Haiku: Mountain Carries Us Home

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when mountain touches sky
our spirit catches glimpses
of where we came from

© Xenia Tran

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Photographs by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Prompt: Carry

Haiku: Smiles Paint Light

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back home in the warm
when the day’s running is done
smiles light up the room

© Xenia Tran

Photograph by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Indoor Portrait

Daily Prompt: Paint

MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award

makeitultra award

A very big thank you to Samantha for nominating us for this award. Samantha is a dear friend and gifted writer whose gem of a blog samanthamurdochblog we can highly recommend for stories about cats, dogs, crystals and life in general.

About the Award

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

The Rules

If you have been nominated for the  MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog and take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.
  2. Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget (save the image on your computer and upload it to your blog post).
  3. Use the tag #MyUltraAward when you create your post.
  4. Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions.

What is your name?


Where are you from?

I live in Scotland and I was born in The Netherlands.

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

I have been blogging since March 2016.  I started the blog to show how much fun rescue dogs can be and how rewarding it is to adopt from a shelter. I wanted to show this through stories, photographs and poetry and focus more on the relationships between the dogs and how they connect with the people we meet on our walks. The blog is evolving as we go along and so far I am enjoying the journey.

What are you most proud of?

Moving to London with a suitcase and a head full of dreams at the age of eighteen. It changed my life forever.

What are your blogging goals?

Whippets live in the moment and love running free. To stay true to the spirit of the whippets this blog is free of goals.

How do you spend your free time?

Hiking, walking, writing and painting in the warmer months. Walking, reading, writing and catching up with friends once the snow arrives.

5. Nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links:

Reymon de Real Photography, a beautiful photography blog.

The Snow Melts Somewhere, a wonderful travel and photography blog.

A Lil Bit Of Everything, a great blog showing art, poetry, photography and much more.

My Choice 360, a beautiful poetry blog by the lovely Ismath.

Haiku Out Of Africa, beautiful haiku by Lize Bard.

Please know that you are under no obligation to accept the award, just know that your blogs are loved and appreciated!

6.  Provide five random facts about yourself (optional).

I have already provided 29 random facts about myself in previous Award posts so for this exercise I am going to select five random books from our shelves, open them at a random page and see what happens.

The first book is ‘Dewdrops On A Lotus Leaf’, Zen poems of Ryokan translated by John Stevens. The book fell open on page 78 and the following catches my eye: ‘A perfect blend of wisdom and foolishness is the key to happiness’.  This sums me up quite well!

The next book is ‘The Magical Path’ by Marc Allen and it fell open on page 195. In the middle of the page it says, in bold letters: ‘If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.’ I have heard the same message in so many different ways and I am a great believer in thoughts creating our reality.

Next is ‘The Essential Rumi’, translated by Coleman Barks. The book fell open on page 109, with the poem ‘The Guest House’. This made me smile because one of the meanings of my name is ‘hospitality’. The first line catches my eye: ‘This being human is a guesthouse. Every morning a new arrival.’ I love this idea and I can imagine that the whippets welcome a new arrival of experiences every morning as well. Very apt for us and for our blog!

The next random book I selected is ‘Every War Has Two Losers’ by William Stafford and it fell open on page 89. The first lines that catch my eye are these: ‘If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.’ I bought this book in 1993 and his words ring as true to me today as they did when I first read them.

The final book I randomly selected is ‘Between Here And There’ by Sinead Morrissey and it fell open on page 45, showing the poem ‘Night Drive In Four Metaphors’. The line that catches my eye, reads: ‘Two worlds split open to each other, stars spilling from each.’ That is a beautiful image to end on, as I continue to live in hope that peace will prevail.

Selecting lines from books that have influenced me in some way feels very profound and I hope you enjoyed my random selections.

7. List these rules in your post.

8. Inform the people/blogs you have nominated and provide a link for them to your post.

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A very big thank you again to Samantha and lots of love to all you wonderful bloggers.

Xenia xxx

Photograph taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Prompt: Profound

Always In Our Hearts

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I will always know you are here
whichever way the wind blows.

© Xenia Tran

With love from Eivor xxx

Photograph by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA

Daily Prompt: Wind

Haiku: Natural Optimism

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always positive
focus on the good in life
from a place of love

© Xenia Tran

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With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA

Daily Prompt: Unstoppable

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much dear Ismath for my nomination for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’, big wags and hugs for you!

Ismath is an avid reader and poet who lives in Dubai and if you are not familiar with her writings please go and check out her wonderful blog mychoice360.

