Monday, November 30, 2015

Can't Control the Weather

When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.
~Alice Hoffman

Fairground Saints:

Hat tip: my firstborn

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hugs All Around

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.'
'That's why animals are so soft and huggy.”
~Bill Watterson

Thanksgiving seems like a good day to celebrate hugs! ALL kinds of hugs... even face ones :-)

Group Hug
photo by Peter Harrison

by Twice25 & Rinina25

Senior Chief Construction Mechanic Renato Hidalgo hugs his son before departing for an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Ace Rheaume

Free hugs
photo by Matthew G

Douglas Gets Hugged
by Marji Beach

by popofatticus

Self-Portrait with Her Daughter
by Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun

Free Face Hugs
by Nathan Rupert

Free Hugs shirt

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bogányi (and a massage)

You write to become immortal, or because the piano happens to be open, or you’ve looked into a pair of beautiful eyes.
~Robert Schumann

Sharing a new kind of piano today. Hungarian pianist Bogányi Gergely invented a piano that he plays in the video below. Differences between the Bogányi and traditional pianos include: the Bogányi is made with different construction materials, it has fewer legs, and it is played with the top open. What is the result? A jazz pianist who tried it out says it's like playing in a bubble of sound. Interesting!

Sometimes I talk about relaxation music and things people can do to feel less stressed. Here's something I like a lot: hand massage. It feels great and doesn't take long to do. (Isn't it so nice that people share information freely on YouTube? This helpful person has a lovely Irish accent.)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ashraf Fayadh, Poet in Danger

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
~Harry S. Truman

I am concerned about this news:

Poet and Artist Ashraf Fayadh Sentenced to Death in Saudi Arabia

From English PEN (Freedom to Write, Freedom to Read):

Fayadh was first detained in August 2013 in relation to his collection of poems, Instructions Within. He was released on bail but rearrested in January 2014, accused of ‘atheism and spreading some destructive thoughts into society’, before being sentenced in May 2014. The dismissal of his appeal led to the retrial which concluded earlier this week. Fayadh is reported to be ‘really shocked’ by the sentence, stating, ‘I didn’t do anything that deserves death.’

* Sign an Amnesty International Petition on his behalf *

Friday, November 20, 2015

More Gifts, More Doctors

As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.
~Maya Angelou

As you might know, I am really interested in health, wellness, medicine, and the like, which is why I want to read this book: Poetry in Medicine: An Anthology of Poems About Doctors, Patients, Illness and Healing, Michael Salcman (Editor). Has anyone read it?

Here's a video about using poetry to help student physicians from becoming too disassociated from their patients:

Time to talk about poetry gifts! I have posted lists of such things in the past. Here are more possibilities:

Shirts, shoes, and accessories:
Custom Poetry Shoes: Red Wheelbarrow
Similes are like metaphors... shirt
Read More Poetry
Stacks of books scarf
French poetry earrings
Wordsworth button

Posters, books, and cards:
"If I Can Save One Heart from Breaking" poster
Fantasy library poster
100 literary postcards set
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Vogon Poetry book
Nature poem card

Visit The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


just as it is,
as it is,
as is.
Flowers in bloom.
Nothing to add.
-Robert Aitken

I once read a novel that centered on ikebana (Japanese floral arrangements) but I hadn't looked at many until I put this post together. They grew on me and the more I saw, the more I liked them. Which is one reason I am including quite a few, since, if you're like me, maybe it will take a little while for your appreciation to grow.

Der Herbstwald
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

by David Sobral

Ikebana, Gorcum
Frans de Wit

Ikebana 1
by Holly

Plum Blossoms, Ikebana
by Christopher Paquette

Schlechte Herrscher
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

by Leonid Ll

Für Edda-Sophie
Johanna und Heinz Günter Saemann

Ikebana - Yoshiko Nakamura 01B
by Joe Mabel

Exposición Ikebana
by Carlos Donderis

Saga Goryu moribana useitai
by Gryffindor

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book recommendations

A different kind of book recommendation:

And a walking library!

