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Selkie Girl by Jessica Shirley with kind permission
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Castles in the Air: A Celebration of Paper!

papercraft castle Paper Craft Castle

Castles in the Air

My thoughts by night are often filled
With visions false as fair:
For in the past alone I build
My castles in the air.
I dwell not now on what may be:
Night shadows o'er the scene:
But still my fancy wanders free
Through that which might have been.
---Thomas Love Peacock


For more Wonderful “Paperlicious Fancy” go to the Walkabout at Recuerda Mi Corazon


Don McClean Castles in the Air

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Forever Oneness

Almost AutumnAlmost Autumn Leaf and Water - Gordon Eliott 1980 @ flickr

Forever Oneness,
who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other.
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.

-- Bee Lake (an aboriginal woman)

borrowed from


Morning Has Broken /Cat Stevens

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

“Hug o’ War”

Fun! By Alina Shirova FUN! By Alina Shirova 

Hug O'War
from the book "Where the Sidewalk Ends" (1974)
I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

--Shel Silverstein


PS22 Chorus 2011 "Imagine" John Lennon


Monday, September 27, 2010


Birds LakePreparing to Dive  Post by JChip8

And once again the depths of my life rush onward,
as if they were moving in wider channels now.
Things are becoming more close to me
and all images more thoroughly looked upon.
I feel more comfortable with that which is nameless,:
With my senses, as with birds, I reach up
into the windy heavens out of the oak,
and in those pools broken off from the day,
my feeling, as if standing on fishes, descends.

Rainer Maria Rilke  from The Book of Images tr. Crego


Piano Concert by Robert Schumann

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September Moonlight

September Moonlight through trees (1)  Photo By Noelle Clearwater  September 26, 2010/ Santa Barbara

The Moon has come down in September
on little, milky-white feet,
to sleep on a leafy-bright bough of down and silver-green
Owls, foxes, and star-crossed lovers
wrapped in languid fingers of the night
tenderly dream beneath Her arbored, golden light.
--Noelle Clearwater 2010

Moonlight Shadow sung by Maggie Reilly/Words by Mike Oldfield
Moonlight Shadow Maggie Reilly/Mike Oldfield

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Sun Rises Like a Morning Prayer

my red scarf My Red Scarf by Fussel 2112 (photomanipulation from

The Sun,

a morning prayer of thankfulness,

rises from beneath the mountains toward heaven,

to kiss a cloud-tossed sky

and press its warm and golden mouth

to the Beloved’s cheek--one more blessed day.

--Noelle Renee Clearwater  (2010)


Eva Cassidy sings “Fields of Gold”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Haiku My Heart: Butterfly and Cobwebs

butterfly_and_cobwebs_by_chaosinhername-d2zbzwc Butterfly_and_Cobwebs by chaosinhername

In Childhood’s Brief Flow’r

The Slumber of Sweet, Bright Souls

Seals Butterfly Dreams.

--Noelle Renee Clearwater

Video: Tori Amos sings “Sleeps With Butterflies”

For more Fabulous Haiku My Heart Fun go to the One and Only Rebecca’s Blog  at

Recuerda mi Corazon You won’t regret it!

watercolor butterfly

Celtic Butterfly:
Research reveals that the symbolic meaning of the butterfly is similar across most cultures and time. Invariably, this beautiful Celtic animal symbol represents transformation, inspiration, and rebirth. The concept of rebirth with the Celts is particularly of importance in terms of recycling of life – both in the spiritual and physical realms. Perhaps the bible and the Byrds extol the concept best: "To every season, turn, turn turn." This was an intimate concept with the Celts, and the butterfly – in its miraculous way symbolizes transformation and rebirth.
Transition is common in all nature, and the Celtic woman would be keenly aware of its presence. As such, butterflies would adorn birthing gowns, blankets, and bed sheets as a sign of smooth transition when welcoming new babies into the village fold.

The Song by Naomi Shihab Nye

Summer Autumn evening in a suburb of St Petersburg Summer Autumn Evening in a Suburb of St. Petersburg by Boris Kanaev

The Song
By Naomi Shihab Nye

From somewhere
a calm musical note arrives.
You balance it on your tongue,
a single ripe grape,
till your whole body glistens.
In the space between breaths
you apply it to any wound
and the wound heals.

