Tuesday, November 22, 2005


22 November 2005

I thought I was supposed to feel
A great deal more than what I do

The sun has set
The rosy glow receded long ago
Slate replaced the passionate
Array of heather-cloud embers

Moon and stars gently grace
The night sky
Dark as pitch and blacker yet

Your grace abounds

Passionate or passionless
You remain
The same

Monday, November 21, 2005

Softening Epiphanies

21 November 2005, 9:43 PM

Clouds are draped like glowing
Heather set ablaze by light of setting
Suns retreating swiftly toward Horizon

Slate advances
Rose recedes

I grieve this softening reprieve

Yet praise ascent of Moon and Stars
Keeping watch o’er all we are
All we’ve been
All we’ll be as wax and wane the suns
Of years to come

© 2005 Maria Stuart

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I May Be a Poet

17 November 2005, 11:29 P

I may be a poet

Though to name one's self thus means very little
One's name ought not to come from one's self
And yet I feel the need to say it

I may be a poet

For where one sees a sycamore
I see a child reaching hard for her father
A maiden yearning for her lover
And in the tire swinging from her branches
I see the two, the child and the woman
Hiding fast in shame of having lost all
For having lost both father and lover

And where one spies a butterfly
I note her yellowed wing, tipped with
The fire of setting suns
Anxious at the thought of being seen
Anxious at the thought of not
Angry for the anxious nature of her flight
Flying nonetheless, ceasing not to lavish
Kisses on the daisies of her emerald lea

The bird which wings her path across the sky
She is a woman rising from the ashes of a life
Which outlived someone else's intent
She'll fly and dazzle 'til her strength is spent
Then fall back to the earth once more
To begin her task again

And where one finds a river flowing wide
I see the grief of passing years, churning
Through the rapids and the rocks
And through the quiet places too
Always through the silent rushes
Teaching them to stand up straight and tall
Against her current
Until they take their very life from her
Gracious brutality

I may be a poet

For once I sat within these walls
And fancied it a stagnant pool
The very nature of the space
Implied that what had once entered in
Would never find a rill running out again
The pictures hung hard, the couch sat heavy
The very air refused to move
Nor to welcome anything which might bring life

Yet now I see the paintings free to morph
Into realities I had not yet imagined could be
Truth flows in, around these walls
Carries all through time, about and in
And back again, out through the doors

This place is but a passing moment
I see, feel, hear, taste Reality becoming
As I sit within these walls
Now become a lovely streamlet bearing all
Including me, through space and time

In time it turns a mighty river
Carrying this life into Eternity
Where I shall no longer feel the need
To name myself a poet

Monday, November 14, 2005


14 November 2005, 10:19 PM

This emesis prolonged itself
Long since void of aught
Except bile-bitterness
Involuntary spasms cease

Her hair
Not plastered to her face
Held gently by one hand
As another cools the burning of her brow

Mops away the salty seas
Ill-gotten tears
For which the hand that wipes them
Is not responsible

Though sorrowful
Yet gladly did this Father sit beside her
As she wept and all the wretched grieving
Would have kept behind her lips

Except his arms around her frame
Expelled and comforted the shame
Held before her face a glass
Reflecting for the child her name

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Wind

30 October 2005, 1:44 PM

My Name is in the Wind

Rustling Sycamore leaves and
Still-green grass upon the Lea
Rippling the waters as the Sparrow’s
Flight waxes in the morning Sun.

My Name is in the Wind

Beneath a Butterfly’s new-found wings
Stirring cirrus Clouds upon an
Azure Sky now deep’ning to Cerulean

Beyond the mirrored Universe
I’ve gazed upon so long
I’d forgotten all else

But my Name is in the Wind

Blowing endlessly
Returning to the One
Who placed the tree upon the Lea
Who gave the Sun and gilded leaves
Who loves the Bird and Butterfly
Who made the grass and blessed the same

Who is the Wind and knows my Name

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Is it possible to wake
Thirty years into the game and somehow
Come out ahead

Perhaps even thankful for the wounds
For wisdom gained through years of
Living with both eyes shut
Breaking toes
Bloodying my nose as I bash my head
Against brick wall after brick wall

Eyes open to find
Azure fleece draped over my bed
The Moon so long has cushioned
My head
Faint and fuzzy from this
Sleep I brush from eyes which
Wept throughout a dream-filled
Cursing night

It's over now

It's over now

The cursed night is over now
I feel a bit hung over in the
Light of suns now rising

But I am finally awake

I shall not sleep again

© 2005 Maria Stuart

On Suffering

It seems almost that we were born to die, so that we could rise again to Life that is fuller, freer, more alive than ever we have known- so alive, in fact, that the life we lived before seems death, in the shadow of Resurrection.

I don't know why it should strike so foreign in my heart. The seed was born to be buried in the ground, that the Sycamore might live. The acorn's life seems brief- yet it bears within its finitude the potential to live on in the Oak for centuries.

So in all these struggles, purpose can be found. That's not necessarily to say they were set in motion by God- who knows His mind? I am persuaded that He never desired we should suffer so. Yet there's a strange, unknowable paradox in the Fall; that its redemption so far outshines the original as to make their respective beauties incomparable.

Thoughts spurred by a letter to a friend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Eternity on My Hands

Reflections on "The Whole"
6 October 2005, 7:16 PM

"The Whole" is not published on this site. If you are interested in reading it, leave me a note, and I will post it or send you a link where you can read it.

Byzantium permeates my senses;
Trinity, the core of who I am.

I’m suddenly aware of Eternity
on my hands; I can smell it’s fragrance,
not quite fresh, but intoxicating nonetheless,
even as I stand in my kitchen
over a sink full of dishes.

Spikenard; too majestic a scent
for mundanity; the everyday…

Yet the everyday is holy as
I learn to seek the sacred in each breath of
perfumed oil, inundating my senses
even as I stand in my kitchen
over a sink full of dishes.

Monday, October 24, 2005

From George MacDonald's "Phantastes."

Seldom does a book strike so directly and so intimately upon the most poignant moments and thoughts of my inner world. A most intriguing book, and an exquisite practice in fantasy; grief; beauty; losing (and finding) self. A few excerpts which I found particularly meaningful are below.

From chapter X:
"As in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note. Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide the doors she may not enter. Almost we linger with Sorrow for very love."

From chapter XVIII:
"In dreams of unspeakable joy-- of restored friendships; of revived embraces; of love which said it had never died; of faces that had vanished long ago, yet said with smiling lips that they knew nothing of the grave; of pardons implored, and granted with such bursting floods of love, that I was almost glad I had sinned-- thus I passed through this wondrous twilight."

