Monday, August 3, 2015

Jazz from Pakistan

Today we have Sachal Studios from Pakistan. For information about their background, check out A Millionaire Saves the Silenced Symphonies of Pakistan:

A link to their album Jazz and All That (on Amazon)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A couple of things

You know that I wasn't kidding when I named this blog, right? Here are two things that touched me lately...

One of my friends is going to be volunteering with The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing and she said that she was struck by the number of programs they run. For instance, they arrange for a volunteer to be at the morgue twenty-four hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year, in case anybody has to come identify a body. They don't want anyone to have to identify a loved one without there being support present. Maybe other people might not be impressed by volunteers at the morgue, but I thought that was just about the kindest thing ever.

The second thing is that I was talking with a neighbor about his teenage son, who is deaf, and he said they have found an exceptional place for his son to go to college. They have a large deaf population there, plenty of interpreters, captions, trained note-takers. It will meet his needs perfectly, and my neighbor said he was absolutely sick with happiness about it. Instead of worrying at night about what would happen to his son, he was crying with relief. Isn't that beautiful? His happiness made me happy too.

I'll end with a quote:

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust

Happiness by Pietro Zanarini

Friday, July 31, 2015

The World's Long Wind

Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!
~Charlotte Brontë

When I'm feeling tired of how unkind, judgmental, and righteous people are on the Internet, poetry can be a nice antidote.

Here are old posts with peace poems, peace prayer, peace art, acts of kindness, more acts of kindness, and Buddha.

by Su Tung-po (1036—1101)

The rigging whines in the sky
    as we pitch and heel.
The boatman’s sound asleep
    though the waves bloom white.

Those mooring-lines
    must understand how I feel :
Weak in the world’s long wind,
    yet holding tight.


Keri has the Poetry Friday round-up today.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves.
~Laura Esquivel

What is phillumeny? A word derived from derived from phil- [Greek for "loving"] + lumen- [Latin for "light"], phillumeny refers to collecting match-related items, such as matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks and so on.

In 1987, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Teiichi Yoshizawa as the top phillumenist with 577,000 matchbox labels. You can see exhibits of Japanese matches and those from overseas at the Japanese Virtual Museum "Match World." Guity Novin has excellent information (and images) about the history of matchboxes.

We have a variety of matchboxes today...non-poisonous, impregnated, car-related, and decorated:

Matchbox and match labels
photo by Takkk

photo by Stephen Coles

Matchbox with a picture celebrating the wedding of Princess Ingrid and Crown Prince Frederik, 1935

The Victoria
photo by Alf van Beem

photo by Marcus Böckmann

Matchbox label
photo by Marcus Böckmann

photo by matchbox minimalist

by dmmalva

La Traviata II
by Roberta Cortese

eBay's Guide to Collecting Matchboxes

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy Things

You don't have to understand Korean to feel happy listening to this song by J Rabbit:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Swap Poems

If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--
~Frances Hodgson Burnett

What makes the Poem Swaps really special to me is how much I like the people I'm swapping with *happy sigh*

But before I share poems that I have received from my swapping buddies this summer, I'd like to point you to a couple of recent poetry-related articles (and I'm including a video at the bottom):

* Reading poetry written by jihadists could shed new light on extremism
* How a poem helped save a suicidal teen’s life



Small Summer Sonnet
for Tabatha Yeatts

Cicada buzzing,
rhythm of summer.
Heat of wings rising,
vibrating drummer.
Soft silence lazing
as sunsets linger.
Slow misty hazing.
Firefly lights glimmer.
A bird’s sound phrasing
songs we remember.
Harsh storms surprising
wary child swimmer.
dragonfly wonder.

by Margaret Simon



We watched dragonflies
twirl and dance
among the reeds at the pond,
their bodies light and airy.
No shutter could snap fast enough
to capture their beauty
so we just stood there— watching,
So it is with these passing days
our own bodies heavy with grief or pain,
we can stand for a moment,
watch fleeting dragonflies,
and know hope is in their wings.

--Margaret Simon, August 2014



Here's the bonus video I mentioned:

Scratch-Off Poems with Mary Ruefle and Agustina Woodgate from Tobias Rodriguez-Wynwood on Vimeo.

"Scratch-Off Poems" is a project from O, Miami 2014 co-created by artist Agustina Woodgate and poet Mary Ruefle. Woodgate made two scratch-off lottery ticket designs that incorporated an original poem commissioned from Mary Ruefle. During April 2014, 2500 of the tickets were distributed around Miami-Dade County via local businesses and events.

How it worked: Using a penny or a fingernail, participants scratched off the missing pieces in the words of the poem. If those words matched the words at the top of the ticket, s/he won an O, Miami t-shirt with a poem sewn inside. 1 out of 100 tickets was a winner.

Margaret is the Poetry Friday host today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Elly MacKay

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
~William James

Canadian artist Elly MacKay says, "I have been making little paper worlds since I was a child. I use ink to make small drawings that I cut out and set up in a miniature theatre. Then I light the scene and photograph it." Thank you for giving me permission to share these, Elly!

Cloud Watchers
by Elly MacKay

What Awaits at the Station...
by Elly MacKay

Mountains in the Sea
by Elly MacKay

Fall Arrives
by Elly MacKay

Peter's Lookout
by Elly MacKay

The Cartographer
by Elly MacKay

He Knew They Would Agree...
by Elly MacKay

The Heron's Hermitage
by Elly MacKay