Sunday, December 31, 2017

Different thoughts


My beloved and I
Have different thoughts
About mice
In the house.
We have somewhat settled
On live traps
And an empty
Fish tank
To save them
Until the weather
Gets warmer.
We have not settled
On what warmer
We have not settled
On oh
So many things
This seems a step
In a good direction.
We have agreed
That the cat
Needs to be
The cat.
We will let her
Do cat things
With the mice.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


The other cat is too old for hunting. He leaves the mice to the young-un.

She sits
Where the mouse
Last disappeared
Under the hutch.
Only to be coaxed
For a lick
0f yogurt,
Then to return
To her post.
She is forest cat
By birth.
There are no trees
By the hutch
But she remembers
She remembers
In her blood
She is 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Renewal process

For Jan and David and yes, me too.

Illness brings us
In ways
Little else can.
When we emerge
From Intensive Care,
Realize we are still
Begin the process
Of rehabilitation
We see that rehab
Might be
A renewal process
For most anyone.
When we awaken,
Find the world
Is still there
It is stunning
Anything else.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Holy Innocents

I saw the manger from the Christmas pageant next to my office a couple days ago. Mangers are everywhere. Herods are everywhere. Wise men and women are everywhere. Stars are everywhere. The Baby Jesus is everywhere too.

The mangers
Are everywhere
Stored with straw
To remember
Next year.
Are everywhere
They have other names
Maybe not
As recognizable.
There is no room
In the inn
They say.
We will find you
They say
No star
Will ever protect you
They say
No wise men
No wise women
Even if
They go home
By another way.
Mangers are everywhere
Stored with straw
We remember.
No matter
How many Herods
No matter
How many.
The mangers
Are everywhere.
We see them
We remember
The Baby

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wise folk

I still think of the Epiphany pageant in which the Wise Folk where portrayed as Native American dancers.

The wise folk
Are on their way.
Our stone nativity
Numbers them
Never says three
I wonder if
Another stone nativity
Got two wise folk
When it
Was packed
In the nativity
The wise folk
Are on their way.
They have some days
To arrive
All four of them.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


The ducks mark winter for me. So many ways to mark faith.

It has snowed
For Christmas
The ducks are back
Across the way.
They have waited
For snow
And corn.
The lady in red,
Is a favorite
Of theirs.
I wonder if this
Is part
Of the duck stories
They share
With the ducklings.
Here she comes
Faithful in snow
Faithful in corn
Faithful in red.
Ah faith.
It comes
In so many forms.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Northern Lights

Maybe the next trip?

There is an igloo resort
In Finland,
Of the Arctic Circle.
The stars
The Northern Lights
Put the travelers
To sleep
Every night
Or maybe
Keep the travelers
Every night
Lights and stars,
Stars and lights.
Of course
And cold.
Open your eyes
There they are
The stars
The Lights
There they are
And cold.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Life will return

Purple bow sighting. For David.

The purple bow has moved
Under a front bush.
I thought
It had blown away
But no
My beloved saw it
Under a front bush,
From the elements.
It may be there
Come Lent,
When purple returns
It reminds us
To be on the lookout
In spring.
Will surely return
In spring
With a tinge
Of purple
Maybe under a bush
Maybe not.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I live small

How long does it take, I ask you, how long does it take to realize I am meant to live small.

I live small.
Years ago
I was told
I need to live
You do not live
Big enough.
You will never reach
All the people
You are meant
To reach.
I live small.
I choose small.
This does not mean
I AM small.
It only means
I throw one pebble
At a time
Into the pond,
Watch the ripples,
Am amazed.
I live small,
Throw one pebble
At a time
The ripples.

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.