Friday, May 29, 2015

I Had Quite a Surprise

Did you know that eccentric film director Tim Burton has also written poetry? I'm sure it will come as no surprise when I say that it's eccentric.

From his collection titled The ‎Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy:

The Girl with Many Eyes
by Tim Burton

One day in the park
I had quite a surprise.
I met a girl
who had many eyes.

She was really quite pretty
(and also quite shocking!)
and I noticed she had a mouth,
so we ended up talking.

We talked about flowers,
and her poetry classes,
and the problems she'd have
if she ever wore glasses.

read the rest here


Vincent, narrated by Vincent Price:


There are more poems from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy here. (I will be disappointed if no one brings up Edward Gorey in the comments. :-))

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has the Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
~Oscar Wilde

UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named Indonesian batik to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

UNESCO: "The techniques, symbolism and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments known as Indonesian Batik permeate the lives of Indonesians from beginning to end: infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and the dead are shrouded in funerary batik...Batik is dyed by proud craftspeople who draw designs on fabric using dots and lines of hot wax, which resists vegetable and other dyes and therefore allows the artisan to colour selectively by soaking the cloth in one colour, removing the wax with boiling water and repeating if multiple colours are desired."

The top video is about 7 minutes; the second one is half as long. Watch whichever you have time for! :-)

Formal Batik Sarong worn by guard with sword at Sultan's Palace, Yogyakarta
photo by Ian Alexander

Sri Lankan Batik
photo by Amila Tennakoon
Over the past several decades the Indonesian art of batik making has become firmly established in Sri Lanka. Indeed, it is now the most visible of the island’s crafts.

Sri Lankan Batik
photo by Amila Tennakoon

Rayela Pillow, Thai batiked indigo hemp with ostrich egg shell discs
photo by Rachel Biel

Indonesia, Java, Semarang, Kudus, and Demak, circa 1880

Roketsuzome (Japanese style batik) printing wheels at Roketsuzome Yamamoto, Kyoto, Japan

Traditional Arts - Batik
photo by Steel Wool

WikiHow: Three Ways to Batik

Monday, May 25, 2015

The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus

Last week, Keri wondered how I had heard about the Icelandic band I featured. My answer last week is the same for this week's group: I received a press release about them because they are touring. I would give a warning that this video made me teary, but I think that's just me and you'll be fine.

Donate to the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bug, Windshield

E. Markham

Two poems today by Edwin Markham, plus a song related to the first poem. Edwin Markham trivia: At the time of his death in 1940, Markham had collected 15,000+ books (some reports say 30,000), which he bequeathed to Wagner College, along with his personal papers. Markham's correspondents included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, Carl Sandburg, and Amy Lowell.

by Edwin Markham

For all your days prepare,
And meet them ever alike:
When you are the anvil, bear—
When you are the hammer, strike.


Everything can change in the blink of an eye
So let the good times roll before we say goodbye
Sometimes you're the windshield
Sometimes you're the bug
~Mark Knopfler


by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!


The Poetry Friday round-up is at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Button Up

“When buttons came in, about 1650, people couldn't get enough of them and arrayed them in decorative profusion on the backs and collars and sleeves of coats, where they didn't actually do anything. One relic of this is the short row of pointless buttons that are still placed on the underside of jacket sleeves near the cuff. These have been purely decorative and have never had a purpose, yet 350 years later on we continue to attach them as if they are the most earnest necessity.”
~Bill Bryson

I like to consider the artistry of items that don't seem particularly artistic. Like buttons.

Jasperware button, front & back

Satsuma iris button (self-shanked), showing front and back

Hand-painted Sewing Button
by Fiona MacNeil

Fitted doublet, associated with Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, 1594–1632

Buttons, Russia, 1908-1917. Faberge. Lapis lazuli, diamonds, gold, silver, glass, enamel.

by Lisa Clarke

Once a handkerchief

Pink Silk Nouveau button ring
allison fomich

Wilhelmina von Hallwyl wedding dress

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shots I Got Before They Ran Away

A dog on a walk
is like a person in love −
You can't tell them
it's the same old world.
~Pat Owen

When I'm walking with Lucy, sometimes I see blue herons, green herons, turtles, and goslings, but Lucy generally frightens them all off. So taking pictures of them is a tricky task, especially since I have to hold on tight to the leash or Lucy will pull it out of my hands. Here Lucy is approaching some geese and goslings with interest. Alone, the geese run away from her, but when they have goslings, they stand their ground:

Happy to get this photo before they all slid into the water:

Here's a quote that I've posted before and will probably post again.

I think of it sometimes when people who are right about something on the Internet think that being right means they can be absolutely horrible to the person who is wrong. I wish they would realize that's not actually the case. If you're being a jerk, you're still being a jerk, whether you are technically correct or not.
(Thanks for letting me vent -- I know I'm preaching to the choir here!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Poetry in the Sand

Sinn er siður í landi hverju. (Each country has its own custom.)
~Icelandic proverb

Icelandic band Árstíðir performs Ljóð í sand (Poetry in the Sand) live: