Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Summer Break

Summer just opens the door and lets you out.
~Deb Caletti

Hi folks!

I am taking a wee summer blog break...somewhere between one and three weeks. In the meantime, congrats to the Bucks, good luck to the USWNT, and here are a couple of videos:

OK, this too:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Free Printable Infinity Breath Sheet

Inhale, then exhale. That’s how you’ll get through it.

Hi folks! I made an Infinity Breath sheet that could be used in the classroom or elsewhere to practice taking calming breaths.
You can find it here.

Monday, July 19, 2021

All That You Dream

You just follow the rule
Keep your eyes on the road that's ahead of you
~Paul Barrère and Bill Payne

For Music Monday, a song that popped into my head the other day. Little Feat (and a version with Linda Ronstadt):

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Ready the dimples

Her poetry is the diary or autobiography...of an acute psychologist, a wonderful rhetorician, and one of the most individual writers who ever lived, one of those best able to express experience at its most nearly absolute.
~Randall Jarrell, on Emily Dickinson

While working on a set of Emily Dickinson cards (like the Basho ones), I ran across these poems. A little optimism with a dash of romance and a splash of nature-love. Just the ticket!

by Emily Dickinson

When night is almost done,
And sunrise grows so near
That we can touch the spaces,
It 's time to smooth the hair

And get the dimples ready,
And wonder we could care
For that old faded midnight
That frightened but an hour.


The Outlet
by Emily Dickinson

My river runs to thee :
Blue sea, wilt welcome me ?

My river waits reply.
Oh sea, look graciously !

I'll fetch thee brooks
From spotted nooks, —

Say, sea, take me !


A Service of Song
by Emily Dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to church ;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.

Some keep the Sabbath in surplice ;
I just wear my wings,
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.

God preaches, — a noted clergyman, —
And the sermon in never long ;
So instead of getting to heaven at last,
I'm going all along !


Nix the Comfort Zone has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Molly!

Day of Solidarity

We all act as hinges- fortuitous links between other people.
~Penelope Lively

For Art Thursday, decorative hinges in Belarus. Aren't they striking?

July 16, 2020, is a special day for women’s solidarity in Belarus. On this day, Maria Kalesnikava, Veronika Tsepkalo, and I made a decision in 15 minutes to join our forces and unite our presidential campaign headquarters.
~Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is the leader of Belarusian democratic forces who beat the autocratic president Aliaksandr Lukashenka in a presidential election on August 9th, 2020, according to independent observers. She stepped into the race after her husband was arrested for his presidential aspirations. Lukashenka publically dismissed her as a “housewife,” сlaiming that a woman can't become president. Tsikhanouskaya united Belarusian democratic forces together with two other leaders – Maria Kalesnikava and Veranika Tsapkala.
Ways Tsikhanouskaya suggests to commemorate the day:
* Write letters to political prisoners in Belarus.
* Write a tweet/social media post or take a video in support of Belarusian women with the hashtag #StandWithBelarus and/or tag Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (Twitter: @Tsihanouskaya).
* Support Belarusians by donating to funds helping political prisoners and their families, such as BySol, A Country to Live In, #BY_help.

Monday, July 12, 2021

The night is good

[Evellyn's TOTEM project] seeks to open doors to new sounds and to research new horizons...inviting a deep connection between those who sing and those who listen.

For Music Monday, Lakota Lullaby • Alexia Evellyn (Autoria Desconhecida) with Claudia Dantas:

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Moving like a secret

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
~Stacia Tauscher

Poet Jim Harrison says "Time...can tip us upside down" and I think poetry can do that, too. Sending out a thank you to all of you who tip me upside down on a regular basis!

Seven in the Woods
by Jim Harrison

Am I as old as I am?
Maybe not. Time is a mystery
that can tip us upside down.
Yesterday I was seven in the woods,
a bandage covering my blind eye,
in a bedroll Mother made me
so I could sleep out in the woods...

read the rest here


butterfly who moves like a yawn
Teddy Roosevelt Island

Transitory Mitzvah
by Sarah Matthes

In the subway car, a mystery of proximity: a yawn
passing from mouth to mouth,
across a line of seated strangers,
in perfect order. I watched it moving

like a secret through a row of children,
washing toward me as each person opened
their lips to swallow it up
and then, in unbroken revolution,
give it away....

read the rest here


Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Margaret!

Agurbash, Shlegel, and Silivonchik

This is the endless story of human relationships with the world, of the harmony and joy of life in all its forms.
~Anna Silivonchik's artist statement

For Art Thursday, two Belarusian artists who I don't have permission to share so I will just have to send you to see them elsewhere. They are colorful, romantic, surreal so I hope you follow the links:

* Elena Shlegel *

* Anna Silivonchik *


Belarusian singer Angelica Agurbash has been placed on Lukashenko's "wanted list" for criticising his illegitimate government. She is currently in Russia, but his administration has asked for her to be deported to Belarus.

If you're on Twitter, you can keep up with Belarus current events by following journalist Hanna Liubakova.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Another spinner of strange and gauzy threads

Vega has not learned to read musical notes; she sees the melody as a shape and chords as colors.

For Music Monday, Gypsy by Suzanne Vega and a Buddhist Priest cover of Yellow Submarine:

Thursday, July 1, 2021


Story is that light we turn on for ourselves.
~Michelle Auerbach

Hi y'all! I am short on time this week, but have you seen Anthony Wilson's Lifesaving Poems Project? He was inspired to start keeping track of "lifechanging poems" by a remark of Seamus Heaney's.

I spent time with a few of Wilson's picks, but would like to read them all.

Be Kind
by Michael Blumenthal

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others, it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite...

read the rest here


On the same page, Wilson shares Praise the Rain by Joy Harjo and Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski. He says to start with Harjo:

Praise the Rain
by Joy Harjo

Praise the rain; the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk—
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity—
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep—

read the rest (and the second poem)


Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!

The Square of Changes

The back and forth between residents and the authorities has placed the expansive courtyard in the spotlight. Belarusian musicians have shown up to entertain large nighttime crowds from a first-floor balcony, with the makeshift stage and the rest of the high-rise building lit up in red and white, the colors of the opposition.
~Raman Vasiukovich

Happy Art Thursday! Still waiting for Belarus to be free. This week, we have a mural. It was painted in honor of two djs who were put in jail for ten days for playing a protest song at a government rally in August 2020 (I'll include the song below).

The government keeps painting over the mural and the residents of what is now known as the "Square of Changes" keep painting it back.

The song they played is a Soviet-era protest song by Viktor Tsoi called "Changes." Be sure to have the closed captions on.

"Kino" Performed Their Song "Changes" At Concert In Minsk (Viktor Tsoi's son was the producer)

Monday, June 28, 2021

Old Favorites

Old music is the same as new music - it's just a different way of delivering it.
~Jeff Lynne

Dash asked an interesting question the other day: "Who is your favorite performer from before you were born?"

My first thought was Sam Cooke:

I got a little confused about whether or not performers with hits from before you were born count. I'll throw in a pre-Tabatha song by Aretha Franklin:

Who are your favorites?

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Blue scorpions and calm oceans

I often wished that more people understood the invisible side of things.
~Jennifer Starzec

Happy Poetry Friday! Two poems today. The first one could make a good mentor poem. What doesn't know about you?

What Pain Doesn't Know About Me
by Gail Martin

How I visualize him as a rooster. How I nickname him Sparky.

My rabbit-heart. How it looks motionless in the bank of clover
but secretly continues to nibble.

I can tell time underwater. I sing hymns there.

He’s not pocketed my vanity...

read the rest here


The T'ai Chi of Putting a Sleeping Child to Bed
by Alexandra Lytton Regalado

In the lull of evening, your son nested in your arms
becomes heavier and with a sigh his body
sloughs off its weight like an anchor into deep sleep,
until his small breath is the only thing that exists.

And as you move the slow dance through the dim hall
to his bedroom and bow down to deliver his sleeping form,
arms parting, each muscle defining its arc and release—
you remember the feeling of childhood...

read the rest here


A Word Edgewise has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

The Two Rivers

I view the collapse of the Soviet Union as a disaster that entailed and still brings about negative consequences around the world. We got nothing good from this break-up.
~Alexander Lukashenko, dictator of Belarus

Time for Art Thursday! A painting by a Belarus-born artist Peter Blume. I love this painting and wish I could make it much bigger. You can click to embiggen.

