Sunday, December 30, 2018


I am now exploring the diet of iguanas.

Eat flowers
It never
Would have occurred
To me
To watch them
Here in Florida.
They all
Eat flowers.
Nary a one
Spits them out.
They continue
From one
To the next.
If I could see
An iguana smile
I swear
Their favorite ones
Are the tiny purple flowers
Which grow thick
On almost
Every lawn.

Friday, December 28, 2018


Families engage in different ways.

I focus
On the good I can.
Communication here
Does not resemble
The familiar.
It is volume
Turned up high.
What do I do
To find respite?
I find a hidey-hole.
I breathe.
I write.
Soon my beloved and I
Will take a walk
Down the block.
I breathe.
I am out of sight
Out of mind
Their minds.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I know no one else so blessed.

I received
A wealth of capybaras
For Christmas.
Not quite enough
For a herd
But still
A wealth.
Every South American predator
Eats them.
A capybara is meek and mild
An appropriate animal
To receive
For Christmas
They are safe
At my house.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Missing creche

You will find Him in El Paso

The creche
Missed its appearance
On the church lawn
This year
Or maybe
I missed it.
Since Jesus was stolen
That one year
And the next
He had
A GPS tracker
This year
No creche
No Jesus
Come inside the building
To find Him.
Visit El Paso
Packed to the gills
With migrant families
Families who have walked
For miles.
You will find Him

Monday, December 24, 2018


Thank you Alice in Wonderland

I imagined
If I said
I was willing
It would come
To pass.
I sit here.
Something else.
One impossible thing
Before dinner.
Another impossible thing
Before bedtime
With a cup
Of tea.

Sunday, December 23, 2018


This probably does not come as a surprise to those who know me.

Years ago
I was hired
To work in a housing project
Counsel troubled teens
And their parents.
It turned out
The teens
Were troubled
By sheer boredom.
I helped them work
With the younger
We played circle games,
Went on hikes.
You must work
With troubled teens
And their parents.
I tendered
My resignation.
I have often been called
To redefinition.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Drones for Christmas


Every Christmas
Has its signature toy.
This year
They are marketing
No model trains
On tracks
The Christmas tree.
No new Barbies
No new Lego kits.
For Christmas.
I wonder if Santa
Might refuse
To carry them
In his sleigh.

Friday, December 21, 2018

For everything I have left behind

I had ideas, good ideas, for what my vocation would look like. No. Topsy-turvy. Stand on my head. Wave my feet in the air.

For everything
I have left behind
And the things to come.
I remember
What I wished
To do
And yes
The wish
Still hangs
In the background
From burning leaves.
May I learn from you
What I need
Send you to waft
Where you will.
Here am I
With what is left
With what

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I hereby declare

Sound familiar anyone?

I hereby declare
With chutzpah
With a tiny bit
Of trepidation
But still
I hereby declare
With no excuses
Of course
With no apologies
Of course
I hereby declare
I have something
To say.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

In my family

My sibling, named exactly after our father, thinks we should have named our children with family names. We didn't.

In my family
Everyone is named
After everyone
At least some
Moved away
From Minnesota
So we could say
That part
Of the family
Lives in New Mexico.
Or Florida.
Or even
When everyone
Is named after
Everyone else
Geographic dissemination
Allows a person
To find his or her
Own identity.
We can piece it all
Back together
At reunions.
If we have

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Native language

I have spoken haiku on occasion.

My native language
Is free verse.
No neat
I prefer to write
See where
It goes.
Like this morning.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Poetry people


Some of us
Are not
Poetry people.
Some of us
Are not
Painting people.
Some of us
Do not sculpt
Or throw clay
On a potter's wheel.
All of us
Mosaic folk
We take the pieces
Make pictures
That hold us
To that creative
We hold hands
With God.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Weave me into a nest

My daughter has promised.

When I die
Take a pinch of me
Strew it
In the bird sanctuary
So a part of me
Goes to ground.
That part
Will never
Be found.
Perhaps a bird
Will find me
As part of the grass
Make a nest
One year,
Weave me
Into a home
For her chicks.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Jingle bells

There are so many pictures and stories that go with this season. Some lead us into others.

Where do I wish
To speak into things
To allow the ring
Of what I say
To be heard
Like the jingle bells
I wear
Around my neck
In this season.
On Dasher
On Dancer
On Rudolph
On Catharine
What might I say
To lead that sleigh.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


I don't remember what my Christmas bonus was last year.

Retirement comes
In stages.
Some are paid
Not so much
My pension fund
Gave me a Christmas bonus
I am stuck
On the penny.
As if I could balance
As if
The penny matters
For anything.
I know
It doesn't.
But still
It does.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Last year's model

Our two year old had hysterics when we took the live tree to the curb after Christmas so we decided "something else" needed to happen the next year. So we ended up with "last year's model."

The artificial tree
We bought
Twenty years ago now
The one
That was
Last year's model
When we purchased it
(It didn't even have
A box
That would stay together)
(That tree)
Will probably not
Be assembled
This year.
Instead we will place
And hounds tooth
Throughout the house
Put a star
On an antler
Of the biggest one:
Our son's star
From kindergarten
Twenty-six years ago.
This is the way
Traditions change.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Pick one. Give it a try.

One of the gifts
God has given me
Is the one
Of making connection.
Every instance
Do you know
This person?
Have you ever thought
About this?
I have never been good
At telling people
What to do,
Just holding possibilities
On an
Hors d'oeuvres plate
Pick one
Give it a try.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Step two

Sometimes step two is all there is.

When we name steps
We have no idea
How many steps
Come next.
It remains
To be seen
But first
Step two
Then step three.
Sometimes step two
Is all there is.
Then we breathe.
Think about
What comes next.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Just like in the movies

Just like in the movies

I can often tell
When I wake up
Particular songs
What the sound track
For the day
Will be.
My Beloved and I
Wish each day
Came prepared
With a sound track
Happy bouncy music
When sun
Is around
The corner
Foreboding music
When something
Is ready
To leap out
From the bushes.
Just like
In the movies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

All it takes is one person

All it takes is one person

There is always risk
When we let anything
Into the world.
It will not find
An audience
All it takes
Is one person
To hear
One person
To listen
There is hope
Might be well
All it takes
Is one person.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Kitchen window

One more in the "lady in red" series.

The lady in red
Has a kitchen window
Always lit.
For her?
For the ducks?
From the looks of it
It appears
She is always home.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Always others

The older cat has moved to the kidney disease infusion stage. The younger cat continues racing through the house. This is the way of things. 

There must always be
Two cats
One older
One younger.
There is learning here.
Not just for them
Also for us.
When one sickens
Then dies
Another must be found.
This is the way
Of living creatures
Even cats
Who might prefer
To reign over
The household
We say
There are always
Don't forget
There are always others
Even if
One is
A cat.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mirror balls

What have you just noticed?

Just noticed
The lady in red
Who lives across the creek
Has a mirror ball
In her backyard.
My Beloved says
It's been there
All along.
It's my gift today
To notice.
So many things
Have been there
All along
And we just noticed.
I dare say
It's the way
Of most
Such gifts
Mirror balls
The world.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Without air

Who was it who said it takes ten compliments to counter one negative one?  She/he/they are right

So often
One person's voice
Carries louder
Than another's.
We all
Have sore spots.
When touched
They launch us
Into outer space.
It's no use
To say we are
If we do
They will catch us
I know
I speak.
The Earth
Is orbited by those
Who choose
To stay
Without air.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Ruminations on Malcolm Guite leading a retreat in London on the Seven O Antiphons.

