Tag Archives: CRC

Volcano Storm – in Haiku & Sijo

 Eruption of Chilean volcano, 1992
This was the photo which posed a challenge for the group

Volcano Storm




Snatch and grab. Go, run!
Chaitén’s angry – ash clouds spark
with lightning fury.




Grey ash plumes gather in clouds
above the waking volcano.
Lightning flashes blast, warn the village
what’s building in the dome.
Evacuation three days before
                Chaitén explodes.


Map of Chaiten areaBottled up for thousands of years (its last previous eruption was in 7420 BC ± 75 years [1]), Chaitén under pressure began to make the way to release her power on May 2nd 2008. On that day, ash billowed forth, lightning flashed and cracked, creating a thundercloud effect that terrorised the hillside villagers, who evacuated May 3rd. The ash clouds continued for days, until Chaitén finally blew and spewed her lava.
On May 6, 2008 the force of eruption increased significantly, producing pyroclastic flows and possibly some lava explosions, and raising the eruption column to a height of perhaps 30,000 metres (98,000 ft)

[1] Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chait%C3%A9n_(volcano)

© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2012
Photographer:   Carlos Gutierrez, 2008
Written for Creative ‘Riters Corner

Time Warp – a CRC challenge


The excursion train’s passengers all pushed off and out – full of chatter about their journey so far, the scenery, their snaps, their hand luggage – as soon as it halted. They were intent on enjoying Van Buren’s delights over the two and a half hour stop before the return run to Springdale.

The diesel-powered train sat in the afternoon sun at Van Buren’s terminal with the car-park almost emptied of vehicles. With two and a half hours, the clean-up crew would be in to work on it soon.

Still inside carriage 105, restored from the 1917 era, two people crouched between rows of seats – a man of 30-odd years’ appearance, and a young woman in her early twenties.

“Doctor, what’s happened? Where and when are we?”

The Doctor drew a gizmo from his inner coat pocket and consulted it.

“We’re on Earth, in USA, in a town Van Buren, and …” looking around “in a railway station.” He glanced again at the gizmo (he’d tried many times to explain it to his companion, but he’d chosen a ditzy one this time, so they simply called it The Gizmo). “And, it’s 2005 AD.”

“Where’s Van Buren?” she asked. “I thought we were heading for Santa Fé for the fiesta?”

“I’m not sure,” The Doctor confessed, grinning madly.”Never mind, it looks like a nice spot. Let’s go look around.”

“But, the Time Travel Machine? Where’s that?”

“Ah, let’s see…” the Doctor twiddled the gadget and read the digital coding. “Oh.”

“Doctor, I don’t  like ‘Oh’,” a firm but worried voice from a stubbornly determined girl.

“Um. Well it’s like this. Um. In our hurry –“

“Your hurry, not mine,” she reminded him.

“Ah, yes. My hurry.  It seems I wrongly entered Santa Fé’s latitude. I05o West somehow became carriage 105 on the Arkansas – Missouri tourist line. And look…” he pointed out the window. “That vehicle?” He aimed the gadget at it, and again read off the digital screen. “Ah, sorry. But it is part of an explanation I suppose.” His smile was doubtful – he probably could sense she was ready to blow her stack.

“Why’s that then?”

“Um. The vehicle? It’s a Suburban Utility Vehicle –“

“An SUV, yeah. So?”

“It’s a 2005 Hyundai. Model Santa Fé.” He looked at his shoes, shame-faced. “I was in a hurry wasn’t I!?”

“So you’re telling me that somehow, ‘Santa Fé –coordinates 35°40′2″N, 105°57′52″W, time 2015’ became  a 1917 refurbished carriage, number 105, on the Springdale to Van Buren scenic rail road line, with a 2005 Santa Fé SUV parked in the station yard.”

“Oo!,” the Doctor was impressed. He beamed that daft grin again at her. “That was clever – how did you figure out that part?”

