Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pulling Through

“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

I am pretty hyped and terrified about the election. I hope we will emerge like the saxifrage.

by Lachlan Mackinnon

Saxifrage, said William Carlos Williams, was his flower
because it split stone. Yesterday, in a pot, a clump of it,
weedy red petals, stems robust as peasant legs.

It would survive a summer’s rage for decking,
frost memory, meltwater gush, black August.
It wouldn’t last a weekend in the jungle,

read the rest here


Last chance to sign up for the Holiday Poem Swap!

TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

All Hallows' Eve

During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded.

I found out that our county has advised against trick-or-treating after I already bought a lot of candy (I was picturing "Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance"). So instead we made bags of treats and left them outside in a basket for people who deliver stuff to our house. Well, for them and one curious squirrel. For Art Thursday, we have some cute and mysterious pics:

You Auto Have a Happy Hallowe'en, 1908
Missouri History Museum

Illustration from The Book of Halloween, titled "No Hallowe'en without a Jack-o'-Lantern," 1919
Unknown author

Poster for the WPA Statewide Library Project
Attributed to Albert M. Bender

Barack Obama and Ella Rhodes
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Jackie Onassis Dog costume, Halloween Dog Parade, NYC
photo by istolethetv

Jack-o'-lantern nebula

Monday, October 26, 2020

Short, sweet

Although known as a composer, Bodin de Boismortier was also famed during his lifetime for his excessively inattentive and wandering mind that often kept him from conducting his own works.
~Fabricio Cárdenas

Today's video is Fabiano Martignago and Luca Ventimiglia, while recording Boismortier: Sonatas for 2 Flutes for Brilliant Classics.
"Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755) was a highly successful French composer of instrumental and vocal music, the first independent composer without patron, publisher of his own works (which made him extremely wealthy)...

The two flutists Luca Ventimiglia and Fabiano Martignago use a variety of instruments that allows them to savor the different nuances that Boismortier was able to infuse within his music, and gives the listener the opportunity to learn about different timbres that two flutes can create if played together."

Here they are, playing recorders:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

October 2020

In the fall of 1803, American Naturalist John James Audubon wondered whether migrating birds returned to the same place each year. So he tied a string around the leg of a bird before it flew south. The following spring, Audubon saw the bird had indeed come back.

A poem I wrote for Bridget's poetry group. Thank you, Linda, for your comments!

October 2020
by Tabatha Yeatts

Sweeping long hair
into a dustpan after a haircut,
I notice I'm wearing a blue plastic ring
on my right hand,
banded like a migratory bird.

Where did it come from, this tag?
What did it mark before?
My movements are far less mysterious
than this band.

I think of my daughter's preschool teacher
who migrated here from Colombia, and her hand,
which she would raise above her head as she said,
"I am holding you here"
to students needing to wait their turn.

October is holding me here,
accompanied by the gourds
assembled on my stoop
like a family sitting for a portrait,

and the bright maple leaves
strewn around my mailbox
that I attempt to turn into a bouquet,

and the scarecrow
in my neighbor's yard
who makes me do a double-take again.

Fixed in place,
I take off the band.

There's a hint of chill outside.
I settle deeper, forget flight.


This poem was inspired by a true incident. I wasn't sure how this ended up on my hand:
I got jalapeno/habanero juice in my eye while I was making lunch, so it probably made its way onto my finger then (when I couldn't see).

Tracking Birds' Migration Paths Online,
Animal Migrations Track with Wikipedia Searches, Scientific American

Want to send a poem and receive a poem? Join the one-time Holiday Poem Swap! We also send gifts with the poems. (It's been known as the Winter Poem Swap, but it's summer in Australia.) Please email me (tabatha (at) tabathayeatts (dot) com) if you want in or have questions.
Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!

Martin Brothers

In the later part of the 19th century, an idiosyncratic potter named Robert Wallace Martin ran a ceramics shop with his brothers, Walter, Edwin, and Charles. Known, aptly, as the Martin Brothers, the quartet—who had grown up extremely poor—became successful and prolific for many years, turning out a wide variety of vases, sculptures, jugs, and more. But the Martin Brothers were known especially for their birds. Nicknamed “Wally Birds” after Robert Wallace, who conceived them, the beaked creations are so expressive, it’s hard to ignore—or forget—them.
~Catherine Zuckerman

Wally Birds and other Martin Brothers pottery for Art Thursday. (Prior to today, I was unaware that sometimes one's spoons need warming.)

Bird, 1888
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Spoon warmer, 1875
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Jar with four birds, 1892
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Tall Bird, 1896
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Small vase with birds, 1905
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Friday, October 16, 2020

Gardens and Snow

I planned out our whole day. First we make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie Dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.

We are in between summer and snow, so neither of these poems from Every Day Poems by T. S. Poetry Press match my weather, but they both lifted my spirits. I really love the title "The Once Invisible Garden."

The Once Invisible Garden
by Laura Foley

How did I come to be
this particular version of me,
and not some other, this morning
of purple delphiniums blooming,
like royalty— destined
to meet these three dogs
asleep at my feet, and not others—

read the rest here


On the Necessity of Snow Angels for the Well-being of the World from WisdomWay Institute on Vimeo.

On the Necessity of Snow Angels for the Well-Being of the World
by Grace Butcher

Wherever there is snow, I go,
making angels along the way
Luckily angles have no gender
and are easier to make
than you might think.
All you have to do is let go,

read the rest here


Next week, I'll announce sign-ups for the Winter Poem Swap!

Salt City Verse has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Janice!

Thursday, October 15, 2020


All the heart was full of feeling: love had ripened into speech,
Like the sap that turns to nectar, in the velvet of the peach.
~William Wallace Harney

Velvets from the Cleveland Museum of Art for Art Thursday.

Velvet Fragment, Italy, first half 15th century

Velvet Fragment, Italy, 16th century

Velvet Fragment, Italy, 16th-17th century

Fragments of Velvet (So-Called Velours Jardiniers), Italy, Genoa, 17th century

Brocaded velvet cover with sunbursts
The sunburst’s dynamic rays terminate in small tulips bearing hyacinths that alternate with peacock feathers. Quantities of luxury textiles were made for the Ottoman sultans, who were the largest consumers of textiles in the Western world by the mid-1500s and early 1600s.

Brocaded velvet with falconer and attendant in animated lattice, from a robe, Iran, 1525