Thursday, May 21, 2015

The pine of Takekuma

                      Attribution: Camedia E-100RS
Image: Takekuma twin trunk pines
- free use of image from (here)

Spectacular sight
Phenomena awaited
Gone in a jiffy

Cherry blossoms gone
Takekuma twin trunk pines
eager to see next

Note: "The pine of Takekuma was famous in poem and
fact because it was split into two trunks"  -  Chev

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #737  -  cherry blossoms

Rejoiced at bumper harvest

                                                                                              Attribution: Daniel Julie
Image: Terraced Rice-fields (here)

Young maiden's first try
at haphazard rice planting
made the willows weep

Care and affections
Ensured fertility for
subsequent seasons

Willows wept no more
Rejoiced at bumper harvest
Cool air winked with smiles

For Chev's hosting at CARPE DIEM #736
- one patch of a rice-field

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Is there a method to solve a problem?

                                                                                           Attribution: Alves gaspar
Image: Young Paper Wasp Queen
Guarding her Eggs and Nest (here)

The given words:
3WW - intimate jagged thirst
Sunday's Whirligig - method bleached sheep humming
men fool needlework stones country olive dominoes laugh

Not having an intimate knowledge
Jagged in approach
What a thirst!

Is there a method to solve a problem?
Bleached of responsibilities
Shoved or led like sheep
But still humming a tune
Must men just fool themselves
with self denial?

Problem analysis and decision-making
An art form of meticulous needlework
woven into a fabric of factual imagination

Lest they disintegrate one needs to
draw on many known and unknown facts
Rummaging through even eventually
with soiled hands is a must
Leaving stones unturned is sacrilege
Hands-on so they say!

Armed with the potential sting
at the ready
As a wasp guarding her domains
Or a leader over his country
Perhaps an olive branch
waved occasionally to maintain stability

When all relevant elements
are factored in difficulties arising
will not as a consequence make
them fall like dominoes

Triumphant, one has the last laugh!
Happiness written all over
Still easier said than done
But has to be done

For Thomg's hosting at 3WW week #428
MMT's Sunday's Whirligig #8 and
Susan's PU's Midweek Motif - Happiness

It is the 2 am dread!

                                                                                               Attribution: thennicke
Image:  Blurred Night-time Truckers (here)

What is alive what is dead
It is the 2 am dread
Most are asleep
under warm sheets
But the homeless
Snug under cardboard boxes
Without a care in the world
For as their life twirl
With no change for the better
Not affecting their slumber

Some sectors of activity though
Take it as the start of their show
Airlines and airport workers
Emergency doctors and nurses
Janitors and graveyard-shift workers
Even long distance truckers

All within the cross-hairs of union leaders
Who are much concerned of their welfare
For which they are fully aware
Targeted for adequate compensation
For the unearthly work-hours' inconvenience
So it is that such a bother
2 am certainly is no laughing matter!

For Anthony's hosting at d'Verse Insta-Poetics

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

seen better days!

                                                                                                 Attribution: Zvaella
Image: Red - Courtesy of MLMM (here)

A Ninette
"The Ninette is a form that uses nine lines.
Each line increases by one syllable until the
middle line, (five syllables) after which the
syllable count in the lines following goes
back down from four to one. The first and
last words of this poem can be 1) the same
2) antonyms or 3) synonyms"  -  Vandana

a pair
seen better days
not the way to treat 
had to be mean?
just not fair

Note: Credit to Vandana who used this
form (here) and Hank took a liking for it

For MLMM's Photo Challenge #61 and
Kerry's at Real Toad's Tuesday Platform

Monday, May 18, 2015

It hung over her head!

Note: Hank chose to write on Blood and Carnage in this Blogfest

The Girl Who Played with Fire
is a 2009 Swedish thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson

Lisbeth Salander is under suspicion of having murdered a journalist and his girlfriend. Mikael Blomkvist has to do what he can to find her before the authorities do
Journalist Dag Svensson is writing an exposé on prostitution in Sweden. Dag and his girlfriend are about to leave on a holiday and ask Mikael Blomkvist to come and collect some photographs. Mikael arrives at their apartment but finds the two dead. Lisbeth Salander is the prime suspect, as her fingerprints happen to be on the gun.