She stood up, and dragged him to the carriage window. She pointed at the station’s wall, on which was a large promotional poster:

“Take a 134-mile round trip excursion on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad for an 8-hour scenic tour through the Boston Mountains that includes a two and a half hour stay in Historical Van Buren. Travel in Vintage Pullman coaches (1917 – 1920s) or the Vintage Parlour Car (1950s),” it proclaimed.

“Your head is so full of redundant facts, you confused yourself Doctor. Remember you were talking to me as you were entering data, about D H Lawrence writing about New Mexico in 1917? You must have entered 1917 into the time machine then.  That and the latitude told the time machine a 1917 train carriage, number 105. It’s picked a time (who knows when) when a 2005 car would be here.  The S of Santa Fe’ must have become S for Springdale, where the train trip starts, and the V for who knows what must have become Vehicle, and Van Buren where we are.  Your Time machine has disappeared, and we’re stuck in this country city if it’s big enough to call it that. Hhmmph!” and she stalked out onto the platform and across to stand by the SUV.

The Doctor trotted after her, fiddling with his gizmo. As he got closer to her, the Gizmo tweated, and the SUV’s doors opened.

“Marvellous!” he cried in delight. “The Time Machine’s disguised itself. In we get. We can drive down to Santa Fe’ to the fiesta!’ The Gizmo says it’s only about twelve and a half hours away.” He slipped into the driver’s seat.

As his companion sat in the passenger’s sides, she noticed the controls were rather futuristic and familiar compared to any normal car. She looked around, then brightened.

“West, yeh? And we pass Las Vegas I bet!” She popped the glove-box, inside which was a sheaf of paper money. As the Doctor drove, she counted it.

“What d’ya know?” she laughed” There’s exactly 2,015 US dollars here! Your Time Machine needs a servicing Very Badly!’

The 50s Poodle Skirt – a CRC challenge

The 50s’ Poodle Skirt

 We live on a dairy farm in the Waikato, and it’s hay-making time. Cousin Jeanette’s coming to stay, and her friend Kay. They’re almost grown-ups, when I’m only five. My big sister Sarah is two years older than me, and she thinks she’ll be allowed to be with the older girls. Pffhh!

We have a radio. Its oak cabinet stands three feet high, and it’s narrow, and the top two sides are three inches lower than the main top. (I know because my teacher set us to measure something for homework and that’s what I measured.) The front has three arched cut-out shapes, with a fabric behind them. Dad says that’s where the sound comes out, and it’s to stop us seeing the little men and women inside, as they sing their songs and play their music.

I know he’s telling fibs for fun. That’s not how a radio station works. They have the singers and orchestras and bands come in and play for us in one of the station’s studios. It must be a busy place, ‘cause the songs aren’t long, and they only play one piece and then someone else plays or sings.

Anyway, when Jeanette and Kay arrive on the train, Dad goes to collect them and their luggage. They’re coming to mind Susan and me while mum helps with the hay, and to bake for the hay makers’ billy times. When they walk in there’s hugs and kisses all around from Jeanette, and small hugs and hand-shakes from Kay, and they go to their room to unpack.

After a week of looking after us, on Saturday morning Jeanette and Kay are all excited. They’re going to have a party tonight, and they’ve asked all the hay-maker boys to come. Mum’s made Ginger beer (and she doesn’t know Dad’s got real beer out in the wash-house, under wet sacks). The aunties have baked small cup cakes and a sponge and a chocolate log cake and sandwiches. Mum says there’s Pimms in the kitchen for the older women.

In the afternoon, Kay carries a square case into the lounge.

“We’ll set it up now,” she says.

I sit on Dad’s big armchair to see. She unclips the lid, and it comes right off, not on hinges. It has an electric wire attaching it to the main case. The main case has a round thing, and an arm-looking thing, and three dials. Jeanette sees me watching.

“It’s a portable record player,” she says. “I’m going to buy one for myself, too.”

Then Jeanette opens a smaller case. It’s about a foot square and maybe six inches deep. She flips the lid back. Inside are lots of thin envelopes. She pulls one out. It has a circle cut out from the middle, and you can see a red label in through the hole.

