Thursday, February 23, 2017


If this poem had wires
coming out of it,
you would not read it.
~Kevin Powers

This week I've been reading Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting by Iraq veteran Kevin Powers.

Here's an excerpt of "Separation":

by Kevin Powers

I want the boys at the end of the bar
to know, these Young Republicans
in pink popped collar shirts, to know
that laughter drives me mad
and if one must be old
before one dies, then we were
old. Nineteen or twenty-three
and we were old and now...

read the rest here.

A previous post on soldier-poets.


Karen Edmisten is hosting the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Karen!

Addendum: I was reminded of a wee post from January, where I talked about not knowing what was going on with someone just from looking at them. If we could operate from a place of compassion, prioritizing one another's health (including mental), that could change the world.

A Quiet Moment

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.
~Robert Lynd

Felt like doing some bird watching this week :-)

On the Feeder
photo by Alan Levine

Two Rainbow Lorikeets, Australia
photo by Robyn Jay

by Łukasz Hejnak

Melanerpes formicivorus, Acorn Woodpecker
photo by Tim Lenz

At the Bird Feeder
photo by Macomb Paynes

photo by James Albright

photo by likeaduck

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to...

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Thinking about what we do with our time today with a poem by Matt Haig:

I might add...

How to feel connected to time: visits with elders or children

I tried to settle on something for "how to savor time," but there were too many options ("a cup of tea" and "gratitude" being some of my favorites). Do you have any to add?

Monday, February 20, 2017


[Passion Week] was composed in St Petersburg during the turbulent years of the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War, in an environment where repression against the Church was already being felt, and arrests of nobility, clergy, artists, intellectuals, as well as ordinary believers, were commonplace: Steinberg’s own brother-in-law, Vladimir Rimsky-Korsakov, a professional violist, was arrested. Shortly after the work was completed, the performance of all sacred music was banned by the Bolshevik cultural commissars. On December 12, 1923, Steinberg made the following entry in his diary: ‘Today I learned from Klimov that all sacred music has been banned, with exception of two classic works. That means there is no hope of hearing Passion Week…'

You can vote now in the BBC Classical Music Awards (voting is open until the 24th). I enjoyed listening to the nominees, all top-notch. I was struck by Maximilian Steinberg's Passion Week, performed by The Clarion Choir with conductor Steven Fox.

From the BBC site about Passion Week: Written for the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 1920s by Shostakovich’s composition teacher Maximilian Steinberg, this profoundly beautiful choral piece lay forgotten for over 90 years.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sweet dreams of warmth and light

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.
~Andrew Wyeth

Two seasonal (for my part of the world) poems today, plus a bonus.

Mockingbird by Carolyn

excerpt from Lament of a Mocking-Bird
by Frances Anne Kemble

What didst thou sing of, O thou wingëd voice?
Dark, bronze-leaved oaks, with silver mosses crowned,
Where thy free kindred live, love, and rejoice,
With wreaths of golden jasmine curtained round.

These didst thou sing of, spirit of delight!
From thy own radiant sky, thou quivering spark!
These thy sweet southern dreams of warmth and light,
Through the grim northern winter drear and dark.


The Wind, the Sun And the Moon
by Anne Stevenson

For weeks the wind has been talking to us,
Swearing, imploring, singing like a person.
Not a person, more the noise a being might make
Searching for a body and a name. The sun
In its polished aurora rises late, then dazzles
Our eyes and days, pacing a bronze horizon
To a mauve bed in the sea. Light kindles the hills,
Though in the long shadow of Moelfre
Winter won't unshackle the dead house by the marsh.

Putting these words on paper after sunset
Alters the length and asperity of night.
By the fire, when the wind pauses, little is said.
Every phrase we unfold stands upright. Outside,
The visible cold, the therapy of moonlight.


Here's a bonus (non-seasonal) poem by Anne Stevenson:

On Going Deaf

I've lost a sense. Why should I care?
Searching myself, I find a spare.
I keep that sixth sense in repair,
And set it deftly, like a snare.


Check It Out has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jone!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Seaweed Art

A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean.
~Henry Grunwald

Sharing works by AlgaNet, a French-Spanish seaweed artist, today, plus a painting of a seaweed harvester:

Pressed seaweed art in red

Pressed kelp seaweed art

Blue sea fan art

Natural seaweed collage

Ocean flowers

A Moliceira (The Seaweed Harvester)
by António Carvalho de Silva Porto (1850 - 1893)

Monday, February 13, 2017

In the Car

He who sings frightens away his ills.
~Miguel de Cervantes

I've posted songs I've sung in the car before (here and here, for instance). I've got some more for Music Monday:

Barry Tuckwell playing Richard Strauss:

Brett Young: