Thursday, December 31, 2020

Whatever your heart says to say

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.
~C. S. Lewis

I have never chosen One Little Word for a year, but I did end up having one for 2020 anyway: flexibility. I feel like that might also be my word for 2021, but I will have to see. (Apparently the word chooses me, not the other way around.)

When I was thinking about what poem to share today, I liked the pairing of Sally Heilbut's "Order on the Phone to a Large Department Store" with Tom Hunley's "If You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person" because they both offer that jolt of seeing things in a new way and embracing surprise. I couldn't find Tom Hunley's poem online, though, so I can only share one stanza of "If You’ve Met One Autistic Person, You’ve Met One Autistic Person":

Who asks how much you weigh? How fast you’ll grow?
Who says whatever their heart says to say?
Don’t let him bend to suit the world, I pray.
Who dreams up paths where no one else can go?
My son’s the only person that I know.


Lily Einhorn shared on Twitter:
My great aunt Sally died on Tuesday night of Covid, 8 days after testing positive in her care home. She wanted to be a poet. She wasn’t really educated, she never had a tutor, an editor or a publisher. But she self-published a pamphlet.

Here is one of Lily's favorites of her great aunt Sally Heilbut's poems:


Wishing you the best in 2021! xo

There's No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Ruth!

The Bells of St Genevieve

At first a faint tinkling passes from church to church...see how, all of a sudden, at the same moment, there rises from each steeple as it were a column of sound, a cloud of harmony...Say if you know anything in the world more rich, more joyful, more golden, more overwhelming than that tumult of bells, than that furnace of music, than those ten thousand voices of bronze singing all at once from flutes of stone three hundred feet high, than that city which has become an orchestra, than that symphony which roars like a storm.
~Victor Hugo

That quote from The Hunchback of Notre Dame makes me want to start reading it asap. Poetry, I'd say. I have a song today, but I also have one painting since it's Art Thursday:

Interesting bits about Marin Marais (1656–1728):

Marais is credited with being one of the earliest composers of program music. His work The Bladder-Stone Operation, for viola da gamba and harpsichord, includes composer's annotations such as "The patient is bound with silken cords" and "He screameth." The title has often been interpreted as "The Gall-Bladder Operation," but that surgery was not performed until the late 19th century. Urinary bladder surgery to remove stones was already a medical specialty in Paris in the 17th century.

Also, he had 19 children.

Hope y'all have a good last day of 2020!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Glass Animals

We're just racin' time, where's the finish line?
~Esthero, Starshell, Malik Yusef, Jeff Bhasker & Kanye West

A colorful video for you as I try to wean myself off Christmas music...Glass Animals:

One more:

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ring a ling

Let's take the road before us
And sing a chorus or two
~Mitchell Parish

Hi y'all,
I don't have posts for Art Thursday or Poetry Friday, but I do have a song for you! Hope you are well.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Daft Days

Daft in modern English means silly, foolish or mad, but here it has an older sense — which survives in Scots — of somebody who is thoughtless or giddy in their mirth, so daft-days is an exact translation of the French fêtes de fou.
~World Wide Words

Daft Days are the period of celebration between Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year's) or Twelfth Night (January 5). "A Toast Tae The Daft Days":


Addendum: Just realized I should have said that she wrote this poem (poyum) herself! She is Len Pennie.

Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


During the nine-day novena before Christmas, these paruls [lanterns] were brought around each barrio in procession to their visita...This tradition gradually evolved as the lanterns became bigger and the designs became more intricate...In the end, these lanterns became a symbol of unity for the barrios.
Wikipedia entry for Giant Lantern Festival

I feel like enjoying some lights, so here are lanterns from a previous Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, the Philippines. Keep in mind that these lanterns are probably 15 feet across! It must be wonderful to see. Ramon F. Velasquez is the photographer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Merciful kindness

With just two verses and sixteen words in Hebrew, [Laudate Dominum] is the shortest psalm in the Book of Psalms. It is also the shortest chapter in the whole Bible.

I had a feeling Welsh treble Cai Thomas would sound ethereal, but I did not anticipate how talented he would be. Impressive musicianship from this young singer:

Monday, December 14, 2020

Shimmy shake

Dancing is moving to the music without stepping on anyone's toes, pretty much the same as life.
~Robert Brault

These folks are crazy good. Wow!!

Thursday, December 10, 2020


...Next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie and whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.'
~George Carlin

Happy Poetry Friday! I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger. You'd think that would make me sleep well, but it's a crapshoot.

by Rebecca Aronson

I want to lie down like a tiny birch canoe,
sewn with red thread, afloat in the street
in the rushing aftermath

of a good spring rain. To curl in the y of a desert willow
at sundown when its pink blossoms
are a thousand distant lanterns strung

among the branches. At night
I prop my sleeping body like a shield.
I fly myself like a volley of arrows

toward the glowing eye of sleep’s center...

read the rest here


A bonus poem: Belief in Magic by Dean Young

Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Buffy!