It is easier to stay
For counted things
We are
A numbered people.
If there is
A beginning
An ending
We are more happy
Than if things
Go on
Forever cannot
Be numbered.
Be counted.
Does not fit easily
On an advertising
So if people show up
To hear the reflection
They may be there
No one
Will let them
Go home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


The house is quiet.
Has yet
To begin.
Snow cleared
Which asked
To be cleared.
Silence reigns.
Coffee warm
In my hands.

Monday, November 26, 2018


A decision is not necessarily a forever choice.

No decision
Is once and for all.
I think to do this
I may find out otherwise
This seems
To confuse others
Who want
To solidify
The world
Adam or Eve
Or sea
Or crawly.
No decision
Is once and for all.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


I preach tomorrow

We all wear crowns
All of us
Every single one
Of us
That one
Jesus couldn't possibly

Friday, November 23, 2018


Thanksgiving assignments

Everyone has
Thanksgiving assignments
Mashed potatoes
With pomegranate seeds
Of course.
Canned cranberry sauce
The kind
With the ridges.
Pumpkin pie
For dessert.
Thanksgiving assignments
It wouldn't be
Without them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

How to cook a turkey

Approach with reverence

Approach with reverence.
This will be the centerpiece
Of your Thanksgiving table
If you are not a vegetarian.
Take the innards out of the turkey
Before cooking.
Cook the stuffing
If stuffing
Is your thing.
Consider putting onions
And an orange
In the cavity
Where the innards lived.
Opt for simplicity.
When in doubt
Call the Butterball
Above all
With reverence,

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Show me your socks

I am glad to know it is simple as this.

Show me your socks
She says
Then nods
The world is right
If my socks
Show it so.
Polka dots
Pictures of all
Show me your socks.
If I have managed
To pull a colorful pair
From the drawer
All is right
With the world.
I am glad to know
It is simple
As this.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Learning how to fall and get back up. I have a "goodly heritage." 

I am the daughter
Of the man
Who fell off a truck
This was his rendering
Of the story.
So what's that purple heart for?
He was blown off
The truck
No one else
The truck
Did not survive.
My father
I am the daughter
Of that man.
I have my own falls
To account for
But still
I am the daughter
Of that man.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Thank you, Jane. Thank you, Bishop Benito.

So I land on my rear
And can't get up
Think I'll participate
In the rest of convention
From the floor
But no
The priest
Sitting next me
And the Bishop
of Southeast Mexico
Must lift me
Back to my chair
Ask me
If I need
A glass of water.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Alternative cat carrier

The younger cat hides when she sees the towel.

The very old cat
Is off to see the vet
In a towel
And food bag.
We misplaced
The cat carrier.
He is not happy
In the food bag.
I hear yowls
All the way
Down the front walk
Into the car
Until the car door
He may be quieter
When he returns.
Or not.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Like always


When I awaken
I don't want to write
Who would want to read it?
I don't have anything
To say
Then there is blue sky
Snow left
On the bushes
The lady in red
She feeds the ducks
Like always
Who am I
Not to write?
She feeds the ducks
Like always
We both have our
So I write
Like always.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Jazz and piranhas

I never thought of keeping a fish tank with piranhas.

The driver today
Listens to jazz
Keeps piranhas
At home
He started with five fish
Now there are only two.
He says
I don't know
What happened
To the other three.
I looked for them
On the floor
They are gone.
The other two
Hang out together
Wait for their next
Goldfish meal.
Did you know
They have red bellies?
He asked
They are beautiful fish.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


More backseat stories

What a pleasure
He said
To have you
In the backseat.
He told me
About his wife
A nurse
Driving adventure stories.
What a pleasure
To listen
To him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The world gives me rides

There are always things to learn from the back seat.

The world
Gives me rides
Tells me things
I never knew
Over the road
Truck drivers
She used to bring
Her dog
With her
All over the country.
Now she gets me
I get her.
The world
Gives me rides
Tells me things
I never knew.

Monday, November 5, 2018


These are the times that try our souls.

Everyone watches
Here and there.
We stand in line
What may happen
Predictions fly
Are buried
Are plugged

Sunday, November 4, 2018


I watch gymnastics and wonder how I ever made it from one end of the balance beam to the other. Heck, I wonder how I ever got on the thing at all.

I remember the balance beam
My feet
Kept me upright.
I made it
To the end.
Jumped off.
Was never
A strength.
Now I look
At that balance beam
I am amazed
At all.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Legos come in kits with directions. I suppose those directions might be a good starting place, but never a place to end.

Throw the directions
Make your own creation
Red and green.
Blue and yellow.
Throw the directions
Place a Lego person
On top
Of your creation
Name him
Name her
Max or Maude
Throw the directions
Most of all
Throw the directions

Monday, October 29, 2018

Walking sanderling

I discover new birds every day. Today it is the sanderling.

I wander
Like the bird
On the beach
Seeking pictures
For my
Web page,
For the clients
Who might need
What I have
To offer.
The sanderling
Will live
At the top
Of every page
Hold out
A sand-covered foot
A foot of welcome.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


An interesting exercise, and an exercise it is.

I practice at night
Count backwards
By sevens
Never know
When I will be called upon
To do it again.
Few of us think
In sevens
Or backwards.
Comes in sevens
A number
That clogs the brain
Means endless
And forwards.
If or when
I find myself
In yet one more
Emergency Room
Counting backwards
By sevens,
Count those
I must forgive.
Always sevens.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Thank you, Naomi Shihab Nye, one of my favorite poets, for uncovering the concept of yutori in a conversation with Krista Tippett. 

The Japanese concept
Of what every schoolchild
Calls recess
And more.
It's more than
Playing kickball
Way more.
It's more
Than simple time away
From scheduled things.
An accomplishment
Of its own.
I never knew
It had a name
A form
A way of seeing
That there's more
Way more
Between the cracks.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Ugly pumpkins

Looking for pumpkins with innate character

The goal today
Is to find
The three 
Ugliest pumpkins
In the patch.
They will probably
Not be adopted
We will give them
A home.
Ugly is
As ugly does.
No round 
Jack O'Lanterns
For us.
We will adopt them
Find their beauty.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


I am finding the brave ones, the righteous ones. They are legion.

Is like brave
We cannot name ourselves
Either one.
One week
This past summer
I was called both
In the very same
Is like righteous.
I caught myself wondering
If there was something
To this.
I did wonder
Who were
The brave ones
The righteous ones
I might name
I found several
And began
The process,

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Jesus and the dinosaurs

Godly play comes in so many forms.

Years ago
My beloved
The church preschool.
It was called
Godly Play.
There was special training
He refused to get.
The desert box
With beautiful white sand
Became the site
For more stories
Than the special ones
In boxes wrapped in gold paper
Ones that were limited
To the Bible.
I was not there
But I heard about
An enactment
Of Jesus
And the dinosaurs.
I'm sorry I missed it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What I might say

It's a humbling thing to be called to sit in the pew.

