Monday, April 26, 2010




While clearing out the winter’s debris.

to prepare next season's garden;

the fertile earth beneath disclosed

a salamander,

whose work it was

to dream tomorrow into being.


With well intentioned care,

I lifted up its infant shape,

to transport it to another place;

a safer sanctuary.

My hands poured warmth

into its form, which lofted down


into Nature’s rubble.


The capricious creature,

ingraciously refused

my unwelcomed protection.

Instead it scampered off

in some erratic new direction,

to choose entirely on its own,

new places for its dreaming.


Images and Writing are the Copyright of Ruth Zachary. To see more Art by Ruth Zachary, visit her art blog,

Monday, April 19, 2010


One Hundred Books on a Deserted Island


You asked which one hundred books

one would take if exiled to a deserted island?

Why would one willingly imagine such a fate,

and which books would one salvage?


You didn’t say what trauma would cause

this crisis; why an island is the only hostel.

Would this island offer survival,

let alone, time to read?

Your question presumes

a craft large enough to safely transport

one hundred books- one that could haul a

cache of volumes, and one

seaworthy enough to carry them,

like Prospero’s ship transporting him

with his books to that storm-tossed isle,

when he was banished from Milan by

Antonio his brother.


I could list one hundred books, beside

Shakespeare, alluded to here,

but the rest would mean little to others,

except those added as an afterthought;

Edible Wild Plants, or Survival with Style.


Even I, who

love books enough to fill a house,

would none-the-less prefer a person

with interests in common, in preference

to singular discourse with books only.

Does your scenario allow a mongrel, even,

to be a watch keeper against danger?


Prospero, you remember,

was at least allowed the companionship

of his daughter Miranda, sailors and spirits.


You have not said if we would be allowed

other items; tools, roof, clothing, or pen?


Given more than books, then,

half of my chosen books would be blank,

for filling with words stored in my mind,

and for paraphrasing careful letters, stories,

pages, for for tearing out, to spiral into bottles

which I would set afloat to sail the lonely sea,

carrying all my hopes on a journey

to some welcoming circle of friends

who would come to carry me back home.


© by Ruth Zachary

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Artist At Midnight

Mandala, 12x12" Approx. Geometric Abstract Design by Ruth Zachary.


Artist at Midnight


The rain-glazed pavement is black obsidian

catching light, capturing excitement.

Driven, the man sees in the shards of rain,

splintering glass, lights probing darkness,

shattering the night.


His windshield is his easel

a portal for designing windows,

for shaping irregular fragments into a whole.

He scarcely feels the steering wheel

or hears the grind of tires on pavement,

cutting double lines along wet asphalt,

splitting the road in half at its center.

He feels instead, the tactile sense

of curved ribbons of glass yielding

to the delicate pressure of his hands.


The heat of his will fuses it together in his mind.

a whole, luminous web, enhancing light.

Heavy leading binds the parts, but

he thinks not of its weight, but of its strength,

as the headlights come to rest at his studio door.


Images and Writing are the Copyright © of Ruth Zachary

Wednesday, April 7, 2010



Sometimes it is fun and challenging to write in the style of another writer. A Parody satirizes or ridicules another poem or poet. A Pastiche is a kind of parody borrowing passages from a writer’s work, or an imitation not intended to ridicule.

Imitation is sometimes a great complement. I believe it may even be an attempt to honor another writer, but of course it is important to attribute that person and work when you do this.

Many writers have played with the words of Dr. Seuss, and Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll also parodied other writers, as for example, using Jane Taylor’s “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” as a model for his own rhyme in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,

“Twinkle, twinkle little bat!

How I wonder what you’re at!

Up above the world you fly,

Like a tea-tray in the sky.”

I wrote this parody of Lewis Carroll, myself. It was not as easy as it might seem, and I ended up writing a glossary of terms to go with the poem, which I will include in this blog.

Adventure on the Jabberwocky

Inspired by Lewis Carroll

The Tweedle twins, Dee and Dum

floated one day down the Rhine

in their Jabberwocky raft made of tumtum.

