Friday, July 31, 2015

The World's Long Wind

Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!
~Charlotte Brontë

When I'm feeling tired of how unkind, judgmental, and righteous people are on the Internet, poetry can be a nice antidote.

Here are old posts with peace poems, peace prayer, peace art, acts of kindness, more acts of kindness, and Buddha.

by Su Tung-po (1036—1101)

The rigging whines in the sky
    as we pitch and heel.
The boatman’s sound asleep
    though the waves bloom white.

Those mooring-lines
    must understand how I feel :
Weak in the world’s long wind,
    yet holding tight.


Keri has the Poetry Friday round-up today.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves.
~Laura Esquivel

What is phillumeny? A word derived from derived from phil- [Greek for "loving"] + lumen- [Latin for "light"], phillumeny refers to collecting match-related items, such as matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks and so on.

In 1987, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Teiichi Yoshizawa as the top phillumenist with 577,000 matchbox labels. You can see exhibits of Japanese matches and those from overseas at the Japanese Virtual Museum "Match World." Guity Novin has excellent information (and images) about the history of matchboxes.

We have a variety of matchboxes today...non-poisonous, impregnated, car-related, and decorated:

Matchbox and match labels
photo by Takkk

photo by Stephen Coles

Matchbox with a picture celebrating the wedding of Princess Ingrid and Crown Prince Frederik, 1935

The Victoria
photo by Alf van Beem

photo by Marcus Böckmann

Matchbox label
photo by Marcus Böckmann

photo by matchbox minimalist

by dmmalva

La Traviata II
by Roberta Cortese

eBay's Guide to Collecting Matchboxes

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Things

You don't have to understand Korean to feel happy listening to this song by J Rabbit:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Swap Poems

If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--
~Frances Hodgson Burnett

What makes the Poem Swaps really special to me is how much I like the people I'm swapping with *happy sigh*

But before I share poems that I have received from my swapping buddies this summer, I'd like to point you to a couple of recent poetry-related articles (and I'm including a video at the bottom):

* Reading poetry written by jihadists could shed new light on extremism
* How a poem helped save a suicidal teen’s life



Small Summer Sonnet
for Tabatha Yeatts

Cicada buzzing,
rhythm of summer.
Heat of wings rising,
vibrating drummer.
Soft silence lazing
as sunsets linger.
Slow misty hazing.
Firefly lights glimmer.
A bird’s sound phrasing
songs we remember.
Harsh storms surprising
wary child swimmer.
dragonfly wonder.

by Margaret Simon



We watched dragonflies
twirl and dance
among the reeds at the pond,
their bodies light and airy.
No shutter could snap fast enough
to capture their beauty
so we just stood there— watching,
So it is with these passing days
our own bodies heavy with grief or pain,
we can stand for a moment,
watch fleeting dragonflies,
and know hope is in their wings.

--Margaret Simon, August 2014



Here's the bonus video I mentioned:

Scratch-Off Poems with Mary Ruefle and Agustina Woodgate from Tobias Rodriguez-Wynwood on Vimeo.

"Scratch-Off Poems" is a project from O, Miami 2014 co-created by artist Agustina Woodgate and poet Mary Ruefle. Woodgate made two scratch-off lottery ticket designs that incorporated an original poem commissioned from Mary Ruefle. During April 2014, 2500 of the tickets were distributed around Miami-Dade County via local businesses and events.

How it worked: Using a penny or a fingernail, participants scratched off the missing pieces in the words of the poem. If those words matched the words at the top of the ticket, s/he won an O, Miami t-shirt with a poem sewn inside. 1 out of 100 tickets was a winner.

Margaret is the Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Elly MacKay

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
~William James

Canadian artist Elly MacKay says, "I have been making little paper worlds since I was a child. I use ink to make small drawings that I cut out and set up in a miniature theatre. Then I light the scene and photograph it." Thank you for giving me permission to share these, Elly!

Cloud Watchers
by Elly MacKay

What Awaits at the Station...
by Elly MacKay

Mountains in the Sea
by Elly MacKay

Fall Arrives
by Elly MacKay

Peter's Lookout
by Elly MacKay

The Cartographer
by Elly MacKay

He Knew They Would Agree...
by Elly MacKay

The Heron's Hermitage
by Elly MacKay

Monday, July 20, 2015

I need to learn the words to this (in German)

Whoever has been lucky enough
to become a friend to a friend,
Whoever has found a beloved wife,
let him join our songs of praise!
Yes, and anyone who can call one soul
his own on this earth!

The day that I stop posting the anthem for the European Union will be a sad day indeed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Written in the stars

I refuse to accept Pluto's resignation as a planet.
~Amy Lee

I am as much of an astronomy geek as it is possible to be without actually knowing anything about astronomy. You can tell that I like NASA from all my NASA posts. I was ridiculously excited last month when my family and I went to a Hubble lecture at the National Air & Space Museum. In honor of New Horizons' journey to Pluto, we have space poems this week:

Now that no one looking
by Adam Kirsch

Now that no one looking at the night—
Sky blanked by leakage from electric lamps
And headlights prowling through the parking lot
Could recognize the Babylonian dance
That once held every gazer; now that spoons
And scales, and swordsmen battling with beasts

read the rest here


The Falling Star
Sara Teasdale

I saw a star slide down the sky,
Blinding the north as it went by,
Too burning and too quick to hold,
Too lovely to be bought or sold,
Good only to make wishes on
And then forever to be gone.


A passel of space poems by Elaine Magliaro

Kimberly Moran is the Poetry Friday host this week.