In order to find Lisbeth Mikael contacts her friend, Paolo. Paolo witnesses Salander’s friend Miriam being kidnapped by tough guy Niedermann. Paolo gives his account to the police. Meanwhile, Salander tries to find Niedermann by patiently staking out his post office box. She eventually sees someone retrieve his mail and follows him to a small house near Gosseberga. Salander enters the house, but Niedermann has been alerted by motion detectors and knocks her out.

Niedermann and his sidekick Zalachenko lead Lisbeth to a shallow grave in the woods. She tells Niedermann the police will find him soon. All that he has said has been published online through her hidden cellphone. Seeing through her bluff,  Niedermann shoots Lisbeth and buries her alive. Left for dead, Salander digs her way out using her silver-plated cigarette case Hiding in the woodshed, she surprises Zalachenko with an axe. She then keeps Niedermann at bay with Zalachenko's gun.Just then Blomkvist arrives with the police who take them away.

It hung over her head 
but Salander was innocent
It was left to Mikael to find her
Paolo her friend should know

In the meantime Salander
went to look for Niederman
who had kidnapped Miriam

She tailed someone to a house
in Gosseberga but Niedermann
caught her snooping 

She was led to the woods
shot and left for dead
She dug her way out and
hid in the woodshed

She surprised Niedermann
and his sidekick and kept
them at bay before the police
arrived brought on by Mikael

A Haibun for Alex's Blogfest.
Hank is kaykuala at # 45

Sunday, May 17, 2015

....but this is Orlin! - MF

Image: Courtesy of Grandma's Goulash

To berate a cat is
easy but this is Orlin.
Don't you dare for my
rhyming prowess is
fantastic so also
my computer skills
Caught you now!

(140 characters)

For GG's Micro fiction in Succinctly Yours
week #217 and to include the word  -  berate

Faint sounds of bells heard?

                                                                                          Attribution: Irmgard
Image: Grazing Cow with Bell (here)

Faint sounds of bells heard?
Cows are as yet to come home
What a waste of time

Bell sounds yet to ring
But Pavlov's dog salivates
Just too long waiting

Absence of bell sounds
Waiting in minutes before
roaring times erupt!

Note: writing about ... something that doesn't take place

For Georgia's hosting at CARPE DIEM # 732
with  -  the bells at sunset and
Mary's at PU's Poetry Pantry #252

Friday, May 15, 2015

He knocked it simple but it came off complicated

                                                                                      Attribution : Alchemist-hp
Image: Tree eats Sign but Who to Blame (here)

He knocked it simple but it came off complicated
He blew his tops in utter rage but later relented

Who done it he remembered but it suddenly wore off
Racked his brains hard but only to scoff

What did he do wrong he thought it was right
He tried to think hard but for all his might

He could only go some distance and tried harder
There were lots of nonsense he could not remember

So who was there to blame he thought he knew
There were many but managed to single out a few

He tried to go back in time perhaps it would strike a chord
Tugged at his conscience but he was innocent he thought

He was angry minutes before but not anymore
It was not material so why bother!

For Bjorn's hosting at d'Verse : MTB  - Anti-thesis -
where one is to write into the opposites!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Until shoved to the ground...

                                                                                            Attribution: Ireen Trummer
Image: A Young Ural Owl That
had just left the Nest (here)

The given words:
prodigal, treasure, tavern, sun, longing, find
rushing, roar, gravel, learn, grieving, candles, 

The prodigal son
Squandered a treasure trove
Lazing in taverns
or soaking the sun
longing to find
all good things in life

Was seen rushing to capture
fun and games
and to create a big roar

Until shoved to the ground
of mud and gravel
The prodigal son
would not learn

Back to their parents
And parents being parents
There were no grievings

Welcomed back with smiles
Short of lighted candles
to light the way
The prodigal son
was accepted into the fold again!