They gyred and grumbled all the time

as the Rhine flows to the city of Ede

and divides into Lek, Wall, and Maas

in the wonderful Netherlands delta grass.

A mizzle misted on the slithy knaves

and fell on Dum and drizzled on Dee.

All wabe and burbled in the waves,

they pulled their vessel toward the lee

as night was falling,(twas dark by nine.)

Wet from wading in the wabe,

mimsy they booked a hotel on the Rhine,

the cost of which caused much outgrabe.

However the room they found quite fine.

Dee and Dum each took a bath.

Dee went to look for a dry white wine.

Dum rested up in the aftermath.

He ordered a rasher of bryllyg ham,

Dee returned with a nice vouvray.

Dum got al frumious and hollered, Hey!

That’s a wine you should serve with lamb!

Dee sat down on the velvet duvet;

said, Don’t get uffish you manxome rath.

I brought you at least, a nice vouvray.

And why didn’t you shave when in the bath?

Your pilose visage is scruffy and whimsey.

Dum galumphed out and came whiffing back.

He opened the rasher all mome and mimsy,

because their meal was burned quite black!

But hungry, they ate it anyway,

and drank the wine, Callooh! Callee!

and agreed it had been a frabjous day,

quarrels resolved in their nomography.

The following day the Tweedle twins,

floated again on their frumtious raft,

confidently vorpal and wearing grins,

happily fishing from their beamish craft.

A Carroll Glossary

Bandersnatch- creature from the Snark, an island.

Beamish – quality of sending rays of light.

Borogove- extinct kind of parrot (no wings, beaks turned up, and made nests

Under sun dials, and lived on veal)

Bryllyg – to bryl or broil.

Burbled – a combo of bleat, murmur and bubble and warble) Also it is a turbulence

That develops when air is not flowing smoothly around an object.

Calloh, Callay – Callooh, an arctic duck species of northern Scotland. Callay is from

Greek Kalos, meaning beautiful, good and fair.

Chortled – (combo of chuckle, and snort)

Frabjous day – fabulous

Frumious – (Combo of fuming and furious)

Frumtious – (Combo of frump and sumptious or scrumptious)

Galumphing back – a clumsy bumping gallop

Gymble – to screw out holes in anything (from gimblet) a would tool, pivoted rings.

Gyre - scratch like a dog.

Jabberwock – excited talk and wooer, an anglo saxon word meaning offspring

Jubjub bird – from the Snark, an island.

Jubjub tree – from the Snark, the island frequented by the Jubjub and the

Bandersnatch wne where the jabberwock was slain.

Manxome fore – from Celtic Isle of a Man, Manx pertained to anything from the


Mimsy – miserable and happy (combined word)

Mome – grave (combo of solemome and solemone and solomn)

Outgrabe – past tense of verb to outgribe. Means grike and shrike from which are

derived shriek and creak.

Rath – a species of land turtle, head erect, mouth like a shark, four legs curved out, so

The animal walked on its knees, smooth green body, lived on swallows and


Slythy – smooth and active (combo of slimy and lythe)

Snark – Oxford Dictionary – means beaming, shining brightly, radiant.

Snicker-snack – to titter (while snacking on snickers?)

Tove – species of badger – smooth white hair, long hind legs, short horns like a stag

That lives chiefly on cheese.

Tulgey wood – Carroll did not explain.

Tumtum tree – a stringed instrument, a colloquialism.

Uffish thought – a state of mind, voice is gruffish and manner ruffish, and temper


Vorpal sword – and blades are from Carroll’s mathematical treatise (combo of verbal

and gospel)

Wabe – to swab or to soak (combined)

Whiffing – blowing unsteadily in short puffs.

Portmanteau Words – a made up word, often a combination of two words.

A portmanteau is also a kind of traveling case or suitcase.

Please Note: No matter how many times I correct the lack of paragraph spacing on this blog, the program refuses to alter it. I am sorry the paragraphs are all crunched together. It is a great frustration after all the work I have done to edit this and to create a document which is easy and pleasant to read! I must apologize for Blogger's Program.

Art and Writing by Ruth Zachary© are Copyrighted.