Woman Reading In a Sunlit Room

MotherCarl Vilhelm Holsøe (1863 – 1935)

The Manifestation

Many arrivals make us live: the tree becoming
Green, a bird tipping the topmost bough,
A seed pushing itself beyond itself,
The mole making its way through darkest ground,
The worm, intrepid scholar of the soil—
Do these analogies perplex? A sky with clouds,
The motion of the moon, and waves at play,
A sea-wind pausing in a summer tree.

What does what it should do needs nothing more.
The body moves, though slowly, toward desire.
We come to something without knowing why.


Theodore Roethke (1908 – 1963)



Stag Beetle

durer stag beetle g
What beauty is, I know not, 
though it adheres to many things.
—Albrecht Dürer

Year’s End

Walter Tandy Murch (1907 – 1967)



Year’s End

Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.


I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.


There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii


The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.


These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.


Richard Wilbur




Published in: on January 30, 2016 at 2:18 am  Comments (1)  
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H Warsaw Ghetto 1941 PNGWarsaw Ghetto 1941

H Warsaw Ghetto 1942Warsaw Ghetto 1942


H SiskaFirst children’s transport arrives at the railway station at Sisak children’s concentration camp,
part of Jasenovac extermination camp


Separated from their parents Stara Gradiska CampSeparated from parents at Stara Gradiška concentration camp


Last Child Killed at IrseeLast child killed at Kaufbeuren-Irsee euthanasia facility


The Last Word

What good is wallabyLagostrophus fasciatus (Banded Hare Wallaby), 
Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1 January 1778 – 12 December 1846), naturalist, artist, and 
writer on zoological, geological, historical, and archeological research


The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: ‘What good is it?’

Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948)
Scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist


De Kat en Den Úÿl en Muziek

labotz cal owl & pussycat18th century calligraphy drawing by Jacob Labotz, schoolteacher


My musical friend, at whose house I am now visiting, has tried all the owls that are his near neighbors with a pitch-pipe set at concert pitch, and finds they all hoot in B flat.
He will examine the nightingales next spring.

Gilbert White (1720 – 1793), from The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne



carpaccio cupid stVittore Carpaccio (c. 1465 – 1525/1526)



The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;

and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
a star each night, and rises;

and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.


Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)

translated by Stephen Mitchell

Astronomical Clock

Astronomical_clock,_design_by_Hans_Holbein_the_YoungerHans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497 – between 7 October and 29 November 1543)

Hans Holbein designed this clocksalt—a combination of a clock, hourglass, sundial, and compass—for Sir Anthony Denny, whose portrait he had drawn two years earlier.
A note on the drawing shows that Denny presented a clock made from this design to King Henry, who owned a number of clocks and clocksalts, as a New year’s gift. It would have been an expensive item, made of precious metals. Holbein had often designed for goldsmiths since his training in Augsburg, a centre of the goldsmiths’ trade.
Two of the notes on the sketch are in the hand of Holbein’s friend the royal astronomer Nicholas Kratzer, who probably assisted in the technical design of the piece.
Susan Foister, Holbein in England

Anthony Denny was the most prominent member of the Privy chamber in the last years of Henry VIII.
He was educated at St Paul’s School and St John’s College, Cambridge, was a member of the reformist circle that offset the conservative religious influence of Bishop Gardiner, and helped finalise Henry‘s will upon his deathbed, specifically arguing to him against the removal of Gardiner from the will.
Denny was himself the man to tell Henry of his coming death, advising the old King “to prepare for his final agony”.
Robert Hutchinson, (2006)

Lullaby in Blue

Gerard_David_-_Madonna_and_Child_with_the_Milk_SoupMadonna and Child with the Milk Soup
Gerard David
 (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523)
–painter and manuscript illuminator. Only a bare outline of his life survives

Lullaby in Blue

[. . . . .]

Child, from this world now you will draw your breath
   and let out your moth flutter of blue sighs.
Now your mother will listen for each one,
   alert enough to hear snow starting to flake

   from the sky, bay water beginning to freeze.
Sleep now, little shadow, as your first world
   still flickers across your face, that other side

   where all was given and nothing desired.
Soon enough you’ll want milk, want faces, hands,
   heartbeats and voices singing in your ear.

   Soon the world will amaze you, and you
will give back its bird-warble, its dove call,
   singing that blue note which deepens the song,

   that longing for what no one can recall,
your small night cry roused from the wholeness
   you carry into this broken world

Betsy Sholl
from  ROUGH CRADLE (Alice James, 2009)
[This is an excerpt from Lullaby in Blue.
Please see the complete poem here: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/lullaby-blue]


Published in: on December 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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doveGerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) 



The earth is motionless
And poised in space …
A great bird resting in its flight
Between the alleys of the stars.
It is the wind’s hour off ….
The wind has nestled down among the corn ….
The two speak privately together,
Awaiting the whirr of wings.


Lola Ridge (December 1873 – May 1941)



Published in: on December 22, 2015 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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