Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cityscape Escape


Having happily lived in the countryside for the past
three years, and before that, the city for twenty-three
  years, I still get the urge, especially in the spring, to revisit
 its little patches of picturesque perfection. Understandably, 
many may dismiss the building, above, as a dwelling
 in dismal decay, but all I see, is storybook sweet.

Banks and other establishments conduct their business
in neoclassical gems, most of which echo Minoan patinas.
Is it just me, or does this beautiful building manage to
 make money matters less daunting, and more bearable?


Amid all the commercial commotion, there is spiritual
 calm, where churches, built stone by stone, still stand 
strong, their steely, domed steeples greeting the heavens.



 Slim, stuccoed columns, in a sienna stripe, attract the
attention of bustling passersby, who pause to ponder
what may be found behind flaky, wine coloured shutters.

 

In a parkette, Judas-trees glow in hot pink,
 providing stimulating eye candy for sluggish coffee
 house customers  - a second wake up call, for those
 still snoozing over their weak, morning brews.

 

The Loggia, Heraklion's Town Hall, constructed in 1628, 
is one of the island's most ornate, architectural treasures.
A combination of both Doric and Venetian influence, it
is a favourite subject among visitors, who can be seen
studying its elaborate artistry, with guide book in hand. 


On a quiet, cobblestone path, renovated relics, reminiscent 
of romantic eras gone by, charm surprised shutterbugs in
 passing. Squinting from the sun's harsh light, they spot
 a floating figure behind the glass - perhaps the shadow
 of a Shakespearean heroine? What say you?


 In a cafe around the corner, I take a seat under a canopy
 of frilly, fuchsia hued clusters, and sipping on cappuccino 
with freddo flair, I await the arrival of a dear friend, 
anxious to tell her about my exciting, new adventure, 
in my nostalgic, old neck of the woods. 

(all photos were taken in the city of  Heraklion, Crete)



Thanks for visiting
and happy weekend!
xoxo
Poppy 

My Interview at
 Poets United
MY INTERVIEW AT POETS UNITED, (click on image to read)

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Springtime Story of Grandeur and Glory

Daisies arrive on the patio, completely unexpected.

Between marble columns,
burnt orange daisies secure a
 hot spot in the siesta mid-day sun,
to bask in the warmth of its healing
 rays - a spritz of springtime therapy
 after withering away from winter's malaise.


A bubble of almond blossoms
bursts on to the scene, waking
 olive trees and buttercups bored
 with the usual. It shocks the serene by
splashing some rosy white on the green
  and suddenly, the meadow looks awesome!


From rooftop ruins, lemony daisies sprout
between wide cracks in the sandy stone,
cheery, open - air dwellers of a centuries
  old home, which shows no traces of its 
'once upon a time' life. A structural array
  of climatic strife, this abode, a tragic 
example of 'open concept' design, is, 
alas, a model of rubble in rocky decline.


 On ground level, a red poppy stands 
alone, in a field of cliquey colour.
Crepe paper frail, its silky petals
shiver in the cool, March breeze -
surely, an SOS of a flower in distress,
in dire need, of some TLC, from its own,
 faraway, siren hued sisters. I wonder,
will they heed its weak and woeful
 whisper, before it wilts and shrivels?


 Close by, predatory branches claw their way 
towards an unsuspecting, naive bell. Can't
they tell that this metal's heavily guarded?
Why don't they back away, before it starts
to sway, and alert all those around it?


Echium plantagineum in purple, and more
daisies, this batch in butter and cream, 
spice some life on the bones of a new build,
 and perk up a faded patina in peach.


 Yes, spring has arrived in the
Cretan countryside, bearing gifts
of bucolic grandeur and glory.
I am grateful for Mother Nature's 
generous offerings, and her 
miraculous, annual, dowry. 


 Happy Spring,
my friends!

In case you're interested... 
I am featured in an interview this week,
 for a series called, 'The Life of a Poet', by
 Sherry Marr, who is the Assistant Editor in Chief
 of Poet's United, a wonderfully inspiring 
'community for poets who blog'. 
Hope you'll stop by!
Thanks for 
visiting! 

xo
Poppy

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Tweak It Tuesday,  Mosaic Monday,  The Art of Homemaking Mondays,

Inspire Me Monday,  Sunlit Sunday, Saturday Sparks

Friday, March 13, 2015

Covered in Crayola Colour


'Chapped and chippy' aquamarine and
'orange peel' tangerine, are what I
named these bright, bold hues; bet the
Pantone people would not be amused. 


