Monday, June 30, 2014


Have you checked your spam folder recently?  I admit I am not the most diligent spam checker.  Usually I check it when my blog entry doesn't show in my inbox.   Odd that something so regular ends up in spam. Maybe I used a spam word, like all the entries from foreign countries asking for money.  Maybe Julian of Norwich is suspect... somehow.  I'm sure she is.  Any post declaring that All will be well, and all manner of things will be well is potentially... suspect.  Potentially spam-worthy.

I find the oddest things
In spam,
Things I choose to see
Every day
These things
Randomly choose
To hide
Out of sight.
Today my blog went missing.
I wonder
What sends things packing
To Spam,
The camping breakfast meat
It used to taste oh so fine
Fried over a campfire
I understand for Koreans
It is a delicacy
Now it is a category
For things dumped
After thirty days
The oddest things
Even things I choose to see
Every day.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Camel rides

Yes. This is another morning dream.  I do sometimes wonder about the medications I take.  My beloved and I are home from church today.  He is grading.  I am... well... I am not driving... so I have to be home dreaming about renting camels.  Pretty funny.

This morning the church I attend
Rented a camel
For a week.
The church woman
In charge of camel oversight
Was an unlikely choice.
It was a delight however
To watch her
Introduce the camel
To the congregation.
The camel himself
Was a delight.
Decided this would be good
For Glen Ellyn
A camel in the parking lot
An indulgent camel,
As far as camels go,
An indulgent camel moved
From the lower lot
To the upper lot
All week.
Camel rides.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rarely the collar

I have a new colleague... Judy Jackson was ordained a deacon today.  She is a blessing to the Church Entire.  I rarely wear my clerical collar these days.  I had forgotten about shopping in a supermarket wearing a collar, or having lunch at Starbucks.  It seems this coming week will be a "collar week." Wedding rehearsal and wedding upcoming.  I may also need to make a pastoral visit or two.

Rarely the collar
Except on days like this one.
I had forgotten.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Things that needed saying

Our daughter is in Oklahoma this week, helping to lead a conference.  She will return and go back to being a camp counselor on Sunday.  More practice in leaving and returning and leaving again.  In September we will drive her to Colorado to begin her freshman year at University of Denver.  I am grateful all three of us visited there before she made her choice.

We knew
When the tour guide
Kindly yet firmly corrected
The young man
Who mispronounced her name;
We knew
When the honors student offered
This college was not her first choice,
But she still loved it here;
We knew
When the mountains rose
In the distance
These were all  things
That needed saying,
And our daughter
Would have another home

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Edges of things

The lawn people were here yesterday.  They left our end of the street... clearly edged.  It is a sight to behold... this clear edging.  Of course it is temporary.  All such things are temporary.

I claim to work
On the edges of things
My edges are nowhere near
As neat
As the edges the lawn people
Leave behind.
They show
A clear line
Between the sidewalk
And the lawn
A clear demarcation
Between concrete
And grass
At least until the grass begins
Its creep
Once again
As it always does.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exactly right

19 years married to my beloved today.  A client rescheduled for next week.  Enough space was left between working out and working in.  Today there will be no rush.  Today the cat and my beloved are sound asleep in the chair across from me as I write this.  We remembered it was our anniversary on the way home from working out.  Perhaps we will have spaghetti with pesto tonight.  It all feels exactly right.

Enough was cleared
Enough was added
To make this day
Exactly right.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Ah.  So many things to consider today.

31 years a deacon
The large item
On the agenda
Is replacing the dead allysum
In the front planters.
Of course this first means
The arrangement
Of a ride to the nursery.
I may also harvest
The rhubarb
And pull weeds.
The convergence of life,
The acknowledgment
Of limitation,
The possibility
Of rhubarb pie.
So many things
Oh so many things
To consider.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


She is home for 36 hours before she returns to camp.  We are reminded again of intentionality.  Now is the time for her Father's Day brunch.  The sense of not wasting such moments... hovers.  It claims the moment for intentional time with her father.

Now is the time 
For intentional meals
Intentional conversations
Intentional thoughts
To make intentional
Maybe now
Has always been the time
For such things
Except now
Right now
We know intentionality
Bears all things
Hopes all things
Believes all things
Even invites
All things
Into the mix.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh my God

Children... they come and go, and come again.