Soon the nights will lengthen,
you will lean into the year
humming like a saw.
You will fill the lamps with kerosene,
knowing somewhere a line breaks,
a city goes black,
people dig for candles in the bottom drawer.
You will be ready. You will use the song like a match.
It will fill your rooms
opening rooms of its own
so you sing, I did not know
my house was this large.

--Naomi Shihab Nye

Video:  Alexei Sultanov—Tchaikovsky “Autumn Song”

naomi_shihab_nye 1952 - present Naomi Shihab Nye Naomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Jordan, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her B.A. in English and world religions from Trinity University. Nye is the author of numerous books of poems, including You and Yours (BOA Editions, 2005), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, as well as 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (2002), a collection of new and selected poems about the Middle East, Fuel (1998), Red Suitcase (1994), and Hugging the Jukebox (1982). Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. About her work, the poet William Stafford has said, "her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life." Nye has received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Carity Randall Prize, the International Poetry Forum, as well as four Pushcart Prizes. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. In 1988 she received The Academy of American Poets' Lavan Award, selected by W. S. Merwin.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is the Field where the Battle did not Happen

field by moonlight Veronika Pinke  Field By Moonlight Veronika Pinke on Pixdaus

 This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed – or were killed – on this ground
hollowed by the neglect of an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.

William Stafford


The incomparable K.D. Lang sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” 2004

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kindness by Yusef Komunyakaa

Iris germanica Iris germanica  Post by gerdivinia on Pixdaus



For Carol Rigolot

When deeds splay before us

precious as gold & unused chances

stripped from the whine-bone,

we know the moment kindheartedness

walks in. Each praise be

echoes us back as the years uncount

themselves, eating salt. Though blood

first shaped us on the climbing wheel,

the human mind lit by the savanna’s

ice star & thistle rose,

your knowing gaze enters a room

& opens the day,

saying we were made for fun.

Even the bedazzled brute knows

when sunlight falls through leaves

across honed knives on the table.

If we can see it push shadows

aside, growing closer, are we less

broken? A barometer, temperature

gauge, a ruler in minus fractions

& pedigrees, a thingmajig,

a probe with an all-seeing eye,

what do we need to measure

kindness, every unheld breath,

every unkind leapyear?

Sometimes a sober voice is enough

to calm the waters & drive away

the false witnesses, saying, Look,

here are the broken treaties Beauty

brought to us earthbound sentinels.

Yusef Komunyakaa, “Kindness


Yusef Komunyakaa was born in 1947, the oldest of five sons of a carpenter. He later reclaimed the name Komunyakaa that his great-grandparents, stowaways in a ship from Trinidad, had given up. He grew up in the small town of Bogalusa, Louisiana, before and during the Civil Rights-era. He served in the US Army from 1968-1970, serving one tour of duty in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War (1969-1970). He worked as a specialist for the military paper, Southern Cross, covering actions and stories, interviewing fellow soldiers, and publishing articles on Vietnamese history, which earned him a Bronze Star.

He began writing poetry in 1973 at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Campus, where he was an editor for and a contributor to the campus arts and literature publication, riverrun. He earned his M.A. on Writing from Colorado State University in 1978, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine in 1980.

Komunyakaa married Australian novelist Mandy Sayer in 1985, and in the same year, became an associate professor at Indiana University, Bloomington. He also held the Ruth Lilly Professorship for two years in 1989-1990. He and Sayer were married for ten years. He taught at Indiana University until the fall of 1997, when he became an English professor at Princeton University.

Yusef Komunyakaa is currently a professor in the Creative Writing Program at New York University. 

_____The Following is a film on Kindness____

Now…it is true that this film is actually a Vodka commercial, but if you can forget about that for a moment, I think it offers one of the best and kindest solutions to Capitalism that I have seen in some time. Besides, it features Louis Armstrong singing “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” What more kindness can you ask than that?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Harvest of Sweet Soft Souls in West Africa


Cotton Harvesting Cotton harvesting around Banfora, Burkina Faso. By Yann Arthus Bertrand.

