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So out of date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Out of date.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.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sheep pajamas, wolf slippers

Both were Christmas presents, different years. They go together, make me feel good especially when I wear them together. 

Sheep pajamas
Wolf slippers
Go together.
They remind me
I can’t have one
The other.
Both were gifts
From my beloved.
He knows me.
Sheep and wolves
Sometimes they share
Sometimes they take turns.
There is no telling
Which is which.
They trade the fields.
They hide behind trees.
Wolf slippers
Sheep pajamas

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


An interesting word ...brave.

Only others
Are declared
It is not something
We claim
For ourselves:
Like faithful
Like courageous
Like loving
Like righteous.
Brave is only
For others,
In shining armor,
Those who ride
Into battle,
Without a care about
What will happen
On the other side.
Much may happen,
So much may happen
We know it
When we declare it
Of others
When they ride
Into battle.
It is only
For others.

Monday, November 13, 2017

So many decisions

It's important to start small.

Now that we decide
To stay,
A whole other
Set of decisions
Appear before us.
What are
The particular
Bird feeders
We require?
Do we need
A heated bird bath,
A hummingbird feeder
So the hummingbirds return
Year after year?
Do we need
More pink plastic
For the backyard?
So many decisions.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I wish we knew what happened. Moved? Died? We keep waiting to see the nephew to ask, It seems the dumpsters are loaded at night.

Our neighbor
Has disappeared.
We knew her
By her first name.
She never asked for ours.
We cleared her driveway,
Her sidewalk
Of snow
In the winter,
Except the winter
I was in the hospital.
Then she asked
If we had been
On vacation.
Two dumpsters
Have been loaded
Carted off.
She has disappeared.
We do not know
The story

Friday, November 10, 2017

I like the short

Reading Emily Dickinson I realize how much I appreciate her short three-liners. They speak to me. Hope is the thing with feathers.

I get lost
When a poem
Is too long.
I take it
In bits and pieces
Or not at all.
This is the reason
For rhyme
This is the reason
Even for one word
At a time.
I get lost
I prefer
to be found

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Goodbye, DST

Changes of time throw me off. Every fall I think I should do more with that extra hour.

The end of daylight savings time
Threw me off
This year
More than its beginning.
I appreciate
The extra hour
Of sleep.
This year
I wake up early,
Try to figure out
What to do
With the extra hour.
Oh, drat,
An extra hour.
I should sleep in.
I should
Be productive.
I should make breakfast
For my beloved.
I should write
A sonnet
Even though
I’ve never written
A sonnet
I should write
That sonnet
Or barring that
At least
A limerick.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Three binders down, with sticky dots on the possible ones to be saved. Twelve more binders to go. Then there's the blog, which could easily fill numbers of binders itself, with almost one a day for a few years now. Yes...a little overwhelming. One bite at a time.
Sifted through
More zippered binders.
Some are even
Worth saving.
So many forgotten
So many now remembered.
Some are even

Worth saving.

Monday, November 6, 2017

If only we had known

Ah, the if onlys. I grew up with a card-carrying member of the NRA. My brother, sister, and I were all taught how a gun works. My siblings learned to target shoot on the property in the north woods. I took a gun safety class taught by my father, mostly with boys who wanted their hunting licenses. My sister, because she knew where the safety was, took a gun away from a college classmate. 

Where does it begin?
Often we go backwards
If only
We allowed guns
If only
We didn’t allow guns
If only
And black were not
As proper attire.
If only mentally ill people
Were not allowed
On the streets.
If only
Dishonorably discharged vets
Were allowed
Mental health care.
If only
If only
If only
If only
We had known.

Zippered binder number one

Thanks, Steve, for reminding me of how one eats an elephant, one bite at a time.

Today is the day
I take on
The first of fifteen
Zippered binders,
One reflection
At a time.
I purchased
Colored sticky dots
To begin
The process.
Zippered binder number one
Is ready
Next to the chair
To be unzipped
After my coffee.
I guess the process begins
With coffee.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Waiting for the mystery to be solved before Thursday.

I hate it
When my calendar contains
Something undecipherable
And I clearly knew
What it meant
I know I knew what it meant.
Now it is only two letters
Which follow
My initials
I may never
Arrive somewhere
Or I will wait
In my office
For someone
To meet me.
Which will it be?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Blue sky

Curious-er and curious-er. If we only dig a hole deep enough.

Do Chinese children
Dig holes
To find blue sky
On the other side
Of the world?
Is it only us
Who have been convinced
There’s more
Always more
Blue sky
To be found
On the other side
Of the world,
If we only dig a hole
Deep enough
We will come out
The other side
Into the sun?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Feeding the burros

Childhood memories. When the north woods property was sold, the burros were sold, the buildings were sold. In my memory Joe still lives down the road, and bear meat tastes sweet.

We fed the burros
Melon rinds
Corn cobs.
Joe Frings
Lived down the road,
Fed the burros
Hay and oats,
Cleaned the stalls,
Spit tobacco.
His front teeth
Were brown.
Joe told us
He shot a bear
Nothing like bear meat
It’s sweet
He said.
As far as we knew
He fed the burros.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Sometimes it takes two, at least two. Hope is the thing with feathers.

Was a rabbit.
She hid in her room,
Looked out
At the world.
She wrote
And wrote
And wrote
Until her closet
Was filled
With scraps of paper.
Her sister
Released her words
The Belle of Amherst
Is the thing with feathers.
We never
Would have known
Without the rabbit
Without the sister
Without that thing
With feathers.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

White tuxedo

Fascinating to see a white limo parked outside the church on a Sunday to celebrate a birthday.

I rarely see
A white tuxedo
A red cummerbund
Red bowtie.
Once I saw two
In a month:
My high school reunion
The classmate who told me
He was in the mental health system
As a client.
The second
Was in a pew
At church
He had rented a limo
For 24 hours,
Rented a tuxedo
To go with it.
This was probably
His last birthday
As near as he
Could figure.
I have not seen
White tuxedoes
Red cummerbunds
The same way