Monday, April 30, 2012

Surprise bouquet

I love grocery store flower bouquets.  They come with interesting names like Celebration, or  Surprise.  The last bouquet came with a green butterfly on a wire.  Now it is the only thing in the flower vase.  A reminder.

The only thing left
Of the surprise bouquet
Is the butterfly.
The roses, deep yellow,
The gerbera daisies, splinted straight,
The eucalyptus,
They have all made their way to mulch.
The butterfly
(It came with the surprise)
Stays wired, still sways in the vase.
It reminds me
Of the bouquet,
A placeholder,
Unlikely green butterfly,
Reminiscent of nothing identifiable
To those with butterfly knowledge.
But still
A reminder of all
That surprises
Over and over again.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stray understanding

My husband and I spent last night sitting with the parents of a daughter*s friend, helping to oversee a teenage birthday party.  We had never met them before.  They invited us to join them. Interesting people.  They were not what we expected.  But then, I suspect, we were not what they expected, either.

None of us fit
Into our respective categories.
I rather like that.
No matter who we meet,
He is different,
She is different
Than we originally thought.
We have to start somewhere
Of course
The thought changes from the original
With every different thing.
The thought is fuelled
By new possibilities.
The thought is almost ambushed
By stray understanding.
It hides around the corner,
Then jumps in front of us,
Adds action to the picture
We thought
Was a still.
I say
Thank God none of us fit
Into those single categories.
I rather like that.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some evidence is anchored there

My training tells me to use the best evidence-based practices.  Of course the way we gather evidence varies. I sat with other substance-abuse counselors yesterday.  The session was on reality therapy.  I remembered how I feel more real in the presence of fellow addictions folk, perhaps because I am more real with them.  Probably evidence varies.  Sitting in the mis-matched chairs in the treatment center there is concrete evidence we are all human and everything is not perfect.  No one pretends it is different.

All the research presented
Is from years ago.
She is quick to point out
Some research has been done
On this,
Some evidence gathered
Years ago now.
People will choose to do
What they want to do.
Find out what floats
Their boat.
Call it
Their Quality World.
Seek out the positive thoughts
Like sails
On the horizon.
Anchor them in the harbor
Of the ocean
Of their Quality World.
As an afterthought,
A piece of flotsam, perhaps,
Remember to take your time
Slow down
Breathe in
Breathe out.
Remember your office
Safe harbor.
Some evidence
Is anchored there.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reality Therapy

Today I will attend a workshop on Reality Therapy for Addicts.  It reminds me of the group meeting at the halfway house when one member said he was feeling existent.  Another member laughed and mentioned the acronym S.O.B.E.R. (Son Of a B****, Everything*s Real).  Yep.  Reality therapy.  Probably helpful for all of us.

Today*s topic :
Reality Therapy.
I have no idea what it involves,
But reality seems
Like a good idea
Most of the time.
When my ears were being cleaned out
Hydrogen peroxide masked
Any sound from the outside,
Bubbled and spit,
Champagne popped in my ears.
Today*s topic
Is Reality Therapy
For addicts.
My ears are clean,
Ready for reality.
I will see
How it applies
To therapy with the addict.
I*m sure somehow
It will be helpful
To me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I had one of those afternoons.  I thought I could work in getting my plugged ears taken care of at the doctor.  I was sure I gave it plenty of time before I had to drive my daughter to caddie training.  No.  I found myself lying flat, head turned, hydrogen peroxide bubbling loudly in ear number two, oh, about the time I was supposed to leave to pick her up.  Not a good picture.  It would be easy to blame it on the doctor seeing me way past the time I was scheduled.  No, again.  She got another ride.  All is not lost, but I still screwed up.  I am sitting in my chair breathing in and out, and getting my brain and heart back into working order.

Sometimes we screw up,
Pure and simple,
Make a mess.
When we forget
To take that deep breath,
Look at the chaos
We created ,
Or at the very least,
The chaos
We helped create,
The lack of oxygen
Makes it worse.
When we forget to breathe,
Our brain doesn*t think straight;
Our heart has to work
So much harder
To do
What it naturally does
When we simply
Breathe in

Breathe out

Breathe in

Breathe out.

Sometimes we mess up
Pure and simple.
Most of that time
It*s not life and death
At stake.
Most of the time
We have the time
To breathe in
Breathe out
When we remember.

