Sunday, December 29, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . Hope is a muscle. It's a choice. It's a vigorous choice,
to see what is wrong and what needs healing and needs
repair and needs our attention and also to keep our hearts
and our imaginations and our energy oriented towards
what we want to build, what we want to create, what
we're walking towards. . . .
~ Krista Tippett


Krista Tippett, Founder and CEO, The On Being Project; Host, On Being and Becoming Wise; Author of Becoming Wise, Einstein's God, and Speaking of Faith

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . we don't have to understand everything about each other
in order to be present with one another. I think that we have 
mistaken empathy as walking in someone else's shoes. Let
us be clear, you can't. But what we can do
 is witness, and accompany.
~ Lennon Flowers

Quoted from "Jennifer Bailey and Lennon Flowers: An Invitation to Brave Space", Krista Tippett Interview at On Being (Civil Conversations Project), October 17, 2019

Lennon Flowers, Co-Founder, The People's Supper; Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Dinner Party and TDP Labs

Thursday, December 19, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Patrick Seruwu, The Controversial Truth 2, 2018
Acrylic on Canvas
120cm x 100cm
Copyright © 2019 Patrick Seruwu


It is a privilege to present in my new Artist Watch feature at Escape Into Life the work of emerging artist Patrick Seruwu, originally from Kampala, Uganda, and currently residing and working in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A self-taught artist, Patrick has been drawing with charcoal and painting with acrylics for a mere two years. Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman figures and in celebration and honor of his mother, he aims to portray both the truth and the strength of women at various moments in their daily lives.

Today's Artist Watch column showcases eight of Patrick's paintings and includes his Artist Statement, a brief biography, and links to his social media sites. Well-received by the global art community in Johannesburg, Patrick is preparing for his first solo exhibition in February 2020.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . We are quick to draw lines where our awareness stops. . .
But there are truths that lie beneath our consciousness. . . .
~ Kent Nerburn


Quoted from Kent Nerburn, "Senses Unfamiliar," Adapted from Kent Nerburn, Voices in the Stones: Life Lessons from the Native Way (New World Library, 2016) for "Ways of Knowing" at Center for Action and Contemplation, October 18, 2019

Kent Nerburn, Author and Essayist Specializing in Native American and American Culture and Spirituality

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Thought for the Day

Part of being human is that we remember and forget,
remember and forget. The work is to remember more
often that we forget.
~ Kristi Nelson


Kristi Nelson, Executive Director, A Network for Grateful Living; Presenter, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . If we haven't been able to kiss many lepers, if we haven't
been able to tame many wolves, it's probably because we
haven't made friends with our leper and wolf within. . . .
~ Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM

Quoted from Richard Rohr, "Francis and the Lepers" (Part 2), Fr. Richard's Daily Meditations (Online), Center for Action and Contemplation, October 7, 2019

Richard Rohr, Franciscan Priest, Author, Academic Dean of Living School for Action and Contemplation

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thought for the Day

If you're really mind-full, and if you underline that aspect
of fullness, wholeness, or wholeheartedness, it reveals
the gift character of everything. . . .
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

Quoted from "All in the Same Boat", Reprint of Interview of Br. David Steindl-Rast by Rex Weyler and Catherine Ingram (New Age, Vol. 9, No. 2, September 1983) at

Thursday, November 21, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Maremi Andreozzi, Isabella Clara Eugenia as painted by Clara Peeters, 2019
(from the Painted Ladies Series)
Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 40"
Copyright © Maremi Andreozzi


The outstanding painter Maremi Andreozzi is showcased in November's Artist Watch column at the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Drawing on in-depth research and inspiration from patterns and objects in the decorative arts and art history, Maremi Andreozzi, who lives and works in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria, Virginia, creates art that tells us stories—both biographical and historical. For her Painted Ladies series, for example, Maremi introduces us to such art historical figures as Clara Peeters and Sofonisba Anguissola. Her History Adorned series presents us with Mary Queen of Scots, Rebecca Rolfe, and Queen Ana Nzinga of Ndongo, among other women, both known and not-so-well-known, in history. Each richly detailed painting appropriates images from its subject's body of work and is period-specific. 

Today's Artist Watch showcases eight images from Maremi's Painted Ladies and History Adorned series, and includes her Artist Statement, a brief biographical profile, and links to her Website and Instagram page.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thought for the Day

What would happen if one woman told the truth about
her life?
The world would split open
~ Muriel Rukeyser

Quoted from Muriel Rukeyser, "Kathe Kollwitz" in The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), page 460, et seq.

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980), American Poet, Translator, Playwright, Biographer, Children's Book Author, Political Activist

Profiles of Muriel Rukeyser at Jewish Women's Archive and Poetry Foundation

Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), German Printmaker and Sculptor

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thought for the Day

Where I step I am stepping into a place
that was just finished at the moment I arrived.
~ Fanny Howe

Quoted from Fanny Howe,  The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation (Graywolf Press, 2009)

Fanny Howe, American Poet, Novelist, Writer of Memoir, Short Stories, and Short Films; Recipient, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (2009), Gold Medal for Poetry (Commonwealth Club of California), Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Most Outstanding Book of Poetry Published in 2000 (Academy of American Poets), Griffin International Poetry Prize Finalist (for On the Ground, 2004); National Book Award Finalist (for Second Childhood, 2014), Man Booker International Prize Finalist (2015)

Howe published Love and I: Poems (Graywolf Press) in October 2019.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Thought for the Day

To accept one's past — one's history — is not the same thing
as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past
can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressure
of life like clay in a season of drought.
~ James Baldwin

Quoted from James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1962, 1963; Vintage Reissue, 1992)

James Baldwin (1924-1987), American Novelist, Essayist, Poet, Playwright; Activist and Social Critic

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] The poison of love was a // perfect killer. [. . .]
~ Margo Berdeshevsky

Quoted from Margo Berdeshevsky, "From the Winter of ..." at Poetry Daily, September 27, 2019

Margo Berdeshevsky, American Poet and Author

Profile of Margo Berdeshevsky at Academy of American Poets

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . Imagine / the world whole and uninterrupted /
by a desire for witness, . . .
~ Joseph Campana

Quoted from Joseph Campana's Poem "A Shirt Loves a Body" in The Book of LIFE (Tupelo Press, March 2019), Published at Poem Daily, August 27, 2019

Joseph Campana, Poet, Arts Critic, Scholar of Renaissance Literature; Alan Dugald McKillop Professor of English, Rice University

Thursday, October 17, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Gary Justis, Fire Cat, 2018
Digital Image with Photoshop Manipulation
Finished Archival Print, 48" x 32"

© 2018, 2019 Gary Justis


Welcome to "Cat-ober", a special edition of Artist Watch that celebrates cats created with a bit of Halloween mischief! 

I'm delighted to introduce in my column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life the digital photography of Gary Justis, who is also highly skilled in other aspects of photography and is a sculptor. Gary's cat portraits, which he describes as "an extension of my studio practice with experimental digital photography using projected light subjects", are unlike any cat portraits you may have seen elsewhere. Not only are they unique; they're also very creative. You have to look at them several times to take in their many details. (Let me know what you think of them.)

Included in today's Artist Watch are nine of Gary's cat portraits, Gary's Artist Statement, in which he provides information about his process, a brief biography, and Gary's social media sites.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Thought for the Day

At some point in life the world's beauty becomes
enough. You don't need to photograph, paint or
even remember it. It is enough. No record of it
needs to be kept and you don't need someone to
share it with or tell it to. When that happens —
that letting go — you let go because you can. . . .
~ Tar Baby (1981) by Toni Morrison

Quoted from Toni Morrison, Tar Baby, Vintage Books (1981, 2004)

Toni Morrison (1931 - 2019), Author, Pulitzer Prize Winner (1988, for Beloved), Nobel Prize in Literature Winner (1993)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Thought for the Day

It's a gift to exist and with existence comes
suffering. There's no escaping that.
~ Comedian Stephen Colbert


Quoted from Stephen Colbert Interview with Anderson Cooper: Watch the interview. (The portion of the interview quoted is below the text.)

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Thought for the Day

We choose companions, loves,
knowing we will lose them. . . .
~ Kim Kishbaugh


Quoted from Kim Kishbaugh's Poem "Old Dog" at Escape Into Life, July 17, 2019

Kim Kisbaugh

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Thought for the Day

The world asks of us / 
only the strength we have and we give it. /
Then it asks more, and we give it.
~ Jane Hirshfield


Quoted from Jane Hirshfield's Poem "The Weighing" in HERE: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), page 104

Jane Hirshfield, American Poet, Translator, Essayist

Thursday, September 19, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Nebiur Arellano, Glazing (Veladura) 2018-2019
Acrylic on Silk Organza (Double Painting*)
39.5" x 39.5"
© 2019 Nebiur Arellano


It is with much joy that I introduce in today's new Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life the gorgeous and lyrical paintings of the Peruvian-born painter Nebiur Arellano.

