Saturday, December 16, 2017

Animal Farm

Why did we find ourselves discussing George Orwell over breakfast? I really don't know, yet there it was. Time for more coffee.

Who else
Discusses Animal Farm
Over breakfast?
We prepare for Christmas,
Talk about
Four legs good
Two legs bad,
Remember the Pageant
Is tomorrow.
My beloved
Has nursery duty.
I will watch
The Baby born,
The animals lined around
The manger,
All legs good
No legs good

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holidays change

For many, maybe for all of us, this is a difficult time, in the midst of cheer. It is important to pay attention to both.

Holidays change.
We would like them
To stay the same.
Holidays change
Every year,
Even as we try
To keep them
The same.
Snow falls.
Snow melts.
We have only to look
At the world
Around us
To realize
Holidays change
As well.
Snow falls.
Snow melts.
My office fills
With tissues
With tears.
Holidays change
Like everything.
Snow falls.
Snow melts.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tap dance


We remember
Her tap-dancing
On the kitchen floor.
Remembered yesterday
When we saw the girl
Monkey hat
Pink skirt
Click through the hallway
At the gym
Tappity tap.
Her mother
Was embarrassed.
We weren’t.
Monkey hat
Pink skirt.
The exact right floor
For such things.
We remembered
Our daughter
Tappity tap.

Wednesday of Advent 2

Different ways to celebrate the season.

This is my favorite season.
I have made it
To church
On a Wednesday
No candles
No greens
One purple bow
On the sidewalk.
This is grading season
I do not drive
So I worship
At home
But worship I do
This is Advent
My favorite season.
The purple bow
On the front walk

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


One step at a time. In the meantime, it is also important to grow one's imagination.

Of moving on
We will stay here
Reconfigure things.
The upstairs
Will no longer
Be needed
For general life.
We will make it
An art gallery
A library
A space for guests
From all over
The world.
Infinite possibility
I say
Infinite possibility.
We will not
Leave it blank space.
First comes
The reconfiguration
Of the first floor.
Only then
The next step.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The calendar fills

The decision of live or artificial has not been made, but the star will stay the same.

The calendar fills
With gifts
To be purchased,
With gifts
To be gilded,
With gifts
Until now.
There’s a tree
Out there
Or perhaps
In the basement.
The star remains
The same
As It’s been
For 25 years.
The star is cardboard
With tissue paper
On the points.
The calendar fills.
There’s an unknown tree
Out there
Down there.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

We garden

For Courtenay, Dave, Callie, and the whole of the family. For all those to whom it applies, which of course means All of us.

For all those sent
To another Realm,
For us who stay behind.
We will know
We will all know
The Whole of it
In time.
Oh if the time
Were only now
For them
For us.
We Garden
In the places
We remain.
We Garden
In the places
We are sent.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Grading season

For my beloved and academics everywhere...and oh yes...for those who live with them.

For academics everywhere
This is grading season.
In our house
It has a tinge of purple
As I celebrate Advent
In the living room.
We are not both
Grading season
And Advent
Hold hands
In this house.
I make coffee
Encouraging words
Kiss him
On the head,
When I pass by,
Go about Advent things.
I know grading season
Will disappear
Soon enough
Until next term                

Friday, December 8, 2017

Interesting patient

For friends unnamed.

Few people
Choose to be
An interesting patient.
When you walk through
The door
Your interesting malady
Leads the way.
It covers over
Anything else.
All the specialist sees
Is the malady
Front and center.
It sits on your lap
In pointed questions
Then it can give
Its interesting answers

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Positively balmy

It's all relative

The dust of snow
True December.
Have returned
In full
From the North.
We are South
To them
Positively balmy.
It’s relative
To birds.
Some stay all year.
Some leave
For points South.
For some
We are South

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

We wait for the whole of it

More waiting for the whole of it

So many of us
In this season
And beyond.
Children wait
For the usual things.
The rest of us
Think so much more
Is to come
We will never know
The whole of it.

Monday, December 4, 2017


A military draft is a chilling thought.

