Monday, December 31, 2018
A way to make you smile.
I read bad poetry
Into your machine.
It's the end of the year as we know it. Here's Great Big Sea covering R.E.M.:
I heard a sampling of the top K-pop songs from 2018, and this one by NU'EST W was my favorite.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
~William E. Vaughan
I'm not sure one has to be a pessimist to want to see some years out :-) But there are some things that it's nice to have the same. Like poems on Fridays, for instance. A haiku by Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) for the new year:
Year after year
on the monkey’s face
a monkey’s face.
Mainely Write has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Donna!
That burst upon the night,
Then fall to earth in burning showers
Of crimson, blue, and white.
~ James Reeves
Rerun time! Six years ago, Art Thursday fell on December 27th and I shared this post:
Fireworks on Shortest Night
by Grzegorz Chorus
by Simon Sun
La girandola a castel San Angelo
by Franz Theodor Aerni
Brighton Clock Tower
by Dominic Alves
Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks
by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell, F. Paresce, E. Young, the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team
Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge
by James McNeill Whistler
by Steve Jurvetson
Monday, December 24, 2018
Two versions of Gustav Holst's Christmas Day today, one instrumental and one choral:
Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating!
Thursday, December 20, 2018
scattering white doves.
Poems by Nobel prizewinning Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska today. The endings to her poems make me give happy sighs, so I hope you click through to read the rest! (I also posted one of her ekphrastic poems for Art Thursday, if you want to scroll down a wee bit.)
by Wislawa Szymborska
Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on sand,
rise on wings;
to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;
to tell pain
from everything it's not;
to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes;
read the rest here
Love at First Sight
by Wislawa Szymborska
They’re both convinced
that a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is beautiful,
but uncertainty is more beautiful still.
Since they’d never met before, they’re sure
that there’d been nothing between them.
But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways—
perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times?
read the rest here
A 'Thank You' Note
by Wislawa Szymborska
There is much I owe
to those I do not love.
read the rest here
Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Buffy!
Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world, our own, we see it multiplied and as many original artists as there are, so many worlds are at our disposal, differing more widely from each other than those which roll round the infinite and which, whether their name be Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us their unique rays many centuries after the hearth from which they emanate is extinguished.
For Art Thursday, a work of art and a poem it inspired.
by Wislawa Szymborska
As long as the woman from Rijksmuseum
in painted silence and concentration
day after day pours milk
from the jug to the bowl,
the World does not deserve
the end of the world.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
In addition to being a massage therapist and an herbal medicine practitioner, Tammi Sweet has taught Anatomy and Physiology for many years. I've taken online classes from Ms. Sweet about various health topics. Not talking about anatomy and physiology today, though. Tammi suggests "Setting Your Intentions for Winter Solstice." She says:
The medicine for many of our modern ailments is not complex, nor does it require expensive interventions.
The simple act of pausing and bringing your full attention to the moment allows your entire being (including your nervous system) to reset, to come into the gorgeous present and remember what is important.
Here are Tammi's summarized suggestions regarding setting your intentions on the shortest day for the upcoming year:
Put down the distracting electronics
Give yourself space, without an agenda
Be present to your surroundings
Look around at something bigger than you
Feel what’s present
Mocha Yule Log recipe
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Revisiting poems by the lovely E.J. Koh, plus a song:
FATHER IN HIS OLD AGE
by E.J. Koh
There is a Korean belief that you are born
the parent of the one you hurt most. Watching
my father use chopsticks to split chicken katsu,
he confesses that I may be the reincarnation
of his own father. We finish our waters in silence
and walk home chatting about who to blame
for where we are. He says, The present is the revenge
of the past. Revenge goes too far, I argue. And
in our unhappiness, we both want to know
we cannot pay enough. Pain becomes meaning.
After this life, I fear I’ll never meet him again.
by E.J. Koh
always sit in swivel chairs that won’t fit under low desks.
A fireplace log shifts
and the center leg of a table sinks without sound.
You can tell a ghost is here when the dog sniffs plaster walls,
or your left elbow itches, or windowpanes
bend where the sun hits.
Just now the staircase called out, old wood rasping.
A ghost has drifted in and he
settles like dust with nothing to gain or lose,
a sculpture in a museum—
until headlights cast beams across the ceiling,
bursting the shadows. If I say
ghost out loud, he will hover over the vacant seat at the table,
a voyeur from my past. No wonder
I enter my house like a visitor.
Ending with a Rainbow Girls song whose title (and a wee bit of the lyrics) come from Dylan Thomas' villanelle Do not go gentle into that good night:
Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!
Legendary Japanese supernatural creatures today. Spooky, cute, funny -- they really cover all the bases.
A kappa (an amphibious yōkai demon said to like cucumbers...an old tradition was to write family members' names on cucumbers and send them afloat on streams to mollify the kappa)
by Katsushika Hokusai
Nurikabe (a plaster wall said to manifest as an invisible wall that impedes or misdirects travelers walking at night)
from Bakemono no e
Rokurokubi (There are two types of Rokurokubi: one whose neck stretches, and one whose head comes off and flies around freely)
from Bakemono no e
Hahakigami (broom spirit)
Mujina (shape-shifting badger demons who deceive humans)
from the Wakan Sansai Zue
Onibi (ghost light, spirits born from the corpses of humans and animals, often blue)
Wakan Sansai Zue
Bakemono Chakutōchō (a tōfu-kozō, a yōkai that takes on the appearance of a child possessing a tray with tōfu on it. Sometimes teased by other yōkai for being weak yōkai)
by Masayoshi Kitao
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Did you know that a flock of magpies can be called a "tidings"? I love collective nouns. No magpies here, though -- this tidings is just a communique to tell you that I appreciate that you're here, and that I appreciate any and all other times you've been here. I appreciate your comments, your emails, your ideas, and the things you haven't said, anything you may have quietly taken with you from here and found useful. I'm thankful that we come together on our life's journey and share this time and space. I'm even thankful for the dude who keeps coming here to spam us about Tibetan hikes. He's teaching me something about persistence (not sure if it is his or mine, ha ha).
Thanks for being with me!
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018
For Music Monday, In Dulci Jubilo from Christmas with The Singers. You know I love choral Christmas music!
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Today's post is a response to the following message from the international literature festival berlin:
On December 10, 1948, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was announced by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. On this anniversary, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon individuals, institutions, universities, schools, and media who value freedom of the press and human rights to organize and participate in a worldwide reading in memory of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Poems in honor of
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the memory of Jamal Khashoggi
Universal Declaration for Jamal
by Linda Mitchell
barbarous acts have outraged us.
of our human family, is murdered.
championed freedoms of justice and peace.
rights should have been protected.
Insomuch as Jamal’s
dignity and human worth were disregarded.
better standards for all peoples and nations.
Forasmuch as Jamal
is compatriot, colleague, father, spouse, friend, brother
We are not his
We are not his
Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
REMEMBERING JAMAL KHASHOGGI
by Michelle Kogan
Golden Shovel built from Article 03 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A human life is the responsibility of everyone.
When a voice has
spoken for those oppressed, the
voice also needs right-
ful protection. To
slaughter any life
is a blight against all liberty
all measures of human security
need to unite to right this heinous act of
dehumanization toward that person.
© 2018 Michelle Kogan
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
by Tabatha Yeatts
made of the universe,
breathing stars with every breath,
who unfurled like a flower
in the world's womb,
The right to be seen—
replete with spirit
a complete unit of life—
spark of life's fire,
wherever you go.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
by Harry Yeatts
iambic tetrameter blank verse pentastich
These folks hold tight to their beliefs.
Those folks over there do the same.
And both believe diff'rent from me.
So then we're all non-believers,
And have every right to be.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
all I need is
elected officials who
question my value and
understand nothing of the
perhaps it's time to
the truth of
nothing is ever secure.
© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
freedom to be nice
by Donna JT Smith, © 2018
found poem from the UDHR
religion or belief
may nothing be
A concrete poem by Brenda Davis Harsham:
Elizabeth Steinglass has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Liz!
Journalism-related art today, getting ready for a Khashoggi post tomorrow.
photo by Dr. Avishai Teicher
Women’s photojournalism course in Farah City, Afghanistan
photo by ResoluteSupportMedia
Allegory of communist press censorship
by Jacek Halicki
by Adolph von Menzel
by Suzanne Scheuer
for the U.S. Works Progress Administration
Portrait of Emma Zorn
by Anders Zorn
Trompe l'oeil mit Porträt
by Martin Orthner
A final quote:
News is what someone wants suppressed. Everything else is advertising.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Sometimes I don't know which way to go with Wellness Wednesday because I'm not sure what you need this week. My younger daughter came down with a stomach bug last night, so I mostly need electrolyte recipes and permission to nap. But what is on your plate? My Australian friend Kat just told me about the bushfires that recently blazed through her area and how stressful that experience was (thank goodness for rain!). I ended up going with a little bit of a bunch of things...use as needed:
Smoke pollution from fires:
* Fire Support: Herbs for Lungs and Trauma
DIY Electrolyte drinks:
* 4 Homemade Electrolyte Recipes
* Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary
* Study: Tetris is a Great Distraction for Easing an Anxious Mind
* Relaxation Apps
* Nick Cave on death and grief
* Amaretto Cream Truffles (I made them Sunday and had planned on using amaretto extract, but at the last minute I decided on strawberry. TBH, I couldn't taste the strawberry, but the truffles were still a hit.)
Anything you want to add?
Monday, December 3, 2018
Anita Baker's Rapture album (1986) was one that I listened to on a daily basis. For Music Monday, Anita Baker:
One more Anita quote:
I'm picking and choosing in terms of the stress factor. If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Two Maggies today. I just love this Maggie Smith poem with its gold butterflies and shadows:
by Maggie Smith
When the girl leaves the mountain,
she is no longer a child,
but she has not outgrown the hawk.
She wears its shadow on her shoulder,
an epaulet. It bears the weight
of allegory. When the girl leaves
the mountain, it’s autumn,
so many yellow leaves on the gingko,
clusters of butterflies seem to cling
to each branch. Each time
the wind blows, a few take wing...
read the rest here (scroll to the bottom)
I love this (admittedly dark) Maggie Blake Bailey poem, too:
by Maggie Blake Bailey
...Years ago, I left to climb a glacier
in Alaska and learned how to cling
to the mountain, how to bracket...
read the whole thing here
Last day to turn in human rights poems!
Carol's Corner has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!
Today's post was inspired by a visit to The Phillips Collection in DC.
Interiør med kunstnerens staffeli
by Vilhelm Hammershøi
by John F. Folinsbee
Garden at Vaucresson
by Édouard Vuillard
Moulin à Saint-Jacut or Les Villas
by Édouard Vuillard
by Nathalie Djurber
photo by Tabatha
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
For Wellness Wednesday, some ideas for things that you can make and give.
* I made these last weekend and they are really saving my lips:
10 minute DIY lip balm
* Construct a timeline of a person's life (or a couple's lives), and make game from it. I talk about Timeline here. You would take life events and put them on slips of paper or cardstock and see if other people in the family can put them in the right order. Did Grandma start working at the library before or after she lived in Georgia? Did Grandma and Grandpa meet before or after Grandpa joined the army?
* Make a zine for someone about a topic that interests them. What's a zine? A mini magazine with 8 sections folded from a single page:
How to Make a Zine
* Make some healthy cookies for someone who shies away from everyday sweets:
Turmeric Ginger Cookies
* Make some florentine cookies for someone who eats sweets with gusto:
Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies
* I made a lyric fill-in-the-blank game that we played as a family...I tried to include songs that either all three generations might know, or that people could guess. Players got 1/2 points for entertaining answers. People were more likely to get it right when the blank was only one word, like "Rock me momma like a south bound ______" so include lots of those if you want it to be fairly easy.
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do, ___________________ and this one's for you
There's nothing you can do that can't be done, ___________________ that can't be sung
You may be right, _______________, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong, _________________, mountain mama (The person who answered "baby llama" got 1/2 point and me singing that version for probably all time.)
(Answers: my gift is my song, nothing you can sing, I may be crazy)
Do you have any suggestions for things to make? (Or any lyrics for me to guess?)
Monday, November 26, 2018
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! The above quote doesn't really relate to the song other than that Eileen Grey is Irish, and so are today's musicians. For Music Monday, the Chieftains with the Corrs:
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Happy Poetry Friday! I was feeling kind of mistake-y this week. Revisiting my mistakes, experiencing other people's tomfoolery, watching how one mistake can lead to another...which inspired this week's poem. (Is this a form you guys know? I am not sure whether I made it up or had already seen it somewhere.)
Hats by Marco
by Tabatha Yeatts
Sara labelled the hat the wrong size
And Ronald bought the hat
Ronald's new hat covered his eyes
And he walked into the cat
The cat jumped and ripped the screen door
And the dog ran outside
The barky dog woke Baby mid-snore
And Baby cried and cried
Her cries spooked a squirrel who raced
And roused a lazing snake
Snake hugged squirrel in a snug embrace...
All due to a hat mistake.
I'm going to take next week off for Thanksgiving, but I hope to still be able to visit some of y'all's blogs to say hi. Hope you have a warm and snuggly holiday! TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!
P.S. I've enjoyed the Human Rights poems I've received very much. Please send yours in by November 30th.
~The Spectator, 1907
For Art Thursday, illustrations from Wild Flowers of the British Isles by H. Isabel Adams, 1907:
Crab Apple, Dog Rose, Blackthorn
Mullein, Monkey Flower, Mimulus
Red Bearberry, Scotch Menziezia, Marsh Andromeda
Chicory, Hawk's Beard, Ox-Tounge
Spotted Catchfly, Soapwort, Corn Cockle
The Stonecrop Family
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Keeping ourselves amused this Wellness Wednesday with this and that. Here's Jim Ignatowski from Taxi taking a driving test:
Dad Joke Generator (Dad Jokes do make me laugh, like this Dad Joke competition between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.)
Shakespearean insult generator and a Shakespearean insult song by Hank Green.
And because it's always nice to watch Robin Williams speaking gibberish:
What made you smile this week?
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Commemorating the end of World War I:
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Today, poems about our commonalities, our struggles and joys, our rebirth.
Don't forget to send me your human rights poems by November 30th!
by Pablo Neruda
Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.
My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.
by Octavio Paz
It’s a long and silent street.
I walk in the dark and trip and fall
and get up and step blindly
on the mute stones and dry leaves
and someone behind me is also walking:
if I stop, he stops;
if I run, he runs. I turn around: no one.
Everything is black, there is no exit,
and I turn and turn corners
that always lead to the street
where no one waits for me, no one follows,
where I follow a man who trips
and gets up and says when he sees me: no one.
Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón
...Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!
photo by Rob Lavinsky
Phlogopite, San Vito quarry, Monte Somma, Italy
photo by Didier Descouens
photo by Robert Lavinsky
Azurite, cross-section through merged stalactites
photo by Tony Hisgett
photo by James St. John