Oh my God
When the last one leaves
Or prepares to leave,
Or even
Practices leaving,
The heart follows
Each step away,
Cherishes each step
As much as when
The first one left
The heart followed
Each step away.
We still cherish
Each step home.
Oh my God
Yesterday we drove
By the turn we used to take
When she needed that ride
To high school.
Oh my God
She will be home
For the weekend,
Then will practice leaving
Oh my God
When the last one leaves
When the first one leaves
The heart follows.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

French words

I am a fan of word play.  I imagine I will end the day with a mass of French words that rhyme, some from me, some from my beloved.  I love texting for such things.

We consider
All the words the rhyme
With the French pronunciation
Of Dupage.
Or at least as many
As we can conjure up.
Words like mirage,
Over coffee I remembered
This is what texting
Is good for.
Just came to mind.
Right behind it.
Is what texting
Is good for.
The whimsy continues.
Maybe another poem

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday home

After the last seizure episode, my meds were increased.  Odd... but good... I think things are where they need to be.  It took a couple weeks, but now, Wednesday home, I have introduced my beloved to my therapist, and later this week we visit two of my doctors.  And of course, we have done more driving around and looking at things... something we do well together.  Last night and this morning the clouds particularly caught our attention.

We drove and talked
And looked at things,
The way we always do,
The way we always have.
Then I introduced you
To someone I have known
For eight years now
So you could know him
As part of my life,
And maybe more than the way
I have described.
It never occurred to me
To introduce him
Now I am Wednesday home.
I find one more medicine
Has been adjusted
To work as it should.
I did not know this should
I am Wednesday home.
I find new possibility.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Magenta petunia

I found myself thinking about my Dad as I planted the pots in front of the house with petunias.  He called all flowers petunias.  There is one, unforeseen, unplanned, magenta petunia in the right hand pot next to the front door.  I see it and think about Dad.

He called all flowers
No matter what they were
This year is the first one
I planted petunias,
Really petunias,
In the front pots.
We bought all purple
Except one bloomed
It is fitting
They are not all
The same,
These petunias planted
The day after Father’s Day.
He called everything that bloomed
A petunia.
It was his way.
He would appreciate
That magenta petunia
In the midst
Of a sea
Of purple.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today I do not have to be brought anywhere

Today the calendar shows no appointments.  One car is with my daughter at camp.  The other car is with my beloved at work.  Today is a day of planting purple in the front and yellow in the back, whichever spot is shady.  It is HOT today, so time in the sun is not in the cards.  Today is a day to be thankful for air conditioning and time with the cat.

I do not have to be brought
I have enough flowers
And laundry
To keep me occupied here.
The altar flowers
Have finally succumbed
On the front table.
Today I breathe
In place.
I roamed Target yesterday
With my beloved,
Dreamed school dreams
All night,
Awakened to the knowledge
I am done with tests
And final exams.
Today this
Is what I get. 
I do not have to be brought
This means I am able
To be here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Early on in our relationship, my beloved and I discovered a common love of sharing small moments and celebrating them.  Today I realized, reading this snippet from The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor, how much more a haiku can express this simple, profound, thing.  Thank you, Kobayashi Issa. Thank you, Garrison Keillor.  Thank you, my beloved.  Thank you, God.

From The Writer’s Almanac for June 15, 2014:

“It's the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan (1763). He's one of the masters of the Japanese form of poetry called haiku, which uses 17 Japanese characters broken into three distinct units. He spent most of his adult life traveling around Japan, writing haiku, keeping a travel diary, and visiting shrines and temples across the country. By the end of his life, he had written more than 20,000 haiku celebrating the small wonders of everyday life.”

In part we are together,
To travel around
And look at things.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

After the ice cream cones

I live with two wonderful people who now operate at a different speed than I do.  Or perhaps I should say: Now I operate at a different speed than they do.  It wasn't always this way.  Now it is.

After the ice cream cones
We bought two flats
Of flowers,
One for the back,
One for the front,
Then came mushroom compost
At the local hardware store.
We must find lawn furniture
She said.
We looked for lawn furniture
At Jewel.
When it wasn’t there
We shopped for food.
I used to be able
To do several errands
In a row.
Now I must do
One at a time.
Today I contemplate
Mushroom compost,
The planter preparation.
Today I even consider
The possibility
Of trimming the hedge.

Friday, June 13, 2014


I am home today, smelling the scent of clean.  Last fall we began hiring a person to come in every two weeks to clean.  She came two weeks ago, the day after my double seizure.  When my daughter picked me up from the hospital, she brought me home to clean.  Today I was home to witness the process, and experience the house being worked into cleanliness.  

The last time
I smelled the house
Like this
I walked through the front door
From the hospital.
This is my two week anniversary
Home again.
We have seen
Way too many doctors and nurses.
I know so many others
Who see
So many more.
The last time
I smelled the house
Like this
I arrived to it
Clean and shining
And now
Two weeks later
It has the scent of clean
And I
I did not have to
Arrive from anywhere
To smell it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


While I waited for a client who never showed, I had a conversation with fresh grief.  This must be what I was meant to do.  And now I am already on page 10 of a book it would never have occurred to me to read, were it not for the morning ride with my daughter.  I wonder what the day will bring... instead.

She doesn’t show up
I find other reasons
I am here.
It seems Thursday
Is completely reordered:
A text message here,
A book recommendation there,
A conversation
With grief
One month lost
And counting.
The yellow lily just begins
Out my window
Against the gray sky.
She doesn’t show,
Doesn’t call,
Doesn’t email.
There are other reasons
I am here today.
Some of them
I know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I sit with client after client.  I sit with myself and pretend my plans, even this simple haiku, will come out even.  We all sit, peruse our plans, pay attention to an extra syllable here, a missing syllable there.

Yesterday nothing
Went exactly as planned.
Today not this haiku

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This thing is mine

On Sunday at church I heard myself say:  We all get our own things.  Somehow seizures are mine to figure out.  Hmm.  

When they stand
In front of me at church
And say
This should never happen
To you
I hear myself answer
But this thing
Is mine
I am still learning
The ins and outs
The wrinkles
The edges
The ways I might happen
To become a better person
The sitting still
The wobbling
When I walk,
The focus
On the one particular thing,
To this one
Particular moment.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Humility of ear

I never know what will land in my inbox.

"The Christian church came into being at Pentecost. The gift of the Holy Spirit on that occasion is generally called the gift of tongues, but it might equally as well be called the gift of ears…. As writers, readers, human beings, we cannot speak to or understand each other unless we are first prepared to listen. Of all the gifts that the Holy Spirit is able to bestow, the one for which we should first and most earnestly pray is humility of ear."
                                          -W. H. Auden
                                          Source: Words and the Word

On this
The day after the feast
Of Pentecost
Auden lands
In my inbox,
Reminds me
There are so many gifts
Of the Spirit
And I
I sit in my blue chair
Organize the week  
In humility of ear,
Not knowing if anything
I say or pray
Will come out
In any particular way.
And I
I sit in my blue chair
And wait
For what comes next.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Birthday nap

Today is my beloved's birthday, nigh on our daughter's high school graduation, nigh on my unscheduled seizure activity.  This is the year we are officially past anything that resembles middle age.

He takes his birthday nap,
The cat ensconced.
This is the year
The concept of middle age
Flies out the window,
Creeps out the door.
This is the year we launch
Our daughter.
This is the year
We realize we don’t live to be
One hundred twenty.
This is the year
We realize
Just so much
Will fit
And no more
Except there is always room
For a birthday nap
And a cat.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I look at the days ahead

I learn a whole new set of things.  This does not mean forgetting to spread the love, even if only from the blue recliner.  There are different ways to practice presence.

I look at the days ahead
Name the things
That absolutely require
My presence,
Reschedule the rest,
Spread my love
Beyond and beyond
Save what I can.
What must be lost.
Remember to spread the love
Even if only
From the seat
Of my blue chair.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Altar flowers

I was named the recipient of the altar flowers this week.  They arrived at my door with a smile.  Of course.  And bear grass for the seizure cat, now sound asleep in the other room.  He has earned the sleep and has already begun to enjoy the bear grass when awake.  I am beginning to acclimate to the increased meds.

I received the altar flowers
On Tuesday
At home.
On Tuesday
I rearranged them
In the black olive vase.
The flowers even have
Bear grass
For the cat.
How thoughtful.
One week out
I have begun
To see straight
Once again.
The flowers make an altar
Of the front table.
There are windows to the world
On either side,
The burning bushes green
Through the glass.