Friday, September 30, 2016

It played on kindly to expectations

Image: Autumn Leaves that Floated Down (here)

Crunching, Crinkling Autumn swirling in the Breeze 
                                                                        - Sanaa
(to write inspired by above)

3WW given words:
kindly lighthearted melodramatic

It is now showing signs
Of tugging at the very heart of seeing
From the far distance playing mischievously
tickling at the greenery and to those old oaks
that stand in stoic grandness at the backyard

Finally it does slowly but surely
the changing of the guards
Dancing in unison of a poetry in motion
Floating leisurely in lighthearted mood
the first of Autumn leaves

It played on kindly to expectations
in the initial stages of a symphonic beginning
The slow gyrations of one or two of
detached brown leaves with no music but taking
its time in guarded moments towards earth

In no time goaded on by the slight breeze
in a melodramatic fashion in a frenzy of abundance
swirling down carpeting mother earth

So starts the crunching reverence for
man of the house in meeting the hordes
of golden invasion

Back breaking pastime raking in the
fallen warriors to be cremated or buried
'enjoying' every minute of an annual chore

For Sanaa's Prompt Nights and
Thomg's 3WW week 499

Thursday, September 29, 2016

he had not been this angry

                                                                                          Attribution: Basotxerri
Image: The Empty Bench (here)

the 12 given words:
partial shuffle doorknob swirling marry sizzle blazing,
smallest vegetables, crackle, orange swallow

stood at the door seemingly unperturbed
but feigning a disappointing morning
partial to his angry self but still
within control

he shuffled his feet grabbed the doorknob
stormed inside his head swirling his anger
now more apparent and he slumped
onto the waiting lounge chair

he had not been this angry but lately
he had been under tremendous pressure

she said she would marry him
they were supposed to sizzle
blazing a trail any young couple
would gladly undertake

but under the smallest pretext
while leisurely sitting on the bench
she confessed she was not into
vegetables no way she would turn
vegetarian crackling a triumphant
response to his appeal

she was happy with her sushi, big mac
raw herring,pasta and the like but she
could not see herself as 'a grass-eater'
in her own words and dismissed his
contention of a compromise that he
had vainly sought.

was it that bad to be a vegetarian?
he could survive on just an orange
a day without having anything else
to swallow but his pride
but still she was adamant!

MMT's Sunday's Whirligig #79
Sumana's at PU's Mid-week Motif
Two Souls: Caged and Free

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wisps of your hair caught the wind - a Quadrille

Image: I swear it was you! (here)

Sheltered under the red parasol
Wisps of your hair caught the wind
Lined them across my face 
Amid soft giggles from you 

Gave me a jolt to find you gone
Sweet memories a constant companion now
Shadow of you but I see in everything
(44 words)

Note: Shared an umbrella
in a slight drizzle and her
long tresses were flailing
in the soft breeze

MLMM's Photo Challenge #132
De at d'Verse -  to write a quadrille
and to include the word -  shadow

Monday, September 26, 2016

They continue to frustrate those with good intentions - a Haibun

                                                                                   Attribution: Jean-Pierre Bazard 
Image: A Full Moon (here)

10 of 12 given words
rescind void hinge spirit black stagger
gloam (twilight)
petal density
tweed (A rough-surfaced woollen cloth)

Sought to rescind the stricken void of the universe
which hinged upon mysteries embedded in space
Spirits of the souls lodged deep in its belly up high
to watch over below the antics of humankind
Invariably always in conflict bent on chasing riches
to corner them towards their selfish ends. They amassed
the black gold to staggering proportions still wanting
more to gleefully deprive others of the joy of sharing
They continued to frustrate those with good intentions
from darkness to the gloaming before daylight. If they
give way perhaps it was just a mere petal from the big
bouquet. The density of wickedness went well beyond
the tweed jacket they sported everyday

