Friday, March 28, 2014


Life is absurd
the bubbles on the green pond are absurd
how they bobble and burst

It is absurd that I should living
be sitting here talking in the sun with you
about the paradoxes we already live
know it or not

see it or blind

ears but not hear

hearts but don’t—

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Uses of Sorrow


Who am I that I should wake
to the summons of bells calling
the hungry people to sustenance
light crowding the golden trees
and warm shapes of cool round
air fluttering my eyelids
filling my ears with birdsong?

Out there it is brimming over
yellow and blue as I dress
quietly, spilling over too.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



You should not
so splendid and solitary be
with fine hairs shining
spiked from green stem
bright color design set

I dream you tossing torn
silky petals among a
thousand fellows in birdsong
of a great field where
prairie ripples wave in the sun
water-like, you one
blotched color spot in
shining brown and green.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Theme & Variations on Stillness


I ~

     I am a little pool of water,
         stirring always with motion.
I try to hold the sky in me,
    the blue, blue sky
 but its clarity easily ripples
    in trembling concentric circles shaken outward.
I try to hold the green there
      of slender smooth trees
   stretching above, silhouetting
         slim lines, leaf shapes
    but then silent  spinning  leaf
       hits  my  face
           breaks  reflection.
Water-stillness is frail.

    I am a little pool of water
            fragile to the touch.
      Still  me. 

II ~ 

Lazy and lingering, in sweet slowing sweeps
A lone leaf falls, fleet on slopes of air
In jolt it meets water, face surface leaps
Back in smooth concentric interruption to reflection fair.

Ripples, pulled back, stretched, released, meet
To be intersection of light on smooth face
of treed reflections formed in seat
From liquid cool wet and wide, trembling in lace.

Stirred up, you are nothing but brownness beneath the trees
You have no colored image smiling at sky
Trembled answers to birches stretched and splendoured leaves
Instead, lonely, you blank and troubled lie.

III ~ 

I am a jar of river water all
     shaken up  (it's easy really sometimes
to shake me)  but I have
       methods of order to appear
 cool,   calm,  collected
         and none can guess (though some can see)
the swirling inside, clamoring
         of heart
             mind.         (Which shall win? Or you,
                       Lord Christ?)

Monday, January 20, 2014

on clarity and silence

   I have time now to sort thoughts. I lay awake at night and try to follow trails, threads, sort them in my mind so I can return to them later.
   I was driving home from a friend's house on one of the coldest nights of the winter and I passed the library. Snow was heaped against the windows and the Christmas wreaths were still up despite it being several weeks into January. But inside the orderly bookcases were flooded with warm light and I thought how much  I want that for my inward life.

Some days I don't know how to write this blog anymore. I wonder why I started writing and why I continued. I write a lot these days but I write for myself. I write poems that I re-read for the truth I wrote out of myself and the insight that helps me to gain clarity. But those poems for the time being will stay in smooth black ink on creamy lined pages or in the word documents of my computer.

So I wonder what to write.

I am trying to learn gentleness these days; and quietness. I'm trying to learn what it means to love as Christ and so I sit with things a long time. I swallow words and speak differently than I started out to. I see how powerful words are and how carelessly we use them. How carelessly I've used them. I'm trying to relearn what it truly means to think before you speak.
 I am learning silence and stillness. Listening.

I'm searching for clarity.

So if I'm silent here, it's because I am wondering what to say and I'm learning how much better it is to say it in person. I'm trying to know my own heart and to go out from myself to know as much as I am able the hearts of others and learn to serve them beyond myself. I'm failing at it a lot, but I'm slowly learning. I'm trying to be patient. To be quiet.

I have stories and stories that I would love to share. But just for now I am turning them over in my heart like you would turn over a beloved keepsake in the light: studying nuances, considering shadows and intricacies, memorizing lines and shades. I'm soaking them in like a child who goes outside in the first warm spring sunshine: hungry.

So all of this is to say one little thing, I suppose. I used to try to post at least once a month, not abandon this little blog of mine which only a handful of people read. But I may not worry about that this year. If it happens, wonderful. If it does not, equally wonderful. I pray that I am present living life whether or not I have capacity to write from it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Night [slats]

I lay back flat
look up slat by slat
above my eyes shadows varying shade

Used to be
I never thought
drifted too quickly to wonder
the shape of virtue
or line of wisdom
I mulled daytimes, walking.

Restless now
Tossing I turn heaps over in my thoughts
past dark

Could be I was sitting
skirts tangled in a tumbled heap
of books waist deep

Empty slat shelves
staring me down.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

from "Riprap"

In my mind, the arguers never stop
the skeptic and the amazed
the general and the particular, in their
   uneasy relationship.

Then the robin sings.

Then the bulb of the lily becomes the stalk,
the stalk opens into a handkerchief of white light.

O what is beauty 
that I should be up at
four A.M. trying to arrange this
thick song?What is beauty that I should
bow down in the fields of the world, as though
someone, somewhere,made it?

O what is beauty
that I feel it to be so hot-blooded and suggestive
so filled with imperative

beneath the ease of its changes,
between the leaves and the clouds of its thousand
    and again thousand opportunities?

~Mary Oliver, from The Leaf and the Cloud 
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