Friday, April 28, 2017

At the Goody Goody Diner, plus spiders

Some of these spiders could straddle over a common saucer with their hairy, muscular legs, and when their feelings were hurt, or their dignity offeended, they were the wickedest-looking desperadoes the animal world can furnish. If their glass prison-houses were touched ever so lightly they were up and spoiling for a fight in a minute. Starchy?--proud? Indeed, they would take up a straw and pick their teeth like a member of Congress.
~Mark Twain on tarantulas


Hi y'all!

Two bits today. Pretty different, or maybe not. This gentleman offers diners custom poetry from the heart:



I heard the following poem performed this week during the Poetry Out Loud semi-finals. The student did an excellent job, and I was sorry she didn't get to go on to the finals. (I can't remember her name or state!)

TARANTULAS ON THE LIFEBUOY
By Thomas Lux

For some semitropical reason
when the rains fall
relentlessly they fall

into swimming pools, these otherwise
bright and scary
arachnids. They can swim
a little, but not for long

and they can’t climb the ladder out.
They usually drown—but
if you want their favor,
if you believe there is justice,
a reward for not loving

read the rest here

**********

Teaching Authors has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, JoAnn!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dotty

I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognizable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won't be able to give much information about who it is.
~Chuck Close


150, eh? Does that make you want to test it? I have the feeling that he's right.

Polka dots today:

Polka Dot House, Detroit
photo by Patty Mooney

012 Polka Dot, London
photo by Eric
part of The Elephant Parade, drawing attention to plummeting Asian elephant populations

Polka-dot piano
photo by Steve Grant

Side of Polka Dot Bus
photo by Patty Mooney

Superhero Dachshund
by Jenn and Tony Bot

Pumpkin
by Yayoi Kusama
photo by Wendy Tanner

Art installation of polka-dotted characters, Let's Go to a Paradise of Glorious Tulips
by Yayoi Kusama
photo by Choo Yut Shing






Lastly, a quote to make you go "hmmm..." from artist Sigmar Polke:

I love all dots. I am married to many of them. I want all dots to be happy. Dots are my brothers. I am a dot myself.
~Sigmar Polke


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Appreciating Volunteers

The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.
~Terri Guillemets



It's National Volunteer Week -- time to thank volunteers and assess the volunteering we do, see if there's anything else we'd like to try.

I've talked about volunteers occasionally before, such as morgue volunteers, book movers, and my own tutoring.

Recently, I received a hospice press release about all the different types of volunteers who help with their work and I was really struck by the variety:

· Licensed cosmetologists: Provide haircuts and other grooming to our patients in their homes.
· Healing Arts: Licensed massage therapists, musicians and artists, people to perform Aromatherapy, Comfort Touch, acupuncture and reiki.
· Pet therapy: Licensed pet therapists as well as dog owners who are interested in having their dogs certified as comfort pets through our partner program with Petco.
· Threshold Choirs: Sing with small groups at the homes and bedsides of hospice patients to bring ease and comfort to those at the threshold of living and dying.
· Camp Volunteers: Be a Big Buddy to a child or teen at our summer bereavement camps held from Aug. 11 to 13.
· Patient care: Provide companionship and a supportive presence for our patients and respite for caregivers. They offer a listening ear, open mind and loving heart to those in our care.
· Vet-to-Vet Volunteer: These are patient care volunteers who have a military background who are assigned to visit patients who are veterans.

So many people who are needed, so many ways to help. Why am I including volunteering on Wellness Wednesday? Because volunteering makes you feel better, as well as helping others. If you aren't currently in a place in your life where you can do consistent volunteering, consider one-time events.


I loved these kids explaining what a volunteer is:



Nice song:



One place to find volunteer opportunities

Here's another: Volunteer Match

Monday, April 24, 2017

Storms, skaters, birds, and barks

Vivaldi played a solo accompaniment excellently, and at the conclusion he added a free fantasy [an improvised cadenza] which absolutely astounded me, for it is hardly possible that anyone has ever played, or ever will play, in such a fashion.
~Johann Friedrich Armand von Uffenbach


Let's start Music Monday with some interesting bits about Antonio Vivaldi from Wikipedia:

"Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi (who had been ordained as a Catholic priest) was employed [for 29 years]."

Doesn't that sound like a story in and of itself? Orphans, female ensembles, and a redheaded priest composer.

"The inspiration for the [Four Seasons] concertos was probably the countryside around Mantua. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), barking dogs, buzzing mosquitoes, crying shepherds, storms, drunken dancers, silent nights, hunting parties from both the hunters' and the prey's point of view, frozen landscapes, ice-skating children, and warming winter fires."

A folk version of Spring performed by Barocco Boreale:



All four of the Seasons with violinist Janine Jansen:



Four Seasons album covers

The sonnet that goes with Summer

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Science!

I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them.
~Walt Whitman


If you know how much I love nature and how much I love NASA, it won't surprise you at all that I celebrated Earth Day by attending a March for Science.

Loved seeing all the cool people with their cool signs (showing up, even in the rain!):








Hearing Bill Nye, Judith Hill, and Maya Lin was a treat. Also, Mr. Dolby!



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Waiting rooms at bus stations

Poets are like steam valves, where the ordinary feelings of ordinary people can escape and be shown.
~Sharon Olds



Welcome!

I planned to write form poems this week, and in fact I did write two, but I am not content with either. Our kitty Pearl died suddenly last Friday. She was a young cat, with no signs of illness, and she started throwing up blood-tinged bubbles while I was in the shower Friday morning. She had an undiagnosed heart condition which the vet said only shows itself when cats go into heart failure. The poems that I wrote were about pets, but they need work. My concentration is not what it could be this week...

So I'll share a video with you instead. It was read by my younger daughter's friend, and my son added the images:
The visible and the in-
Want to join the Summer Poetry Swap? If you take part in the swap, you will send 1-5 poems to your fellow swappers (and receive an equal number). If you sign up for five, you will be sending a poem to a person every two weeks over ten weeks (June-August). Poems can be sent in envelopes or on postcards. Email me at tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com to join or for more information.


painting/logo courtesy of Elena Y

Here's Mister Linky!



Birds of America

I cannot write at all, but if I could how could I make a little book, when I have seen enough to make a dozen large books?
~John James Audubon


Images from John James Audubon's Birds of America today. Audubon saw such a rich assortment of birds, and he obviously took a close and thoughtful look.

White Gyrfalcons
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Purple Heron
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Brasilian Caracara Eagle
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Blue Crane or Heron
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Common Cormorant
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Canada Goose
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Barn Owl
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Baltimore Oriole
by John James Audubon (1785-1851)