Monday, November 16, 2015


If there’s anything that I would like to do, it would be to turn people on to choral music. Choral music, and classical music in general, has to do with exposure. Ninety-five percent of the time, if you can just get someone in the room to see someone great, it’ll blow their minds. So, yes, if I can in any way become the gateway drug to choral music, that would be just fine.
~Eric Whitacre

I heard E.W.'s choir in concert two years ago, but it feels like yesterday. (At the time I thought that, if we were living a Doctor Who episode, they would be the thing that would convince the invaders not to exterminate our species. Yes...I am so much of a nerd that I think things like that.)

One of my favorite pieces of music. Seemed like something worth hearing this Music Monday:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sending Love to Paris

We refuse to be terrorized. When we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail -- even if their attacks succeed.
~Bruce Schneier

I'm not really good at consistently labelling the posts properly, but here are my posts labelled "France." There are quite a few, even though there are a bunch that didn't get labelled!

Friday, November 13, 2015

An Engine's Sleepy Hum

I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.
~Neil Gaiman

Today's post actually has nothing to do with cats, but I am sharing two poems from The Language of Cat by Rachel Rooney. Thank you, Rachel, for giving me permission to post these!

by Rachel Rooney

I feel it, first as a stir,
turning deep in the murky water.
Surfaces up for air, a twitch
on the lake in my head.
A flip, and it disappears.

Wait for it. Let myself settle
close to the edge, my reflection and me.
Next ripple, a gentle skim and a dip
holds the weight of a thought
in the drag of my net.

Raising the pole, bent heavy,
my catch thrashes hard. Through the reeds
I can glimpse a glitter of skin.
Won’t let it go now.
I have this idea.

Hauled out and tipped in a tub,
I’m watching it flap; its mouthing pout,
that eyeball that stares defiantly back.
A sizeable fish. How big?
As big a a poem. See!


Conch shell by Noel

Driving Home
by Rachel Rooney

I hold this shell against my ear.
Inside, a wave that sucks the shore,
music drifting from the pier,
a tapping spade, a seagull's call.

Listen, sea-shell. Can you hear
my heart sink slowly with the sun,
the rolling of a salty tear
and an engine's sleepy hum?


Today is the last day to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap!

Wee Words for Wee Ones is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Making Lace

“Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency! This is no occasion for sport ― there is lace at stake!"
~Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

Sharing some impressive artisans represented in paintings, sculptures, and film today:

Busy Hands & Active Mind
photo by Dick Jensen

A Lacemaker, Le Puy
by Sabine Baring-Gould

La puntaire
by Josep Viladomat
photo by Canaan

Lace-making in Venice 1894
by Anders Zorn

A serenade for the lacemakers, Venice
by Antonio Ermolao Paoletti

Rendas de Bilros
photo by RitaMoreira2011

Die Spitzenklöppler
by Emile Jacques (1874-1937)

photo by Michael Brace

The Soviet Union 1957, Vologda Lace Making
photo by Fioshin

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Debt of Honor

Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.
~Abraham Lincoln

Thank you, vets!

Yesterday, PBS showed a new documentary about disabled vets in American history. You can watch it on the PBS site here.

“The goal of this film is to try to understand the realities and challenges that disabled veterans have faced throughout history and continue to face today,” says director Ric Burns. “There is a real necessity to bridge the gap between civilians and those who have served in the military. It is our hope that the film will encourage a candid discussion in communities across the country, and create understanding and awareness of the sacrifices involved in military service.”

Lois Pope, the film’s underwriter, says, “This film is about the human costs of war. It should serve to remind and educate all of us about the courageous men and women who have sacrificed parts of their bodies and minds fighting for our country.”

More posts about vets

Monday, November 9, 2015

Irene at 10!

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Today's Music Monday post is in honor of someone who definitely dances with the pen: Irene Latham. We are celebrating 10 years of Irene's Live Your Poem blog. The celebration theme is "wild," which I am not taking in the "wild animals" direction or the "let's get crazy" direction. I'm headed more to "free" ... free as a breeze, free as a body in motion. Wild and free.