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whiligig #7
with the given words

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nature's salvation

                                                                                              Attribution: Mwanasimba
Image: A solitary melon (here)

Growing melon left
alone akin to hermit
to fend for himself

Sheltered in lone hut
Today was another day
Nature's salvation

Provided setting
for prolific writings passed
down unselfishly

Note: Following Basho's definition of 'seclusion'  a kind
'of estrangement from the world, living in solitude'  -  Chev

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #729  - growing melons

Monday, May 11, 2015

In dire need of strong arms

                                                                                          Attribution: Vampire-Zombie
Image: "Catching the Rain" Picture prompt
Courtesy of MLMM  (here)

The 11 of 12 given words:
screw bristle bombinate (to make a humming or buzzing
noise) classic slant impinge dire tunnel vellichor (the strange
wistfulness of used bookstores) intricate corduroy

Her life was all screwed up
It was all bristles pricking her heart
Loving words fondly bombinated
in her ears

The classic 'I love you'
though slanted in many forms
but still extending the same meaning
sounding so faintly
impinged on her senses

In dire need of strong arms
to hug her in that warm embrace
and floating on air
in the beautiful tunnel of love
she yearned for him

But why was she hiding away
submerged in the cold
trying to keep her head
above water just so she
could breathe and live

Water smelling like vellichor muck
that occasionally lulled her
into intricate distractions
made her mad

She still had feelings for him
with memories of that hunk
in light corduroy
still playing in her mind

It was not too long ago
they shouted with joy on
seeing their names many times
on the Dean's List

To think a dumb blonde came
between them now!

For Yves' MLMM's  Wordle #60 plus
Neeraj's the Photo Challenge #60 and
Marian's hosting of Tuesday
Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 10, 2015

attracted not just birds but...

                                                                                      Attribution: Roger Culos
Image: A Colorful Caterpillar (here)

Abhorrent as a
caterpillar but became
one so beautiful

Both are colorful
But why it was a put off
but later transformed?

A butterfly flies
inviting for grabs as it
flutters leisurely

Beautiful colors
attracted not just birds but 
avid collectors

Note: Following Basho, Hank's attempts 
at creating paradoxes not knowing it works
or not

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #727  -  a butterfly flies

Gregarious in their dealings

                                                                                 Attribution: JohnDoe0007
Image: A dealer button next to a deck of cards (here)

They were startled
dead in their tracks
They had the gumption
to put their foot across
It was a near discovery but
their finesse was exemplary
The gullible beware!

Gracious in their outlook
Gregarious in their dealings
Manifested themselves
in manifold routines
The gullible beware!

But any semblance
of sensation
or embarrassment
were ably avoided
Surreptitiously helpful
low-keyed by nature
Their activities were
sheathed shielded
and shrewd

Intended victims
could have
been alerted
as there were some
careless moves
But not to be!

Their nefarious jaunts
could now have been
known but it was not
common knowledge
But they were still lethal
in their own ways

Seemingly sedated
The gullible beware!

For Mary's hosting at PU's #251
Poetry Pantry 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Little flowers peep out bright!

                                                                               Attribution: Tuxyso
Image: Solitary flower steals out (here)

On  a mountain path
Trudging patiently along
Breaking barriers

And along the way
Little flowers peep out bright
Lighting the dim path

Life not all rosy
But help through Karmic powers
Salvation for some

For Chev's CARPE DIEM # 726 - a mountain path

Thursday, May 7, 2015

now come the digital age generation

                                                                                 Attribution: Derzsi Elekes Andor
Image: The online marketing and advertising community gathered
at ad:tech London to reveal the latest trends and market figures,
share best practices and address industry challenges (here)

The 10 of 12 given words:
twenty feeble consolation hollow leaning 
mystic southward soil purple breath

most already within mid-twenties
somewhat an adult with a license
to be seen doing adult things
rightly no more a feeble consolation

they were brave souls of all extraction
not anymore hollow in their casual bids
just unshackled off their Mom's apron
into new nests they conveniently hurried

leaning not on mystic tendencies
went southward to the land of the sun
Peace Corps workers to deprived societies
soiling their hands working as one

now come the digital age generation
with Entrepreneurial 'Purple Hearts'
with such breath-taking innovations
any more Zuckerbergs with guts?

