Thursday, April 27, 2023

Summer 2023 Poem Swap and Levertov

He himself must be
the key, now, to the next door
~Denise Levertov

First of all, the Summer 2023 Poem Swap!

Do you want to send and receive a poem (or five) this summer? Sign up for the Summer 2023 Poem Swap! The number of swaps is up to you. You don't need to send anything but a poem, although some folks send additional stuff. You can send it via email or snail mail.

You are welcome to mail them early, e.g. if you know you will be gone during Swap #4, you can mail #4 at the same time that you mail #3. The deadline to sign up is May 6th, so send me your name, mailing address, email address, and anything else I should know by then. I will send out swap match-ups as soon as I have them ready.

1st swap: June 16-30
2nd swap: June 30-July 14
3rd swap: July 14-July 28
4th swap: July 28-August 11
5th swap: August 11-25


The Broken Sandal
by Denise Levertov

Dreamed the thong of my sandal broke.
Nothing to hold it to my foot.
How shall I walk?
The sharp stones, the dirt. I would
Where was I going?
Where was I going I can't
go to now, unless hurting?
Where am I standing, if I'm
to stand still now?

Levertov trivia: At the age of 12...she sent several of her poems directly to T.S. Eliot: “She received a two-page typewritten letter from him, offering her ‘excellent advice.’


Also, I'll send you back to Music Monday for Joy Oladokun's song Taking Things for Granted. "Sometimes I feel like I never got out of the water" -- poetic lyrics!


There's No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Ruth!

The Spring

In carpets, I now saw not just intricacies of nature and color, not just mastery of space, but a sign of the infinite design. In each pattern lay the work of a weaver of the world, complete and whole; and in each knot of daily existence lay mine.
~Anita Amirrezvani

For Art Thursday, textile art. A carpet by Latif Kerimov:

"The Spring" carpet, 1967
by Latif Kerimov
The R. Mustafayev State Museum of Art

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


Alright now, let's go to work, pack a lunch

Music Monday, belatedly! This first song has some cussing in it, sorry about that. PROF with High Priced Shoes:

Joy Oladokun with Taking Things for Granted:

Monday, April 24, 2023

Progressive Poem line #24 from Janet

The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.
~Terence McKenna

Hi folks! If you want to send 1-5 poems to a fellow poetry fan over the course of the summer, please consider signing up for the Summer 2023 Poem Swap! It keeps you writing, it gives you delights in your mailbox. I'll post more about it on Friday or you can write me at

Now, I'll turn over the blog to Janet:

First I must thank my poetry friend, Tabatha Yeatts, for volunteering to host blogless me so I could participate again this year. I feel a kinship with all the current and previous Poetry Friday bloggers. I am mainly an appreciative commenter who shares in the joy of poetry and loves to be a guest blogger. (My name appears as Janet Clare F.or some form of that and I am Janet Clare on fb, so please friend me if you like.) I have participated in the Progressive Poem for all but two of the past years. I always look forward to seeing how the poem flows throughout the month. Here is the #PP2023 background for those who may be visiting for the first time.

Welcome to the Progressive Poem! Irene Latham began this tradition in 2012 and hosted until 2019. (Early archives here.) Margaret Simon took the reins in 2020. (Recent archives are tabs at the top of her page.) Thank you for creating and continuing this annual event, Irene and Margaret.

The rules are few: “The poem will be passing from blog to blog with each poet-blogger adding a line. The poem is for children. Other than that, anything goes.” Each blogger will copy the previous lines exactly as written (unless permission from the previous poet is obtained) and add their line, including commentary on their process if they wish.

Thanks to Catherine at Reading to the Core for her wonderful line from yesterday!! Yummy nutcakes and tea, I am hungry already and my senses are filled with the scent of the garden and a delicious mid-day tea. My line is in bold at the end!

Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

When morning first poked me, I’d wished it away
my mind in the mist, muddled, confused.

