The Trap

Image credit; 五玄土 ORIENTO – Unsplash

See the sepulchral ash, the sulphuric fume

See the primed portals set for me and you

See the smoke, the tea, the burnt residue

Just six more guests to speedily consume

Don’t fret, not yet

Never fear, my dear,

There’s not a shortage of fools in Bara-Du.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See picture prompt, product of an eerily terrifying image combined with insomnia .

Day 30 – A Beautiful Ending

Alas, with this post ends SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film Challenge courtesy of Cineworld. How appropriate then that the final prompt asks for a film with a beautiful ending.

Well, it wasn’t My Fair Lady, which was well on its way to a wholly satisfactory ending but instead has Henry Higgins asking Eliza Doolittle for his slippers. What a waste! After all the lovely songs and all the build up, no closing duet, no love song, no whispered … but I digress.


No, what comes to mind as a beautiful ending is Casablanca (1942), directed by Michael Kurtiz. It won three Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Unlike My Fair Lady, Casablanca’s love story ends with a parting that the drama and wit of the dialogue slowly prepares us for. Then comes the closing scene.



Rick Blaine: If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick Blaine: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have it before…we’d…we’d lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you…
Rick Blaine: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Who can forget what comes next? The plane takes off with Ilsa and her husband, the leader of the French resistance, while Rick and Capt. Louis Renault, sometime cynical antagonists, watch. They had fought on different sides, for different ends, neither of them heroes by any measure. They were now on the same side, knowing they had to find new places of refuge, maybe even a new cause.

Nothing was certain. Except that they had given hope another chance.

The plane is now lost to sight. Silently, Rick and Louis turn and walk away, the fog closing in around them, when Rick says:


“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”




CUT! Perfect ending.







Disco Bell Pink

For Joseph’s 2020 Home Photo Challenge, on our walk the other day we passed these hibiscus twins in “disco bell pink,” obviously loving the head-turning attention they receive. Shameless beauties!

Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Disco Bell Pink’

Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day 29 – The Movie That Never Ends

For SandmanJazz’s 30 Day Film challenge courtesy of Cineworld cinemas, the penultimate prompt asks us to volunteer a film that we didn’t want to end. Okay then. Well, are we really sure we don’t already have a movie that doesn’t end whether or not we want it to end? Think of the many Star Wars franchise prequels and sequels and spin-offs, all really part of the same unending story.


I’m good with that. Star Wars has become a familiar part of the movie landscape. First conceived, written and directed by George Lucas, the original Star Wars (1977) burst onto the scene like a starfighter in lightspeed hyperspace with Hans Solo and the Millenium Falcon, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and the Jedis, 900-year-old Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Toy stores would look empty now without R2-D2 and droids like C-3PO and stormtroopers, lightsabers and blasters, Sith and Jedi action figures, and there has to be a corner of the universe where we know that Ewoks live in their forest canopied homes.


When the original trilogy came out, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back (1980), & Return of the Jedi (1983), they took our breath away with their special effects and the creation of whole new worlds and their denizens, all curiously similar to humans however unsightly, ethereal, fantastic, or fuzzy adorable with their jabbering patois and customs that somehow seemed quite earthly.

Not just that, we went around wishing each other good luck at parting, saying, May the force be with you! like we were part of the universe where rebel forces and star ships were a regular feature.

But this was just the beginning of George Lucas’s cinematic legacy.

The next installment was a prequel trilogy that may not have seen the quality of writing we had come to expect, but the story and the special effects more than held their own. The mysterious aquatic planet of Kamino and the graceful and preternaturally-composed Kaminoans in The Attack of the Clones (2002) are a fantastic feat of  imagination.


By this time Star Wars had truly become the lavish and spectacular, larger-than-life American space opera that it continues to be. Each installment in the saga continues to be a feast for the eyes with more and more phenomenal species and landscapes, and eye-popping characters, e.g. the infamous Jar Jar Brinks.

The most recent sequels have been disappointing to many fans but there is hope, especially as Disney’s Mandalorian promises a next-generation of intrepid adventurers and Yoda-like sages. The eponymous protagonist is reminiscent of heroes from old westerns and the series thus far has a lot in common with that genre. Thankfully, the longevity of the Star Wars universe seems assured.

Sail on into hyperspace, Star Wars, and may the force be with you!


A Little Christmas Carol in July


“And how did little Tim behave?” asked Mrs Cratchit, when she had rallied Bob on his credulity and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content.

“As good as gold,” said Bob, “and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

In Truth, It’s Tea

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Frank at Thoughts & Theories has a new Q & A challenge — Truthful Tuesday — and thanks to Di at pensitivity101 for putting me on to it!

    • Do you prefer coffee or tea? (You must pick at least one, even if neither are your favorite beverage.)

Black Tea, but spare me the spice. Any kind of flavoring just ruins it for me.

    • Considering your previous choice, do you prefer it hot or iced?

Always hot, but if I can’t get it that way, I won’t refuse some good old-fashioned Southern iced tea.

    • How do you take it (cream, sugar, honey, black, etc.)?

Cream and sugar, please!

    • What is your earliest memory of drinking coffee?

I had a taste of my Mom’s back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth — just a toddler then, I’m pretty sure — and it freaked me out so badly that I didn’t touch the stuff until I was in college.

  • What is your earliest memory of drinking tea?

As a child. My Mom always served her guests tea with dessert and, naturally, you can’t have one without the other!