“These are the records,” she says. “We can play them on the record player.”

I haven’t a clue what she means, until Kay takes one, pulls this black flat plate with a label that’s got a dog on it, and she balances it on a tall spike she’s put into the middle of the player’s circle. The record sits there, above the circle. Kay moves a little lever on the end of the arm thing, and puts it back on its little prop. She twists one dial, then twists another which clicks.

The table starts turning, the record drops down onto it, and the arm-thing lifts itself up, moves over the record’s edge, and lowers itself down to sit on the record.

And music comes out. Nice, rhythmic music, a bit faster than the dance bands Mum and Dad listen to on the radio. But I’ve never heard this song before. The singer is a woman, and she has a happy voice. Kay and Jeanette get up from the floor and start to dance. And not like Mum and Dad dance. This is really happy and wild. They kick their legs high, hold hands and spin each other around, Kay swings under Jeanette and back to start dancing again, Jeanette rolls over Kay’s back. In, out, twist under her arm, spin out to arm’s length, spin back, jig and kick together… Oh I want to dance like this!

After a while, there are records scattered all over the floor beside the record player. Some are still not back in their envelopes. And as Kay and Jeanette “boogie” (that’s what Kay calls it), Kay steps backwards and “CRACK!” – her heel goes through two records. And they’re Jeanette’s two records. Now, I would have cried, but they just laughed and threw the pieces to me to put in the rubbish. I had a good up close look at the four pieces. There was a groove running around – I could put a fingernail in it and trace it around. I’d watched the record player, and had wondered what made it move slowly across the record, from the edge to the middle. Now I could see how that worked

And now I knew, radio stations didn’t have the performers parading in and out of their studios – they played these records!

After tea, Sarah and I were sent to bed to read. But first we were allowed to watch the aunties get ready for their party. (Sarah was a bit sulky because she thought that being the older sister she should have been allowed to go to the party.)

Kay and Jeanette both had fluffy jumpers – Kay’s was white and Jeanette’s was pale blue. They had ankle socks on, and lace-up soft shoes. But it was their poodle skirts that Sarah and I loved. Kay’s was a dark blue, and it had a little poodle made of lots of white pom-poms sewn on. Jeanette’s poodles were one big dark blue one and one little pale blue one. And they had leashes of dark blue ribbon twisting up the lemon-coloured skirt. Oh, how pretty!

We listened from our beds. We heard the boys’ cars arrive, car doors slamming, Dad greeting them at the door, clinking of things the boys had brought, and then the music started. Louder than they’d played it in the afternoon! Sarah and I sneaked along the corridor, and cracked open the door into the sitting room. Everyone was dancing! Mum was dancing with a hay maker, Dad was dancing with Mrs Taylor from up the lane, some of the boys had brought their sisters or their girlfriends, but it was so exciting to watch. The girls all had only their socks on. Sarah said it was to make it easier to be swooshed back and forward between their partner’s legs – and she was prob’ly right, being older than me and all.

© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2012
More poodle skirts back at Creative ‘Riters Corner, challenge #71

The Sun Is The Eye … (a CRC challenge)

Photograph credited to http://vladstudio.deviantart.com/art/Sun-Eclipse-130835903


The moon has given the sun an eye
at last, with which to see through us.
It is the eye of a tiger, a lynx, a lion
a dragon. It sees our sins, our lust.
How rarely it has the chance to see
what’s been wreaked on earth by we
who’ve deforested green, salted the earth,
eroded hillsides, filled rivers with dirt,
diverted or dammed god’s rivers and streams,
built cities of wealthy nightmarish dreams –
overcrowded, stressed and under-nourished.
The sun sees we’ve ruined what flourished.
People are losing their hope and their faith
replaced for some with a longing for death.
The sun sees how climates we’ve changed;
while we wring our hands like beings deranged..

© Lynne McAnulty-Street, Rotorua NZ, 2012 June