Thursday, July 31, 2014

On The Front Line

Nursing is an art... for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.
~Florence Nightingale

Two things prompted today's post -- thinking about the medical personnel who have become ill while treating Ebola and reading The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John Barry. Whether they are fighting illnesses such as influenza and Ebola or serving during wartime, nurses are always in a vital, vulnerable position.

Nurses in gas masks at the trenches in Germany
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

Interior of a ward on a British Ambulance Train in France
photo by David McLellan, National Library of Scotland

Dr. Frances Ivens at the Scottish Women's Hospital, Cloister of the Abbaye at Royaumont
by Norah Neilson-Gray

Nurses and Children during an air raid rehearsal in 1918

Before carrying out smallpox vaccinations, this public health nurse gives a lecture on the disease to schoolchildren
WHO photo by J. Abcede

One of the first parachute nurses
WHO/Red Cross photo

A taste of her own medicine
U.S. Library of Medicine

Achetez le timbre antituberculeux (Buy antituberculosis stamps)

Male Nurses- Life at Hackney Hospital, London, 1943

Anglīĭskai︠a︡ sestra miloserdīi︠a︡ v pokhodu

Date carta alla Croce Rossa / [E. Bonazzi]

Nurse wearing a mask as protection against influenza, September 13, 1918

The Emma Abbott, First Floating Hospital
by Julian Davidson

Australia World War II poster (Avenge the Nurses)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Poor Witless Elf

The topography of literature, the fact in fiction, is one of my pleasures -- I mean, where the living road enters the pages of a book, and you are able to stroll along both the real and imagined road.
~Paul Theroux

Have you visited the Poetry Atlas? They are mapping the world in poetry. I believe you can even submit your own poems of place.

Mist Clearing On Suilven, Inverkirkaig, Scotland
photo by Andrew

I'm sharing a poem by John Keats from the Poetry Atlas today. Something written in Scottish mountain mists, where Heaven and Hell are hidden from view, and all he can know is what is under his feet:

Written on Top of Ben Nevis
by John Keats

Read me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud
Upon the top of Nevis, blind in mist!
I look into the chasms, and a shroud
Vapurous doth hide them - just so much I wist
Mankind do know of hell; I look o'erhead,
And there is sullen mist, - even so much
Mankind can tell of heaven; mist is spread
Before the earth, beneath me, - even such,
Even so vague is man's sight of himself!
Here are the craggy stones beneath my feet, -
Thus much I know that, a poor witless elf,
I tread on them, - that all my eye doth meet
Is mist and crag, not only on this height,
But in the world of thought and mental might!


Poetry for Children has the Poetry Friday round-up today.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

An Aquatic Garden

Rapaciously we gathered flowery spoils
From land and water; lilies of each hue,—
Golden and white, that float upon the waves,
And court the wind.

photo by Prabhu B Doss

Vesiroos - Waterlily
photo by Kristjan Klementi

Nelumbo nucifera (lotus flower) and Sagittaria trifolia
by Giuseppe Castiglione
from Xian'e Changchun Album

Tropical Pond, Meise, Belgium
photo by Drriss & Marrionn

photo by Allen Hsu

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) preening in a Nelumbo nucifera (Indian Lotus) pond
photo by J.M.Garg

Yellow Water Lily and Reflection
photo by Barbara Samuel

Lotus Flower Breaking the Surface
by Yun Shouping

Keep Your Head above the Water
photo by Kasia

Monet-inspired water lily painting lesson

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cute & Weird

Okay, now here's the deal
I'll try to educate ya
Gonna familiarize
You with the nomenclature
~Weird Al

So, yesterday we got a puppy! She is sleeping on my foot at the moment.

This is the pic that convinced me to get her

My oldest wants her to cuddle with our bunny, but if that happened, the cuteness overload would probably disrupt the fabric of the universe. Fortunately for the universe, the bunny has been hiding out since the puppy arrived.

