Sunday, September 25, 2022

Blues - a haiku


Irritable sky
then a classy big blues run
because of the greens

by Shinji Murakami

Blame it all on the greens! An Internet-generated haiku based on personal input. The author chose to delete the poem from the site, which generated the following message:

Poor dog!

Friday, August 26, 2022

A random hot summer observation haiku

Lolling in her seat,
right hand hung out the window
like a wilted leaf.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Everything wilts in this seemingly endless summer heat.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Be Prepared


Be prepared. OK, but what for?

Find out in this extended ghost story for a young audience by Anne Adeney (illustrations by Yannick Robert, Pocket Chillers series by Harcourt Education)

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The that’s progress haiku


Some programmer got 
busy – made a box smaller,
saving room for adz.

– Leonard Blumfed (© 2022)

The ugly truth and nothing but. Now that the Congrats box has been shrunk, Microsoft can not only display one ad but two at the same time! Pure genius! Just as we were getting undersugared from too few adz.

Terminology explanation
What are adz? Same as ads (advertisements), only much cheaper! It's like the difference between music and muzak.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Suzhal – The Vortex


Tamil thriller series (season 1, 8 episodes), released in June 2022 on Amazon Prime Video. Written, produced and created by Pushkar-Gayathri, directed by Bramma G. and Anucharan Murugaiyan. The stars are Kathir, Aishwarya Rajesh, R. Parthiban and Sriya Reddy.

Set in the fictitious town of Sembaloor in Tamil Nadu, the series revolves around a police investigation in a missing person case as well as a fire at the local cement factory. All against the backdrop of a Hindu goddess festival, in the course of which the case gets solved.

Suspenseful, good acting, decent plot and dialogues. What more could you want?

Monday, June 27, 2022

Pardon me



if I sound naive, 
but is baited breath like bad
breath? Would like to know.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Photo by Anne Nyg氓rd on Unsplash

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Melinda haiku


Dear Melinda, stop
putting your label on all 
the apples you sell.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Melinda is probably Italy’s best known producer of apples and pears. Its products can be found in most supermarkets throughout the country. And each fruit comes with its own little sticky plastic Melinda label. The company’s website goes on and on about sustainability, bio, etc. How about really doing something good and leaving off the damn labels? Not only are they a nuisance to remove but they also create waste. How important can fruit branding really be?

Sunday, April 24, 2022

You think I'm lonesome? So do I, so do I

Most mornings I wake up with music going around in my head. Sometimes it's a piece I've heard the day before, but mostly these songs crop up out of the blue. Like many of the dreams I have, which are mostly weird and inexplicable.

The song this morning was Luxury Liner, written by Gram Parsons and performed by Emmylou Harris, and I have no explanation why this particular song and the particular line from it came to me. She and the Hot Band performed it during the 1977 concert of hers I attended in Munich, Germany. Well, that was a long time ago, no recent association there!

You think I'm lonesome?
So do I, so do I.

- Gram Parsons, Luxury Liner

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Gianmaria Testa: Aerial View


Gianmaria Testa (right) in concert with Paolo Fresu. Ludwigsburg castle,
Germany, June 2011. Photo by Johannes Beilharz.

Aerial View

Of this aerial view 
Almost nothing remains
The ghost of the steeple 
No longer smiles
Gliding over the ancient hills 
Again and again
You meet nothing 
But worn-out straw hats
The glasses are empty 
But no one notices
The glasses are empty 
And no one notices.
And you
What will you do tomorrow
And you
What will you do tomorrow

Of this season gone I won't forget anything 
Unless September insists 
On erasing it
Talking again and again 
About what has just been 
I unwillingly wipe the salt 
Off my hands
The glasses were full 
And someone emptied them
The glasses were full 
But someone emptied them
Now I know 
What you'll do tomorrow
Now I know 
What you'll do tomorrow

Gianmaria Testa (1958-2016)

Title of Italian original: Veduta aerea. Translated by Johannes Beilharz (© 2022). The song is from the album Altre Latitudini of 2003.

The following video shows Gianmaria Test performing the song at another venue in the same area of Germany (Baden-W眉rttemberg), the Franz K. in Reutlingen (May 4, 2010). 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

The snot catcher haiku


Silver horseshoe 
dangling from mademoiselle’s
dainty little nose.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

I occasionally wonder whether there is a practical reason for this facial jewelry...

Friday, April 8, 2022

All the Old Knives - brief film review


A brand new spy movie just out on Amazon Prime – All the Old Knives (USA 2022, directed by Janus Metz Pedersen), based on the eponymous novel by Olen Steinhauer (2015).

Couldn’t say anything bad about this movie. Filming and acting – the stars include Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton, Laurence Fishburne und Jonathan Pryce – are competent, and the plot, convoluted and meandering between past and present as it is, ultimately makes sense and keeps up the suspense. However, the film is more a somber, ponderous drama – with some sex and nudity thrown in for good measure – about the consequences of a highjacking gone wrong in the past than an action-packed thriller.

Product placement is quite obvious – I wonder how much a particular car brand had to pay for everyone to drive shiny new vehicles with the three-pronged star.

Would I recommend watching this film? It’s all right, but there’s no need to rush and get Amazon Prime just to see it. It strikes me as one of the many that come and go without leaving much of an impression.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Friday, April 1, 2022

Slow March

When I posted the preceding haiku, I realized that I had not posted a single thing in all of March.

