snarled traffic
pigeons peck the ground
free to fly


– – –

Photo: Bedford Square, London, c.b.w. 2011

Words: senryu, c.b.w. 2017




Counting off,
one by one
Here we sit,
neat in rows
All the same,
empty stares

Wooden souls,
polished smiles
Held by rules,
stuck in place
Prison cells
left unlocked

In plain view,
rebels stir
Sideways glance,
about face
Broken line,
open door

– – –

Photo: Traditional wooden toys, Prague, Czech Republic, c.b.w. 2008
Words: c.b.w. 2014
Inspiration: Prague’s history of oppression coupled with the fact that two little critters are breaking “the rules.”




Give me breath,
golden thread
Stitch this life,
mend all strife
Rolling hills,
heart be still
Untouched blue,
freedom’s hue

Lady’s View, Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

– – –

Special thanks to Hannah Gosselin, who inspired me to turn to nature for this week’s Sunday Abroad. Stop by her blog, Metaphors and Smiles to read some of her beautiful poetry.

– – –

c.b.w. 2014



What does the present owe to the past?

A few good stories or wisdom passed down.

In return, relics collect dust and lead an empty existence.

Archaic clay and pigment hold the past by a thread.

Anxious eyes look forward and forget.

The old becomes priceless, but for misguided reasons.

Wisdom is not for sale, nor is the link to those who came before us.

To forget them is a crime. To render them useless in a sin.

The spirit of now brings together two ends of a landscape.

A stilled vessel breathes again when given a chance.

Those anchored to the past fail to see today’s light.

Those looking to what has yet to come miss obvious joy.

Time is infinite and boldly hued.

To let go is to see all that’s possible.

Ai Weiwei – Colored Vases 2007-2010
Han Dynasty vases dipped in Japanese industrial paint.

– – –

Words by c.b.w. 2013

Photograph captured at an exhibition entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

– – –

c.b.w. 2013



Where to end . . .

1 of 3: Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn
Ai Weiwei 1995

Do we protect the past? Conserve what was in order to understand what is?

Molded by ancient hands, crafted with skill and powered by expression. Painted with both imagination and rules of design. Created with purpose.

Shall it remain in stasis, revered as a portal to a time and place that no longer exists?

A bold act . . .

2 of 3: Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn
Ai Weiwei 1995

Can we let go? Roots reach back and anchor a mindset. This we treasure as lessons learned, but the strings remain attached and grow taut. Are they the warp and weft of a safety net or the threads of a noose?

There is order in boundaries, rules, and ethics. Some mistaken comfort as freedom.

Release the ledger of what has come to pass and leave a blank page of infinite possibilities.

Where to begin . . .

3 of 3: Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn
Ai Weiwei 1995

Fragments mark a fragile break. Tradition, filial piety, and honored antiquity lay shattered at the feet of the living. Dust settles in the breath of the present. Not forgotten, just released.

Courageous or cowardly? Expression or defacement?

Innovative? Tragic?

Do we break what has already been broken, establish anew, or redefine as a whole?

– – –

Words by c.b.w. 2013

Photographs captured at an exhibition entitled, “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”

– – –

c.b.w. 2013