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)