Moon among the stars
Brightness reflects happiness
Under Autumn's spell

For Chev's Carpe Diem Special #220 Orion,
inspired by a haibun of Dolores Fegan and
MLMM's Wordle #122 Sept 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

get it off your chest

                                                                                               Attribution: Jonas Levin
Image: An injection kit used in harm reduction
programs and given to intravenous drug addicts.(here)

the 12 given words:
will you submit  scream free pot 
after mess chest rinse ashes date 

will you submit, it is a scream
free pot but you'll be at risk

the problem is real
the problem is current
addressed by authorities
in peculiar ways

they mean business
3000 bumped off from the streets
barely within a year after
the President's installation
pushers get killed in the Philippines
they disappeared and none the wiser
the police asked no questions
there were no messing around

get it off your chest
weed grass ice crack cocaine heroin
what-have-you, rinse it off

rise from the ashes quit the drug scene
athletes who cheat lay off from it

no dates to pick, to start it off
it is immediate, pronto!

Brenda's Sunday Whirl Wordle #267 and
Mary's at PU;s Poetry Pantry #321

Saturday, September 24, 2016

ruffled a little and away they fly

                                                                                                Attribution: LaurMG
Image: Up Against the World  (here)

been through with life without relish
one so true and sincere hard to come by
even a rough diamond to be polished
ruffled a little and away they fly

It forked in and out a little like the tongue   
Of that frightened garter snake we caught 
warming it up with them but it ended far-flung
slithered off the grasp so painstakingly sought

yearned for the one who strayed in before
'You come up after dark, you poise alone   
With me on the shore'
she never did come but always to postpone

faint heart put off the cake not likely to succeed
reflecting on the misfortune of what went wrong
blaming others while the heart continued to bleed
perhaps karma rejoiced in singing its song

Note: (lines in italics - inspired by James Wright's
poems hosted by Grace on Dec 13, 2014)

For Kerry's at Real Toad's  -  play it again toads

Friday, September 23, 2016

One wants to keep the relationship intact

                                                                                            Attribution: 日:Muramasa
Image: A Most Precious Moment (here)

When shades of loss weave with pattern of madness 
                                                                     - Sanaa
(to write inspired by the above from Sanaa)

And we all go bonkers dislodged 
from a pedestal of comfort and security
Where to dismount ebbed of motivations
(to love and sacrifice for one of the other)
is not pleasing to the emotional self

Disparity of levels of awareness and progress
following a break-up is downright unfair 
for one has to face the recoil 
at assessing reality all alone

One wants to keep the relationship intact
but the rationale at keeping a cool head is put on hold
where irate feelings are bubbling at the insides
wickedly wishing the other party is suffering just as much

Such is falling out of love experienced at the outset
where the confident self is at its weakest 
and at its most vulnerable
where one grabs at a likely being 
who happens to be around then looking for conquests
One succeeds in conquering and exacting revenge
or one gets conquered luck deserting at that critical moment

Failure in a relationship is then rewound 
for a second or a third episode following
A reappraisal is rebuffed hoping it will work this time
When shades of loss weave with a pattern of madness 
Will the human mind unravel itself back to reality?

When taking stock of the hurts and recriminations
adjustments are of immediate concern to make
for either a recluse accepting defeat or a fight-back
to salvage the honor and self respect of an esteemed self

Falling in love and out of love is still a necessary evil though
for all the valuable experiences unwittingly garnered 
It was horrid then but good when it lasted
so long as the emotional scars did not cause too much damage
and one is all the cleverer at the next round

For Sanaa's Prompt Nights  -  
When shades of loss weave with pattern of madness 
Bjorn's at d'Verse's OLN #180

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Looks to be irritable

                                                                                   Attribution: Yorian~commonswiki 
Image: Competing downwards (here)

3WW given words:
irritable jarring infected

A 5-7-5-7-7 Tanka

Body of water
Looks to be irritable
Swirling  like madness
Plunging with jarring effect
Infected with mental ills?

For Thomg's 3WW week #498 and
Chev's Carpe Diem #1061  -  waterfall

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

untiring honey bee spreading its goodness

                                                                                            Attribution: John Severns.
Image: Foraging for Nectar (here)

10 of 12 given words:
spreading hops pollen hottest scotched
katydids (any green long-horned grasshopper)
intervene crooked, shoplifting,
gourd (idiom: off one's gourd - out of one's mind)

untiring honey bee spreading its goodness
hops from one to the other covering itself yellow
generous pollen clinging precariously
on its bodily self discarded at the next flower
such is nature's inputs in propagating
the preponderance of greenery

the hottest day scorched by the sun's brilliance
where even katydids hide in the shade not to
intervene with the bee's freedom of movements
during the day

it is only the crooked humankind
hidden by shadows of dark nights
with wanton disregard 'shoplifting' kegs
of enriched honey from the hardworking bee

off one's gourd, it isn't fair!