Nebiur, who now makes her home in both Peru and the United States, has spent 25 years developing a personal "language" that reflects her vision of the world as inspired by pre-Columbian as well as modern art, and a technique that involves layering colors and intricate lines of metallic paints. If you are privileged, as I have been, to see her work up-close, you may well wonder whether her medium is glass, paper, enamel, or weaving; and you will be astonished by the rows upon rows of many hundreds of tiny squares and long lines in gold, silver, and copper. As has been remarked repeatedly by viewers, it is difficult to not want to reach out and touch the paintings' beautiful, textured surfaces that so clearly are influenced by Nebiur's knowledge of her native country's ancient textiles and her studies of modern masters such as Klee, Klimt, and Miro.

Today's Artist Watch includes seven images of Nebiur's paintings from the "ArtLima 2019" exhibition; Nebiur's Artist Statement, which is followed by her explanation of her use of silk and an ArtLima curator's impressions of Nebiur's art; and Nebiur's biography and social media. In addition, a video of her beautiful and beautifully executed work is provided.


* The first layer of silk organza allows viewers to see the painting behind that layer.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Thought for the Day

For near is where you'll meet what you have wandered/
far to find.[. . .]
~ Scott Cairns


Quoted from Scott Cairns's Poem "Draw Near" in Marilyn McEntyre, When Poets Pray (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2019), page115

Marilyn McEntyre, Writer, Essayist, and Reviewer

Scott Cairns, American Poet, Essayist, Memoirist, and Librettist

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Thought for the Day

Sometimes being offered tenderness 
feels like the very proof that you've been ruined.
~ "Little Dog" 


Quoted from Ocean Vuong's Novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019), page119

Ocean Vuong, Award-Winning Poet, Writer, and Novelist

Ocean Vuong on Instagram and Tumblr

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Thought for the Day

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer
and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals.
Only when we know our own darkness well can we
be present with the darkness of others. Compassion
becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.
~ Pema Chodron

Quoted in Brene Brown, "Wholehearted Parenting" in Daring Greatly (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2012), page 234

Pema Chodron, American Tibetan Nun, Author, Teacher

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Thought for the Day

Contemplation is any way one has 
of penetrating illusion and touching reality.
~ Parker Palmer

Quoted from Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018, page 57

Parker Palmer, Author, Educator, Activist; Founder, Center for Courage and Renewal

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Thought for the Day

Is the world to be thought / a greater scandal / to God / 
than to us?. . .
~ Rev. Daniel Berrigan


Quoted from Daniel Berrigan's Poem "Creation" in And the Risen Bread: Selected Poems, 1957-1997 (Fordham University Press, 1998), page 414

Daniel Berrigan (1921-2016), American Jesuit Priest, Peace/Anti-War Activist, Poet, Author, Playwright

Thursday, August 15, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Peter Clark, Bullie for You, 2019
Mixed Media, 41" x 41"
© Peter Clark


If you are sweltering through our August Dog Days (or is that Daze?), take a moment to get out of the heat and power up your computer to see my new Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life. There you will find some very cool and altogether unique collages — of dogs, of course — by full-time artist Peter Clark.

Peter, who is based in London, England, travels the world in search of source materials for his exquisitely crafted and much-sought-after collages. Everything from wrapping paper to musical scores finds its way into his beautiful and witty work.

Today's Artist Watch showcases eight of Peter's full-of-character collages, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography, as well as links to his Website and Instagram account. If you still need cooling down, stay with your computer and click on the links for Portland Gallery and Gilman Contemporary, where you can see additional images of Peter's work.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . .  And death is this thread of spider's web snapping. . . .
~ T. Crunk

Quoted from T. Crunk's "Twilight" in New Covenant Bound (The University Press of Kentucky, 2010), page 48

T. Crunk, American Poet, Fiction Writer, Children's Books Author; 1994 Winner of Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize

Crunk's collections include Living in the Resurrection, Parables and Revelations, and To His Son.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Name and Remember Them

Gerhard Richter, Candle

Requiescat in Pace

Dayton, Ohio, August 4, 2019

Megan K. Betts, 22

Monica E. Brickhouse, 39

Nicholas P. Cumer, 25

Derrick R. Fudge, 57

Thomas J. McNichols, 25

Lois L. Oglesby, 27

Saeed Saleh, 38

Logan M. Turner, 30

Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36

El Paso, Texas,  August 3, 2019*

Jordan Anchondo, 25

Andre Anchondo, 24

Arturo Benavides, 60

Leonard Campos, 41

Angelina Silva Englisbee, 86

Maria Flores, 77

Raul Flores, 77

Jorge Calvillo Garcia, 61(Mexican National)

Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, 68 (Mexican National) (Married to Sara Esther Regalado)

Alexander Hoffman, 66

David Johnson, 63

Luiz Juarez, 90

Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, 58 (Mexican National)

Maribel Loya, 56 

Gloria Irma Marquez, 61 (Mexican National)

Ivan Filiberto Manzano, 45 (Mexican National)

Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, 57 (Mexican National)

Margie Reckard, 63

Sara Esther Regalado, 66 (Mexican National)

Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15

Teresa Sanchez, 82

Juan de Dios Velazquez Chairez, 77 (Mexican National) 

* Washington Post dated August 6, 2019.

