Thursday, April 15, 2021


Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

For Art Thursday, Excursion on the Bosphorus by Symeon Savvidis (1859-1927):

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Toxic positivity

While we’re focused on fixing the problem and getting the person out of a negative space, sometimes all the person really wants or needs is to be heard, accepted and validated.
~Morgan Greene

I'm a fundamentally positive person, and I believe that optimism is helpful. So I am pro-positivity, but I definitely believe that some positivity is disrespectful and unhelpful. You can be toxically positive to yourself by not giving yourself room to have negative feelings, but my focus today is the way people do it to each other. I think I used to do this, to be honest. Maybe not the worst of it, but I can always find a silver lining, and that isn't always helpful!

* Everything Happens, a podcast by incurable optimist Kate Bowler (author of Everything Happens For A Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved)
* (Warning, tissue alert: Kate's TED talk)
Do you want comfort or solutions?
* An article about threading the needle between complaining and toxic positivity
* I'm not knocking healthy positivity!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.
~James Dickey

Some recent photos...the blossoms in bloom, Ariana and Preston, and the tree in our backyard that was hit by lightning.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sunny Days

The nights are dark but then they pass
~The Weepies

Ariana made a playlist for "vaccine joy" -- upbeat songs to listen to after your second dose (or your first, if you've gotten the Johnson & Johnson shot). For Music Monday, here's Song #5 on the playlist. The Weepies:

Thursday, April 8, 2021

NPM II: Poetry Friday is Here!

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.
~Rita Mae Brown

Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for coming!

I have some wonderful bilingual poems to share, plus an invitation to join the Summer Poem Swap, and Mister Linky to collect your links.

My Poetry Month project is short dual language poems, inspired by my Duolingo studies of Scottish Gaelic and French.

Last week, I had cool poems from Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Tanita Davis, and Jone McCullough (Tanita's and Jone's were in the comments...I will do an extra round-up of comment poems later). This week, we have Janet Clare Fagal and Laura Purdie Salas.

by Janet Clare Fagal
For Charles Egita and Lee Bennett Hopkins

Home is where the heart is
the art is
the flowers, the gardens
the poems
the memories
the books.

And all that love in every nook.


La maison est où le coeur est
l'art est
les fleurs, les jardins
les poèmes
les souvenirs
les livres.

Et tout l'amour dans chaque recoin.


Laura Purdie Salas wrote a fun book called Snowman-Cold=Puddle: Spring Equations (2019). For NPM, she's writing poetic equations every day. She translated one into Spanish for us:

Janet was inspired by Laura's equation poems to write one, too:


Here's mine for this week. It's in Spanish, which I studied briefly back in the day. I studied Latin for two years, French for four, and Spanish for a summer in Guatemala.

I've harvested some words
from the tree of my heart,
take what you want:
love, joy, yours, mine

He cosechado algunas palabras
del árbol de mi corazón,
toma lo que quieras:
amor, alegria, tuyo, mio


Let's talk about the Summer Poem Swap. Would you like to send a poem to a Poetry Friday friend and receive one in return? Join the Summer Poem Swap! You can write anywhere from 1-5 poems. Just let me know how many you want to do and whether you would like to email the poems or mail them. Write me at tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com by April 30th.

Time to round up the links!

I and the Village

All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.
~Marc Chagall

Just one painting for Art Thursday: I and the Village by Marc Chagall (1911)

One more quote from the artist:

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Tukituki Te Manawa

He waka eke noa
A canoe which we are all in with no exception
~Māori proverb

For Music Monday, Tukituki Te Manawa by New Zealand's Drax Project (translated/interpreted into Te Reo Māori by Sir Timoti Kāretu and Hinewehi Mohi):

Thursday, April 1, 2021

NPM I: All kinds of weather

Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you'd bring me up in conversation forever. And when it rained, I'd be the talk of the day.
~John Mayer

Happy April and International Poetry Month! I am embarking on a month of short poems in two languages, as I mentioned last week. I started studying Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo in January. It was a real struggle to get my brain to accept the quirks of Scottish Gaelic ("bh" makes a "v" sound? "mh" also has a "v" sound?)