My children
Grew up.
They knew a draft
Was cold air
Under the front door.
It could be blocked
By a blanket.
O come
O come
May our children 
Know the same.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Decorating for Advent

Maybe we will start a new trend.

The purple bow
On the front walk,
Reminds us
Every time
We leave,
Every time
We come home:
It is Advent,
My favorite season.
The bow
The cement,
Reminds us
As if
We need
A reminder.
How many people
Their front sidewalk
For Advent?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wanna dance?

I meet my companions everywhere

We finished
At the local Panera
Dropped off our trays.
On the way
Out the door
An elderly man
Green shirt
Saw my cane
Wanna dance?
He offered.
It took me awhile
To understand
What he said
Wanna dance?
He repeated,
 Pointed to my feet,
Then to his feet.
Wanna dance?
I wish I could
I said
We live
With what we’re given
He said.
The thought


I continue to rate restaurants on their accessibility.

The pizza joint
In Edinburgh
Was more accessible
Than any other restaurant
I’ve entered
I gave tours
Of the restroom
See this
I said
See this
There is even
An emergency cord
To pull
Just in case
See this
See this.
I would gladly
Give tours
Eat pizza
Eat pizza
Give tours
To show what accessibility
Looks like.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Purple bow

  Purple mystery, just in time for Advent.

Before I get into
The car
A large purple bow appears
From nowhere.
We put it
On our neighbor’s lawn.
Now it is
Next to one of our
Front bushes.
My beloved and I
Have different theories
About where
It came from
And what we should do
With it.
Perhaps it is our
Purple bow.
It is meant
To be passed along.
We have not decided.
Such things
Take time

Monday, November 27, 2017

The lady in red changed her jacket

More observations out the back window. The ducks know her no matter what she wears.

The lady in red
Wears black
Moves more slowly.
We all
Move more slowly
As time
Goes on.
Her door opens
And shuts
More slowly.
The ducks know
Her presence
No matter
What she wears.
The lady in red
Or black
Is a friend
To the ducks

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Two careers

We have a room we refer to as "the white room." This is where all my theology books live. :The "white room" is being cleared to make room for part of  a first floor master suite. So many books. So many vocations and hobbies.

Two careers
More than two hobbies
So many books
Line the shelves.
I box things up,
Give things away.
I have not
In years.
So out of date
I do not remember them
At all.
Of course God
Is still God
Out of date.
Are still
They will always
Be quirky
The way
People are.
God is God.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Next Steps

More for Diane, watching from above

The roof
Is done,
House and garage.
The remains are cleared
From our yard.
Diane will watch
From above,
No longer care
Her giant pines,
Her overgrown
Her nephew-in-law
Gave us permission
With delight
To clear what needs
To be cleared.
And now
And now
The next steps.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The aroma

I wish things were as simple as turkey soup. Unfortunately it doesn't seem that way.

I wait
For the day after
 No Black Friday this.
This is Turkey Soup day.
The aroma
Through the house.
The wait
For the Saturday skim,
One more reason
For the holiday
After the holiday
No Black Friday this
Turkey Soup day
The aroma
The aroma
The aroma.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

140 bags

More for Diane.

And now
140 bags
Have been picked up
By Amvets.
The house gets
A new roof
In the morning sun.
There is something
This clarity.
We hear the voices
Of those who wield
The hammers,
Hope they finish
Before tomorrow:
The children arrive tonight
To cook dinner
Has many faces.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Giant pines

 For Diane.

She died,
The next door neighbor
We barely knew.
We didn’t know her
At all.
The next door neighbor
Who stayed inside
(We think)
She went
To get groceries,
Locked herself
Front and back,
Never answered the door.
She died.
The giant pines remain.
She refused
To have them trimmed.
Her nephew told us
We could trim
Whatever we wanted.
We may leave them
In her memory.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sheep pajamas, wolf slippers

Both were Christmas presents, different years. They go together, make me feel good especially when I wear them together. 

