Friday, July 29, 2016

Swaps and what's on my fridge

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.
~A.A. Milne

Today's post features poems I have received in the mail for the Summer Poem Swap. There's something so delightful about a friend thinking of you and writing a poem.


Spider plucks strings –
a bass so low
it can’t be heard.

Insistent chirp –
baby cardinal solo
answered by mother bird.

High up, cicadas buzz wings –
crickets croon below –
harmony is blurred.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016


Thanks so much, Mary Lee! And now one by the ever-charming Keri Collins Lewis:

This poem was sent to me postcard style, so it is up on my fridge, which gave me the idea to show you some of what is on my fridge...there's a lot of poetry-related stuff:

Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Jade and men, both are sharpened by bitter tools.
~Chinese proverb

Did you know that jade has been used to make weapons? I usually think of jade as being used for jewelry or sculptures, but I saw jade knives and hatchets while I was putting this post together. Another misconception corrected: I tend to think of jade as being green, but, as you can see, it varies.

Chinese Figure of Lan Caihe, Qing Dynasty, Daoguang Period, 1821-1850
photo by Daderot

Model of a mountain with figures

China, Han dynasty, 206 B.C.- A.D. 220

Top view of Jade burial suit dated from 40 BC, excavated from the Xishan Tomb 1 (僖山一号墓) of Prince of Liang Liu Sui (刘遂) at Yongcheng, Henan.
photo by Zcm11

Dagger Hilt (White nephrite jade with gold, coral, silver, rubies, emeralds, pearls, spinels, sapphires and glass)
India, Mughal, circa 1800

Jade rython cup sits on the horns and tail of a monster-mask near its base. A tiger headed creature peers over its rim and another with a bird tail lifts its head up to the edge of the rim. A third smaller creature climbs up the cup's side.

Cup with dragon and bird design, Ming dynasty
16th century–17th century

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dissolving moon

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.
~Carl Sandburg

Leonid Tishkov's Private Moon today. Tishkov says, “Private Moon is a visual poem telling the story of a man who met the Moon and stayed with her for the rest of his life."

invite the moon to tea
like a lump of sugar
the damp night dissolves the moon in
an apple tree

There's much more -- visit the whole thing here.


Visit Books 4 Learning for the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Chelanne!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Everyday brought something to be admired: the soft feathery patterns of cirrus clouds, the deep, dark grays of thunderheads, the lacy gold and peach of the early morning sunrise. The sky and its moods called to me.
~L. Jagi Lamplighter

It's surprising, given how much I like clouds, that I haven't featured them before. Remedying that omission now!

Beach View With Boats
By Ary Pleysier (1809-1879)

photo by h-away

Misty Shore, Llanddulas Beach
photo by Kris Williams

Lone Tree In A Muddy Field
photo by James Loesch

photo by Olivier Gillet

Abermenai Sands, Newborough Beach, Anglesey
photo by Kris Williams

Cloudscape, Beinn an Dothaidh & Beinn Dorain
photo by Ewan MacPhillimy

* Cloud Appreciation Society
* Ten Basic Cloud Types
* A poem about cloud repair

Monday, July 18, 2016

What's up

(I)f you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light. But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.
~Lauren Oliver

I posted this song once before as a lighthearted writing prompt. Seems like a good time to revisit it:

Lennon and Maisy

Saturday, July 16, 2016


As I've mentioned, I've been studying medicinal plants for a few years now. The book I'm currently reading has a quote that I wanted to share with you:
"In medieval Baghdad, the 'license' to practice medicine was given as permission to practice in the marketplace...One of the rules was that an individual would be disqualified from the practice of medicine if they were observed to 'use a strong herb when a mild herb would suffice, use an herb when a food would suffice, or use a food when simple advice about lifestyle would suffice.'"
Doesn't that sound kind of radical in our contemporary world? People tend to think more/"extra strength" is better.

In order to follow these rules, you would need to be knowledgeable and be paying careful attention to the needs of the people you are trying to assist. One size does not fit all if you are trying to choose the gentlest sufficient path to healing.

