Friday, September 30, 2016

Silent Companion

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.
~Ernest Hemingway

Sharing another old poem today. Thanks for humoring me while I raid the archives! Actually, this poem was never on my blog -- Margaret shared it at Reflections on the Teche because I wrote it for her (and her cat Mimi).

by Tabatha Yeatts
with thanks to W.S.
for M.S. and E.

The tail moved
always —
and after.
There was never a time
the tail’s journey was over.

The cat’s nose
in the dog’s ear —
whispering love poems
with her whiskers.

Anything can be hidden
on the ceiling.
No one looks up.
Except the cat.

The cat walks across the board game.
The whims of fate
cast furry shadows.

Only the spiral circles
of pacing and waiting
can express the longing
the scent of chicken

The cat’s bones
like a pebble
in a water dish.

Sleeping upright,
paws hidden,
tail delicately curving
around her side,
the memory of deity

The cat,
guardian, silent companion,
desires to be close to the rabbit,
as the tree guards the moss,
as the leaf guards the air,
as the earth guards the moon.

A plane can take you far from the world,
but a cat can always bring you to it.

The cat discerns the approaching rain,
spins, and returns so adroitly
you might never imagine
that was not her original direction.

Next to the cat,
the man sneezes.
The cat licks her side.

One cat stalks a darting fly.
Her sister leaves her sleeping post
only to find another.

Shadows fall around the cat,
the icy gray fingers of age ruffle her fur;
the cat gets up
and moves.

Emma passed away in 2014, about a year after this poem was written.

Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Karen!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Enter The Magic World of Books

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
~William Wordsworth

Thank you, Malena, for allowing me to share your enchanting paper sculptures!

Enter The Magic World of Books
by Malena Valcárcel

Fairytale Scene
by Malena Valcárcel

Into the Mystic, Book Sculpture
by Malena Valcárcel

A Field of Poppies, Book Sculpture
by Malena Valcárcel

Miniature Carousel
by Malena Valcárcel

Ballerina Miniature Paper Dress and shoes
by Malena Valcárcel

My Lovely House, Paper Ring
by Malena Valcárcel

Monday, September 26, 2016

Won't you dance with me?

The universe is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
― Eden Phillpotts

Today's quote was inspired by the name of today's band: Oh Wonder. Hat tip to Bonnie Boo for introducing me to this group. The first video fills me with delight.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A song for Grace

I pray you forgive me for the years I lived blind
~Andy Mineo

Here's a song released by Andy Mineo as a tribute to his sister Grace during International Week of the Deaf, which ends today:

Friday, September 23, 2016

A little something

Nashville, man. That's the place to be.
~Willie Geist

Greetings, all! I left yesterday to go to Vanderbilt Family Weekend (yay!), so I am running an old poem of mine.

photo by Bindaas Madhavi

by Tabatha Yeatts

To listen is to open your heart.
To listen, open your heart.
Listen, open your heart.
Listen, heart.


You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at Reading to the Core. Thanks, Catherine!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Normal Viking Light Treehouse

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We're having a creativity party today! Come on in. There's plenty for everybody.

THE REINVENTION OF NORMAL from Liam Saint-Pierre on Vimeo.

A Viking Goodbye from Locke + Stache on Vimeo.

Soo Sunny Park: Unwoven Light from Walley Films on Vimeo.

The Cinder Cone from Farm League on Vimeo.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Second Time Around

Leave what’s heavy
What’s heavy behind

Were you sad when The Civil Wars broke up? I'm happy to report that John Paul White has a new album! He's also touring!

Here's a song by Birdtalker that his old partner, Joy Williams, recommended:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ruth Anna

A mash-up cover by talented young musician Ruth Anna Mendoza of the Philippines:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Find the wells

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I am happy listening to John O'Donohue any time -- what a marvelous voice he had! This poem-blessing seems appropriate as we Americans approach our election.

by John O’Donohue

May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.

As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.

When the way is flat and dull in times of gray endurance,
May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.

When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.

May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
And know when the seed of change will flourish.

In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.

May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.

May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
May your power never become a shell
Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.
May you welcome your own vulnerability
As the ground where healing and truth join.

May integrity of soul be your first ideal.
The source that will guide and bless your work.


Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


God made some people Horn players; others are not so fortunate.
~Anton Horner

Somehow I've made it through all these Art Thursdays without ever posting French horns. Me, who writes poems about Mozart horn concertos and sings along with them too! But I am rectifying that omission today.