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whirligig #6 and
Abhra's hosting at OpenLinkNight #148

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

neurosis of ideas devoid of impulse

                                         Attribution: Shadows by Manoevil
Image: Picture Prompt courtesy of MMLM (here)

3WW: the given words
hauntingly impulse linger

neurosis of ideas
devoid of impulse
likened to a
shadowy apparition
nibbling routinely
in the dark corner

it set in motion
ruefully but surely 
ripples that ruptured
their sense of thoughts

rigorously rollicking
as a consequence
hauntingly obnoxious
to the flock
of migrating birds

tremors of fissures
in the ground
turbulent in nature
surpassed only by
their nuisance value

nebulous thoughts
but pristine in memory
linger on
paltry to measures
to assist but ended up
to be an outright 

Note: Pablo Neruda has that uncanny 
style of short lines that accompanies a 
catchy flow very much like Jae Rose's

Apologies to Kanzen Sakura
Hank regretfully is not able to comment in 
your blog without going through Blogger. 

For Kanzen hosting at d'Verse  -  on poets that inspire 
MLMM's picture prompt of Photo Challenge #59 and
Thomg's 3WW week 426 with the given words

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Contending on its own self

                                                                                                     Attribution: P Smith
Image: Moss on a Dry Stone Wall (here)

Precariously placed
Contending on its own self
Blob of survival

Play safe stick to it
Rolling stones gather no moss
Wise words still hold true

Not the one buried
Non-productive happy but
Under swath of moss

For Chev's CARPE DIEM # 722
- buried in moss

Monday, May 4, 2015

There are big ones...! MF

Image: Courtesy of Grandma's Goulash (here)

There are big ones
lurking in the tall grass
Not many anglers would
dare step into the swamp
But all the mystery helps
accentuate the fun.

(140 characters)

For GG's Succinctly Yours #215  - to write a micro-fiction
of 140 characters and to include the word - accentuate

A pinch of informal indignity!

                                                       Attribution: Rennett Stowe
Image: A Lion lying Supine (here)

The given words:
pinch garden supine monarch extremity tantalize 
culpable fragrant orange dance oblivion 
phosphenes (a luminous image produced by
mechanical stimulation of the retina)

A pinch of informal indignity
On the garden grounds lying supine 
The 'Lion King' in all ignominy
A monarch still regal in a recline

Such the extremity of a royal person
Tantalizing that they do no wrong
Culpable of acts of intransigence
With a fragrant but delicate romp

Orange hues of the animal kingdom
Rituals of deathly dance before a kill
Prey's phosphenes' sight ticket to oblivion
Pounced on by big cats leisurely at will

For Georgia's hosting at MLMM's  Wordle #59 and
Kerry's at Real Toad's Tuesday platform!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


We've gone through a most exciting month in the A to Z April Challenge. In the course of the two previous months Hank posted a number of interesting snap-shots with permission from Yusuf Hashim (YH#1 - YH#11)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #12
The Modern Day Explorer #11 (here)

Yusuf posted in his FB yesterday about some tips. It is most educational to be read in a jiffy. It'll help to make one's photo snap-shot better. It is lengthy. You may skip it if you are already conversant in Fish-eye lens usage. Hank finds it useful and am sharing it here for those others.

Yusuf Hashim says:

Hee hee hee ... its 3 am and I suddenly felt like talking about Fish-Eye photography. So here goes.
A fish-eye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortions intended to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image. Fish eye lenses were first used in the nineteen twenties in meteorology to study cloud formations.Their unusual angle of view of between 100 and 180 degrees, enabled them to see a wide swathe of the sky, and for that reason, they were called "whole-sky lenses".

