Out on the Ballroom Floor

Back in September of last year, I wrote the following poem about ballroom dancing. In the comments for my first year of Kikolani post, I realized there are still a lot of readers that were here when I used to write poetry. So I decided to bring back this piece of writing with a little something extra.

Why don’t you take me
Out on the ballroom floor
And dance with me
Holding my body close
As we whisk, twirl and spin
Give no regards to footing
Or making the proper moves
For on this night, there are
No technicalities or faults
Forget anyone else is around
Romance me out there
Because when we dance
I feel as if we are flying
Soaring gracefully as eagles
Love lifting us up high
When secure in your arms
You are my prince, and I
Your princess, your Cinderella
Let us have a fairytale waltz
Making this moment magical
Where we can embrace
An eternity in the duration
Of a single romantic song
As we glide, hand in hand
And forever, heart to heart

So what is the little extra? I finally had the opportunity to do my first dance performance at a showcase last week. Here is video of my husband and I doing a fun Viennese Waltz. It was a lot of fun, from the super nervous heart racing while I stepped out onto the floor, to the excitement of hearing the crowd while we performed our routine. Hope you enjoy!

View our Viennese Waltz in HD on Youtube.

A Hummingbird Nest – Photos & Haiku

Last week, when I was shooting my macro photos of flowers around my office, I stumbled across something even more interesting. At first, I, along with the majority of my co-workers, thought it was some kind of strange spiderweb. But later, I found out it was something much more exciting and beautiful.

Hummingbird Nest
Springtime brings the most
amazing things to us right
outside our front door
Hummingbird and Her NestHummingbird and Her Nest
Hummingbird and Her Nest
She sits on her nest
waiting patiently for them
to hatch underneath
Hummingbird Egg and Baby in the Nest
The first is early
or perhaps the second late
soon we shall find out
Hummingbird Babies in the NestHummingbird Babies in the Nest
Hummingbird Babies in the Nest
Two days later she,
proud mother, has two little
babies in her care
Hummingbird on a BranchHummingbird on a Branch
Hummingbird Spreads Her Wings
She hovers above
watching carefully as I
observe her children
Hummingbird Babies in the Nest
While she looks for food
awaiting her return are
open, happy mouths
Hummingbird Guarding Her Nest
She returns bringing
them food, nourishment so that
soon they will be strong
Hummingbird Nest
She treasures this time
to love them, knowing one day
they will fly away

UPDATE 5 March: I have yet to capture really great video (so far, everything is fuzzy), but once I do, I will add it my new I captured my first short video of the babies: Inside a Hummingbird Nest with Babies. They were kind of sleepy, so I will keep trying to get more active videos and post them to my account, Leilaniana @ Youtube.

Haiku enhanced photography inspired by Phaiku – Picture Haiku.

Bleeding Words

The words I dare not say
Bleed out of me
Ink from the barrel
Inside a pen onto fibers
Of the blank paper
Beneath my hand
Increasingly chaotic strokes
No handwriting analysis
Could decipher as
The shape of the letters
Change the further down
The page I get
Starting barely legible
Ending wildly distorted
With tear stained streaks
Smearing the ink
Across the surface

What Do I Want

Recently, I watched the movie The Women with Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, and a great cast ensemble. A question that Meg Ryan’s character faces when her marriage falls apart is… What Do I Want?

She then starts a vision board of the interests she had but never pursued, words of inspirations, and photos of the things most important to her, like a picture with her daughter and with her friends.

The Women - Vision Board - Movie Still
Mary’s (Meg Ryan) Vision Board from The Women (2008)
My Vision

This in turn got me to thinking about the vision I created for my life during a class I took months ago. We were not to consider reality, but just picture our lives the way we wanted them to be five years from now. If we could do anything, what would we do? If we could be anywhere, where would we be? Then, with a set vision, those things should be attainable.


The most important parts of my vision are things I consider the foundation – family and health. Without family and love, I would not have the support and inspiration to follow my dreams, and without good health, I would not have the strength. These two parts are definitely heading in the right direction, especially in terms of family & love since I will be marrying my soulmate in just 95 days.

The following are the personal interests that I had written about, and how they are progressing.


I picture myself with a camera in hand everywhere I go, taking photos of things at random. I have been taking hoards of pictures, true to form, but I still find myself in situations where I want to photography something so much, but have no equipment on me. That is something easily fixed with a bigger purse.