Gilroy, California,  July 28, 2019

Trevor Irby, 25

Stephen Romero, 6

Keyla Salazar, 13

Thought for the Day

. . . If we live by holding onto stories too much[,]
we don't meet life in the moment, nor can we
meet each other with openness. . . .
~ John Siddique

Quoted from John Siddique, "Love Is Now", The Mindful Living Show, June 13, 2019

John Siddique, British Spiritual Teacher, Poet, Author; Creative Producer, Mentor, Consultant; Founder, Authentic Living

John Siddique on FaceBook and Instagram

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Little PR

It is with gratitude that I give a shout-out to the following editors, who selected a poem of mine to include in their recently released anthologies:

Diane Lockward, Editor and Publisher, Terrapin Books

Diane released A Constellation of Kisses earlier this month. Editor of the volume, she selected more than 100 poems, each one about kisses. Lee Upton, who wrote the wonderful Foreword, describes the anthology as "an inspired collection" in subject and range. It is certainly that, and a fun read as well. (Don't forget to pick up a copy to save for Valentine's Day.)

Front Cover

I am proud to share space in the anthology with such poets as Kelly Russell Agodon, Nin Andrews, Ellen Bass, Denise Duhamel, Tami Haaland, Dorrianne Laux, Marjorie Maddox, Susan Rich, and Baron Wormser. Here's the complete list of poets (click on the image for a better view):

Back Cover

Follow Terrapin Books on FaceBook, where Diane is featuring poems from the book.

Janette Schafer, Cedric Rudolph, and Matthew Ussia, Editors, Social Justice Anthologies, Publication Affiliate of Beautiful Cadaver, Project Pittsburgh

A chance happening on FaceBook introduced me to the wonderful Beautiful Cadaver project, which published in February 2019 The Dreamers Anthology: Writing Inspired by the Lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank. Celebrating the 90th birthdays of these revered historical figures (both were born in 1929), the anthology presents work by more than 50 poets and prose writers from five countries. Given my deep interest in social justice issues, I am especially proud to be included in "Voices", one of five sections in the anthology. My poem is about Anne Frank.

Front Cover

Back Cover

I'm delighted to note that another of my poems will be published in Beautiful Cadaver's second publishing project of 2019, Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just Me? Women Over 40 Write on Aging. That anthology, to be published later this year, will include poems, essays, and dramatic works from women or female-identifying writers. 

Also see my post of July 29, 2019, in which I share the link to one of my current-event poems that appears at Poets Reading the News.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Poem Published at Poets Reading the News

My gratitude to Poets Reading the News, which published this afternoon my poem "A Taste of Garlic" — my response to the sickening news of yet another shooting in America, this one at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. The shooting took the lives of at least three persons, aged 6 (Stephen Romero), 13 (Keyla Salazar), and specified only "in his 20s" (Trevor Irby), and wounded at least 12 others, some of whom remain in critical condition, according to the most recent news stories. Note: At the time I wrote the poem, it was reported that 11 persons had been wounded (subsequently, that number increased) and only Stephen Romero had been identified.

The poem also can be found on social media, including the publisher's FaceBook and Twitter sites.

Poets Reading the News on FaceBook

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Thought for the Day

The face you look out of
is never the face
your lover looks into.
~ Jim Harrison or Ted Kooser*

Quoted from Selection of Poems from Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry in Jim Harrison: The Essential Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), page 150

* As explained in a note to this section of The Essential Poems, Braided Creek, comprising more than 300 poems, was co-written with Ted Kooser and does not identify who wrote which poems. None of the poems is more than five lines long.

Jim Harrison (1937-2016), Poet, Novelist, Essayist

Ted Kooser, Poet; Presidential Professor, The University of Nebraska; Editor, "American Life in Poetry; United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 2004-2006

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . Trust the heart's forgotten language /
to teach you. / . . . . //
. . . Trust moments of peace to surprise you. //
Trust love . . . /
. . . as you trust wounds /
to heal from the inside out, // . . . .
~ Nancy Paddock

Quoted from Nancy Paddock, "Trust" in Perfect Dragonfly (Red Dragonfly Press, 2011), pages 250-251

Nancy Paddock, Poet and Memoirist

Thursday, July 18, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Melissa D Johnston, reach, 2019
Digital Art
© Melissa D Johnston


Venturing into the digital, this month's Artist Watch spotlights the work of Melissa D Johnston, who studied literature, philosophy, and theology in undergraduate and graduate school before turning back to her other passion, art.

An emerging artist who has been working with her iPhone and iPad to create her art, Melissa has exhibited both in the United States and Canada.

Today's new Artist Watch feature at Escape Into Life showcases eight of Melissa's dream-like images and includes her Artist Statement and a brief biography, as well as her Website and social media addresses.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] You can spend a lifetime avoiding the mysteries
of relationship, relying on categories to save you. [. . .]
and call that connection. [. . .] 

Or sit with someone who is weeping and feel the exposure
of silence. Endure the stilted conversation. Share the meal.
Take the risk. Ask the hard question. [. . .]
~ Helena Sorensen


Quoted from Helena Sorensen, "The God Who Asks", The Rabbit Room, June 25, 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] To ask a thoughtful and probing question
carries with it the burden of listening to the answer,
of focusing on another person's story and sitting
with the weight of her feelings. [. . .]
~ Helena Sorensen

Quoted from Helena Sorensen, "The God Who Asks", The Rabbit Room, June 25, 2019

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Thought for the Day

Nothing you'll find more orphan than the heart.
~ Anders Carlson-Wee

Quoted from Anders Carlson-Wee, "Lodestar," in The Low Passions: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2019), page 23

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Thought for the Day

I've done my best to immortalize what I failed to keep.
~ Joseph Brodsky

Quoted from Section XVI of Joseph Brodsky's "Strophes" in A Part of Speech (FSG, 1981), page 141

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996), Russian-American Poet and Essayist; Winner, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1987

Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Patrick Dougher, Tightrope, 2017
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Paper
18" x 24"
© Patrick Dougher


I am delighted to present in today's Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life the work of self-taught artist Patrick Dougher.

Patrick, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, describes his art as "a genuine expression of all that I am." All that Patrick is encompasses not only art but also music, poetry, and reading. For more than 20 years Patrick has used the arts to "empower and support the socio-emotional growth of at-risk and disenfranchised youth" of New York City. He has been an art therapist, curator, teaching artist, and director of a huge community arts program for which he oversaw the creation of more than 300 public mural projects.

Today's Artist Watch showcases images of eight of Patrick's paintings, his Artist Statement, and brief biographical information, as well as links to Patrick's social media.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thought for the Day

What we allow the mark of our suffering to become
is in our own hands.
~ bell hooks

Quoted from bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions (Wm Morrow Paperbacks, 765th Ed., 2018). The quote is the epigraph of Part I. Scar in Lee Herrick's collection Scar and Flower (Word Poetry, 2019).

bell hooks, Writer, Feminist Theorist, Cultural Critic, Artist

bell hooks institute

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Thought for the Day

You can live by water and still die of thirst.
~ Lee Herrick

Quoted from "A Thousand Saxophones," Poem by Lee Herrick in Here: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), Elizabeth J. Coleman, Ed., page 89. The poem is from Herrick's collection Hurricane Blues (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2006)

Lee Herrick, Fresno Poet Laureate Emeritus; Educator

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Thought for the Day

On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree.
~ W.S. Merwin

Quoted as Epigraph of "Living" in Naomi Shihab Nye, The Tiny Journalist: Poems (BOA Editions, 2019), page 113. The epigraph comprises the first two lines of Merwin's poem "Place" in The Rain in the Trees (Knopf, 1988).

Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American Poet, Essayist, Educator

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Thought for the Day

What kind of life are you building,
and by whose power are you building it?
~ Joseph E. Gorra

Quoted from Joseph E. Gorra, "The Intentionality of Becoming Complete Human Beings", CCCA/Biola University Lent Project, April 13, 2019

Joseph E. Gorra, Founder and Director, Veritas Life Center, Writer and Educator

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Thought for the Day

. . . real love. . . changes outcomes
 and creates whole new people. . . .
~ Cynthia Bourgeault


Quoted from Cynthia Bourgeault, Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, "Anointing and Anointed" at Center for Action and Contemplation, April 11, 2019

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal Priest, Write, Internationally Known Retreat Leader

Thursday, May 16, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Jordan Nassar, The Future With Longing, 2018
Hand-embroidered Cotton on Cotton
22" x 22"
© Jordan Nassar


This month's Artist Watch at Escape Into Life showcases the exquisite abstract embroidery of textile artist Jordan Nassar.

A Palestinian-American born in New York City, where he currently resides, Jordan uses his meticulous hand-stitching to address such subjects as identity, cultural heritage, symbology, codes and language systems, and superstition and religious beliefs. The geometric patterning he uses and carefully maps out is adapted from Islamic symbols present in Palestinian hand embroidery.

Today's Artist Watch column features six images of Jordan's work, his Artist Statement, and a brief biography, as well as a link to his Instagram page.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Thought for the Day

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.
~ Louise Gluck

Quoted from Louise Gluck, "The Wild Iris" in The Wild Iris (The Ecco Press, 1992), page 1

Louise Gluck, Award-Winning American Poet; Former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Thought for the Day

There is no country
left for the weaponless.
~ Carolyne Wright

Quoted from Carolyne Wright, "Flowers in Winter (XII)"  in This Dream The World: New and Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), page 140

Carolyne Wright, American Poet

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Thought for the Day

There is always something to be made of pain.
~ Louise Gluck

Quoted from Louise Gluck, "Love Poem"in The House on Marshland (1975) in The First Four Books of Poems (Ecco Press, 1995), page 90

Louise Gluck, American Poet; Poet Laureate to the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (2003)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Thought for the Day

Water is the shine moving, death does not flow.
~ Linda Gregg


Quoted from Linda Gregg, "The Heart Flowing Out" in All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008), page 127

Linda Gregg (September 9, 1942 - March 20, 2019), American Poet

Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Martha Ensign Johnson, What are we stripping away?, 2019
Zinc Etching, 12.5" x 12.5"
© Martha Ensign Johnson


I am so pleased to showcase in April's Artist Watch at Escape Into Life the marvelous work of printmaker Martha Ensign Johnson. The images are part of Martha's ongoing series Erasure, which speaks profoundly to the effects of environmental destruction.

A resident of Black Mountain, North Carolina, Martha is highly skilled in printmaking techniques, including etching, spit bite aquatint, relief printing (woodcuts), and chine colle. The recipient of many honors and awards, Martha has exhibited widely across the United States and abroad.

Today, my Artist Watch column includes seven images from the Erasure series, Martha's Artist Statement about the series, and biographical information. In addition, you'll find Martha's social media and links to current and upcoming exhibitions.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] Everything broken must be broken again. [. . .]
~ Benjamin Myers

Quoted from "The Reverend on Natural Theology" in Black Sunday: Poems (Lamar University Literary Press, 2019)

Benjamin Myers, Poet and Writer; Former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma, 2015-2016; Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature, Oklahoma Baptist University

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] Perhaps grief is how we exhaust / our reach for things
that have gone, / and acceptance is how we slowly / learn
to hold ourselves in / the middle of the storm.
~ Mark Nepo

Quoted from "Though Loss Is Everywhere" in The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meaning: Three Books of Poems (SoundsTrue, 2016), page 107

Mark Nepo, Poet, Teacher, Storyteller

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Thought for the Day

The deaf don't believe in silence.
Silence is the invention of the hearing.
~ Ilya Kaminsky

Quoted from Notes to "Deaf Republic: A poet writes deafness as a form of dissent against tyranny and violence," Multimedia Poetry Presentation, The New Yorker, February 11, 2019

Ilya Kaminsky, Poet, Critic, Translator, Professor (Kaminsky's most recent book is Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019).)

Ilya Kaminsky Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation 

Read Garth Greenwell, "Still Dancing: An Interview with Ilya Kaminsky", Poets & Writers, March/April 2019.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] to fully live,
we must take the path and
keep sweeping it.
~ Mark Nepo

Quoted from Mark Nepo, "Being Here" in The Way Under the Way: Three Books of Poems (SoundsTrue, 2016)

Thursday, March 21, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Kaetlyn Able, With Only Butterflies to Brood, 2018
Scratchboard Drawing and Mixed Acrylic Painting Media on Claybord
12" x 18"


I'm delighted to present in my new Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life the exceptional work of Kaetlyn Able, a Bozeman, Montana, artist who looks to old photographs and wildlife images for inspiration.

Kaetlyn's thematic ideas reference American and European folk tales, the history and mythology of the American West, and human connections to nature. Her experiences as a mother and as a breast cancer survivor have helped shape her most recent work.

Today's Artist Watch column features eight images of Kaetlyn's mixed-media work, her Artist Statement, which explains aspects of her artistic process, and a brief biography.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Thought for the Day

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.
~ Frank O'Hara

Quoted from Frank O'Hara, "Meditations in an Emergency" in Meditations in a Emergency (Grove/Atlantic, 1957; reissue 1996)

Frank O'Hara (1926-1966), American Writer, Poet, and Art Critic

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Thought for the Day

God comes to you disguised as your life.
Blessings often arrive as trouble.
~ Teddy Macker

Quoted from Teddy Macker, "A Poem for My Daughter" in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems (Grayson Books, 2017), eds. Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R Wilson, page 113

Teddy Macker, Poet, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Translator; Lecturer, Creative Writing and Literature, University of California at Santa Barbara

Teddy Macker Profiles at Academy of American Poets, Orion Magazine, and White Cloud Press

Interview with Teddy Macker at Santa Barbara Independent

Friday, March 8, 2019

A Poem at Escape Into Life

Today is International Women's Day, and the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life is celebrating with poetry and gorgeous art by Artist Watch artist Pooja Campbell

The honored poets are Risa Denenberg, Rose Hunter, Angela Narciso Torres, Luisa A. Igloria. I am so pleased to note that I also share a bit of space with these wonderful writers. 

My poem "Free-Diving's Queen" is dedicated to Natalia Molchanova, a Russian champion free-diver and multiple world record holder who vanished on August 2, 2015, while teaching a free-diving course on an island near Ibiza, Spain. She was only 53 years old. In 2013, the extraordinary athlete became the only woman in her sport to break the 100-meter barrier.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Mortal | Ever-Living (Poem for Ash Wednesday)

Mortal | Ever-Living

Mark on our foreheads
the ancient sign

Out of the ashes
we each have come

from earth that yields
the bread we eat

to earth that receives
the wine we make

From life to death to life
we come

of dust to dust returned

Also see my "Prayer for Ash Wednesday", "Ash Wednesday", and "fear not the rub of ash".

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] only the arts are forced to justify their place
in our schools. We never demand [. . .] justification
from the sciences, from history, or from math.
~ Ellen Winner

Quoted from Monica Moses's Interview with Ellen Winner in American Craft, February/March 2019, pages 70-73

Ellen Winner, Ph.D. (Winner, a developmental research psychologist and professor at Boston College's Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, is the author, most recently, of the highly rated How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2018). She directs the Arts and Mind Lab, which explores cognition in the arts in typical and gifted children, and adults.)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] a house without humans is a place you don't go, [. . .]
~ Hannah Craig

Quoted from Hannah Craig, "Abandoned House" in Poet Lore: A 2nd Century of New Writing, Fall/Winter 2018, page 55

Hannah Craig, Prizewinning Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Poet (Craig's debut collection is This History That Just Happened (Parlor Press, 2017), which won the New Measure Poetry Prize and is available online from the press and Amazon.)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday Short

Enjoy today's short, the poem video It Is Not, from Blank Verse Films. The poem used for the video, which was shot in New Mexico's desert, is by Valerie Martinez, who narrates.

Poet Valerie Martinez is the director of the history and literary arts program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She is also an educator, facilitator, and collaborative artist. Her collections include Each and Her (University of Arizona Press, 2010), And They Called It Horizon, Santa Fe Poems (Sunstone Press, 2010), World to World (UA Press, 2004), and Absence Luminescent (Four Way Books, 1999). On March 30, 2019, Martinez will participate in a panel discussion titled "The Art of Trauma" at the AWP Conference.

Valerie Martinez on FaceBook

Valerie Martinez Profile at Poetry Foundation

Thursday, February 21, 2019

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Julie Shelton Snyder, fuji-san is a girl, 2018
Silkscreen Monoprint
30" x 22"

© Julie Shelton Snyder


Today's new Artist Watch feature at the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life offers images of recent work by painter and printmaker Julie Shelton Snyder.

Julie, who was born in West Virginia and now makes her home in Brooklyn, New York, learned woodblock printmaking techniques in 2018 while an artist-in-residence in Japan. She aims to express in her work both the ineffable and the invisible, and views abstraction as her best means to do so.

Visit Artist Watch to see eight images of Julie's work and to read her Artist Statement and a brief biography. The column also includes Julie's social media sites.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Thought for the Day

Attending to life is an act of love.
~ Katie Rubinstein

Quoted in "Word for the Day", January 2, 2019,

Katie Rubinstein, Associate Director, A Network for Grateful Living

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Hershey's Variation (Poem)

A Hershey's Variation

Wherein Hershey recalls those Cutie Pie
lips of his beloved Baby Ruth,

remembers how his sweet Kisses
were hers to win at the Mars Bar's

contest the summer before last:
He'd sworn he could count out

all his competition, first faulting
Juicy Fruit for making a mess

of his girl's Hot Lix lipstick, then
asking LifeSaver to disqualify

Junior Mints on account of the boy's
delicate youth. (Hershey's no Dum Dum.)

He'd watched Good and Plenty take
on Atomic Fire Balls and Hot Tamales;

shook his head when they upped his
odds by 100 Grand. But no worries.

When he saw among contest registrants
Sour Punch and Goobers and Nerds,

he just laughed, calling them
3 Musketeers with Cotton Candy hair

and Jelly-Bellies — traits no Perugina
he knew would dare call Amazin' Fruit.

