Posted by: deirdrea | May 13, 2017

Sorrow – by Mary Johnson

I want to share this story with everyone, because I think it’s beautiful. I hope you enjoy it!


I could have killed myself, of course. I could have flung the child from the top of the tower, and flung myself after him. Then all our troubles would have ended. They told me I could live so long as the child lived, but what did I care for the child’s life? What did I care for my own? I could have killed myself, but I did not.

Why not? I have often asked myself, over the years, and I’ve never found an answer. Was I so afraid to die? And, if I was, how did they know I was such a coward? And why would they trust that child to me, whom they called a murderess? I’ve never found an answer to that, either.

Or have I? Maybe a hint of an answer: deep in my silent thoughts, it came to me that the king would be pleased if…

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Posted by: deirdrea | March 22, 2013

Black Capped Chickadee — Black and White

Black Capped Chickadee, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hello, everyone!

I know I’ve been gone a long time, but I thought those of you who are still following my blog might enjoy this little fellow.

Spring is here — or so they tell us — but there is still snow on the ground, and more predicted for next week.

Which is OK — I do love the snow.

But I also love to hear the birds singing in spring. And they’ve been singing like mad, lately.

I was going to post a bird poem for you today, but instead
here’s a link to the chickadee’s song. It sounds just like springtime to me — enjoy!

NOTE — you’re probably going to want to turn the volume down on your computer for this — it’s quite piercing.

BTW, in case you’re wondering, “Why black and white? Isn’t spring all about color?” I have posted a black and white picture for Scott Thomas’s latest assignment, which I learned about from the amazingly talented Giid.

And chickadees are black and white by nature, so it was relatively easy to “de-colorize” him!

Just for fun — and because I so seldom do black and white, and it can be so perfect sometimes. This is called “They also faced the sea,” from the installation of the same name, a tribute to the Portuguese women of Provincetown. Enjoy!


Posted by: deirdrea | June 24, 2012

Blues and Greens, Poetry and Solace


"A little  green bug on a plant in the garden"

Little Green Bug

Hello, and Happy Summer to everyone! Today I’d like to share a beautiful poem by the late Irish poet John O’Donohue, as well as a couple of pictures I took recently.

If you’d like to find out more about John O’Donohue, I’d highly recommend you to check out the episode called The Inner Landscape of Beauty in Krista Tippet’s “On Being.” It also features some great photos of Connemara, and Iarla Ó Lionáird singing in a pub.


Beannacht / Blessing

by John O’Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Posted by: deirdrea | June 1, 2012

Overdose of Cuteness….

That is, if you like baby chicks!

Baby chick on the library reference desk

Baby chick on the library reference desk.

This is a very short and sweet (I hope) post about our library embryology project. We had a very good hatch this year, and did 3 Baby Chick Story Times before taking our babies to the farm at Stone Barns, where they will live as free-range chickens.

Here is a short video we put together about the project. Enjoy!

Baby Chicks at the Library

By the way, if you’re interested in knowing more about what we did in the story times, check out my colleague’s post at The Serpentine Library, which is full of more chick goodness!

Posted by: deirdrea | February 10, 2012

Signs and wonders

Golden Ship

A Golden Ship, 1st century BC, National Museum, Ireland

Hi, everybody!

I haven’t posted in a long, long time — I hope you haven’t missed me too much, but things have been a bit crazy of late.

This time, I’m posting an image from the National Museum of Ireland. This golden ship was probably a votive offering — and anyone who is a fan of Irish poetry may have seen it on a book cover  a few years back.

It illustrates a poem by Seamus Heaney, which I read at my mother’s funeral yesterday. The poem is from the anthology called Seeing Things. After the funeral, someone asked me what the poem meant, and I was just a bit taken aback. I’m not sure I know. But I do know that there are miracles, large and small, all around us, and that my mom was always ready to see them. And I know that this was one of her favorite poems (she had hundreds).

So I hope you enjoy it.

Lightenings viii

The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise
Were all at prayers inside the oratory
A ship appeared above them in the air.

The anchor dragged along behind so deep
It hooked itself into the altar rails
And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill,

A crewman shinned and grappled down the rope
And struggled to release it. But in vain.
‘This man can’t bear our life here and will drown,’

The abbot said, ‘unless we help him.’ So
They did, the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back
Out of the marvellous as he had known it.

Seamus Heaney – Selected Poems by Seamus Heaney
From “Seeing Things”, 1991

Hi, everybody!

I just thought I would show you what I’ve been up to the past couple of days. I wrote a tune to central song in Suzanne Collins’s new book, “Mockingjay.” Then I read a post that said all the songs were available on youtube, so I thought I would add mine to the mix. So, here’s my first “video.” Let me know what you think! And I hope you enjoy the song.

(The illustrations are various photos I took, plus an official Mockingjay)

Posted by: deirdrea | August 27, 2010

On the Echinachea

On the Echinachea, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hello, everybody!

It’s been a very eventful summer, and I can’t believe it’s already drawing to a close. The leaves are beginning to turn already, and the Monarch Butterflies have started their great migration.

I thought you might enjoy a picture from the new library butterfly garden, to celebrate these beautiful last summer days.

Be well! ~D.

(PS Check my other blog for book news and reviews!)

Posted by: deirdrea | June 11, 2010

The Cat and the Moon

The Cat and the Moon, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hi, everybody!

I’ve been silent for a long time, I know — but I am resolved, that is going to change! It’s been a crazy Spring, and promises to be a busy Summer — but hopefully a good one!

So, now you’re wondering about the picture (at least I hope you are!)
It’s a multimedia painting/drawing I did a few years ago, inspired by one of my favorite poems. (I have hundreds!)
I just uploaded the picture to my flickr account today, along with some other artwork, new and old.

As for my favorite poem (which, as I’ve said, is one of hundreds!) It’s “The Cat and The Moon” by William Butler Yeats. And here it is, in case you’d like to read it.


by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

THE cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Posted by: deirdrea | March 17, 2010


Grace, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hi, everybody!

I just wanted to wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s , before the day ends!

Here’s an awesome picture ( I think) of two of the teenagers who danced for everyone in the library to celebrate the day, Enjoy!

Branching reflections, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hi, everybody!

I thought you might enjoy this photo of this past week’s snow. It was beautiful in my immediate area. But just a little further south, it caused a terrible massacre of trees, and many people are still without power. However, there are signs everywhere that spring is coming. The sugarhouses are going strong, my sister heard a cardinal singing the other day, and we even saw a bluebird! Warmer days will be here soon!

And, for those of you who love books, we are continuing our Auditory Feast of Awesome! This time, we are featuring Indian American debutante author Neesha Meminger! You can listen to the new podcast episode here, or download it on itunes.

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