The Two Rivers (1943)
Peter Blume

Belarus regime turns on artists and journalists
Freedom House's freedom score for Belarus

Free Belarus items on Etsy:
* Pin: cat marching with a flag
* Flag colors friendship bracelets
* Flag t-shirt
* Knight t-shirt
* Country/flag cross stitch pattern
* Knight patch

Monday, June 21, 2021

2 Lost Girls

The internet is just a world passing notes around a classroom.
~Jon Stewart

Hat tip to Ariana for both of these. One is for relaxing and one is for laughing (and illustrating Jon Stewart's quote). Watch whichever you need right now!

Rising Appalachia:


The post title comes from the name of the first song and the fact that the person who thinks her horse weighs 15,000 pounds also seems pretty lost.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Humming-Bird

Quick as a hummingbird...she darts so eagerly, swiftly, sweetly dipping into the flowers of my heart.
~James Oppenheim

I know my wildlife photography friends can do this in their sleep, but I was thrilled to get these shots (with my phone) when I visited Ariana in St Louis! Many hummingbirds come to her feeder each day and I was able to get some of them used to me.

The hummingbird poems I'm sharing today rhyme...I like the lift and litheness of these poems, very appropriate when talking about these fairy-like birds.

The Humming-Bird
by Richard Burton

Is it a monster bee,
Or is it a midget bird,
Or yet an air-born mystery
That now yon marigold has stirred,
And now on vocal wing
To a neighbor bloom is whirred,
In an aery ecstasy, in a passion of pilfering?


The first stanza of To a Humming-Bird
by John Vance Cheney

Voyager on golden air,
Type of all that's fleet and fair,
Incarnate gem,
Live diadem
Bird-beam of the summer day, —
Whither on your sunny way?


The Humming-Bird
by Jones Very

Like thoughts that flit across the mind,
Leaving no lasting trace behind,
The humming-bird darts to and fro,
Comes, vanishes before we know.


I've been reading Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy and have been utterly fascinated by it.

Buffy Silverman is the Poetry Friday host. Thanks, Buffy!

Reminder! Don't forget to turn in your IMPERFECT II submissions by June 30th!

One last thing! This week, Jone is sharing the poem I wrote her for the Summer Poem Swap: A blessing for those who cultivate words

Mostly Minsk

It's better to be a dictator than gay.
~Alexander Lukashenko, dictator of Belarus

Lukashenko must go! Photos from Belarus for Art Thursday.

Minsk, Belarus
photo by Marc Veraart

Minsk, Belarus
photo by Marc Veraart

Minsk, Belarus
photo by Andrey Filippov

Minsk, Belarus
photo by Andrey Filippov

Hrodna, Belarus
photo by Konrad Lembcke

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Understanding Dementia for Caregivers

It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases - one was Alzheimer's, and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer's.
~Terry Pratchett

June is Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month. Premier Nursing Academy is marking the occasion with a new guidebook, Understanding Dementia for Caregivers: Types, Signs, and Treatments, which goes over the basics of dementia, types of dementia, what to expect, and how to provide support.

You can read Understanding Dementia for Caregivers: Types, Signs, and Treatments here.

Other caregiving posts

Monday, June 14, 2021


Better known as Noveller, Lipstate has a habit of spinning the straw of her personal tragedies into the golden threads with which she weaves her musical tapestries.
~Aaron Rogers

Noveller (Sarah Lipstate) for Music Monday:

Hat tip to Austin Kleon

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Empathy Day

This #EmpathyDay step into someone else's shoes by reading their stories #ReadforEmpathy
~this year's theme

In the U.K., June 10th is Empathy Day.

Some teachers, authors, and students make "Empathy Resolutions." Many of the ones I saw mentioned being better listeners. Some students said they would try not to judge books by their covers (literally or figuratively, I wonder?).

I thought delving into fear was a useful, fresh take on empathy:

A quote from Nikki Giovanni:

Writers don't write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don't. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

Lastly, a poem by Kim Stafford:

Curse of the Charmed Life
by Kim Stafford

Things pretty much worked out for you—
you have what you need, and if you need more,
you have people ready and able to provide.

Sure, someday your luck will run out,
you’ll be helpless, then gone, and your people
will gather in your honor.

There will be music, and tears. People will
embrace—for you. There will be an odd
buoyancy, a chatter of kind words, blessing.

But the curse of this charm is exile
from the unlucky, how gifts make you...

read the rest here


Carol's Corner has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!

Eugeniusz Zak

In his works, the modern was constantly made ancient, and the ancient modern. about Eugeniusz Zak

For Art Thursday, Belarusian artist Eugeniusz Zak. I thought about having just one painting so you could take a long look, but I like each of them too much to leave any out. I love the color palettes, all so different.

Surprised Fisherman
by Eugeniusz Zak

The head of a woman
by Eugeniusz Zak

In the church
by Eugeniusz Zak

Monday, June 7, 2021

Joy Oladokun

I want you to be changed when you hear me...because I make music with the intention to change myself.
~Joy Oladokun

I'm late, but it's still Monday! For Music Monday, Joy Oladokun with Maren Morris:

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Купалле (Kupala Night)

In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.
~Aldo Leopold

Continuing with my Thursday Belarus theme! Kupala Night is a Slavic tradition for celebrating the shortest night of the year.

From Wikipedia:
On Kupala day, young people jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual test of bravery and faith. The failure of a couple in love to complete the jump, while holding hands, is a sign of their destined separation.

Girls may float wreaths of flowers (often lit with candles) on rivers, and attempt to gain foresight into their romantic relationship fortune from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated it.

There is an ancient Kupala belief that the eve of Ivan Kupala is the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Prosperity, luck, discernment, and power befall whom ever finds a fern flower. Therefore, on that night, village folk roam through the forests in search of magical herbs, and especially, the elusive fern flower...

In Gogol's story The Eve of Ivan Kupala, a young man finds the fantastical fern-flower, but is cursed by it. Gogol's tale may have been the stimulus for Modest Mussorgsky to compose his tone poem Night on Bald Mountain, adapted by Yuri Ilyenko into a film of the same name.

Kupalskaye Kola/ Мagic night
by Axlbillyrose

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Shelter and Connection

If we discovered that we only had five minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them.
~Christopher Morley

For Poetry Friday, a poem that I think would be a great mentor text. So many other things that could be missed! From Rattle, "Don't You Miss the Phone Booth--" by Kate Peper:

by Kate Peper

—a place where once you closed that hinged door
you could still look out, but now the outside world
was hushed and you were in a capsule of privacy?
The etchings of phone numbers, names and expletives
cheering you while you listened to the dial tone,
thinking, grandly, how connected you were
to those who came before you in this one booth.
And wasn’t it comforting, too, to feel the heft and solidity...

read the rest here


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

Ginger tabby

I ask myself what is a dictator? I don't understand. It is some kind of terrible person, a bad person. But I am not frightening. I am not a bad person at all.
~Alexander Lukashenko

Time for another artist from Belarus for Art Thursday. When is Lukashenko going to step down? I started posting about him needing to leave last August, and I kept expecting it to happen any day.

I decided today that I'm going to keep posting Belarusian artists each week. Until Lukashenko leaves? Maybe.

I love this cat by Dmitry Kustanovich:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree

I am mad to think how minute a cause has prevented me hitherto from reading Shakspeare. But until now, every copy that was come-atable to me, happened to be in a vile small print unendurable to my eyes which are tender as young sparrows. But chancing to fall in with this glorious edition, I now exult in it, page after page.
~Herman Melville in a letter to Evert Augustus Duyckinck

I haven't read Herman Melville's Moby Dick, but I am enjoying "reading" it on a random sentence basis on Twitter. I enjoy it so much that I have wondered what other books I'd like to experience this way. Maybe Tolstoy? Something by Isabel Allende?

Monday, May 24, 2021

Tedeschi Trucks, peonies & an easy-to-ignore cicada

I always felt that insects are the general rule, and everything else is a special case.
~Paul Bystrak

I know that some folks are sick of photos of cicadas. But Brood X is so photogenic! I haven't posted any yet...this is my one indulgence, a cicada on a peony:

One more peony, because isn't it something with those layers?

Okay, here's the music for Music Monday. It's a song from Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Layla Revisited (Live At Lock’n), a one-off live recording of Derek & The Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, performed in its entirety with special guest Trey Anastasio. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is on my personal top ten albums list (which doesn't exist, tbh, but if it did, this album would be there). You don't mess around with the best, right? But Tedeschi Trucks do it justice.

Addendum: it's sweet to see Susan Tedeschi smile at her husband Derek Trucks while she's singing, and also, doesn't that other fellow remind you of Rupert Grint (from Harry Potter)?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

A blessing for riverbanks

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.
~Edward Abbey

Happy Poetry Friday! This week, I posted a call for submissions for IMPERFECT II: poems about perspective for middle schoolers. Check it out!

On to the celebration of Mary Lee!

My poem for ML was sideways-inspired by Jone. I wrote a blessing for Jone for the Summer Poem Swap (which I haven't sent to her yet -- hi, Jone!) since she wrote a blessing for my National Poetry Month dual language project. Then when I was thinking about what to write for Mary Lee's retirement party, I decided to write another blessing. This time, the jumping-off point is Mary Lee's poem To My Students, which begins, "I am the riverbank."

A blessing for riverbanks
for Mary Lee

Bless those who sustain
the river on its journey,
rejoicing in its tumult
even as the foaming waves
pummel their centers,
scrub their sides.

Bless those who greet
this moment's river
      and this moment's river
           and this moment's river
with love, bless those
who unearth love within
their own most rocky rims.

Bless those who coax
the reluctant river
to keep moving
on days when
the mud is thick,
the sun is warm,
and all directions
feel the same.

Bless those who cannot know
whether this water will find its way
to the sea, but spend their days
harboring its passage
all the same.


Wondering and Wandering has the Poetry Friday round-up. Happy Birthday, Christie!

Bamboo installations

The majority of [Versteegde’s] works are made for temporary display and not intended to be long term or permanent, and consequently have vanished.

Bamboo installations by Antoon Versteegde and Marco Casagrande for Art Thursday. My guess is that Marco Casagrande's work is called "Cicada" because it is like an enormous exoskeleton...

Cicada bamboo pavilion, Taipei
by Marco Casagrande
photo by Härmägeddon

Horst d'Oeuvre, Horst aan de Maas, Netherlands
ArtWorksAndMore, Antoon Versteegde

Novib Ring, Festival Mundial Tilburg, Netherlands
ArtWorksAndMore, Antoon Versteegde

Fortified City Gate Pettelpoort, 's-Hertogenbosch Netherlands
ArtWorksAndMore, Antoon Versteegde

Oak with 11 Stones, Gouverneurstuin Assen Netherlands
ArtWorksAndMore, Antoon Versteegde

Chinese proverb: “Be like bamboo. The higher you grow, the deeper you bow.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.
~Franklin P. Jones

Doggie snippets today. Have you seen this clip of a dog delivering dog treat truck treats? I didn't know that such a thing existed, but various places have trucks and in San Diego, a "barkery" has a dog treat bike. Love it :-)

One of my dogs (Preston) is half the size of my other dog (Lucy) so when Lucy is up to no good, it amuses me to tell her that I'm going to get her and her little dog, too:

Monday, May 17, 2021


Sanskrit (संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is an ancient Indo-European classical language of South Asia, a liturgical language of Hinduism and Buddhism primarily, and utilized occasionally in Jainism. It is one of the twenty-two official languages of India, and an ancestor of the modern Indo-Aryan languages.
~New World Encyclopedia

YouTube suggested this video by Gaiea Sanskrit to me:

Places you can donate to help India during its COVID surge

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Poetry Memories

A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company
~William Wordsworth

Happy Poetry Friday! I have a rambly post today. I have to thank Kortney Garrison for her haiku oracle deck idea, which I made my mom for Mother's Day. Like Kortney, Basho was my poet of choice. (I used wallpaper samples to decorate the cards. I wish I had taken a picture!) I'm sure I'll make more.

On Twitter, writer Lauren Collins asked what poems people had memorized in school and what lines stuck. I was very interested in the answers! Many Brits of-a-certain-age memorized daffodils, If, Ozymandias, Dulce, Tyger. One person mentioned that Irish schoolchildren commonly learned Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney, which is a complete heartbreaker of a poem.

One of the most popular was Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost:

I memorized “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” by Shakespeare (from Julius Caesar, spoken by Marc Antony). I don't think I was particularly convincing, but my son could get me to follow him into battle with his rendition of Shakespeare's “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” (from Henry V, spoken by King Henry).

My creepiest school poetry memory was arranged by a stern English teacher who I thought of as a character out of The Crucible...I was pretty sure she would have accused us all of being witches. Anyway, she had the entire class read/chant General William Booth Enters into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay, which had such juicy lines as "Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath, Unwashed legions with the ways of Death—"

Vachel Lindsay was a poet with range. I had fun reciting this poem of his with my kids:

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.


Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!

The Treachery of Scrimmages

Art for me is not an end in itself, but a means of evoking [the essential mystery of the world].
~René Magritte

Hi y'all. I wasn't sure what to post for Art Thursday and then I realized I could post my son Dash's birthday shoes. His girlfriend Vivien painted them. The inspiration was René Magritte's The Treachery of Images:

Dash calls them The Treachery of Scrimmages:

Didn't Viv do an amazing job?

Monday, May 10, 2021


The oboe is a narrow channel through which one must push a flood of expression.
~Robert Bloom

Sad news...something got to Mother Cardinal's eggs :-( I went to take a Mother's Day photo and they were gone. Dang it. I looked up what animals like to eat cardinal eggs, and a bunch of things do, including squirrels, chipmunks, and bluejays.

For Music Monday, Albioni oboe compositions (Stefan Schilli, oboe):

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Current Inside

Imagination can be developed. Those who have little may develop much. Those who have much may develop more.
~H.W. Percival

Happy Poetry Friday! What are you up to? I've been doing birthday prep (my son is turning 23 this weekend). Sharing three poems today. The first two are by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer:

hope gets a flat tire—
the stubborn heart
starts walking


One Divining

using words
as dowsing rods—
there, the current inside


Lastly, a poem by J. Estanislao Lopez:

The Ghosts of My Past Are in Disrepair

My ghosts are faulty.
They congratulate me on my home loan.
I find refrigerator magnets often arranged as words of encouragement:
At night, I plug my ears beneath the covers, yet still can hear them bragging about their children’s, grandchildren’s, great great grandchildren’s salaries.
Life has a limited supply of graces to offer,
and I admit to squandering mine,
but they apologize for their part in my transgressions
instead of holding me to account...

read the rest here


Wee Words for Wee Ones has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Bridget!


No quote today.

Have I ever mentioned how bad my eyesight is without glasses? I don't think so. Well, as I type this, I can't see what I'm typing at all. I think I'm typing the right thing. Fingers crossed! Anyway, my glasses lost a screw this morning so I am not wearing them because I don't want that lens to fall out. They are, in fact, incredibly old. (I got some new ones a couple of years ago, but the prescription seemed off so I preferred my old ones. If I could find them, I still wouldn't be able to see, unfortunately. Time to get some new new ones)

I heard the raven fish crow calling a few minutes ago but I am going to pretend I'm not up because I dont' want her to start asking for her breakfast this early. When she gets insistent, she can be very loud.

Back when I could see, I watched some interesting videos by a young Norwegian maker with a channel called "Nerdforge." She has such patience and precision!

Addendum: I can see again! Thank you, Ben. (New glasses are on my to-do list.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


Everyone needs time to develop their dreams. An egg in the nest doesn't become a bird overnight.
~Lois Ehlert

I wasn't sure whether Mother Cardinal had laid any eggs yet, but here's what I spotted this morning!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Żebrowska, plus an orange beak

I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color.
~Wednesday Addams, The Addams Family

We'll get to fashion in a second! My latest obsessions are bird-related. We have a mother cardinal nesting in a bush right outside our living room window. She pretty much blends in with her nest, but you can see her beak (sorry that the photo is through a screen):

There was a big windstorm Friday and she was waving in the bush like a flag, but she's okay.

I have also been feeding a raven fish crow out my backdoor. Oatcakes and grapes so far. I would like to take a photo or get a good recording!

Addendum: here's a photo! She's wet. (I don't know if it's a she.)

Today's videos are by Karolina Żebrowska, an entertaining Polish fashion historian.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

NPM: Granditer Ultimo

April is a promise that May is bound to keep.
~Hal Borland

Happy Poetry Friday! We have a bounty of dual language poems to finish up (Inter)national Poetry Month.

But first, don't forget this is your last chance to sign up to send a poem and receive a poem (or two, three, four, or five) during the summer! Email me to sign up or ask questions.


A Scottish Gaelic blessing by Jone Rush MacCulloch:

fàilte air a ‘ghrian
cho dearg ri crom-lus
fàilte air a ‘ghealach
cho geal ri trì-bhileach
fàilte air na reultan
uiread ri gràinnean gainmhich
fàilte a chur air a’ mhuir
cho farsaing ris Sgrìob Chlann Uisnich
fàilte air an talmah
marmor anns a’ cruinne-cè
fàilte sìochaint

Welcome the sun
as red as a poppy
Welcome the moon
as white as bogbean
Welcome the stars
as many as grains of sand
Welcome the sea
as wide as the Milky Way
Welcome the earth
a floating marble in the universe
Welcome peacefulness


A French/English poem by Ruth Hersey:


Je me souviens du jour où
tu m’as expliqué
qu’elle n’était plus mon amie.
“Tu vois comment elle te traite?”
tu as demandé.

Est-ce que tu es toujours mon ami?
Et sinon,
qui va me l’expliquer?
Encore une fois
je suis la dernière à savoir.

I remember the day
you explained to me
that she wasn’t my friend any more.
“Do you see how she treats you?”
you asked.

Are you still my friend?
And if not,
who will explain it to me?
Once again
I am the last to know.


A French/English haiku by Christie Wyman:

deux oiseaux se perchent en paix
une éternité de sources
dans un monde flottant

two birds perch in peace
an eternity of springs
in a floating world


Tanita Davis shared this poem by Maxine Rose Munro, who writes poetry in both English and Shetlandic Scots:


Hirplin piano notts clim ta me,
win up da bannisters
ta whaar a’m dippit wi a book o poetry.
I listen ta pellet twiggins o rhythm
an soonds. Ivvery rin trowe
gits mair richt, mootie fingers finnin
touch an speed jöst whaar hit’s waantit.
Peerie-wyes a sang is wirkit
oot fae hooro, pattren fae stramash.
Da mester, plaised, picks anidder melody
fir her ta try. I apply mesel eence mair
ta me poetry, bit I winder
if a’ll geng me wye as aesy as shö.


Limping piano notes climb to me,
wind up the bannisters
to where I sit with a book of poetry.
I listen to ragged understandings of rhythm
and sounds. Every run through
gets more right, tiny fingers finding
touch and speed just where it’s wanted.
Softly a song is formed
out of noise, pattern from chaos.
The tutor, pleased, picks another melody
for her to try. I apply myself once more
to my poetry, but I wonder
if I’ll go my way as easily as she.


A French/English haiku by Michelle Kogan:

échapper à la dispersion
donnez-vous des moments de

escape from scatter
give yourself moments of

© 2021 Michelle Kogan


Jone Rush MacCulloch:

aig èrigh na gealaich
teintean a' lasadh aig an tràigh
bidh sinn a' seinn òrain

at moonrise
fires ignite on the beach
we sing songs


Soup for Two

by Janet Clare Fagal

You brought the pot,
I added love,
chicken, stock.
We set the clock,
next carrots, corn,
onions. Warmed.
Simmered, spiced,
tomatoes sliced.
Dinner with you.
Twice as nice!

Minestra per due
Translated by Mr. LaTulippe

La pentola la porti tu,
Io aggiungo l’amore,
il pollo, del brood.
Poi impostiamo l'ora,
ecco a seguire carote, granturco,
cipolle. Fuoco acceso.
Cotto a fuoco lento e speziato.
Qualche pomodoro a fettine.
Cenetta con te.
Il piacere raddoppia.


Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Matt!

Ochanomizu hotaru

Fireflies were like fairy tales. They appealed to the young, the old, and the imaginative.
~Angela Panayotopulos

For Art Thursday, a color woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyochika.

Fireflies at Ochanomizu
by Kobayashi Kiyochika (Japan, 1847-1915)