The art of cobweb painting, or gossamer, involves gathering, cleaning, then layering the silky excretions of web-spinning insects such as spiders and caterpillars, to form a canvas. The vast number of webs needed to build a single canvas meant people were employed solely to collect them...

The fashion of cobweb painting seems to have begun in 16th-century Austria, specifically in the Tyrolean Alps where monasteries and convents would produce these micro meticulous masterpieces.
~Atlas Obscura

There are less than a hundred cobweb paintings in existence today. Here's the only one in England:

Madonna and Child, Chester Cathedral
probably by Johann Burgman (d.1825)

The above cobweb painting is a copy of this oil painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (just wanted you to get a better view):

Monday, December 7, 2020

Sister and Sam

Don't ever drive a strange man from your door,
He may be your best friend you don't know
~Make Me A Pallet on the Floor

Vintage recordings for Music Monday. Sister Rosetta Tharpe:

Here's Sam Chatmon, born 1897, in 1978:

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Inclining the Heart

Jules Supervielle was conscripted during the First World War and served until 1917, at which time he returned to poetry.

A poem by Jules Supervielle today. He married his wife in 1906 and they had six children. How many had been born when he served in WWI? What a relief that he lived to return to poetry (and his family). Today's pandemic leaves people learning to hear from afar as well.

Listen, Will You Learn to Hear Me from Afar?
by Jules Supervielle

Listen, will you learn to hear me from afar?
It’s a question of inclining the heart more than the ear.
You’ll find bridges in yourself and roads
that lead right to me.
I’m awake all night, looking out for you.

What does it matter, the Atlantic's width,
The fields, woods, mountains between us two?
One by one they’ll have to abdicate –
When you decide to turn your eyes this way.


A Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up (and host sign-ups for the first half of 2021). Thanks, birthday girl Mary Lee!

Living lights

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

For Art Thursday, illustrations from Living lights: a popular account of phosphorescent animals and vegetables by Charles Frederick Holder, 1887.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

I will feel a glow just thinking of you

Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.
~James Herriot

Two videos YouTube suggested to me...very different, both great.

Sarah Jarosz:

A cat having a spa day:

Monday, November 30, 2020

A waiting room's worth

I am afraid there are moments in life when even Beethoven has nothing to say to us. We must admit, however, that they are our worst moments.
~Henry James

You know how when you get an allergy shot, you have to wait in the office for half an hour (to make sure you aren't going to have a reaction)? This wonderful piece was playing in the waiting room during a recent trip with Ariana:

Monday, November 23, 2020

Dolly and Carol

When music was played, you had a sparkle in your life.
~Carol Kaye

People have been talking about Dolly a lot lately because she donated a million dollars for the development of a successful vaccine. Here is one of my favorite Dolly songs, plus a fascinating video about bassist Carol Kaye:

A poem about Dolly from a 2019 post.

Thursday, November 19, 2020


He knew by heart every last minute crack on its surface. He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it. He hated the sight of it.
~Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time

Hi y'all, it's Poetry Friday! I am having a hard time writing because my mind keeps skittering around all over the place. It's easier to make things with my hands these days. I did manage to get a poem written (for Bridget's group) in the middle of the night :-) The pandemic-inspired prompt I used was to write about a period of time when you were alone or with just one other person. I thought it was apropos that mine was about a nurse:

by Tabatha Yeatts

After the diagnosis, I couldn't leave,
so I sat in the college infirmary, making phone calls.
I twisted the cord and cried as I called my boyfriend
to say that I couldn't drive down to see him
because I had chicken pox. He laughed-

he'd been worried, but I had a child's illness.
I was glad he couldn't see me like this, covered in ugly red dots
that I'd discovered in the shower that morning.
What's this? I cried to my surprised suitemate,
What is this? Did she laugh? I can't remember,

but I remember the nurse, a nice jailer,
who was my only company for the next week,
a woman who brought my institutional meals,
regular as clockwork, while I stayed in bed and read.
The nurse, who tried to get me to stop scratching

while I bargained...just a little! please! just a scratch!
and she would ask me not to, again. If you do,
you'll have scars
, she said. I lay in those crisp
white sheets, nothing to do but think about the itch,
with only her patient voice between me and future remorse.

Since she won our argument almost entirely,
this lady whose face I can only almost remember,
today I run my finger across my forehead and touch
the sole scar, a reminder of how hard it is to believe
the future will come, but it always does.


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

Compass roses

You don't throw a compass overboard because the ocean is calm.
~Matshona Dhliwayo

Finding your way? Compass roses today!

