Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No fury like one scorned

So you don’t like my gift?
Well, let me tell you
that a lot of others
have liked my gifts,
and they were smaller
than this one I gave you,
less smelly, less offensive,
less aggressive, not
nearly as loud and dirty.
So I’ll tell you what
you can do with this gift
of mine you don’t like –
you can throw it
in the nearest ditch
and kiss me good-bye
forever, you jackass,
see if I give a toss.

– Leonard “Giver of Gifts” Blumfeld (© 2012)

Posted as a 'gift' for Poets United.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Nature Haiku

Damn Nature! Why does
it include mosquitoes, a-
phids, gnats, bats and moths?

– Leonard “Loves Nature” Blumfeld (© 2012)

The call at Haiku Heights was for haiku on Nature. Not to be taken all that seriously – in fact, I quite like bats.

Feeding the birds at EUR lake

For S.

Last Saturday the women
of the Gugnani clan
and I as their chauffeur
went to EUR lake
to feed dry bread
and chocolate-coated
rice crispies to the birds –
droves of ducks, geese,
pigeons and seagulls.
I was reminded of my
mother and how, even
during her last days
at home, her first priority
in the morning was
to feed the birds, come
sunshine, ice or snow.
I remembered how
she'd walk out
on that terrace in
slippers and gown,
oblivious of everything
except the birds
and the seeds
she had for them.
I cried for her,
perhaps the first time
since she died in 2009.

– Leonard "Loaded with Memories" Blumfeld

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A poem a day

... keeps the doctor away.

Well, hopefully that mutation of the apple proverb is true because I'm about to go insane and definitely do not want to see THAT doctor.

What is causing bouts of insanity?


Translation of a list of terms for a well-known tractor company, to be precise.

Whatever variants of whatever you could come up with they have come up with.

And all nice and cryptic, like:
HVAC door open (low side output)

I'd be so happy to never ever again have to deal with an HVAC and whatever high or low side and input or output it might have.

– Leonard "Disgruntled" Blumfeld

Friday, October 12, 2012

Proverbs from the Chinese XI

"Be brisk and detached today, otherwise you'll be miserable."
That's a fortune cookie piece of advice that is surprisingly concrete and could not possibly be meant for just any day!

Happens to contain the words brisk, detached and miserable from 3WW.

Yours sincerely,

Leonard "Wisdoms of Ancient China" Blumfeld

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dry spell

This has been the longest dry spell for me in years – I haven't written a thing in weeks. And it seems like it's been much longer than that.

But a lot has happened as well.

I have moved to Rome, Italy, from Germany. That took an enormous amount of preparation and moving. Not to mention the fact that I'm not even fully moved in and just getting a feeling for my new environment.

All combined with working nearly full time as well...

More later!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The wasp haiku

Give me an open
bakery door to fly in and
suck on those sweet things.

– Leonard "Impersonator" Blumfeld

Have carried this in mind ever since Saturday, when I went to a bakery in the morning and found lots of the black-and-yellow warriors grazing away on the pastries.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Proverbs from the Chinese X

Do not let yourself be drawn to uneasy crumble today.

Another fortune cookie text to leave me slightly perplexed. What is "uneasy crumble", and why should one not be drawn to it today? (Tomorrow might be ok, I guess.)

Once again, this coincides with the three words from 3WW – crumble, drawn, uneasy.

– Leonard "Crumble" Blumfeld

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Philosophical dollop

One should observe the significant
and ignore the trivial.

So what am I doing here
ignoring the significant and observing the trivial?

– Leonard "Muzing" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Poets United had a vice versa challenge to which this mixture of the trivial and the significant pays tribute.

Portrait of the artist as a working dog

Here I sit,
a working lump,
safely turning into
a cantankerous old grump.

– Leonard "Lumpy" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sparse reality

Tired, stomach's my most active part

Had 2 much 4 lunch
Followed by ice cream
That's 2 times 2 much

– Leonard Blumfeld

Monday, June 11, 2012

Two truculent ball attendants overheard

Mathilda showed up in her roo costume.
"Not good for waltzing, Matty," said John,
who himself had on his body costume.
Replied Mathilda, "Thank you, John Brown.
Yours definitely has me beat – it is
the very best for moldering in the grave."

– Leonard "Truculent" Blumfeld (© 2012)

The word at Sunday Scribblings was costume.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The loud neighborhood haiku

Joy enjoys the joy
of her own noise, much more than that
of the neighbor boys.

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2012)

Posted for Haiku Heights and Joy.

Proverbs from the Chinese IX

Jingle does not vindidate error.
This piece of wisdom from a fortune cookie is typically cryptically Chinese once again and fits in perfectly with 3WW and the current choice of words to write about: error, vindicate and jingle.

What does it mean? What kind of jingle would be likely to vindicate anything in the first place? The situation presented appears to be preposterous.

Oh well, there's always a chance the Chinese original actually made sense and was translated using Google Translate...

Yours sincerely,

Leonard Blumfeld

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last day in May, 2012

They're certainly chirpy out there,
sitting on their branches
and communicating for the sheer hell of it
(or so it seems to one
who doesn't speak a word
of their language),
while there's no communication at all
in this office, with everyone
staring at their screen quietly
and firing off the occasional typing staccato.
I wonder what they think about us
when they peer inside.
What a boring existence, they might say,
with not a chirp or twitter.
We have no clue what it's all about,
but we certainly are fitter.

– Leonard "Impersonator of Sparrows" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Flaming crimson

My verse is a clear green
And a flaming crimson.
My verse is a wounded fawn
Seeking refuge on the mountain.
Posted for One Single Impression and Crimson.

This verse from the song Guantanamera came to my mind instantly when I read the prompt.
An interesting article on the origins of the song can be found here.
The English wording is my own version, mostly based on what I remember from Pete Seeger's rendering of the song. Further associated reading: Seeking Refuge.
The Spanish is:
Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido.
Mi verso es de un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.
– Leonard "Flaming Crimson" Blumfeld

Dazed spring day

It's a dazed kind of spring day.
The sky out there is a noncommittal grey.
The birds in their trees deliver muted chirps.
Everyone's in the office,
staring at their screen,
nodding along with key clicks (that's Pete),
head in hand (that's Daniella),
hand to nose (that's Andrea),
traipsing back from canteen loaded with coffee and snacks (that's Sasha),
exited to do things more amusing (that's Rita).
And I'm the dazed and proud observer of all this.

– Leonard "Once Again Razor Edge" Blumfeld

Today's the 1st anniversary of my relationship with S. – it all started a year ago with the first e-mail exchange – and would have been my father's 99th birthday. The horoscope told me today was good for meditation. Feels like it. Except that now conversation in the office has picked up. Andrea put a crown and cloak on her owl. This had to be reported.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tepid day, late April

Work and the world are going by –
Rita makes a paper butterfly.

– Leonard "Keen Observer" Blumfeld (© 2011)

Razor edge of time poetic reporting from the workplace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Japanese E-Novel

"Oh but Hiroto, where's the draft of the novel you promised for today?"
"Sorry, Louise, I've been preoccupied with looking for a life partner, and you know that it's not easy for us expatriates."
"Yes, you've mentioned it before."
"It's taken away my serenity."
"Your serenity?"
"Yes, and I can't write without. Neither can I without a life partner."
"But I thought you'd found one."
"Yes, I thought I'd located one, from Osaka. But it turns out she expects me to pay for her health insurance. That would be like a thousand euros a month."
"I see."
"No, you don't see, Louise. Ever since Fukushima there have been so many Japanese women just waiting to leave the country. All in search of eligible expatriate bachelors like me. Airline stewardesses, for example."
"Then it should be possible to find someone else."
"I'm writing e-mails every day."
"That's why the novel is not progressing, I imagine."
"I'm not serene, I'm not within my senses, Louise."
"You could turn your e-mails into a novel. In a modern day revival of the epistolary novel."
"It's an idea."
"You could weave your weapon collection into it, and your knowledge of martial arts. Start emphasizing these in your mails to the ladies."
"I sold all my weapons on E-Bay. However, I bought myself a saxophone."
"Jazz is all right, too. You could call your e-pistolary novel Akiko and the Saxophone Man, or Health Insurance Rewarded."
"Why that?"
"It's a takeoff on Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, the beststelling novel in letters of all times. You told me your flame's name was Akiko. And there's the health insurance issue, you said."
"Exactly. But I'm not willing to pay a thousand a month. Not for any woman."
"You won't have a problem with that, Hiroto, once your novel gets published."
"Thanks, Louise. Some of my serenity may be coming back. You've given my creativity a new direction."
"Keep cranking out those e-mails, Hiroto. One hundred and eighty pages of draft in a week?"
"It's a deal, Louise."

