Thursday, March 31, 2016

So many decisions

So many decisions
For life and death
Even mediocrity
Every day.
The cats clean themselves
In the sun.
I wait for a ride.
I listen to hear the water run
Signaling the shower
Will begin.
The cats begin the next round
Of cleaning.
Ah the shower
It won’t be long now.
The cats continue
So many decisions
All part of the
Bigger picture.
He says we will leave
At 11
Maybe we will.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Compliance is as compliance does.

When I visit a doctor
For the first time
He or she
Wants to determine
How compliant
I am,
How compliant
I will be.
Will I set my alarm
For 5:30 AM
Take one pill
All on its own
Go back to sleep?
Will my pituitary gland
Behave itself
If I completely
Reorganize my life?
She says the difficulty
May well be mal-absorption
Some people take
Twice as much
As I do.
Maybe they are
Maybe they like to sleep
In the morning.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dental adventures

Made it through the cleaning, with my beloved grading papers in the waiting room. Now I wait... and floss.

Now the cleaning
Remember to floss
She says
This will mean
No novocaine
No drilling.
The dentist says
I understand
You had some adventures
After the last visit.
We’ll see you in six months
We see you sooner.
I will floss.
I will floss.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Life released

Liturgy is not as much production, as participation. No wonder I am tired.

I am no longer responsible
For the variety of liturgies,
Coordination of all the players.
In liturgy of course
That includes everyone
Who walks through the door.
Everyone who walks
Out the door.
Am I so exhausted
Easter Sunday afternoon,
Even when I only did
Bits and pieces
Of Lent and Holy Week?
Now the tomb
Is empty and life released
Into the world.
Now comes the greening
Who wouldn’t be tired?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bits and pieces


I did bits and pieces
Of Holy Week
This year
Bits and pieces of Lent
Before that.
Now is the time
To sit in silence
While Jesus is off
Emptying Hell
Before he returns
In splendor.
Bits and pieces were enough
This year.
And now
And now
I wait.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The bulletins are complete

There is always more.

The bulletins
Are complete,
Appropriate pictures
On their covers.
The actual experience
Will not line up
With those bulletins.
It never does.
Even though we think
Every jot and tittle
Is important.
Look at us
Laying out Jesus’ life
And death
And life again.
Look at us                 
As You fill the spaces
Between our jots and tittles,
As you color
Outside the lines
Of our perfect illustrations.
Look at us
As we look at You.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Butterfly socks

On Maundy Thursday, no less.

Today I opened
The sock drawer and on top:
The butterfly socks!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Universal law

Run with the metaphor, see where it takes you.

She says,
In death,               
He practices
Universal Law.
It is unclear to me
Whether he is lawyer
Or judge
Or if the system
(Such as it is)
Is unlike anything
We have witnessed
As with my clients
I run with the metaphor,
Find the truth
That resides there.
Universal Law
Seems a good thing,
A very good thing.
Even carried to its extreme.
Like those trees that grow
In the Garden,
Like those trees
Bearing fruit
Each leaf offered for healing.
Run with the metaphor.
There is truth there.
Universal Law
Hung on a tree
For the healing
Of nations

Monday, March 21, 2016

I am a dinosaur

Learning new things can be frustrating.

I learn the I-phone,
Contact numbers
I only meant to send
To someone else;
Watch endless ads
My flip-phone
Never showed me.
I learn the I-phone.
There are more options
Than I ever cared to know.
I am a dinosaur,
Perhaps a peaceful
I have always wanted
A long elegant neck.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Convergence of riches

Yes, the tree remains in the corner of the living room. The cats love it. In fact, so do we.

A convergence
Of riches:
Palm Sunday
Beginning of spring
Pussy willows
Fully greened
Kitten in the middle
Of the Tree
Once Christmas
Now Holy Week
Soon enough Easter.
We may drape it in red
For the Passion,
Perhaps plastic Easter eggs
To symbolize
The empty tomb
Yet one more tradition
To create
Out of scraps of spring
Branches of pussy willow
Kitten in its boughs:
Of riches.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


This one stands on its own.

I used to think
If I found
The one right spot.
It would have me.
I would have it.
The world
Does not provide things
In ones.
To be sure
That is how we focus:
One thing at a time
Everything comes
With tag-alongs
There is no such purity
Look behind anyone,
Look in front
Of anyone,
There is some version
Of a singing monkey
With a rakish purple hat,
Crashing cymbals.
We can pretend the monkey
Isn’t there
If we plug our ears
Cover our eyes
But then we’ll miss
The elephant
Leading the parade.

Friday, March 18, 2016

How much is enough?

It's good to have friends.

Yesterday I discovered
I did more than enough
Continuing education.
In the name
Of making sure
I had enough,
I did
More than enough
To ensure
Oh, Catharine,
I hear one friend say
How much more
Do you need?
How much more
Do you need?

Thursday, March 17, 2016


 It's always a give and take. Sometimes we provide a lap,sometimes a lap is provided. Community.

When I read poetry
I climb into
The perspective of others
Rest in its arms
Snuggle in its lap
Sit at its feet
Content for a moment.
This is how someone else
Sees things.
I stay there
Until it’s right
To venture forth;
Open my arms;
Sit down so my lap
Is available;
So even my feet
Are inviting;
I wait.
I write.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Camino del conejo

Rabbit road

Dream Spanish
Is an interesting language.
I must remember enough
From high school.
Last night I followed
A bike path
Camino del conejo
Around and around
A lake,
An endless loop.
I did not see any rabbits.
The loop itself
Was endless.
Donde esta el conejo?
Maybe one more loop around
I will see
That rabbit.

Hardcover books

This is inspired by Kelly Flanagan's latest post Thank you, Kelly!

I admit...I have never read an E-book. I do write my daily reflections on a computer. But reading? Reading is a visual and tactile experience.

Cases in point: Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds. Spend the extra money and get the hardcover version. The flying birds are not in the paperback. 

Or try the hardcover version of George Saunders, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. Years ago I bought out the remaindered hardcovers at the local B&N, gave them to everyone at Christmas. A couple people appreciated it :)

If we wait long enough
For the paperback
To be published,
They may well be cheaper.
They are most always
More satisfying.
Even the paper.
My beloved
Waxes eloquent
About the paper,
The texture of the print.
He touches everything.
It’s the way he is wired.
In early years
He was a printer.
I have a book on my shelf
A bird flies through the pages
Like the flipbooks
We made as children.
The first pages
Are blank
Then the birds
Begin their flight.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I read poetry

Reasons for writing. And more reasons.

I read poetry
To see what others have seen.
Hear what others have heard
Taste what others
Have tasted.
I write
For different reasons.
Some I know.
Some I don’t.
Sometimes I bounce
Off others’ words.
Sometimes I watch the birds
Or cats
Or the lady in red.
Sometimes I mine my soul,
Remember dreams.
They give me hints
Of what’s going on
In there.
Oh yes
I say
That’s what it is
For now.
For now,
That’s what it is.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ways of looking at the beginnings of rhubarb

Maybe I'll write something called Rhubarb Reflections. I love alliteration. I also love the other-worldly look of rhubarb's beginnings.

Here it is again.
Red knots break the ground
Promise rhubarb
Soon enough.
Still now
It might be alien growth;
Still now
It might be a body
Buried in the garden
Rising after a warm winter;
Still now  
It might be almost anything
at all.
I know
It was rhubarb last year.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Silent retreat

Home paying attention to smaller things, and some bigger.

Everyone called:
Loved ones,
Puzzling ones,
Ones I still ponder.
Today is for pondering
Today is for walking
Today is for waiting
To find out
What’s next,
My own silent retreat
With cats and turtle,
And hopefully,
The rhubarb begins
To emerge.
Perhaps I will make rhubarb sauce
This year.
Perhaps I will give the rhubarb away.
So much is unknown.
So much is
Yet to be determined.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Awake for the day

Beautiful day.

Awake to consider the day.
Cats warm
In the sun,
Messages on the phone,
People have been at work
While I slept.
Soon my beloved will call
From Florida.
As I slept,
He flew.
I wait to hear
He landed.
We are warm
In the sun:
Me and the cats,
Coffee in the pottery mug
With the broken handle:
It warms my hands.
Warm is today’s theme.
I am grateful
For all of it.

Up early to make coffee

I am more of a morning person than my beloved. Still, I am really not a morning person.

