Monday, September 30, 2019


A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.
~Walter Winchell

For Music Monday, Daniel Thrasher:

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Emotional Elements

I have presented the periodic table as a kind of travel guide to an imaginary country, of which the elements are the various regions.
~Peter William Atkins

Monument to the periodic table in Bratislava, Slovakia

Happy Poetry Friday! Today I'm sharing Melancholia by Eric Pankey. I think it makes a good mentor poem, so I am sharing my own "Emotional Element" afterward.

by Eric Pankey

On the periodic table, it is the densest of elements. It does not refract or reflect, but absorbs all light. On the tongue, it has no taste at all, although one recalls a bitter, acrid tinge. All day the rain falls in its room. All night the rain. Mold blackens the walls.

Read the rest here


by Tabatha Yeatts

On the periodic table, it is the most delicate of elements. Each moment, it generates a new stratum, layers upon layers, until -- sturdy -- it can hold other elements. Oxygen breathes it. Helium rises here. The room is full of the table, a mountain of table. The color of honey in the comb. Light held still. Its odor suggests a forest, and marshmallows held over a fire. The flickers crackle for long sticks and patience. Here the crystalline delicacy ripens, the same every time.


Beyond LiteracyLink has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


Welding is like sewing with fire.

Striking work by bladesmiths (and one illustrator) for Art Thursday.

Antenna Dagger, central Europe
circa 800-450 BCE

Alte Armatur und Ringkunst
by Hans Talhoffer (1420–1490)

Dagger (Khanjar), India
Mid 1600s

Dirk (thrusting dagger), possibly Portuguese
Late 1600s

Dagger with flowered-shaped hilt, India
circa 1600-1730

Dagger (Kindjal) with Scabbard
Caucasian region, possibly Kubachi, Dagestan

Moroccan Dagger
photo by Dennis Jarvis

Last quote:

Strike while the iron is hot.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Spirit of Justice

It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.
~Lewis Powell, Jr.

Spirit of Justice
Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC

Sometimes our wellness can be influenced by factors outside our control. We have to find ways to soothe ourselves, ways to make inroads on problems that are worrying us despite the fact that a larger entity than us is making the problem...“helplessness management” can be hard.

I am a person who likes to celebrate, so in my heart I am celebrating that there is the possibility that justice will be served.

“The gravest danger facing the country is not a Congress that seeks to measure the president against his oath—it is a president who fails to measure up to that solemn promise.”
~Yoni Appelbaum

“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson

* Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Monday, September 23, 2019


Is it time for you
to jump into the next train
~Caravan Palace

Getting you moving this Music Monday with Caravan Palace:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dream Balloons

The view across the immensity of Tiananmen Square here is extraordinary...All of the history of China is symbolically focused here, at this very point, and it is hard, as you stand there, not to be transfixed by the power of it.
~Douglas Adams

Poets from a Hong Kong-based journal today, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. These are from the "Tiananmen Thirty Years On" issue.

An excerpt of JUNE
by Xi Xi, translated from the Chinese by Jennifer Feeley

...Every June we dreamed
of far-off lands, of seeing a few
sights, buying a few books
visiting old friends. June
comes again, the colour of the sky
unearthly, where you are
there are sudden avalanches
the fluorescent screen starkly bares
a square ghostly pale, the capital
shrouded in thick frost, a cold front
advancing, everyone
in shock

What a grim June
So how are things with you? Not much to tell
except the temperature is falling, it’s so cold
so very cold, distant scenes
our dream balloons
pop one by one. We unfold
a map, unsure
if our feet still have the right to choose
where they’re heading

July 4, 1989


by Ming Di, translated from the Chinese by the author

after Ezra Pound

The aspirations of these young faces in the crowd—
plums crushed by a rust-bloody tower.

Author’s Note:
I see a gigantic tank, the Tiananmen Tower
with Mao’s picture, rolling along
the Tiananmen Square. Heavenly Peace,
that’s what the name is.
I hear people cry out, in peace, aspiring
for light from darkness.
An ocean of voices.
An ocean of gasping when the tank moves over.
An ocean of faces—
petals of plum blossoms—smashed
as the tank rolls down
the Avenue of Eternal Peace.


To My Grandfather by Liu Xiaobo
6/4 by Anthony Tao

TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Ornamental Design

I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this; was it done with enjoyment, was the carver happy while he was about it?
~John Ruskin

I had trouble narrowing down which pages to show from the 1900 book Handbook of ornament; a grammar of art, industrial and architectural designing in all its branches, for practical as well as theoretical use by Franz Sales Meyer because I wanted to show the breadth of its images.

