Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Boo!, All Hallow's Eve one year ago, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo by QuoinMonkey, all rights reserved.

Boo!,  All Hallow’s Eve by the fire, one year ago, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2006, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



pumpkin-faced Milk Duds
Willy Wonka candy corn
12 tricks for a treat?


Dead flash toothless smiles
2 Grandmothers walk the earth
Spirits dance on fire


gloved hands wipe chafed lips
crooked teeth eat twisted stems
shadows swim through oaks


hollow frosted rose
Hunter’s Moon drops the sky
veils the Evening Star

-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

-related to posts: WRITING TOPIC – HAUNTED, The Great Pumpkin Catapult

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Halloween Tea Rose, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Halloween Tea Rose, out in the front garden, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

We worked on last minute details in the yard today. It was cool, cloudy, sunny. Bending over the 7 transplanted tea roses with the green water bucket, I noticed a distinct peripheral rush of red. A confused October tea rose was sporting a new summer bud.

We hauled wet, decaying bags of leaves to the city’s yard waste site, nabbed a geocache near an empty ball diamond, and drove home on winding country roads. An ordinary Fall Saturday. I didn’t notice the strings of cobweb until I took a closer look. It’s always good to take a closer look.

Traditionally, October is the month I feel the happiest. Something shifted this year. But tonight I count my blessings. It’s the little things. Maybe the budding Halloween tea rose with the silver thin cobwebs is not confused at all. Maybe it’s me.

-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, October 27th, 2007

-related to post, PRACTICE – Fish Out Of Water – 15min

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The Great Pumpkin Catapult, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

The Great Pumpkin Catapult, The Lee Roberts Farm, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, October 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Yesterday Liz and I traveled out to Siren, Wisconsin with friends to check out Verne Peterson’s lifelong rock and mineral collection. It was a beautiful Fall day and the almost two hour drive flew by like a breeze. Founded in 1895, Siren used to be Syren, the Swedish word for lilac. But the Postal Department later changed it to Siren.

It took us several hours of talking rocks with Verne and perusing his vast collection before the four of us decided on the day’s catch. I ended up with a Zen piece of black and white Calcite from Busse, Iowa and a piece of Kona Dolomite so heavy I can’t lift it with one hand. When we left, the trunk was two boxes deep in rocks and minerals.

Great Pumpkin Counterweight, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, October 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved. On the way home, Liz spotted The Great Pumpkin Catapult along Highway 70 near Grantsburg and the four of us stopped to check it out. For $5 you could take your shot at hitting the barrel castle in the distance with a medieval sling designed by farmer, Lee Roberts.

Lee hopped on to his rusty tractor while his son, Duane, and middle school grandson hooked up a chain to hoist the pumpkin counterweight, an old backhoe bucket full of rocks.

When the catapult was set, I braced to pull the string while my friends chanted and cheered:  P-U-MP-K-I-N, P-U-MP-K-I-N, complete with hand gestures and acrobatic bends. All at once, I yanked the white string, everyone held their breath, and the great pumpkin went flying out of the cloth sling and landed about 19 feet away from the castle, a solid miss!

8 Bundles Make A Shock, Grantsburg, Wisconsin,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  It was great fun. And as we were carefully choosing and buying our Halloween pumpkins at the end, Liz kept saying how Letterman should cover Lee’s Great Pumpkin Catapult on Halloween.

I can see it now, live remote from Grantsburg, Wisconsin. With the P-U-MP-K-I-N cheerleaders dancing in the wings.

Note:  the battery died on my camera about this time (after taking over 100 photos at Verne’s), so I took these 3 photographs with Liz’s Canon. Liz took more photos and detail shots of The Great Pumpkin Catapult, along with a few of Lee and Duane. If she ends up posting them on her Flickr account, I’ll add the link.

Have a great Halloween!

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, October 14th, 2007

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The Haunting, All Hallow's Eve By The Fire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 31st, 2006, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

The Haunting, All Hallow’s Eve By The Fire, one year ago, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 31st, 2006, photo © 2006-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Maybe it’s the time of year — Halloween and Day of the Dead nearly upon us. Nights grow longer. Frost kills the plants, and another season is put to rest.

Or maybe it’s our era, so many things to haunt us. We seem to be troubled, melancholy. Is the world crying, or is it just me?

I believe in ghosts, and not just the kind that might spook one cold, dark morning. (Who just caused the book to fall in the room next to me?)

It doesn’t take much to be haunted. Something someone told you that you can’t shake. Or something you saw. Experiences can haunt, and the specter of disease can haunt, and memories — my, how they haunt!

Is it bad to be haunted? Or is the ghost only as menacing as we allow it to be? (Remember Casper, anyone?)