These days a lot of fish-eye lenses are being made for hobbyist photographers. They are a lot of fun to use. They can produce quite unusual images, although you have to be aware of their peculiarities if you intend to use them creatively and effectively. For instance, when shooting with the fish-eye, lean forward, and try to keep the camera further away from your body .... and make sure your zip is done while you are shooting with the fish eye. If you are not careful, your toes, your tummy, and your willy might appear in the frame as well. Also be careful how you use Fish-Eye lenses. They've often been abused and its easy to create cliche images with them.

I've got both a 15mm fish-eye and another 8-15mm "full-frame" zoom fish-eye which gives a circular image at the widest zoom point. And I'm now eagerly waiting for the new ultra-wide 14mm rectilinear lens from Kwannon to arrive. The rectilinear ultra-wide 14mm would be an excellent lens to shoot the Aurora Borealis on my next PhotoSafari to Iceland from 1-7 September 2015, and to Greenland from 8-17 September 2015. Dr Chen and myself just can't get enough of Miss Aurora, and we are returning to Iceland this September, to shoot her again. If anybody wanna tag along, please PM me.

Hee .. hee... and the Fish-eyes and Rectilinear Ultra-wide would be ideal also to shoot the Aurora Australis in New Zealand's South Island too ....... when I do a PhotoSafari to the land of the Elves of Lord of the Rings fame in April next year....

If and when the mood is right, and if the right inspiration appears, I'll try and do a short tutorial on how to use a fish-eye lens effectively. In this rant, I'll just post a few photos from my collection of fish-eye images to tickle your imagination.

Street shooting with a fish eye-lens has some interesting challenges.

                                                                                           Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 1:
Photo #01 was shot at a train window, at a railway station near Maho Junction in Sri Lanka in 2012. It's a sample of the type of images you could get with a Fish-Eye in Street Shooting.
Would you dare put your fish-eye lens 10 inches from the nose of your subject?

In this photo I waited till the train was moving. Then I walked alongside this window and I asked this man if I could shoot his photo. He understood what I was saying, grinned and leaned out of the window. I put the lens in his face and snapped a few shots in 14 frames per second high speed mode. Surprisingly most of the shots were usable. BTW, I noticed the other man in the rear, and I deliberately included him in the frame as well, to create an illusion of depth, and to give contrast to my main subject. 

In order to shoot better photos, you've got to learn to see and to notice other elements which can contribute visual dynamism inside your frame. Fish-eye lenses gives a new dimension to immersive photography.

                                                                                        Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #2:
Photo #02 is the Boatman of Maiga. He was sitting on the roof of a small boat that we hired to take us to Pulau Maiga, a beautiful Sandbox in the Sun off the coast of Sabah at Sempoerna. I placed my camera with the 15 mm Fish-eye Lens just 10 inches from his toes, and pointed the lens upwards. The lens flare from the overhead sun was intentional. I included it just to add another interesting element in my frame. The fish-eye was pointed slightly upwards so the horizon is curved upwards. 

When shooting photos, to get additional impact, try to shoot from a not-so-usual perspective. Shooting from bottom to top is physically demanding, so not many people will do it, so there is a little bit more of an 'oomph' factor by shooting from below. 

In a previous rant I mentioned MYA (Move Your Ass) to get a different perspective. In this photo, you need to remember WEVODPB . What is WEVODPB? If somebody has read this far, ask me and I'll tell you what it is.

I was Chairman of the organizing Committee when Malaysia hosted the Crossing Bridges Event #4 in Sabah in 2007. Crossing Bridges is an annual get-together of photographers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The objective is to build bridges of understanding between photographers from member countries. Each year the event is hosted by a member country in turn. Last year South Korea were the hosts. This year, the 12th edition of the Crossing Bridges event will be hosted by Sri Lanka. If you are a member of, you are invited to join us. Its almost 3am and this rant is getting too long to read. 

I'll just post a couple more fish-eye photos to give you an impression of what they can do..

                                                                                          Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 3:
Photo #03 was shot within seconds of Photo #02. After shooting the Boatman on the roof, I turned around, squatted on the boat deck, and shot my good friend the artist Tungtong Singapore.