What is a compass rose? It's a "figure on a compass, map, nautical chart, or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions" (north, south, east, west). In French, it's a "rose des vents" (wind-rose).

Replica of the main compass rose of the Cantino planisphere, 1502
by Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Replica of compass rose in Pedro Reinel's nautical chart of 1504. It is the first known wind-rose to clearly represent the fleur-de-lys. The practise was adopted in other nautical charts and continues through today.
by Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Portolan Atlas and Nautical Almanac, 1543
by Guillaume Brouscon

Rose des Vents
Georges Clerc-Rampal, 1913

Compass rose with 128 points
by Xovimat

Compass Card
by Denelson83

Last quote:
We are asleep with compasses in our hands.
~W. S. Merwin

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Little billows

The language you speak determines how you think. Yes, it affects how you see everything...

Have you seen the movie "Arrival"? It's time for me to see it again.

On Watching "Arrival" During Quarantine
by Natalia Conte

Like all dark moments, their entrance
begins with cello, a low grating C
like the bow of a ship digging into ice.

I know there’s danger in the rippling
of sound, the way the air seems to boil
with urgency. Of course, this signals

their arrival, the aliens, their bodies like hands
reaching from halted wrists.
Dr. Banks keeps her hands close

to her body to stop them from shaking.
She scrawls the word human
on a small whiteboard, points inward.

Drawn in dense billows of ink,
their language chases its own tail
does not distinguish between beginnings...

read the rest here


Life on the Deckle Edge has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!

Adriaen Coorte

For those dependent on their gardens for fresh food, it was often a case of feast or famine... (One settler wrote), "Strawberries were now so plentiful that... I made 287 lbs of jam..."
~Bee Dawson

Paintings by Adriaen Coorte (1665-1707), the Netherlands. I like that he includes butterflies and moths in his still lifes.

Three peaches on a stone ledge with a Painted Lady butterfly
by Adriaen Coorte

Still life with hanging bunch of grapes, two medlars and a butterfly
by Adriaen Coorte

Still life with peach and two apricots
by Adriaen Coorte

Strawberries (1696)
by Adriaen Coorte

by Adriaen Coorte

Sunday, November 8, 2020


The arrangement [of Amazing Grace] was written specially by composer and music therapist Steve Dunachie, to allow participation by all members of Soundabout Inclusive Choir, and to reflect the spirit of collaboration and partnership that is so important to the world today.
~The King's Singers

My word!! So happy. Thank you to everyone who made the rejuvenation of our country possible, and to everyone around the world who is celebrating with us.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Inexhaustible Light

Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves.
~Laura Esquivel

The votes are still being counted as I write this, and the race hasn't been called. I found this VP cookout for the troops yesterday for celebration dinner ideas; I am trying to make the most of the wait.

For the last few years, we've been going through a dark time, and the people who encouraged and enabled that dark time are still with us. We have to celebrate and rest so we can return to our vigilance again.

A Coal Fire In Winter
by Thomas McGrath

Something old and tyrannical burning there.
(Not like a wood fire which is only
The end of summer, or a life)
But something of darkness: heat
From the time before there was fire.
And I have come here
To warm that blackness into forms of light,
To set free a captive prince
From the sunken kingdom of the father coal.

A warming company of the cold-blooded-
These carbon serpents of bituminous gardens,
These inflammable tunnels of dead song from the black pit,
This sparkling end of the great beasts, these blazing...

read the rest here


Soul Blossom Living has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Susan!

A Sweet Treat

Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.
~Charles M. Schulz

A beloved sweet treat for Art Thursday. We were out of ice cream yesterday so my daughter Elena took a fudgesicle and broke it up in a bowl with whipped cream and toppings (how else was she going to get to have the whipped cream and toppings?). I took an ice cream cone and filled it with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips and put it in the microwave briefly. So good.

Die Skulptur Dropped Cone in Köln
Frank Schwichtenberg

Crumbly with Gourmand the Sparrow (Kruszek z wróbelkiem Łakomczuszkiem)
photo by Pnapora

Ice Cream Cone, 1922
Ellen Bernard Thompson Pyle

Pflastermosaik vor einer Eisdiele in Freiburg im Breisgau
Andreas Schwarzkopf

Ice cream shop, Burgos, Spain
Bill McLaughlin

Monkey with ice cream
Nishara Chathuranga

Ice cream display, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site Centro Histórico, Quito
David Adam Kess

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Comfort music

Never underestimate the lingering effects of a dash of spontaneous comfort.
~Gina Greenlee

Watching the election results is nerve-wracking. The whole day, my stomach has been clenched. I am praying that things will turn out well.

Comfort music:

Dea Matrona:

John Holiday sings Vivaldi:

Monday, November 2, 2020

Sneezing and cackling

Hear how the birds, on every blooming spray,
With joyous music wake the dawning day.
~Alexander Pope

I am trying to learn very basic bird identification and now bird videos are popping up in my YouTube suggestions. Like these:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pulling Through

“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

I am pretty hyped and terrified about the election. I hope we will emerge like the saxifrage.

by Lachlan Mackinnon

Saxifrage, said William Carlos Williams, was his flower
because it split stone. Yesterday, in a pot, a clump of it,
weedy red petals, stems robust as peasant legs.

It would survive a summer’s rage for decking,
frost memory, meltwater gush, black August.
It wouldn’t last a weekend in the jungle,

read the rest here


Last chance to sign up for the Holiday Poem Swap!

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

All Hallows' Eve

During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded.

I found out that our county has advised against trick-or-treating after I already bought a lot of candy (I was picturing "Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance"). So instead we made bags of treats and left them outside in a basket for people who deliver stuff to our house. Well, for them and one curious squirrel. For Art Thursday, we have some cute and mysterious pics:

You Auto Have a Happy Hallowe'en, 1908
Missouri History Museum

Illustration from The Book of Halloween, titled "No Hallowe'en without a Jack-o'-Lantern," 1919
Unknown author

Poster for the WPA Statewide Library Project
Attributed to Albert M. Bender

Barack Obama and Ella Rhodes
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Jackie Onassis Dog costume, Halloween Dog Parade, NYC
photo by istolethetv

Jack-o'-lantern nebula

Monday, October 26, 2020

Short, sweet

Although known as a composer, Bodin de Boismortier was also famed during his lifetime for his excessively inattentive and wandering mind that often kept him from conducting his own works.
~Fabricio Cárdenas

Today's video is Fabiano Martignago and Luca Ventimiglia, while recording Boismortier: Sonatas for 2 Flutes for Brilliant Classics.
"Joseph Bodin de Boismortier (1689-1755) was a highly successful French composer of instrumental and vocal music, the first independent composer without patron, publisher of his own works (which made him extremely wealthy)...

The two flutists Luca Ventimiglia and Fabiano Martignago use a variety of instruments that allows them to savor the different nuances that Boismortier was able to infuse within his music, and gives the listener the opportunity to learn about different timbres that two flutes can create if played together."

Here they are, playing recorders:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

October 2020

In the fall of 1803, American Naturalist John James Audubon wondered whether migrating birds returned to the same place each year. So he tied a string around the leg of a bird before it flew south. The following spring, Audubon saw the bird had indeed come back.

A poem I wrote for Bridget's poetry group. Thank you, Linda, for your comments!

October 2020
by Tabatha Yeatts

Sweeping long hair
into a dustpan after a haircut,
I notice I'm wearing a blue plastic ring
on my right hand,
banded like a migratory bird.

Where did it come from, this tag?
What did it mark before?
My movements are far less mysterious
than this band.

I think of my daughter's preschool teacher
who migrated here from Colombia, and her hand,
which she would raise above her head as she said,
"I am holding you here"
to students needing to wait their turn.

October is holding me here,
accompanied by the gourds
assembled on my stoop
like a family sitting for a portrait,

and the bright maple leaves
strewn around my mailbox
that I attempt to turn into a bouquet,

and the scarecrow
in my neighbor's yard
who makes me do a double-take again.

Fixed in place,
I take off the band.

There's a hint of chill outside.
I settle deeper, forget flight.


This poem was inspired by a true incident. I wasn't sure how this ended up on my hand:
I got jalapeno/habanero juice in my eye while I was making lunch, so it probably made its way onto my finger then (when I couldn't see).

Tracking Birds' Migration Paths Online,
Animal Migrations Track with Wikipedia Searches, Scientific American

Want to send a poem and receive a poem? Join the one-time Holiday Poem Swap! We also send gifts with the poems. (It's been known as the Winter Poem Swap, but it's summer in Australia.) Please email me (tabatha (at) tabathayeatts (dot) com) if you want in or have questions.
Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!

Martin Brothers

In the later part of the 19th century, an idiosyncratic potter named Robert Wallace Martin ran a ceramics shop with his brothers, Walter, Edwin, and Charles. Known, aptly, as the Martin Brothers, the quartet—who had grown up extremely poor—became successful and prolific for many years, turning out a wide variety of vases, sculptures, jugs, and more. But the Martin Brothers were known especially for their birds. Nicknamed “Wally Birds” after Robert Wallace, who conceived them, the beaked creations are so expressive, it’s hard to ignore—or forget—them.
~Catherine Zuckerman

Wally Birds and other Martin Brothers pottery for Art Thursday. (Prior to today, I was unaware that sometimes one's spoons need warming.)

Bird, 1888
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Spoon warmer, 1875
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Jar with four birds, 1892
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Tall Bird, 1896
R. W. Martin and Brothers

Small vase with birds, 1905
R. W. Martin and Brothers