Z is for Zen in a Zig Zag Life

Day 26 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is Z

Z is for Zen in a Zig Zag Life

zig zag stop start then
deep breath – no help – start again
pour wine – chop carrots

© Perle Champion

My path of late feels like an undisciplined zig zag run through an obstacle course that is obviously of my cook choped vegsown making.  The only place where I really get into the moment, the zazen, is when involved in a kitchen chore, and occasionally in the midst of writing or painting.

The thing about the kitchen chore is there is immediate satisfaction.  I slice and dice and transform the carrot, onion and other veg in to shapes of my design.  I mix and put dough in the oven and soon have a steaming loaf of bread.

The thing with my writing and painting is there is no immediacy.  I paint or write for hours and it never quite feels done.  I drop one piece to begin another and in the end, I have 10 paintings half done; 2 novels unedited; and numerous essays that don’t quite hit the mark.

Does anyone else feel that scattered?


Y is for Yapness for Shiny Yellow Yag

Day 29 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is Y

Y is for Yapness for Shiny Yellow Yag

the myth – shiny yag
siren call to soul’s yapness
that yellow brick road

© Copyright Perle Champion

The idea of the yellow brick road leading us to the answer is a myth. 20130215-224226.jpg

The scarecrow is to Dorothy what the Cheshire cat is to Alice.  The message is that which fork in the road to take is her decision.  There’s no right or wrong.  The trick is to know where you’re going.



  • Yag – synthetic diamond
  • Yapness – hunger

X is for Xylan, Xylose, Xerarch, Xerosere.

Day 24 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is X

X is for Xylan, Xylose, Xerarch, Xerosere.

as meridies beats
the landscape’s xerarch creeps
toward xerosere as

sweet xylan begets
sweet nourishing xylose so
replacing dew’s kiss

Nature fascinates in its determined survival. Plants grow in the most unlikely places.

They didn’t sprout full blown in the deserts, mountains, seas, and places yet discovered; they evolved as yellow flowers on walk 3determined by the availability of light, water and surface.

The very rocks and pavements of humans eventually gives way to nature’s determination to bloom where she chooses.



Note: Xerosere is a plant succession which is limited by water availability. It includes the different stages in a xerarch succession. Xerarch succession of ecological communities originated in extremely dry situation such as sand deserts, sand dunes, salt deserts, rock deserts etc. A xerosere may include lithoseres (on rock) and psammoseres (on sand).


  • xylan – water-soluble, polysaccharide found in plant cell walls and yielding xylose upon hydrolysis
  • xylose – a sugar of the pentose class that occurs widely in plants, especially as a component of hemicelluloses.
  • xerarch – originating in a dry habitat as ecological succession
  • xerosere – dry habitat as a desert

W is for Words well written

Day 23 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is W

W is for Words Well Written

the meekest takes pen
in hand – swords beware their steel
the well written word

© Perle Champion

As a citizen of the U.S., I appreciate my right to say and write what I choose.  In this and many countries of the West, we needn’t fear being jailed for something as simple as a poem.

Many countries in the world still jail and or execute dissident writers. red 1 journal


Follow the link to a list of writers imprisoned for writing their truths.

  • Kazakhstan – The Poet  journalist and activist Aron Atabek has been in prison since 2007 and has spent much of his incarceration in solitary confinement.
  • China – Liu Xia is a poet, artist, and founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre. She has been held in her Beijing apartment without access to phones, internet, doctors of her choice, or visitors


V is for Veiled Vacuous Vistas

Day 22 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is V 

V is for Veiled Vacuous Vistas

forcibly veiled ones
facing vacuous vistas
ancient sisters weep

for the shroud you wear
fitting only to bury
ones who never lived

Men still use the ruse of ‘religiosity’ to force women to go veiled lest they, the men, be tempted to do them harm – what a sham.  Blame the murdered for inviting murder; the slave for inviting the noose…

Women have been and still are blamed for the crimes of men against them.  More rampant in the past in this country, but still with here and around the world is the blaming of women for enticing men to do them harm

I am always saddened when I see a veiled and shrouded woman walk by as the men young and old in her family walk free.


perle dark eyes cropped

© Perle Champion

U is for Universe Urban Urchin

Day 21 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is U

U is for Universe Urban Urchin

urban universe
inner urchin champing at
society’s bit

Living in the city these days is forever changed.  My siblings and I rangeminids free as children, by bike, skate and foot until mother whistled us in at dark.

After dinner, we’d run up to a friend’s and lay out on the front lawn staring at the night sky on summer nights hoping for a shooting star or ufo; imagining walking on the moon. We’d relfoggy moon  2 uctantly go in when called in at 8 or 9 or sometimes 10, only to go out the next day and do it all again.

Today, my friends with small children keep their children in secure back yards, and sit in chairs to watch them in the front yard or drive them to ‘play dates.





T is for Tantalus Tortured in Tartarus

Day 20 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is T

T is for Tantalus Tortured in Tartarus

tantalus tortured
tipple and taste beyond reach
hubris’ consequence

As capricious as the ancient gods were, they meted out some well deserved punishments. Unlike today, when we have a shooter of children on film and still call him the alleged pear tree 3shooter.  Ah Zeus, where are you when we need you.


© Perle Champion

The punishment of Tantalus in Tartarus is to stand knee deep in water but be unable to slake his thirst because whenever he bends down, the water vanishes. Over his head hangs fruit, but whenever he reaches for it, it goes just beyond his reach. From this punishment Tantalus is familiar to us in the word tantalize.

S is for Seek, Seas, beyond the Strand…

Day 19 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is S

S is for Seek, Seas, Strand…

to seek out new seas
one must abandon the strand
lose sight of the shore

Many people opt to stay securely on that narrow strand. Perhaps they’ll wonder what lies beyonddrawing birds orange sun 1 across the sea.  Perhaps they’ll wonder what lies inland as well.

Alas, fear holds them fast.  They might take a hesitant step seaward, but the ventured foot sinks deep as the eager current’s pull makes footing unsure.  They might step inland, but here too the shifting sands make footing once more unsure.

And so they remain on their small path wondering but never knowing what lies beyond.

© Perle Champion

The Rock of Ritual & Rote

Day 18 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is R

R is for the Rock of Ritual & Rote

with rote of ritual
rock bottom can become our
solid foundation

© Perle Champion

Ritual has many forms. Some as simple as making your morning coffee or tea; performing morning ablutions; etc.

I would add to those a few of my favorites – I’m sure you have more:desk journal coffee

  • Taking my early morning walk sans the distraction of headgear, so I can listen to my own thoughts and the sounds of nature around me.
  • Writing stream-of-consciousness by hand in my journal on my retur
    n, before the noise of the day intrudes and crowds out my own internal voice.
  • Preparing food for the day whether breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The cracking of an egg, butter on toast; the simple act of dicing carrots, celery, pickles for a tuna salad; julienning vegetables for a stir fry.  All these rote preparations have a Zen affect when we pay attention.
  • Lighting candles on my small home altar.
  • Stroking my cat’s soft fur and relishing her soft purr as we settle on the couch with a good book and a glass of Pinot Noir.
  • Writing in my gratitude journal a list of at least 5 things I am grateful for before turning out the lights at night.

20121207-213428.jpgIf we stop and pay attention to the small rote rituals of our day they can be that rock that anchors us after an otherwise stormy day.

What are some of yours?

Q Is for Quodlibet, Quibbles & Quarrels

Day 17 of Blogging from A to Z.  Today’s letter is Q

Q Is for Quodlibet, Quibbles & Quarrels

quodlibet quibbles
grow to quarrels when questioned
mules wearing blinders

© Perle Champion

Quodlibet is a disputation on a philosophical or theological point.  These days few people or nationwine w globes, for that matter, know how to have civilized discourse or debate on their preconceived ideals or the issues of the day.

Each person or nation stands firm, determined to convince the other at the outset that their belief is the only truth one and all others are wrong.  There is rarely an open mind on either side.  (Kierkegaard says it best; see quote below).

I no longer discuss, and rarely voice my beliefs to certain people, because it just isn’t worth my time.  I most certainly don’t have the patience with someone that believes if they shout loud enough and drown out other viewpoints, then they win.  I’m not sure what they think they win except to shut out any possibility of learning something new.

“The most terrible fight is not when there is one opinion against another, the most terrible is when two men say the same thing – and fight about the interpretation, and this interpretation involves a difference of quality.”

– Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish Philosopher. The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard: A selection, no 1057 (ed. And tr. By Alexander, 1938), 1850 entry.

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