Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Papery Dark

It makes your teeth feel good to say it: Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. It feels like eating peanuts. Try it.
~Sylvia Cassedy

Two Maggies today. I just love this Maggie Smith poem with its gold butterflies and shadows:

Mountain Child
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)

Ginkgo Tree by Will Power


I love this (admittedly dark) Maggie Blake Bailey poem, too:

Glacier Climbing
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!


[Vilhelm] Hammershøi's art is about being present in the world as it is, accepting its beauty, and living in the moment.
~Richard Dorment

Today's post was inspired by a visit to The Phillips Collection in DC.

Interiør med kunstnerens staffeli
by Vilhelm Hammershøi

Grey Thaw
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

Personal Gifts

A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange.

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:
Zine Template
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

Bonny boys

We must ask nothing of artists but to be of their own time.
~Eileen Grey

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

The Hat

I think it just takes one little snowflake to start a snowball to go down the hill.

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

The Hat
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.

Monkey Flower and Hawk's Beard

From one to half-a-dozen plants are figured on a page; but Miss Adams manages to keep the character of each species distinct, and the grouping is often full of skill and grace.
~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

Slow Down

Only one in four jokes ever works, and I still can't predict what people will laugh at.
~Steven Wright

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


I shall not easily forget those long winter nights in the front line. Darkness fell about four in the afternoon and dawn was not until eight next morning. These sixteen hours of blackness were broken by gun flashes, the gleam of star shells and punctuated by the scream of a shell or the sudden heart-stopping rattle of a machine-gun. The long hours crept by with leaden feet and sometimes it seemed as if time itself was dead.
~F. Noakes

Commemorating the end of World War I:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Continuous Living

If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life.
~Pablo Neruda

photo by Larry Jacobsen

Today, poems about our commonalities, our struggles and joys, our rebirth.

Don't forget to send me your human rights poems by November 30th!


Your Laughter
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.


The Street
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.


photo by Tauralbus

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!

Phlogopite Plus

I love rocks with the unconditional love that you lavish upon a newborn baby.
~Hope Jahren

Rocks today!

Smithsonite, Aurichalcite
photo by Rob Lavinsky

Phlogopite, San Vito quarry, Monte Somma, Italy
photo by Didier Descouens

Apatite-(CaF), Muscovite
photo by Robert Lavinsky

Azurite, cross-section through merged stalactites
photo by Tony Hisgett

Pyritized brachiopods
photo by James St. John

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It's Time!

I’m just trying to do my part to save the world.
~J. Cornell Michel

I know everybody is already telling you to vote. Lucy is just here to say THANKS FOR VOTING!

Liberty Lucy

Protect Our Votes/Election Integrity

Monday, November 5, 2018


The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
~Henry David Thoreau

Unknown Mortal Orchestra:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Giving/Where Strength Lies

I know what I have given you...
I do not know what you have received.
~Antonio Porchia

photo by John Morgan

Two poems, thinking about Thanksgiving and Election Day.

When Giving Is All We Have
by Alberto Ríos

                  One river gives
                  Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,

read the rest here


A Nation’s Strength
by William Ralph Emerson (1833-1917)

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.


Vote! It matters!

Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Jama!

Rose Windows

We must shine with hope, stained glass windows that shape light into icons, glow like lanterns borne before a procession. Who can bear hope back into the world but us.
~Marge Piercy

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
photo by Ralph Hammann

Speyer, Germany
by Jakob Bradl
photo by Roman Eisele

Rosetón. Igrexa principal de Noia, Galicia
photo by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

Église protestante Saint-Thomas de Strasbourg
photo by Ralph Hammann

Église Saints-Pierre-et-Paul
photo by Ralph Hammann

Vitrail de la cathédrale de Strasbourg
photo by Frédéric Chateaux