Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sound and light

Real haiku is the soul of poetry. Anything that is not actually present in one's heart is not haiku.
~Santōka Taneda

Sentry by Chris Burke

Haiku by Polish poet/artist Maria Tomczak today. I'm grateful to Maria for giving me permission to share these with you.


storm in the mountains –
a clap
from every side


cricket chirping
the silence between us
finally broken


moonless sky
a crow separates
from the night


the lingering silence
after diagnosis


chemo center door
she strokes the sunlight
in her wig


winter field
the crows devour
the last light


hand-knitted scarf
the length
of her sleepless night


wind treading
the summer grass


These haiku originally appeared in The Mainichi, Frogpond, and Akitsu Quarterly. They also placed in the Little Haiku Contest, European Quarterly Kukai, and Shiki Monthly Kukai.


The mistakes anthology for middle schoolers is collecting poetry submissions through November 1st.

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


Got up this morning and could not find my glasses. Finally had to seek assistance. Kate [Winslet] found them inside a flower arrangement.
~Emma Thompson

Although I wear glasses and so does most of my family, it's taken me a while to getting around to this Art Thursday theme...

The Glasses Apostle
by Conrad von Soest (1403)

by Dara or

Daniel Chodowiecki auf der Jannowitzbrücke
By Adolph von Menzel

good use of eyeglasses
photo by frankieleon

A sad eye
photo by Quinn Dombrowski

by Sharon Brogan

Spec mosaic in Brighton
photo by Chris Read

Inuit snow goggles
Snow blindness is caused by sunlight reflecting off white snow and ice. This painful condition causes temporary loss of vision. The Inuit people in North America wore goggles to shield their eyes from such glare. These goggles are made from pine and rawhide. Slits in the rawhide eye pieces let the wearer see. They are kept in a wooden case decorated with hunting scenes.

Here's what Inuit snow goggles look like being worn.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stars in our eyes

When you're an astronomer, you always have stars in your eyes.
~Anthony T. Hincks

I settled on featuring NASA images for today's Wellness Wednesday because they make me pause and sigh with appreciation. Why do Saturn's rings get me every time? I don't know, but here they are:

The Cassini spacecraft's last looks at Saturn

Hubble's Megamaser Galaxy
Image Credit: NASA

Northern Lights over Canada from the International Space Station
Image Credit: NASA

Glory of the Heavens
Partial solar eclipse, Ross Lake, composite image, Aug. 21, 2017
Image Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Only Dancing

And if your boyfriend suddenly appears,
if your father comes home and finds us here,
You would know we wouldn't need an alibi--
It's only dancing.
~Jeremy Messersmith

Hat tip to Bonnie Boo (again) for this song by Jeremy Messersmith, who also wrote 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs For Ukulele:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

No Time for Poetry

Learning never exhausts the mind.
~Leonardo da Vinci


Today we have a poem I wrote for math-and-poetry lover Tricia during the Summer Poem Swap.

No Time for Poetry
by Tabatha Yeatts

Renaissance man Leonardo daVinci sought no poetry,
overlooked literature, neglected history. "Let no one read me
who is not a mathematician," he said, drawing his
precious geometry closer, chalky slates by his elbow,
wooden mazzocchio perched on his papers,
water-filled polygon hanging in the light.

With compass and pencil, the analytical artist
produced perspective, secured locomotion,
interpreted the universe. Behold, the human form
corresponds to a golden proportion,
abstract perfections, nature's perfect harmony:
the perfect lines in the perfect order!

He escaped the confines of his studio
and conveyed that dimension beyond earth,
fire, water, and air: the fifth essence -- celestial virtue.
Leonardo could taste infinity, see it in his
mind's eye, knots of shapes to tangle and
untangle at will. There was no rest for a seeker
of the Divine in all, no time for poetry.


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


Almost all words do have color, and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her, too.
~Gladys Taber

I've featured various colors before, and today it's pink's turn.

By Jakub Schikaneder

Fashionista sculpture
photo by Romain Bochet

Back to the 50s: Pink Panther
photo by Brian

Bleeding Hearts
photo by Helen ST

The rosebud gorilla
photo by Simon Webster

La Viennoise Irma Brunner
By Édouard Manet

Blackberry necklace
photo by Polosatova

Pink underwater-landscape
by Tobi Firestone

Looks like fun:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again.
~Marshall Vandruff

from a Emu's Debut's post Cycles, balance, and making plans

I saw an article titled Creative Activities Like Baking and Knitting Boost Mental Well-Being and it made me think of a conversation I had with my husband the other day. I was explaining to him that my habit of working on a particular writing project had abruptly stopped a few weeks ago -- I felt as though I didn't have the emotional energy to work on it. I love the feeling of having written something, but I had balked at even picking up my writing binder. Other sorts of creative endeavors, like cooking and making herbal extracts and syrups, were the type of creativity that I was comfortable with during those moments.

It's tricky -- figuring out when to honor wanting to step back, and when to give yourself a push. What are your creative cycles like?

I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise.
~Malcolm Gladwell

Very often we write down a sentence too early, then another too late; what we have to do is write it down at the proper time, otherwise it's lost.
~Thomas Bernhard

I don't believe in writers' block. Do doctors have 'doctors block?' Do plumbers have 'plumbers' block?" No. We all have days when we don't feel like working, but why do writers turn that into something so damn special by giving it a faintly romantic name.
~Larry Kahaner

Bonus article:
How Walking Fosters Creativity: Stanford Researchers Confirm What Philosophers and Writers Have Always Known

And a quote:
Solitary walks are great for getting new ideas. It's like you're in a video game and you pick up idea coins on the way.
~Joyce Rachelle