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Rumi “A Night Full of Talking”

January 22nd, 2017

“A Night Full of Talking”

“A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held-back secrets. Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then we have work to do.”

– Rumi

What’s New On My Nightstand? Saturday Edition: “Dormouse Dreams,” by Karma Wilson & Renata Liwska; “Bob, Not Bob!” written by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick, with pictures by Matthew Cordell; and “When You’re Feeling Sick,” by Coy Bowles, illustrated by Andy Elkerton

January 14th, 2017

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

– “The Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver

More books, readers. Enjoy!

* “Dormouse Dreams” (Disney/Hyperion Books, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Renata Liwska, 2017, ages 3-5, 40 pages, $16.99) is a good one for a snowy day like today. A wee dormouse, snug in his nest, dreams and snores through winter and into spring. (Notes from the publisher say that Wilson got the idea after watching a video of a little snoring dormouse.) It’s a rhyming book, my friends.

“While the white snow glows in the bright moonbeams, in his dry leaf bed, little dormouse dreams.”

Awww… I love it. The art is beautiful (a fox, cross-country skiing; the dormouse, with his cute little feet and his stuffed bunny; a crow with his own plane) and the story is engaging. Nice.

“Bob, Not Bob!” (Disney/Hyperion Books, Valentine’s Day, 2017, written by Audrey Vernick & Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, ages 3-5, 40 pages, $17.99). The first thing you should know about this book: It is to be read as though you have the worst cold ever. Or, “I have a code! In by doze!” as we said when I was growing up.

This book is hilarious. Really wish I still taught library, because this would be so good for a read-aloud, any time of year, but especially during cold and flu season when half the class is out.

“But when Little Louie got sick, he felt littler than usual. Like maybe his mom should check on him kind of often. (Every three minutes or so.”)

He yells out, Mom! But it sounds like, Bob! And here comes Louie’s beast of a dog, “…running. And slobbering.”

Such a great concept for a story, and the illustrations are funny and sweet. Get well soon, Louie!

Good companion book: “When You’re Feeling Sick” (Random House Children’s Books, 2017, by Coy Bowles, illustrated by Andy Elkerton, ages 3-7, $12.99). This one was written by Bowles, who is the guitarist and organist for the Zac Brown Band. The back story is awfully sweet — his mom was in the hospital, and the family spent a lot of time there. He wanted to share the love and hope his mom, family and friends have experienced during hospital stays. Like I said, awesome and sweet. (The story is included at the back of the book.) The illustrations are vivid and cartoony. “Feel better” songs can be found at coybowles.com

That’s it, babies!

xo

wm

Wednesday Book Review — What’s on My Nightstand: Meditation, Contemplation, Coloring! and Yummy, Yummy Baby Books

January 11th, 2017

“the drum”

daddy says the world
is a drum tight
and hard
and i told him
i’m gonna beat out
my own rhythm”

– nikki giovanni

Well, well, well. There’s about a foot and a half of snow out there, and I’m pretty happy to be inside knitting, hanging with the kids and the pup, and checking out this HUGE stack of review copies. So here we go…

* Meditation: 2017 Engagement Calendar — I love this planner that I ordered online last month. Pretty art, pretty photography and poems, lots of space to write, and pockets for my miscellaneous stuff. “Each small task of everyday life is a part of the total harmony of the universe.” — Saint Therese of Lisieux

* You know what’s supposed to calm you down? Getting divorced. It makes it all better. Hardy-har-har. Seriously, though, folks. Coloring is the new answer for everything, and I have been indulging, and it is pretty great. My friends tell me it is as effective as meditation. My picks: “Zanimals Colouring Book” from Paperchase (can’t find a link, I’ve had this one for awhile and it might be out of print); one from my cousin!!! Thanks, babe. “Because of Bethlehem Christmas Coloring Book,” by Max Lucado, with illustrations by Lizzie Preston & Claire McElfatrick, so pretty, so much fun to explore and color; “Creative Haven: Midnight Garden Coloring Book,” so many hearts, so many flowers, all on black backgrounds, gorgeous; “Color the Pacific Northwest” (Zoe Keller, Timber Press) is a lot of fun, and a lot of work (I think I may switch to little kid coloring books — these grown-up ones require big commitment); and last but not least… “Color Your World 2017 Meditative Coloring Calendar.” For cat lovers. Purr. OK, one more: “Color Your Own Dutch Masters.”

“DK Baby Touch and Feel Puppies” (DK Publishing, 2017, board book series, 14 pages, $5.99) and “DK Really Feely Farm” (DK Publishing, 2017, board book series, 12 pages, $6.99) The tactile books are just so cool for the littles. Puppies! Kiddos can pet the soft fur, stroke the nice ears, chew on the puffy cover. Or how about a trip to the farm? Press the piggy’s snout, tickle the sheep’s wool, check out the duckling’s soft tummy. Awww… Two paws up and a couple of quacks for these books.

All for now, babies. Have a great weekend when we get there.

– wm

Yeats (poem of the day)

September 26th, 2015

It's complicated
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

(The Second Coming was written in 1919 in the aftermath of the first World War.)

“There But For the Grace” — Wislawa Szymborska

August 12th, 2015

Summer sky
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

poem of the day

“There But For the Grace”
by Wislawa Szymborska

“It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened sooner. Later.
Nearer. Farther.
It happened not to you.

You survived because you were the first.
You survived because you were the last.
Because you were alone. Because of people.
Because you turned left. Because you turned right.
Because rain fell. Because a shadow fell.
Because sunny weather prevailed.

Luckily, there was a wood.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily there was a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
a frame, a bend, a millimeter, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the surface.

Thanks to, because, and yet, in spite of.
What would have happened had not a hand, a foot,
by a step, a hairsbreadth
by sheer coincidence.

So you’re here? Straight from a moment still ajar?
The net had one eyehole, and you got through it?
There’s no end to my wonder, my silence.
Listen
how fast your heart beats in me.”

Translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

poem + art

March 23rd, 2014


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“The Sunlight on the Garden”
Louis MacNeice

“The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.”

Favorite Christmas Books, a re-run

December 16th, 2013

ho ho ho

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Here you go… just in case you missed this when it first ran.

“Video games and
cookies and hot chocolate
It might even snow!”

“Christmas time is here
It might not snow at all, but
We can still rejoice!”

– Christmas haikus from Elf on a Shelf, shortly before he was slain by his bitter enemy, Shelf Monkey

qotd/pic of the day

November 25th, 2013

“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea/And the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Gleneden Sunset

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

happy Saturday to you

June 15th, 2013

“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” — William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)

focus

photo of the day + poem of the day (Ted Hughes)

December 15th, 2012

Moonrise and the Mountain

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“To hatch a crow, a black rainbow
Bent in emptiness
over emptiness
But flying”

– Ted Hughes

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