Puppies are like babies of other species, in terms of general neediness, which is why I have this feeling that my days of being able to accomplish things are over.

Maybe not, but in the meantime, the post on Handel's Water Music will have to wait. Have you seen this already? If so, forgive me and take another look at the puppy.

Team Oxford Comma

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Feathered Monsters and the Round-Up

...Your story is part of your sister's story, is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead.
~Erin Morgenstern

Poetry Monster stopped by today -- he didn't want to miss the round-up. He is crazy about Emily Dickinson, as you can see.

by Tabatha and Elena

Please leave your links in the comments and I will round them up!

* Mary Lee is first up with War Some of the Time by Charles Bukowski.
* Buffy is visiting Today's Litty Ditty with a post about writing nonfiction poetry.
* Myra's Poetry Friday offering is Anna Grossnickle's Poems and Quilts about Peace.
* Author and poet Debbie Levy answers five questions about the genesis of her picture book WE SHALL OVERCOME at AuthorAmok.
* At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, Matt shares In The Glen, an original.
* Robyn has a tribute to a great white shark (and some lively notecards) at Life on the Deckle Edge.
* At TeacherDance, Linda B. brings us a short review of a recent find at an antique store, a children's poetry book by John Ciardi.
* Linda K. has an original poem about the excitement of reading at Write Time.
* At Random Noodling, Diane shares another Sketchbook Project poem titled Father O'Brien.
* Kurious Kitty has a poem by Michael Hettich.
* KK's Kwotes' quote is by Hettich, too.
* At Poetry for Children, Sylvia posts an excerpt of her essay on the history of children's poetry which opens a new edition of a guide to the Newbery & Caldecott Awards.
* Donna at Mainely Write offers an original poem, Expect the Unexpected, today, and a thank you to Buffy Silverman and Mary Lee Hahn for their beautiful Summer Swap poems.
* Laura Purdie Salas is in with one of her poems from the Poetry Friday Anthology for Science: Go Fly a Kite.
* Mrs. Bennett shares An Irish Airman Foresees His Death by W. B. Yeats.
* Liz invites us to read and listen to Cynthia Hopkin's song Surrounded by Friendship.
* At Booktalking, Anastasia offers a poem by Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis for Nelson Mandela International Day.
* A visit to the poultry barn at the Warren County Fair inspires a poem for Holly Mueller.
* At Keri Recommends, Keri presents a bouquet of roses for her Poetry Friday friends.
* Super Moon gazing on July 12th led Carol to follow-up work on how people around the globe viewed the event. She created Reflecting on the Super Moon Phenomenon, a found poem from words lifted from news articles and quotes about the Super Moon night sky event.
* Don't miss There are two things from Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers at Bildungsroman.
* Tricia is sharing Sitting in the Sand by Karla Kuskin.
* At All about the Books with Janet Squires, the selection is Count Me a Rhyme: Animal Poems by the Numbers by Jane Yolen with photographs by Jason Stemple.
* Jone, who has a good reason for being distracted, has turned her state of mind into a poem.
* Monica gives us a book spine haiku for summer.
* Joy shares an original children's poem and a poetry challenge.
* At Teach Mentor Texts, Jen has the lyrics to On Top Of The World by Imagine Dragons.
* Lorie Ann has a charming original haiku at On Point.

Books About Town

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
~George R.R. Martin

This Art Thursday we have some shots of Books About Town literary benches in London taken by Martin Pettitt. There are fifty benches, all decorated by different artists. You might want to check out this list. I also love the ones for Samuel Pepys' Diary, The Canterbury Tales, The Time Machine, War Horse, oh, I don't know when to stop...

