Thursday, May 30, 2024

Singing to myself

Your library is your portrait.
~Holbrook Jackson

First things first, did I cry with gratitude today when the verdict came in? Yes, I did. Am I celebrating right now? Yes, I am.

For Poetry Friday, a mentor poem: Eileen Cleary's "Self Portrait as Dog Breed Description."

Self Portrait as Dog Breed Description
by Eileen Cleary ​

Bred from Irish stock with others bled in.
Thin coat of sunlit hair
with red highlights, often redder
in summer. Scared of loud noises,
sensitive to house plants. Do not leave...

read the rest here (the fourth poem down)


My response:

Self-portrait as a bird who meows

Appears unassuming at first glance
but has hidden color. Prefers flying
close to the ground to out in the open,
will sit happily in the middle of a
tangle or thicket and sing. Returns
to the same feeders, season after
season. Has been known to chirp, whistle,
warble, carry on at any time of day.
Sounds like more than one bird.


Salt City Verse has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Janice!

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

You should not know what your picture is to look like until it is done. Just see the picture that is coming.

For Art Thursday, Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923). When I was reading about the artist, I saw that he wore himself out painting his largest commission, which can be seen in New York City:
Sorolla met Archie Huntington in Paris and signed a contract to paint a series of oils on life in Spain. These 14 magnificent murals, installed to this day in the Hispanic Society of America building in Manhattan, range from 12 to 14 feet in height, and total 227 feet in length. The major commission of his career, it dominated the later years of Sorolla's life...

Despite the immensity of the canvases, Sorolla painted all but one en plein air [painted outdoors], and travelled to the specific locales to paint them...Each mural celebrated the landscape and culture of its region, panoramas composed of throngs of laborers and locals. By 1917 he was, by his own admission, exhausted. [Wikipedia]
Breakwater, San Sebastian
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Bueyes arreando barcas, 1909
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

My Family, 1901
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Blind Man of Toledo
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

La Catedral de Burgos
Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

Monday, May 27, 2024

Fooled around

I didn't care how much they cried, no sir
Their tears left me cold as a stone
~Elvin Bishop

Music Monday! We've got Miranda Lambert and her talented friends Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes and Caylee Hammack covering Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love." (His background singer Mickey Thomas sang the song...Thomas would later become the lead singer of Jefferson Starship with Grace Slick, but I digress.)

Bonus: If You Were Mine (Miranda Lambert featuring Leon Bridges)

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Window    door

It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Dear Denise helped me remember that I have a word (OLW) for the year! I had to look up what it was! It's so easy to forget what happened in January by the time May rolls around, haha. My word is "Open," so I am turning back to that for Poetry Friday.

For Poetry Friday, a musical poem by Charles Ghigna from The Father Goose Treasury of Poetry. Thanks, Charles!


Let's build a poem
   made of rhyme
   with words like ladders
   we can climb,
   with words that like
   to take their time,

   words that hammer,
   words that nail,
   words that saw,
   words that sail,
   words that whisper,
   words that wail,

   words that open
   window     door,
   words that sing,
   words that soar,
   words that leave us
   wanting more.


More Art 4 All has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!


He let his imagination run wild and in the process more accurately predicted the technological and social developments of our contemporary world than any other forecaster of his time.
~Robert Hendrick about Albert Robida

For Art Thursday, illustrations by Albert Robida (1848-1926), who imagined Zoom dating, smart doorbells, and the Hyperloop.

"Maison tournante aérienne": One of the artist's conceptions for his book on life in the upcoming twentieth century
Robida, Albert, 1848-1926

Sortie de l'opéra en l'an 2000
Albert Robida

Poster for The Extraordinary Adventures of Saturnino Farandola
Albert Robida

Illustration pour "Mesdames nos aïeules"
Albert Robida

Recueil de nouvelles, illustrées par Albert Robida
Octave Uzanne - Bibliothèque nationale de France

Monday, May 20, 2024

Lule Lule

O lule lule, O lule lule
o lule lule mac mac
e u per ti, e u per ti
e u per ti jame dal pac
e dal pac, e dal pac
e dalle pace ish verteta

O flower flower, O flower flower
oh flower flower mac mac
it's for you, it's for you
I came out for you
I'm doing well, I'm doing well
it came out of peace, it was true

For Music Monday, a 600-year-old Albanian/Arbëreshë traditional song performed by the Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra (BGKO).

Thursday, May 16, 2024


Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
Matsuo Bashō

Thinking about shelter we carry with us...For Poetry Friday, a haiku by Bashō (1644–1694). He wrote it on the rim of his homemade traveling hat!

Under this world's long rains,
here passes
poetry's makeshift shelter.
The deadline for letting me know if you want to join the Summer Poem Swap is tomorrow (May 17th)!!

Addendum: is he poetry's shelter or is poetry his shelter? Or both?

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

Come dancing

In the sixteenth century, when this was painted, dance was subject to a strict code and regarded by the authorities and church as a social evil. People could not swing their arms or legs or laugh too loud, as that would be considered a type of rudeness to many people. The painting therefore "expresses the peasants' liberation from the stricter limits of upper classes" by failing to adhere to the expected social standards of the times
~Wikipedia about The Wedding Dance

For Art Thursday, we have dancing.

