Monday, January 29, 2018


This is from someone whose family kept a Webster's Third International Dictionary on the sideboard in the dining room, so when we had arguments about a word's meaning, we could look it up. I know...weird...right? I still had to look up capacious.

I get lost
In writing
In speech
Which needs
The whole dictionary
To get anything across.
To be sure
I love
The good vocabulary.
Who needs
Who needs it
When those who read it
Those who hear it
Must write it
In the margin
And look it up.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Spare time

In memory of Ursula K. Le Guin, may she rest in peace.

It's all we have.
It's all
We have ever had,
No matter
We occupy it,
No matter who
Accompanies us.
All of it
Is spare,
Yet full.
Spare time
Is anything
But spare.
If we listen
For what flows
Between the cracks
We will hear
It bubble
In its spareness,
That burbling sound.
If we look
Between the cracks,
A light glimmers.
We will see
It shine
In its spareness,
That remarkable color.
Spare time
Is anything
But spare.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Even without snow

We are all creatures of hope.

Even without snow
The ducks come and go
Across the way.
The duck lady,
Now in white
Tries to teach them
Is only
For times
Of snow and ice.
The ducks
show up anyway.
It will take days
For them
To learn.
I watch ducks
Come and go,
Go and come,
Fly in and out.
They hope
She will forget.
She doesn't.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


It seemed the puppets belonged in my office. No, I do not work with children.

My office has
A basket full
Of puppets.
Some of them
Have names.
Some have yet
To make their names
I say
I do not
Work with children
The puppets are there
For anyone
Who wishes
To make use
Of them.
The puppets are there
For use
Or whimsy
Or simply
The puppets are there.
Some of them
Have names.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


A shout-out to my pew-mate Edna!

The house
is decorated
In one walker
And a cane downstairs,
One walker upstairs.
The air-boot finds its way
Both places.
I claim my spot
With others
Of my kind
In the front pew
At church.
I settle here
For as long
As necessary.
May be longer
Than I know.
It may be shorter
Than I expect.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Foot up

Different times

Different times
Require different positions.
Of course I knew this.
There's nothing
Like staring
At a booted foot
On a chair
In front of you
To remind you
Of its truth.
I will not run anywhere
Anytime soon.
I will not walk
Up the stairs
Without spotting
From my Beloved.
Different times
Different actions.
Of course I knew this.
Nothing like
A visible reminder.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

When it comes time

I think we all practice unconsciousness when we sleep every night. I used to think I wanted to die in my sleep. Now I think...No.

When it comes time
To die
I want to be awake
for the experience.
None of this
Dying in my sleep
None of this
Losing track
Of my life
So I can't
Say goodbye
In a proper way.
When it comes time
I want to inhale
In the Life
to Come.
When it comes time
I want to be awake
for the experience.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

On the outskirts

One more life looks different moments. Perspective, Catharine, it's all perspective.

On the outskirts
Life looks different
Than it does
In the midst.
Of course
Perspective counts.
Foot elevated
Foot iced
Foot booted
Life looks different
Than it does
In the midst.

Friday, January 19, 2018


Every year we think we'll get the Christmas decorations down sooner than the beginning of Lent. It seems we have yet to make that goal.

The Christmas vignettes remain
Around the house,
Stone nativity
In place;
Tree on the table
In the family room;
Tweed reindeer
From two years ago
In the living room,
Garland draped
We figure
It will all be put away
By Lent.
For now
Christmas vignettes
Claim the house.
Wise folk stand
At the manger.
They take their due time
Before they go home
Another way.
Maybe Herod
Will miss them.
As they pass by,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Clearly there is more to be learned. I suspect a lot of the more are things that have circled around again, in different form.

It seems
Is relative.
This time
I sit with my foot
Raised on a pillow
A new experience
I still move
In different ways.
What will it be today?
I know different,
but how different?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Anything good

Can anything good come from Nazareth? Really? This is one of those Sundays I wish I was preaching. 

We all look
For something good
To come
From anywhere
In between.
A whole
Heck of a lot
Of in between.
Some of us
Are more gifted
At seeing
The shiny bits
Not so much.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ordinary time

Counting the weeks of ordinary time, which are really anything but ordinary.

I like that Ordinary Time
Is green
A space of Ordinary Time
Between Epiphany
And Lent.
It varies in length
Every year.
Then it comes again
To welcome in
The summer,
For a long time
A long time
Until Advent
Its way
‘til Christmas.
We get Ordinary Time
The green
Of Ordinary Time
For long stints
So we learn to recognize
The goodness
The pure goodness
Of ordinary.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A beginning

New Year,

What will happen
This year?
It is always
A surprise.
I will write
The wrong date
On checks.
Is a sure thing.
The lady in red
Across the way
Will feed the ducks.
We may catch a mouse
Or two.
There are plans
Which may
Be executed.
I may assemble
My poetry in themes
Decide what to do
We may do the things
We did not do
Last year,
Then again
Maybe not.