True, Hershey didn't have a body at all
like the bodies of the Chunky Singles,

or hair the color of a little Bit-o-Honey,
and Rolo had, truth be known, eliminated

Heath Bar to advance to finals, beating
Almond Mounds and Smarties, too,

who'd had to sit out the second round
after bragging about their Whoppers.

If he played things right, Almond King
and that too-old Sugar Daddy would

be gone in a heartbeat. As for Mr. Good
-bar, well-known for mean, dirty dealings,

he'd go the way of the Jolly Ranchers,
a gang pretending to be Charleston Chew,

and those Airheads who'd made a play
for Peeps After Eight and Peppermint

Patty. Don't you know? Their reward
was a couple of Tootsie Rolls and a boot

straight out. Original Herb, judge
for the "Best Kisser" round, kicked

Nestle's Crunch from the bunch,
citing too much rippling muscle in those

carameled arms to deserve little
Baby Ruth's affections. Soon, Kit-Kat

withdrew for reasons unknown, then
Butterfinger missed his lady's mouth

by a wide margin of error. Hershey,
alone now, and the last one standing,

gave it his everything. And what a PayDay
it turned out to be. Just that one look

into Baby Ruth's eyes — they were pure
Starbursts — and Hershey was smothering

her (but gently) in dark chocolate Kisses
to wild applause. And Baby Ruth, who

once again proved she could tell
a winner from a loser — she'd taken

her cues from Sweetarts', after all,
that doll who'd had Dots for Kit Kat,

the contest's runner-up who'd marked
the occasion with a riot of free Snickers

and a side of Twix — she wrapped
herself 'round Hershey in Ricolo hall,

pledging him both heart and soul.
O Henry! she moaned. Let's Take 5!


Some of you may remember "Hershey's Got No Baby Ruth" in which the candy made its first appearance.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Thought for the Day

If you aren't learning, you have not been paying attention.
If you have nothing to say, it is because your heart is closed.
~ Tony Hoagland

Quoted from "Application for Release from the Dream" in Application for Release from the Dream: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015)

Tony Hoagland (1953-2018), American Poet

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] the things that burn worst in one heart
one must keep silent to keep. [. . .]
~ Christian Wiman

Quoted from Christian Wiman, "The Parable of Perfect Silence" in Poetry, December 2018, page 234

Christian Wiman, Poet, Essayst, Editor, Translator; Professor, Practice of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School

Christian Wiman Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Thought for the Day

Life is what waters you each morning.
~ Tony Hoagland

Quoted from Tony Hoagland, "Fortune" in Recent Changes in the Vernacular: Poems (Tres Chicas Books, 2017), page 89

Tony Hoagland (1953-2018), American Poet

Tony Hoagland Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Poems from a Twitter Poetry Party

Tuesday, January 15, was cause for a reunion of sorts when Tweetspeak Poetry, part of T.S. Poetry Press, sponsored one of its famed, fast-paced Twitter poetry parties. Following are a few of the small tiny poems and remixes I created from words found among the hour's tweets, including my own. (And yes, I took a wee bit of liberty for reasons of grammar and meaning.) My thanks to Prasanta Verma for all her retweets throughout the evening and to player-contributors L.L. Barkat, Laura Lynn Brown, Sonia Joie, Sandra Heska King, L.W. Willingham, and Glynn Young. Go to Tweetspeak Poetry on January 29 and February 5 to read what Glynn has done with the tweets.

I hear the silvery trill
north of cold,

feel the chill of moon,
the frost of maple.

Elms whisper,
and all the woods


When a willow turns
red, it is time

to shed
what autumn foretells.

The fall of rain on moss 
is nearly silent. 

Not the voice of a mother,
keeper of small poems.

Her weeping — no song
that lights upon the lips

like a gift of strawberries —
tastes like the ash

of fires long gone cold.


The gift of returning
makes fair each day

of a husband's absence.


The gift of weeping 
clears to understanding.


Beyond some invisible boundary,

where still-bare branches
trace the grammar

of animacy, the mother
weaves her stories —

grown long
but well-balanced and -constructed —

while braiding sweetgrass
at the hems of twined moons.

like circles and circles and circles,

she braids, humming

her gratitude, her allegiance
strong as a pecan shell.


The mother sighs,
losing her way

through the stories,


Do you hear the willows,
how their sounds of being

whisper the consolation
of water lilies?

Let me settle you. 
Let me settle you.


When is it easy,
this searching of earth?

More north,
the pines yield no secrets —
not of the keepers of fires,
nor of time

that draws to night.

The answer lies
in the space between

where light that shines

upon the asters and goldenrod

offers the secret
of happiness:

a way back home.