Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Feet on the floor

One of those days.

Some days require
Feet flat on the floor
Anchoring the body
Like my yoga lesson
On the four points
Of each foot.
Some days require
Attention to where exactly
I place each foot
One in front of the other
Even if it means
Holding onto the railing
Or even
Both railings.
Some days require
A different sort of anchor.
Today is one of
Those days.
Tomorrow may be
As well.
Today I practice
Feet flat on the floor
Four points on each foot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vocation haiku

We get stuck on the word vocation. We all have one at least. All vocation, all vocations, arise from community. All vocations are holy, wholly lived in community. Sometimes it is a community of two, often more. We are all helping one another discern vocation all the time. Sometimes we see it.

Vocation: we all
Have one at least but really
Several… if we look.

Monday, September 28, 2015


We all have routines

Even the kitten
Has routines.
She does acrobatics
On the spinny desk chair,
Launches herself
To the coffee table,
Slides through the magazines.
She always gets the last lick
Of the yogurt container.
The older cat
Does not care
For yogurt.
He shares the end
Of the cereal bowl
With the kitten.
Soon they both
Will be sound asleep
After an extensive bath.
I will go to the dentist
For a teeth cleaning.
We all have routines.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


More kitten.

Now we can never find
The last pen
We used.
Now we find
Stray singular socks
Throughout the house.
The kitten has taken
To catch and release.
She has located
The loose grout
In the kitchen tile floor
And loosened it
Even more.
The kitten has un-tidied
That once was tidy
Anything we once thought
Was tidy.
She says

Every household
Might be well-imbued
By the animated presence
Of a kitten
Un-tidying the perception
Of a neat and tidy world.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Every one of us is a saint

More on the icons. More on you. More on me. More on us.

Every one of us
Is a saint
We have been treated
As leftover wood
Until even one person arrives
Sees the gold
Even the possibility
Of gold
Within us
Writes our life
On wood
In gold
Perhaps a dragon
Under our feet,
Sword in hand
Kindly victory
In our eyes
Everyone is a saint
Every one of us
A reclaimed piece of wood
Perhaps reclaimed
Again and again.
Every one of us.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The woman works in wood

The exhibit at church (St. Mark's, Glen Ellyn) offers Sacred Icons by Mother Magdalena until Advent. They are stunning. Simply stunning. Every day when I walk in to church I choose an icon to spend time with. Then the day continues as it has begun.

The woman works in wood
Discarded wood
Thrown away
Odd old pieces.
They carry with them
Of holy people
Pictures already there
To be drawn out
Noticed and written
Edged in gold
Stamped in silver
The woman works in wood
There are saints contained
In the wood
They must be written
So more will see.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Milk ring

Another in the kitten series. 

I wonder if milk rings have another name. I wonder if they could be marketed as cat toys, perhaps sold in containers of six or twelve. I wonder when kittens outgrow milk rings. The grandfather cat used to store his milk rings in his food dish. Perhaps they are always useful, somehow, for something.

For want of a milk ring
The kitten finds more things
To climb,
More things
To push to the floor
The grandfather cat
To annoy
Once again
A new milk ring
Is a thing of joy,
A thing be carried and thrown
In the air,
To be rolled on
And rediscovered
To be taken up
Again and again
To hide in shoes
And find.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A question

A haiku before therapy.

Why is it
The celebrations disappear
While the crud sticks around?

Monday, September 21, 2015

It all takes practice

I used to think practicing was attached to things like musical instruments. Then I saw that any time we notice any change needs to be made, it will take practice, sometimes loads of practice... too.

I tell my clients
As I tell myself…it all,
All change… takes practice

Sunday, September 20, 2015


While I know this is all part of the human condition, that sometimes we find ourselves benched, on the sidelines, it can be difficult not to figure winners and losers.

These days
I never know
When I’ll find myself
With some other person,
Waiting for my beloved,
To go through the checkout line.
On such days
As this,
Even beautiful
Cool and sunny,
I may find myself
With another woman,
Waiting for her person
To go through the checkout line.
Sometimes I leave
Before she does,
She’s the winner.
I know we’ve both won
Just sometimes it feels

Friday, September 18, 2015


For Martha, and me, and Renee and oh, probably everyone.

We are meant
To be connected
Within ourselves,
With one another
And yes
Of Course
With God.
Yesterday was all about
The Whole thing
The Whole Embodied Thing,
And connection.
Everywhere I looked yesterday
Of course
But also
The woman in the Starbucks parking lot
She fell
Two cups of coffee in hand,
One with Mom written
On the cup.
We got her to sit
In a chair outside,
Clouds piled up
In the distance
The police were called
She disappeared
Simply disappeared
Into the wind and rain
This reminder of connection
Now without
Those two cups of coffee.
I hope she found Mom.
I hope we all find Mom
Whichever Mom we need to find
We embodied souls
In the wind and rain,
Often inclined to disappear,
May we be found.
May we all be found.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I consider another tattoo, in a more visible place, so I can see it every day. A reminder of continuing on, the importance of continuing on to the next thing. 

Every day a choice
To continue from this place
To the very next

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Passing pumpkins

When we don't do one thing, we're doing another. It's always a choice. The pumpkin unloading Saturday is the same Saturday as Wheaton Homecoming. I will be there filling lawns, one pumpkin at a time, one town over. 

Instead of unloading pumpkins
Joining the long line
Passing pumpkins,
I will be
Somewhere else.
I will find new people
In lines of their own
Passing pumpkins
Person to person
To make a bigger picture
In the end.
We will fill lawns and lawns
With pumpkins,
Sell them
One at a time.
Instead of unloading pumpkins,
Instead of passing pumpkins,
I will be the next town over
With a different sort
Of pumpkin
One at a time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Still life

We have taken many pictures of the now not-so-new kitten. We try to capture pictures for the daughter. The pictures hardly give the real picture. Still life with kitten...not so still.

Still life with kitten
Another thing entirely
Rarely still at all

Monday, September 14, 2015

Life with kitten

Blame it on the kitten.

This morning
We slept too long.
It was the kitten’s fault.
She snuggled between us
In her kitten way
Oh don’t go
See how cute and snuggly
I am.
The alarm went off
We are awake,
All of us.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I remember when my son was three and he played with a piece of gold string longer than with any of his other toys. It was his kite, his trap, and any number of other things. I am reminded of him while I watch the kitten with her singular piece of popcorn.

The kitten, with joy
Plays with one piece of popcorn
For at least an hour

Who do you say that I am?

Peter identified Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus then knew he could launch into the "tough bits." Who do you say that I am? Who do I say that you are? What comes next?

This is
The Relational Question.
Never mind that Jesus asked it
Jesus asked it
And Peter got it
Almost right.
I think of everyone
In the known universe
And beyond
All the people
All the creatures,
All things sentient
And even insentient
Like that rock
Over there.
For the sake of conversation
Who is that other?
Who am I
In relation to you?
Who are you
In relation to me?
Who do you
Say that I am?
Who do I
Say that you are?
Then comes the listening
More listening
Even more listening
And perhaps
Just maybe
A response.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Years ago I read about a preacher who somehow worked "water baptism" into every sermon. His congregation waited for the reference every Sunday. I believe we all have themes, clergy or not. What's yours?

Clergy often speak
Of having one sermon
To preach,
One revolving theme.
If congregations are lucky
It is a big theme
With lots of detail,
Many permutations
Which can go on
For years.
Since seminary
My theme has been
Even before then
It was
I am still learning,
Even as I mostly do not preach
Now I sit and listen
For themes,
For sermons we each
Are called to preach.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I find my seat

Life continues interesting. Good to see a classmate from Wheaton (Hi, Betty!), then there was the woman who sat on my other side. I introduced myself, she introduced herself and told me I looked familiar. We were, all three of us, sitting in a sea, perhaps on the shore of a sea of fresh-scrubbed faces. The topic was complex trauma treatment. Yes.

I find my seat
In the back of the room,
A room of fresh-scrubbed
Young faces.
I do not know most everyone here
Yet they are still familiar
From not so long ago.
A woman arrives late,
Slides into the chair next to me.
Of course
Is someone who had invited me
To apply for a job,
Un-invited me,
Then invited me again,
Then forgot it all entirely.
Now she barely remembers
Who I am.
In this sea of fresh-scrubbed faces.
In this sea of fresh-scrubbed faces.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


In praise of chaff.

I learn to say
Maybe so.
I learn to say,
Perhaps not
As well.
These days
I hold things more lightly.
I examine what may be chaff
For that one grain of wheat,
Watch the chaff blow away
In the wind,
The beauty of dust
In sunlight.
Thank you for such a fine job
Of holding wheat
For a time.
Thank you for your momentary beauty
In the sunlight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


How do you know when things are working? Sometimes it's a little whisper of possibility. A bare breeze.

Sometimes a hint comes:
Things just might be working. Just
Maybe a whisper.

Monday, September 7, 2015

In celebration

Today I got news that someone put "into play" something I suggested in counseling. Hooray. Better even than finding a new flavor of ice cream. This is in celebration of new beginnings.

Today is the beginning
Of fall.
I celebrate
Such new beginnings.
In fact I realize
New + beginning
Is an oxymoron.
A beginning
Is always new
No matter what time frame
It starts.
In the newness of today
I celebrate new beginnings.
I do not care
If this is an oxymoron.
I see it rather
As emphasis
On how new
It really is.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Not the year for crabapples

If it's not one thing... it's another.

It is not the year
For crabapples
But when crabapples
Are not in store,
Other things find their way.
The grapevine
Winds its way
Up the crabapple
To reach the sun.
The elderberry bush
Has never looked so good.
At church
There are green beans
At the door
Every time I go in.
I go in more often
These days.
It is not the year
For crabapples.
It is the year
For so many
Other things.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The cardinal

Sometimes there is power in a passing remark.

The cardinal alights
On the pine
Next to the front window
Lit by the morning sun
Then flies away.
It was a short visit
But he was perfectly framed
By the middle window pane
As if
As if
He’d planned it
Or as if
Someone had planned it.

The next day
A matter-of-fact woman tells me,
In passing,
Apropos of nothing,
As if an afterthought,
You know
Some people think
A cardinal appearing
Is someone who has died
And has come
To say “Hi.”

Then I remembered
The cardinal
From the day before.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Geiger counter

Wow. I have no secret formula. That doesn't stop me from wanting to find it for him. Perhaps for me too.

So we talked
And we talked
About where    
God showed up
Though really it was where
We showed up
For God.
So it always is.
Of course
He said
I know God is everywhere
And in everything
Of course
He is still looking.

Me too
I said
Me too.

He is hopeful that next time
I will offer the secret formula:
A Geiger counter
For God.

Me too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

So hot today

Some days are meant for organizing.

So hot today.
I am grateful
For a light schedule,
Appointments I must make
But not keep
Quite yet.
There is accomplishment enough
In appointments made,
Penciled in
On the calendar
For two weeks
From now
Or even later.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

In this moment

They take advantage of each moment... these cats. They practice being big and little... together.

In this moment
The cats sleep in the sun,
The bigger cat with tail
In the smaller cat’s face.
Both have eyes closed.
I quickly take a picture.
They are a herd of elephants
On the veldt.
They thunder
Through the house.
And now
They are asleep again.
There is still sun
To sleep in.