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Of course everyone knows April is Poetry Month, and today is Poem in Your Pocket Day.  I*m sure this is tops on everyone*s list, even if their favorite poem is a bit of doggerel.  I haven*t used the word doggerel in years.  Certain words need to be aired from time to time or they will go out of use and be dropped even from the OED.  Words like doggerel.  There.  Three times in one paragraph.

Today is
Poem in Your Pocket Day.
The thought of carrying poetry
Instead of business cards
Appeals to me.
I*m not sure it would build up
My clientele.
The choice of which poem to carry
Is tricky.
Is not everyone*s
Cup of tea,
Earl Grey or herbal.
Some prefer hot water
With lemon.
For some
Should be metric,
At the end of every line.
Internal rhyme
Does not count.
I knew someone once
Who believed all poetry
Should have its lines numbered
To be comprehensible.
Like the Psalms.
Then of course
There is the question
Of which pocket
To use,
And what is the proper poetry container.
I suppose it depends
On the poem.
Or the effect
One Is going for:
Earl Grey or herbal,
Hot water with lemon.
Of course it all depends.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No win

Years ago I worked for an insurance agency. One of my jobs was taking pictures for renewal farm policies.  Often the farm buildings were not in the best shape.  I was instructed by my boss to take the best picture possible.  Sometimes that meant getting down in the mud and muck to get the best angle on a farm building in poor repair.  When my family and I drive through Wisconsin to Minnesota, we look for the best angle on all the farm buildings we pass.  I find I am always looking for the best angle on most things I encounter.  It seems a good place to start building.

I had a client who called to cancel
Her appointment.
She used the broken car excuse,
Not unlike
The dog ate my homework.
When I offered to my supervisor
That at least she called,
My supervisor said
Oh yeah
That*s right
You*re strengths-based.
We both laughed.

It is too easy
To write the script
So no one wins,
Everyone loses.
On cold grey days
When it is all too easy
To focus on the negative,
I have to remind myself to find
The one wall standing
And build from there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introvert hell

Today I attend a workshop for mental health and ministry.  There will be two groups of people present.  I, of course, am both.  This is supposed to be right up my alley.  I will carry my business cards.  I will wander.  I will not stand in a corner.  I will wander.  Swim or fly.  Fly or swim. 

Today brings
Another mostly new
Group of people.
Again I will be
Neither fish nor fowl.
If I were an extrovert
I would see this as an exciting opportunity
To claim my fish-ness
And fowl-ness
Swim through the water,
Join a school;
Fly through the air
Join one wing
Of the vee,
Perhaps even take my turn
As lead goose.
Today I carry my business cards
And do reconnaissance,
Swim or fly
It all depends,
Of course,
It all depends.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Getting what we pray for

OK.  I probably should have used the first person singular here... but I wanted some company, so I included all you people who may have had this experience too.  How did I know they needed volunteers now?  Especially now?  Well.  I didn*t. And it seemed a reasonable way to use my seemingly endless hours, and I figured I might be dead by the time I got the final counseling license.  Oh surprise.  Once more it becomes clear it*s not all about me.

With all the focus
On getting
What we pray for,
Sometimes we forget
We may be the answer
To someone else*s prayers.
Sometimes we find out
In odd circuitous ways,
We were meant to be here
Or perhaps
We were meant to be there.
Sometimes we simply show up
We are greeted with
How did you know?
How could you possibly know?
We shrug our shoulders
Perhaps we smile a tiny smile,
All the while
This is an unlikely
To the question we wanted
God to answer.
We continue to wait
For the right answer
To come,
When it already has.
Sometimes we forget to look
The other way.


Wow.  Today I officially began volunteering at DCC.  I have five clients transferred from the interns who just left.  I saw one today.  There*s a possibility I*ll see all five next week.  When I think about it, I am not surprised at the wealth of opportunity available to me, and yet, still, that wealth amazes me.
I am overwhelmed and
It is only Monday afternoon.
A wealth of opportunity sits
In the chairs
At the DuPage Community Clinic.
I have already forgotten the names
Of every volunteer
I met there this morning.
I drive home and
A wealth of opportunity
Stands on every street corner.
 A wealth wanders the fruit and vegetable aisles
Of Valli Produce,
Speaks in languages I can scarcely identify
About food I have no idea
How to cook.

I am glad no one is home yet
But me and the cat
And the turtle asleep
In his water dish.
Soon wealth will arrive home from school.
She will bring even more opportunity
Through the door.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Open kind of asking

I never know where God will turn up next.

