Monday, June 30, 2014

choir! choir! choir!

Cheerful music for a Monday from Toronto's choir! choir! choir!:

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Blog-gem from Donna

Donna sent me a poem for the Summer Poem Swap. She explained, "Words were taken from your blog and put into Tagxedo for the image. The finest words in that Tagxedo were then carefully hand-picked to concoct this poem (and its title 'Collection Poem Revealing Itself')." Donna decided to call her poems crafted out of blog words "Blog-gems."

Love this— thank you, Donna!

Collection Poem Revealing Itself
by Donna JT Smith

January hands
   Hug the sculpture
     of dreams -

February kisses
   Cover the last
     of winter -

March birds
   Follow the thoughts
     of winds -

April poets
   Spotlight the art
     of words -

May seahorses
   Trust the music
     of water -

June dragons
   Break the myths
     of balloons -

July fish
   Make the ballets
     of sea -

August gardens
   Challenge the world
     of paintings -

September students
   Listen to gifts
     of books -

October cats
   Visit the exhibits
     of luna -

November military
   Honor the places
     of warriors -

December gifts
   End the year
     of sweets!


Buffy has the Poetry Friday round-up today.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Van Gogh

It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.
~Vincent van Gogh

Self-Portrait in Front of the Easel
by Vincent van Gogh

I love Vincent van Gogh's sunflowers and starry nights, but for today I picked some of his works that might be less familiar to you:

Field with Poppies (1889)
by Vincent van Gogh

The State Lottery
by Vincent van Gogh

Flowering Orchards
by Vincent van Gogh

Peasant, fire
by Vincent van Gogh

The Harvest
by Vincent van Gogh

An Old Man Putting Dry Rice on the Hearth, 1881
by Vincent van Gogh

Weber in front of open windows overlooking the Tower of Nuenen
by Vincent van Gogh

Head of a young peasant with hat
by Vincent van Gogh

Walk in the Moonlight
by Vincent van Gogh

Skull with Burning Cigarette
by Vincent van Gogh

Lunch break (after Millet)
by Vincent van Gogh

Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888
by Vincent van Gogh

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bixiga 70

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.
~Brazilian author Paulo Coelho

Brazilian music today in honor of the men's World Cup, which I have been watching religiously. Yesterday, my son, who seems to be planning a road trip already, told me that next year's women's World Cup will be in Canada.

Bixiga 70

Friday, June 20, 2014

For People Such As Me and You

Today we have Hilaire Belloc, author of the parody Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years. It contains poems with such lovely titles as "Henry King: Who chewed bits of string, and was early cut off in Dreadful agonies" and "Rebecca: Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably."

Hilaire Belloc, perhaps in need of a nap

Upon being asked by a Reader whether the verses contained in this book were true:

And is it True? It is not True.
And if it were it wouldn’t do,
For people such as me and you
Who pretty nearly all day long
Are doing something rather wrong.
Because if things were really so,
You would have perished long ago,
And I would not have lived to write
The noble lines that meet your sight,
Nor B. T. B. survived to draw
The nicest things you ever saw.

H. B.

Two adorable videos with H.B.'s poems:

Jone at Check It Out is the Poetry Friday round-up host this week.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Little Glass Spheres

“We were fascinated by the little glass spheres, by those dark waves of color, some narrow and drawn out into several swirls, and others that widened out in the center of the marble into a single bundle and thinned out smoothly at the ends.
~José María Arguedas

Beauty in small packages today:

Spotlight Marbles
photo by Chris Potako

photo by Lif

photo by Nico Cavallotto

Marble Masterpiece
photo by Scott Smith

photo by Kevin

Blue marble on rocky terrain
photo by Zoltán Vörös

photo by Chad Cooper

Fantastic handmade marbles:

Dichro and Twisty Cane Vortex by Aaron West
School of Blue Fish by Cathy Richardson
Blue, Green, and Yellow Cane Marble by Eddie Seese
Flower Air Trap by Ernie Kober

Monday, June 16, 2014

Song My Dog Wrote

One of the books I'm currently reading is Run, Don't Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center by Adele Levine, who worked in the amputee division. I recommend it if you like nonfiction. (Note: It's not for kids.)

Yesterday I happened to be within ten miles of Walter Reed and I noticed two young men who were amputees asking for money at intersections. One of them was so young that from behind he looked just like a kid.

Brendan Biondi is trying to help veterans with a song inspired by his volunteer work training a Hero Dog, a service dog that is paired with a disabled vet. 50% of the proceeds from sales of "Song My Dog Wrote" go to Hero Dogs.

Buy it on iTunes

Friday, June 13, 2014

Poetry Monster Pays a Visit

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
by Lewis Carroll

What has the Poetry Monster been up to lately? He's been spending time with poems by Lewis Carroll and Robert Burns.

Like everyone, Poetry Monster has his ups and downs. Sometimes his plans go well, and sometimes they gang aft agley.

Catherine Johnson has the Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.
~Ruth E. Renkel

In honor of Father's Day on June 15th, a collection of art featuring fathers and their children:

Papa et bébé
by Bliu pastels

by Albert Neuhuys, 1891

Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan with his son
by James Rattray (1818-1854)

Selbstportrait mit Tochter Marion, 1894
by Franz von Lenbach

Monsieur with his favourite daughter Marie Louise (future Queen of Spain), Versailles,
by Pierre Mignard

Gottlieb Recha welcoming her father
by Maurycy Gottlieb

Goodbye, Papa
by Vladimir Makovsky

Hanukkah, 18th century
Artist Unknown

The artist's daughter Nana and husband Christian Krohg
by Oda Krohg

The Robber and His Child
by Karl Friedrich Lessing

In Daddy's Arms
by Severin Nilsson

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wee Break

Pay attention to poetry. Pay attention to music. Pay attention to paintings and sculptures and photo exhibits and ballets and plays. Why? Because art is God's way of saying hello. Your world is shouting out to you, revealing something intrinsically glorious about itself. Listen carefully. Love art, the way art loves life. Don't let all this go unnoticed.
~Neale Walsh

I'm taking a wee blog break. I will probably be back next week.

Leaving you with some cool links:

* How Many Senses Do Human Beings Have?
* The 17 Minute/Page 17 Rule -- What the Book Will Really Be About
* The History Blog

I was thinking the other day about how, in so many children’s books, the hero finds they have hidden powers. I think it’s one of the aspects of children’s books I love the most, and loved especially as a child myself – the sense that, however ordinary you felt you were, there might be this magical ability hidden inside you, or some unexpected aspect of your character, just waiting for the right opportunity, the right trigger, to reveal itself.
~C.J. Busby