Guess I didn't have anything to say that couldn't wait 馃槂. 

However, I also went on a trip for a week, being on the road in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Of which the above photo is witness.

Taken in Chur, Switzerland. Leica R4 with 50 mm Summilux-R on Silberra Color 100 film, scanned from negative.

Much more of my photo work can be seen here (Tumblr) and here (Unsplash).

The unfashionable haiku


Dedicated to my dear wife

“No-one except you
wears wide cord pants – I don’t want
to be seen with you!”

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Monday, February 21, 2022

How to become a Bitcoin millionaire

It’s actually quite easy! 

Have faith in the Bitcoin mails in your spam folder that arrive from all the generous and anonymous benefactors that miraculously deposit amazing amounts in your account – every day without fail! 

Why are they doing that? No-one knows. Maybe they’re just lovely people, unlike most that send spam.

Simply have faith and look for Bitcoin in the mouth of every gift horse that gallops along.

Here’s one of these wonderful notifications that make you rich (in Spanish no less – ¡Ay caramba – qu茅 maravilla!):

Sunday, February 20, 2022

One of us is lying


Melissa Collazo as Maeve in One of us is lying (2021)

Mystery drama from 2021 (developed by Erica Saleh, based on the young adult novel of the same title by Karen McManus), currently showing on Netflix.

Suspenseful high-school whodunit with well-developed characters, decent acting and good cinematography.

Now that we know (or think we know) who done killed loathsome Simon at the end of episode 8, a Simon says text message throws a cloud of smoke that announces more to come in future series 2.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The don’t take toilet breaks haiku

Went to the toilet. Came
back – a job had come and gone.
Lucky someone else.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Once again: the truth and nothing but.
In today's fast-paced always-on environment, going to the toilet for a minute or two can make the difference between getting and losing out on a job.
And I didn’t even go golfing! (Reference to Gary Kildall of Digital Research, developer of CP/M, an early PC-age rival of MS-DOS. Supposedly he turned down a meeting with IBM because he preferred to go golfing. The lucky winner was Bill Gates of Microsoft, who did have time for IBM and sold them on his operating system. This is the story as I remember hearing it in the 1980s - veracity not guaranteed.)

Monday, January 17, 2022

The quarantine haiku


Cat’s going crazy
from being cooped up. So am 
I – in inner ways.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

My own personal quarantine is over, thank God. However, all the restrictions still apply – mask, green pass, uncertainty, rules that keep changing at the drop of a hat without much rhyme or reason. Will this ever be over?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Tender Bar


The Tender Bar (2021, directed by George Clooney, starring Ben Affleck, Daniel Ranieri, Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd)

Whatever rode George Clooney - whom I generally respect both as a director and an actor - to direct and produce this seemingly endless bore of a movie?

Nothing about it feels original or genuine - it comes off as a refurbished parts store. When you enter, you know you've seen all the parts (people, situations, locations) somewhere before, many times, in a variety of places and constellations from Hollywood or TV.

A collection of stereotypes and a waste of acting talent (it's not like Affleck etc. don't perform well).

I did not last through to the end. Maybe I've seen too many movies. But go ahead and see for yourself.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The corona haiku


Life dictated by 

fever and saturation 

readings – sheer terror.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Some reality from my battle with the virus. A bloody oxygen reading of less than 90%, so the doctors say, means you should be hospitalized.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

I’m doing nearly nothing

Ab Har Ho Bhola Nahin Bane - Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur

Fourth day of dreamily
listening to Mallikarjun Mansur -
always the same songs.

Nothing much is happening – 
I’m not listening attentively.
The music is flowing into me.

It feels like a conspicuous momentary
constellation – Mallikarjun Mansur singing
and me doing the equivalent of happy nothing.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Friday, January 7, 2022

Labordeta - Arag贸n

Jos茅 Antonio Labordeta


Polvo, niebla, viento y sol,
Donde hay agua una huerta.
Al Norte los Pirineos:
Esta tierra es Arag贸n.

Al Norte los Pirineos
Al Sur la tierra callada.
Pasa el Ebro por el centro
Con su soledad a la espalda.

Dicen que hay tierras al Este
Donde se trabaja y pagan.
Hacia el Oeste el Moncayo
Como un Dios que ya no ampara.

Desde tiempos a esta parte
Vamos camino de nada.
Vamos a ver c贸mo el Ebro
Con su soledad se marcha.

Y con 茅l van en compa帽a
Las gentes de estas vaguadas,
De estos valles, de esta sierra,
De estas huertas arruinadas.

Polvo, niebla, viento y sol,
Donde hay agua una huerta.
Al Norte los Pirineos:
Esta tierra es Arag贸n.



Dust, fog, wind and sun,
Where there is water an orchard.
To the North the Pyrenees:
This land is Aragon.

To the North the Pyrenees
To the South the quiet land.
The Ebro flows through the center
With its solitude at its back.

They say there are lands to the East
Where there’s work and they pay.
To the West the Moncayo
Like a God that no longer protects.

Since time immemorial
We are on our way to nothing.
Watching the Ebro
Carry away its loneliness.

And with it go in company
The people of these meadows,
Of these valleys, these mountains,
These ruined orchards.

Dust, fog, wind and sun,
Where there is water an orchard.
To the North the Pyrenees:
This land is Aragon.

English translation by Johannes Beilharz.