Prayer for the Journey
Journeying god,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions,
toward a wisdom not based on books,
toward a strength not bolstered by might,
toward a god not confined to heaven.
Help me to find myself as I walk in other's shoes.
(Prayer song from Ghana, traditional, translator unknown)

My thanks to Joe Riley at for sharing this poem

Life and Music in Burkina faso

Here is a nice link I found for an “off the beaten track travelogue of Burkina faso". I love things like this.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stepping Stones



stepping stones

The Book of Camp Branch

How much delight I've known
in navigating down the flow
by stepping stones, by sounding
stones, by words that are
stepping and sounding stones.

Going down stone by stone,
the song of the water changes,
changing the way I walk
which changes my thought
as I go. Stone to stone
the stream flows. Stone to stone
the walker goes. The words
stand stone still until
the flow moves them, changing
the sound - a new word -
a new place to step or stand.

~ Wendell Berry ~


Stones by Neil Diamond


Thanks to for this poem.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Haiku My Heart: “…good morning”

...good morning by Irina Lasurnaya


Soft, white, feathered Love,

A Swansdown Mother’s Caress

Upon still Water.

---Noelle Renee Clearwater



Swans by Wintermood

 For More Amazing and Fabulous Haiku My Heart visit Rebecca’s Blog!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mother of Us All


Ammachi – The Hugging Saint 

Mother-of-us-all prays to free us
from our image of perfection
to which so much suffering clings.

When in the shadowy mind
we imagine ourselves imperfectly,
praying to be freed from gravity
by enlightenment, she refines our prayers.

Putting her arms around us
she bids us rest our head on her shoulder
whispering, Don’t you know
with all your fear and anger
all you are fit for is love.

2007 © by Stephen Levine

Ammachi- Jai Jai Janani (Amma means “Mother”)


Mata Amritanandamayi Devi was born Sudhamani Idamannel in the small village of Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amritapuri), Alappad Panchayat, Kollam District, Kerala in 1953.[5] Her schooling ended when she was nine, and she began to take care of her younger siblings and the family domestic work full-time.[6]

As part of her chores, Sudhamani gathered food scraps from neighbors for her family’s cows and goats. Amma says at these times she was confronted with the intense poverty and suffering of others. She would bring these people food and clothing from her own home. Her family, which were not wealthy, scolded and punished her. Amma also began to spontaneously embrace people to comfort them in their sorrow. It was not permissible for a 14-year-old girl to even touch others, especially men. But despite adverse reactions by her parents, Amma continued.[7] Regarding her embracing of others, Amma has said, “I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.”

Despite numerous attempts by her parents to arrange marriage for her, Amma rejected all suitors.[8] In 1981, after various seekers had begun residing at her parents' property in Parayakadavu for the sake of being Amma's disciples, a worldwide organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, was founded.[9] Amma serves as chairperson of the Math. Today the Mata Amritanandmayi Math is engaged in many spiritualand charitable activities.[10]

In 1987, at the request of devotees, Amma began to conduct programs in countries throughout the world. She has done so annually ever since. Countries Amma has held programs in include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dubai, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America. She also makes annual tours of India.[11]



Many people come to Amma to receive her embrace, which she refers to as darshan. Amma has been giving darshan in this manner since her late teenage years. As to how this began, Amma says, "People used to come and tell [me] their troubles. They would cry and I would wipe their tears. When they fell weeping into my lap, I used to hug them. Then the next person too wanted it… And so the habit picked up."[12] Amma's organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, claims Amma has embraced more than 29 million people throughout the world.[13] · [3]

When asked, in 2002, to what extent does she think her embraces help the ills of the world? Amma replied, "I don’t say I can do it 100 percent. Attempting to change the world [completely] is like trying to straighten the curly tail of a dog. But society takes birth from people. So by affecting individuals, you can make changes in the society and, through it, in the world. You cannot change it, but you can make changes. The fight in individual minds is responsible for the wars. So if you can touch people, you can touch the world."[14]

