Monday, January 31, 2022

Change by Clinton Siegle


Happiness sadness tiredness emotions of the day
always hoping for a better day
promising to be a new opportunity each day
you can smile today

sad to see change
always crying of dying change
daily the world changes
sad constantly changing

tired of sadness hoping for happiness
I long for a joyful day without change
reality is but a moment in time of happiness
eternity shown that life always change

daily is the change
need happiness to change.

Family relative relationships cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews,
among other relatives all happily part of a family memory
memories of a family
involved living life as a family
living within laughter of the family
you only get this life to live with your family.

Just Pearls
uniquely strung pearls
sensually feeling affairs of love of pearls'
time will remember a gift of pearls'
pearls open rounded pearls'
eternity affection of pearls
almost a love affair with pearls'
reality is a pearl
living loving laughter within a rounded pearl
sensual affairs of a pearl.

Final farewell Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria wars not approved by Congress
a bye-bye to the poor due to spending money on wars instead of the poor by Congress
reality au revoir Congress had no funds or money to help the poor per Congress
eternity doei will remember the wars brought to you by this White House and Congress
war is evil shown towards mankind on how to live and how to die shame on Congress
eternity adios will remember these wars brought to you by the funding of Congress
live life within laughter of thoughts of deliverance and liberty foreign to Congress
love life within living of self-governing thoughts not wanted by Congress.

Fives reasons to love

fantastic kisses and hugs
individual conversation
very wonderful embraces
eternity of dreaming
serious reasons to love.

Reason to love
emotional fives
amor hug, kisses, embraces, listening, dreaming.
Serious five reasons to love
open eyes listening heart dreaming mind pretty words embracing one love
need five reasons for love
seek only what a child loves

to love
open love

lover kisses, hugs, embraces, listening, imagining
open your heart
vivid fantasy of the heart
eternity is a dream of the heart.

Clinton Siegle

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Joy of Discovery

 Discovering a new piece of music, a new author, a new artist - anything previously unknown to us - can bring us a bit of joy.

I have found, during my many years on this earth, that being curious is often a path paved with joy.

My most recent discovery along the path of curiosity (also often referred to as "disappearing down a rabbit hole") is English artist Dame Laura Knight and her friend Lilo Smith.

This painting popped into my Facebook newsfeed and spoke to me immediately.

Isn't she wonderful?!  

I have fallen in love with her.  

She seems to possess both wisdom and mischief, and a gracious plenty of both.  She's a woman I think I would have enjoyed knowing.  A woman who had experiences I would have enjoyed hearing about and learning from.

Wanting to know more about this woman sent me, of course, down a rabbit hole.

 I found that her name was Lilo Smith ( née Loveridge), affectionately known by family and friends as Granny Smith.

This beautiful poster of an original Oil on Canvas, courtesy of Nottingham Castle Museum entitled ‘GYPSY SPLENDOUR’ aka ‘FINE FEATHERS'. 

"In the mid-1930s Knight befriended and painted groups of Gypsies at the Epsom and Ascot racecourses. Knight frequently returned to the racecourses and painted from the back of an antique Rolls-Royce car, which was large enough to accommodate her easel. Often pairs of Gypsy women would pose at the open door of the Rolls-Royce, with the race-day crowds in the background. From Epsom, Knight was invited to the Gypsy settlement at Iver in Buckinghamshire. Knight visited the Iver settlement, normally closed to outsiders, every day for several months in the late 1930s. These visits resulted in a series of portraits of great intensity. Two women, in particular, sat a number of times for Knight: Lilo Smith, the subject of Old Gypsy Women (1938) and Gypsy Splendour (1939), and her daughter-in-law, Beulah.  Gypsy Splendour was shown at the Royal Academy in 1939, the year Lilo Smith died.(From Wikipedia)

Copies are available here

More about Dame Knight from Wikipedia -

A short excerpt:  "Dame Laura Knight, (née Johnson), (4 August 1877 – 7 July 1970) was an English artist who worked in oils, watercolours, etching, engraving and drypoint. Knight was a painter in the figurative, realist tradition, who embraced English Impressionism. In her long career, Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain. Her success in the male-dominated British art establishment paved the way for greater status and recognition for women artists.

Laura Knight

Dame Laura Knight circa 1910.jpg
Dame Laura Knight circa 1910
Laura Johnson

4 August 1877
Died7 July 1970 (aged 92)
London, England
EducationNottingham School of Art
Known forPainting
Notable work
The Nuremberg Trial (1946)
Spouse(s)Harold Knight
AwardsSilver Medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Art Olympics

In 1929 she was created a Dame, and in 1936 became the second woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy.  Her large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1965 was the first for a woman. Knight was known for painting amidst the world of the theatre and ballet in London, and for being a war artist during the Second World War. She was also greatly interested in, and inspired by, marginalised communities and individuals, including Romani people and circus performers."

More about Dame Knight and Lilo Smith can be read in Rosie Broadley's SEARCHING FOR KNIGHT'S GYPSY SITTERS 

And a short video about the painting 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022


From Me to Me.

Because it's my favorite fragrance ever. 

And because I'm addicted.

And because I'm worth it.

Anyone else have a favorite fragrance they can't live without?

  1. “I always write ‘Magic Potion’ on my perfume bottles so when I use them, it feels magical — I make spells in the morning when I put them on.” – Alexa Chung

"Luminous and sophisticated, Baccarat Rouge 540 lays on the skin like an amber, floral and woody breeze. A poetic alchemy. A graphic and highly condensed signature."

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a Amber Floral fragrance for women and men. Baccarat Rouge 540 was launched in 2015. The nose behind this fragrance is Francis Kurkdjian. Top notes are Saffron and Jasmine; middle notes are Amberwood and Ambergris; base notes are Fir Resin and Cedar.

main accords
warm spicy
fresh spicy

Olfactory notes


This aromatic compound developed in the 1960s has become one of the most frequently used. When isolated, it evokes the floral and very fresh delicacy of jasmine, with a slight lemony facet, like a slice of lemon dipped in a glass. In its natural state, it comes into the composition of the scent of tea and jasmine, even if it is quite different, more airy, more luminous. In addition to this transparency and lightness, it binds other ingredients and adds freshness, volume and diffusion to a creation. Francis Kurkdjian refers to it as a breeze of petals.


AmbroxanTM is obtained from sclareol, one of the natural constituents of clary sage. It was created in the 50s and gradually superseded ambergris, a natural excrement of the sperm whale. AmbroxanTM emulates its various amber, dry woody and mineral facets. It is a kind of super-potent woody note with a lingering sillage that adds a modern sensuality to any kind of composition. AmbroxanTM has spawned a large family of similar molecules, often called "amber woods".

Cedar from Virginia

This is the typical smell that comes out when you sharpen a pencil: woody, dry, slightly spicy and creamy. This North American cedar, also called red cedar because of the color of its wood, belongs to the juniper family, Juniperus Virginiana. Several types of cedars are used in perfumery, but this one comes into play in the heart and base, which gives a kind of verticality to its woody theme. It is quite different from the other three main varieties used in perfumery, the drier Texas cedar, the animalic and leathery Atlas cedar or the smoky Chinese cedar.


Coming from the pistil of a variety of crocuses, this most expensive spice in the world is nicknamed "red gold". Natural saffron is not used in perfumery because it contains safrol, a highly allergenic compound. But its effect is reproduced with one of its derivatives, saffronal. Its very powerful perfume is bitter and slightly metallic, blowing hot and cold on the rest of the composition with also a leathery, tarred facet. Francis Kurkdjian likes to use it in the top layer of a fragrance to break the sweetness of citrus notes. It is often associated with Oud-based perfumes and oriental amber accords.


Saturday, January 8, 2022


Snowy Night by Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Snow and Snow by Ted Hughes



by Ted Hughes 

Snow is sometimes a she, a soft one.
Her kiss on your cheek, her finger on your sleeve
In early December, on a warm evening,
And you turn to meet her, saying "It''s snowing!"
But it is not. And nobody''s there.
Empty and calm is the air.

Sometimes the snow is a he, a sly one.
Weakly he signs the dry stone with a damp spot.
Waifish he floats and touches the pond and is not.
Treacherous-beggarly he falters, and taps at the window.
A little longer he clings to the grass-blade tip
Getting his grip.

Then how she leans, how furry foxwrap she nestles
The sky with her warm, and the earth with her softness.
How her lit crowding fairylands sink through the space-silence
To build her palace, till it twinkles in starlight—
Too frail for a foot
Or a crumb of soot.

Then how his muffled armies move in all night
And we wake and every road is blockaded
Every hill taken and every farm occupied
And the white glare of his tents is on the ceiling.
And all that dull blue day and on into the gloaming
We have to watch more coming.

Then everything in the rubbish-heaped world
Is a bridesmaid at her miracle.
Dunghills and crumbly dark old barns are bowed in the chapel of her sparkle.
The gruesome boggy cellars of the wood
Are a wedding of lace
Now taking place.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Snow Day by Billy Collins

 Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,

its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children's School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with - some will be delighted to hear -

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and - clap your hands - the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Silence Of The Snow by Ruth D. Velenski

The night sky is a dull grey white.
An opaque dust sheet floats so light
Upon the roofs and lamps and cars.
It settles so softly like falling stars.

It sneaks in crevices and onto window sills.
Piles up in soft layers over roads and hills,
Weighs down branches, envelopes bark,
Skips and flutters across the depth of dark.

With dawn a scene of raw meringue.
From bough and bridge and roof does hang.
Through night's deep slumber - a silent world
Descended - a ghostly shroud unfurled.

In slow motion, life begins to show.
The traffic crawls in a funereal row.
Children squeal in soundless delight.
Pedestrians slide in voiceless fright.

A world transformed into monochrome,
An aerosol sky spraying its white foam,
Floating in breathless, boundless speed,
Submerging all with voracious greed.


Sunday, January 2, 2022

2022 Book Recommendations


I am so lucky to be an occasional recipient of an Advance Reading Copy of a new or upcoming novel.

It not only allows me to read books by my favorite authors a wee bit early, but it introduces me to books by "new to me" authors I might otherwise miss.

I've discovered several authors through ARCs who are now permanent residents on my auto-buy list.  I'm happy to have their books on my shelves, or on my Kindle.  

Here's a few upcoming novels that I enjoyed that I'd like to share in hopes you might enjoy some of them as well.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

New Year's Day by Billy Collins

Everyone has two birthdays

according to the English essayist Charles Lamb,

the day you were born and New Year’s Day—

a droll observation to mull over

as I wait for the tea water to boil in a kitchen

that is being transformed by the morning light

into one of those brilliant rooms of Matisse.

“No one ever regarded the First of January

with indifference,” writes Lamb,

for unlike Groundhog Day or the feast of the Annunciation,

New Year’s marks nothing but the pure passage of time,

I realized, as I lowered a tin diving bell

of tea leaves into a little ocean of roiling water.

I like to regard my own birthday

as the joyous anniversary of my existence,

probably because I was, and remain

to this day in late December, an only child.

And as an only child—

a tea-sipping, toast-nibbling only child

in a bright, colorful room—

I would welcome an extra birthday,

one more opportunity to stop what we are doing

for a moment and celebrate my presence here on earth.

And would it not also be a small consolation

to us all for having to face a death-day, too,

an X drawn through a number

in a square on some kitchen calendar of the future,

the day when each of us is thrown off the train of time

by a burly, heartless conductor

as it roars through the months and years,

party hats, candles, confetti, and horoscopes

billowing up in the turbulent storm of its wake.

from the book, "Ballistics," © Random House 2008