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:
* Crocheted cat bed in the Free Belarus flag colors
* 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

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