Thursday, December 28, 2023


It's good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.
~Tim Burton

Happy Poetry Friday! I've been wondering about picking a word for 2024. I liked "generosity" for 2022, and I kind of missed having one in 2023. But I'm not sure what my word should be. Maybe "new"? I was thinking about "new" poems and found this one:

“The New Love”
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I thought my heart was death chilled,
I thought its fires were cold;
But the new love, the new love,
It warmeth like the old.

I thought its rooms were shadowed
With the gloom of endless night;
But the new love, the new love,
It fills them full of light.

I thought the chambers empty,
And proclaimed it unto men;
But the new love, the new love,
It peoples them again.

I thought its halls were silent,
And hushed the whole day long;
But the new love, the new love,
It fills them full of song.


Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

By the light of the moon

Your silvery beams will bring love's dreams
~Edward Madden

One of my Christmas presents was moon-related, which made me think about sharing moon-images for Art Thursday. Of course, I have already many times! But here we are, with some moonbeams.

Bleiglasfenster in der Stiftskirche Saint-Quiriace in Provins

Mountainous Landscape by Moonlight 1871
Albert Bierstadt

Storm-Tossed Frigate
Thomas Chambers

Fischerfamilie am nächtlichen Lagerfeuer mit aufgewühltem Meer, 1778
Jacob Philipp Hackert

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

A bit of comfort

Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.
~Thomas De Quincey

Sorry I dropped out of sight for a bit! Had a delightful holiday. I adore my family members but that's not true for everyone, so I'm sharing something hospice nurse and author Nurse Hadley says below. You don't need anybody's permission, but it can be nice to get it.

Monday, December 18, 2023

This Winter's Night

We have the opportunity to pause and invite our best self to return with the light. We mirror the land- just as it must rest in order to provide the following year, we must rest in order to keep showing up well in our lives.
~Mary Morgaine Squire

Songs by Mothertongue for keeping warm:

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Peace is a bird

What shines through all this darkness shines through us, setting every shattered thing into a new constellation
~Jan Richardson

Happy Poetry Friday! Today I've got poems about coming home again and the shortest day.

After a Long Absence, I Return
by Constance Brewer

I pass a flock of red winged blackbirds.
They startle, rise and fall like breath,
arrow away across an open field,
disappear into fine river mist.

Alone in a shrouded world,
hills rise from thinning fog.
After so long away, the road is new.
I trust the GPS, drive to our old house,
an approaching specter in the fog.

read the rest here


by Barbara Crooker

These are dark times. Rumors of war
rise like smoke in the east. Drought
widens its misery. In the west, glittering towers
collapse in a pillar of ash and dust. Peace,
a small white bird, flies off in the clouds.

read the rest here


Janice Scully has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Janice!

Jorde's Party

Our cheeks are nice and rosy
and comfy cozy are we
~Sleigh Ride, Mitchell Parish

Park your sleigh and come on in! For Art Thursday, Lars Jorde's Christmas Party:

Monday, December 11, 2023

Light your white candles

[Saint Lucia is the patron of the blind.] She is also the patron saint of authors, cutlers, glaziers, laborers, martyrs, peasants, saddlers, salesmen, stained glass workers, and of Perugia, Italy.

For Music Monday, we have Saint Lucia's Day/Night songs. Jonna Jinton:

About Saint Lucia's Day:

It commemorates the martyr Lucia of Syracuse, who, as legend has it, brought food to Christians hiding in Roman catacombs, lighting her way with a candlelit wreath on her head.

The 13 December was the historic Julian calendar’s shortest day, and according to Swedish folklore, the long night was dangerous, with dark spirits out in force. Staying awake was paramount, and eating helped – another connection to the small feast associated with today’s Lucia celebration.
~Visit Sweden

A Lucia concert, held at the Unesco World Heritage Site of Grimeton Radio Station, will be shown as a live event on Facebook on 13 December 2023 at 5:00 pm (CET).

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Everything flowers

Nobody would write poetry if the world seemed perfect.
~Galway Kinnell

Happy Poetry Friday! Today's poems are ones I found when I looked up "poems about hope." "It Was the Animals" made me feel like I'd just watched an awardwinning movie. What mastery these poets have!

Saint Francis and the Sow
by Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis...

read the rest here


It Was the Animals
by Natalie Diaz

Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark
wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag.

He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it,
peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood.
He took a step back and gestured toward it
with his arms and open palms — 

                It’s the ark, he said.
                You mean Noah’s ark? I asked.
                What other ark is there? he answered.

                Read the inscription, he told me,
                it tells what’s going to happen at the end.
                What end? I wanted to know.
                He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”?
                The end end.

Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled.
His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters.
He held the jagged piece of wood so gently.
I had forgotten my brother could be gentle...

read the rest here


A Center
by Ha Jin

You must hold your quiet center,
where you do what only you can do.
If others call you a maniac or a fool,
just let them wag their tongues.
If some praise your perseverance,
don't feel too happy about it—

read the rest here


Reverie has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Patricia!

Gävle Goat

The last sheaf of grain bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things Yule goat (Julbocken).

More interesting info from Wikipedia: "During the 19th century the Yule goat's role all over Scandinavia shifted towards becoming the Christmas gift-bringer, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule goat."

We've got the Yule goat today, in particular the Gävle Goat in Gävle, Sweden. The Gävle Goat kicks off the Advent season and has a 50/50 chance of surviving the season intact, due to an arson problem they have had over the years. (In 2001, the goat was burned down by an American who stated in court that "he was no 'goat burner,' and believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition.") If you want to keep an eye on the Goat, they have a live cam here. (The pixels are to give people walking around privacy.)

I bring you the Gävle Goat!

Snowy Gävle goat
photo by Tony Nordin

A scale model of the burning Gävle goat in Miniature Kingdom in Kungsör, Sweden
photo by Sinikka Halme

And here's a Yule goat by Jenny Nyström:

Monday, December 4, 2023

Driftin' in the desert wind

Asked for a single word to describe this new era of her life, [Abby] Anderson chose "freedom." "It was made possible by leaving my old beliefs — not just a church, not just a label," she said. "It was about breaking up with the story I had been telling myself [about pleasing everybody]."
~Callie Ahlgrim

Happy Music Monday! I'm sure I'm circling around to holiday music, but for now, here's a talented singer with a song she wrote for her mother. (My guess is that her mama is the baby in the song.)

Abby Anderson:

One more: Bad Posture