Fractals Photos Poetry Prose Watercolor

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day and Geraniums

Memorial Day brings a multitude of remembrances, a family gathering, an overload of missings and, somewhere in that mix, granddaughters plant fresh geraniums to brighten the weathered windowbox at the old lake cabin.

Although Mom and Dad have cast off to the great fishing place above, each year the brilliance of spring plants brings awareness of another season as well as a renewal of hope and the pleasure of re-told stories.

The photo was taken with a Minolta and is unprocessed.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sometimes, I lose sight of reality

Gazing balls bring on a mindset rarely found in daily time. This photo was doubly interesting because a few dimensions were visible and more could be imagined.

Processing this image of a sun-blessed gazing ball turned into incredible enjoyment by presenting a choice of futures and a multitude of pasts.

Zooming in or out reminds me of a fractal by revealing hues unusual and the initial image challenges me to bring out watercolors for a wet-in-wet lost edges painting.

The photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix and processed in Pixia.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

South of Cancer


Blue-green tones don’t split the sky from sea

nor separate from shoreline cantata,

high-flying wings salute hiding mantas

then fold to hammerhead the Caribbean,

palms shimmy against the breeze

textures rub one another with no loss of pith,

mangroves sneak into lagoons, root at a time

bones hide beneath blind fish in timeless cenotes.


Myriad greens of mountains deepen

untie scents of jasmine and tangled sweetsuckle

moth-like people flutter to sputtering neon

long for fantasy on dimming streets

and not so far north of Tulum

Cancun shapeshifts to light antithesis.


I cannot hold you.

Painting: abstractal by sue 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How Now Dow?

From work I called to see if the Wall Street Journal had responded with regard to my poem How Now Dow sent with full anticipation of publication. My live-in granddaughter, Breanna, a college freshman, sounded a bit disappointed when she heard me on the other end of the ringing phone with the same question I had been asking for three weeks.

‘Yes,’ she replied. How excited I was that the much awaited response had arrived!

When I asked her to give me the answer, she was slow to respond. Rejected! I thanked her and said someone else was waiting for this poem - it was up to me to find that niche.

When I arrived home that night, I found the envelope unopened.

I spoke to my daughter who said Breanna, like ET, had phoned home. Able to read the rejection through the envelope but not wanting to give voice to bad news, she asked her mom if she could junk the envelope and continue the ‘sorry it didn’t arrive’ game? Her mother explained why that would be totally unacceptable.

That same poem was soon accepted by The Saturday Evening Post. Breanna watched rejection turn-around first-hand while I gained a lesson in the not-always-visible compassion of youth.

How Now Dow?

Stocks are up - then down,
my head begins to pound,
eyes are hot and blurry,
my mouth all dry and furry.
Dr. Greenspan, help me please!
I think I have Mad Dow Disease.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


angst captured
in old photograph
headless mass

Sunday, May 14, 2006


My mother was gone
by the age I am
she might have shared
are nowhere found
there’s no lead
to follow
no clues to see
she didn’t go here
it’s all new to me
I write my life
by first-hand view
no warning words
no clearcut signs
an unmarked path.


I want to ask.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


When my grandkids were young, they introduced me to Nintendo while smirks, followed by frustration, crossed their faces when I couldn't get the hang of the buttons.

I quietly purchased my own set and locked myself away until I solved each of their favorite games. When next we played, I can't tell you how much pleasure it gave me to whip their little butts.

They invited classmates to challenge me and cheered me on to win in a variation of the famous boast ~ my dad can whip your dad.

They advanced to the next system and then the next but somehow those games didn't entice me like the earlier ones had. They weren't as much fun and, believe me, I'm a strong proponent of the fun which doesn't hurt anybody bloody.

Grown, these grandkids occasionally drop by to play the old system and a couple of them hope to replace their first consoles. In the meantime, we hang out in the living room laughing hysterically at Mario and a huge selection of old favorites.

Today, The Time carried news of Nintendo's coming system and a bio of its game maker. It looks more like aerobic exercise and it's bound to be easier than trying to remember which button to push without looking down just as your hero slips into the abyss.

I'll have to splurge and try to perfect my game before the kids...oh, never mind, they're probably STEPS ahead of me.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Birds Flew

overhead and dove with a wet kerthunk into the swimming pool. Ripples spread fast and wide while a happy mallard and his muted mate floated under the fountain spray and made plans to settle in for the full season.

I took a few 'can you believe this' video clips before picking up a broom to discourage them.

They left in a great flap and haven't returned.

The watercolor, Down from Under, is on a book cover and was inspired by a photo taken with a disposable underwater camera.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Powdered Stones

terra-cotta tinted dust
led the wind
in a dance beyond my path
unrolled a screen
a sepia movie of soft motes
stamped visions of the past
until it whispered out of sight
as swiftly as it sprang
left me in a trance
to rattle buried bones
to scatter age-old ashes
over powdered ancient stones

This poem is a found poem. It came, almost verbatim, while riding through the Southwest desert and after it was written I felt loss as well as completion. I return to that day each time I read these words.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Retrograde Moon

A speedy present blends the past and future into surreal puree.

This fractal represents, to me, a swirl of time.)

short on gratitude
brass repelled a golden buff
on that double gray day

from a southern tome of wind
alchemy knocked the shore
turning pebbles into sand

my ascending course
from graphics to gigabytes
forked into a doorknob day

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Daisy, Daisy, Tell me...

Happy Birthday, Tracy!

A digital daisy resting on a spun fractal with a bit of processing creates this unusual image. A village of sorts appears at the lower right which might indicate that the center of the daisy represents the sun. The sap green is fresh as spring and the indigo separations and fades feel like blue watercolor sky. I'm guessing you would have another interpretation which is why I find this abstract field so fascinating. It revolves around individual thought, experience and seeing.

Today, The Writers Ezine published two of my poems. That pleases me!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nanowrimo Event

She called from the other coast and challenged me to write a novel in 30 days or less. I laughed. Short poetry and flash fiction sprinkle the papers around me. To flood multi-pages with 50,000 or more words boggled my mind and froze my fingers.

Then she forwarded a link to National Novel Writing Month, aka NANOWRIMO, and I checked it out. I'm good at checking out. Taken with the enthusiasm the site engendered and reading advice offered by other writers, I accepted her challenge.

As it happened, I didn't have a plot, a timeline or a storyboard; however, I did have a local event in mind. It had puzzled and frustrated me. There it began.

Running with Scissors, now available at Lulu.com, was the product of that wild write in the month of November when a multitude of wannabes, bes and what-the-heckers wrote, quit writing, wrote again and many of them actually completed a novel. Several became published authors in a series of serendipitous events. Running with Scissors will probably not become a best-seller but I'm surprised at the number of sales and pleased as punch to hear compliments.

She? Yes, she also completed her first novel and a perfect bound copy of Aftershocks sits proudly on the bookcase shelf alongside Running with Scissors.

Would I do it again? Yup. I'm actually looking forward to November NANOWRIMO and although I haven't a plot in mind, I'm sure one will come when commitment joins me at the keyboard.

Will I see you there?

P.S. The cover design is a fractal!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Curious Chocolate Cake

Three-hole chocolate cake is moist, chocolate-y and so easy I can make it while thinking of other things and, for me, that's a plus! The cake comes from an old recipe and is called by dozens of different names depending on where you are and with whom you're speaking.

If you haven't tried it, here is the recipe I use.

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
6 tablespoons salad oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cold water
Combine dry ingredients in an ungreased 9-inch square pan. Make three holes and measure oil into one, vinegar into the second and vanilla into the third. Pour cold water over all. Mix with rubber spatula until blended - do not beat. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with a pat of butter if you're impatient. Otherwise:

1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1-oz square unsweetened chocolate, grated
dash of salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix sugar and cornstarch, add chocolate, salt. Add water, cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Spread while hot on 3-hole cake. Aaaaaah.

My grandchildren call this comfort food! And I'm inclined to agree. Matter of fact, I'm outa here.