Thursday, August 31, 2017


Certain birds do it for me. Certain butterflies as well. The swallowtail ranks up there.

First swallowtail
Of the year.
It even flew
In front of my eyes
So I wouldn’t miss it.
It seemed it knew
I needed
A swallowtail sighting
To make the day
To make the week
To make the month
Somehow complete,
More full.
Can do that.
Sometimes they must fly
Right by
Our eyes
A flash of yellow.
They say
Now you’ve got it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Who is our neighbor? The convoys can cross the border with help.

There is not a wall,
The boundary
Is permeable.
Convoys can get in.
May even be able
To go
The other way,
When we realize
When we finally realize
The time
Has come,
When we know
The time
Has been here
All along.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Non-vicarious things

Nothing like crashing from wall to wall in the middle of the night using a walker

Is not a new thing.
With a walker
In the night
Had yet
To be experienced.
Now I have had
The experience.
I can add it
To the list.
My beloved says
I can live some things
I keep adding things
To the list
Of non-vicarious things.

Monday, August 28, 2017


I have not taken up knitting, though I understand it is soothing. I believe mosaic may be next.

Two boxes and a bag
Quilt fabric
Ready to go
To a place
Of need.
I run through
By the handful.
I have yet
To take up
Though the texture
My daughter absconded
With the embroidery thread
Every DMC color
Wrapped carefully
In numerical order.
I consider mosaic
For the colors.
May be next.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More than heads

Ah, Easter Island.

We are always
More than our heads,
No matter what others
Might see.
Easter Island
Proves this.
For years we thought
They were only
Stone heads
On an island.
Now we know
We are all
More than heads.
There is always something
Under the surface.
We are all more
Than stone heads
On an island,
No matter what
Anyone else

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Nightly business

Sometimes it's something as simple as a bat, living its regular life.

It all takes time
All of it.
Never let it be said
Life happens
In the blink
Of an eye.
Then sometimes
Maybe too rarely
Something catches
Our eye
Maybe out the corner
Of our eye.
We left the restaurant
That something
Was a bat.
It went about its nightly business.
It swooped
For bugs.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Same glasses

There is a lot to be said for wearing the same glasses...for at least a few minutes.

The photos appear
From across the country
Remarkably alike
From South Carolina
To Kentucky
To Idaho
And beyond.
Some watched it
Recorded by NASA.
Remarkably alike
No matter
Who saw it where
Remarkably alike.
The topic of conversation
For two days
Even three
After it happened.
We all looked up
With the same glasses
For a moment
At least.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Only Venus

I am envious of those who saw stars during the eclipse...but still, we would never have met the group from Houston and heard about their 200 chickens.

We were not in a place
To see the stars.
We did see Venus
And the moon
Overtaking the sun
Piece by piece.
Our motel
Milky Ways
And Starburst.
We ate breakfast
In a Waffle House.
Everyone talked
Of closing down
To watch the moon
Overtaking the sun
For once.
We hoped to see
More stars.
We were invited to watch
With a group from Houston
Set up
In the parking lot.
Then we went
Our separate ways.
We went to visit Nashville
Then home.
They went home
To feed their
200 chickens.
Returned to our versions
Of normal.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Family road trip to see the solstice. 

Different things
Beckon us
To pull over
On road trips,
To speculate what
Is included
In various attractions.
Yesterday we missed
Fiberglass dinosaurs;
The Down Under Zoo:
(Pet a kangaroo).
We missed
The cave museum,
Wondered if
The displays
Were full of holes.
I am sure
This shows our ignorance
Of caves
As holes
In the ground.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wishing well

These are fearful times, more fearful times. We have been here before. It does not help to say these times are not as bad as they were. We must pull them out one by one and pay attention.

Sometimes I write
As if
To convince myself
That certain things
Will be possible.
Then I read them again
To convince myself
They may come true.
Words placed
On a page
On a blog
Dumped into
A wishing well.
Three wishes
Three words
To be drawn up
One by one.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The sun helps

We all sleep in the sun. It helps all of us.

The sun helps
Almost anything,
The exact right temperature
Between 60 and 65
With breeze
Which wafts,
Shakes the leaves
Of the ash
The linden
In the backyard.
Oh and the sun
Almost everything
No matter
The rest of it
All the time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Soft landings

Do you want to apply?
There’s an opening
At Soft Landings
In Des Plaines
Or Joliet.
A temptation
I am unable to manage
Though if I had a company
I might name it
Soft Landings.
I dreamed the other night
I got a phone call.
They asked me
To be
A floater Bishop
For the Province.
“We’ll figure it out”
They said.
“You don’t need to tell
Your husband.”
They said.
He’ll find out
Soon enough.
“That’s not the way
Bishops' work”
I said
“Bishops’ don’t work
That way.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Senior year

Next transition

Mothers post pictures
Of their living rooms
Completely covered
With final must-haves
To make it through
This next year.
In our case
This final year.
We wonder
What comes next
Though we know
It will be a surprise
It has always been
A surprise
The very definition
Of surprise.
She will pop out
Of her version
Of a jack-in-the-box
And we will never have seen
It coming,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Part of a priest's life.

The bride and groom
Often seated me
At the reception
With the religious
Elderly aunt from Florida
As if we would have
The most in common.
There was also the wedding
Where the bride
Wore a headpiece
Of neon condoms
At the rehearsal.
I have not officiated
At a wedding
In years now.
I have attended
A few.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Walk with words

Charlottesville? Really? Now we're back to writing it off as "southern expression." No. No. It is all of our expression if we let it go.

So many times I think
I could do better
Than that,
I could do better.
Then I hear
Of Tiki torches and flags,
Or rainbows
In the streets.
My feet,
They would not
Be able to march
In any parade
So I walk with words
Even though
They seem
Not enough,
I think they may have
To do
For now.
It was never
My plan.
It is still not
My plan.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We breathe the same air

It is difficult to be in relationship when someone has determined you do not breathe the same air.

She has determined
What I need to do
And be.
My view
Of the Universe
Is rarely
The same,
Even though I know
We breathe
The same air.
We occupy ourselves
With different things.
The sand hill cranes
Visit her
In winter.
They fly overhead here
In fall and spring.
We notice different things
She and I.
The cranes
Are vital
To me.
They carry
That same air
Soon enough
They will fly
Or maybe
Not soon enough

Friday, August 11, 2017

Too slowly

My daughter is home and invites me to have a pedicure with her. It is time, well past time.

Someone else
Will pay attention
To my toes,
On feet
That slowly
Begin to return to me.
It is time
For a pedicure
On feet
That slowly
Oh so slowly
Too slowly

Thursday, August 10, 2017

From here to there

The difficulty of moving

So much of life
Is organized
Around where we live
Where to move?
We know where to shop
For groceries
We know
Where our doctors are
We know the hardware store
We know
Our Walgreens
We know so much of life
Our church
Our people
Every trail is laid
From here
To there.
Every trail
Every path
We need no GPS
From here
To there.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Things come in stages

What does it really mean to be righteous? It's never been a word I've applied to myself.

Within the course of two weeks
Last spring
Two professionals
Called me
For the decision
Not to drive.
It still took me
Another six months
To give up
My driver’s license.
The second car
Is still in the driveway.
Things come
In stages.
I may indeed
Be righteous
But I won’t be fully so
Until that second car
Is sold.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Every year it seems we notice different things.

The cicadas
Seem louder
This summer
Or perhaps
More constant.
Fireflies are fewer.
The insect world
With the light
And temperature.
I don’t remember
If I was noticed less
Last year,
And this year

Sunday, August 6, 2017

East of Paducah

We will pay attention this year, No cornfield. Still, we will pay attention.

Where was I
At the last eclipse?
Age 24
Living across
From a cornfield
While Annie Dillard
Teaching a Stone
To Talk.
I don’t think
I noticed
Anything unusual.
An eclipse?
They happen,
Part of the natural order
Of things.
This year
We will have a motel room
East of Paducah.
We will pay attention
Some things,
Even natural things
Require attention
Even if
We don’t live across
From a cornfield.
Even if
I don’t write
Like Annie Dillard.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


As we get the house ready for sale, hopefully next spring, we look for the things which need doing. We thought the mulberries were invasive. Apparently not. But the buck thorn is.

The mulberries
Are fine trees
To have.
When our daughter
Was small
She and her friends
Used to eat them.
Now it is only the birds
That eat them,
Spread the seeds
Grow everywhere
Around the edges.
The tree trimmer says
They are ok,
Not on any list
Of banned trees.
Now buckthorn
That’s another story
We open our eyes
For buckthorn.
Buck thorn
Is everywhere.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tree trimmer

We have made a list and are checking it twice. Ok, maybe checking it three or four times. Tomorrow is the new roof. Next week, the tree trimming.

The tree trimmer came
Admired our mountain ash
Reassured us
About the crab apple
Told us he would do
As much as he could
In a day
For a certain fee.
We wait for him
Next week
After the new roof
Is accomplished,
The new screens
And shutters scheduled.
How can this be?
How can so much happen
In so little time?
We so rarely
Get so much done
In so little time.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Taking a break

When we encourage people to do what they will, and they do...we should not be surprised.

Taking a break
From church.
He says
Then I realize
I am church
In some form
Or other.
I realize
I may never see him
This is not quite
What I meant
Though maybe
In the long run
It was.
I pray from a distance.
He finds church
The birds sing
On the Prairie Path.
Church is found

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Turned in my driver's license

Thanks, Joyce!

Finally did it:
Turned in my driver’s license
With the help
Of a friend.
Finally did it.
I could not bear
To mail it in
With no replacement
State ID
In hand.
I have not driven
For almost two years.
I already knew
I would not drive
I guess these things
Take time.
I walk the house
Practice with the cane
For the time I fully leave
The walker behind.