  Covered in crayola colours,
this public school built in 1900,
is more reminiscent of a charming cottage
  than a place that houses ABCs and numbers! 


Stucco, stone, wood, and iron, the
 stars of this scholastic structure,
  together teach a lively lesson in
classical Cretan architecture.


A few villages over, a farmhouse,
 pebbled in earthy, faded tones,
 shows signs of having weathered
storms; no doubt, due to the 
soldiers set in stone, still
 standing at attention.


Meandering through mountainous terrain,
I eventually reached the northern coast, 
where sailboats, bobbing on bouncy waves,
 didn't stray too far from sandy shores.


Back among fruit filled trees,
branches blowing in the breeze,
bare vines, (the black sheep
 of this gnarly brood), being in
 a gloomy mood, refused to budge.
Alas,the sweet and juicy fare
 they bear, not there to dress
their lonely limbs, left the
pruned and prickly trunks, feeling
 desperately miserable and grim.

Thanks for visiting!

 

xo 
Poppy

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pained, Unexplained, and Reclaimed

A dainty, red anemone, surrounded by clumpy clusters of mullein.

Hello everyone, it's been a while, huh?
Thank you so much for your sweet emails;
they are cyber rays of sunshine in my inbox!


There are a few reasons for this uncharacteristic
 quietness. Aside from the melancholy of missing 
Liberty and family back home, and being plagued by
 what seems to be a now chronic, achy head and neck, 
on Saturday morning, I discovered, quite by accident,
 that one of my posts was missing! After being 
overcome with shock and nausea, I wondered, 
had my little blog been broken into?!


 I couldn't believe my eyes! Instantly, a trying
 triathlon of shaky reactions went off like a shotgun!
First, my heart started racing, then it passed the
 baton over to my blood pressure, which of course, 
tried to beat its own record, and in doing so, sent my
 entire nervous system way over its emotional finish line!

 

Let me backtrack, and retrace my footsteps, to fill you in:
I needed to pick a recording of mine for a project I am
 working on, (more on that later this month). Having featured a
 few songs on Poppy View, I remembered a valentine's 
day post I wrote last year called, 'The Nature of Love'
which starts with a poem and ends with a duet, written 
by the Barenaked Ladies called, 'Call and Answer'.
 Do you remember it? 

One of the images on the missing post, found on Google.

The poem is a mini memoir of the journey that my husband and I have been on so far, the birth of our daughter, and a few other details of our relationship. When I went to view the post, the contents of another post that I had published a week before, came up! In other words, 'The Nature of Love', had been deleted and replaced with 'Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love!', so that there were now doubles of the latter. Was this a glitch in the system, or had Poppy View been hacked?


I can't tell you how hurt, angry and frustrated I felt. Not
only was my poem missing, but also all the wonderful
accompanying images which I had searched hours for,
  as well. Of course, I immediately began to wonder how
 many other posts had been affected, but because I
 haven't had the time to check each one, I still don't know! 


The next day, when I related to Liberty what had happened,
she was appalled, and promised to track down the post,
 even though I told her it was useless; I had already tried
 and had given up. It had disappeared; vanished into thin 
cyberspace air, as if it had never existed at all.


After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up to an email from Liberty, whose subject line, alone, made me burst into tears; this time, happy ones. Once again, I couldn't believe my eyes:

 'I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!', it read. 
 
I just sat there, staring at the excitement of her exclamation marks, and pictured her typing them, knowing that her mother would be elated and relieved. And I was, but more importantly, I was grateful for my loving and caring daughter, who was on a mission to save her mama's other baby, namely, this little blog, and its offspring of posts, comprised of poems, pics, and ditties, one of which had gone missing, but in the end, was found, safe and sound, thanks to the expertise of its big 'sister'!
Heart image: Google

How, did she do it? Well, just as Libby, herself, was almost ready to throw in the towel, she remembered a website that she had learned about in an internet seminar she had attended in Athens, called 'Wayback Machine'. In her words,

''It takes snapshots of sites just the way they looked on that certain day.
 Your blog was one of the sites that it took shots of!!! It includes 455 billion sites!
 Isn't this amazing??? It's there, just like it was on the day you posted it!!!''

 WOW!!!
There it was, in its original state, complete with poem,
 pics, and song; actually, an identical photograph of the entire page, that is, from the header I had up at that time, to the five posts I had programmed to appear on each page, and finally all the way down to the 'Powered by Blogger' footer, at the bottom!


Friends, I still can't explain what happened to the 'The Nature of Love', but I do know that love and dedication was what it took to bring my post back to where it belongs, thanks to my daughter. For those of you who have had the misfortune of losing a post, or even scarier, an entire blog, please check out this site. Who knows? You, too, may be blissfully surprised to find a snapshot of your own sweet 'baby', there!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Pastoral Prescription


 When life is hard,
harsh, or heavy,
  I walk to unlock
 the simplicity,
softness, and light,
that is blocked 
from my heart.


When my soul is bare,
my mind a flurry of worry,
I am moved by my body
towards the hills 
 that surround me,
to walk.


 The meadow is medicine,
and is taken visually,
to alleviate the pain
of an achy psyche. 


But the mountains 
seem bitter; still,
I stop for a dose
of their snowy splendour,
in which I'm engrossed.


No strange side effects found
 in this pastoral prescription,
apart from the fruit bearing trees,
whose beauty can lead to addiction.


Getting my fix
of floral and fauna,
 (a preventative measure
against emotional trauma),
I make my way back to
the place framed by boughs,
 as I move my body
 to the space
where it's housed.
And I walk...


 Thanks for visiting!
Happy weekend!


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Comment Torment and Other Predicaments


Have you seen them??
They're 'faster than a speeding bullet'!
More powerful than a mere visit!
Able to leap from your dashboard
 to your blog without a single click!
 And if you've got copies in your inbox,
then consider yourself a lucky chick!
COMMENTS!
 They're everywhere, (supposedly),
so why haven't I seen them?


Here are the facts so far: a few weeks ago, I noticed a discrepancy between the comments in my inbox, (i.e., the ones that made it there safe and sound), and the ones on my dashboard, in 'Comments', under either 'Published', or 'Awaiting Moderation'.  Then, only last week, I discovered that some were appearing only on my blog! Chaos, I tell you! Pure madness! Many of you, I had read, were also frazzled, looking for those fickle and flighty words of others!
 

Of course, some comments also end up in Spam, which I check several times a day, both in Gmail, and Blogger. Amid all the confusion, I was suddenly struck by the scary realization that ever since I began blogging, almost three years this May, I most probably have failed to return visits, and thus, comments, to all of the considerate people whose lovely words I never saw because I was under the impression that they only showed up in Gmail! This really annoyed and upset me, since I make it a point to return every visit and comment that I receive; after all, it's only good manners. Of course, the reverse is also true; I may have left comments on your blogs that met the same awful fate, remaining invisible simply because you, too, did not know they were there, wherever 'there' happened to be at that time!


Another thing that likes to pop in and out of virtual reality is the Google Friend Connect gadget! Have you noticed? Keep a close eye on it, my friends; it's a feisty one! Case in point: yesterday, I received a very sweet email from a new reader telling me that she was looking forward to future visits, since she was now following me. When I went to the GFC gadget to click onto her ID snippet in order to follow her, too, it was nowhere in sight! It had disappeared into thin cyberspace air!


Clearly, 
it was time to put out an APB on GFC, which was MIA! And so, after a few expletives, not very ladylike phrases, I finally tracked down the culprit, which was incognito, taking cover under a new ad block programme I had recently installed, thus, I proceeded to disable its so-called protection for this page. Instantly, the gadget reappeared. I then made my way over to my new follower's blog, to carry out my mission, and guess what? Yup. Nada. Now, I know that some bloggers don't care for such a gadget, but I had a feeling that this person did, so I 'dittoed' the disabling for her blog, too, and sure enough, in the blink of an eye, 150 mini profile pics were peering out at me, until I joined them, to make a new, grand total of 151 in her GFC!

Above:
One comment that, surely,
 won't go unnoticed! 

So, my dear friends, if you have found that I have
not replied to your comments, or returned a visit
to your wonderful blogs, since I began this 
journal's journey, please accept my sincere
apology, for it was not intentional, but rather,
the handiwork of my publisher's technology!

Thanks for visiting!

All images: Google,
#1, #3, #5, from top,
composed by me 
in PicMonkey!