French Horn In F, a Delft blue and white earthenware French horn, probably made in Germany around 1850-80
photo by Peter Dutton

No. 3: French Horn Section, Telephone workers, Metropolitan Bell Symphony Orchestra concert
David Lawrence

French Horn
photo by Stefano Parmesan
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musical Instruments Section

French Horns, Unwound and Entwined
by Claes Oldenburg/Coosje van Bruggen
photo by Meg Nicol

French Horn
Cousin Araminta is no longer welcome in France since the unfortunate incident with the poodle.
photo by Apionid

Mait Jüriado

French Horn, Ducks and Apple Crate
photo by Nancy Regan

Lurs, Bronze Age blowing horns, 9-8 century BC. Copy, bronze. Garlstedt, Lower Saxony.
Original taken as war loot to Russia at the end of War World II. Visitors can hear, in the museum, the immense sound volume of this instrument. Neues Museum, Berlin.
photo by Ismoon

Monday, September 12, 2016

I'll be there

You've got to dig it to dig it, you dig?
~Thelonious Monk

Joyful Music Monday with extraordinary Swedish musician-singer Gunhild Carling with Shakin' All:

For bagpipe swing by Ms. Carling (and some really whole-hearted enjoyment of her fellow musicians' work), visit here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Wounded warriors and supporters run in the New York City Tunnel to Towers Run to raise awareness for their causes. United States Military Academy at West Point cadets and FDNY firefighters lined the final stretch of the run.

The run is in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which works to build homes for injured troops and provide scholarships to the children of fallen service members and firefighters.

Siller was an off-duty New York City firefighter who headed back to the city to help after the attacks on 9/11. When he reached as far as car traffic would allow he strapped his 65-lbs of gear on ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to join his fellow firefighters. The 5km run retraces his steps to the base of the World Trade Center. Siller died while helping with the rescue effort. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall Clinton)

What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.
~David Levithan

Friday, September 9, 2016

Paralympic Poems

Am I excited about the Paralympic Games? I cried watching the Brazilian Paralympic team come into the stadium for the Opening Ceremonies. (That was the only part of the opening ceremonies that I saw...I probably would have cried for all of it.)

In the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, poetry was inscribed on a wall in the Athletes Village to inspire them. A Tennyson favorite was chosen:

That which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Another one that was suggested that I particularly liked was this bit by Longfellow:

The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.


I'm sharing poems today by Priscila Uppal of Canada, written for the London 2012 Paralympics.

Rules of the Republic of Paralympic
by Priscila Uppal

At customs, officials welcome passports by cheers.

Everyone you encounter is immediately identified numerically
according to level of ability.

Roads are sectioned into individual lanes.

Paperwork is filed by relay.

Pain: an unlimited resource used for fuel.

read the rest here


by Priscila Uppal

After the canoes and kayaks have been lifted out
of the water, the painted lines on fields and courts erased,
the nets lowered, the bicycles sent for tune-ups, the scoreboards
reprogrammed, the trunks and singlets tossed in the wash,
sneakers unlaced, pools drained, gloves hung, mats soaked
in vinegar, the show jumps dismantled, ticket stubs
recycled, the starting blocks stored, hurdles stacked,
concession stands closed down.

read the rest here


A post about the Paralympics from July

The Poem Farm has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Amy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016


He who loveth a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counsellor, a cheerful companion, or an effectual comforter.
~Isaac Barrow

Sharing art by the marvelously-named Augustus Leopold Egg today. Just a few, but they are worth a long look! Egg, who died before his 47th birthday, was described by Charles Dickens as being "always sweet-tempered, humorous, conscientious, thoroughly good, and thoroughly beloved."

The Travelling Companions, 1862
by Augustus Egg

The Life of Buckingham
by Augustus Leopold Egg

The Death of Buckingham
by Augustus Leopold Egg

Monday, September 5, 2016

Live from Daryl's

Any song I don't feel good about, I shelve. Anything you ever hear me sing, it's because I want to.
~Daryl Hall

Did you know that people jam at Daryl Hall's house? Of course they do, you're saying.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Suction sure

She dotes on poetry, sir. She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, sir. You may have met with her 'Ode to an Expiring Frog,' sir.
― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers *

Sharing a poem from the Poem Swap today. This summer was very emotion-packed for me, what with my father-in-law's death, son's graduation, husband's illness, and other events. When I was sending out a message to the swappers in July, I included this image and said, "This has pretty much been me this summer:

Drenched, but still holding on to my cup."

Dori thought about me and my storms when she wrote the following poem, which she sent with a delightful, musical frog:

Song of the storm
by Doraine Bennett
for Tabatha

a spring peeper clings
to the broken limb
footpads suction sure
attuned to distant thunder
she chooses the pertinent chant
perfectly paired to words
her green mind imagines
and belts out her song


* In case you wondered about Charles Dickens' character's "Ode to an Expiring Frog":

‘Can I view thee panting, lying
On thy stomach, without sighing;
Can I unmoved see thee dying
     On a log,
     Expiring frog!’

‘Say, have fiends in shape of boys
With wild halloo, and brutal noise,
Hunted thee from marshy joys,
     With a dog,
     Expiring frog!

Here's a poem inspired by Dickens' expiring frog.

A Penny and her Jots has the Poetry Friday round-up this week. Thanks, Penny!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pilots, porcelain, and paper

Animation is not the art of drawings that move but the art of movements that are drawn.
~Norman McLaren

Animated shorts today. They have some great visuals!