In the October 1, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, Philip Roth said this about the inspiration of ghosts and haunting for his novel Exit Ghost:

‘Haunted by the past’ is a commonplace phrase because it’s a commonplace experience. Even if one is not, strictly speaking, ‘haunted’, the past is perpetually with one in the present, and the longer it grows and the further it recedes the stronger its presence seems to become. I agree with the Chekhov character who, when, in a crisis, he is reminded that ‘this, too, shall pass’, responds, ‘Nothing passes’.

What do you think of when you think of haunting and ghosts? Are you frightened? Or do you regularly revisit your old ghosts?

Write about ghosts and haunting. You can write about the ways you are haunted figuratively, or write about your real experiences with the supernatural. The topic is rich. Write more than once.

At the top of your page, write these words: I am haunted by … and then for three or so minutes list all the things that haunt you. Just like in Writing Practice, don’t stop to think about your list. Just click off each item.

When you’re finished, pick one of the “ghosts” on your list and write about it for ten minutes. Pick another and write for ten more. If you’d like, send us one of those writing practices to post on red Ravine. We’ll publish as many as we can.

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There comes an age,
when stains on the front of my sweatshirt
drawl, “I don’t feel like working” –
my mouth is dry and thirsty
my back aches

– must be (52).
There comes an age
when I don’t care what people think –
vanity takes a backseat to wisdom and sensibility,
falling in love doesn’t hold the same
steamy juice

– just another kind of love.

There comes an age
when you can only count on you,
standing on your own two feet
is preferred to being taken care of,
and writing is the only thing that matters.

There comes an age
when hair grows thick inside the ear,
tufts eek out the edge of the nose,
fingernails grow misshapen and brittle,
calluses defy the serrated file

– gray outshines the natural.

There comes an age
when a romp in the hay stiffens the blood,
love is more powerful than hate,
the irritation you feel,
a lone grain of sand in an oyster shell

– a pearl rolling in a silver bowl.

There comes an age
when the most powerful people stand least exposed,
humility slinks through desperation,

Tom cruises low in the Maldives
suddenly (6″) taller than Holmes;

Kramer burns his crosses
ex-megalaughbuster –
bad manners, poor taste,
and racist hate.

O.J.’s dead and buried, killed
by the two-faced blade of Rupert Murdoch –
“If I did it, I want the world to know
I’m covered in bad blood.”

– what the hell are people thinking?

There comes an age
when the truth matters more than lying,
Santa red makes a comeback, your favorite color
like it was at age (6), tenderness and fragility
outweigh the need for tough love.

There comes an age
when strength is not measured in pounds pressed at the bench,
clear-sighted has nothing to do
with (5) layers of cornea,
visionary does not extend beyond (30) years.

There comes an age
when humility and grace trump privilege and fame,
money is something I want enough of, without being greedy,
good and bad traits of women and men
become the same damn thing.

There comes an age
when I want to laugh at my failures,
hail them as successes –
soar down the hill on a hot shiny disc
spewing freshly mowed powder;

but snow flies blindly
in the cold face of reason,
falls flat on ice-burned lips
lapping it all up, only to discover
the thirst has already been quenched.

There comes an age
when silence speaks louder than words,
the tough get going
and the meek inherit the earth;

– (230) years later
the Framers return,
Jeffersonian voices booming
through British clairvoyants named Lisa:

“Yes, you’ve made a grievous mistake. No, those witches weren’t supposed to be burned at the stake. And the (300) lost languages of the indigenous peoples? – No, not supposed to be traded for steeples.”

a muddy, booted sole plunks down
on a tiny piece of granite –
Plymouth Rock –
“the most disappointing landmark in America”

There comes an age
when stinky cheese seems less stinky,
a single glass of Merlot is all it takes
to put you over the edge,
and laughter’s more important than sex.

There comes an age
when it’s harder to hold a shape, any shape,
the weight of the world piles on
over Thanksgiving waists

I don’t want to haul an evergreen home,
to celebrate Christ’s birth, not one silver fir,
or spend the entire weekend baking turkeys
and mashing potatoes; but I will
watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

There comes an age (2654)
when Pisces plummets
into Aquarius full bore –
the mossy air of the (11th) sign
fanning watery flames –

What’s Going On never loses its punch,
the Fifth Dimension no longer reigns,
a hollow remnant of a parallel Universe
or a Grammy production of Bones Howe fame.

It’s Thanksgiving week (2006)
I’m restless, not bored,
older, feeling young

hopelessly forlorn
and quietly strong.

My heart hurts – I’m in love,
full of hope and promise
for (2007), year of the Fire Pig.
My stomach churns –
the head says, be quiet.


surrounded by Souls
life could not have imagined.

Lost is a place,
I’ve found my true calling.

There comes an age –
when I have to let go.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

-post from writing practice, PRACTICE – There Comes An Age – 15min 

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