When I learned
I might be able to have some say
In my dreams,
I might be able to wish for God
To come to me at night,
Show me what I needed to know
If I asked.
I asked once.
Yes, o.k.,
It was an open-ended kind of asking,
And He came.
I stopped asking.
He started to come
Slipped in around the edges,
Came in through the open window.
He didn*t stick to dreams at night.
He didn*t honor the contract
I thought we had
Of sleep,
Only the hours
Of sleep.
He came and comes
Through the neighbor
Walking the dog,
The woman on the train.
He grew up
Through the clematis vine
On the front pillar.
Then he found the vine
In the back yard.
I thought it had died.
A hundred thousand times
Now I never know
Where He will turn up next.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Life on the water

It has been a full week.  Lots of people, lots on new encounters, lots of energy required.  This morning we all slept in.  I am the first one awake.  I sit here with my coffee, warm in my hands.  I am thinking about water and porches, listening to the birds, considering life on the water.

Last night there was water
In all my dreams.
Last night I flew
To Peru.
We lived on a cruise ship,
My family and I,
In the harbor.
Last night we toured a house
In the Midwest.
It overlooked Main Street
On one side,
A river
On the other,
A contemporary house.
The doors off the hall on the second floor
Each had a door knob
In the middle of the door.
All the rooms on the river
Had tall wide windows.
There were porches outside,
Porches that would hold
The porch furniture of my dreams.
I knew there
We would sit and drink iced tea with lemon,
Watch the river flow.
Perhaps a bird.
I woke up
Calmer than I have been
In weeks.
Last night I dreamed
Life on the water.
I can still see it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Senior discounts

Today involves meeting with my supervisor so I can get the required number of supervisory hours toward the final license for counseling.  Today also involves the adventure of Senior Gold Checking, and finding out exactly what it means to obtain those free checks which have to be printed specially (we think) on newsprint, or perhaps toilet paper, and begged for on one knee, only in person, at the bank.

Today the adventure involves
Cashing in on
The promised free checks.
We are in the early stages
Of senior discounts.
Of course it requires my presence
At the bank.
The bankers are busy.
They are not available
By phone.
I am thankful today
I am mobile
I can see
I can hear
I can drive.
My brain today
Is even
Somewhat supple
For the conversation around
The promised free checks.
We are only in the early stages
Of promised senior discounts.
We have not yet begun
To prove to waitresses
We are eligible
For the senior breakfast:
An egg,
Half a piece of whole wheat toast,
A tiny glass of orange juice.
We are in the early stages
Of promised senior discounts.
We have only
Just begun.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inch by inch

My husband and I work out twice a week.  We often see the same people at the fitness center. It is often easier to note someone else*s progress than notice our own.  Sometimes I want to stand in the middle of the fitness center and cheer on particular people, like this man who is progressing by inches. Inspiration comes from so many places.

The man inches out the elevator door,
His walker creeps in front of him.
This morning
He wears a red baseball cap
On his head.
On Tuesday he set a goal
To keep his feet straight.
This morning his left foot
Is considerably straighter.
He is proud and walks his pride
In inches,
Straight inches.
This morning he walks
The circumference
Of the gym,
The other men play basketball
In the middle.
This morning he celebrates
His left foot.
He encourages the right
to move straighter
Inch by inch.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rumors of life

Why look for the living among the dead?  The words echo.  No matter how hard I try, there is no way to prove what I know is true.  Still I try to find convincing words.  I am not alone in this.  At the deanery meeting today, one colleague observed that resurrection is particularly hard to preach.  Yep.

We still look in the tomb
To secure the body
For safekeeping.
Two weeks hence
The body is still gone.
We hear rumors of life
On the road
On the beach
In the bread
In the wine warm on the lips
Down the throat.
We still look
To secure what we think
Is true.
Two weeks hence,
It is still
Gone missing.
There are rumors
Upon rumors
Upon rumors
Of life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whole small worlds

Sometimes the various things I am doing or reading or listening to, all converge on each other.  I wonder how anyone can determine that a piece of information is not useful.  With all the discoveries in the world, I become more aware of all my knowledge being piecemeal, scattered, just like everyone elses.  Like this, for instance.  If there are different colonies of microbes living on different sides of the same tooth, holding that tooth together somehow... what of the rest?  

The colony of microbes,
Alive on one side
Of one of my teeth,
Is different
From the other side.
The environment
Is different,
One side
To the other.
We are host to several
Of whole small worlds.
It*s not just our teeth.

This is nothing like
The time I found out
The host of dust mites
Alive in my bedclothes
In need of my cast-off skin cells.
After all,
I don*t need those cells
There are whole small worlds alive
Bed to bed.
Colonies thrive on my teeth.
Everything lives together
On a microscopic level,
In teeny tiny co-operation
I cannot see,
I can barely imagine
Until perhaps there are border skirmishes
The dentist identifies.
Colonies maintain the balance
I cannot see.
Balance that has been there
From the beginning.
Whole small worlds
I can barely imagine.
for the most part,
From the very beginning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A poem at 4:51 in the afternoon

Usually I write in the morning.  I was too busy today... way too busy to write.  When I finally sat down about twenty minutes ago, this is where I ended up.  Hmmm.

Is nothing like
Morning poetry.
By 4:51
So many decisions
Have been made,
So many people encountered,
The air now so full of pollen,
My ears irrevocably
By 4:51
The redbud has now dropped its purple.
I can no longer make heads or tails
Of the day.
A poem at 4:51
Is nowhere near
As fresh
As one written
In the morning,
Even though the sun
Has just emerged.
I can tell
This is nothing
Like the morning.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Sometimes I am surprised at what I stay awake to hear.  I didn*t realize last night that I was waiting to really go to sleep until the lightning and thunder happened together.

All night they come and go,
The lightning flashes.
I count all night
To at least ten
Maybe eleven,
Before the distant crumble,
Occasional patter
Of spring rain
In between.
Nothing really serious
At all.
Only once
Is it simultaneous:
The flashbulb crash,
Light and sound together
Bounce from house to house
Down the street
Until they are 
I wait all night for that one
All night I count
The flashes.
I wait
For simultaneity.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This morning I read a blog post by Dr. Kelly Flanagan on Cheap, Crappy Hope (Part 1 of 3).   It is here:  The story he tells of his son*s hearing is particularly lovely.  I like his writing and his reflections.  There is truth in them.  Our hopes are indeed framed by our experiences and what we have named as normal or expected.  When we find our hopes and expectations are only the bottom limit: what a revelation!

Emily said it well
In three stanzas.
Hope is the thing with feathers.
It never stops singing.

Pretty much our hopes are small,
Always too small,
Even when we*ve glimpsed
Bigger things:
Bald eagles
Soaring in circles
High over Lake Superior;
Those same majestic birds
Roosting in trees
Along the Mississippi,
The river everyone knows and names,
Except perhaps the Nile
Or the Amazon.
We think these
May be the biggest hopes possible.
They are visible
Roosting in trees.
These are the hopes
We have seen.
These are the hopes
We have heard
Those things with feathers
Roosting in trees.

Even these feathered hopes
Thank you, Emily,
Are just
The bare beginning.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It is entirely possible

Ministers used to paid in chickens and whatever people had.  While I work to build a therapy practice I consider what it means to see God in everything and be a therapist available to a wide range of people.  I begin volunteering next week with the DuPage Community Clinic.  I am excited at the prospect.  I have good training and good perspective.  I have an abundance of experience in an abundance of things.  I am well worth those chickens, that bushel of zucchini, and the heirloom tomatoes, just picked.

It is entirely possible
I will be paid in chickens
Or perhaps zucchini
When that time comes
In August
And gardens overflow
With summer squash.

It is entirely possible
I will never make a living
The way others consider
A living
But still
I will be more alive
Than I have ever been before.
I will live on zucchini bread
And vegetables fresh
From the garden.
I may even be paid
In heirloom tomatoes.
The sessions will be ripe
And ripening,
Tied to more
Than I ever could have imagined.
It is entirely possible.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Some days, some weeks, it is more difficult to hear my own voice underneath the others.  It seems not to matter if I speak.  I know this is not true.  It is always a matter of listening and speaking.  Both.

Some days
Like this one
I have to stay away
From other voices
So I can hear my own,
Find the part that connects,
The rhizome underground
Like the lily of the valley
Behind the garage.
It still finds its way
Through the dirt
Behind the last remaining peony.
I forget there are flowers
Back there
Unless I remember
Unless I take the time
To look.
The lily of the valley has now moved
Behind the last remaining peony.
It has moved, yes,
But remains true.
Soon it will sing its particular fragrance,
No matter who is listening.

Considering the ordering of things

Sometimes it is important to consider all that is already in front of us, instead of adding things to the pile.  It is important to have good staging for this exercise.

