Thursday, January 28, 2021


The frontier is never somewhere else.
~Norman MacCaig

Time seems to be racing by -- it's Poetry Friday again! Bits and pieces today. First, here's some of "Aunt Julia" by by Norman MacCaig.

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
very loud and very fast.
I could not answer her —
I could not understand her.

She wore men’s boots
when she wore any.
— I can see her strong foot,
stained with peat,
paddling with the treadle of the spinningwheel
while her right hand drew yarn
marvellously out of the air.

read the rest here.
(Three weeks ago, I started learning a little Scottish Gaelic and every day I wonder why I picked a language that is completely counterintuitive. I seem to like it, though, haha)


Empathy Lab UK put together a 2021 Read for Empathy Collection (which includes poetry) for various grades.


An excerpt from "In The Forest of Blue Aptitude" by Brenda Hillman:

So, how should meaning find you?

It is a glow in the cloth. As if a row
   of children carried lanterns unopposed
     through a forest of blue aptitude:
they looked like you. What they feared
   most had never arrived. What they
    loved most was already here.

The rest of this poem isn't available online, but read another poem by Brenda Hillman here: The Time Problem.


Bookseedstudio has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jan!

Porcelain Flowers

[Vladimir and Edita] have a small working garden at home where they grow flowers they want to add to his collection. He takes them apart, bud by bud, leaf by leaf, and scans the pieces into his computer.
~E. M. Swift

For Art Thursday, we have the porcelain flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky. Thank you, Mr. Kanevsky, for giving me permission to share these!

Monday, January 25, 2021

Fruits of his labor

Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities— not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself.
~Jimmy Carter

I saw something about the President Carter Legacy Collection (guitars made from trees he planted) and it sent me down this path for Music Monday. Something so poetic about planting a tree that becomes a conduit for song:

Didn't realize until recently that the Allman Brothers had done a fundraising concert for Jimmy Carter in the early days of his first run for president. How cool is that??

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tomorrow and tomorrow

I don't always think in terms of Shakespeare. When I eat, I do. When I'm at a restaurant, I'll think, 'Hmm, what would Macbeth have ordered?'
~Liev Schreiber

One more Macbeth quote:
Macbeth is a very popular play with audiences. If you want to sell out a theater, just mount a production of Macbeth. It's a short play, it's an exciting play, it's easy to understand, and it attracts great acting.
~Ian Mckellen

I have to agree with Ian McKellan...Macbeth is on my short list of favorite Shakespeare plays. Maybe that's why I enjoyed this song by Andrea von Kampen so much (thanks, Ariana and Sarah!). You might catch lines from Macbeth (and Hamlet) in it:

I'm reading Anam Cara by John O'Donohue (I shared a poem by him the other day, not from the book). Here are a few quotes from it:

"Words are like the god Janus, they face outwards and inwards at once."

"If we become addicted to the external, our interiority will haunt us...In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No-one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world."

"Though the human body is born complete in one moment, the human heart is never completely born. It is birthed in every experience of your life. Everything that happens to you has the potential to deepen you. It brings to birth within you new territories of the heart."


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

P.S. I had to wonder, "What WOULD Macbeth order?" and I guess it would be something fit for a king, haha.

Stella (again)

I was thrilled to find America so rich with so many new motives to be translated into a new art.
~Joseph Stella

A couple of paintings by Italian-American artist Joseph Stella (1877–1946) for Art Thursday. I love his industrial paintings, but I'm feeling at the moment:

Tree of My Life

by Joseph Stella

Spring (The Procession)
by Joseph Stella

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Art convenes. It is not just inspirational. It is aspirational. It pricks the walls of our compartmentalized minds, opens our hearts and makes us brave.
~Anna Deavere Smith

Celebrating Joe Biden's inauguration today!

I love what they have done with flags in the National Mall. (If you haven't seen them, check them out.)

Sharing an excerpt by an Irish poet in his honor, since President Biden's ancestry is more than half Irish.

Eavan Boland from "A Habitable Grief":
This is what language is:
a habitable grief. A turn of speech
for the everyday and ordinary abrasion
of losses such as this

which hurts
just enough to be a scar.

And heals just enough to be a nation.

P.S. Time to revisit A BLESSING FOR ONE WHO HOLDS POWER by John O’Donohue?

Addendum: Loved the inauguration! The president's speech was wonderful. And Amy Klobuchar's, and the music. I cried hardest when the vice-president was being sworn in. Time to catch my breath. xo

Monday, January 18, 2021

Infinity Song

Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine.
~Steve Winwood/Will Jennings

For Music Monday, Infinity Song with Steve Winwood's Higher Love:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Whistling in the dark

I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it.
~Clara Barton

For Poetry Friday, Maya Angelou with "Life Doesn't Frighten Me." Time to muster up some courage!


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


The president is a lethal danger to the American republic and the American people.
~Jamie Raskin

I haven't really posted since the attack on the Capitol because I just don't know what to say. The above quote from my beloved representative Jamie Raskin sums up a portion of my feelings.

Instead of thinking about the world on the ground, for Art Thursday here are some illustrations from an anonymous medieval book on comets. This predates the first telescope by about twenty years and has a poetic touch.

The Comet Book (1587):

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Holding my breath

If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell.
~Christopher Browning

For some reason, this song started going through my head this evening. I am hopeful! And grateful.