Was this a dream or reality, rousing my response?
The sun surged, urging me to join in its rising,

Rising like a crystal ball reflecting on morning dew.
I jumped out of bed, ready to explore the day.

My feet pull me outside and into the garden
Where lilies and bees weave…but wait! What’s that?

A bevy of bunnies jart and dart and play in the clover.
A dog barks and flash, the bunderstorm is over.

I breathe-brave, quiet. Like a seed,
as the day, foretold in my dream, ventured upon me.

Sunbeams guided me to the gate overgrown with wisteria
where I spotted the note tied to the gate.

As I reached the gnarled gate, pollen floated like fairy dust into my face.
Aaah Choo!
Enter, if you must. We’ve been waiting for you.

Not giving the curious note a thought, I pushed the gate open and ran through.
Stopped in my tracks, eyes wide in awe- can this really be true?

Huge mushrooms for tables, vines twined into chairs,
A flutter of fairies filled flowery teawares.

With glazed nut cakes and apple blossom tea,
I heard soft whispers from behind a tree. Oh my! They had been “waiting for me!”

And on we go to my friend Ruth at There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town.

npm 23 progressive poem remaining dates

April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town

April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie

April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa's Teaching Tidbits

April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog

April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog

April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Sniff shop: closed

We have five million smell-sensitive cells in our nose, [animals] have two hundred and fifty million - they can smell emotion. They can smell different types of emotion, they just have another type of intelligence.
~Mike Mills

Happy Poetry Friday! I considered a bunch of poems to share, but they were a bit more serious than I wanted. Maybe because Ariana's medicine was *finally* approved today?! It was a long wait!

So I rummaged through poems I'd written during Laura's February project and found one about noses.

Could you smell this?

Does this smell bad, he asks,
passing me a container of salad dressing.
I hesitate, anticipating a
rancid blast,
it's fine.
We play "does this smell bad"
like kids during recess,

not to say with joy,
but with regularity
because his nose checked out
of the smelling business,
turned in its detection license,
closed up the sniff shop,
long enough ago
that I've had a chance
to figure out

what's that smell
   is this fresh
      is something burning
   does this stink
  is this spicy
     did it mildew
& the fundamental
is this still good?


P.S. Not being able to smell IS serious, but most of the other poems I'd read were by Sudanese poets so this one felt relatively light.

Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Karen!

Onderdonk bluebonnets

When the pastures are green in the springtime
And the birds are singing their sonnets
You may look to the hills and the valleys
And they’re covered with lovely Bluebonnets.
~Julia D. Booth

Artist Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922) made a plethora of paintings starring fields of Texas bluebonnets. I find them soothing and uplifting.

Bluebonnets at Late Afternoon
by Julian Onderdonk

Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets
by Julian Onderdonk

Bluebonnets in the Misty Morning
by Julian Onderdonk

Near San Antonio
by Julian Onderdonk

Field of Bluebonnets with Trees
by Julian Onderdonk

Monday, April 17, 2023

The arc of art

I'm the wounded bird, I'm the screaming hawk
I'm the one who can't be counted out

For Music Monday, Allison Russell. The last time I shared AR was 2013!

I didn't mean to share Brandi Carlile again so soon, but here we are:

The post title comes from Allison Russell: "We are the dust of the stars, the bones of the Earth, the breath of the void, the expanse of our imaginations, the arc of art, the love in our hearts."

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Melville's Art

THE greatest seer and poet of the sea for me is Melville.
~D.H. Lawrence

Happy Poetry Friday! Today's photo is of the Peep diorama Elena and I made, inspired by Pride and Prejudice. It's our first:

I tried to do the Classic Found Poem Palooza that Jone originated, but I really struggle with blackout poems. I looked at a page of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The only poem I could come up with included an entire line of his:

all the glad, hay-making suns, and soft, cymballing, round harvest-moons

(from Chapter 106, Ahab's Leg)

So instead I decided to share a poem by Melville. (Read it out loud, if circumstances permit!)

