two “theme” cubes to further guide the writing process. As if the words aren’t enough, phrases like “A dream about,” “A vision for,” and “A regret about” are sure to trigger some creative word crafting.

All I have to do is roll the dice and get writing. Seeing all those words splayed across my table is like looking at a giant puzzle. As I search through the words, it’s like I’m solving a giant riddle. The words are just waiting for me to arrange them into something that makes sense.

If there’s any question about whether Haikubes actually work, see my post from Wednesday, Thunder.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014

Gateway

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Watchful scholars,
cure vacant minds
Hands open wide,
catch empty thoughts
The portal opens,
welcoming all
Leave ignorance
standing outside

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Entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

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In honor of Mother’s Day, I hope it can be forgiven that this week’s Sunday Abroad is a day late.

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c.b.w. 2013

Critters in the Garden

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Throughout April, my garden steadily grew, bringing flowers of all sizes, bright colors, and a few new critters into my back yard.

Most of the vegetable plants have started to bloom and that means it won’t be long before the first crop of zucchini, cucumber, black-eyed peas, and beans is ready. However, a couple of weeks ago, the first harvest was pulled from the vegetable plot. A few pea pods and a clump of radishes made my garden rabbit very happy!

The rabbit is stashing pea pods!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

It looks like my rabbit has a made a little friend. Lizards are common in Arizona and there are always a few that camp out in the yard during the summer. However, it is a rare occasion that I catch one for such a cute shot.

Rabbit and friend are checking out the radishes.
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

Near the front gate, a patch of wildflowers is in full bloom thanks to some seeds I planted last year. Some of those seeds were perennials, so with almost no effort we’ve got black-eyed susans, poppies, zinnias, daisies, and snapdragons. They attract both moths and butterflies, which gives us quite a show every evening.

This little fella came for a visit and stayed for a few days. He preferred to land on all the yellow flowers in the patch. His presence inspired a haiku to go with a photograph I snapped before he flew away.

Fluttering angel,
white wings on yellow petals
spotted, velvet touch

A little garden visitor.
Photo by: c.b.w. 2013

In a forthcoming post, I’ll exploring the wildflower patch with more detail. Every time I go out there it seems as though there’s a new flower blooming. Recently, we realized three enormous plants in the center of the patch are evening primroses. These marvels of nature are a real bright spot in the garden!

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c.b.w. 2013

Written in Stone

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Temples to prose,
rooted in earth
Lessons preserved,
wisdom stands still
Should we forget,
the words crumble

Forest of Steles, Xi’an China
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

The Forest of Steles is part of the Xi’an Beilin Museum in China. The museum holds about 3,000 steles, (both inside and outside) with tablets that date back more than a thousand years. These stone steles serve as markers for historical record, works of poetry and calligraphy.

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c.b.w. 2013