A Brief History Of Time
photo by Martin Pettitt

Dr Seuss
photo by Martin Pettitt

Mary Poppins
photo by Martin Pettitt

Around The World In Eighty Days (back)
photo by Martin Pettitt

How To Train Your Dragon
photo by Martin Pettitt

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
photo by Martin Pettitt

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker
photo by Martin Pettitt

Wind In The Willows (back)
photo by Martin Pettitt

That's Not My Meerkat (back)
photo by Martin Pettitt

Monday, July 14, 2014


How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?
~Desmond Tutu

Did you see the World Cup final yesterday? Fine defending by both teams, although I think Germany well deserved the championship title. In honor of their win, we have some outstanding German musicians today. (Try not to notice that the composer is French...)

Romantic Horn Concertos CD

Friday, July 11, 2014

13 Ways of Looking at a Roller Coaster

Worry is like a roller coaster ride that you think will take you somewhere, but it never does.
~Shannon L. Alder

Roller Coaster at Sea World, Surfers Paradise, Australia.
Photo by Marc Dalmulder.

Sharing another summer swap poem today. It makes my day to get a poem from a friend! And Heidi packaged hers so cleverly...

Tube o' poem. Thank you, Heidi!

13 Ways of Looking at a Roller Coaster
by Heidi Mordhorst
after Wallace Stevens

Among twenty showy amusements,
The only moving thing
Was the nose of the roller coaster.

I was of three stomachs,
Like a mouth
In which there are three roller coasters.

The roller coaster whirled in the summer winds.
It was a small part of the drama.

A boy and a girl
Are one.
A boy and a girl and a roller coaster
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The terror of anticipation
Or the terror of compulsion
The roller coaster cresting
Or just after.

Popsicles filled the long line
With barbaric ice.
The shadow of the roller coaster
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable scream.

O shorn boys of Highschool,
Why do you imagine golden coasters?
Do you not see how the silver coaster
Careens around the hands
Of the girls about you?

I know robust actions
And loose, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the roller coaster is involved
In what I know.

When the roller coaster flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many ellipses.

At the sight of roller coasters
Flying in a neon light,
Even the rowds of ecstasy
Would cry out harply.

He rode over Kings’ Dominion
In a fiberglass trap.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his peloton
For roller coasters.

The tarmac is melting.
The roller coaster must be climbing.

It was afternoon all morning.
It was shining
And it was going to shine.
The roller coaster sat
In the steely loops.


Isn't it wonderful? You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at Write Time.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.
~Edgar Allan Poe

Proud as a peacock to be sharing these with you today :-)

Poster by Umberto Bottazzi

Illustration from An Argosy of Fables
by Paul Bransom

Painting from the Babur Nama. National Museum, New Delhi

Fine Feathers make Fine Birds
Etching by Amalie Bauerle for "The Yellow Book," London, 1897

Peacock Spreads Its Tail

Woman with Peacocks, from "L'Estampe Moderne," Paris, 1897-99
by Louis John Rhead

La Libre Esthétique poster

Kujakuzu (Left)
by Mori Sosen, 1747 - 1821

Peacock and Dragon
designed by William Morris (1834 - 1896)

Paonmosaïque, Notre-Dame
photo by Robert Valette

Woman with peacock
by Edmond Aman-Jean

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Whole Place

The Solipsist
By Troy Jollimore

Don't be misled:
that sea-song you hear
when the shell's at your ear?
It's all in your head.

That primordial tide—
the slurp and salt-slosh
of the brain's briny wash—
is on the inside.

Truth be told, the whole place,
everything that the eye
can take in, to the sky
and beyond into space,

read the rest here


Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe is our Poetry Friday round-up host today.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


So many days you passed me by
See the tear standing in my eye
You didn't stop to make me feel better
By leaving me a card or a letter
~Please Mr. Postman

Inventive, decorative, and unexpected mailboxes today:

Steebo -- Guns and Roses
photo by Zen Sutherland

Mushroom Mailbox with Stem Ring
photo by Zen Sutherland

photo by Kevin Dooley

Bronze letter-box
photo by Dauvit Alexander

photo by Sue

Letter Box
photo by Phil Bartle

photo by Kevin Krebs

No 487
photo by Richard Lehnert

USPS R2D2 Mailbox
photo by Brian Beatty