I sit in church
Think about
I might say
If I stood
In the pulpit
An interesting exercise
I think
You forgot
To mention
As if
Any one preacher
Has the end-all
The be-all
Of sermons.
As if
Has the exact right thing
To say
Each of us
Trips over
Her own words
His own words
All the time.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hot to drink

In memory of my pastoral care professor, Bob Carlson, in seminary.

Would you like something
Hot to drink:
Hold the cup
In your hands
So your fingers
Come alive
In the warmth?
Hot to drink
So your stomach
Says hello
To the warmth
And there is an endless
An opening only warmth
Can bring.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

All that sparkles

All that sparkles IS gold, I tell you...It is.

All that sparkles
Is gold.
Do you see?
The gold in the cracks
The gold
In the sky
The gold
In the lawn
Between the blades
Of grass?
All that sparkles
Is gold
The light
In the person's eyes
We encounter
On the sidewalk
Any gold we mention
To another
Do you see
What I see?
All that sparkles
Is gold.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Web page

New project

I browse pictures.
A web page
Is a different beast.
Not mythical.
Who are you?
What's the point?
Will we work well
I can do this.
A web page
Is a different creature.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Seismic shift

Waiting for the earth to split.

When the earth
It depends which side
One stands on.
It is only
Until the settling comes,
The rubble clears
The skies blue,
The volcanoes
The lava hardens.
When the earth splits
It depends
It all depends
Where the rubble lands
The rivers flow
North or South
East or West.
When the earth splits
It all depends.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Don't they know?

The wisdom of a five year old. Let's go back and tell them.

Hail Mary
We sat in vigil
With others
She five
Her mom.
Mary was called upon
Over and over
Five years old
Did not understand
Hail Mary
The prayer
Came again.
We drove home
What's all this
About Mary?
She asked
Don't they know
About Jesus?
Don't they know?
We need to go back
Tell them.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Driver stories

More driver adventures. The driver who feeds me wants to make sure I eat. He also drove carefully so I didn't spill the coffee.

Last week
One driver
Asked me
For a blessing
For him
And his son
I gave it.
Took a different way home
So he could feed me
Onion strings
And coffee.
Eat them now
He said
They are only good

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Count backwards

I don't remember this being an exercise for mental status when I attended school. Now it seems to be everywhere.

Count backwards
By sevens
From one hundred.
I lie in bed
And practice
For whatever
For whenever
Might be next.
Count backwards.
Maybe I'll get it right
Next time.
I sit in my chair
Think about
How ridiculous it is
To count backwards
By sevens.
I made it
To seventy-nine
Last night.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Praying for everything to Come 'round right. 'For when true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we will not be ashamed. (Simple Gifts Shaker hymn)

What do we expect
When compunction
Has been buried
It may come to life
But that may be me
Ever hopeful
That the world
Will come 'round
T'is a gift
To be simple
T'is a gift
To be free
T'is a gift 
To come 'round
Where we ought
To be
And when we find ourselves
In a place just right
'Twill be in the valley
Of love and delight

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When do you create?

As for me, I usually create in the morning.

When do you create?
Like God?
In the morning?
Your head
Not clouded
With daily things?
Before bed
When you bring
The things
Of the day
Into a poem
A painting?
As you drop off
To sleep
Fall into things
You may not remember
In the morning?
When do you create?
Walk the paths
With a notebook
To jot down ideas
When do you create?
All the time?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

When they saw

What do we see on the road?

When they saw
Jesus on the road
After the Crucifixion
After the Tomb
After the Resurrection
After the Re-gathering
In the Upper Room
Did they know
It was Him?
Did they see
An inkling
A slight halo
An aura
The man?
It's hard to think
They did not know Him
Before the bread
Was broken.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


I continue to learn the various forms of pilgrimage.

The Hajj
Is only about
No healing mud
No holy water
No adaptations
Of native rites.
The Hajj
Is once a lifetime
Or more,

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Camino de Santiago

My bright red walker has a comfortable seat so I don't have to go more than one step at a time, if need be.

If I rolled
The Camino
One wheel
At a time
How far
Would I get?
One step
At a time.
It's always
The way
It goes,
Even when I
Set off
To make the journey
A thousand steps
A day
One wheel
One step
Often it's mine
To watch
Other people
Go by me
Offer one cup
Of water
To those determined
To take
A thousand steps
At a time.

Friday, September 14, 2018


I wonder what would happen if we waited for our children to reveal their names to us.

When I write
The title
Comes first
The rest
Most of the time
I wait
For the title
To reveal itself.
I say
Oh there you are
I wondered
What your name

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Every family has its own motto.

Was big
In my family.
If we had a motto
It would have been
A person
Is only as good
As his
As her
Own word.
While other friends
To get
Summer jobs
We were not allowed.
My father
Hired each of us
Every summer.
At least we learned
The family business.
He even wanted
To find jobs
For us
When we
Were grown
I went to seminary,

Saturday, September 8, 2018

New Year

Ha-yom harat olam Today is the birthday of the world. Jewish New Year begins tomorrow at sundown.

What if
The new year began
Every morning
We began
By speaking
Into it
With fresh words
Saw it
With fresh eyes?
The crotchety old lady
Who lives
Next door
Got a new beginning
Even if she doesn't
As new
But merely
An extension
The same old
Same old
Same old
What if we planted
A sunflower
Just one
Facing her house?

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Tikkun Olam

Tikkun olam is Hebrew for the healing of the world.

In the beginning
Everything was whole
Everything held hands
If they had hands.
When my daughter
Was young
She could not understand
Why anyone
Would wear a fur coat
How can anyone wear something
That once had a face?
What if we saw everything
What if we saw everyone
With a face?
In the beginning
We saw the face
On everything
Like God
Sees the face
On everything.
In the beginning
Was whole.

Florilegia (Sparklets)

With thanks to an article by Stephanie Paulsell in Christian Century, in the August 29, 2018 issue

A practice of monks
Medieval monks
Finding gleaming fragments
Which they assembled
To find
New truths.
There are always
New truths
To be found.
With new assembly.
New understanding
To be heard
In the grocery store
Next to the produce.
Oh Honey Bear
The husband said
To his wife
She did not look like
A Honey Bear
To us
But to him
She was.
A gleaming fragment
Next to the produce.

Shards of God

There is much to be found on the beach.

We are meant
To collect
Shards of God
Help smooth it
Like beach glass
Find the special
Red bits
Blue bits
Not forgo
More common

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Four corners

There are stories, and there are stories. This would make a good New Yorker cartoon, or maybe a story, if I could figure out how to tell it.

She told
Of her child
In class
With one teacher
No assistant
Five challenged children.
The room
Like most rooms
Had four corners.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Fairy rings

Gone with the fairies

The neat freak
On the corner
Of our block
Has cleared the mushrooms
From his lawn.
We keep our mushrooms
Next to the front door,
As do
Our neighbors
Across the street.
This is somehow
Mushroom weather.
Fairy rings appear
Around the block.
We count the houses
With mushrooms.
It is time
For a mushroom hunt
They all

Saturday, September 1, 2018

crab apple year

I wait for Disney World in the back yard. Squirrels, coyotes, fox, raccoons, the occasion possum. Everyone eats crab apples.

It's a crab apple year
They don't come often
Who will come
To dine?
I set up the chair
In the kitchen,
In hand.
Crab apple years
Don't come often
Eats crab apples.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Helping people quit

I have never figured out how to name this in job interviews, nor have I seen it in any list of spiritual gifts.

There is an inventory
Of spiritual gifts.
Mine have never
Lined up.
Not that
I have none;
Just that
Helping someone
Say no
To providing
Coffee hour
For another fifteen years
Does not make
That particular list.
I have a long list
Of helping people
The treasurer
Who wanted to hold babies
Oh so many others.

Saturday, August 25, 2018


Start of a new year

The children
Are back in school
Starting new things
Finding people
They can
Hold hands with
Two by two
As they go out
To recess.
If recess
Even exists
Any more.
The adults
Find people
They can
Hold hands with
As they go
To boxed lunch.

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Back home

Back to our patch
Of wilderness
In the town
We claim
As ours:
Our birds
Our cats
Our home
The weeds
We must cut back
Or they will take over'
The house.
Here we are

Rule out

I wonder if certain professions attract certain types.

I never met
An endocrinologist
Who listened.
I've tried three
In my life.
Is often
A magic number.
I try hard
Not to rule out
By profession.
But still
My neurologist
Is awesome.
All neurologists
Be awesome.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

I forgot

Boating by the peninsula which used to be Grandpa's. I forgot how much I missed it.

I forgot
How much
My heart could hurt
Until I saw the boats
Parked next to the land
We claimed
As ours.
This was the spot
To catch sunnies.
This was the spot
Where bass
Could be found.
No buildings left
Of course
No braying burros
On the shore
No road left.
Things change.
Things change.
I forgot
How much
My heart
Could hurt.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



He said I needed
A dose of loon
I am getting my dose.
They remind me
Of past times.
My beloved grew up
With winter loons
Winter loons
Did not speak.

Thursday, August 9, 2018



I wonder
How anteaters
Get enough
To eat.
Those giant anteater
Those sticky tongues
Slurping enough ants
To live on.
How does it work?

Monday, August 6, 2018


More stories on the road. Point A to Point B.

One driver last week
Had 15 years logged in
She slept
In her truck.
She drove
The big kind
The small kind
Now she drives
From Point A
To Point B
In my county
For Freedom First.
She sleeps
In her apartment.
She even had me sit
In the front seat
So we could hear each other

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Weed people

We are weed people

What counts
As a weed?
The yard people mowed
The mint.
We hoped to add
To iced tea.
What counts
As a weed?
The rabbits eat
The clover
My mother
Hated rabbits
They ate
Her tulips
We have tulips too
The yard people
Know enough
To leave them
The clover
Is part of the lawn
It has no difficulty
Being mowed.
What counts
As a weed?
We are weed people.
The thistles
Are in the blowsy stage.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sun and thunder

Here I am expecting certain weather. Sun and thunder just don't go together. Time for another time through Job. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world?

The weather
Is mixed
Bright sun
With rumbles
In the background.
I wait for things
To break loose.
It's coming.
It's coming.
It's coming.
Why do I always expect
Things to match
The way
I expect them
To match?
Why not sun
And thunder?
Where were you
When I laid the foundations
Of the world?
Where were you
I decided
Sun and thunder
Might be
An interesting

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

When a position doesn't come through

I have Brene Brown to thank for this line of thinking. Indeed it helps to externalize such things, beyond the Fig Newtons and Pringles

When a position
Doesn't come through
Does it mean?
It wasn't meant
To be?
It wasn't any good
It's amazing the stories
We live with
In our heads
Until they even become
Of the way
We walk.
Of the way
We eat.
We find ourselves
One more sleeve
Of Fig Newtons.
Most of a can
Of Pringles.
I'd like to say
I cope
In healthy ways.
I count
My blessings.
I do.
It helps not to buy
Fig Newtons
or Pringles.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Underground ocean

The Italian space agency has discovered an underground ocean on Mars. When they look at us, what are they interested in?

When Martians
Look at us
What is important
To them?
We seek water
As a sign
Of life
Bur Martians
What do they seek?
Or maybe
They do not seek
Content to live
Content to love
To fish
In their own
Underground oceans.

Friday, July 27, 2018


Strength is more than genes.

The family tree
Is rooted
In a host
of strong women
Some of whom
Have borne children.
Most were dependent
On things other
The gene pool
Their genes
In the lives
Of their sisters.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


We only played Mahjongg up at the Cabin up North at the Lake. This year we'll figure out the rules again.

We spent part
Of every summer
The Great Wall
Of China
With bamboo
And ivory tiles,
At least
I think
They were ivory.
I do not remember
The rules
Yet the set
Will find its way
To the same Lake.
We will try
To figure out
How to play
Is a good thing
Even if the rules
Are not

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monarch plus some

The backyard continues to be a spectacle of life.

I woke
To a monarch
She discovered
The milkweed.
Then the robin,
By her almost
Not quite ready
To leave
Not quite ready
To feed himself.
He hopped
And shook
And opened
His mouth.
She obliged
Like mothers do

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Waiting for the crab apples

I think this will be a crab apple year. This does not happen every year. I think the animals wait in the bushes for the crab apple tree to "do its thing."

We wait for the crab apples
To appear.
They bring
The animal kingdom
With them:
Even the occasional
We never knew
How many creatures
Ate crab apples
Now we do
We wait to see
Who else waits.

Saturday, July 21, 2018


Sometimes we only name older people as wise. Indeed I have known wise babies.

How many years
Does it take
To become wise?
Maybe it's not years
That count
But merely
Life lived.
Maybe it's not
The numbers
But instead
The richness
No matter
One does.
No matter
How long
One lives.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The driver yesterday

More adventures, Who knew?

At the same things
I found funny.
I hope
I get her again

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I write to figure out

Adventures continue.

I write
To figure out
What comes next.
My driver yesterday
Picked me up
In the evening
I was such good company
In the morning.
She has been driving
A cab
For nineteen years.
If I am blessed
I will be picked up
By her
She called me
A lovely lady.
She is lovely
As well,
I write
To figure out
Who comes next.

Monday, July 16, 2018


My red four-wheeled walker carries me. With wheels I go most anywhere.

Where do these wheels
I learn
New options.
So many people
Are surprised to learn
They have options.
Give new options.
I explore those options
For myself
There are more
Than I ever
With wheels
I roll

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Group interview

I toyed with the idea of looking for a job. Now it seems this is not just any job.

When I arrive
I realize
The group interview
Is all of them
All of us.
No one
On the spot
All of us
All of them.
It was a larger
Than I've ever known.
I even forgot
Who was
Being interviewed
Who interviewing.
We sat in a circle

Saturday, July 14, 2018


The world watched. No tweets came from our White House. I can't help but notice. But the world? The world watched. Prayed.

As the world expands
I realize
Stays the same.
The boys were rescued
In Thailand
From water-filled
The world watched.
A rescue worker
His family
The world expands
Nothing stays
The same.
If we but look
Pay attention.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The three of them

For Sawyer, Liv and Theo. Watching, watching, watching.

The three of them
Are not alike
And yet they are
Not triplets
Different families
Yet they grew up
With enough
Of the same DNA.
They are now spread
All over
The country
I defy the world
Not to change
One bit
At a time.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Filled with life

We look big to small. We are not done looking here.

The backyard
Is filled
With life.
No wonder
We could not move
From here.
From ash
To crab apple
Down to milkweed
With its chaw marks
On the leaves.
It seems everyone
Not just monarchs.
We thought
We had planted
A butterfly garden.
It seems we planted
A garden
For everyone.
We watch
We wait
We see
Who will come.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Happenstance or not?

What's deserved. What's not?

In college
I majored in Classics
With one other
Classics major.
We split the award
For Classics majors.
Or not?
I was interviewed
For readiness
To attend seminary
At a summer camp
In the room I shared
With another woman
My underwear
Was in the middle
Of the floor.
Does God speak to you?
He asked
I haven't seen
Any burning bushes lately
I said
They sent me
To seminary.
Or not?
In seminary
I received
The Women's Board Award
There were
Two women.
Or not?
I also received
The Hebrew Prize
I was the only one
Who took Hebrew
That year.
I got solid C's.
Or not?
So many things
Or not?
I have still
Not seen any
Burning bushes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Thistle seed?

Just because we name something ain't necessarily so.

The thistles
Finally flower
We have been waiting
Which insect
Which bird
The thistle
For sustenance.
It is not the goldfinch.
Thistle seed
Is a misnomer.
The seed
Finches pine for
Comes from Asia.
Or Africa
It is hardly
From thistle
At all.
The natural history
For today.
Which insect
Which bird
Will visit.
We will watch.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Because I am preaching through my blog these days, I listen to sermons and think what illustrations I would use, if it were me. Today I thought about "Christmas in the Trenches" and the singing soldiers on both sides.

The sermon
Offered trenches
The ones we dig
Between us
The ones which pile
And mounds
Of dirt.
Trenches seem
Just as bad
As walls
Or mounds.
Both offer obstacles
To climb over
Or under
Or through.
We occupy
Both sides
Of those trenches.
Stare into each others'
Like icons.
We are Jesus
For each other
If we look.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

First you must apply

New perspectives from new positions.

You get a job
First you must apply.
Part of my work
These days
Is riding
Feeding cab drivers
Listening to their perspective
On how God operates
In the world
Do you know
Everything is
God is One?
Some people
Don't know
If I had not applied
I would not
Have heard
This sermon
From the front seat
With a samosa.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Sometimes things take longer

A glimmer of a possibility of something I had not expected. Sometimes things take longer.

Sometimes things
Take longer
Than we ever
Could have imagined.
I write.
I watch birds.
I watch cats.
I learn
To be fed samosas
By Indian cab drivers.
Sometimes things
Take longer
Than I planned.
Most times things
Take longer
Than I planned.
On the page.
In the bushes
Out front.
Sleep in the sun,
Remind me
Things take longer
Than I expect.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thistle seed sock

When we don't feed the birds, they find a way.

We forgot to hang
The thistle seed sock
This summer.
Goldfinches also eat
Dandelion seeds.
They may not
Have eaten dandelions
If we had provided
In a sock.
We may not
Have seen them eat
Dandelion seeds
Spit out
The fluff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


I have now had this driver twice. He has fed me both times.

The cookie driver
Brought me
A samosa yesterday
His wife
Is the cook
In the house
The samosa driver
Is always early
It is important
He says
To honor
Another's time.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Just as he was

Mark 4:35-41

If I was the preacher, I might have reflected on this, although there is virtue in the calming of the storm.

One of my favorite
Scripture passages.
Jesus said
To the disciples
Let us go across
To the other side
So they did.
It begs the question:
The other side
Of what?
To where?
So they took him
Just as
He was
As if
He could be
Anything else
Anyone else.
Everyone preaches
On the calming
Of the storm
I wonder
The Other Side
Who He might have been
If he wasn't Jesus.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

How's my girl?

I remember George Eckhoff, a gentle amazing man. I remember being swung around

When I was ten
He picked me up
Swung me around
How's my girl?
How's my girl?
I would giggle
He was a friend's father
How's my girl?
I would giggle.
He was also
My fifth grade
Sunday School teacher
He was the one
Who made sure
The church had
A memorial garden
Outside the door.
He came to both
My parents'
But of course
He did
How's my girl?
How's my girl?
How's my girl?
Of course
He was there.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Small comfort food

Though it didn't make its way into this poem, my least favorite was liver.

She was an expert
In small comfort food
Cooked cauliflower
In a pressure cooker
With bread crumbs
Made hash
From the end
Of the well done
Roast beef
Run through
The meat grinder
Served with ketchup.
Small comfort food.
Overcooked spinach.
Green-grey baby peas.
We each had one thing
Which was
The most uncomfortable.

No mackerel there

 ADA experiences. Who knew?

Yesterday was fish
My driver
Wanted to know 
What my husband cooked
How he cooked it
He had never heard
Of mackerel
I learned
That his sect
of Muslims
Do not eat crab
He grew up
In Pakistan
on the Indian Ocean.
No mackerel there.
So much to learn.
He drove me there.
He made sure
To pick me up
And drive me home
The morning's
There is a queue
Of clients.
I was chosen
Out of turn.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I am going to rent 2001 and see it again. It's time.

Yesterday's morning driver
Fed me cookies
Do you like cookies?
He asked
When I got in the cab.
The evening driver
Knew everything 
His name was
It had me thinking
Of 2001, A Space Odyssey
And the computer
All the way home.
I knew everything
About his life
By the time
We arrived.
Said Hal
I wonder when the drivers
Start to repeat.

Monday, June 18, 2018


This guy was good. We let ants live outside. Outside is their territory.

He rang the doorbell
Three times
I see ants
He said
Do you have ants
In the house?
On occasion
I said.
We can help you
Get rid 
Of the ants.
He quoted
A slightly lower price
Each time.
We have a theory
About ants
I said.
Our theory
Is that ants belong
We let them be
Is ours.
49 dollars
he said

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Some strange sculpture,

The lessons today
Were all
About plants,
Much like this weekend
All about plants
God deciding
What would grow
What would fade
Us not the ones
In charge
Of such things.
We dug out
The dead elderberry,
A mock orange
In its place.
The elderberry roots
Look like
Some strange sculpture.
We will keep it
As a reminder
We are not
In charge.
We will nurture
The mock orange
See what happens.
We are not
In charge.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I claim every single gray hair

It's important to look back as well as forward. And learn.

I claim
Every single
Gray hair.
How else
Would I know
What to say?
I want credit
For every single year
Of life
For every single year
Of living
Or unconscious.
If anyone had told me
I would know
What I know now
I might have
Rolled my eyes.
I remember
My two year old son
Learning to roll his eyes
From me.
We all have talents
Or innate.

Friday, June 15, 2018


Learning how to be part of the ADA system. Everyone has his or her own opinion.

Each driver
Wants to tell me
How the system works
Expect everyone
To be late
Unless of course
They are early.
In four rides
I've had both.
My walker
With a seat
and bell
Lets me
Soak up
The sun
Unless it's raining
Then I sit under
An umbrella.
So far
It's been sun
And mist.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Foto foto fun fun floater

What was your first job?

My first job
Was in a photo booth
In a grocery store.
I introduced myself
to customers.
I said
Please take a brochure
To help you
Take better pictures
This summer.
I wore
An orange and yellow
Polyester dress.
I went from store
To store
Filled in
For those
Who had called in
It is amazing
I lasted as long
As I did.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


I am grateful I did not begin life in a dresser drawer.

They are meant
To continue
Arms and beyond.
Some begin life
In a dresser drawer
In a soft swaddle
They are best meant
To begin
Someplace soft
So before hard times
We know
Someplace soft
And hard
Is not all
There is.
Soft and hard
and soft again.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Great spangled fritillary

There is a butterfly called the Great Spangled Fritillary.  An amazing name. Who would not want to be a fritillary, much less a spangled fritillary.

The wonderment
Of animal names:
Who decided
They are great
Or small
Or dotted
Like the frigate bird
Like the shrew
Or vole.
In relation to what
I often ask
But then
I am full
Of such questions.
What is great
What is not
So great?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

What's in a name?

I am named after my grandmother and my aunt. Both singular women. I like the singular part.

What's in a name?
The Queen of Mars?
Were you named
After anyone
Or were you free
To make a completely
New definition
From scratch?
What's in your name
My name
Does the man in the moon
Have a name?
Does it change
with the phases?
When it is full
When it is neap
When it completely
Does it change
Its name?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Is it time?

Another in the sign series.

Is it time
To write a book?
Collect poems
Into a semblance
Of order?
Is it time to apply
For Social Security
As if such a thing
The idea,
Appeals to me,
Like the storage facility
I passed every day
To work,
Safe Space Self Storage
It said
One more of the signs
Which marked
My life,
The knowledge
That a storage locker
For me.
In time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


In seminary we were told "Every sermon will not be a sonnet." Thank you, Bob Shahan. Expression is important for each of us, no matter what emerges. Sometimes I forget.

We all,
Express ourselves
Some write books
Or poems
Or sermons.
Some sing songs
To their children.
An audience
Of one
or two.
Some paint
The Sistine Chapel.
Some lay floors
Tile back splashes
Or decorative.
Is of course
In the eye
Of the beholder.
It all
Is in the eye or ear
Of those
Who see,
Who listen.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Blueberry bushes and Felix

One hole dug
One bush planted
Second hole dug
Cable cut
Turtle waits
In the freezer
For hole
Number three.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sound effects

How does a Foley artist work with those who cannot hear? 

I would like to be
A Foley artist,
Offer sound effects
For those who cannot hear,
Mark the effects
In the palms
Of their hands
Show the effects
In my face
Watch those effects
To theirs.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Weather prayers

I remember standing in a circle praying for some drizzle, but not too much, just enough to cool us off, but not to shut us down.

I have often had
Good luck
With weather prayers
It seems
To be a time
I find connection
With what
Is to come
I do not know
Or tornadoes
But who would want
Good luck
With those.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cooler near the lake

Of course the question is always "Cooler than what?"

Every one
Of the ten thousand lakes
Had some breeze
Everyone's lake
Counted as
The Only Lake
There was.
It was always cooler
No matter
How many lakes
You counted.
It was always cooler
At least in summer.
Perhaps in winter
It was warmer
but I have never
Thought about it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pleasant Lane, no exit

Another in the sign series. Another in the wonderment series which continues on, seemingly forever.

On the way home
From my last position
I passed a street
Or rather
A lane
Which had an entrance
But no exit
Unlike the open-ended lane
I live on
The entrance
And exit
Are exactly alike,
No need for such signs
No need for pleasantness
Or unpleasantness
Just openness
On both ends.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sidewalk ends

The sign made me laugh for years. It was clear the sidewalk ended. Who needed a sign to say so?

The sign seemed
It could have meant
Almost anything:
Not our fault
If you fall on your face
Here be monsters
Adventure lies beyond
This point

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Different perspectives on sticks

One Christmas
I fell in love
With red sticks
From the florist catalog
I remember
They had red berries.
I sent them
To my mother
Who ever after
Referred to the Christmas
I gave her
We appreciated
Different things.
In spring
I wait
For pussy willows
To arrive
At the store.
We keep them
Until the catkins
Have finally
Dropped off
Some years green leaves sprout
Some years
We keep them
I like sticks,
When my daughter
Was small
She kept a stick collection
Under the red bud
She is my daughter,
We appreciate different things
But sticks

Friday, May 25, 2018


For Courtenay, and me, and whoever needs angels and puppets. The clean-out pipe is fine, left behind.

Your office
Held angels
Mine had a basket
Of puppets,
A clean-out pipe
In the center
Of the floor
Under the carpet.
Your angels hung
In the office window
My pipe
Was invisible.
The puppets
Held court,
Moved with me
To the next place.
Your angels
Are now
In North Carolina.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Warm enough

Lovely time of year, Warm enough, yet not too warm.

School must be over
Children yell
With occasional dogs
In between
Windows open
Finally warm enough
Cats curled
In the breeze'
Afternoon nap
Though almost time
For supper.
One of my favorite times
Of year
Warm enough
Yet not
Too warm
Windows open
Cats curled
Children and dogs
On the wind..

Monday, May 21, 2018

On to the next thing

Our daughter graduated from college yesterday. Our chests were "puffed with pride." I never quite knew what that expression meant. Still, it sounds good.

So proud
So proud
We witnessed her
Walk on
To the next thing
Across the stage
To the next thing.
The next thing
Is different
For everyone.
Some think
They know exactly
What comes next.
So proud
So proud
She takes one step
After another
Across that stage
So proud
So proud
We will see
Where she goes next.

Friday, May 18, 2018


Is written
On the front
Of my walker.
A curious word.
Where am I going?
What do I escape from?
What do I escape to?
A curious word.
So many meanings.
Might I name the walker
Something other
Than the name
It arrived with?
She will be named
Her name
Has no limits.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Walker bell

What do you want for Mother's Day? My beloved asked. It came to me that a bicycle bell would be lovely. It is a Schwinn bicycle bell. It is perfect.

My new red walker
Got a bicycle bell
For Mother's Day.
Now I have to figure out
Where I can ring it.
When church was out
I rang it.
Now I walk the halls
At home
Startle the cats
They will
Get used to it.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Comfort zone

Where is your comfort zone? He asks. I wonder what the answer is. Perhaps I lack such a thing. I know this is not true. Secretly, I know somewhere, this is not true. It hides between the crab apple and the red bud.

Between the red bud
And the crab apple
Blooming pink and purple
In spring
Yellow in fall
Me in between.
I hang with
The goldfinches
And robins
The occasional hawk.
The comfort zone
Of spring thunderstorms
Throw worms back
Into the earth
From whence
They came
The comfort zone
Of earth
Between my toes
The comfort zone
Of birds
The comfort zone
The comfort zone
The comfort zone
Way more
Than one.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Crab apple year

Last year
Was not
A crab apple year
The animals have hope
For this year.
The petals
Have begun
To fall
They blow off
The tree
In the breeze
After all
Crab apples
Are one of the reasons
We stayed in this house.
Eats crab apples:
Probably skunks
And possums too.
Our backyard
Offers a feast
Of crab apples
In late summer
Early fall
Every one
It seems
Eats crab apples.
We stayed here
To watch.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

We count the lawns

Every year the Chem Lawn people knock on our door and tell us we must rid our lawn of clover and crabgrass and dandelions. We have yet to do so.

We count the lawns
(Like ours)
Which have let
Their dandelions grow.
This year
We notice
The goldfinches
Eat the seeds,
Spit out the fluff
If indeed
Can spit.
At any rate
Is the aftermath
Of their meal.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Women are taught not to speak

My sisters will understand whereof I speak. This I know.