But I kept going, and it seemed like it unlocked the "foreign language" part of my brain because French words that I knew from years ago popped back up. In a fit of folly, I added French to my Duolingo studies. It seemed possible (probable?) that taking two languages at once would totally confuse me, but it hasn't yet.

As I mentioned before, I invite all of you to send me your short dual language poems. I am delighted that Diane Mayr and Laura Shovan are sharing their works with us today!

Diane Mayr's poem about dogs cuts a little too close to the bone :-)


by Tabatha Yeatts

Innis dhomh,
Cò ris a tha do speur coltach an-dràsta?

A bheil e ceòthach, a bheil e dorcha -
Am faic thu leis an dealanach?

Tha e sgòthach an seo.

Tell me,
What is your sky like right now?

Is it misty, is it dark --
Can you see by the lightning?

It is cloudy here.


Two poems by Laura Shovan, with translations by Joseph Spring and Zhang Wanruo


A Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Mary Lee!


The thistle is a prince. Let any man that has an eye for beauty take a view of the whole plant, and where will he see a more expressive grace and symmetry; and where is there a more kingly flower?
~Henry Ward Beecher

I'll be sharing a Scottish Gaelic poem for Poetry Friday, among others, so might as well share Scotland's national flower for Art Thursday. The motto that goes with the prickly plant is "“Nemo me impune lacessit”, which is “No one harms me without punishment” (or “Wha daurs meddle wi me.”)

A Knight as a Scotch Thistle, 1899
from A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden

Coupe Daum, Musée de l'école de Nancy

by Jan Stanisławski

Detail of lithography plate The Plant
by Anton Seder (1850–1916)

Boar, mastiff, thistle, raspberries, lily, moths and insects
by Wenceslaus Hollar, 1607-1677, engraver

Table Le Rhin, 1889
par Émile Gallé

Extrait de : Les fleurs animées

Monday, March 29, 2021

Rose without thorns

As he dyd lyve, so also did he dy,
In myld and quyet sort (O happy man!)
To God ful oft for mercy did he cry,
Wherefore he lyves, let deth do what he can.
~The epitaph for Thomas Tallis

Ave Rosa Sine Spinis by Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585) performed by Blue Heron:

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Nuit de Noces

Human writing reflects that of the universe; it is its translation, but also its metaphor: it says something totally different, and it says the same thing.
~Octavio Paz

I wasn't sure I would do a project for National Poetry Month, but then I got an idea from my Duolingo studies. Here at The Opposite of Indifference, on Fridays I'd like to share short poems that are in two languages. You are welcome to send me yours and I will post them! I am picturing 2-8 lines in a stanza, two stanzas (one English, one another language). But I'm flexible.

You don't have to be fluent. In fact, the essence of this project is the joy of learning more words! The beauty of words, the differences, similarities, sounds, challenges. Write me if you're interested (tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com).

Night Wedding/Nuit de Noces

Les champs à la lune: Chantez!
Nous attraperons le bouquet.

The fields to the moon: Sing!
We will catch the bouquet.


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

strong silent greens silently lingering

Spring drew on...and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.
~Charlotte Brontë

This has been quite a week. I am staggering into Thursday, hoping for a quiet, peaceful day. Something that feels the way these paintings look:

Spring at Point Pleasant
by Edward Willis Redfield

Panorama of Eze
by Gabriel Deschamps
The title of this post is from E.E. Cummings' "This Is The Garden:Colours Come And Go"

Monday, March 22, 2021


Between our two lives
there is also the life
of the cherry blossom.
~Matsuo Basho

The cherry blossom tree in our yard is not blooming yet, but in anticipation here is the Japanese folk song Sakura played on koto by Kasumi Watanabe for Music Monday:

Thursday, March 18, 2021

An old sea’s grace

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.
~John Buchan

Dobby Gibson today. (Now I know of two Dobbies.) I wonder if someone from Poetry Friday has shared this poem before? It was featured on Tracy K. Smith's The Slowdown, so I'll bet some of you heard it.