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2012)

Based on a true story. Contains draft, locate and serenity from 3WW.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hype is hard to justify with a growl

I walked over to the table where the shaddy sheeplegger had just sat down.
"What can I do you for, sir?"
Sheepleggers from the planet of Arce generally seem to react well to some sense of humor. Not this one:
"If I'z in the mood fer yokes, kitty, you'll knew it. To-die iz not wanna doze dies. Quet me some of yer hype, and makes it snoppy, will yer?"
With its huge amount of calories, artificial colorants and flavorings and transfatty acids, hype is one of the favorite slops on the menu of the Latter Day Survivors of the Universe Café, where I happen to work.
I could not suppress a growl, which is my natural feline reaction when rubbed the wrong way.
"Quet yer thin arce quoin, kitz, befer I grab ye by yer frilly tail."
"You try that, Mr. Sheep, and you'll have a few claws in your shaddy fur."
"Ye quet me that hype, or I'll choinge my moind and werk outta here unfad, and ye ken ferget my tipz."
I hissed, as it is our feline custom, and walked away to fill his order.
Unfortunately, customers are few and far between nowadays, ever since that terrible war between the Cats of the East, the Gnats of the West, the Rats of the North and the Bats of the South. It's gotten so bad that we now have to serve those we used to eat. It's gotten so bad that I'd probably have to justify my catty behavior towards this horn-shoed oaf from the planet of Arce to my boss, that big-balled ape from the planet of Farce.

– Leonard "Looking towards the Future" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Written around growl, hype and justify from 3WW.

Monday, April 2, 2012


My inbox in white
exuberant bloom this spring
as never before.

– Leonard "Florescent" Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written for One Single Impression and inbox.

The inbox is a variety of box distinguished by its small, fragrant white flowers.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


For S.

after so many years,
that flowery perfume
on anyone
will jostle up remnants
of a love
long buried.

Don't worry –
that love
has been resting in peace
and does not
compete with yours.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2012)

Written around fragrant, jostle, remnant from 3WW.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Proverbs from the Chinese VIII

True nurture will not be provided by even the most diligent amateur.

– Translated from the Chinese by Leonard Blumfeld

Fits in nicely with today's choice of words from 3WW: amateur, diligent, nurture.
I'm not sure whether I agree with the statement. There's love in the effort of amateurs (as the word implies), which may be lacking in professionals. Why should an amateur's love not nurture?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A what's around haiku

Keyboard, mouse, empty
coffee cup with spoon, spiral
agenda. Time stagnant.

– Leonard "Once Again Japan" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Genesis notes
You sit and look at what's around you, make a selection and a haiku out of it. That simple.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The miracle dichotomy

"What would you rather have as a miracle –
a world free of strife and war
or personal happiness?" Suzanna's guru asked

She brought the question home to her non-believer boyfriend

"Let me see any kind of miracle
before I decide on that one,"
said Jeff the sceptic

"That's typical you," she yowled,
"all you try and do is take the wind out of my sails."

"No wind, no sails that I see,"
said laconic Jeff

"Why have I been putting up with you
for so many years, Jeff? A man
with such a flat view of the world?"

"That is a miracle, I agree,"
said grinning Jeff

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2012)

The topic at One Single Impression was miracle.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yolanda of the baffling glitter

Yolanda had a baffling glitter
around her big blue eyes.
She thought this made her fitter
than one would realize.

Most days she'd concentrate
on elegance of looks
and rather did negate
the importance of science books.

The teachers did not go for glitter,
so in her exams she fared not well.
This made Yolanda very bitter.
She told 'em they should go to hell.

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2012)

Written around baffle, elegant and negate from 3WW.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This is a modern poem

It is trendy and online,
knows what iPad and iPhone are
and was written
while eating an apple.

– Leonard "Modernist" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Written upon inspiration by Sunday Scribblings.

Haiku of the lost tribe

The tribe is lost. Not
enough magnetism. Outcast
searching for new tribe.

– Leonard "Tribal" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Sort of a continuation of Qasida of the lost tribe. Cryptic, I know.

Sometimes, due to tribal instinct, you search for love in the wrong tribe. In this case it happened to a dear friend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Snowdrops / A. D. Miller

(Warning: This is a more or less polemic blurb without any claim to thoroughness or completeness.)

Finished reading Snowdrops this weekend, a novel about a British lawyer who becomes involved in fraud in his work for an investment bank, and, in private, in a case of apartment fraud as a consequence of falling in love with a mysterious Russian woman.

So what's true about the hype?
'Totally gripping' – more ho-hum than gripping. Took me numerous sessions to read and is certainly not one of the potboilers you cannot put down.
'Disturbing and dazzling' – draws a disturbing picture of Russia and Moscow. Greatly reduced my readiness to ever go there.
'Electrifying ... Leaves you stunned and addicted' – That opinion, pardon my bluntness, is a striking example of pure bullshit. Seems more appropriate to LSD, heroin or some other drug than anything written.

As it says on the back cover, there is some similarity to the writing of Graham Greene, but more along the lines of imitation. Neither the writing itself nor the plot are that good. There is that Greene-like feeling of guilt, but there's so much insistence on building it that it becomes annoying. The confessionality (the story is told as a confession to the hero's fiancée) is also reminiscent of Greene, except that it never comes alive, so to speak, because the person the story is told to remains nondescript, making the whole device seem irrelevant.

Then there's that constant puerile harping about how awful it is to be older than thirty. (I believe a lot of people have successfully moved on even into their forties or fifties.) And the annoying premonition building (along the lines of 'I should have known better then that ...', 'Had I not ...') that seems to come straight out of a fiction writing workshop manual. And then there are all the attempts to humanize inanimate objects with adjectives that mostly didn't do much for me. That's the literary touch, I suppose.

A third plot line – pretty much unrelated to the other two – is about the body of an old man found in a rusty orange Zhiguli (mentioned umpteen times in the course of the novel to make it absolutely clear that it has to have some significance).

You may rest in peace, Graham. This ain't no serious competition for The Third Man or The Quiet American.

– Leonard "Won't Write Reviews" Blumfeld

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sails in the Sunset

Now if you'd drop that stupid demand to get close to Crinkle Island, I'd be happy to navigate you all to that forsaken part of the beautiful stormy South Seas, my friends.

As to Norah Femme Fatale, however, I'd rather not have her on board because she might try to persuade me after all. And we all know from Italy how that can end.

– Captain Leonard Blumfeld (© 2012)

Written around crinkle, demand and navigate from 3WW.

A blatant derivative of the Costa Concordia disaster.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

China's Wonderland Turned Horrorland

The Disneyland copy planned outside the gates of Beijing never materialized because the owners of the land asked for more money. All the amusement park has to offer are a few ruins and skeletons of buildings quietly decaying in a barren landscape. Good news for the farmers who used to farm here and were to make space for China's move into the world of Amusotopia. They're coming back.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An educational ghazal

Said my teacher, Mrs. McKesson,
"I'm afraid you'll have to learn a lesson.

Had you listened to me from the start,
I would not have to teach you this lesson.

Had you learnt your tables by heart,
you would have understood my lesson.

Had you, as I requested, recited biblical verse,
I'd not be adverse to up your grade for this lesson.

But as it is now, I can only teach you a lesson
and flunk you," said Mrs. McKesson.

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2012)

As requested at Sunday Scribblings for lesson.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweet and Sour Grapes

You don't have to be a cook to tell whether something tastes good or bad.
– Leonard "Sweet Grapes" Blumfeld

Written in response to Sour Grapes at One Single Impression.

All too often a critical statement or attitude is discredited as "sour grapes," with a comment like "Oh come on, you're just envious because you can't do better." But, as I say above, it's possible to tell (and say) whether the grapes are sour or sweet without being a grape specialist.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Daniyal Mueenuddin / In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

The book of interrelated short stories (centered around Pakistani landowner K. K. Harouni) I'm reading these days. Well-written, mostly a depressing look at the human condition.

Picture taken at Fiumicino Airport in Rome while I was waiting for my flight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Utterly lost
with my head in my hands
and my hands in my head

– Leonard "One for Sorrow" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Written upon seeing this photograph at Poets United:

Sorrow by Dechobek at deviantART

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Shiva machine

I dropped the change in the slot.
Nothing happened,
nothing was returned.
Hey, that's no way to change,
I told myself.
Change is not loss.
Or is it?
Is it the beginning of change?

– Leonard "Shivji" Blumfeld (© 2012)

Posted for One Single Impression and Change.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Proverbs from the Chinese VII

Do not demolish resolution.

– Leonard "Proverbially Yours" Blumfeld

Another puzzler from the infinite well of Chinese wisdom. Since it's so close to the beginning of the new year and its resolutions, the advice appears to be particularly appropriate.

Includes the words demolish, resolution and transform from 3WW.

Red & blue no. 1

For S., who actually said it

Light turned red
out of the blue.

– Leonard Blumfeld