By Herman Melville

In placid hours well-pleased we dream
Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
But form to lend, pulsed life create,
What unlike things must meet and mate:
A flame to melt—a wind to freeze;
Sad patience—joyous energies;
Humility—yet pride and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity—reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel— Art.


Ending with a Melville quote:
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.

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

Living Statues

Her carved eyeballs stared back at them with the uncanny blindness of statues, who seem always to be perceiving another dimension, where everything is statues.
~Angela Carter

For Art Thursday, performance art! Living statues:

Living Statue, Rome
photo by Mark Ahsmann

Living statues, Ukraine
photo by George Chernilevsky

Living Statue, Barcelona, Spain
photo by Craig Sunter

Galileo Galilei, living statue
photo by Nicholas Gemini

Living Statue, Spain
photo by David Adam Kess

Living statue on the Ramblas; Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
photo by Georges Jansoone

World Living Statues Festival photos

Monday, April 10, 2023

Drone Mass

If you were hurtling through space, this would be the music of the heavens.
~Tom Huizenga about Drone Mass

For Music Monday, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969-2018), who composed the soundtracks for The Theory of Everything, Arrival, and Sicario.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Room enough

I think sometimes in the focus on deep friendships and on romantic relationships, we can lose sight of how important the small connections we make are with strangers and with people that we may encounter for just a few seconds or a few minutes.
~Vivek Murthy

Happy Poetry Friday! I often use a photo from my phone to go with my posts and right now I am taking oodles of cherry blossom pictures.

Today's poem is from Split This

To the woman I saw today who wept in her car
By Bianca Lynne Spriggs

I get it.
We are strangers,
but I know the heart is a hive
and someone has knocked yours
from its high branch in your chest
and it lays cracked and splayed,
spilling honey all over
the ground floor of your gut
and the bees inside
that you've trained
over the days and years
to stay put, swarm
the terrain of your organs,
right here in traffic,
while we wait for the light to change.

I get it.
How this array of metal and plastic...

read the rest here


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

Ivo Křen

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
~Henry Thoreau

For Art Thursday, Czech graphic artist, art glass theoretician and curator Ivo Křen.

Above the Waterfall
by Ivo Křen

Spring Garden
by Ivo Křen

Cold Sun
by Ivo Křen

Tuesday, April 4, 2023


Playing on my heart just like a Casio
Breaking it apart so you can let it go
~Lloyd-Watson and McFarland

For Music Monday, U.K. dance band Jungle:

Monday, April 3, 2023

Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem 2023, #3

Hello everyone and welcome!
The Progressive Poem rules are few: “The poem will be passing from blog to blog with each poet-blogger adding a line. The poem is for children. Other than that, anything goes.”

Mary Lee kicked the poem off with "Suddenly everything fell into place" explaining, "I love stories that start at the end, so here you go. Write me a story that ends with sudden clarity."

Heidi followed it up with "like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in."

I felt like it was my job to transport the story to the beginning. I thought about what might happen to a young person before things fell into place, before the raindrops hit soil and sank in. I pictured someone who might be facing something new, struggling through a challenge that seems overwhelming.

Which brings me to today's line:

When morning first poked me, I'd wished it away

As it stands:

Suddenly everything fell into place
like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

When morning first poked me, I'd wished it away

Buffy Silverman has the next line.

npm 23 progressive poem

April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading

April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe

April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference

April 4 Buffy Silverman

April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities

April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write

April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche

April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life

April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise

April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care

April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems

April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave 

April 13 Irene Latham Live Your Poem 

April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse

April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch

April 16 Linda Baie TeacherDance

April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond Literacy Link

April 18 Marcie Atkins

April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard 

April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes

April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle at Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog, 

April 22 Marilyn Garcia

April 23 Catherine at Reading to the Core

April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference

April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town

April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie

April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa's Teaching Tidbits

April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog

April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog

April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing