Friday, November 28, 2014


If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.
~Charles Darwin

photo by bookchen

Upon Being Asked What I Believe In
by Christine Rhein
after Dean Young

I say, for starters, the word in,
the way it dumps quicksand before
love and trouble, or after belief
and jump right! I say the days I'm sunk
in up to my waist, improvising
with ingredients at hand. I say the sizzle
of bacon, onions, the wooden spoon
meandering through thick lentil soup
with basil. I say all the herbs in my garden,
pushing roots into earth. I say the Zen
of weeding, aches that follow. And how,
in Japan, they seat a guest facing away
from the most beautiful part of the room,
remember the person later as what's missing
from the art.

Read the rest here


What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends
By Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Why speak of hate, when I do bleed for love?
Not hate, my love, but Love doth bite my tongue
Till I taste stuff that makes my rhyming rough
So flatter I my fever for the one
For whom I inly mourn, though seem to shun.
A rose is arrows is eros, so what
If I confuse the shade that I’ve become
With winedark substance in a lover’s cup?

Read the rest here


The Poetry Friday round-up is at Carol's Corner.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine's Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.
~Jonathan Safran Foer

No reason for sharing abstract art today, except that I am not usually thankful enough for it.

Lichen Art
by Jeremy Atkinson

Abstract Pop-Up Toaster
by Wayne Wilkinson

Ink in Water
by Leonardo Aguiar

Fellow Traveller
by Mr. Art

Splattered Rock
by Jean Delage

Lessons from an Alchemist
by Humberto Antonio Muñiz

Written Words
by Angel A. Alfonso Castillo

Monday, November 24, 2014

Here's To You, My Little Loves

For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
~The Call, I Still Believe

The Call -- still a rousing way to start a morning!


Here's to the babies in a brand new world
Here's to the beauty of the stars
Here's to the travellers on the open road
Here's to the dreamers in the bars

Here's to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here's to the workers in the fields
Here's to the preachers of the sacred words
Here's to the drivers at the wheel

Here's to you my little loves
With blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves
With blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin

Here's to the winners of the human race
Here's to the losers in the game
Here's to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here's to the wall that bears their name


Here's to the doctors and their healing work
Here's to the loved ones in their care
Here's to the strangers on the street tonight
Here's to the lonely everywhere

Here's to the wisdom from the mouths of babes
Here's to the lions in the cage
Here's to the struggles of the silent poor
Here's to the closing of the age

Here's to you my little loves
With blessings from above
Now let the day begin

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Thousand Elements Conspiring

Sharing poems from The Last Girl by Rose Solari today.

Tree House of the Dream Child
by Rose Solari

It has been here forever. Who
built it, nobody knows. Time itself

might have pressed these boards
into rows, hammered home

the nails. Nobody plays here.
Neighborhood boys once hung

their pennants from its windows,
while girls slipped hand over hand

up the rope ladder. How high
the grass grows — no one lives

around here anymore. Come
with me as I walk the perimeter

of this field, and don’t be afraid.
Though the earth is wild, nothing

can hurt us here. And if we’re lucky,
if the light is good and a thousand

other elements conspire, we might see,
moving inside the one high room

of the tree house, the dream child. Hear
the floorboards singing her step, see

her old, new face. Safe in those walls,
plying her solitary art, she is a word

for keeping and losing, a talisman
against this sky, which is red-black,

now, and terrible, and our own.


The Last Girl
by Rose Solari

In the summer dusk, we came out like fireflies,
the neighborhood children, swarming the best
backyards. At the Sedlacks’, a long grassy span
for football. At the O’Briens’, a forest of shrubs
for hide and seek. It felt like freedom, like a taste
of being adult, running those blocks in the almost
dark, at home in the space between homes.

All last spring, the next door neighbor’s yard
was loud with backhoes and workers, building
a basketball court for the youngest. Her mother says
she wants to go pro. At maybe thirteen, she has
long straight hair and serious legs, almost never
smiles. She’s out there every day, and always alone.

And I think, what if children running the streets
are like frogs or salmon? What if their disappearance
means we’ve wrecked the world past repair? What if
she — I don’t know her name — becomes the last girl
left on earth who will play outside? At night, I hear
the shake and swing of the metal basket chains.
Two points, then three. Two points, then three.


Printed with permission from Alan Squire Publishing. Copyright © 2014 Rose Solari. Available for purchase at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at Tapestry of Words.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Poetry Monster Gallery

It occurred to me that my visitors who just come on Thursdays wouldn't have seen any of the Poetry Monster project. This is something that my daughter Elena and I have been making together (she was 12 when we started in April 2014). I cut the paper collages and she adds the words.

Click on a poet's name to go to the poem that inspired Poetry Monster.

William Carlos Williams

e.e. cummings

Walt Whitman

Emily Dickinson

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Monday, November 17, 2014

Somebody Holds the Key

This song, written by Steve Winwood, was originally released in 1969. Is it silly that I was surprised by how good he sounds in this video, so many years later? I could have shared some great covers of "Can't Find My Way Home," but this acoustic version was so perfect, imo, that I wanted to stop there:

Anybody remember this album?

Friday, November 14, 2014

dear matafele peinam

Men argue. Nature acts.

A poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year-old from the Marshall Islands:

dear matafele peinam,

you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles
you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha
you are thighs that are thunder and shrieks that are lightning
so excited for bananas, hugs and
our morning walks past the lagoon

dear matafele peinam,

i want to tell you about that lagoon
that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise

men say that one day
that lagoon will devour you

they say it will gnaw at the shoreline
chew at the roots of your breadfruit trees
gulp down rows of your seawalls
and crunch your island’s shattered bones

they say you, your daughter
and your granddaughter, too
will wander rootless
with only a passport to call home

Want to hear the rest? Watch the video:

The Poetry Friday round-up today is at Keri Recommends.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pencil Me In

Dance cards today.

Wikipedia explains that these little mementos are "used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intends to dance each successive dance at a formal ball... In modern times the expression "dance card" is often used metaphorically, as when someone says 'pencil me into your dance card,' meaning 'find some time to spend with me.' Conversely, someone's 'dance card is full' implies that even though they may be interested, they have no time."

Dance card
Pierre Aldebert Griot, Berlin 1750-1760
Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin

Société Philharmonique Dance Card

Conversation about the Dance Card preparations for a ball 1882
by Carl Hermann Kuechler

Designed as a miniature lady's purse having attached order-of-the-dance booklet with gilt lettering and attached pencil

Dance card for celebration of the Society for Art and Science in 1883
by Paul Düyffcke

Dance Card, Her Majesty Queen of the Year, 1916
Baylor University

Newport Dance Cards
photo by Peter Lee

Dance card
Jean-Louis Forain


* A Pinterest board of turn-of-the-century dance cards
* Another Pinterest dance card board
* Some dance card info
* Haven't seen the movie, but this ball looks like dance cards would have fit right in.
* Dance cards would work at this Stanford ball too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Other Ways of Reading

Author Avi shared a moving post about reading today.
Unable to read, he would often be discovered in his library walking in such a way that he could pass his fingers over the volumes he had so loved to read. When he came to a particular favorite book, he would pause, and with his hand on the book’s spine, stand there for a long time, remembering the contents of the book.
Read the rest here


Also, I'd like to thank our veterans and their families for their service! I have a number of posts re: vets here.

Monday, November 10, 2014


There are different ways to take over the World. But there is only one way to take over the Universe and that’s through meditation.
~Aishwarya Shiva Pareek

Religion Facts says, "Singing bowls are used throughout the Himalayas in monasteries and homes to aid meditation. The sound of a singing bowl can be used to mark the beginning or end of a meditation period, or during meditation to focus the mind."

You can read more about them here or just take a listen (I think maybe this video is so long so people can sleep with it on):

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets by Jason Palmer (BBC News)

Friday, November 7, 2014

She Lives

I am Appalachia. In my veins
Runs fierce mountain pride; the hill-fed streams
Of passion; and, stranger, you don’t know me!
~Muriel Miller Dressler

Bill Alexander, Appalachian Hippie Poet, today:

* Read the rest of Muriel Miller Dressler's Appalachia here.
* A bibliography of Appalachian poetry for children

P.S. Y'all do know how to pronounce "Appalachian"? It's like throwing an apple at cha.
P.P.S. Bill Alexander's face reminds me of Robin Williams, if R.W. had a lot more hair.
P.P.P.S. Today is the last day to sign up for the Winter Poetry Swap...

Diane has the Poetry Friday round-up at Random Noodling.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Ice contains no future, just the past, sealed away. As if they're alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That's the essence of ice, the role it plays.
~Haruki Murakami

We've got ice today, with many striking textures and shapes. My mother-in-law is fond of saying that there's no bad weather; there's only inappropriate clothing. I haven't really mastered the art of always wearing appropriate clothing, but since I will be out this winter walking our puppy no matter what, I'd better make more of an effort!

Lilac Bush
photo by Jayme Frye

Blocks of ice in Jökulsárlón, with Breiðamerkurfjall behind

Nahaufname eines Eisstücks aus dem Werratalsee in Eschwege (Werra-Meißner-Kreis)
photo by Canuma

Ice Crystal Dancer
photo by Len Burgess

Iceland Norðurland Eystra - Reykjahlíð
photo by Hansueli Krapf

Ice Lanterns
photo by Corey Taratuta

Ice Wall
photo by Craig Damlo

Sailing with skates on the ice
Unknown photographer, 1890-1900

Car race on the ice
unknown photographer, 1890-1900

Monday, November 3, 2014

Down by the River

If I'm listening to something repetitively, it's liable to show up on Music Monday... so here is Down by the River by the Dirty River Boys: