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

Monday, February 22, 2021

Заспало е Челебийче

If it’s a crow, let it be shaggy.
(When you know that something can’t be perfect, you should let it be as imperfect as it can get.)
~Bulgarian saying

I lost track of what day it was! For Music Monday, "Chelebiyche is asleep:"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Aspettando Pazientemente

Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
~Guy Kawasaki

My heart has been full of the news from Texas this week. Ugh.

My parents got their first COVID-19 vaccination shots Monday -- such a relief. It feels like the pandemic is wrapping up on the one hand, but on the other, we have to keep hanging on a while longer. The expression on Saint Rosalie's face in this painting! Maybe that's how Van Dyck felt, quarantined in Palermo.

Van Dyck was in Palermo, Sicily, when a plague broke out and the city was quarantined. In their despair, residents prayed to the city’s patroness, Saint Rosalie, whose long-lost remains (she died about 1160) were rediscovered in the midst of the epidemic. [The Met]


Saint Rosalie
by Devon Balwit

after “Saint Rosalie Interceding for the Plague-stricken of Palermo,” by Anthony van Dyck

St. Rosalie stares up at God like a mother skeptical
about his doings. Are you working? she calls,

having made her expectations clear: Relieve us
of this plague. No answer. Will she have to fuss?

Around her, putti clamor, all those bored children
stuck at home now that the schools have been

closed. One holds a skull, dug up from the family
crypt or the back garden. Rosalie feels a hum

read the rest here


One more poem, sweetly ordinary: Against Endings by Dorianne Laux


There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Ruth!


The word vinegar derives from the French “vin aigre,” or sour wine. It has been traced back to 5000 B.C.E. in Babylon, not just for cooking but as a medicine, a preservative, and a drink to boost strength and promote wellness.
~Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

You've probably heard of smelling salts, but have you heard of vinaigrettes? Back in the day, they were used to "shock" someone who was about to faint by having them get a whiff of vinegar (on a sponge). They could also be filled with something sweet-smelling.

Silver vinaigrette in the shape of a harp, France, 1701-1800

Acid-etched blown-molded glass, painted with enamel, enhanced with gold
photo by Caroline Léna Becker

Musée des Arts décoratifs de la Faïence et de la Mode au château Borély à Marseille
photo by Rvalette

Vinaigrette, Switzerland
circa 1805

Vinaigrette, probably German
Wellcome Images

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


Driving winds and swirling snow do not daunt this plucky bird. The coldest winter days see the junco as lively as ever and with a joie de vivre that bolsters our sagging spirits.
~John V. Dennis

Have you been watching birds? Many people have taken up birdwatching during the pandemic. At our house, the snow has thrown them into sharp relief: cardinals, mourning doves, crows, woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, some birds I can't identify, and many dark-eyed juncos. I enjoyed the info about their migratory habits in this video by Lesley the Bird Nerd:

Monday, February 15, 2021

Sweet ♥️

They say that time can play tricks on a memory,
make people forget things they knew.
Well, it's easy to see, it's happening to me--
I've already forgotten every woman but you...
~Overstreet and Schlitz

Nothing like a Valentine's weekend engagement! For Music Monday, songs for Sarah and Dalton.

James Taylor:

Randy Travis:

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Setting the bristles aflame

Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.
~W.H. Auden

I give thanks to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for letting me share her poems today. Rosemerry has a blog called A Hundred Falling Veils where she posts a daily poem. You can sign up to have them emailed to you!

Ode to the Onion I Didn’t Have Tonight
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

And there you were not
on the shelf with your shiny red skin,
and there you were not in the pan
in thin pink rings filling the air,
and there you were not
in the sauce, that warm underlayer
that grounds the bright tomato—
all night I missed you.
All night, the red wine kept asking,
Where is it? Where is it?
All night, I thought of how
what is missing is sometimes
most here.


Years Later, I Remember What He Taught Us
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

The guide stabbed the small round of cactus with his knife,
then held it up in front of him. With his other hand,
he flicked on his lighter and burned off the spines.
I do not remember the smell of it, nor how much it smoked.
What I remember is how he was left with a smooth and harmless
lump of green in his palm. He sliced it opened and taught us to drink.
It could save you, he said, if you find yourself lost in the desert.
Do this. Burn off your spines. Whatever bristles you have grown
to protect yourself, set them aflame. Open however you can,
let me pull you to my lips. I will do the same for you.
We are all lost in the desert.


one dropper of red
turns the whole bowl red—
why I share love poems

~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer


Want to read more? Here are Things to Do While Trapped in a Cage with a Lion and My Nine-Year-Old Daughter Reads Emily Dickinson


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

The Capitol

If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free.
~Capitol Police officer Daniel Hodges

I'd show Eugene Goodman's favorite art today, but I have no idea what that is. To celebrate Art Thursday, here is some art from the U.S. Capitol.

Washington 1800
by Allyn Cox

Architect Thomas U. Walter served at the U.S. Capitol from 1851 to 1865; he constructed the House and Senate wing extensions and the present dome.
by Allyn Cox

In this mural Walter (center, in dark coat and top hat) shows his dome design to President Abraham Lincoln.
by Allyn Cox

Washington 1867
by Allyn Cox

photo by Carol M. Highsmith

Monday, February 8, 2021

Take a load for free

If I can play one note and make you cry, then that's better than those fancy dancers playing twenty notes.
~Robbie Robertson

For Music Monday, Robbie Robertson twice. I love all the different musical instruments in the first song. So cool to hear them!

Playing for Change:

(This is also an amazing version: The Band with the Staples Singers)

I wasn't sure whether to share this song or "Somewhere Down the Crazy River," but this came out on top.

Two more Robbie Robertson quotes:

I do not have yearnings to get back on a bus. If it means getting on a bus, I don't want to do it.

I always like to keep one hand in the tepee and the other hand in the synagogue. Wouldn't it be great if there was a combination of the two? You could go to synagogue, and it would be really hot in there. (Robertson's father was Jewish and his mother is Cayuga/Mohawk.)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Team Walrus

O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach
~Lewis Carroll

I appreciate a poem that is wildly original, and we have just such a poem today with Matthew Olzmann's Commencement Speech, Delivered to a Herd of Walrus Calves.

by Matthew Olzmann

Young walruses, we all must adapt! For example,
some of your ancestors gouged the world
with four tusks, but you can grow only two.
It’s hard to say what evolution plans for your kind,
but if given a choice,
you should put in a request for thumbs.
Anyway, congratulations! You’re entering
a world that’s increasingly hostile and cruel
and full of people who’ll never take you seriously
though that will be a mistake on their end.
You are more tenacious than they know.
You’ll be a fierce and loyal defender
of those you love. You will fight polar bears
when they attack your friends and sometimes you’ll win.
Of course, odds always favor the polar bear,
but that’s not the point. The point is courage.

read the rest here

This seems like a great mentor poem. I'd like to write a valentine for viscachas or a toast for a horde of gerbils. (I guess rodents are where my head is at today.)

Jone Rush MacCulloch has the Poetry Friday round-up. Tapadh leat, Jone!


Brigid's Fire is truly the fire of creativity. It is responsible for the kindling of the earth in early Spring, the kindling of passion, the kindling of the body in healing, the kindling of the heart in poetry and song, the kindling of the mind in science and craft.
~from Brighid, Goddess and Saint

For Art Thursday, we have St Brigid since it was Brigid's Day on February 1st. Brigid is a bit confusing because it seems like the saint and the goddess are a bit entertwined and the goddess has three parts or is three sisters, and I'm not sure what's what. I'm not even sure how to spell her name, as it can be spelled Bride, Bridie, Bridhe, Bridget, Brighde, Brigid, Brighid, Brigit, Breda, Bree, and Breeshey.

From Brighid, Goddess and Saint: "Brian Wright lists the qualities of [the goddess] Brigid's parents that she inherited. From Dagda: magic, healing, knowledge, producing an abundance of food, control of the weather and environment, fire. From Morrigan: fertility, foretelling the future, animal husbandry, association with fire, protection of her people." She's a poetess, a smith, a physician ("woman of leechcraft").

There don't seem to be many surviving artworks of the goddess, so I have a few stained glass images honoring the saint. I like this quote about her (the saint):

Dubthach (Brigid's father) is portrayed as having been so annoyed with Brigid that he took her in a chariot to the King of Leinster to sell her. While Dubthach was talking to the king, Brigid gave away Dubthach's bejeweled sword to a beggar to barter it for food to feed his family. The king recognized her holiness and convinced Dubthach to grant his daughter freedom.

Bleiglasfenster in der katholischen Pfarrkirche St. Thomas in Houverath
photo by GFreihalter

St. Brigid holding her lamp
St. Mary of the Rosary church, Ireland
photo by Andreas F. Borchert

Brigid's Cross
Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Ireland
photo by Andreas F. Borchert

Monday, February 1, 2021

A beach and a bark

There's something about the ukulele that just makes you smile. It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us.
~Jake Shimabukuro

Having fun for Music Monday with a sibling duet and shiba funk.

Honoka and Ryota Katayama:

Louie Zong's shiba funk: