Of Carols and Kissing Boughs

Kissing boughs!

This time last year I was proudly labelling seven bottles of our own freshly brewed Sticky Rogers Mead which, incidentally, has matured into a very pleasant medium-dry festive tipple, and continues to grow in flavor and depth. Like everyone, back then I was busy preparing to celebrate Christmas and to welcome in the New Year. No mortal could have foretold the nightmares that that new year would bring, and now we’re all keen to see the back of 2020. Until then, though, we can at least enjoy some relaxation, feasting and fun and lose ourselves in a midwinter festival that has brightened our darkest days for thousands of years. I always try to bring a bit of the medieval into my Yuletide, and that usually involves a splash of nature’s finest evergreen and some early Christmas carols, for the origins of both lie way back in ancient times. So as…

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German Sonnet Notes

Jezzie G

Structure: Two quatrains and a sestet
Meter: Decasyllabic or pentameter
Rhyme Schema: abba abba ccdeed


Sacred Art by Jez Farmer

Beguiling beauty humbles the proud rose
Her grace, a hidden jewel, caught my eye
And like a whispered love that breezes sigh
Her name is lost in gardens I suppose.
I sort her name from clouds that swept the sky
They had no words to ease my aching heart
So I asked them where my looking should start
And heard that beauty said her sad goodbye.
I looked where hedgerows slowly drift apart
For one brief glimpse of pink I knew no shame
No garden that could hold this beauty tame
I knew she could only be sacred art.
Then I saw her again from whence I came
And learned that Love-Lies-Bleeding is her name

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very cool


Beneath the sky's luminous runway
Enchanted by the shimmering cosmic odyssey 
Walking a silver roam that pours amber
Into the crepescule's piquant glow
Tip-toeing into rhythms celestial 
Captivated by stardust's knitted luster
Heady, this feeling of being transported 
Enveloped by the caress of a starlit mist
Delicate, this  drenching of a 'forevermore' serenade.


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The first sign of civilization is compassion


Peedeel's Blog

A student once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead, “What is the earliest sign of civilization?” The student expected her to say a clay pot, a grinding stone, or maybe a weapon.

Margaret Mead thought for a moment, then she said, “A healed femur.”

A femur is the longest bone in the body, linking hip to knee. In societies without the benefits of modern medicine, it takes about six weeks of rest for a fractured femur to heal. A healed femur shows that someone cared for the injured person, did their hunting and gathering, stayed with them, and offered physical protection and human companionship until the injury could mend.

Mead explained that where the law of the jungle — the survival of the fittest — rules, no healed femurs are found. The first sign of civilization is compassion, seen in a healed femur.

Ira Byock
The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest…

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To My Readers

I want to apologize for being MIA lately. My son James came home from Army basic training later Friday night & we were up past midnight, having sandwiches & pasta salad & libations, as he told me all about his adventures at Fort Benning. I really don’t know where Saturday & Sunday got to. The Bills beat the Broncos & are on top of the AFC East for the first time in twenty-plus years. We had a crisis which involved flooding in the basement of the house in which I live; luckily, that was arrested before I lost my washer & dryer (I rent, so I have to deal with landlords who would rather party than maintain their properties).

Yesterday we watched M*A*S*H all day & I think I took no less than three naps. I planned a fine dinner for the Winter Solstice but instead I made hamburger gravy & served it over french fries. All I needed was cheese curds to make it into poutine! Grated Romano cheese would have to suffice. It was a comfort food kind of day.

I woke up this morning & the feeling of utter exhaustion that I’ve had for at least a week was finally gone. Is it the dawning of the Age of Aquarius? I don’t know. But I’m ready to get back to work.

Here’s Radar in his new box that Amazon sent him, fast asleep & snoring!

photograph © polly macdavid

A Style Is About All There Is to Art


Style is everywhere in art and everywhere in everyday life. There would be no art without style. Picasso’s Guernica has a style, and Pride and Prejudice does too, and the building you are in has a style. Whenever you speak or send a text or dress or brush your hair, you have a style. You’re reading a style right now. It is mine, and just as, whether you know it or not, you have spent probably Interior livingroom with stylethousands of hours developing yours (so that I’d recognize anywhere that it is yours), I have consciously spent many hours developing mine.

A core reason you are attracted to one painter over others or one writer over others, or why you like Sinatra, or Chopin or Debussy or The Simpsons is their style.  Speaking of style, short story specialist Irishman Frank O’ Connor said, “One sees that the way a thing is made controls…

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