Substitute "pharmaceutical" for "herb" and you have:
One of the rules was that an individual would be disqualified from the practice of medicine if they were observed to 'use a strong pharmaceutical when a mild pharmaceutical would suffice, use a pharmaceutical when a food would suffice, or use a food when simple advice about lifestyle would suffice.'"
Given the side-effects and costs associated with medicines, this seems like an approach worth considering. What do you think?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Through tornadoes and harvests

Maybe that is the greatest of wonders: that we can be shaped so much by those we've known closely, and equally by those we've never known at all - and that we too can change the world long after we've left it.
~Jacob M. Appel

A couple of poems with a grandparent theme from Rattle's Buddhist edition for this Poetry Friday.

by Karen Benke

I tell my son I wish I didn’t have to go to work today
and he says he wishes he didn’t have to go to school.
He’s tired of darkening in right answer bubbles.
I ask what we’d do if we could play hooky and he says
we’d go through the tunnel and pick up Nana Friday,
wondering if people who died can come too.
You know, like Grandpa Don and Auntie Toots?

Read the rest here


When the Buddha Farmed Nebraska
by Peg Quinn

Grandpa emanated Buddha nature,
yet I doubt he’d heard the phrase.

He gave thanks after hitting his thumb
with a hammer

Read the rest here


A Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Mary Lee!

Thursday, July 14, 2016


For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I had a difficult time deciding what to feature this week to honor my father-in-law. He lived in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, so I considered art from these states, and I thought about spotlighting his favorite food (chocolate). My husband inadvertently gave me the idea to celebrate his dad's favorite game: horseshoes. So much more variety than you might expect!

No. 086, part 3: Autumn, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo
by Utagawa Hiroshige

Horseshoe Doorway
photo by floato

Horseshoes stuck in a tree
photo by Michael Beck

Horseshoe Bend 01
photo by Graeme Maclean

photo by locomotive8

photo by Kevin

Horseshoes are a common element in heraldry (coats of arms). For instance:
Polish coat of arms pl:Bogdanowicz I

I looked up why horseshoes are lucky and found this explanation.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Light of the sun

Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.
― J.M. Barrie

Feeling ill this morning due to last night's events, so I am swapping the post I originally scheduled for one with a kindness focus.

"Prayer at Sunrise"
by James Weldon Johnson

...O greater Maker of this Thy great sun,
Give me the strength this one day’s race to run,
Fill me with light, fill me with sun-like strength,
Fill me with joy to rob the day its length.
Light from within, light that will outward shine,
Strength to make strong some weaker heart than mine,
Joy to make glad each soul that feels its touch;
Great Father of the sun, I ask this much.


A few links in case you are interested in taking a kindness challenge:

Kindness 365 | - One Year Habit Forming Kindness Challenge

A 12-Step Kindness Program

The Great Kindness Challenge (for schools)


Visit The Logonauts for the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Katie!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Vintage Fireworks

In childhood the daylight always fails too soon—except when there are going to be fireworks; and then the sun dawdles intolerably on the threshold like a tedious guest.
~Jan Struther

I love a well-fashioned poster, as you can see. Today we have classic fireworks posters:

Classic Pain's Firework Poster
photo by Epic Fireworks

Standard Firework 'Top Of The Pops' Poster
photo by Epic Fireworks

Old Standard Fireworks Poster
photo by Epic Fireworks

Pain's Firework Posters
photo by Epic Fireworks

Classic Wessex Firework Poster
photo by Epic Fireworks

Pain's Poster
photo by brunurb

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016


Are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Even though I can't say I listen to Ariana Grande's music, I like this medley of her songs by Clarence Liew and Jeremy Passion:

Bonus duet from Maddie and Tae:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Movies and Paralympians

It's a healthy Games. We all have the same goal. We all want to win, but it's really great and awesome when a competitor comes up and hugs you at the end of a race.
~Jessica Long (USA, swimming)

I have been a fan of the Paralympics since I lived in Atlanta in the '90s. Actually, the year before the Olympics, we went to the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which were also terrific. Events that are driven by pure love of sport are a joy to watch.

Find out more about the Paralympics in Rio here.

The first two videos show Paralympians talking about their favorite movies, and the third shows Paralympians surprising people at the gym/dojo. Charming and inspiring!