Up early
To make coffee
For my beloved,
To sit with him
Before he leaves,
Pour the coffee
Into his Bugs Bunny mug,
A dollop of cream.
Up early
To help him
Out of the haze,
Emerge into the light,
Kiss him out the door,
Only then
Go back to bed.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

New course

It is important to count everything.

I only tripped on one weight machine
This would have been
Par for the course
In past years.
It is an improvement
These days.
Woo hoo.
Would you like to sit down
A minute?
The trainer asks.
Why yes I would,
Thank you.
Then we move on
To the next thing.
I understand the sandhills
Have returned.
I wait to hear them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Sometimes only one word in the right direction brings the possibility of change.

I think.
I say.
It seems the right thing
Even when thanks
Is lodged in my throat.
Perhaps thanks
Will move me in a new direction,
Change the scenery,
Alter the weather.
Maybe thanks
Will bring a new beginning

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fully here

For Erik on his 29th birthday... fully here.

I remember the day before
You were born,
Sunny and muddy,
Labor in short spurts,
A walk through the student union.
You waited to arrive
Until your due date
Even then
You had to be coaxed
Into the world.
When you came
You were fully here
Fully here.

Monday, March 7, 2016


When the experts don't agree, we get to figure out which expert we prefer. The possibilities here are: ibeces, ibexes, and, simply, ibex. Were it all this simple.

There’s no agreement
On the plural of ibex
I prefer ibex.

More sense

Before the day is fully defended.

Does it make more sense
To write
While dreams still cling,
While first thing noticed
Is the squirrel hanging
From the bird feeder
As he drops seeds
To the cardinals
Does it make more sense
To write
While kitten and grandfather cat
Sleep together,
Until they wake up,
Become aware
Of what they symbolize:
Lion and lamb
Peaceful kingdom
Before they go their separate ways?
Does it make more sense
To write
Before the day
Is fully defended?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Evening poem

I thought to write tonight, having not accomplished the deed this morning. Alas... so many things have passed, the freshness is gone.

An evening poem
Cannot compare with those fresh
Written in daylight.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


I woke up a lot last night. I wrote haikus in my head to go back to sleep. I remember some of them were good. At 6 a.m. I realized I forgot to take my evening pills. So I took the important ones, cleaned the cat box, and went back to sleep. The haikus have all gone to that place haikus live. I remember when my son was five or six he would stress at bedtime about possibly forgetting something. What if I don't remember? he would say. I would sing him bedtime songs.

I wrote haikus all
Night. Woke up with haikus. Now
Don’t remember one.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sometimes doggerel

Different rhythm these days.

My beloved reads the comics
Out loud.
I write:
Sometimes doggerel,
Sometimes not.
The kitten chirps
At a light spot
On the wall.
I write:
Sometimes haiku,
Sometimes not.
Another bird
Has found the thistle seed,
It may be a goldfinch.
In winter
It is not gold.
I write:
Sometimes brief,
Sometimes briefer.
I wait for the goldfinch
To show its colors.
My beloved laughs
Out loud.
I write.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Jobs for poets

I tried to make this a haiku, but oxymoronic had too many syllables. has good intentions. Still,,, poets require life. This is why so many poets sell life insurance or are farmers, or see clients for a range of things.

Jobs for poets is
We already know
Poets have
Built-in jobs.
No need to look.

Thistle seed sock

There will always be a next thing.

An unidentified bird
Found the thistle seed sock
We hung
On the mountain ash.
One cat stares out
The front window.
The other sits on the placemats stacked
At the end of the dining table,
Keeps watch
On the backyard.
The unknown bird
On the thistle seed sock
Is part of the scene
He is gone.
She is gone.
Cats are good at waiting
For the next thing.
They always seem to know,
There will be
A next thing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I suggested something last week which a client "took me up on." In truth I was hoping he wouldn't. In my best self, I was hoping he would. Often things are complicated this way. Then they aren't.

Someone cancelled on me
This same day I cancelled
On someone else.
There is time
To eat lunch,
Time to catch up
On reading;
Time to discover
Sometimes I do the best work
In absentia
When someone decides
To see someone else
Because of something
I said.
It’s not all about me.
I wish it were.
Then I find out
It’s not.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


There's a reason this blog is named what it is. It's largely so I remember. Sometimes I find that it helps others remember as well.

I write reminders
To myself.  All will be well.
All manner of things.