Thursday, April 18, 2019

Where is Peace?

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions.
~Henri Nouwen

Today's printable was inspired by my month of peace poems in February. When you are writing one a day, you wind up thinking about peace from many angles.

Where is peace? What does peace feel like? Is it where we feel safe, is it helping others? Can we find it in nature? Can we make it ourselves? With this printable, I imagine that a class could take a few minutes to make the mini-book and then write their own peace poem. I'm hoping that the printable will free them to find peace in many places.

Where is peace? poetry printable

First, cut off the white spaces around the edges. Then, follow along with this video:

(You can also visit this video by Sylvia Vardell)

Previous printables:
* Grammar Fibs printable
* The Poetry Times template
* Student Poet interview form
* Favorite Poem interview form
* Potential Favorites List worksheet
* Poetry in the Halls


Where is peace? is my last printable for April. Next week, I'll be sharing information about a couple of things (including the Summer Poetry Swap!).

The Poem Farm has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Amy!


Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.
~Nigerian Proverb

This Art Thursday, we're all a-quiver with arrow-holders.

Ottoman round shield, bow, and quiver (16th century)
photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Bågkoger från Turkiet 1620-tal

Bamboo quiver for blowpipe darts
Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures

Reconstruction of Sarmatian chieftain, detail. Araltobe mount, Kazakhstan, III-II cc. BC
photo by Аимаина хикари

Quiver of the Hausa people, West Africa

Quivers and hunting horns
by Wenceslas Hollar

A quiver made of a fox

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Low Histamine Tea

“Well, what did you have for lunch?” I snapped. “Surely that’s not top secret superhero information.”

“Steak with mashed potatoes and a side salad,” Striker replied. “And a piece of chocolate cheesecake for dessert.”

I gave up on conversation after that. I was too jealous of the cheesecake to continue.
~Jennifer Estep

photo by Deborah

People with mast cell disease eat low histamine diets, which can also be helpful for people with chronic allergies or hives. It can be pretty easy to feel deprived when there are a bunch of foods you have to avoid, including strawberries and chocolate. I have been doing my best to make eating on a low histamine diet more of a joy than a chore.

There's no one set of low histamine foods (for instance, my daughter has to avoid all vinegars, but I have read some low histamine recipes that include apple cider vinegar). The following set of tea items would work for my daughter, but tweak them whatever way works best for you.

The first consideration is what teas to offer. Consider mint, tulsi, rose, and chamomile.

For your scone course, some possibilities are maple oat scones with caramel and vanilla scones with blueberry jam.

For the sandwich/savory course:
* Squares of toast topped with arugula, scrambled egg and chive, and chicken
* Celery filled with white beans cooked with olive oil and rosemary
* Crackers topped with chunks of oregano- and garlic-roasted lamb (I tried to find a recipe, but most of them call for lemon, black pepper, olives, tomatoes...all no-no's. This one is okay except for black pepper.)
* Broccoli quiche (same problem with this, in that they all use cheese. I use this recipe, minus the cheese, milk, and black pepper. I add extra eggs.)

For the dessert course:
* Chamomile shortbread
* Ginger turmeric cookies (minus the cinnamon, and subbing coconut milk for almond milk)
* Zucchini blueberry bread (minus the cinnamon, and using half the sugar)
* Blackberry tarts (Basically, blackberries, sugar, pie crust, not sure a recipe is really needed)
* Red and green grapes on small skewers

photo by Bianca Moraes

Monday, April 15, 2019

Modern Love

Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby: awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.
~Lemony Snicket

For Music Monday, Picture This:

Friday, April 12, 2019

Grammar Fibs printable

The Fibonacci Sequence turns out to be the key to understanding how nature designs... and is... a part of the same ubiquitous music of the spheres that builds harmony into atoms, molecules, crystals, shells, suns and galaxies and makes the Universe sing.
~Guy Murchie

photo by Jitze Couperus

Happy Poetry Friday! For this week's free printable, I have Grammar Fibs! Do you remember Greg Pincus's fibs?

In 2006, Greg popularized Fibonacci poems a.k.a. "Fibs": six-line poems which use the Fibonacci sequence to dictate the number of syllables in each line (1-1-2-3-5-8).

The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical pattern in which the first two numbers are zero and one. To figure out the next number in the sequence, you always add the two previous numbers. So it goes like this:

0+1= 1
1+1= 2
1+2= 3
2+3= 5
3+5= 8
5+8= 13
13+8= 21
and it just keeps going.

You don't have to stop at 6 lines -- you can have a 7th line with 13 syllables, an 8th line with 21 syllables, etc., or you can make your Fib longer by going back down (i.e. 1-1-2-3-5-8-5-3-2-1-1).

Here's this week's printable, which includes grammar-themed fibs and space to write your own:

Grammar Fibs printable

Previous printables:
* The Poetry Times template
* Student Poet interview form
* Favorite Poem interview form
* Potential Favorites List worksheet
* Poetry in the Halls


Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!

Thursday, April 11, 2019


[Muses'] gifts of song, dance, and joy helped the gods and mankind to forget their troubles and inspired musicians and writers to reach ever greater artistic and intellectual heights.
~Ancient History Encyclopedia

For Art Thursday, we have the heavenly muse Urania, goddess of astronomy. It's interesting, since the muses are the goddesses of the arts, that astronomy was considered one of the arts (and history was as well). Urania is generally shown looking up, sometimes shown with a halo of stars. I knew Apollo (the "Muse-leader") was the Sun God but I hadn't realized that he was also the god of Eloquence. You can see in the below painting what an effect he is having, not only on Urania but on the swans.

Apollo, God of Light, Eloquence, Poetry and the Fine Arts with Urania, Muse of Astronomy
by Charles Meynier

Urania, 1592
by Hendrik Goltzius

Urania from Apollo and the Muses on the Parnassus, circa 1750
by Johann Joachim Kaendler

Urania and Polyhymnia
photo by ManfredK (cropped)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Anna Kamieńska

I wasn't sure what to do for Wellness Wednesday this week because I'm recovering from a virus and I'm a bit tired. Then I discovered that I had already drafted this post. Thanks, past-Tabatha!

Writer, poet, translator, and literary critic Anna Kamieńska was born in 1920 in Krasnystaw, Poland. During the Nazi occupation during World War II, she taught in underground village schools. I tried to figure out what years she wrote the notebooks "A Nest of Quiet" and "In That Great River," but I didn't see them listed anywhere. She died in 1986 and her husband died at the end of 1967, so between those two dates.

Darning by Mandy Prowse

Anna Kamieńska
A Nest of Quiet : A Notebook

I’ve learned to value failed conversations, missed connections, confusions. What remains is what’s unsaid, what’s underneath. Understanding on another level of being.

I walk around disguised as an overweight old lady.

When I was little, I was always shocked when people said I was an orphan. Now I’m surprised when they call me a widow. He didn’t die, he grew so high alongside me that I can’t reach him.

I remembered the searchlights that the bombers used to illuminate the earth and people’s hearts—as targets. It wasn’t light. It was bright darkness. Bright darkness—in me. Bright darkness of death. Bright darkness of loneliness.

Misfortune, personal disaster stops our inner time short. Objective time moves on—but we spin in place like straws in water.

Splendid occupations: making jam, sewing, darning. Darning holes in nothingness, scrubbing up the abyss, stitching painful opposites together.
Women do this humming.

In That Great River: A Notebook

Akhmatova. A thick volume of her collected poems, as if they were written by one person. But after all there were so many—from youth to old age.

Music teaches us the passing of time. It teaches the value of a moment by giving that moment value. And it passes. It’s not afraid to go.

The sense of loneliness is an error. We are and move in a great crowd of those who are now, were, and will be.
In that great river.

Collecting pebbles for a new mosaic of a world that I could love.

So a little spring prays to the ocean, so the beating heart prays to the heart of the universe, so the little word prays to the great Logos, so a dust speck prays to the earth, so the earth prays to the cosmos, so the one prays to the billion, so human love prays to God’s love, so always prays to never, so the moment prays to eternity, so the snowflake prays to winter, so the frightened beast prays to the forest silence, so uncertainty prays to beauty itself.
And all these prayers are heard.


American Scholar encouraged people to write poems using Anna's lines as springboards -- I love Patricia Wallace's in particular.