Women are taught
Not to speak
So I went to seminary
To learn
New ways.
What is a woman priest?
The question came
And came
And came again.
Who is that
Behind the altar?
Behind the pulpit?
I spent years
Answering the question.
I took my turn.
Now other sisters
Take their turn.
I am glad for the others
Lined up
Behind me,
Arms outstretched
At the altar,
Voices clear
In the pulpit.
Few exclaiming
In surprise
But we could hear you.
We were sure
We would not
Be able to hear you.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


Making accommodations.

The altar guild
Attached the frontal
To the altar
With velcro.
My second child
I stood behind
The altar.
Every time
I moved
The alb stuck
To the velcro.
Part of every Sunday's
Until I determined
It was not
A holy sound.
The altar guild
With this priest,
We have never had
A pregnant priest before
They said.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Stories from a distance

I am now humming From a distance the world is blue and green. 

Oh so many stories
Will I ever see them
From a distance?
I realize
It may take years
To gain
That proper distance
But then
I have never been
A proper priest
By virtue
Of my gender
By virtue
Of my humor
By virtue
Of my office
Under the altar
Will I ever
Be proper?
Is propriety
To be desired?
So many stories
To be sorted
So many stories
To be told
So many stories
To be held

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Last word

Whether she believed in me, or not, she had the last word.

You know
She didn't believe
In women clergy
The son said
After I anointed his mother
As she lay dying.
I had seen her eyes
She never would fly
On an airplane
With a woman pilot
He said,
At her funeral
I began the sermon
And hail
Rained down
Dented every car
In the parking lot.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Looking for signs in unlikely places

They have begun
Signs and possibilities
Of spring
Is always
The red bud
It sprouts flowers
Off its trunk
Not like the others
But we're all different
That way
Not like the others
Yet still
The same.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

If I was a sculptor

The brain is a wonderful, sometimes irritating, thing.

I woke up
With Elton John
Running through my head
Jeweled glasses
And all.
If I was a sculptor
But then again
I had to look it up.
Now I know
Will overtake
My generation,
With visions
Of jeweled glasses
And pianos.
If I was a sculptor
But then again

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Ah, the gift of email. Today it brought an inquiry from a man wanting to purchase a sculpture, possibly from me, to give to his wife for their 20th anniversary.
Alas, I am not a sculptor. Still... if I were a sculptor...

He asks
If I would send him
Pictures of my sculptures.
My mind
Goes quickly
To work.
What warrants
A picture?
What might
I pack
In a box?
I tell him
I am not a sculptor
I am a poet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


What's next, We never know.

The boot awaits
A new purpose.
We can no longer
Fill the closet
Boots and braces
They were measured
For me.
Goodwill has no spot
For such things.
Pansy or petunia
That's the ticket
Or petunia planters.
I will keep
The walker
And cane,
I never know,

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Churches, big and small

Another big church headline. I wonder how long this one will last.

With the local scandal
It got me thinking
Whether misbehavior
Is limited
To the size
Of the church.
I know
It is not.
Big churches
Are more likely
To get
Big headlines.
Small churches
Warrant a line
In the local newsletter,
If that.
We are people
Who would prefer
Our stories
Or dirty
Or small.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Lining things up

It wasn't just the turtle who ordered the world in blueberries.

It helps
To line up
Know one is not alone
In this world.
One is never alone
But sometimes
It feels that way.
There is no such thing
As alone
It feels that way.
I ate
All the blueberries
In the refrigerator
Move on
To clear out
The apples.
My beloved
Will come home
We will
Fill the refrigerator
With blueberries.
The possibility
Of my beloved,
The possibility
Of endless blueberries,
Of blueberries,
My beloved grading
At the table,
In the other room
Lines things up
In their
Natural order.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Senate baby

This is more than one historic moment.

When that baby
Grows up
Realizes she was raised
On the floor
Of the Senate
Will she know
She broke history?
Will she know
That floor was full
Of parents
Of grandparents
And realize
In a teeny tiny way
The world
Is her family?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

La la la

Oh if we could all live forever.

When the people we love
Grow old
Face it
We all
Grow old
Even if we pretend
There is no
Such thing.
We stick our fingers
In our ears
When the people we love
Grow old
Even when we pretend
There is no such thing
It still catches us
We cover our eyes
With our hands
I don't see
I don't see
I don't see
What do you mean?
What do you mean?
What can you possibly mean?
We all
Grow old

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Plump robins

They came back a mite too soon, I think. Or maybe they will bring worms to the surface, melt the snow.

They're back
Staked out their spots
In the yard.
It will snow again
Oh robins
I rejoice
In your plumpness.
It may carry you
One or two or three
More inches of snow.
The worms still hide.
Your plumposity
Will hold you
For now.

Monday, April 16, 2018


It's taken me long enough

I will fill out
An application
For independence.
They will pick me up
And perhaps
Will be mine.
Perhaps I will know
Freedom again
A smile
Perhaps independence
Perhaps freedom.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Festival of Faith and Writing: Hats mush my hair, so I don't wear them. Still, I am envious of people who do..for example: the panache of the woman in the purple velvet beret

I sat and watched hats
Move through
The space
The purple velvet
The cowboy hat.
I wondered
What each one wrote
Or read.
I drank coffee
If I wore a hat
What would it say.
To that purple velvet

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Green voices

Dark voices, pale voices, tree buds.

The green pokes through
The surface.
Its voices
Will not be heard
In full
Until later.
I hear whispers
Dark voices
Pale voices
Tree buds.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

When green arrives

I continue to figure things out

When green arrives
Is she envy
Or perhaps the color
Of spring
A sign of growth?
When green arrives
Does she wear black
Or find the forsythia
In the hedge
Out back?
When green arrives
Which comes first?
Which comes next?
Does she know
How to hold both
When green arrives.
How does she know?
Is it time
For mud
Or pussy willows?

Friday, April 6, 2018

A few flakes

The ducks know.

Yesterday brought
A few flakes of snow
No accumulation.
The duck lady
Out back
Was already
In her garage
Where the corn
Is stored
The ducks flew in.
They know
When the table
Will be set,
The food

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Advice is often unwelcome

I am eight years
Into life
With seizures.
I do not drive.
Do you know
He says
This man
Had a seizure 
And cannot drive?
Maybe you could
Talk with him?
Of course it depends
On him.
Advice is often

Monday, April 2, 2018

I thirst

The meditation I did not give. Still, I thirst. It is Easter and I am grateful.

"I thirst" said Jesus, as he hung on the cross. One of many things he said. One very human thing he said as he hung on the cross.
We all know thirst.

We remember his conversation with the woman at the well when he told her everything she had ever done, and offered her Living Water.
We remember those same words to each one of us:

When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat.
When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink.

Water plays a huge role in our life of Faith. Baptism, of course. Living Water, of course.

I thirst said Jesus , as he hung on the cross.
When I was thirsty you gave me something to drink.

Years ago, when I graduated from college, I took a volunteer job, which required a group of us to apply for food stamps. We filled out the forms, then looked around the room and the large group of people who were clearly confused by the forms...rather like the .confusion which comes with filling out tax forms. As a group we stayed for the rest of the day and helped people fill out food stamp forms. 

When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat
When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink.

When I was confused, you helped me fill out food stamp forms.

Oh there so many ways to hear Jesus, not just His Seven Words from the Cross.

I thirst. I was hungry and you fed me.

I was naked, and you clothed me.
I was sick and in prison and you cared for me.

So many ways to hear Jesus on the Cross

Early robins

Early robins are a signal of persistence. Perhaps this is why I like them so much.

Robins are seen
As common birds
They are a sign
Of spring
As much as forsythia
As much
As pussy willows.
This year I watch them
Listen for worms
And fail to find them
Perhaps they came back
Too early
I will continue
To watch
Any minute now
Worms will surface
Robins will then know
It is time
To nest.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Love covers

Crucial to remember

Love covers
A multitude of sins.
Oh Peter
I rejoice in your wisdom
On this day
Before Easter
As I rejoice
Every year
Bur sometimes
So much
I forget
On a regular basis.
This is one thing.
Only one thing.
There are others
But this one
Is crucial
To remember

Friday, March 30, 2018

Clarity is...

"Clarity is just questioning having eaten its fill."   -Jenny Xi

Ah, the Buddhists
They know clarity
Is impossible.
We Christians often
Think otherwise.
The boy who heard
The children's sermon
From the pastor who sat
And told a story,
The children gathered
Around him.
What is it
The pastor said
That gathers nuts
Buries them
And has a long furry tale?
I know the answer is Jesus
Said the boy
But it sure sounds
Like a squirrel to me.
Is sometimes
A squirrel.


Monday, March 26, 2018

In my world


 In my world
Which is of course
Your world
Which is
Of course
The world
Of the woman
Who walks
Her German Shepherd
In front
Of my house.
The German Shepherd's world
By me
But still known
To the Chihuahua
On its short little legs,
Its body
Low to the ground.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It begins

Another year with Molly the donkey. This year I had a front row seat.

Holy Week
Is underway.
With the walker
I got a front row seat
In close proximity
To Molly
The donkey.
She tolerated
Waving palms
We are marching
In the Light of Christ
In the Light of Christ.
She stood.
I could swear
She smiled.
She led the procession
Into the church.
I could swear
She smiled.
Was a vital role.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


Once again, time to learn to double-team.

So often.
We think it necessary
To go it alone.
It took me awhile
To learn
The two-head
It might be taught
On our mother's
On our father's
All too often
It isn't.
Here we are
Learning it
Here we are
On the learning curve.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sentinel geese

Spring, a time when the geese, who have practiced all winter, really take their post seriously.

It is time
For sentinel geese
To take up their posts
Feet wide
Necks stretched.
There's a nest there
Females hunkered down
We will never see
The eggs
If the sentinel goose
Has anything to say.
About it.

Monday, March 19, 2018


March 19. St. Joseph's Day.

His day usually falls
During Lent.
A reason to break
The Lenten fast
Bury him in the lawn
Facing the house
A quick sale
He will be paraded
Around the block.
He requires a position
Of honor.
Heaven knows
He didn't get it
In that stable
With his Son
On the cross.
He simply disappeared
But not today.
Not today.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Bird niches

The juncos
Are still here
Even as the red wings
Have arrived,
Each has staked out
His own particular
The robins
Move in
More slowly,
It seems they wait
For winter birds
To move on.
I wonder
About bird niches,
One takes over
Where the other
Leaves off.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Change back

Today I would like to sit on the park bench and talk with Emily Dickinson. We would talk about writing. We would talk about what a very few words can do. Maybe we wouldn't say much at all. She would understand the very clutteredness of Lent. She would understand the irony, the almost sigh of relief when Easter comes.

Everyone it seems
Produces extra things
For Lent:
More words and poems
Fill the mailbox
Fill my head
Fill my heart
Connections become
Somehow imperative
In these forty days,
In this wilderness,
In this damned March snow.
It is as if
This is the only time
Anyone really pays attention
It’s Lent
Easter is coming.
Then it will be
Too late.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mouse in snow

Part of the "animal in snow" series

Without the snow
It is impossible
To tell
Who went
Over the lawn.
Years ago
It was a mouse
Small footprints
Tail line
Trailed behind.

Monday, March 12, 2018


They are faithful as clockwork.

She says the hummingbirds
On May 1.
How do they know
How does she know
When to put out
The sugar water
So they will be fed
The flowers bloom,
They always arrive
On May 1
In Minnesota.
Maybe it's a day
Or two earlier

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The lake is still there.

I figure which place
I would like to visit
From the other side
Of the lake.
One of the
Ten Thousand
Minnesota claims.
This is not
Arrowhead Point
But Pickerel Bay.
Next to the Bluewater Channel.
The geography
From the good part
Of my childhood.
Before it was sold.
The lake
Is still there.
Arrowhead is part
Of Chippewa National Forest.
It is time
To return
To Pickerel Bay.
The lake
Is still there.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Different things hold a couple together.

We share a taste
For brownies
No frosting.
Does not allow
True appreciation
Of the brownie
Powdered sugar
Is okay
But frosting
Absolutely not.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Best enemies

Bad decisions, good decisions.

They took us
At our word
No more
No less.
I suppose
We should be grateful.
They trimmed the red bud
So no branch
Touched the house.
It will touch
By June.
We are already
Almost out
Of Girl Scout cookies.
No more until
Next year.
I suppose
We should be grateful.
We are our own
Best enemies.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Another Peterman catalog arrived in the mail this week. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

I read the catalog
From cover
To cover
When it arrives
In the mail,
Dream the dreams
It inspires.
I have bought
The dreams
Enough times,
Not many,
But enough
To keep
The catalog
In the mailbox.
When I grow up
I would like
To write copy
For Peterman.

Monday, March 5, 2018


In my family we all learned to drive in Lakewood Cemetery

We will drive north
Come spring,
Maybe summer,
Figure which plots
Walk through
The bird sanctuary
Named for
My great grandfather.
I hope to walk then.
We will see
Which birds
Have returned
Which birds
Have remained.
We all learned to drive
In the cemetery
Next door,
To park
Our wheels
Or out.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Oh, it's different now

I write about women because that is my experience, and I dare not generalize.

Oh, it's different now.
Women writers
Do not need to hide
Behind initials
Or even men's names
To be published
To be read.
It's different now.
It hides underground
With earthworms
But still
It has to emerge
Like rain-soaked ground
Won't allow it
Any longer.

Friday, March 2, 2018


I remember the parish foray I called "Adventures with Catharine." It seemed a good idea. I never did learn how to make mayonnaise.

Everyone has gifts.
Mine do not include
Years ago
I invited people
To show
Me their gifts.
The chef
Tried to teach me
She did not
It was
A worthy effort.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

If you chose

Thinking of Billy Graham lying in state at the Capitol

Where would
You have your body
Lie in state
For those to bow
Or weep
Or perhaps
Lay lilies
Throw roses
White or red?
If you chose
Where would it be?
Who would you want
In attendance?
What flowers
Would you choose?
What words
What words
What actions
Would say
Most of it
Or even a lot of it
E c h o i n g.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Respecting differences

Years ago
We were told
My Beloved
Must come to church
With me.
We switched counselors.
The next counselor said
We needed to share
A tube
Of toothpaste.
My beloved did.
He brought my son
To church.
My Beloved was baptized
Years later.
We each still
Have our own tube
Of toothpaste.
I still
The cap off.