Friday, July 31, 2015

Today is a catching day

Gift in the inbox. Sometimes I see them. Sometimes I don't.

Sometimes a new perspective
is shot 
over the bow.
I reach out
Catch the bullet
As it flies.
Today is a catching day.
Some days
They fly right past.
Today is a catching day.
I reach up
Find the bullet
Hot in my hand.
I toss it
Hand to hand
Until it is cool enough
To look at.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Morning sun

The kitten adores the older cat. He must know "something" about "cat-ness." It's like watching a younger sibling with an older one. She trails behind him, plays with his tail. This morning she considers he may know something about sleeping in the sun. She gives it a try.

She sees him in his patch
Of morning sun,"
Whether this
Is what cats do:
In the morning sun,
Take endless breaks
From activity,
To rest up
For the next round.
She closes her kitten eyes
And waits.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Give your angels charge over those who sleep

Part five of the bedtime prayer.

We all take turns
As angels,
Taking charge
Over those who sleep.
No wings:
Just hands
And eyes
And ears.
Sometimes even feet
To bear us
To the caring place.
The kitten is sound asleep
On my chest.
Today I am angel
To a one pound calico kitten.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Vacation without a catbox. Hooray.

The kitten will not
Go on vacation
With us.
The kitten gets a vacation
Of her own.
As does the older cat.
As does the turtle.
I am ready
For time away,
Time to sleep
Time to write
Time to learn a little
Non-stress yoga
Without a catbox.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quiet with kitten

One of those days. The daughter is home from camp counseling. The cats are in afternoon position. So am I.

Quiet with kitten
A bottle of water
Possibly a nap
A ride scheduled for later.
On my chest
Light as,
Light as a kitten,
Sound asleep.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Weep this night

Joy does come in the morning, but, it seems to me, it is flavored by sorrow.

They say
May spend the night
But morning comes.
Morning always comes
It does not erase
The weeping
The weeping is woven in
To the morning
It brings its own flavor,
Its saltiness,
Sometimes even a bite
Of coriander,
A tang of citrus
To flavor the morning.
May indeed spend the night
But the morning
Does not deny it.
The morning
Claims it.


I am a Minnesota girl. My brother coined the phrase "small comfort food," for the meals of our childhood. We learned not to expect too much. In my later adult years, I find people who are seeking "enough-ness" in their life. I have them as friends. I have them as clients. I find them hiding out in the unlikeliest of places. It seems these people are sent so we can help each other find, not just enough-ness, but also, maybe, abundance.

God sends me the folk
Who are in the process of
Finding enough-ness.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Almost a haiku day. Attending a service today for one of the saints. Wearing my collar in his honor. Rest in peace, rise in glory, Bob.

It’s all the rage these days but
More often the calm.

Friday, July 24, 2015


What's in a name? A lot.

I have not been kind
To the weeds in my yard.
They all have names.
I have not bothered
To learn them.
Instead I have lumped them
Into the category
Of things
Which must be pulled,
Which must be removed,
So other named plants
May flourish.
This year my yard is full
Of unnamed weeds
A rich variety
Of weeds
With a scattering of intentional
Named plantings.
I have not been kind
To the weeds.
I have not learned their names.
This week I was introduced
To Creeping Charlie
He has a rather delightful way
Of tendrilling through the grass,
Anchoring his way with rootlets.
I have not been kind.
I will be kinder.
I will learn more names
As I go.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My chicory

I spent a long time yesterday trying to identify that roadside blue. Like most things, turns out "my chicory" doesn't look like the models. Well then, neither do I. 

My chicory is more ragged
Than the prettied up pictures
In the book.
The pictures hold the ideal chicory
The model chicory
The chicory made up
With the nature picture version
Of stage make-up:
The strategic dewdrop
The correct lighting.
No wonder I couldn’t figure
My chicory
From the pictures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Let it grow

I often leave the radio off when I'm driving. Some of my best prayer time is in the car. Today the roadside was in full bloom... a beautiful sight. My backyard is a tangle of Creeping Charlie. The pots I never planted this year have sprouted latent purple petunias.

In the quiet of the car
The queen anne’s lace
The blue and yellow flowers
I have not identified
Wave to me
From the unmown edges
Of the road.
Do not mow.
Do not mow.
Do not mow.
There used to be signs
Specific signs
They declared these flowers
Off limits.
Now they seem
To be left on their own
To wave
Proclaim white and blue and yellow
In unplanted swathes,
In unmown patches.
Let it grow
Let it grow
Let it grow
Watch from the edges
What emerges.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Small kitten

I believe there may be an ulterior motive to our daughter not finding a home (other than ours) for that last kitten. She may deny it, of course. She may also deny being in cahoots with her older brother.

Grandchildren may not yet
Be in the picture but here
Is a small kitten.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meditation (with kitten)

Quiet time has changed. It may never be the same.

She loves the older cat’s tail.
She loves the possibility
Of my coffee cup.
She loves getting stuck in places
She cannot get out of.
She climbs on me
The older cat watches
A glint of amusement
In his eye.
It is not time for a nap.
Not yet.
Maybe not ever.
There’s the tail.
She forgot.
I watch,
A glint of amusement
In my eye.
His turn.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Same stories

I wonder about Jesus and all the stories he told. Did his disciples listen to the birds instead? When he said "Consider the lilies"... Did they get lost in considering the lilies and miss the rest of the story?

A friend shares the same stories
Time and again
Oh that one
I think
Oh that one
Too often I tune my ears
To hear the cardinals
Or even the hum
Of the air conditioner
Sometimes I waken
At the tail end
Of that familiar story.
I think
Now that
Is so appropriate,
The perfect illustration.
That is the exact right story
For this situation.
I wish I’d heard it again
From the very beginning.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Quite a week. So much so, that most mornings I had no time to write. So I offer a haiku to get back in the swing of things. Our saliva can now be used to help us see some parts of our ancestry, so we know where to look. Our saliva can be used to figure out which medications are more likely to work, which ones tweaked, and which ones are probably a no-go. I consider where to send my saliva, and how much I really want to know.

Our inner workings
Can be labelled in part, with
A swab inside our cheek.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Twelve hours

I knew yesterday would be full. It was. Good full. I went to bed at ten, and woke up at ten. Rested. I understand cats sleep, in some way, at least twenty hours a day. The old cat is sound asleep in the sun. The kitten is sound asleep in the guest room. We will introduce the two this weekend.

Twelve hours.
I slept twelve hours
Last night.
Woke up to find
This same lovely world.
There are two clients
On the roster
Five hours apart.
What professional in her right mind
Would schedule like this?
Oh the things I can do
In between.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Today promises full

Hmm. Three clients, one new. Two cats. Full day.

Today promises full.
I realize as I begin,
I only count the things
On the calendar,
Appointments and initials
I have written
On the square
That is July 14.
Then there is the kitten,
Still a guest
In a room of her own.
Then there is the older cat.
He lies strategically
Between our bedroom
And the guestroom,
Sprawled like a king.
Today promises full.

Monday, July 13, 2015


So many places to hide in the guest room. It's lovely for a kitten waiting to get checked out. She is one pound, with a black stripe on her nose, and fur freckles around her eyes. She slept sprawled on my lap for the six hour trip home from Ohio. 

She’s home, not so wild.
She appropriately sleeps
In the guest room.
For now.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Still waiting to meet Miss Calliope. Today... Yellow Springs excursion. Tomorrow...the kitten.

Day two in Ohio
Winding road
After winding road.
I thank God I am
A passenger.
We have yet to meet
The calico girl.
Tomorrow we bring her home.
But today we drive
And drive
And drive,
Hear story after story.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Oh the offers

Offers come continually. What will we say this time?

Oh the offers come:
The conference will cost less
If only I will do more:
Wake up earlier
Than I ever do,
Organize the materials,
Introduce the speaker,
Be eternally present.

Oh the offers come:
Will I consider
Interim ministry again?

Oh the offers:
There is a tiny kitten
A girl,
I understand all calicoes
Are girls.
There is a tiny kitten
Waiting in Ohio,
A tiny catbox,
Kitten-size food dishes
Already in the car.
The old cat,
Sound asleep
In one of his many cat beds,
Has no idea.
No idea whatsoever.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Beef brisket

It's like this... two boats... traveling on different rivers... except they both end up in the Sea... eventually. Meanwhile...on occasion... there's brisket with horseradish... and many, many, mixed metaphors.

Yesterday I spent time
With a friend
Who encouraged me
To make leaps and bounds
In my fifties.
We shared beef brisket
With horseradish.
It seemed I should offer him
Except I wasn’t sure exactly what.
I said
If there’s any way
You think
I can be helpful
Let me know.
He said
I will,
With that twinkle he has,
I will.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


This may be a haiku sort of week. I envision publishing shorter and shorter poems. I remind myself of Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow... a classic. Still ... every poem begins with one simple line.

Every poem
Begins with one simple line
Then moves on from there.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Living into the Alleluia. The Amen comes later.

There’s no exact slot
I will ever fit into.
Alleluia! Amen.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

...Or watch

Number 3 in the series on the bedtime prayer.

Ye watchers and ye Holy Ones.

God is not the only one
Who watches us.
We watch each other,
Even at night,
Pay attention
To the particulars
Even as we sleep.

Even as we sleep
God holds our hand
Gives it a squeeze
So we know when
To open our eyes.
God’s like that.
She watches
The watchers.
She watches us watchers,
Names us holy,
Calls us worthy
Even when
We are asleep.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Faster every year

Shopping on Wednesdays is slower. It is senior citizen day. It seems I am recognized as a fellow traveler. This is a good thing.

The woman
In the motorized cart
Told me
My birthday is in two days.
I will be 79.
It’s hard to grow old
But you must know this too.

I said
I do
But I also know it’s important
To claim every year.
She said
They go so fast now.

I said
Faster every year.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

With those who work

A second reflection on a favorite bedtime prayer:

I remember, years ago, taking my turn as the on-call chaplain at night. One time I talked with a youth group touring the city at night. They met with me to find out what I did. I was only one stop on their tour. I admired the woman who thought to do this, to put together such a tour, to open eyes to the City at night, the people at work there.

God has a night ministry.
She walks the streets
Roams the alleys
Finds her way
To the Emergency Room.
I have met Her there.
She holds babies born
After hours,
Swaddles them in soft blankets.
She finds all who claim the night hours
To be their time to work,
Night hours borne for the cleaning
Of office buildings;
Night hours for those
Who see stars
As their livelihood.
God has a night ministry.
She keeps tabs
On those who work
In the dark.

Facing forward

I kept the appointment with the trainer today. We determined I was ok as long as I wasn't turning my head. Amazing. This reflection is in honor of all who find themselves having to adapt to things, like dizzy brains, in order to keep moving forward. No dipsy-doodles. Just moving forward.

Today I am ok
As long as I face forward,
Don’t twist side to side.
No sit-ups.
No dipsy-doodles.
I am ok
When I face forward and move
One step at a time,
Take care to enjoy
The cool air,
Sit when I must,
Stand when I can
Walk and walk and walk
One step at a time.
No sit-ups
No core-twists
No dipsy-doodles.
Today I will face forward.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I called this Watermelon because it needed some sort of title. 

Sitting in the blue chair
Eating watermelon.
I have done the one thing
On my calendar
For today.
I might add
Recovery from
That one thing
To my list of accomplishments
When I get there.
For now
It’s watermelon.
The blue chair.
Watching the cat.
He has commandeered
My soft blue blanket.
He can have it for now
But later
It’s mine.