                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #4:
Photo #04 is an unusual Fish-Eye perspective of a beautifully maintained and restored Desoto which I shot in the streets of Havana in Cuba in 2014. DeSoto was an American automobile marque, manufactured and marketed by the now-defunct DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to 1961. This particular specimen would fetch probably a hundred thousand dollars in the US, if it were to be bought by a collector. I asked the owner how much it was worth in Cuba. He said about US 25K. If you want to make some money, go to Cuba and buy up these old cars. Now that the US and Cuba looks like they will be normalizing relations soon, you could easily buy up a few of these cars and sell them to collectors in the USA. The DeSoto logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The DeSoto marque was officially dropped by Chrysler in 1960, after more than two million vehicles were built since 1928. So one of these specimens could possibly be worth a small fortune. `— in Centro Habana, Cuba.

                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #5:
I call photo #05 the Rocket Boat, taking off towards space. No prizes for guessing who is the guy with the long hair at the bow of the boat. This was also shot during CB 4 off Sempoerna in 2007.

As I said, the unusual capabilities of the Fish-Eye can reward you with many unusual shots.
(More of Yusuf Hashim) here

For Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #250

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Vicious blow came swift

                                                                         Attribution: Master Sgt. Roy A. Santana 

Image:  Medium sized urban search and rescue team of 57 members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and 60,000 pounds of equipment, activated by USAID, board a C-17 Globemaster III at March Air Reserve Base, April 27, 2015. The team is in response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks which struck near the city of Kathmandu, Nepal on April 25. (here)

Already deprived
People of hardships given
unwarranted shocks

Vicious blow came swift
Survivors picked up pieces
Strength dissipated

Nepali resolve
Known for courage pulled them through
Outside help came fast

Note: Latest datelined to-day Saturday May 02, 2015
KATHMANDU: Another earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale struck western Nepal on Saturday. The quake was centred in Gorkha. This is the third earthquake to hit Nepal after the first on April 25. The death toll of the first quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale is at 6.814. More than 600 aftershocks were recorded throughout last week. 

For Chev's CARPE DIEM's Special #145
with Yaba's 'no strength left'

Proudly standing unflinching!

                                                                                               Attribution: '64 Laitche
Image: Mount Fuji (here)

Misty showers play
against the distance's visuals
Mount Fuji subdued

Regal snow-capped tops
Proudly standing unflinching
Japan's great mountain

Undaunted presence
Solitary yet somber
Pride of Eastern skies

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #718 Misty Showers
with Basho's take on Mount Fuji

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Zeal for Good Living

                                                                                                      Attribution: Cat
Image: Jumping for Joy (here)

Z  -  the Zeal for Good Living

The 3WW words:
bitter glorious stumble

Pristine in glory
Glorious and brazen
Great feeling surely
Made it to the end

Bitter on occasions
Felt like a kick to the butt
Did not comment in time
Stumbled progress somewhat

Would make amends
In the coming days ahead
Would retrace missed comments
Apologies for being late

The A to Z April Challenge
An episode for good living
Been a great experience
Fun company in blogging

For the A to Z Challenge - Z
Thomg's 3WW week 425

Youthful vigor

                                                          Attribution: Jorge Royan (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
Image: Young Couple Relaxing (here)

Y for Youthful vigor

The given words:
Latin opening clothes element simple 
store bell level honey tear tire

Youthful vigor and the Latin lover
Opening lines often heard before
Fine clothes stood as an attraction
In keeping with polished elements

Not likely typical in the recent past
Putting false front did not seem to last
Simple store attire seemed now the vogue
More of the person would likely to provoke

It rang a bell of current trend behavior
Ruggedly handsome the current lure
Fast and Furious brought a new level
One who stood his grounds so very able

Purring of 'honey' a tear or two with relish
Typical female weapons still just as effective
Big Boss man tireless in his manly pursuits
With a s.w.t. both cordially padding the fruits

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - Y and
MMT's hosting at Sunday Whirligig #5

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Xylophone of a Gamelan Ensemble

                                       Attribution: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos (CC-BY-NC)
Image1: A Xylophone-like gambang part of a Gamelan Ensemble (here)

                                                                                      Attribution: Jocelyn Gonzales
Image2 : An American Lady knocking at the gambang. This is the Son of Lion, an
American gamelan in Manhattan, New York (here)

Note: Gamelan is traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand played drums called gendang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, bowed instrument called rebab and gongs - Wiki

X is for Xylophone

A Tanka

Slow rendition that
floats with monotonous beats
supported by gongs
xylophones rebabs and flutes
mesmerizing to dreamers

For A  to Z April Challenge  - X and
Marian's hosting at Real Toad's Tuesday Platform

Sunday, April 26, 2015

W for Lots of Wise Words! (YH#11)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #11
The Modern Day Explorer #10 (here)

W for Lots of Wise Words

The human side of photography is a very personal thing. One just snaps without really thinking. But it is more than that. Let's get some inputs from Yusuf especially when out in the 'field'

Yusuf Hashim says:
One aspect of street photography I dislike and would discourage is the tendency for newbies to zero in on beggars, the destitute and unfortunate people in the street, and call it street photography. Street photography is about life in the streets. Along with the beggars and the destitute and unfortunate homeless people on the street, there is happiness, emotions, surprises and unique photo-opportunities that we can shoot. IMHO, the essential difference between artists and photographers is this
An artist starts with a blank canvas. With his training in frame dynamics and colour theory from art school, he then proceeds to populate his blank canvas with his visual story. His subject placements is near perfect. And his knowledge of the power of light, shades, shadows and colour results in a beautiful painting (if he is good). An artist therefore ADDS elements into his blank canvas to make a picture.
                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image1: Yusuf Hashim says
I was having char or tea at a pavement tea stall in Kathmandu when this thirsty boy 
came up and asked the chai seller for some water. The Chai seller told him to open 
his mouth ....and simply poured water down his throat 

Photographers have a different challenge. As a photographer in the streets, we are surrounded by zillions of dynamic events going on around us all the time. We only need to train ourselves to see, to identify and to isolate a single event, choose a particular perspective that is uniquely ours, and press the shutter to freeze that unrepeatable single moment for eternity. We have to MYA (Move Your Ass) to try and EXCLUDE elements that we don't want in our frame. 

For example if you see that proverbial lamp post behind your subject, you have to MYA either to the left or to the right to prevent creating a photo which shows the lamp post growing out of your subject's head..
                                                                                             Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image2: Yusuf Hashim says:
One fine morning in Thamel, Kathmandu. It was early morning. Mother and daughters were brushing their teeth on the pavement, on a low wall, just outside their house. Behind them is a communal well, in a large square pit, with steps going down at least 30 meters. Many other women and children were washing clothes or washing themselves down in the pit. 

Early morning is a beautiful time for shooting photos. The almost horizontal light creates beautiful shadows and light, bringing out textures, shapes and patterns. I cannot believe that many so called photographers choose to sleep during this golden hour.

A Haiku
Always be ready
That special moment comes by
in just split seconds

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - W

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V for Vacation of a Lifetime (YH#10)

                                                                                                    Attribution: LZ6387
Image1: The Ingeborg Schooner (here)
(Hank says - This is not the schooner but similar perhaps)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #10
The Modern Day Explorer #9 (here)

V for Vacation of a Lifetime

There you have it! Not just a vacation not any ordinary
vacation but a vacation of a lifetime!

Yes! STOP PRESS Release!

Yusuf Hashim explorer extraordinaire extended his invitation to
bloggers through his comment (here). The extract is given in full below:

Yusuf Hashim  April 24, 2015 at 1:33 AM
I'm returning to Iceland from 1-8 September 2015, en route 
to a sailing Expedition in Greenland. Wanna come ? All are 
invited, but places are limited. The schooner can only take 
10 people including me ....

There you are! Hank will contact Yusuf to let us know how best for
bloggers to go about to get their interests registered. It has to be
direct to Yusuf certainly.

Extract of latest info from Yusuf Hashim's Facebook posting

Yusuf Hashim added 11 new photos.
April 24 at 7:33pm · Edited ·

The Early Bird Applications for my Greenland Expedition from 9-17 September 2015 is OPEN. Only 10 places are available.