With Irene in mind, here's a poem by Edith Södergran, translated from Swedish by Stina Katchadourian:

My sister
you come as a spring breeze over our valleys
The violets in the shade smell of sweet fulfillment.
I want to take you to the forest's corner:
there, we shall confess to each other how we saw God.


Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn.
~Terri Guillemets

An old post with a pretty wild song

Wishing you many more years of living your poem, Irene!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Winter Poem Swap

Snowflakes swirl down gently in the deep blue haze beyond the window. The outside world is a dream.
Inside, the fireplace is brightly lit, and the Yule log crackles with orange and crimson sparks.
There’s a steaming mug in your hands, warming your fingers.
There’s a friend seated across from you in the cozy chair, warming your heart.
There is mystery unfolding.
― Vera Nazarian

The Winter Poem Swap:

Send me your name and mailing address by November 13th and I will give you the name of someone to send a poem and a small gift. Something handmade is nice, or a book, or an ornament if you know they use them, or anything lovingly-chosen!

If you are a poet, write a poem for your swappee. If you are a fan of poetry who doesn't write poems, you can still participate by sending your swappee a favorite poem.

The deadline for sending your swap friend a poem and gift is December 14.

Sound like fun? Join in! You can email me at tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nobody to blame but me

She fired up my old hot rod
Ran it in the pond
Put sugar in my John Deere
I can’t even mow my lawn
And I got nobody to blame but me
~Chris Stapleton

When I heard this song, Chris Stapleton's voice sounded so familiar to me. He sounded like that guy from the Steeldrivers. Turns out he used to sing with the Steeldrivers. Makes sense!

Now what's the connection to Poetry Friday? There was something about this song that made me wonder whether I could write variant stanzas, sort of like we use William Carlos Williams' This is Just to Say as a springboard for apology poems (and, of course, the Lennon and Maisy exercise).

This guy obviously knows what he did wrong, and that it was bad enough to warrant all kinds of punishment, but he never says what it is. Did he toss the only copy of her just-completed two-hundred page manuscript into the fireplace? What if he ate her pet pig? Could he have doused her coat with itching powder right before she was about to give a speech? Maybe he stole her car to run away with her sister on her very own birthday! Dang, he *deserves* some trouble. So I wrote him some:

She took the vowel keys
From my typewriter
Hosed down my laptop
Like a firefighter
And I got nobody to blame but me

She shoved my ATM card
In the compost pile
Sold me leopard print pants
Said they were in style
And I got nobody to blame but me

She won't wash my shoes
Just leaves me my fungus
She popped my waterbed
With my own compass
And I got nobody to blame but me


So, should I be writing blues songs or what? Got any ideas about what she did that he blames himself for? Go ahead and give him your worst in the comments :-)

Write.Sketch.Repeat. has the Poetry Friday round-up.

P.S. Did you happen to see the name of my post from two days ago?

P.P.S. Just realized I need to find out who wants to be in the Winter Swap! If you already do, you can email me about it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, either email me or wait until Sunday. I will try to post about it then.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Palette Party

Color is the fruit of life.
~Guillaume Apollinaire

If color is the fruit of life, are palettes the branches? Spotlighting the humble paint-holder today:

Artist's palette
by Jean-Francois Phillips

Salon des Cents
by Louis Rhead

Where the Impressionists Haunted the Streets
by Trey Ratcliff

Happy Birthday Ola!
by omgponies2

3ra. Exposición de Bellas Artes é Industrias Artísticas
by Alexandre de Riquer

Pollen Palette
by Jessica Lucia

by Greta Bianchi

Monday, November 2, 2015

Their Vigils Keep

There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing.
~Hildegard of Bingen

I could have posted a video of Anonymous 4 singing in a beautiful church, which would be visually appealing and match the spirit of the song, but in a strange way, I found the juxtaposition of the music and the ordinary, comparatively bland background particularly poignant.

Gave me goosebumps:

I also like this more complicated version of Wayfaring Stranger by Ed Sheeran: