Thursday, November 14, 2019

To Cast Light

A president cannot defend a nation if he is not held accountable to its laws.
~DaShanne Stokes

I tried to find a selection of poems relating to the events of this week, but it's a bit early for impeachment poetry. Instead I found poems relating to Trump and the Statue of Liberty.

photo by Darshan Simha

Statue of Commodities
by Craig Santos Perez

Give me you roil, your labor,
Your fresh produce selling at wholesale fees,
The shiny products of your factory floor.
Send these, the cheap goods, gift-wrapped to me,
I raise my debt inside the global store!


Liberty Enlightening the President

by Steph Burt

I give. I’m tired of your poor
Attempts at reason, your muddled hassles, your breath, your information-free
Refusals to learn, your tempests when tweeting. I’m sure
We can send you back home in less time than it took me
To raise my right hand. Take your gold. You can use the front door.


Twelve Reasons A Woman Might Hold Up One Arm
by Jane Hirshfield

There are innumerable reasons a woman might hold up an arm.
One: to signal, here.
Two: to signal, stop.
Three: to beckon a boat or a taxi.
Four: because her other arm is occupied, holding an idea or an infant.
Five: to reach for some sweetening fruit from a tree.
Six: to cast light.
Seven: to shade her own eyes from what the light shows her.
Eight: because she is fixed in a previous era.
Nine: because she is waiting for a new era.
Ten: because she refuses to lower it.
Eleven: because the locked ladder inside it is learning one of the 40 languages that vanish each decade from earth in a silencings low-motion earthquake.
Twelve: to wave farewell to the words that are leaving, to wish them safe travels,
a home in some other woman’s new country, in some other woman’s new future


Head Wound
by Patricia Smith

The lamp is still lifted. But the woman’s muscled
arm quivers, her neck bulges with strain, copper
teeth grind, raining green upon the man below
her. He blocks the golden door with the slop of his body.
She pulls in a real American breath and brings the lamp down.


Some poems on McSweeney's made from Trump quotes.

Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

Charles Conder

Many anecdotes testify to Conder's gregariousness and his preoccupation with social life as well as his charming and attractive personality.
~Ursula Hoff

Works by Charles Conder (1868-1909) for Art Thursday. Conder was born in England, but was sent by his parents at age 16 to Australia to work for his uncle, a land surveyor. Despite his parents' intentions, Conder ended up becoming an artist, as you can see:

Departure of the Orient
by Charles Conder

A Grey Day
by Charles Conder

Night in the Garden in Spain
by Charles Conder
by Charles Conder

All on a summer's day
by Charles Conder

Going home (The Gray and Gold)
by Charles Conder

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Health Journals

Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.
~Pat Conroy

I get a lot of Wellness Wednesday ideas from my daughter Ariana. This time, thinking about how useful her health journal has been for her. Keeping track of what is going on from day-to-day makes finding patterns easier. It also makes it easier to figure out whether a medicine is working. There are lots of people who might benefit from keeping track of their medicines, or their sleep schedule, or their exercise, or their symptoms.

Ariana says, "It took me a little while to realize that the most important things to write down for me are food, symptoms, med changes, and activities...Maybe for someone else with a different condition, food wouldn't matter that much but it would be important to take & write down blood pressure every day...You want to find a system where it takes you less than 5 mins to fill out so you will actually keep up with it."

* Bullet Journal for Mental Health from Well Ella
* Wellness Journal from Space and Quiet
* How to Start a Daily Health Journal from Healthy Habits Reset
* Bullet Journal Set-up from Diary of a Journal Planner
* Health Trackers for your Bullet Journal from Just Bright Ideas

Regular notebooks work great. These are also cool.

This journal spread by Brie Lentry helps track actions for building healthy self-esteem habits:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Five Things

A lake... is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
~Henry David Thoreau

I turned a poem into a mentor poem again this week! My starter poem was written by Flora de Falbe, a young poet in the U.K. I've been thinking about putting all the mentor poems I've used together in a post, if I can find them!

Five things about the lake:

by Flora de Falbe

1. The lake is no slave to fashion, but she is proud of her frothy skirt of trees. Her dark, svelte figure.
2. She doesn’t want to talk. The air rushes over her, whistling how have you been? – and she responds with a glassy stare...

read the rest here


Five things about the rainbow:
by Tabatha Yeatts

1. The rainbow is unconcerned about being person-seen. She will dart out when everyone is still inside, wondering where they left their umbrellas.
2. She hopes that the hill doesn't notice how often she alights near him. Or if he does, that he starts wishing for rain.
3. Though the rainbow's trying not to be obvious with her attentions, she can't help but appreciate how very soft his mossy sections are. The grass IS actually greener on his side.
4. She accidentally blushes a double rainbow when his flowers brush up against her. The people who spot her capture photo evidence of her embarrassment.
5. Maybe other locations would like a warm and dazzling rainbow now and then, but she moves around less and less. She feels lit up here, even when it doesn't rain.

photo by Lux Raimbow Rafael


Last chance to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap!

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


The Ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises...
A miniature orange kite.
A tiny dot-to-dot delight.
~J. Patrick Lewis

For Art Thursday, ladybugs (or ladybirds, depending on where you live).

photo by Mathias Krumbholz

Ladybug in Ukraine
photo by Чорний Олександр

Ladybug, Serra do Itajai National Park
photo by KaiaPavesi

An Asian ladybug on a Jeffrey pine in the Botanical Garden of Schönbrunn
photo by spacebirdy

Ladybird climbs a nettle, Alford
photo by Dave Hitchborne

An Asian Lady Beetle at Vosseslag, De Haan, Belgium
photo by Hans Hillewaert

* How to Build a Ladybug House
* Ladybug Mosaic Garden Decoration
* Cute DIY Ladybug/Bumblebee Tic-Tac-Toe

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Remedies for Winter Air

Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow,
That brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

Cold weather can really throw my son's health for a loop. Recently when the air turned chilly, he started feeling it in his lungs. Dry winter air can be challenging on lots of health-related fronts. Today for Wellness Wednesday, we're thinking about what we can do to keep from being too affected by it.

My hope was that I could name things that wouldn't be too expensive, but the first thing I feel like I should say is...consider getting a humidifier. You can also heat up water and breathe in the steam.

A cheap thing that Dash does is drink caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is a bronchodilator, so it helps loosen up his lungs when they are feeling tight.

More suggestions I've run across:
* Wear a scarf.
* Keep your mouth shut when you're outside (and breathe through your nose).
* Get a flu shot.
* My least favorite suggestion: take shorter, cooler showers. Hot ones can dry out your skin (although they are nice for your lungs).
* Use gentle cleansers and follow them up with lotions or creams.
* Have indoor plants.

More tips (and an adorable bird):

7 DIY Skincare Recipes for Fall/Winter