Amma's darshan is the centerpiece of her life, as she has received people nearly every day since the late 1970s. With the size of the crowds coming to seek Amma's blessings increasing, there are times when she gives darshan continuously for more than 20 hours.[15] In a conversation recorded in the 2004 book From Amma's Heart, Amma says: "As long as these hands can move a little bit and reach out to those who come to her, and as long as there is a little strength and energy to place her hands on a crying person’s shoulder and caress and wipe their tears, Amma will continue giving darshan. To lovingly caress people, console and wipe their tears, until the end of this mortal frame is Amma’s wish."[16]

Charitable Work

Amma's world-wide charitable mission comprises a program to build 100,000 homes for the homeless, three orphanages, relief-and-rehabilitation in the face of disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami[22], free medical care, pensions for widows and disabled people, environmental-protection groups, slum renovation, care homes for the elderly, and free food and clothing for the poor, amongst others.[23]These projects are managed and run by various organizations, including the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (India), the Mata Amritanandamayi Center (USA), Amma-Europe, Amma-Japan, Amma-Kenya, Amma-Australia, etc. All the organizations collectively are known as Embracing the World.

When asked about how her charitable mission's development in 2004, Amma said, "As for the activities, there was no planning. Everything happened spontaneously. One thing led to another on seeing the plight of the poor and the distressed. As Amma meets each and every person, she sees their problems face to face and tries to do something to alleviate their suffering. Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu is one of the important mantras of Sanatana Dharma, which means, 'May all the beings in all the worlds be happy and peaceful.' The spirit of this mantra was put into action."[24]

The majority of work is done by volunteers as a form of spiritual practice. "It is Amma’s wish that all of her children should dedicate their lives to spreading love and peace throughout the world. Real love and devotion for God is to have compassion for the poor and the suffering," Amma says. "My children, feed those who are hungry, help the poor, console the sorrowful, comfort the suffering, be charitable to all.”[25]

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lavender Blue, Dilly dilly

lavender flowers post by Slav photo by Sergej Kardahov Lavender Flowers  Photo by Sergej Kardashov on Pixdaus

Lavender-Blue (Dilly-dilly)

Lavender blue
Lavender green
If I were king
I'd need a queen
Whoa-oh, who told me so
Who told me so
I told myself
I told me so
If your dilly-dilly heart
Feels a dilly-dilly way
If you'll answer yes
In a pretty little church
On a dilly-dilly day
You'll be wed in a dilly-dilly dress of
Lavender blue
Lavender green
Then I'll be king
You'll be my queen
Then I'll be king
You'll be my queen
(Lavender blue, dilly-dilly)

(Larry Morey and Eliot Daniel)

DTV Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly


Monday, September 13, 2010

Brown and Agile Child

Yellow Line Photo: On Yellow Line by Katiafaith

Brown and Agile Child

By Pablo Neruda Tr. Kenneth Rexroth

Brown and agile child, the sun which forms the fruit
And ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
Has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
And given your mouth the smile of water.
A black and anguished sun is entangled in the twigs
Of your black mane when you hold out your arms.
You play in the sun as in a tidal river
And it leaves two dark pools in your eyes.
Brown and agile child, nothing draws me to you,
Everything pulls away from me here in the noon.
You are the delirious youth of bee,
The drunkedness of the wave, the power of the heat.
My somber heart seeks you always
I love your happy body, your rich, soft voice.
Dusky butterfly, sweet and sure
Like the wheatfield, the sun, the poppy, and the water

Cat Stevens: Oh Very Young (live)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Haiku My Heart: Hawkfire

Russian Hawk

Murad Abigasanov/  (Pixdaus)

Unquenchable Flame

Bright, Copper Wings – Sunlit -- Sing,

A Wind-Hover Song

--Noelle Renee Clearwater


Video: Spirit of the Hawk by Rednex produced by JmY.

For More Haiku My Heart Please click on this link to visit Rebecca’s Blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alone With You

 Alone With You- Oguzceng  Digital Art of New Zealand

Getting There

You take a final step and, look, suddenly
You're there. You've arrived
At the one place all your drudgery was aimed for:
This common ground
Where you stretch out, pressing your cheek to sandstone.

What did you want
To be? You'll remember soon. You feel like tinder
Under a burning glass,
A luminous point of change. The sky is pulsing
Against the cracked horizon,
Holding it firm till the arrival of stars
In time with your heartbeats.
Like wind etching rock, you've made a lasting impression
On the self you were
By having come all this way through all this welter
Under your own power,
Though your traces on a map would make an unpromising
Meandering lifeline.

What have you learned so far? You'll find out later,
Telling it haltingly
Like a dream, that lost traveler's dream
Under the last hill
Where through the night you'll take your time out of mind
To unburden yourself
Of elements along elementary paths
By the break of morning.

You've earned this worn-down, hard, incredible sight
Called Here and Now.
Now, what you make of it means everything,
Means starting over:
The life in your hands is neither here nor there
But getting there,
So you're standing again and breathing, beginning another
Journey without regret
Forever, being your own unpeaceable kingdom,
The end of endings.

~ David Wagoner ~

(In Broken Country)

Sarah McLachlan—Answer (Live)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lascaux Cave Walls: Prehistoric Drawings

Lescaux Cave Walls France Sisse Brimberg Sisse  Lascaux Grotto


The waters spoke into the ear of the sky.
You stags have leapt across millennia
From darkness in the rocks to the air’s caresses.
The hunter driving you, the spirit watching you,
How I love their passion, viewed from my wide shore!
And what if, in a moment of hope, I had their eyes ?

---Rene Char

blackstag Lascaux Lascaux Caves Artist Unknown 15,000-17,000 B.P.

*All his life Char loved art. The poem above is taken from a sequence he wrote about the cave-paintings at Lascaux which he visited after the Second World War. It is titled after the stags of the frieze there. In it Char looks across the whole of human history in wonder at the beauty of the paintings at Lascaux. Maybe also we are being shown Char’s belief in the power of beauty to save us, and how long it has done so.”

Excerpt From Poetry in Translation May 29, 2010

Lascauxhollowstag  Lascaux Caves 17,000 B.P. Artist Unknown

No one knows exactly how the famous cave of Lascaux was discovered. According to one account, on September 8, 1940, 17-year-old Marcel Ravidat and three of his friends were looking for a lost treasure supposedly buried in a secret tunnel in the woods near Montignac, France. His dog Robot ran on ahead and became stuck in a hole. As the boys pulled Robot to safety, they discovered that the hole seemed bottomless. Other accounts, however, report that the boys knew about the strange hole already. Still others suggest that Robot never had anything to do with the discovery of Lascaux. No matter how the hole was found, what happened next is not in dispute. Marcel Ravidat and his friends were certain that they had found an entrance to the treasure-filled tunnel.

Ravidat first tried to explore the site himself, but without a light, he didn't get far. On September 13, he and his friends returned, this time prepared with a homemade lantern. Carefully, they made their way down into the cave and across a large room, about 100 feet long and 40 feet wide. It turned into a narrow passage and as they entered it, they raised their lamp higher and discovered that the walls were filled with the shapes of many animals. The next day, the boys made another remarkable discovery. Near the back of the cave was a shaft (now called The Pit) that Ravidat decided to explore. As his three friends held a rope, Ravidat climbed sixteen feet to the bottom of The Pit. He took a few steps, quickly realizing that The Pit was a dead end. But when Ravidat turned to retrace his steps, he discovered a painting of a bison knocking down a person: the person had a bird's head and four-fingered hands.

cave drawing26c8-5ee0-40d6-aa83-ddbd24c92bd3

Soon the boys decided to tell their schoolteacher, Leon Laval, about their discovery. They knew Laval was interested in archaeology and would know what to do about their fantastic find. Monsieur Laval explored the cave and wrote the following description of his adventure: Once I arrived in the great hall accompanied by my young heroes, I uttered cries of admiration at the magnificent sight that met my eyes.... Thus I visited the galleries and remained just as enthusiastic when confronted with the unexpected revelations which increased as I advanced. I had literally gone mad. In a short time, word spread about the fantastic paintings of Lascaux.

--Story From James M. Deem’s “Story Museum”

Pavane Op. 50 G. Faure, Meyers-Cutsinger duet

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Counsel of Trees

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.~Kahlil Gibran


Brilliant Trees (David Sylvian)

Friday, September 3, 2010