As an appetizer, and because we have to fly to Greenland from Iceland, I am also doing a short repeat PhotoSafari to Iceland from 1-8 September 2015. Also limited places to this amazing Island of Fire and Ice.

If you are an Early Bird, you could get discounts of upto US$1500 (terms and conditions apply) . Message me your email address and I will give you a link to download the Information Pack and the Early Bird Application Forms. The info pack should be ready and available by tomorrow morning. Still need to cross the Ts and dot the i. Miss Aurora awaits you in Iceland and Greenland.

Photos attached were all shot in Greenland from on board a schooner by my buddy Iurie Belegurschi, who will co-lead these two photosafaris with me. Iurie is a Nat Geo class photographer who was coaching us how to shoot the Aurora during our recent two photosafaris to Iceland. I've already booked the 65 tons Schooner that we will use as our private floating hotel, as we explore Greenland's massive fjords where the waters are so calm that they are almost glassy smooth. If we are lucky, we can expect whales to breech along side our schooner, polar bears on Ice Floes, sea lions, Arctic Birds and of course simply magical icescapes. Miss Aurora could also surprise us at night. Our meals will be taken on board, prepared by our schooner's chef. Only 10 berths available and applications accompanied by deposits will be given priority.

Promo from Yusuf Hashim

Yusuf Hashim says - We'll use smaller Zodiac boats to go on land and visit some 
of the most remote hunting communities in Greenland. Accessible only in Summer

Yusuf Hashim says -Dusk in Greenland ... a photo that can only be shot by those adventurous enough to join my EXPEDITION to Greenland from 8-17 Sep 2015

Yusuf Hashim says - Mr Polar Bear on an Ice Floe in Greenland. Shot from our Floating Hotel

Yusuf Hashim says - A magical sunset shot from our schooner in Greenland

A Haiku

Off to Greenland get
to know Eskimos perhaps
stay in an igloo

Experience sailing
in a schooner which is not
easy to come by

Yusuf throws in a
few days in Iceland a two
in one experience!

For A to Z April Challenge - V
and Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #249

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The U-word!

                                                                        Attribution: Adrian Michael
Image: A U-Shaped Valley in Switzerland (here)

U for the U-Word

The given 3WW words:
hush desperate beautiful

Hush! not to be alarmed
It has a strange fascination
It can start most innocently
Nothing to indicate its versatility
Just pick a word, any word
Precede it with a U and hey presto!
It creates a new meaning and
becomes an entirely new word

It'll turn the opposite very conveniently like
Unaffected Unassuming Unceremonious
Undeterred Unequaled Unfaltering
and lots more

Or it can be a stand alone to start with
Ubiquitous and seen everywhere
having its own strength like
Ultimate Umbrage Umpire Umpteen
By itself with its own meaning

Or perhaps indicating concern absent
before putting the U for instance
Uphill Uprising Uproar Upsurge
Uptight Unsightly Unrest

It's unbearable, uncanny
not being desperate
But it is still beautiful!

For Blogging A to Z April Challenge - U and
Grace's hosting at deVerse OpenLink Night #147 and
Thomg's 3WW week #424

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A shade above all others

                                             Attribution: Anthony Stanley
Image: A Contemplative Chimp (here)

T for Thinking Aloud

The given words:
weather mottled clip shade stain lace purse ink
iridescent (of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow)
diaphanous (delicately hazy almost completely transparent)
dissonant (disagreeing or out of harmony)

Not under the weather nor mottled
in his thinking
But somehow clipped
in his desire to do good

Iridescent in his make-up
A shade above all others
Why should his demeanor
be stained now

He laced his thoughts well
though diaphanous a little but
none as dissonant as to raise objections

He pursed his lips
He knew he was an honest person
He had to make a decision

He thought he could decide easy and fast
not even allowing the ink to dry
He thought hard!

No, he would not make a good politician!

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whirligig #4 and
Blogging A to Z April Challenge - T