A second quote:
I belong in chrysanthemum time, sharp in calla lily elongations. God made my soul into an ornamental thing.
~Fernando Pessoa

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


I think the most interesting way for me to approach anyone is to assume that they have all sorts of gems and treasures hidden inside of them.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Featuring Ariana's favorite podcasts today. She says:

1. Ear Hustle: my #1 favorite! a unique and consistently amazing podcast produced in San Quentin prison in California by prisoners about all aspect of prison life. It will change your perspective, warm your heart, and stay with you
2. This is Love: a charming podcast where love is interpreted very broadly— an artist in love with the color blue, snail reproductive habits, etc.
3. Twenty Thousand Hertz: a podcast all about sound. Alarm clocks, sonic branding, bird song... each 20-30 min episode is informative and fascinating

4. Aria Code: a great podcast for opera lovers (or opera newbies!). each episode discusses a famous aria, making it more beautiful and more relatable at the same time
5. Five Things: on this podcast, artists, musicians, comedians, and other interesting people tell the stories of their lives through 5 objects that are important to them. A cool premise that leads to lovely interviews

6. Kind World: If you need your faith in humanity restored, these short episodes of storytelling will do it! Warning: you may need tissues
7. The Slowdown: Our poet laureate Tracy K Smith reads a poem every day in her lovely, soothing reading voice and includes comments, personal anecdotes, and analysis. You don’t have to be a poet or feel comfortable reading poetry to adore this podcast
8. Personal Best: it’s hard to describe this podcast in a way that does it justice... a light-hearted Canadian parody of self-help culture? Two guys trying incredibly hard to help people with mundane problems and almost always failing? It’s a delight, trust me.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Муу хүний дуу чанга
A bad person’s voice is loud
~Mongolian proverb

For Music Monday, Mongolian singer Daichin Tana:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

You are quite a beauty

Your hearts are like my hands,
some days all they do is tremble.
I am like you.
~Anis Mojgani

A poem from Muzzle Magazine to welcome autumn. It's also a poem to inspire you to think outside the box with your imagery!

All those gold leaves
by Anis Mojgani

My piano coat unbuttoned
and all my pianos fell into the leaves.
I was picking up pianos for hours
when you walked past
your skin glowed like a loud dog.
In your smile this dog had a fence
to push his face up against.
What happiness he barked.
With pianos filling my arms...

read the rest here


Come Closer by Anis Mojgani:


Writing the World for Kids has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!


The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.
~William Faulkner

Sgraffito today. Sgraffito is a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color (on walls or pottery).

photo by Maryele

House covered with sgraffito
photo by Kostisl

Carved and Incised Vessel with Deity Heads, A.D. 600-900

Portrait of Aristotle, 1500-1550
shared by MicheleLovesArt

Maison Cauchie, architecte Paul Cauchie, 1905

Kraków - Prelates House
photo by Andrzej Otrębski

Movie theater

How to do it yourself:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Here's a rule of life: You don't get to pick what bad things happen to you.
~Rory Miller

On the 9/11 Day site, you can look up volunteer projects in your area so you can do a day (or more) of service.

September is also National Preparedness Month. I like being prepared, although I'm not organized enough to do all the things. What about you?

From Week 2 (Sept 8-14): Make a Plan

Make an Emergency Plan
Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area
Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan

This isn't part of making a plan, but it sort of is...what do you plan on doing as a bystander in an emergency? You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, designed by FEMA, are trainings that can be taken online or in-person. The program encourages the public to take these five steps when there is an emergency:
Call 9-1-1;
Protect the injured from harm;
Stop bleeding;
Position the injured so they can breathe; and
Provide comfort.

One last thought:

Monday, September 9, 2019

Saint Motel

Oh, you got a pulse and you are breathing
You-you-you're just my type
~Saint Motel

Today's Music Monday is courtesy of my son. Saint Motel:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dear Poet

That's the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.
~Ray Bradbury

Sharing poems from Charles Ghigna's Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer today. These sent me off in different directions, thinking about the origins of creativity. Thanks for letting me share them, Charles!


Look in the mirror.
If you see a stranger,
write a poem.

If you see
your father,
write a poem.

If you see
put down the pen.



The path
to inspiration starts
upon a trail unknown.

Each writer’s block
is not a rock.
It is a stepping stone.


Poetry for Children has the Poetry Friday round-up today. Thanks, Janet and Sylvia!


In time of prosperity, friends will be plenty;
In time of adversity, not one in twenty.
~Bahamian proverb

Spotlighting the Bahamas for Art Thursday. If you'd like to help with their recovery from Hurricane Dorian, consider the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Sunlight on seascape
photo by Craig Hatfield

Acropora palmata (elkhorn coral) (San Salvador Island, Bahamas)
photo by James St. John

photo by Kyla Duhamel

photo by Russell Preston

photo by Travis Wise

Wooden Woman
photo by Kyla Duhamel

Storm clouds above Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera, Bahamas
photo by Gerald Adams

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Make the Hard Thing Easier

I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.
~Pietro Aretino

Today's Wellness Wednesday quote is from 8 Rules to Do Everything Better by Brad Stulberg:

Make the Hard Thing Easier

Willpower is overrated. Rather than relying completely on self-control, intentionally design your environment to make the hard thing easier. For example, if you (like everyone) are constantly distracted by your smartphone, don’t just turn it off — remove it altogether from where you’re trying to concentrate. If your challenge is eating healthy, instead of relying on your willpower at 9 p.m. after a glass of wine, simply keep the brownies out of the house. This applies to everything. Don’t just think about how you’re going to accomplish your goals; think about how you’re going to design for them.

How can you make succeeding easier for yourself? For other people who you are trying to assist? Sometimes it is as simple as having a reminder pop up at the right time.

Monday, September 2, 2019

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

And all the world is football-shaped
It's just for me to kick in space
~Andy Partridge, XTC

For Music Monday, a song from a cassette tape I listened to repeatedly back in the day. XTC:

Another favorite from that album: No Thugs in Our House