Monday, March 30, 2020

Beautiful Chorus

I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness that characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
~Saul Bellow

For Music Monday, something calming from Beautiful Chorus:

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The long view

We have been fooled into taking the short view. The trees know this.
~L.L. Barkat

L.L. Barkat wrote a lovely post called Pine Needle Tea and Small Kindnesses where she said:
“If Darwin had studied trees, we might have a whole different view of things now,” my daughter recently said to me. After supper, she’s been reading us The Hidden Life of Trees.

Trees, who can live for thousands of years, take the long view, and for this reason they are very, very kind to all their members. Relying on an underground network of communication via roots and fungi, they will sometimes do things like send sugar and water to threatened trees on the other side of the forest, temporarily giving up what they could take for themselves alone.

What the trees understand is that the health of the whole forest depends on the health of even its weakest members, for if they let the weak trees suffer and die, then too many gaps open up in the overstory, and then the wind can come in and wreak havoc, knocking even the strongest trees down. Trees, oddly, to our eye, will even take care of mother trees that died long ago, sending sugar and water to still-living roots whose trunk and branches turned to humus hundreds of years prior.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Poets, Unite! (Separately!)

It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.
~Winston Churchill

Welcome to the Poetry Friday round-up!

It's been quite a week, hasn't it? I certainly can't pretend it hasn't. We've seen highs and lows of people's behavior. Rich people who try to keep ventilators for themselves on one hand, and on the other, medical personnel who are working 12-hour (or more) days without the proper equipment. "Pro-life" politicians who are stone-hearted about saving lives vs. grocery store staff who come to serve an unpleasant public at risk to themselves. I hope we are able to show our gratitude to the people who are doing their best for us.

We can't accept bad behavior, but we do need to accept our current stay-at-home, social distancing circumstances. I've been thinking about acceptance because it came up when I did another exercise in The Crafty Poet. This exercise was to take a poem someone else wrote and write its opposite. I took a poem about hope and had to decide what its opposite would be. My first impulse was "despair," but I didn't want to write about that. When I thought about it, "acceptance" came to mind. Hope and acceptance are two sides of a useful coin.

by Tabatha Yeatts

it crackles like a fireplace
  inviting slumber in its hum,
it is the lightning-struck tree
  reborn as home to all who come.

it bursts from pine cones
  like a fist releasing its hold,
it treasures early daffodils
  tho they may end as frozen gold.

it is strands of light
  seeping through a drizzly haze,
it is the sturdy bench
  in the heart of the winding maze.


Welcoming your poetry, readership, resources, comfort, and concerns. Add your link here!

Sign-ups are coming!

logo by Elena

It's the same as usual (you can do 1-5 swaps) so if you already know what you want to do, you can email me (tabatha@tabathayeatts(dot)com).

P.S. I'm still gathering Things I Wish You Knew poems and Michelle is still collecting game poems at Today's Little Ditty. Both end March 31st!

Damien Kempf

From medieval tapestries, we know that slingers were capable of hitting birds in flight. They were incredibly accurate.
~Malcolm Gladwell

I read the above quote in the middle of the night (insomnia!) and I first thought he was talking about "singers." I sat there for a minute trying to figure out how that would work, and then I realized it was "slingers." ha!

For Art Thursday, medieval art as interpreted by Damien Kempf:

Ready for work

Enjoying my social media break

We all need a little cuteness in our lives
img from Bosch, Saints Triptych

I am writing

Love [BnF, Fr. 166, 15th c.]

Monday morning

Monday morning is from Noah’s Ark, [John Rylands, MS. Lat. 8, 12th c.]

A bonus:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.
~Catherine Drinker Bowen

photo by Ernie & Katy Newton Lawley

I am a bit scattered and am making things catch-as-catch can. I have a friend who is writing for three hours a day. My hat is off to her! Nancy Strauss from Creative Writing Now says:
Scientists have discovered that it's easier to form new habits when your normal routine is disrupted. For example, if someone wants to stop smoking, the ideal time might be during a move to a new city, or when switching jobs. When everything's up in the air, it gives you a chance to reinvent things from scratch.

So, if your normal life feels like it's been disrupted right now, it's an opportunity to reinvent yourself as a writer, to get more serious about writing, more creative, more productive.

...If you can...

- take some time away from the news and reread one of your favorite books, a book that you love and admire so much that it makes you want to write something as wonderful yourself.

- spend one or two minutes doing something related to your writing. Jot down a few ideas, write the first line of a poem or the name of a character you can write about. Even if you only spend a minute or two, it's a step forward.


In case you just feel like reading, here's a "pro-reading" quote:

The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
~Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Soothing content from Open Culture

Smile, breathe, and go slowly.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

photo by Jeremy Keith

Open Culture thoughtfully said:
What about caregivers who suddenly find themselves providing 24-7 care for elders with dementia, or neuro-atypical adult children whose upended routine is wreaking havoc on their emotions? ... What can we do to help lighten those loads when we’re barred from physical interaction, or entering each other’s homes?

We combed through our archive, with an eye toward the most soothing, uplifting content, appropriate for all ages:

Soothing, Uplifting Resources for Parents & Caregivers Stressed by the COVID-19 Crisis

Monday, March 23, 2020

Bird Youngsters

All the people that we lost
Light the way when we're in the dark
~Little Dragon

For Music Monday, something upbeat from Little Dragon and a smooth groove from Se So Neon:*

* One translation of Se So Neon is "Bird Youngsters."