MMT's Whirligig #78

Monday, September 19, 2016

"I've got an Antarctica cruise coming up in Feb 2018" - so says OP Yusuf Hashim

This posting is unlike the usual Haibun Mondays. It is a wee bit too long. However, it is necessary in view of the many photos within. Remember OP Yusuf Hashim, the Modern Day Explorer? (here) Yusuf is just back from his PhotoSafari at the North Pole. His FB posting is datelined Sept 15,2016 and Hank just cannot pass off this opportunity to share his latest set of photos. To make this a legit Haibun, Hank posted a haiku to accompany the images. As this is unusually long, you may skip some parts at your convenience.

All photos are attributed to Yusuf Hashim
All narrations in italics are attributed to Yusuf Hashim

Image:1  OP Yusuf Hashim  -  ever on Top of the World

The Haiku:
See to appreciate
Feel the cold reality
Touch but to conserve

The Prose
Yusuf Hashim says:
Just arrived home from a month in the Arctic Ocean sailing in Greenland and Svalbard near the NorthPole. Lots of pictures shot and don't know which to share here. Here's a couple I pulled out just before going to bed. I can still feel my bed swaying and rocking like I'm still sailing in the tallship Antigua. It was a gypsetting expedition like no other.... — at 79°7'31" N 11°51'14" E

Image: 2
Yusuf Hashim says:
Sailing in the Arctic Ocean Near the North Pole.
The Antigua, sailing close to the face of the Monacobreem Glacier in North West Svalbard at 79°31'5" N 12°30'15" E.

Yusuf Hashim says:
We used these Zodiac boats to go from ship to shore daily ... for hikes and photography shoots. We were told to be very careful about where we put our steps ... because all the moss and lichens were more that 50 years old and the shrubs grow less than 1 mm each year.

Image: 4
Yusuf Hashim says:
Some of the gypsetters who were with me on the Tallship Antigua sailing north of Spitsbergen searching for Polar Bears and Whales in the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole .... all wrapped up against the bitter cold. Sitting on the right in the back row is Dr Nikita Ovsyanikov, who was one of our expert guides.

Nikita has spent much more time in the high Arctic, and around Polar Bears, than most people on the planet. With a PhD in zoology and as a Doctor of Biological Sciences, but perhaps more importantly, with countless months of field experience, he has a deep insight into the lives of carnivores such as the Arctic Fox and the Polar Bear, but also of the ecological contexts they occur in.

Image: 5
Yusuf Hashim says:
Checking out an iceberg, in a Zodiac in the Arctic. Icebergs are KLCC sized chunks of ancient ice which calve off the face of a glacier. Most of this compressed ice from calving glaciers are >30,000 years old

Image: 6
Yusuf Hashim says:
Collecting 30,000 year old iceberg melt water to refill my drink bottle. What crossed my mind was ... hey, this is a great marketing opportunity ... bottling and selling 30,000 years old iceberg melt water to people who are prepared to pay RM 5 per bottle for Evian water compared to RM1 for normal bottled tap water at petrol service stations.

Image: 7
Yusuf Hashim says:
The supreme predator of the Arctic, the Polar Bear, had just pounced on a hapless seal....
Almost finishing his meal ... at 80°54'22" N 23°2'42" E

Image: 8                                                                                                                 
Yusuf Hashim says:
We observed this lone polar bear till evening when the setting sun threw a golden tint in the sky. Mr bear must have spooked these terns as sometimes they forage for eggs and the terns would gang up and attack the bear. — at Arctic Ocean 80°8'31" N 28°0'39" E.

Image: 9
Yusuf Hashim says:
Mr Walrus popped his head out of the water next to our Zodiac and said "Hi !! Whatcha doing in these parts ?" "Looking out for you, of course." Said I. "Now YOU watch your back. Mr Polar Bear is somewhere around and we dont want him to pull one of you into the water, would we?" said Mr Walrus . With that he dipped below the water and was gone.... Hee hee , 

I could have extended my arm and grabbed his tusk ...... he was THAT close. — at North of Svalbard 80°8'39" N 27°58'22" E.

The Antigua, our home for two weeks in the High Arctic, sailing among ice floes, observing Polar Bears, Walrus, Seals, Whales, Reindeer, Foxes, Icebergs and glaciers .... what a rush. We had almost gourmet food on board. Easily a highlight in anyone's life. Doe it not stir you to do likewise ? 

I've got an Antarctica cruise coming up in Feb 2018 and more than half the men and women on the Antigua is signing up. Only fifteen cabins and 42 potential gypsetters. Contact me with your deposit by 15 Oct and get a US$1000 discount off the published rates. — at T 79°30'38" N 12°26'47" E.

Note: You may wish to check out the previous postings
to know more on OP Yusuf Hashim's great adventures
(3 given below through linkwithin) 

For Toni's Haibun Monday at d'Verse
- winds of change
Marian's The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, September 18, 2016

He could still recall the glitter in her eyes

                                                                  Author: Internet Archive Book Images
Image: Eclipsed in the Shadows (here)

the 12 given words:
glitter eyes breath 
sillage (noun: the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in the air when worn.)
exalt forward futile nothingness  
bramble (prickly shrub)
feral (of or characteristic of wild animals; ferocious; brutal)
esurient (hungry, greedy)
microlith (stone tool during late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic times)

He could still recall the glitter in her eyes
despite the intervening years
Her attractive self, breathless
Exuding sillage of  aromatic tenderness
Walking on air ever so confident
Without a stutter and there she was then
clamoring for his exalted presence

Fast forward a decade to be exact
of futile nothingness
He was all alone now a bramble stalking being
reduced to a blob hiding in the corner
Feral in aptitude much in esurient stupor
Secure among his 'friends' the homeless
Somewhat a  forgotten relic of the microlith age
No more required nor useful

Such could inflict the soul of one so successful
Strutting corridors of power rising fast
up the corporate ladder once

A danger of unrequited love gone awry
A jilted element

For Mary's at PU's Poetry Pantry #320
MLMM's Wordle #121  -  September 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

They had designs of being champions

                                                                                       Attribution: Sgt. Brian Glass
Image: Players with Markers (guns)
at the ready (here)

Note:  Paintballs (pellets) - the ammunition used
in the marker (guns) are spherical gelatin capsules
of non-toxic, water-soluble substances and dye

the 12 given words:
champion deplorable try spring 
smite (to afflict or strike with deadly effect)
writhe straw guise fire basket dye us

They had designs of being champions
The records of the last few games were
deplorable and they swore to do better

They tried to spring a surprise attack
in the final stages before but unfortunately
they were themselves  'surprised' instead
The hunter became the hunted. What a
smite they received. They could see
themselves writhing in pain as the
paintball pellets were quite lethal on
soft spots of the body not protected 
It was the last straw. They were not about 
to easily forget it this time.

Under guise of night given by the tree
shadows and to hold back fire until
absolutely necessary so as to inflict
maximum hits they did better this time

Their basket of strategies worked wonders
They were not splayed with as much of
the dyes as did before.. It was a successful
outing and they learnt from their mistakes
'They got us before but we got the last laugh'

Brenda's Sunday Whirl Wordle #266
Outlawyer's at Real Toad's - following
a thread  -  weekend mini challenge

Unwittingly they kept a date

                                                                                         Attribution:  Daniel Schwen
Image: The 42nd. Street, Times Square
bound shuttle departing from the Grand
Central station  (here)

the 12 given words:
doubt lean pain meet talk love listen 
wild gossip authenticity break tilt

At the precise hour without a doubt
Every morning without fail
There she was leaning against the pillar
Seemingly to prop it up against collapsing

Unwittingly they kept a date
Stealing glances but keeping distance
It pained him to meet 
but they had yet to talk
He would love to listen to her voice
Not to endure wild gossip or chatter
like a bunch of school-girls, but just

The authenticity of purpose, however
was not matched by the desire
to break the ice

They would hop on catching the strap
Almost touching shoulders but heads
tilted to one side away from the other

Meeting every morning barely inches
apart but still remaining strangers
The New York Subway phenomenon

Note: Hank used to take the
shuttle to Broadway years ago.

Brenda's Sunday Whirl Wordle #265
Sanaa's Prompt Nights - identity

Thursday, September 15, 2016

the stake seems within reach - a Clerihew

                                                                                           Attribution: Marc Nozell
Image:  Attendees at a Donald Trump rally(here)

A Clerihew is a comic verse of two couplets
with a rhyming scheme of aabb. The first line
names a well-known person and the second
line rhymes with the name of the person.

They said Trump exceeded his welcome
But he is seriously wooing the Russians
Confident, the stake seems within reach
Health issues putting Hilary under siege

Tycoon Donald Trump lording it over
The forty-fifth President come November
Sees the world a market to be exploited
World leaders be forewarned or 'you're fired'!

Gayle's at d'Verse's Form For All -  the clerihew

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

she showed a steely determination

                                                                                 Attribution: Angelika Špicarová
Image: A Singing Sensation (here)

the 11 of 12 given words:
whale spell murderous singing offering steely 
core badass expanse whimsy concept

3WW given words:
firm heated grave

a whale of a time
he was spell-bound
despite a murderous rendition
of her singing he still considered
it a great offering
she showed a  steely determination
to the core and he was appreciative

not a badass in demeanor
he was firm in his resolve
her repertoire covered the expanse
expected of her
whimsical at times
or heated at other times
but gravely enduring most times
conceptually tolerable
he had hopes she would make it

MMT's Sunday's Whirligig #77
Sumana's at PU's Midweek Motif  -  appreciation
Thomg's 3WW week #497

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tormented by the onslaught - a Quadrille

                                                                      Attribution: Fortepan - ID 52019
Image: War-time ruins 1945 (here)

Tormented by the onslaught
The lame and deprived
Each contending its right to survive
But imperiled

Why must power be shoved onto
hands of those cruel and inconsiderate?
- inequality forcibly embedded even enhanced
unwillingly endured by the weak

Powerful leaders open to scrutiny!
(44 words)

For Victoria's Quadrille in 44 words
at d'Verse  -  opening to the muse
and to include the word 'open'

Standing tall above the rest

                                                             Attribution: タカラトミーリカちゃん
Image: A Licca-chan Doll  (here)

Tribute to Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)
the haiku and tanka connoisseur (here)
(Jane was also accomplished 
in pottery and doll-making)

Standing tall above
the rest regal in stature
buoyantly smiling
endowed with talents rightly
acknowledged in her lifetime

For Chev's Carpe Diem #1052 - happiness

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Soothing to the heart

                                                                                   Attribution: Jon Sullivan
Image Hibiscus in Bloom (here)

Soothing to the heart
Colors enhancing the joy
Beauty of Springtime

Arranged in bouquets
Etched in mother's memory
Inspiring girls' names

For Chev's Carpe Diem #1050  -  blooms
Susan's at PU's Midweek Motif  -  blooms

Monday, September 5, 2016

Not ignorant of the inherent danger

                                                                                           Attribution: Alicia Savage
Image: By the Sea Shore (here)
(MLMM's Photo Challenge #129)

the 12 given words:
shine precise bee lightness ignorant sparkle 
tapestry (fabric used for wall hangings, furniture coverings)
mutable (liable or subject to change or alteration)
threat veiled flaked
Rain or shine at the precise hour
She would make a bee-line to the sea shore
with a lightness most unusual

Not ignorant of the inherent danger
but with a sparkle in her eyes
she sat bathed with expectations of a 
young lover left hurriedly by her beau

She had been lucky this far
for at exactly 0600 hours
a deathly calm enveloped the early 
morning sky
clear of the tapestry of dark 
cloud formations that shrouded the dawn
barely a few minutes ago

A slight breeze picked up the kite 
fashioned like a sailing boat
to greet  the rising sun on the horizon.
The same cuttlefish that came yesterday
would wave her tentacles from the distance

Not mutable thereafter for at least one hour
with no threat to her person
she sat there not a movement was apparent