Sheep pajamas
Wolf slippers
Go together.
They remind me
I can’t have one
The other.
Both were gifts
From my beloved.
He knows me.
Sheep and wolves
Sometimes they share
Sometimes they take turns.
There is no telling
Which is which.
They trade the fields.
They hide behind trees.
Wolf slippers
Sheep pajamas

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


An interesting word ...brave.

Only others
Are declared
It is not something
We claim
For ourselves:
Like faithful
Like courageous
Like loving
Like righteous.
Brave is only
For others,
In shining armor,
Those who ride
Into battle,
Without a care about
What will happen
On the other side.
Much may happen,
So much may happen
We know it
When we declare it
Of others
When they ride
Into battle.
It is only
For others.

Monday, November 13, 2017

So many decisions

It's important to start small.

Now that we decide
To stay,
A whole other
Set of decisions
Appear before us.
What are
The particular
Bird feeders
We require?
Do we need
A heated bird bath,
A hummingbird feeder
So the hummingbirds return
Year after year?
Do we need
More pink plastic
For the backyard?
So many decisions.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I wish we knew what happened. Moved? Died? We keep waiting to see the nephew to ask, It seems the dumpsters are loaded at night.

Our neighbor
Has disappeared.
We knew her
By her first name.
She never asked for ours.
We cleared her driveway,
Her sidewalk
Of snow
In the winter,
Except the winter
I was in the hospital.
Then she asked
If we had been
On vacation.
Two dumpsters
Have been loaded
Carted off.
She has disappeared.
We do not know
The story

Friday, November 10, 2017

I like the short

Reading Emily Dickinson I realize how much I appreciate her short three-liners. They speak to me. Hope is the thing with feathers.

I get lost
When a poem
Is too long.
I take it
In bits and pieces
Or not at all.
This is the reason
For rhyme
This is the reason
Even for one word
At a time.
I get lost
I prefer
to be found

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Goodbye, DST

Changes of time throw me off. Every fall I think I should do more with that extra hour.

The end of daylight savings time
Threw me off
This year
More than its beginning.
I appreciate
The extra hour
Of sleep.
This year
I wake up early,
Try to figure out
What to do
With the extra hour.
Oh, drat,
An extra hour.
I should sleep in.
I should
Be productive.
I should make breakfast
For my beloved.
I should write
A sonnet
Even though
I’ve never written
A sonnet
I should write
That sonnet
Or barring that
At least
A limerick.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Three binders down, with sticky dots on the possible ones to be saved. Twelve more binders to go. Then there's the blog, which could easily fill numbers of binders itself, with almost one a day for a few years now. Yes...a little overwhelming. One bite at a time.
Sifted through
More zippered binders.
Some are even
Worth saving.
So many forgotten
So many now remembered.
Some are even

Worth saving.

Monday, November 6, 2017

If only we had known

Ah, the if onlys. I grew up with a card-carrying member of the NRA. My brother, sister, and I were all taught how a gun works. My siblings learned to target shoot on the property in the north woods. I took a gun safety class taught by my father, mostly with boys who wanted their hunting licenses. My sister, because she knew where the safety was, took a gun away from a college classmate. 

Where does it begin?
Often we go backwards
If only
We allowed guns
If only
We didn’t allow guns
If only
And black were not
As proper attire.
If only mentally ill people
Were not allowed
On the streets.
If only
Dishonorably discharged vets
Were allowed
Mental health care.
If only
If only
If only
If only
We had known.

Zippered binder number one

Thanks, Steve, for reminding me of how one eats an elephant, one bite at a time.

Today is the day
I take on
The first of fifteen
Zippered binders,
One reflection
At a time.
I purchased
Colored sticky dots
To begin
The process.
Zippered binder number one
Is ready
Next to the chair
To be unzipped
After my coffee.
I guess the process begins
With coffee.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Waiting for the mystery to be solved before Thursday.

I hate it
When my calendar contains
Something undecipherable
And I clearly knew
What it meant
I know I knew what it meant.
Now it is only two letters
Which follow
My initials
I may never
Arrive somewhere
Or I will wait
In my office
For someone
To meet me.
Which will it be?