What object reminds you of a planet (or a country) when you look at it?

Poem for an Antique Korean Fishing Bobber
by Dobby Gibson

Little glass planet,
I like picking you up.
As if I’m holding my own thought,
one blown molten with a puff
of some craftsman’s breath⏤is it still inside you?
You are a beautiful bauble it’s hard to imagine
anyone hurling you into the sea,
but eventually we all have a job to do.
I think of the early mornings and storm warnings
you braved to find the village dinner.
I don’t remember carrying you
home on the plane from Seoul,

read the rest here


Another poem by Dobby Gibson: What Follows Us Now Must Soon Enough Be Carried
Also The World as Seen Through a Glass of Ice Water


Here's another poem from The Slowdown (not by Dobby Gibson) which reminded me of a conversation I had with my son recently. I said that cooking for people was one of my love languages and he said that his girlfriend's parents say sorry by offering fruit. In that case, food does convey a pretty clear message. (What are love languages? I posted about them here.)


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


All mushrooms are edible, but some only once.
~Croatian proverb

I originally heard a variant of that proverb: "All plants are edible, but some only once." Who originally figured out which mushrooms are edible and which will kill you? Some brave souls! Mushrooms today.

Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria
Peeter Laurits

Mushroom cave, 1875
Popular Science Monthly Volume 7

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527–1593)

Mushroom war, 1909
Heorhii Narbut

"A Fungus to Feed Us" can structure, NY local Canstruction competition

Monday, March 15, 2021

No stressing

The singer-songwriter describes himself as “a spiritual being having a human experience.”
~Shirley Ju on Samoht

Something reassuring for Music Monday. Samoht:

Hat tip to Ariana!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Stumbling into ourselves

I only type every third night. I have no plan. My mind is a blank. I sit down. The typewriter gives me things I don't even know I'm working on. It's a free lunch. A free dinner. I don't know how long it is going to continue, but so far there is nothing easier than writing.
~Charles Bukowski

I scrambled to put together a Poetry Friday post because this week went by so fast and was so full. But here I am! "What do we need words for?" seems like it could be a good poem prompt :-)

What We Need Words For
By Rebecca Seiferle

Each morning, his baby fingers clack
on the electronic keys of the obsolete typewriter
that my father left us when he died,
and what my son hears and loves is the sound
of his own fingers clattering into the world, the zing
of the carriage return, the space bar like a runaway train
clicking through the letters that he is only beginning
to recognize, the hunt and peck
of his own name.

We all stumble into ourselves
like this, fitting our fingers to the shape of letters
while the page gallops out of our reach,

read the rest here


By Tess Gallagher

I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.

read the rest here


My Juicy Little Universe has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Heidi!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Glück 2

An air raid on Düsseldorf in the night of June 11th to 12th, 1943 destroyed his apartment and all of the work stored there. Few portraits and sketches have survived.
~Wikipedia on Erich Radscheit

Just one painting for Art Thursday:

Glück 2 (Happiness 2)
by Erich Radscheit (1911-2008)

Monday, March 8, 2021

For a while, maybe longer

Yes, the companionship is amazing. You know, you can get that physical attraction that happens is great, but then there's an awful lot of time and the rest of the day that you have to fill.
~Vince Gill

Ben and I saw Vince Gill perform back when we were first married. Mary Chapin Carpenter opened that concert. So good! For Music Monday, young Vince Gill from 17 or so years before we saw him. Pure Prairie League:

These two songs don't go together. I have no excuse. [Addendum: I did think of an excuse. Ben and I saw Mick Jones perform at about the same time as Vince Gill.] The Clash:

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Alphabetical Candies and Missed Opportunities

Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.
~Dylan Lauren

Hi folks! Happy Poetry Friday! The poem below talks about "imagining a kingdom" when you're ten. At about that age, I drew extensive diagrams of an imaginary house with rooms for everything a kid could want. So I am right there with Amy Newman in the opening stanza (and later I can feel the ketchup hit my new shirt, although that never happened to me).

An Incomplete Encyclopedia
of Happiness
and Unhappiness

by Amy Newman

An incomplete encyclopedia of happiness
would have an entry on you
and a map of the walk you took when you were ten,
jingling your allowance and imagining a kingdom.
It would have a list of places to go for ice cream
and a compendium of the naturally sweet fruits,
their hues of flesh arranged on a color chart,
and types of candies in alphabetical order...


The companion volume on unhappiness
starts earlier than it should, and contains
statistics on loss in blurry, mite-sized type.
There’s an article on that time the popular girl
squirted ketchup on your new shirt, the one
your mother worked six extra days to pay for,
near the category on Children in War Zones,
just to emphasize the shame of selfishness...


The editor is up nights, compiling and revising
everything ever done or made
or imagined or hoped for,
everything bright and glazed
or dulled by use, or rubbed away
or fought for, or thrown or thrown at
or razed or constructed
or conceived of, or created, or traveled...

...everything believed and debunked, or believed and lost,
everything learned and everything forgotten,
including the incomplete encyclopedia,

including the editor’s research, his days compiling,...

...his love of cards, his fear of swans,
his father’s regret and his mother’s voice, singing,
all this unhappiness, all this happiness.

read the complete Incomplete poem here (you have to make an account for Narrative; it's free)


Kathryn Apel has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kat!


March brings breezes loud and shrill,
stirs the dancing daffodil.
~Sara Coleridge

The birth flower for March today: daffodils (latin name: Narcissus). You can see a list of the rest of the birth flowers at The Farmer's Almanac.

Daffodil art from "Flora's Feast"
by Walter Crane

Tiffany Studios "Daffodil" table lamp c. 1910-1913
photo by shooting brooklyn

MTA New York City Transit
mural by Nancy Blum

Black Cat and Narcissus
by Zhu Ling

Master of the First Prayerbook of Maximillian, circa 1500
principal illuminator Alexander Bening

J.M. Thorburn & Co.'s annual descriptive catalogue of flower seeds, 1907

"Poetick Daffodil"
Thomas Hale's Compleat Body of Gardening (1757)

Monday, March 1, 2021


I got a Plan A, and I got a Plan B
And if it's absolutely necessary, we'll go to Plan C
~Lake Street Dive

Pretty big variety this Music Monday...

Lake Street Dive:

Wow, is this upbeat! Yung Bae:

This has been going through my head lately, although I can't understand the words much. "Dream pop" from The Cocteau Twins:

(The title of this post is from someone's guess at the lyrics)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Snow and sky

After three years at a village schoolhouse, even a dog can recite a poem. (Practice makes perfect!)
~Korean proverb

Some excerpts of Korean poems about snow for Poetry Friday. (But maybe they aren't REALLY about snow.)

by Kim Jong-hae
translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
Snowflakes are light,
for they carry each other on their backs.
The falling snow is comforting.
read the rest here


The Snow Day
by Kim Nam-jo
translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
The Winter tree
and the wind–
the wind’s long tress of hair
hangs all day long on the edge of the branches

like transparent laundry,
making the tree and the wind
become one, no longer isolated from one another.

Not alone.
Nobody is alone.
Neither am I.
In fact, even when I stood alone under the sky,
hasn’t the sky at least stood with me?
read the rest here


The Salted Mackerel
by Park Hoo-ki
translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
The night a poor father sleeps, embracing a pitiful son,
the night a child sleeps, dreaming of a dry blanket and a hot dish,
the night the big sorrow sleeps, embracing the small sorrow,
read the rest here


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


Iridescence: a lustrous rainbowlike play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves... that tends to change as the angle of view changes.

For Art Thursday, iridescence:

Labradorite, origin Madagascar
photo by Stowarzyszenie Spirifer

by Echoroo

Live dorsal view of Peinaleopolynoe orphanae sp. nov. holotype SIO-BIC A6151
Hatch AS, Liew H, Hourdez S, Rouse GW (2020)

photo by bradhoc

Carabus auratus with prey in Northern Germany
photo by Soebe

Detail from one of the Peacock Gates into the Glasform Works/Studio of John Ditchfield
photo by Tony Hisgett