Thursday, June 14, 2018


No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
~Robert Frost

This week, I used a prompt by Diane Lockward where she suggests using "April Incantation" by Maggie Dietz as a springboard. "April Incantation" isn't online so I can't share the ending, but here's the beginning:

April Incantation
by Maggie Dietz

O wrathful rain roll down
and down. Outwit the drains,

unground us. Wind and thunder,
steer the torrent’s train and throw

us under. Upriver, water, rage
and rack the dam to shatter. Blast

the happy poppies. Let petal-
blood trouble the flooded field.

Crack new bourns and boundaries
into parceled plots. Wreck even

the season that reared you: lick
the lilacs into sobbing heaps...


Here's my poem. Dietz's poem is pretty intense so that was what I had in mind, and I think the end result is kind of scary.*

Hunger Incantation
by Tabatha Yeatts

O thunderous maw, open!
Demand feeding, insist on

drenched sponge cake, laden
with preserves pulped within an

inch of their lives, ones that stick
to the spoon like they are grabbing

the cliff's edge with slippery hands.
Stuff yourself with upside-down cake,

shoving the juice-suffused rings in
with your single-minded fingers,

then the golden slabs that you swallow
dry, like a compactor crushing

a junkyard car, then the crumbs,
all that's left, crumbs that fall apart

between your teeth and leave
only your fingers to bite.


* Dietz's poem brings "I" in at the end and Lockward's prompt suggested that we do that, but I wasn't feeling it for my poem. My inspiration might have been someone, say a political party, who conjures an evil that devours them in the end, and maybe even a non-me narrator "I" wasn't a part of that. (Of course, you can take this poem any way you like, Dear Reader. Your interpretation is as good as mine.)

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

In Clover

What airs outblown from ferny dells
And clover-bloom and sweet brier smells.
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Appreciating the common clover today. (I was glad to find a "Greenleaf" clover quote.)

Trifolium pratense L.
Amédée Masclef from Atlas des plantes de France, 1891

Mountain Clover
photo by J Stimp

Trifolium fragiferum fruits close up Campo de Calatrava, Spain
ohoto by Javier Martin

The Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) on a Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
photo by Friedrich Böhringer

White Clover (Chiba, Japan, Tokyo)
photo by t-mizo

Trifolium pratense L., Trifolium medium L.
by Carl Axel Magnus Lindman

Red Clover Iced Tea

Note: I got side-tracked a bit by thinking about clovers and shamrocks. I have shamrocks that look like this:

I also have purple ones like these. So in my head I think of those as shamrocks and the stuff above as clover, except on St Patrick's Day when shamrocks are four-leaf clovers. How do you visualize shamrocks and clovers? (Also were you surprised by the clover fruits? We don't have those in my part of the world.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.
~Rosalyn Carter

There are so many potential caregiving situations that no one really knows if or when they might become a caregiver. Many people care for their parents, and many others care for spouses, children, other family members, neighbors, friends. Caregivers are all different ages -- one-in-four of the nearly 40 million family caregivers is a millennial. Some situations can be rewarding and even uplifting, while other times it can be just a long, hard slog.

The AARP has a lot of good videos about and for family caregivers.

* ABCs of Respite
* Government Resources Caregivers Should Know About
* Four Ways to Find a Caregiver Support Group (and a list of Facebook Caregiver Support Groups)

One last video:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Musical Hikes

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
~John Muir

Musical Hikes? I first heard about this concept when the Boulder Philharmonic was visiting the D.C. area and they did a bird-themed musical nature walk. The Boulder Phil has a whole "Nature & Music" program, with free guided hikes paired with music by the Phil.

There are more:

Utah's Moab Music Festival says: Our first Music Hike requires concert goers to make a vigorous early morning hike of 30 minutes into a spectacular natural concert setting, and to hike out, invigorated by an hour of intense listening. This program features five of our virtuoso musicians performing new 21st century music framed by the power of works by Brahms, Barber and Bach. Saturday, September 1, 2018

Connecticut has Hike to the Mic: Hike to the Mic -“Music and Arts Happening” that once again will reward hikers to the Heublein Tower with great musical entertainment, food vendors and family fun. Saturday 8/18/2018 and Sunday 8/19/2018.

Have to include a song! From The Hike Sessions:

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Virginia is for Lovers
~David Martin

Today we have soil by Irène P. Mathieu, who shares, "Fun fact about that soil poem: it's dedicated to my partner and his country accent. Shoutout to #FarmvilleVA."

Irene Mathieu

My grandparents lived in Farmville so I've heard Farmville accents my whole life. I sent this poem to my father and uncle, whom I knew would appreciate it.

by Irene Mathieu

the way you say soil
sounds like soul, as in

after we walked through the woods
my feet were covered in soul

when it rains
the soul turns to mud

the soul is made of decomposed
plant and animal matter;

edaphology is the study of the soul’s
influence on living things

while pedology is the study of how
soul is formed, its particular granularity.

you are rooted in a certain red patch
of soul that bled you and your

hundred cousins to life, a slow
warm river you call home.

maybe there is soul under everything,
even when we strike rock first.

the way you say soil you make
a poem out of every speck of dirt.


Whispers from the Ridge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kiesha!

Pearl's Garden

I want to see students from the bottom up be able to study my place and learn from it. Kids don't need to be interested in topiary. They can come here and learn to focus.
~Pearl Fryar

Watch this video about Pearl Fryar and you'll see why I was immediately charmed.

A Man Named Pearl
photo by stefernie

The Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden
photo by Laurel LaFlamme

Pearl Fryer's Toparies
photo by Duane Burdick

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Seeking: Rejection

When you're following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first.
~Kelly Cutrone

For Wellness Wednesday, thinking about courting rejection. What can we gain from being rejected? Why would anybody seek it?

She might not make her goal, but she will have a lot of rejections. She's okay with it.

Someone else with an interesting perspective on rejection is Jia Jiang, who has a site called "Rejection Therapy." He explains that his intention was "to desensitize myself from the pain of rejection and overcome my fear." He has a TED talk with more of his reasoning. ("Jiang desensitized himself to the pain and shame that rejection often brings and, in the process, discovered that simply asking for what you want can open up possibilities where you expect to find dead ends.") The below video is Day 21 of 100 Days of Rejection Therapy (spoiler: he doesn't get rejected in this particular one, but you can find ones where he does if you look):

Monday, June 4, 2018

I need you, you, you

Please remember, people, that no matter who you are and what you do to live, thrive, and survive, there are still some things that make us all the same.

This Music Monday we have songs from The Blues Brothers. Good morning!!