I have a tremendous amount of ideas, and even plenty of supplies, for scrapbooks galore. I haven’t made one since making the ones for my grandmother, which weren’t anything fancy as she couldn’t hold the large sized or heavy books. Since making those, I have jotted down ideas for many more, including the most recent for my engagement photos, puppy photos, and more. All I need to do to get started is to get the office organized and in shape, and make the time.


My sketching skills are iffy, at best, except when it comes to cartoon characters. To solve that issue, I envisioned a ceiling mounted projector that I could project my photographs onto a canvas, and paint on top of the projected images. Now all I need is the projector.


I have a collection of writing from the last decade. Ultimately, I want to compile it all and start entering select poems or collections to various contests for publication. I have purchased the Poet’s Market for several years, and still have yet to enter anything. Also, as of late, I have had a creative writing block the size of the Hoover Dam.


This is probably one of the things I have made the most progress on, as I have started and maintained this blog since the end of May. I have come to realize that writing comes to a halt when other things are troubling me that I cannot write about, and that I am much happier when I devote time to things other than just sitting on the computer all day. But I still enjoy writing, and sharing my photography, which I will continue to do in this blog. I also have ideas for another more artistic/creative blog, and a blog on blogging tips, but those are on hold until more time is available.


Tennis was only mentioned once in my vision, in a list of things I would do to stay physically fit. I am much more involved in it now than, as I am a part of my first tennis league (NTRP 2.5), and I play probably 3 – 4 times a week. This is really the only sport I have ever played seriously in my life, and it is coming along quite well, considering I have only two lessons under my belt.


Ever since watching Dancing with the Stars, I had this fantasy of doing ballroom dancing, which seemed so athletic, coordinated, graceful, and other things that did not seem within my range of abilities. Then I met the love of my life, who also happens to be a ballroom dance teacher. It seemed like a sign that maybe I could do this after all.

Dancing With the Stars Tour 2008 - Alec Mazo Edyta Sliwinska
Photo by Arrye, Ethan & John

Initially when I started lessons, I pictured us doing the competitions, having these wonderful photos and videos of us gliding across a dance floor. After four months of lessons, and then a month long hiatus, this part of my vision proved to be the most difficult, but also the one most desired. Most of the things I have learned in life I have been able to learn on my own, in my own way, and those things have been purely mental exercise, not physical. Dance incorporates both in ways that my brain and body have never had to connect before. Plus I have never been much for fine tuning and technique, both of which are essential.

We are currently focusing on our wedding dance which will be absolutely amazing. Watching him choreograph movements to the song we chose was one of the most wonderful things I have seen, and it reminded me why I enjoyed watching dance in the first place. More than the physical technicalities, I see dance as something beautiful, artistic, and with him, an expression of romance.


But what happens when reality does come into play? When there are obstacles that seem impossible to overcome, no matter how much we dream or persevere? When adversaries that are not in our power to control, like a crumbling economy, step in the way? When parts of our vision involve those whose vision has changed? When the work needed for one aspect takes so much time that there is little left for the rest? These are some questions that have developed in the months since creating my vision. One of my resolutions for the year is to work on the solutions.

Rays of Sunlight

Silent Sunlight Welcome In
Photo by Dave Shewmaker

Imagine this

A sunny day, no clouds in the sky
No chance of rain
You lie on the ground
Back nuzzled into the grass
Looking up at the sky
Basking the warmth of the sun’s rays

Now picture this

The warmth disappears
Yet the sun still remains in the sky
Not a cloud in its way
Nothing between you and it
You see it but you do not feel it
The warmth was just there
But within moments, it was gone

Now think about his

Is it the sun’s fault
That you cannot feel its rays
Did the sun stop shining
Was there a cloud blocking the rays
Was there a breeze blowing over
Surely there was not
Because anyone around you could see
The sun’s rays are still touching you
And they would say how wonderful it is

Now change places

Think of yourself as the sun
And love as its rays
And I am the person on the ground
Did you stop shining on me
Did anything come between us
The answer is no, it is not your fault
There was not any other thing in the path

Now ask yourself this

Does this mean it is my fault
Something inside me has changed
Or did I just lose the ability to feel
What would you say
If I could only feel the sun’s warmth
When the sun is not there
But when the moon is out
Or when the clouds have taken over

Never think that I do not want to feel that warmth

This is a piece I wrote this over ten years ago. Interpretations are welcome.