Word Cloud: EERIE


What a lot of words we have in English for the things that give us that unsettling tingly feeling!

eer-ie – adjective
uncanny, sinister, ghostly, unnatural, unearthly, odd,
supernatural, otherworldly, strange, abnormal, weird, freakish, creepy, scary, spooky, freaky, frightening,
bone-chilling, spine-chilling, hair-raising, blood-curdling . . .
Middle English, originally of northern English-Scots origin, related to German arg

In the Northern Hemisphere, October is the month we need all these words. As the temperature cools, the nights grow longer, and misty halos wreathe streetlamps and porch lights, we find ourselves looking over our shoulders more often, and listening for sounds that seem just at the edge of our hearing. And all of that culminates in Halloween, all Hallows Eve, the ancient Celtic Samhain.

So I’ve assembled some poems to suit this Autumnal mood. Don’t be surprised if you start feeling like something is watching you – and waiting . . .


Rae Armantrout (1947 – ) was born in Vallejo Valley CA, and has published eleven books of poetry so far. She has been teaching writing at the University of California, San Diego for a couple of decades. Armantrout was awarded the 2009 National Books Critics Award and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book Versed


Haunted, they say, believing
the soft, shifty
dunes are made up
of false promises.

Many believe
whatever happens
is the other half
of a conversation.

Many whisper
white lies
to the dead.

“The boys are doing really well.”

Some think
nothing is so
until it has been witnessed.

They believe
the bits are iffy;

the forces that bind them,

“Djinn” from Partly, © 2016 by Rae Armantrout – Wesleyan University Press


Continue reading

Posted in Autumn, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THIS DAY: October 17, 2019

October 17th is

Black Poetry Day *

Mulligan Day *

National Pasta Day

Wear Something Gaudy Day *

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty *


MORE! Elinor Glyn, Jupiter Hammond and Sathima Benjamin, click

Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Total Black: A Poem for Black Poetry Day


 by Audre Lorde

Is the total black, being spoken
From the earth’s inside.
There are many kinds of open.
How a diamond comes into a knot of flame
How a sound comes into a word, coloured
By who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open
Like a diamond on glass windows
Singing out within the crash of passing sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
In a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
And come whatever wills all chances
The stub remains
An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me.

Love is a word another kind of open—
As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am black because I come from the earth’s inside
Take my word for jewel in your open light.

“Coal” from Coal, © 1976 by Audre Lorde – W. W. Norton Publishing

For more about Audre Lorde and her work, click

Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ON THIS DAY: October 16, 2019

October 16th is

National Dictionary Day *

National Feral Cat Day *

National Liqueur Day

World Food Day *

Ether Day/ World Anaesthesia Day *


MORE! Wu Zetian, Günter Grass and Hema Malini, click

Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ON THIS DAY: October 15, 2019

October 15th is

International Rural Women’s Day *

I Love Lucy Day *

World Maths Day *

Breast Health Day *

National Grouch Day *

World Students Day *

White Cane Safety Day *

Global Handwashing Day

Latino AIDS Awareness Day


MORE! Isabella Bird, Varian Fry and Oscar the Grouch, click

Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THIS DAY: October 14, 2019

October 14th is

Peace Corps Speech Day *

Indigenous Peoples Day

Columbus Day (U.S.)

Be Bald and Free Day

National Dessert Day

World Standards Day *


MORE! Lillian Gish, Spencer Williams and Shula Marks, click

Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays, On This Day | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TCS: In Beauty – Poems for Indigenous Peoples Day

. . Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


“Above all, it seems to me wrongheaded and dangerous to invoke
historical assumptions about environmental practices of native
peoples in order to justify treating them fairly. … By invoking
this assumption [that they were/are better environmental stewards
. . . ] to justify fair treatment of native peoples, we imply that
it would be OK to mistreat them if that assumption could be refuted.
In fact, the case against mistreating them isn’t based on any historical
assumption about their environmental practices: it’s based on a moral
principle, namely, that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess,
subjugate or exterminate another people.”

― Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, The Coffee Shop | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments