By a departing light
    We see acuter, quite,
    Than by a wick that stays.
    There's something in the flight
    That clarifies the sight
    And decks the rays.

    Emily Dickinson, 1715


    Happy New Year

    Stelios Faitakis

    Buster Keaton the scarecrow

    Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891)


dreaming of being in Paris at my favourite museum....

In Praise of Hands by Donald Winkler, National Film Board of Canada

Shows people in several countries, including Japan, Nigeria, Mexico, and Poland, as they use their hands in creating works of craftsmanship. Shows the creation of pottery, rugs, fabric, sculpture, puppets, and other hand-crafted objects. Without narration.



night ~ νύχτα ©fourteenth

hold ~ προστασία ©fourteenth

As long as you know I am waiting,

take your time flowers of the spring.


cloudbird, 2012   ©fourteenth

The current that with gentle murmur glides ~ William Shakespeare

(Thank you)

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.

Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

Original poem in Greek here

Josef Breitenbach (German/American, 1896-1984). “Illuminated Tree”.

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

–Wallace Stevens

George Herriman, Krazy Kats

"Flower Chucker," according to one taxi driver, is called "The Angel" by local Palestinians ...

The 'Banksy Tour'
The invisible Banksy
His website

Phenakistoscope: an early moving picture

Human rhythmic arts are possibly to some extent rooted in courtship ritual. Steven Mithen


But the beauty of Einstein's equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who's experienced it as the beauty of music. We've learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have inner harmony.

Edward Witten

Dragonfly jewelry, 15th or 16th century BC
found in Mochlos, Crete

Fresco, Acrotiri, Santorini,
3rd millennium BC

The dragonfly was found in the prehistoric dining room of a home in Crete, about 90 miles or 140 kilometers away from Santorini covered under ancient volcanic ashes from the eruption
of the Santorini volcano that happened around the second millennium BC.

Let's try and solve the mystery...

"One afternoon guests come to dine among whom is a woman that wears a necklace that is similar to the necklace worn by a deity depicted in the mural of Santorini.

How important is this lady that wears jewelry that is depicted in the mural?

In the Santorini mural, no other woman wears such a necklace; only the deity.

As they dine, the earth suddenly begins to tremble beneath their feet. The walls start to crumble and panic follows. The lady flees from the house, her jewelry breaks, a dragonfly falls to the ground...

35 centuries later, an archaeologist, Professor Jeffrey Soles does not hide his joy while holding this dragonfly, a piece of jewelry of this enigmatic woman in the dining room of house C7, which is also an equally enigmatic insect..."

Minoan Collection

    tanglewood & twig ©fourteenth, 2012

    χάρτης το σώμα
    ποταμοί διατρέχουν
    λάσπη και πόνο

    makis tselentis

    Heracles and Antaeus, red-figured krater by Euphronios, 515–510 BC, Louvre
    Ανταιος - Antaios - Antaeus (set-against, hostile)

    Sky-born and royal,
    snake-choker, dung-heaver,
    his mind big with golden apples,
    his future hung with trophies,

    Hercules has the measure
    of resistance and black powers
    feeding off the territory.
    Antaeus, the mould-hugger,

    is weaned at last:
    a fall was a renewal
    but now he is raised up–
    the challenger's intelligence

    is a spur of light,
    a blue prong graiping him
    out of his element
    into a dream of loss

    and origins - the cradling dark
    the river-veins, the secret gullies
    of his strength,
    the hatching grounds

    of cave and souterrain,
    he has bequeathed it all
    to elegists.
    Balor will die
    and Byrthnoth and Sitting Bull.

    Hercules lifts his arms
    in a remorseless V,
    his triumph unassailed
    by the powers he has shaken,

    and lifts and banks Antaeus
    high as a profiled ridge,
    a sleeping giant,
    pap for the dispossessed.

    Seamus Heaney, 1966

    Kimigayo is the national anthem of Japan.
    It is also one of the world's shortest national anthems in current use,
    with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters.


    Robert Delaunay


    Did I believe I had a clear mind?

    It was like the water of a river flowing shallow over the ice.
    And now that the rising water has broken the ice,
    I see that what I thought was the light is part of the dark.

    Wendell Berry

    © Francis Giacobetti

    All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
    The mind is everything. What we think we become.
    (zen wisdom)


    With no consideration, no pity, no shame,
    they have built walls around me, thick and high.
    And now I sit here feeling hopeless.
    I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind—
    because I had so much to do outside.
    When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!
    But I never heard the builders, not a sound.
    Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

    Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard


    Χωρίς περίσκεψιν, χωρίς λύπην, χωρίς αιδώ
    μεγάλα κ’ υψηλά τριγύρω μου έκτισαν τείχη.

    Και κάθομαι και απελπίζομαι τώρα εδώ.
    Άλλο δεν σκέπτομαι: τον νουν μου τρώγει αυτή η τύχη·

    διότι πράγματα πολλά έξω να κάμω είχον.
    A όταν έκτιζαν τα τείχη πώς να μην προσέξω.

    Aλλά δεν άκουσα ποτέ κρότον κτιστών ή ήχον.
    Aνεπαισθήτως μ’ έκλεισαν από τον κόσμον έξω.

    K.Π. Kαβάφη

    Tranquility belongs to a long list of shadowy essentials to which our culture pays lip-service, but to which we are mostly oblivious, among them, rest, sleep, silence, stillness and solitude. What I am describing is a certain vibrant emptiness, what the Japanese call ma. Ma is found in the silences between words, in the white space on a page, in the tacit understanding between two close friends. The Japanese school of Sumi painting says: “If you depict a bird, give it space to fly.” That ease, that spaciousness, is ma.

    The western world is filled with things, crammed to bursting point with noise and movement and color and excitement, which to us mean wealth and vigor. From childhood on, we learn to distrust all the varieties of ma, and to replace them, as far as possible, with their opposites. We value action over stillness, light over shadow, sounds over silence. But in Asian cultures, such quiet resonance has value in and of itself. It is seen as generative, sustaining, something one can trust.

    Christian McEwen

    A Boundless Moment

    He halted in the wind, and -- what was that
    Far in the maples, pale, but not a ghost?
    He stood there bringing March against his thought,
    And yet too ready to believe the most.

    "Oh, that's the Paradise-in-bloom," I said;
    And truly it was fair enough for flowers
    had we but in us to assume in march
    Such white luxuriance of May for ours.

    We stood a moment so in a strange world,
    Myself as one his own pretense deceives;
    And then I said the truth (and we moved on).
    A young beech clinging to its last year's leaves.

    Robert Frost


      The Sun Rising
      By John Donne 1572–1631

      Busy old fool, unruly sun,
      Why dost thou thus,
      Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
      Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
      Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
      Late school boys and sour prentices,
      Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,
      Call country ants to harvest offices,
      Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
      Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

      Thy beams, so reverend and strong
      Why shouldst thou think?
      I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
      But that I would not lose her sight so long;
      If her eyes have not blinded thine,
      Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
      Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
      Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
      Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
      And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.

      She's all states, and all princes, I,
      Nothing else is.
      Princes do but play us; compared to this,
      All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
      Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
      In that the world's contracted thus.
      Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
      To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
      Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
      This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.

      The Sun Rising / Poem of the Day : The Poetry Foundation


    The temple is all white
    The god is all white
    The silence is all white

    Yet somewhere a dark water breathes
    and prays

    My body is all white
    Yet somewhere my dark blood breathes
    And prays

    Der Tempel ist ganz weiss
    Der Gott ist ganz weiss
    Die Stille ist ganz weiss

    Nur irgenwo atmet ein dunkles Wasser
    und betet

    Mein Leib ist ganz weiss
    Nur irgendwo atmet mein dunkles Blut
    Und betet

    Ivan Goll
    from the Malayan Lovesongs

    shorelines 1

    shorelines 2

    shorelines 7

    Να μη θέλεις τίποτα, να θέλεις το τίποτα, να μη θέλεις: αυτές είναι κατά σειρά οι δυνατές κλιμακώσεις της βούλησης.
    Παναγιώτης Κονδύλης


    The Bee-eaters circle above me. I let my small brush down on the rock.
    All I can hear is their call. Will we ever meet again?

    A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong,
    a homesickness, a lovesickness.

    Robert Frost


    Thursday evening

    Walking uphill
    whirling circles
    of windswept small, dry leaves
    at my feet


    Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.

    Theodore Roethke


    Listen, my heart, to the whispers of the world with which it makes love to you.

    Rabindranath Tagore

    from Stray Birds

    ©James Owens

    We must try to love without imagining
    — to love the appearance in its nakedness without interpretation.
    What we love then is truly God.

    Simone Weil , Gravity and Grace




    gold light making
    mountains fluid

    again and again i melt
    into You

    (You turning might's
    rivers into

    bliss) receive the day's bright
    touch as though

    it were mine
    with cupped hands offer

    you This ...

    Elizabeth Reninger

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