Then a sudden change of mood occurred
of a somber being that veiled a happy self 
for the past previous hour
it now flaked itself from the quiet mood
to a changed person
The kite lowered itself to her feet and
she was ready to go back

Happy that her hour long daily 
meditation was now accomplished

Brenda's Sunday Whirl Wordle #264
MLMM's Photo Challenge #129) and
Marian's at Real Toad's the tuesday platform

Feverishly looking for leads

                                                                        Attribution: Shahzad Rizvi
 Image: Book Cover (2009) (here)

Whodunit wherefore
Feverishly looking for
leads with no progress
Murder investigation
But where is the dead body?

Worried to no end
Big sister was the culprit
Stories gave the chills
No shut-eye three solid days
From cold ghostly mysteries

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #1044  -  mysteries
(a set of tanka)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pride of living creatures in colorful feathers - Flash 55

                                                                        Attribution: © Twins Seven Seven (2007)

Image: The Singing Birds In Egg Count (here)
(Inspired by Nigerian artist Twins Seven Seven
whose paintings are styled Primitivism)

We look sprayed in kaleidoscopic hues
Pride of living creatures in colorful feathers
Not drab grey of thick skinned rhino blues
But of regal peacocks parrots and kingfishers

We look down on others from high above
Transcending regions miles of distance
Used to freedom without borders
Why keep us caged just to admire our affluence
(55 words)

For Kerry's Flash 55 Plus at Real Toads

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Exasperation written all over his face

                                                                 Attribution: Musée du Louvre
Image: The most known, seen and talked about
smile in the world, that of Lisa Gherardini (here)

We tend to smile in the exact same language  -  Sanaa
(To write inspired by above)

Lost in the woods of concrete jungle
Exasperation written all over his face
The Eiffel Tower far away in the background
could not help to alleviate his concern
Lost in Paris he could only say oui or
where appropriate merci but nothing else
He had been warned, know your French to
get around but never to be heard uttering
whispers of Queen's English or you are done for

The next person he approached he flashed a
big wide smile and got in return thankfully
a friendly response  -  a similarly wide grin

He started talking in his own lingo and with
sign language and  indicated his desire
The frail old lady of course talked in French and
never in his life he had been made guessing of
what the conversation was being bandied about.

He guessed right for after walking over to the Metro
further smiles thrown very generously and peeking
at the map incessantly he finally made it

The Louvre right there in front of him
He felt so sorry she had been patiently waiting for so long
He was glad he had at least arrived safely for his date with Mona Lisa

For Sanaa's A Dash of Sunny Prompt Nights and
Mary's at PU.s Poetry Pantry #318

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Postscript: OP Yusuf Hashim the Traveler Extraordinaire! - a Haibun

                                                                                  Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image 1: OP Yusuf Hashim the accomplished Photographer at Lake Myvatn, Iceland

The Rhyming Poem
Colors of Spring hovered with scant memories
Obvious tinge of regret and impacting freely
Summer no help but compounding the warmth
Looking forward to Autumn's golden brown

A savior to life's hunger for fruits of all kinds
Autumn adequately fills void to address the bind
Likely a respite to face the harshness of Winter
Yearnings for a White Christmas as did last year

The Prose
To the privileged members of our blogging community with time and money, and an insatiable urge for spectacular photography and a penchant for adventure thrown in, here's something. Just received in Yusuf Hashim's FB posting datelined Sept 01,2016 on what's the latest!

Yusuf Hashim traveling to Svalbard Airport, Longyear 
from Oslo - Gardermoen  Norway International Airport.
Yesterday at 12:35am Gardermoen, Norway 
Yusuf Hashim says:
Busy summer. From Tuscany to New Zealand, to the Serengeti, to UK to visit the grandkids, then to Iceland, and then sailing in Greenland, then back to the UK, and now in Oslo enroute to another sailing gig in Svalbard near the North Pole. Then I'm off to Taiwan in October for the Crossing Bridges meet, then a short rest before flying to Punte Arenas in Chile to board the Sergei Vavilov for a cruise in Antarctica and the Falklands, to recce a planned safari to Antarctica for 30 Jan to 10 Feb 2018 ...I will do Patagonia as well in April. Come join me. Life is good ..... but short

Hank's little note to Yusuf:
My, what a mouthful! Your plate is full, overflowing in fact, right through to early 2018. Wonder what you had been having for the past 70 years to make yourself prim and fit to take on the onslaught! Keep the good flag flying and the bubbling energy intact. This is just overwhelming!

Pretty obvious then that a peek at the Grid Magazine #54,#55 and #56 (here) can reveal everything else one keeps asking about life on the fast lane 'off-road'  Wishing you the best, OP Yusuf!

P/S Hank has taken the liberty to grace this posting with a sampling of the great snapshots of your previous 'exploits' done through the years!

1. All snapshots are attributed to Yusuf Hashim
2. All narration in italics are attributed to Yusuf Hashim

Image 2: Yusuf Hashim, the Pilot in a Red Bull fighter aircraft

Hank says:
Fantastic! Keep at it OP Yusuf Hashim. You have your pilot's licence. Not clear here if you were at the controls! Given your many talents we can expect anything from you!

Yusuf Hashim replies:
Ha ha Hank, there are dual controls on both the front and rear cockpits. I am not rated for aerobatics so I wasn't permitted to touch the stick and pedals during aerobatic manoeuvres. The captain only allowed me to take the controls briefly, on the more civilised parts of the flight. Quite scary really, because the controls were so light and twitchy, compared to the controls of the Cessnas and Pipers that I am rated to fly

Image 3: Yusuf Hashim says  -  The young man at Namib Desert.crossing the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia. That's me many years ago when there wasn't any grey matter at all to ooze out of the hair, moustache and beard follicles then.

Image 4: Experiencing the Aurora Borealis. Yusuf Hashim says  -  This was a 20 seconds exposure so I had time to run in front of my camera and do an Aurora dance

Image 5: Yusuf Hashim says  -  This is a group photo of the fun people on my Iceland PhotoSafari at the amazing Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland .

Image 6: Yusuf Hashim says  -  I shot this big fella while hiding downwind in a clump of trees. We were camping in the bush, protected by an electric fence, when I saw this big fellow came sauntering by our campsite. Breaking the rules and throwing caution to the wind I got out of the safety of the protected campsite, and hid in a clump of trees downwind of this bull elephant to shoot this picture with a 70-200 lens.

Image 7: Yusuf Hashim says  -  I'm no birder, but here's a Maribou Stork at Lake Ziway in the Great African Rift Valley, shot with the EF 300mm lens, handheld from about 80 meters. This is a massive, vulture like, bird with a wingspan of 12 ft , height of almost 5 feet and weigh around 9 kg.

Image 8: Yusuf Hashim says  -  Ideally you'll need a long lens like a 300 or a 400 with a multiplier, but this photo was shot with a 70-200 at a distance of about 10 meters. As we are using small land rovers with only two persons inside, we can get really close to the animals and you can get awesome shots like this one of a sleeping Lion King in the Ngorongoro Crater without falling over each other. — at Serengeti.\

Image 9:  Yusuf Hashim says  -  This magnificent pair of 'White Rhinos' nonchalantly crossed my track as I was driving through their territory. They are not actually white, but they are called white rhinos because their mouths are wide compared to the black rhinos whose mouths are rather more pointed for eating shoots and leaves, while the white rhinos have broader mouths because they eat grass. — at Serengeti.

Image 10:  Yusuf Hashim says  -  The guys and gals having fun taking selfies in Iceberg city. The icebergs come in all shapes and sizes and I never grew tired of watching and photographing them. They are simply beautiful and many of them are immense, with the part above water being as high as a 30 storey building.

Image 11:  Yusuf Hashim says   -  This is the 3 masted Barquentine Schooner I have hired (This is a snapshot of the schooner from one of an earlier expedition) It has Cabins with en suite bathrooms. It will be our floating hotel and Arctic Safari ship . It is a three mast barquentine schooner specially fitted for sailing in the waters of Svalbard. A barquentine is a sailing vessel with at least three masts, all of them fore-and-aft rigged, except for the foremost one, which is square rigged.

For Walter's at  d'Verse's MTB -   the reason for rhyme