One Lovely Blog Award

The One Lovely Blog Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It is given to “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

The rules for the award are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Display the award in your post and on your blog.
  3. List seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate seven bloggers and let them know you nominated them.
  1. For those of you who did not know already, I live in the Scottish Highlands with my husband and two adopted rescue whippets.
  2. I was born in The Netherlands and speak four languages.
  3. Many family members and friends have died young and this has taught me to enjoy life and live in the moment.
  4. I enjoy reading poetry more than anything else, especially on those long winter nights in front of a roaring fire.
  5. My interest in creative writing developed after I became involved in a narrative medicine project whilst working as a complementary therapist.
  6. Spending time in nature is now part of our daily life and is where a lot of my inspiration comes from, especially when we encounter wildlife.
  7. In addition to hiking with the dogs and spending time in nature I have always been a great lover of live music. When we lived in London and in Edinburgh we were spoiled for choice and could watch all our musical heroes play live. Here in the Highlands it is very different. Those big names do not come here and what we have here instead is something very special. People make music themselves, they gather in pubs and in parks with their instruments and play sessions. Many young Scottish musicians travel the country to the smallest village halls and bars to play a gig. Their audience is sometimes really small, yet very appreciative and there is a lot of magic in that. Just to give you an idea of a typical Scottish band journeying to play for a small audience I am including a ten-minute video below from Roddy Woomble and his band filmed in Easdale Island, Argyll. It shows some Scottish scenery and weather, the type of cottages we live in and the general bonhomie when the music is played. Please note that as of 2019, this video is no longer available.

And here is the list of bloggers I would like to nominate for the award:

  1. Subhash Chatterji‘s  blog with photographs and loving words.
  2. The lovely poetry blog The New Leaf.
  3. Yasmin’s beautiful poetry blog.
  4. The wonderful Marie and her poetry blog The Syllabub Sea
  5. Young writer, poet and musician Jesus Garcia II and his blog Setting Words Alight
  6. Miriam, the animal loving freelance writer and her blog Out An’ About.
  7. The heart-warming blog The Blessing Of Animal Companions.

You are under no obligation to accept the award, just know that you and your blogs are loved and appreciated!

A special big thank you to Eivor and Pearl, who make me write down their thoughts and without whom this blog would not exist. 

We send lots of love to all of you who visit here, you are all lovely bloggers to us!

Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

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Photograph by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action

Daily Prompt: Elusive

Timeless Words

Time exists in so many parallels where clocks are never needed.

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My paws sink deep into the sands when I canter down to the beach. The breeze feels warm  and the seagulls are guarding their young in the distance.

Pearl and I nudge each other and we are off for a run.

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John appears from the dunes and waves at our companion. He looks so unhappy since his dog passed away and still does the same walk each morning.

“How are you all doing today?” asks John, reaching into his pocket for biscuits. Pearl and I wag our tails and gently take the biscuits from his hand.

“We’re grand,” says our companion. “How are you?”

“I do not know what the world is coming to,” says John. “I mean, every day there is something else and the media … I mean, don’t get me going on the media.”

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Pearl gets a whiff of something and starts digging in the sand.

“I mean, I was reading ‘Map Reading Error’ the other day and you know those lines:

To what degree and by decree
has media come to mean
the metaphysics of the hang man?

We wait, wanting the simple dark again.

That was written in 1976 and it is as if the clocks stopped then because nothing has changed. It might as well have been written today.”

“You are right,” says our companion, “when it comes to any kind of conflict the powers that be seem to revert to old habits that are rarely for the highest good.”

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I walk on to have a good sniff myself. These are interesting smells and it is as if some birds have walked here that have not been here before.

When I look up I see our companion’s thoughts wander off to a sun-lit room in Belfast. There are men reading poetry and some speak with a stammer so familiar among people who grew up listening to machine guns.

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The clouds start rolling in and we get on our way before the rains come down. John waves us goodbye and stops by the rock as if he is waiting for his dog to follow.

Our companion smiles at us and remembers a poem she wrote that day in Belfast:

For Brendan

You sat in the corner dressed in black,
rose to your feet when I swung through the door,
shook my hand, took my coat,
we both knew we had met before.

Not here, not in this life,
somewhere to the left of your shoulder
where you glanced and waved your hand.
I immediately knew what you meant.

© Xenia Tran

I look up at her and smile. Time exists in so many parallels where clocks are never needed.

I am sending you all so much love,

Eivor xxx

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Lines quoted by John from Map Reading Error, a poem by Brendan Hamill from his pamphlet ‘Emigrant Brother’ (1976), Belfast: Lagan Press.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA

Daily Prompt: Clock

dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #181

Haiku: Feast For The Inner Child

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smiles flower, hearts sing
adults become the children
watching dolphins swim

© Xenia Tran

Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge

With love from Xenia xxx

Photograph taken by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA

Ronovan’s  Weekly Haiku Challenge 106: Flower & Sing

Daily Prompt: Feast