This morning
I will unearth the vases
From the sideboard.
I will bring greening branches
As reminder
That everything still goes on.
Everything grows.
Green branches will provide
The backdrop
The staging
For things to come.
This morning it*s time
To sit with the data
In front of me,
Not worry about
New stuff,
Simply consider
The old,
The way it all fits together.
For now it is enough.
After all is considered,
There is nothing new
All of it
Has been here
This morning
I will clean and sort things
Into new piles.
I will make new order.
Green branches will provide
The backdrop.
The columbine by the window
Has one purple beginning.
I saw the hummingbird there
Last year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All is not risen

Perhaps it is because I am ever hopeful, but it seems to me that Easter might show itself stronger three or four days into the Easter season.  I forget that hardly anyone was there at the Resurrection, hardly anyone noticed.  Jesus had to tap folk on the shoulder, break bread, barbecue fish.  He was hardly a savior who came to be with the folk who got it.  

We are well into Easter now
It*s not as if
All is risen.
Lent hangs on
Around the edges.
Jesus does not explode
Out of the tomb,
Take out the naysayers,
A neutron bomb
Of a Savior
Who leaves church buildings
To be inhabited
Only by Easter people
Full Easter people
To the neutron bomb.
I would like for everything,
To rise at once.
All is not risen.
It seems Easter
Needs to work its way through
Bit by bit.
I would like everything,
To rise at once.
It seems it needs to be
In pieces,
One small piece
At a time.
I would like
Everyone to rise
At once.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter people

I woke up this morning remembering certain people I had forgotten about.  These were people who made a difficult situation a whole lot easier, just be being there.  They lightened the load.  They understood how tough this particular situation was.  These were people who let me keep Easter in my mind.  Really, I had forgotten about these particular people.  In their light, I even see a glow around the people who made things so difficult.  I am grateful for Easter people.

Certain people have come to mind
Since Jesus rose again.
Perhaps they are my Easter people.
They come
With their own background music,
Perhaps a signature song.
They come
With Easter background colors,
Slight wash of gold
Illuminated memories.
They even brighten
Their neighbor remembrances,
Not so bright
Not so illumined.
They cast light
On the Lenten people
The ones who weighed me down.
Even they are lightened
By the company
Of the Easter people,
The ones who come
With the their own background music
Easter egg colors
Since Jesus rose again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Under every rock

He is Risen!  Alleluia!

When my son was three or four
We took this day,
After the big celebration,
Just the two of us.
We went to the park.
We went to the river.
We went to the zoo.
We went for ice cream.
We looked for new life
And found it.
This was the day
We simply knew
There was new life
Under every rock.

There still is.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Mary, as she stood in front of the empty tomb, saw a man and thought he was only a gardener.  Last night, at the Easter Vigil, we rang bells when Easter came.  Tintinnabulation is the fancy word for it.  If only we heard bells such as these when we were in danger of dismissing the Holy.  Of course then, we might be deaf!  It is Easter.  It is always Easter.  We are human.  We forget.  My friend Sam Portaro wrote a wonderful piece  on Missing Easter.  It is here:   I recommend it.

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen. Indeed.

Whenever we hear the word
Bells should sound,
Unlike any other,
Startle us,
Clear the space
Between our ears,
Clean the haze
From our eyes.
Bells should sound
Only a gardener
In front of the stone
Rolled away,
The empty tomb.
Only a stranger on the road,
Only a man on the shore.

Bells should sound:
A cacophony of bells,
A mellifluence of bells,
Rung on a regular basis
At only:
Only a child
Only a woman
Only just this once
I*ll only do it one time,
It shouldn*t matter
Just this once.

Bells should sound,
Unlike any other,
Bells to wake us up so there*s no way
To miss it.
Even  only
Just this once.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This is the story we get

There are stories regarding what Jesus must have been doing on this Holy Saturday, while he waited.  I rather like the one about harrowing hell, if only for the wonderful word harrowing.  We like always to imagine Jesus busy about his Father*s work, in this case, emptying hell.  There*s work to be done after all.  There are a couple verses in the Bible which speak to this.  We have the line in the Apostles* Creed (He descended into Hell).  If nothing else, we can keep our imaginations busy while we color Easter eggs and wait.  Wherever Jesus is, we wait in our houses, in our gardens, with the trees, for tonight.  This is the story we get.

Sure Elijah or Moses or even
God could have come
To take Jesus down,
Alive and kicking,
From the cross
Before he died.
God could have even
Sent him Home,
Brought him Home,
By a different way
Like the wise men.
God could have done it
Really all of it,
This is the story we get.
Blood and gore and pain,
Curtain torn,
Ground heaved up to meet
The heavens rent.
Friends to carry the body.
Stones to set in place.
This is the story we get.

We wait in the garden,
The same garden that echoes
The first one,
Even the trees wait there
For his return.
Knowledge and Life wait,
Rooted in holy ground
For his return.

This is the story we get.
It all connects underground,
Above the ground,
Ground heaved up to meet
The heavens rent.
This is the story we get.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Perhaps this Good Friday calls for listening to the echo of no words.  This year I have numerous opportunities to listen to what people say about the Passion: The Seven Last Words, reflections on each step along the Way to the cross, a sermon after Jesus dies.  Perhaps this year silence is called for.

I may sit silent.
Maybe even write a check
For the quiet hour.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Possibility everywhere

I realize I have been trained to more fully experience Holy Week.  28 years walking through Holy Week as a priest has affected me long-term, whether I am in charge of Holy Week liturgies, or not.  

This is the week
My senses
Kick it up a notch.
If there are any connections
To be made,
I make them.
I know the redbuds are connected
With all redbuds
Perhaps it is dangerous for me to begin
Something new now.
It will naturally connect
With everything else.
Soon I will be overwhelmed
With possibility.
This is the week
Of possibility.
Everything is connected
Even above ground,
In the air.
I smell the lilacs on the breeze.
I feel the ground beneath my sneakers.
It moves in connection
With all things.
Everything matters.
There is possibility everywhere.
Even before death,
Is immanent.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jesus on the elevator

Jesus appears in the oddest places.  Or perhaps, not so odd.  This is maybe more of an Easter story. Or perhaps a woman at the well story (He told me everything I have ever done).  Every once in a while someone tells me I was Jesus for them.  I usually don*t remember the conversation or the action.  I doubt the man I met on the elevator knows he was Jesus for me on the elevator, on the sidewalk, even halfway home.  When I was at Wheaton I saw him all the time, echoing Jesus as he walked.

Not so many years ago
I met Jesus on the elevator
At Wheaton,
Going down.
I had dropped off my application
To graduate school.
The woman at the admissions desk
Took the envelope,
Said thank you.
Is that it?
I asked.
Yes, she said,
Thank you.
What did I expect?
A song and dance?
I met Jesus on the elevator
Going down.
He asked me what program
I had applied to.
I told him and he nodded.
You will like it, he said.
On the sidewalk out front
I discovered he worked
With my therapist.
I met Jesus on the elevator,
Talked with him all the way down.
I did not know he was Jesus
Until I was halfway home.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Redbud No. 2

There is a small redbud outside my office window.  My window is level with the sidewalk.  If it were an apartment, it would be a garden apartment.   I have decided it is a garden office.  There is no need for a container garden in my window well.  No.  I have a redbud!  It is better than any container garden I might plant.

I was welcomed home
By the redbud on Sunday.
When I got to the office today
I noticed a small redbud
Out my window.
Better than any container garden,
I have a redbud here as well.
Better than any garden apartment,
I have a garden office:
A window that opens and shuts,
Child voices in the hall,
A redbud in full bloom.
It is better
Than anything I could plant

Monday, April 2, 2012


I go into a different mode in Holy Week.  No matter whether I lead or attend or miss worship services.  There is no need to write a separate Lenten blog during Holy Week.  It is its own time and permeates everything.  I will probably publish this same paragraph there (or here, depending on where you are reading it).  We missed the donkey yesterday, the palms, the Passion.  It does not matter. Today is Monday in Holy Week, no matter where I am, no matter how many errands I run. No matter even if I go to church, or not.  It is still Holy Week.

We were gone three days.
The cat has forgiven us
This morning.
The potted daffodils
Are six inches taller
In miniature bloom,
The clematis fully anchored
On the porch column.
The redbud in front has blossomed
In full celebration
Of our return.

Unlike the cat,
There is no spite on the tree*s part.
The redbud full purple
Hails Jesus* entry
Into the week.
No spite.
It is simply, fully,
A tree in spring bloom.
It has even figured how to bud
On its trunk.
The redbud redefines
Full bloom.
It does nothing

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No donkey today

I missed the Palm/Passion Sunday liturgy today.  While other church-types were playing swordfights with the palms, and singing All Glory, Laud and Honor in strung-out processions and even pro-cessing with a donkey, we were driving home through Wisconsin, with my daughter accruing several behind-the-wheel hours on her drivers* permit.  She is already a very good driver.  I figure there is more than one way to pro-cess.  Holy Week has begun.

No donkey today.
Only the journey
On Wisconsin roads.