The Wedding Dance (sometimes known as The Village Dance), 1566
by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Tightrope Dancer
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Danseuse au café (Dancer in a Cafe), 1912
Jean Metzinger

Capri Girl on a Rooftop
John Singer Sargent

Monday, May 13, 2024

Reclaim your time

Give up the rush,
Give it some meaning
~Nia Smith

For Music Monday, Nia Smith with "Give Up The Fear":

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Make your soul grow

The "canary bird in the coal mine" theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems.
~Kurt Vonnegut

Happy Poetry Friday! A bunch of Kurt Vonnegut's comments about the arts resonate with me. In the video at the bottom of this post, Ian McKellen is quoting Vonnegut (set to music by French Fuse).

Summer Poem Swap info! Do you want to send and receive a poem (or five) this summer? Sign up for the Summer 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. If you would like to receive a poem but you don't think you have it in you to send a poem, contact me anyway. We have folks who are happy to send extras.

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 17th, 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 14-28
2nd swap: June 28-July 12
3rd swap: July 12-July 26
4th swap: July 26-August 9
5th swap: August 9-23


I went to see Hadestown last weekend so I've been kind of obsessed with listening to it again this week. It's a retelling of the Orpheus/Eurydice story. (Orpheus tries to bring Eurydice out of the Underworld but Hades has one caveat: Orpheus can't look back.)

I've been thinking about various aspects of the story this week, such as -- if Orpheus, talented as he is, can't provide for his love, who can make a living in the arts? He sings a beautiful song about how nature will give them the supplies for their wedding. Nature is great, but sometimes it's cold and you need assistance. Maybe it's because I'm worried about how little our culture cares for the arts that this point stuck out for me.

I'm going to share a song that seems like a poem for multiple voices. The irony, to me, is that Eurydice is in the Underworld because she was poor. What is the enemy?

(The person who wrote the music, Anaïs Mitchell, is playing guitar. *bows respectfully*)

More music because that's how I'm rolling today:


A Word Edgewise has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!


I was always going to the bookcase for another sip of the divine specific.
~Virginia Woolf

Bookcases for Art Thursday! Revolving, sculptured, painted. Even one from back-in-the-day with all the books chained to the bookcase!

Danner's original revolving book-cases the best in the world for sale here

Library Walk New York City
photo by Lesekreis

Bookcases in the library of the University of Leiden
Engraving by Willem Swanenburgh; drawing by Jan van 't Woudt

by József Páhy (designer), László Karácsonyi, Valter Lengyel and Attila Grubánovits painters
photo by Jávori István


Sculpture by Wolfgang Häckel

Richard Wagner composing at his piano
Rudolf Eichstaedt

Monday, May 6, 2024

Connected to the unknown

I remember the first time I got recognized at an airport, I got so stressed that I had to hide in the plane's bathroom until it took off. But it's much easier now because I've got used to it. People are just people, and I remind myself of that.

For Music Monday, two people who are mononymous (go by a single name): Aurora and Iniko.

Norwegian artist Aurora's first album was called "All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend" -- she is clearly a poet at heart! When I first laid eyes on her, she was being asked what kind of music was her favorite. She responded, "I like silence."

AURORA, Cure for Me:

Iniko, Jericho:

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Mirror other

Now there are so many people in the world that the system is repeating itself.
~Manel Esteller

Happy Poetry Friday!
Danusha Laméris

For $3.99, the website promises me the opportunity
to find my duplicate, my doppelgänger,
my double. Someone half-way around the world,
or right next door, who wears the same pointed eyebrows,
aquiline (according to the diagram) nose
on a brown and almost-oval face. “Everyone,” they say
“has seven look-alikes.” Each night in bed
I sip my cup of tea and try to forget
life’s many terrible subtractions—all the people
I’ve loved and can’t replace—while scrolling through photos
of people I don’t even know, searching for any trace

read the rest here (I love the ending)


Thank you to Jone who reminded me to let you know about the Summer Poem Swap!

Yes, it's happening! If you're interested, email me for details or wait until next Poetry Friday when I will include them in my post. (I need to figure out the dates.) :)


Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Buffy!

Release from Deception

“I will burst thy bonds asunder, / being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, / that you will not be condemned with this world.”
~the inscription (in Latin) on the book at the bottom of the sculpture Disillusion

For Art Thursday, a marble statue that deserves its own post: Disillusion (or Release from Deception) by Francesco Queirolo (1704–1762). Queirolo carved the angel, the fisherman, and the incredible net from one piece of marble. Disillusion was commissioned by Raimondo di Sangro as a memorial for his father in their family burial site, the Sansevero Chapel.
It reportedly took Queirolo seven years to fabricate this marble net, which he crafted without a workshop, apprentice, or other form of external assistance. The Sansevero Chapel Museum notes that this is because even the most specialized sculptors “refused to touch the delicate net in case it broke into pieces in their hands.” (Kelly Richman-Abdou)

A drawing of Disillusion, 1894
by Franz Robert Richard Brendámour