From chapter XXIII:
"Then first I knew the delight of being lowly; of saying to myself, "I am what I am, nothing more." "I have failed," I said; "I have lost myself-- would it had been my shadow." I look round: the shadow was nowhere to be seen. Ere long, I learned that it was not myself, but only my shadow, that I had lost. I learned that it is better, a thousand-fold, for a proud man to fall and be humbled, than to hold up his head in his pride and fancied innocence. I learned that he that will be a hero, will barely be a man; that he that will be nothing but a doer of his work, is sure of his manhood. In nothing was my ideal lowered, or dimmed, or grown less precious; I only saw it too plainly, to set myself for a moment beside it. Indeed, my ideal soon became my life; whereas, formerly, my life had consisted in a vain attempt to behold, if not my ideal in myself, at least myself in my ideal. Now, however, I took, at first, what perhaps was a mistaken pleasure, in despising and degrading myself. Another self seemed to arise, like a white spirit from a dead man, from the dumb and trampled self of the past. Doubtless, this self must again die and be buried, and again, from its tomb, spring a winged child; but of this my history as yet bears not the record. Self will come to life even in the slaying of self; but there is ever something deeper and stronger than it, which will emerge at last from the unknown abysses of the soul: will it be as a solemn gloom, burning with eyes? or a clear morning after the rain? or a smiling child, that finds itself nowhere, and everywhere?"

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Attachment & Anger

23 October 2005, 5:47 PM

Tools of the trade of healing

There is an
Attachment that frees

From youth can be
Become a part of self
Actually enable self to move away
From the womb
Take flight

Can get horribly wrecked
Mangled and distorted until
It is nothing but a deep
Dark Hole

Found late in life
Remains most necessary to
Development of self
Realization that
Something outside the Hole

There is an
Anger that frees

As necessary as Attachment
For though it proffers the tool
By which one might
Dig the Hole deeper

One might with less bitter toil
Hew the steps that
Deliver the misused
From solitude

Though too often
Time erodes and
Believing only the Hole
Self sits beside the shovel

And denies

It exists

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Letting You Go

19 October 2005

For my son

You’re at your daddy’s house
But I’m thinking of you

And someday
I think you might like to know that
The place you hold in my heart
Does not vanish when you leave
The house or my sight

Today you are
A relatively carefree little boy
Who loves his mommy and daddy

Even though
They don’t love each other
At least not the way
They used to

You will be a much bigger boy
Someday a man

In order that you may
Grow into every last inch of
Who you can be
I will make damn certain
You know everyday that

I love you
I am amazed by you
I am delighted with you

I will not depend on you
Nor will I live through you

I want to see you grow and thrive and

Pull away from me

When the time comes

I will let you go

Antibacterial Soap

19 October 2005

For my son

It was antibacterial soap
That led me back to those days
When you first graced my world
With your presence

My job is anything but sentimental

Stocking cold steel
Abrasives and harsh
Tools men use to cut things off
Weld this to that
Make broken things work again

I wash my hands of course
Before I leave that wretched place

And as I drive toward home again
My face often rests upon hand
Or fingers trace lips
As I drift in thought
Wherever she takes me

Today the scent of soap on my hands
found its way to my senses

And I found myself
Quite suddenly five years back
In the hospital
Washing my hands vigorously
Under scalding hot water before entering
The sterile room which housed
Your incubator

Watching your tiny chest rise and
Fall with your labored breaths

Pumping and freezing food
For my sweet baby boy

Born three months early
Before the baby shower that never happened
Before the stretchmarks that never formed

Before your lungs were ready

I had prayed
Dear God let him stay inside
Just one more day

Just one more day

By His providence
And your stubborn insistence
My request did not find fulfillment

I remember visiting
Watching and waiting
Hoping for a week's stability

Such was required
If you were to go
Home before Christmas


You are now
Nearly five years old


And I am driving home with you
Lodged firmly in my heart
Trickling down my face as I remember


The simplest things are sacred
Even the scent of soap on my hands

Friday, October 14, 2005

Dew Drops at Morning Prayers

14 October 2005

At the land on Chrisman Mill Road

Clouds hung like heather upon
Golden misty-morning breezes

The Faithful gathered amidst the
Trees and vineyards of Kentucky

We stood among the Dead
Sang with them
Praises of Eternity

And through Eternity
Light met its mark

A dew drop upon the iron fence
Shot through with a ray which
Travelled the distance
From the sun to that finite point

So much depends

The black iron

Glazed with early morning

Beside the white stone

That gate keeps vigil
Stands to proclaim to all

The Faithful are becoming

Collects the early morning dew
Whence light has bent upon my eye

Reminds me of Eternity

This moment is the blink of an eye
The twinkle of a ray
Within a dew drop

Which no longer exists

*Reference made to William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheel Barrow."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Parlor

12 October 2005

I beg your pardon

I’ve never
Worked so hard to live
Hurt so much to heal
Railed so defiantly against the Machine to find
Something better
Something greater
Something bigger than the daily
Hack and
Grinding of my axe against

The fantasies I had allowed to overtake me

All the things I once held true
In the midst of white-washed
Walls bearing crosses
Baptisteries intended to save
My soul from the devil if
I only stepped in and got wet

The god you rage against
I disbelieve as passionately as
Maybe more so
Than you

He is not the crucified God I now know
To be True


The only Reality
In the midst of white-washed
Self-made something-less-than-persons
Bearing crosses around our necks


For we could be condemned by our
Actions speaking louder than the
Resin hanging from chains which only
Bind our hearts in darkness

If the only cross we bear
Is a coordinating accessory
Dangling light and free upon the chest
Behind a very fashionable shirt
Sitting obediently in the pew
For Sunday morning’s massage

He is waiting outside
Do not seek Him in the Parlor

Sunday, October 09, 2005


9 October 2005, 5:01 PM

There's got to be an answer
Close by
It is just outside
My vision
Blurred by the constant motion
Of this blender-beaten


Is such a relative term
You might not think it
Can be so difficult to discern without
Some sort of reference point
Some concept of a norm
Outside my experience


Is far from objective
Far from set in stone
At least from what I have known
Live your life knowing
The sky is purple
Only to realize it is in fact


You might begin to question
Sanity in light of such
A perplexing assertion
Ludicrous denial
Of all you've ever known


Is that when everyone around you
Independent of other says
This is so
You do begin to question
The unquestioned
I have begun to ask
The unthinkable
Has begun to undo me in the midst of


I have nothing to grasp
Which will firm up my footing
Allow me to continue to stand
Quite impossible
To maintain decorum
Composure as I watch
The very flat world becoming round
And the very purple sky becoming


Saturday, October 08, 2005

What Drives Me

8 October 2005, 12:44 PM

Alone at the reservoir

It’s been a while.

Even so, I am tempted
to run away.
October has been kind,
but my southwestern blood
rears its head again, and
the chill in the air is
almost too much. Fantasies are

stripped away-
into reality I
plummet; from all I have
been accustomed to holding
true and good and tangible
I am removed.
All that is left is


I don’t know who I am
today; who holds the pen;
who longs for…


I don’t even know
what she wants; I don’t know
how to ascertain her needs,
her desires,
her reality,
if it is, in fact, reality.

I am only cold;
both naked and far
from it; I take my leave
of this struggle- from which
I cannot take what it would
more willingly part withal,

except my life…
except my life-

accept my life
and its contentions; all
I cannot see or taste
or touch, but which drives
me nonetheless.

"You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal--except my life--except my life--except my life." From Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Act 2, Scene 2.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


4 October 2005

I lived so long
with a pain which precluded
any sort of normalcy;
an ache which ruled out
any opportunity for peace.

It seemed to come from nowhere;
had always been; would always be,
presumably; was inherent;
a part of who I am, making who
I am somehow unacceptable.

So I’ve learned to equate
grief with some sort of misstep,
most often on my part,

and when it comes
(the grief, that is) I fall into
familiar patterns of
self-flagellant deprecation,
for surely I have played the fool,
if chaos swirls about me so.

It is a subtle and
cruelest form of delusion,
to believe oneself wise
in avoiding any grief; any strife.
For in so shunning hardship
of the heart, one takes leave
of any opportunity to love;
give; receive.

Avoidance precludes naught

except humanity.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Far Too Long

3 October 2005

These tears
behind my eyes, welling; choking;
needing to spill down my
cheeks, dry for far too long.

I cannot close my eyes, or else
they'll run free, finally pressed
beyond capacity to reinforce
self-delusion; fantasies of
what is not, nor ever was.

I fear this acknowledgement
of grief; abandonment;
acceptance of reality as it stands
right now.

It's not that I desire insanity; rather,
these fantasies distract me
from infirmities which threaten to undo
my well-being. I seek to preserve
what I can of what is left of who I was;
who they were; what I once held
as Truth.

I'm afraid it comes to this, and naught else:
The practice of sanity demands a price...
I feel the tension in the strings
of my psychological purse... I take my leave

and long to see no more of these
selves which I have carried around
for years inside of me. They dwell
within the waters of my mind;

the tears
behind my eyes, welling; choking;
needing to spill down my
cheeks, dry for far too long.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Out of the Frying Pan

30 September 2005, 8:28 AM

I have jumped into the fire
again, although this time,
thank God, it was not lit.

I am never content
in the cast iron skillet- I’ll learn
someday that who I am is not
dependent upon another’s
wanting me, needing me,

though in some ways it is.

We find ourselves in the eyes
of others. They find themselves
in us. We are made for this

And it occurs to me: Perhaps
it is all too natural to seek the fire.

The very wise learn to hold the skillet,
to use the fire, to respect both as
tools of the trade of humanity,

and not purveyors of it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

For Our Salvation

29 September 2005

Do you realize...

In order for a person to learn
who she is, someone must reflect
all she feels, says, knows
back into her eyes, ears,
heart and mind...

She does not know inherently
who it is that lives in her body.

I only just understood this.
It's been three years- no,
it's been twenty-nine long years
and then some- I am well
nigh thirty.

It only just occurred to me:
I owe you my life... and
in some strange way
you owe me yours- not in
the sense that I saved you-
I did not save you, nor me;
nor did you save me or yourself...

our paths have crossed; mingled;
changed, and so our hearts
will never be the same.

A part of me is who I am
because of you. A part of you
is who he is because of me...

And this is proof enough to me
that we are given, each to the other,
for the sake of redemption.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Hear America Singing

By Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,
The deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning,
or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day--at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Songs of Humanity

27 September 2005, 9:59 PM

Inspired by Walt Whitman and Lyn Cisneros

Regardless of our
leadership, we have lost
something great and wonderful-
a piece of humanity. The songs
of each “which belong to none else”-

they cease to be sung,
and so do we
cease to be,
one by

I shall take up my song-
the song of the Daughter,
the Mother,
the Lover of Nature and all things
beautiful, all things solitary,
all things in communion with
Heaven and Earth.

I shall take up
the Song of the Poet.

Quote taken from Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.”

For Lisa

September 27, 2005

Lisa, Lisa… Hello, Lisa!
You’ll read today and find that
I’ve been a busy girl;
a little naughty, like
the girl with the curl,
for I am up far past my bedtime
just to sit and write and rhyme
and post upon this silly site
a dozen poems (or more, I might!)
and give you quite an awful fright
when at last you come upon
the catch-up you must play today
to keep up with the stuff I write



September 26, 2005
9:40 PM

Moonlit clouds drone
into oblivion; the waters whisper
soft, his voice, hypnotic,
and I smile,

My Brain

September 23, 2005
5:22 PM

Every now and again, my brain gets
turned upside-down; all the books
on all the shelves return to chaos.


these bits and pieces of thought
and imagination, keeping track of all
I might lose otherwise.

Thank God they’re in books, bound
at the spine, not loose-leaf, free
floating on the wind of my subconscious.

This way,
even when my world is shaken, and the
books fall to the floor, I know that
this and this and this will still be found


in some semblance of order. I have only
to pick up the books, flatten their pages,
alphabetize (or numericize, whichever
suites my fancy this particular go-round)
and replace them on the appropriate shelf.

My brain is such a wonder;
such a pain. I am getting better at
this, though, with every
chaos-inducing crisis that comes to call.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Room for Me

September 16, 2005

There is room in my heart for you...
and you,
and you,
and you.

There is room,
for I have finally learned
to breathe.

Inhale, exhale...
Inhale, exhale.

And suddenly, there are
so many rooms to fill,
I cannot possibly imagine anything
more exhilarating than
keeping house
within this space which I once
called my madness, my chaos,
which I now call

(inhale, exhale)

my masterpiece.

There is room in my heart for more
than what I had known...

There is room for a son,
and (perhaps) for a lover;
there is room for so very many others...

There is room for love to grow and breathe;
inhale, exhale, live, scream;
run free and give all there is to give.

I had begun to feel
but there is room.

Thank God,

there is room

for me.

On the Other Side

September 16, 2005


You sprinkled sunshine
soft upon the twilight of my memory,
and the fear behind
my countenance found peace.

I no longer count death my enemy,
knowing you will be
on the other side.


September 16, 2005

In the woods,
dewy autumn leaves
gold the trees,
like Midas treasuring
the momentary survival
of a bittersweet tension.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Cross

Journal entry, September 14, 2005, 11:54 PM

It occurred to me tonight during Great Vespers that everything we say about the cross of Christ, because of what He did and who he is, we can now say about the crosses we carry, if in fact we are carrying them in a manner worthy of Christ. Because of and through His suffering, our crosses are our salvation; they defeat the demons; they bring hope and strength to the Body of Christ. Somehow these things that were our downfall, these things- some of which were forced upon us and some of which we have chosen by our own brokenness, are now gifts to us for our salvation- not in and of themselves, but because of the holiness of the suffering of Jesus.

He has made my suffering sacred- holy unto Him- the fire He means to cleanse me, to set me apart for Himself. I don't understand how this is, but I know it is. I hurt to see it, as I hurt to begin to understand what we are saying about ourselves when we hymn Mary. It is not that the burdens we carry are, of themselves, the path to salvation, apart from Christ. It is that when we carry those burdens in a manner befitting followers of Christ, keeping His cross always in focus, they become the means by which we are saved.

How, how, how? What is this, that the cross of living daily with the reality of my deepest wounds might actually come to bring light and life to me? Learning to live with the consequences not only of my own sin, but of someone else's as well- learning to live with remembering, with experiencing, with understanding and finding who I am in Christ in the midst of it- this wonderfully horrific process of death leads to life. And denying it; running from it; shielding my eyes and pretending it does not exist, these things lead to death. This is true regardless of the particular burden one carries. We must look, we must see, we must take up, we must learn to bear it.

And so much lighter the burden, to walk with it that way, with Christ taking the greater part of the load, than it is to attempt, with a great white elephant sitting on your back, to walk as if there were nothing on your back at all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Poet by Definition

September 14, 2005
3 PM

It is a fine line between
living with one’s head in the clouds
and flying away completely.

It takes a poet to navigate that finitude,

though sometimes it may take a logician
to rectify a poet-gone-bad…
Only he (the logician) can calculate
the distance she (the poet) has gone
in going mad-

the poet simply doesn’t care.
She’s longing more and more with
every passing day to get her
“mind into the heavens,”*
and if she loses touch with the earth
beneath her feet, that’s fine.

She’ll return to the jetty in time.

Between now and then,
she’ll float easily on the
waters of Infinity
while her ground-bound partner
measures out the distance from
this side of eternity
to the other.

* From G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy.”


September 14, 2005
10:46 AM

I’ve entered the murk again.

Yes, “murk.”

If a pond can be murky,
there must be something called
murk which obscures vision.

Don’t bother looking it up.
I’ll coin the term if it doesn’t
already exist.

I have entered it again.

I’ve been here countless times
before: Delved to the core, seen
the light break through, reveled in
illusions of the finish line in sight.

There is no finish line.

There is only learning to live with
who I’ve become and how I’ve coped.

So it starts again.

Once more I must learn to cope,
though this time there’s

Survival is not the ultimate ideal.

Rather than simply
drawing breath;
taking steps;
swallowing food;
smiling blankly when it’s expected,
I must learn to

breathe deliberately and
appreciate sensations of
oxygen filling my lungs, my blood;
I must learn to

crawl, walk,
run for the first time, and
feel the exhilaration of speed,
wind in my hair,
barefoot on a sylvan lea;
I must learn to

feed myself…
meet my needs for
nourishment of soul and body,
and realize the efficacy of such things;
I must learn to

smile because I cannot help it,
laugh because life is delightful,
because I am delighted at
the gifts of


I must learn to live
in the midst of the murk,
in murky places.

And so it begins.

White Owl

September 13, 2005
7:18 PM

White owl; night
messenger to a woman
cold, growing old.

A thousand voices
call her to die (to self)

Life begins thus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Beyond Memories

September 13, 2005
10:24 AM

I savor these moments
when thirst and tears
abate quietly,
sipping tea with you,

at home
beyond the memories.


September 12, 2005
11:00 AM

embraced the Sun.

Singed and sighing,
undulating with
deepening thought;
the Shadows rouse to
subconscious culmination,
exhaling the Deep…

Illumination comes-
a monsoon.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Supporting Our Troops & Their Families

Denzel Washington and his family recently visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Center, in San Antonio,Texas (BAMC). Many soldiers who have been evacuated from Germany to the states go there for treatment, especially burn victims. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses- hotels where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base but they are almost completely filled most of the time. While Mr. Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his check book out and wrote a check for the full amount right there on the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Azure Moon

September 1, 2005
11:39 PM

Once in an Azure Moon
it happens:

Clouds dissipate,
light emanates,


What was unknown becomes
what was beyond comprehension
is finally conceived.

And all this time, I
thought I had nothing,
thought I was nothing,
thought there was nothing to give.

But once in an Azure Moon,
Reality sets in
with something beyond
the horrific;
not having bypassed
nor scaled
nor dug under
nor stepped around the obstacle...

But having
through it.

And truth breaks mind;
breaks heart;
breaks stalwart obstinance.

Knees finally
make acquaintance with the ground;
tears, at long last, fall
to wet the same...

And I know my name.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It Could Be Worse

August 24, 2005
10:55 AM

The first day of (pre)school
always brings excitement to
my little boy.

So many things have not been
what they ought to have been for him,
even at the tender age of not-quite-five.

Yet at this stage, he is largely unaware,
at least consciously,
and so he grins and laughs
and asks me when the bus will come.

I wonder if he thinks of daddy this morning.
So many things have not been
what they ought to have been for him.

It could be worse.
As it is,
he'll talk to daddy tonight before bed.

But right now, he's more concerned
with Bus number Thirty-Two,
and as he runs to board, he trips
on his baseball shoes-
the ones he was so excited to wear
on this first day of school.

Tender little palms meet pavement;
tender little eyes begin to weep
and panic over blood that isn't even flowing
because this morning simply isn't going
the way it ought to have gone for him.

But it could be worse.
Luckily, this sweet little boy's mom
understands that tears will flow
for many reasons all at once,
and though it could be worse,
it's bad enough for him
right now.

So we skip the bus,
go back home and read
his favorite book,
then walk to school
hand in hand.

And I show him the secret passage
leading to many a magical place,
and not least of all
to his first day of school
which might still unfold
the way it ought to unfold for him.

I ask for a hug and a kiss;
he barely turns, smiling,
hesitates, and says no,
then runs to his class,
whole and wholly delighted
(and delightful),
bruises and scraped palms forgotten...

I'm late for work,
but it could be worse.

And sometimes I think
it couldn't possibly be better,
as I walk home alone,

Autumn Falls

August 24, 2005
9:50 AM

Here in Kentucky,
Autumn falls like an axe,
sundering the Summer's sultry hold;
merciful in its brutality
as I step out the door and realize
I just might need a sweater,
if only for the morning.

Just last week, I drove to work
bare shouldered, and glad of it,
for the air was so thick,
even an axe would've had a
rough go of it.

Yet today I opened the door
to watch for the bus as my son
chattered excitedly about his
first day of preschool (this year);
about his indignation at
having to wait until the end of August
(I never specified what day of the month
school would start)
until he could ride the bus again.

I opened the door and was
taken aback;
once more the fingertips of Autumn
broke the waters of a thick,
Kentucky Summer,

and I smiled to see my old friend
returning once again.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


August 21, 2005
5:08 PM

"Handle with care-- everything-- even the predators."

Even the predators have vulnerabilities.
It may be more accurate to say
they emerge from those who are
most victimized.

Their crime is their voice;
they have no other.

And so the wounds they once received
become the injustice they perform.
The misuse once made of them
becomes a sort of inheritance
passed, it seems, eternally hence.

They create only what they are:
Victims or violators;
predators or prey.

It is a grievous cycle,
broken only by compassion,
not cruelty and inhumanity.

For who would set out to
quench a fire with kindling?

Quote taken from Katherine Paterson's _Bridge to Terebithia_.


August 21, 2005
4:20 PM

Alone at the reservoir.

I'm waiting for my hair to grow.

And I wish it would snow.
The likelihood is grandly slim,
as I lay here drenched in summer's heat,
bare as convention allows a woman.

I ought not wish to hasten time.
("Death is in the cost...")
All I or any have ever had is

And we miss it.
Damn if we miss it every day.
We miss that days and nights
are little more than sun and moon,
birds and stars,
dark and light taking turns
in the sky.

This day is the same as the one before,
eternally hence,
and so it also is with night.
There is only one darkness;
only one light;
only one sky, one moon,
one sun or absence of the same.

It is we who are ever turning,
ever changing,
ever running round in circles
to accomplish what we call "today"
before what we call "tomorrow",
what we never see,

There is only Now;
only who we are, which entails
every yesterday we've ever invented;
every tomorrow we've never seen,
nor ever will.

There is only Now;
only today,
and when we fail to see it,

we fail to live.

"Death is in the cost..." taken from Wendell Berry, _Sabbaths_.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Work of Heaven

August 8, 2005

It’s in the little
moments of faithfulness:
Folding laundry, sweeping porches,
washing dishes,

when another soul who lives in hell
might happen upon the
window above my sink;
portal to my corner of the world…

The westering sun painted
puffs of clouds orange
against a rosy haze;
evening drew near in twilight’s wake.

Carrying the garbage
to the dumpster,
I looked up to the sky
and smiled.

I realized I live in Paradise…

And she may not now have eyes to see,
but if I am faithful in these little things,
perhaps someday she will see
that everyday living can be
the work of Heaven.


August 8, 2005
7:30 PM

Just live.

That is my asceticism.

Absolutely fascinating,
that I must learn
what so many others take for granted.

Life does not come naturally to me.
I cannot comprehend how
daily to perpetuate the functions
necessary for sustenance of life.

I have begun the lesson…
Already I am weary, frustrated
beyond my capacity to cope.

This gift which heals my wounds
also serves to keep me
paralyzed in scars if I fail
to eat, sleep, maintain my home;
my vital relationships.

I cannot live by words alone.

I desire a greater legacy than
survival alone, so I close my notebook,
put down my pen,
though it feels like death to do so…

I know this death-
a path that leads to life
if I let it.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


July 17, 2005

Fades the day to fairy night,
grows the dark from deep twilight which,
dawn or dusk, bears semblance of remains
of life and love and solitary days.

Twinkles fire of fairies bright,
fades the western pale of light;
tales of love may yet unfold
as patience waits through trials untold.

Fields of green transform to citrine blaze,
as fairies dance in wild romance
and fancies of the mind,
leaving mundane thoughts behind,
seeking not to grieve nor to repine.

Let me dance with fairies,
in the fields of citrine night,
under skies of diamonds bright,
with clover in my hair, honey on the breeze,
breasts bared to the deepening dark,
until I too am free and laughing fiercely
at the thundering sky.

Twilight Majesty

July 17, 2005

The waters calm
as the eve draws on;
crickets sing
their darkening theme.
Cicadas now are few,
but they still sing
still sing they do,
and hymn Your twilight majesty-
they bear Your glory unto me.

Listen close to water’s swell
here beside the city well;
mark the trill of bird,
the moan of beast;
the greatest hymn,
and also least.

What have I deserved
at the hands of Heaven
to sit beside this
portal to another time and place
partaking, solitary, of Your grace?

Easily do clouds
drift on the fading sky-
weary do I pen the beauty of the sight.
All within me yearns for light
against the pale of coming night.
I grieve the loss of clarity,
but glory in the hymn of twilight.

All is well.
Day shall come again
too soon.

A Fair Intoxicant

July 17, 2005

I long to know the name of those sweet birds
that skim the waters of the reservoir.
No reason can I see except delight
when so meek a creature interrupts his flight
to test the measure of causation
entailed within a life so slight.
And yet, the glory of the moment
when the ripples set to motion
seems a fair intoxicant for one of his measure.

And I rise to find a smooth, flat stone
to skip across the reservoir;
make some ripples of my own...

A fair intoxicant for one of my measure.

Sylvan Lea

July 17, 2005

I spy great white-cloud vessels
upon the azure deep above,
as softly sings the water of the reservoir.
I rest upon a somewhat sylvan lea
and dream of grander things than me.


June 18, 2005- completed July 17, 2005

I found no answer
in the mirror; only doubts
and more questions.

I am not so young
as I seem; eternity
exists in my sighs;

in the midst of this silence,
endless days upon my tears.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence Day

July 5, 2005
2:18 AM

For a friend. Thank you.

I wonder,
do you know who you are right now?

There’s no way you could,

Sitting atop the sycamore
you practically dared me to climb,
blithely mounting her limbs,
scaling her height,
making the crook of her arms
your resting place;

making it look easy.

I followed you,
shimmied up the branch
I couldn’t reach otherwise,
clambered from foothold to foothold
in shoes made for other
less daring ventures.

I’m twenty-nine years old;
you, six years my junior...

But here we sit,
atop my sycamore,
gazing out and down
at leaves we’ve only ever seen
from without...

I’m smiling in spite of my fear.

Spontaneity has turned me inside out;
I am not so mundane as I supposed,
and there is freedom in this
simple moment, where I do not question
your motives nor your thoughts.

I am content simply to be with you.

Friday, June 24, 2005


June 24, 2005
7:55 PM

Alone at the reservoir.

Light is slowing, shadows growing.
Write I now with sadness,
knowing time draws nigh to say good-bye...
Day draws close to eve’s twilight...

Adieu... Adieu.

Wisp & Ray

June 24, 2005
7:51 PM

Alone at the reservoir.

Hazy Sky is playing with Sun,
casting shadows where there ought be none....

A nothing-wisp of cloud
breaks and separates the rays,
making me aware of light
in strange and subtle ways.

Why this wisp and not another,
I cannot say.
So many in the sky have not caught
even a single ray...

Perhaps because this piece of misty wind
lies within my view...
I fancy that the comfort it imparts
was sent by You.

Beside the Reservoir II

June 24, 2005
7:46 PM

Alone at the reservoir.
Missing Mattie.

I believe
I just might be capable
of sitting here,
right here,
until next year,
writing without pause
except for sleep and sustenance.

The air is warm,
the breeze is cool,
the water in the reservoir
sings soft around twin fountains.

All I lack
is the sister of my soul.

Even so,
I am whole here
beside the reservoir.

The Magic of Leaves

June 24, 2005
7:30 PM

Alone at the reservoir.

There’s that light
playing in the leaves again.

I suppose it has nothing better to do
than laze about the greens,
making what was dull, translucent,
full of radiance.

Leaves are magical...

But only when the light
hits them just so,
or the wind blows through and opens
possibilities of voice and music.

The magic of leaves
lies in their response to light,
their obedience to the wind...

And most of all,
in the perception of one
who finds eternity
in every little thing.


June 24, 2005
6:30 PM

Alone at the reservoir.

On a day like this,
I’d rather not be inside pushing a pen
or manning a computer.

I’d even prefer not to be
in the company of friends
if that company necessitated
meeting indoors.

I’m far too captivated watching
the sparrows skim the surface
of the reservoir. The water’s play
is far too beautiful a song
to leave it behind
for another sort of din.

This place is not
the most beautiful I know,
but no one else shares with me
the beauty of this moment.

And so it becomes sacred,
and I, its only witness.

This span of time is unrepeatable:
The water will never ascend
to fall back down again
in quite the same way it does now;
the whippoorwill may never
sing this song just so again.

And somehow I,
a pauper amidst majesty,
am blessed to see,
to feel,
to hear this moment
in this place...

I am so alive,

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Oak Leaves

June 12, 2005

To Joy Thekla.

Most people will never
look up into a tree
the way we are doing
right now.

Most people will never
appreciate or even see
(from underneath)
the way light plays on the leaves,
within the leaves,
casting about their surface
an iridescent sheen
which can only truly be seen
with the mind’s eye.

There’s music in those leaves.

And you hear it-

the symphony
which most people
simply shout over.

It’s not unlike
the sound of cicadas
in South Texas summer.

You have to time your conversation
with and against the rise and fall
of their incessant hum.

But in-between
your questions and replies,
if you listen closely,
you’ll hear the wisdom of the ages
in that confounded racket...

Hold your comments
and your sighs...


Maille (My-Lee)

June 12, 2005

for Maille

A storm is coming.

But Maille doesn't care.
She lies beside me,
her feet in the air,
cooing at the sky,
clutching at my fingers...

We're lying peacefully
beneath the branches
of an oak,
listening as the wind
serenades us,
rustling the leaves.

A storm is coming.

But Maille doesn't care.
More accurately said,
she's completely unaware.

All she knows
is how wonderful the wind feels
to her toes.

All she sees
is the shifting of the leaves,
the blending of their
light and shadow,
lying here with me
beneath the tree.

I know a storm is coming...

Yet I catch a glimpse of blue
just beyond the emerald hues,
and I know the rain will wait
another hour or two...

While I lie here
with precious Maille, amazed
at how wonderful the wind feels
to my toes.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


June 9, 2005

I hung a Tire in a Sycamore,
a Thorn Bird on her branches;
bent the brittle sky
into a riddle...

Truth died grudgingly;
nay, she only slept,
dreamt fitfully,
for I desired dignity...

You interfered with the planets,
cloud-crossed Moon...
beyond seeing and seeming,
you touched life, entered strife,
called to the Moon-Watcher
swinging on the Tire
beneath the dappled Tree.

Where was she to run,
and why?
For all she ever sought
was to chat with the Moon;
and finally,
the Moon answered back.

She has what she came for;
she's tucked the treasure up her sleeve...

But others there are
who are not ready to leave.

The Tree is quaking,
the Tire, swinging violently;
the Thorn Bird cries
it's beautiful song;
the Dragon...
she has waited long.

The Watcher now
is bound to sit and tell
their story to the Moon,
though she had hoped
to speak of other things...
more beautiful and pleasant things...

Like the silver quill she found
while swinging beneath a Sycamore
by the Moon's silver sheen.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Broken Glass

June 2, 2005

I hid
in many shattered
bits of broken glass...

The image was too much to see.
I took a hammer to the pane
and saved myself;
parceled out these parts of me;
the only means by which my mind
could bear the whole.

I’m lost
in many shattered
bits of broken glass...

A shard for love,
a shard for pain,
a shard for every fear...

This plethora of remnants
leaves me lame.

I must restore
these many shattered
bits of broken glass...

Never whole, the way it was...
Yet brokenness could prove
redemption's tool...

The cracks may serve
to keep me ever mindful
of the paths I walked
to find the place of rest.

And perhaps there’s
something to be said
for staying present
in the struggle for my sanity;
for staying here
as you help me
hurt and heal and find
these many shattered
bits of broken glass.

Friday, May 27, 2005


May 27, 2005

I know what I’ve lost.

A husband and wife
lying in bed, talking, existing,
safe together in the solace
which only comes with
true intimacy.

The quiet shade of a park bench
in the company of a friend,
when no words are needed,
because they share the breeze,
the sun, the warmth,
and that is enough.

The trust of a child
sitting beside her father
at the end of a pier,
placing her hand in his
without a second thought.

It’s only a moment,
and few ever realize
that no one has to pay
for this peace,

because chances are,
someone already has.

It’s shattering time,
rending space,
living into reality,
who we were meant to be.

I know what I’ve lost,
but it may yet be found...

in the moment
when courage finally comes
to look into your eyes

and smile.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Cemetery Trees

May 17, 2005

How many cemetery trees,
how many jaded pools
does it take to let her go...
that woman bent
and wondering which way
she ought to turn...

How many tears must fall
before reservoirs run dry,
and the water stills enough
to see the image of a child
running for all she’s worth
to catch up with the shadow
that keeps leaving her behind...

Here... this last tear
is all I have left.

Take it.
Then you will have all
I ever had to give.

And I can begin again.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I Think I'll Take a Walk~ V

Valleys In Between
May 15, 2005

I sat here watching
skies turn dark,
feeling gusts of wind
careening about my door.

the air is cool and fresh,
birds are trilling in the tree
which stubbornly held its green
until the final moment last fall,
bursting into flames
even as the others
gave up life,
admitted defeat.

I remember well
the wind and rain
which drove me
to forsake my porch,
and the fantasy which withered
when I first realized
the mess within my home
holds as many images
of life and reality
as my lonely little garden plot.

Now I can’t imagine
that a moment may return
when I prefer indulgence of fear
to the God who reveals Himself to me
within creation about my door.

The sun shines bright,
despite the storm of yesterday,
reflecting hard against the page
into my young and weary eyes.
this pain bears no disguise,
yet neither does the heart of one
who heeds the counsel of the wise.

Once I heard a sage proclaim
that mountain tops
form valleys in between;
that heights would have no joy
unless my heart had seen,
could still perceive
the valleys of my need...

Cool, the breeze upon my face;
great mountains in the distance
far across the emerald valley plain...
Life there is within this pain...

I think I’ll take a walk.

So ends the series, as far as I know.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I Think I’ll Take a Walk~ IV

May 14, 2005

Here comes the rain,

my azure sky obscured
by darker gray
than the mist which keeps you
hidden from my eyes.

My son’s pinwheel
spins furiously in winds
as merciless as reality
that blows about me,
cools the heat
and with it, the passion,
the fury with which
I pursue elusive pieces
of myself.

I’ve written before
of howling winds,
howling souls
longing for reprieve.
Yet now I hear the howl;
the sound of wind when it finds
nothing against which
fury might be broken.

What is it to you
if I sit inside my door
to avoid the buffeting?
Sometimes the wind is too angry,
the rain too cold,
the fire too furious
for one of my measure
to withstand alone.

I crack the door;
it seems the gust has relented.
Concrete soaks up the rain;
unwitting, it participates
in its own destruction.

And the angry gust bellows again;
sends papers flying,
icons plummeting.
Rain soaks the floor
and my feet...

So the only sure way
to avoid the storm
is to stay inside and drink tea.


The water’s on...

I hear it protest the manmade heat
which agitates, excites, teases
to a certain and long discussed boil.


It is no safer here
in my warm, dry haven
than it is on my storm-torn porch.
There is no safety for one
whose own dark mind-corners
are her greatest enemy.

"Harsh falls the rain,
rough blows the wind..."
thunder tests the mettle of my will,
and yet,

I think I’ll take a walk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


May 10, 2005

A fantasy like honey,
sugary and viscous;
it goes well with my tea.
I'd rather enjoy the sweetness it brings
than let it go and drink
the pure, bitter brew,
until I find another way
to make this cup palatable.

An apathy not unlike
the typhoon which must have
swept through my apartment,
leaving chaos in its wake...
I'd sooner lay amid the wreckage, sleeping,
than open space for thought
as I mindlessly scrub dirty dishes;
fold laundry which obscures the floor.

A despair which leaves me
barely breathing,
nursing ulcers,
praying that the sun would set,
then praying it would rise again;
for day is far too taxing;
night is but a threat
to my sanity.

A sadness which promises to drown
the simple joy I find at better moments
in life,
in love,
in poetry and all things
beautiful; all things true.
It permeates my dreams
as much and often as you.

This grief is so pervasive...
A parasite to which I cling
as desperately as it holds
to me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Honeysuckle I, II & IV

May 10, 2005


What is it in the
scent of honeysuckle
which takes me home,
brings me life
when spring is new;
hanging in the air
like the scent of memory?

What thoughts rush forward,
abstract and ever untouched,
at the slightest whiff of
pale yellow, peach
and ochre blooms?

There must be a sanctity
to that scent...

I imagine the spirit bears a fragrance
as haunting as the honeysuckle.
I dream that heaven's incense
is none other than that
creeping, clinging,vining,
aromatic perennial
outside my window.


Honeysuckle bears the scent
of many dreams,
many doubts,
many hours
spent longing for you,
seeking wisdom in the shades
and fragrances around my door..

Roses I've sown,
lilies I've grown,
purple plums I've brought home
and planted in the tiny plot I own.

Yet only that honeysuckle,
out back at the fence-
the one thing I didn't plan-
reminds me
every moment of its blooming
that I never planned to know,
never planned to need,
never planned to love you.


Where lies hope
when scent of honeysuckle
fails to draw me from despair?
The perfumed honey of its fragrance
has ever been a muse,
a comfort in these years
of grief.

Its nectar finds my senses dull;
its blooming meets my vision,
Its hardy, green and clinging vine
finds my heart concerned
with matters pressing hard
upon reality,
far too heavy laden
to wonder at its resilience,
thriving now after harsh winter
in a half whiskey-barrel,
roots above ground,
frozen and forgotten.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I Thought I Killed the Sage

April 19, 2005

I never found a home for her
last summer.

She lived in temporary quarters:
A cheap, black, twelve inch pot,
sitting inside faux terra cotta.

I had not intended
to put her in the ground,
though I made plans
to bring her inside..
In the midst of madness,
somehow I forgot,
though I passed her everyday
on my way into the house.

Then winter came;
some said it was mild,
but the damp chill ate through
to my bones
(I really must get a transfusion),
and she sat outside
in a black, twelve inch pot
looking quite dead.

More than once,
I decided to end her suffering

Spring came slowly,
almost begrudgingly.

One day when
warmth had crept
enough into the world
for me to stand outside
without a shiver,
I noticed her,
and with an air of
and maybe a hint of regret,
I resolved to give her
a proper burial
in the dumpster, although
I never found the time,
that day or the next.

A week later,
I returned
to pay last respects
and finally put to rest
a dead and broken
lifeless plant
which no one ever
would have recognized
as Russian Sage..

Except for tiny,
fragrant leaves
sprouting from the union
of her branches.

To think
I might have thrown her out
in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I Think I’ll Take a Walk~ III

Cold and Rainy Day
April 13, 2005

For Ada.

It’s cold and rainy out.
Not quite winter-cold;
that chill finally lost its hold.
The weather is mild enough for sandals,
yet plenty cool for fleece.

My southwestern blood
bids me stay inside and drink hot tea,
and that I shall, in good time.

But inside where it’s warm,
there is no sound
of raindrops playing in the grass;
no sight of them glistening
on leaves of purple and green
and flowers of pink;
on chicks ‘n’ hens just opening
and setting free their offspring
to fall upon the ground, take root,
and grow into a new generation
of a stubborn, hardy succulent.

Nor could I see nor hear
nor contemplate,
from inside where it’s warm,
wind in willows,
softly speaking mysteries to me
of secret paths on which cold
and rainy, breezy days may lead
to bring great insight
to the Wise.

Rain, I hear;
Breeze, I sense.;
Great expanse,
overcast and heavy now, I see
the lessons you impart to me.

I know it’s wet and cold,
and yet,

I think I’ll take a walk.

I Think I’ll Take a Walk~ II

April 10, 2005

The mud daubers are back-
or are they hornets?

I really don’t know.
They look like daubers,
but the truth would be
quite a painful discovery,
if I am mistaken.

I love the flowers and green
which creep about in spring,
although sadly, I slowly killed
the jasmine tree which bloomed for me
so faithfully last summer.

Regardless, what does bloom this year
will surely attract the dauber-hornets,
to my dismay.

For I can know full well
that they fear me
far more than I fear them;

but fear’s a funny thing.
It makes one act defensively,
and knowing this fact
simply escalates my fear.

So in the end,
who’s to say
whose fear is greater,
mine or the dauber-hornets?

they're sure to be about,
and yet,

I think I’ll take a walk.

I Think I’ll Take a Walk~ I

A Day So Sunny
April 10, 2005

A day so sunny,
it almost works against me,
sitting on my porch
in clothes too heavy
for the unpredictable weather
of Kentucky’s early spring.

I’ve always said
I’d rather burn than freeze-
you can take the girl out of Texas,
but you can’t replace
her southwestern blood..
And something about Dante’s hell
still haunts me.

Even so,
I remove my sweater
as the Hispanic boy
from a few doors down
rides by on his bike.

He reminds me of home,
and how much I miss diversity.
There was a time and a place,
when I couldn’t have told you
the color of the boy’s skin;
I wouldn’t have noticed.

It’s ironic-
I often feel
conspicuously inconspicuous
in this stiflingly homogenous little town,
with bells chiming the half hour,
a church on every corner,
and overwhelmingly white,
most often upper middle class students
passing their time
in meaningless chatter
about the ontological argument
for the existence of God.

It never did make sense to me,
that argument;
and finally, I don’t care.

What need is there in this moment
for useless human philosophies,
when the view from my
too, too sunny porch
yields pink hyacinths,
imperfect in form, yet thriving;
lush, green growth of daylillies,
patiently awaiting their season;
traces of new life
sprouting from old growth-
perennials which seemed all but dead
a month ago?

I see my self in this tiny plot,
one or two feet deep by four wide;
a glorious proof of spring’s
unexpected victory;
herald of the woe of winter;
Life defying icy Death.

The day is so sunny,
it almost works against me,
reflecting off the page into my
young and weary eyes;
too much light to comprehend..

And yet,

I think I’ll take a walk.

Pass the Jelly

April 10, 2005

"Mom, what are these called?"

"Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups."

"...where’s the jelly?"


...Where IS the jelly?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Blue's Clues

April 10, 2005

For my son.

Simple pleasures keep my child content:
Early Saturday morning hugs,
biscuits, jelly, orange juice,
the best seats in the house
for watching cartoons with mommy..

Ah.. the wisdom to learn from one
so innocent, naive, untouched, unstained.

Excuse me..

My son is finding Blue’s clues;
I promised I would help...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Every Waking Moment II (sonnet)

April 7, 2005

The first "Every Waking Moment" is not published in this blog.

And every waking moment I forget
the thoughts which come at night to haunt my dreams.
No struggle do I give to hold them, yet
a part of me dissolves with every scream
escaping from my lips ‘ere I awake.
I always quell to find myself alone,
and long for comfort as I weep and shake;
yea, all that is within me turns to stone.

Remembering that one there is whose love
is not negated by the rising moon
does often warm my chill, as hand in glove,
though still I hope the dawn will kindle soon,

and every waking moment I’ll forget
these thoughts that plague my mind once sun has set.

Defeat (tanka)

April 7, 2005

Came we to dark paths;
trust’s capacity ebbed low;
walking felt like death.

Oh, that we had held to hope,
hand in hand by light of Love.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Virtue & Strength

(Distance & Bravado)
April 2, 2005

It is not fit
that a man should bare all,
broken and powerless,
in the presence of a woman.

And so he hides his need
behind facades of confidence;
there is no finer strength to be found
in a man made husband
than self-sufficiency and command;
all the while demanding his price
through force of will;
false confidence.


Neither is it proper
that a woman should remit
anger and indignation
to a man.

And so she hides her ire
behind a seeming servile
there is no finer virtue to be found
in a woman made wife
than meekness and resignation;
all the while exacting her wage
through quiet brooding;
distant silence.


Seek not virtue in this woman;
she seeks not strength in any man.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Fear Not

March 25, 2005

I sit corrected. Apparently, Gabriel is not a seraph. Thus the edit. My apologies, Gabriel. I did have fun imagining you as such. And I will not allow the chubby, naked, winged babies to take up residence in my mind under the glorious name of "angel."

Have you ever seen an angel dance?

Come to think of it..
have you ever seen an angel?

Not the chubby, naked, winged babies
adorning postcards and calendars..

the beings of such frightful glory
that Balaam's donkey
was moved to speech
at the mere sight of one of them.

I, for one, know that I have not.
(Six-winged, many-eyed,
ever-burning, unconsumed..
I beg your pardon: That's a seraph..

And yet, I am certain I would remember
the aquaintance of one
who dwells in the presence
of the seraphim
and of the Most Holy One..)

However, it occurs to me
that I think I know someone
who has seen an angel dance..

Can you imagine?
Thirteen, fourteen,
give or take..
minding her own,
spinning holy thread,

And suddenly,
this winged messenger
tumbles- mind you, tumbles
into her presence..

For how else would you imagine
he came to her,
but dancing with delight?
For of all the messages he had borne
to the children of God,
none could compare
with the tidings he bore
from the Light of Heaven
unto her..

I see him,
all undimmed glory,
all excitement unbound,
forgetting for a moment
that this girl
upon whom he has gazed
from his dwelling
in eternity
has never lain
her two soft eyes
upon his.

Yet as she turns
to flee his presence,
so returns his wisdom
and compassion..

"Fear not.."

Fear not.
For from her womb
would spring the One
in whose image she herself
and all mankind who came before
and followed after,
were created.

Fear not.
For He has longed
throughout the ages
for this moment

here with her..

To unfold the mystery
of incarnation,
of redemption,

of who He is,
of who we are..


And she said yes.


And I see him,
dancing away from her,
back into the presence
of the seraphim
and the Most Holy One,
weeping for joy,
weeping in awe,
and singing..

"Fear not.."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Black & White

March 22, 2005

It all really is black and white for you,
isn't it?

I'm in or I'm out.
I fit or I don't.
I'm right or I'm wrong,
and forbid that there be
any space in between
for a moment to weigh
the possibility...
no, the probability
that something more exists
in between.

Did it ever once occur to your
satisfied mind
(maybe in quieter moments,
with day put to bed and distractions depleted)
that between black and white
there just might exist
shades of gray?

"That's a slippery slope.."

Then I guess
I can hardly fault you for missing
cerise, coral, flax and jade..
turquoise, azure, cerulean..

or even just blue.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Holy of Holies

March 21, 2005

We welcomed a little one,
into the family of the Faithful..

Awestruck, Father took the baby boy
and walked about the Nave;
into the Sanctuary
for the first time.

Something holy there was in this.
Something good and right..

This child, so fresh from God,
belongs in the Holy of Holies;
a sort of birthright, redeemed..
Creation recapitulated,
captured in this
simple, sacred symbol,
returning this Christ exemplar
to his proper place, cooing
softly in blue satin.


We welcomed a little one
into the family of the faithful..

Reverently, Father took the baby girl
and walked about the Nave,
humbly, gently, reverently
mindful of her holy charge;
unworthy hands now
carrying her infant innocence;
the trust entailed within
her femininity..

He did not enter the Holy of Holies.

For in his arms,
in our midst,
the Holy of Holies was sleeping
softly in pink satin.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


March 19, 2005
11:56 PM

I do not know
what it means for you,
that I have crossed your path..

But I know
that I will never be the same
for having known you,

and the space between
the time before
you came into my life

and now
is proof enough for me
that we are given,
each to the other,
for the sake of redemption.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


David J. Nightingale

March 17, 2005

Inspired by
Sheldon and Jean Van Auken

Alabaster schooner,
sails tipped with ebony,
with mystery,
with longing for the Journey,
sailing seas of cirrus,

Free to follow
cloud-capped, windy waves
wherever they may lead,
into the Undiscovered Country,
beckoning the sailor
to weigh anchor
and discover
the Unknown.

"Undiscovered Country" taken from
Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene I.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


March 15, 2005

Marvin Ellis "Red" Pope
June 19, 1918-March 9, 2005

Undulating grass upon a hill, now gone to seed,
glistening, embraced within the morning’s early breeze,
awaiting consummation of the ever growing
ardor of spring.

The tall grass danced for him..

Ever have those gentle waves of green indwelled my soul,
like bonnets, blankets, brushes, just beneath the surface,
soon to spring from emerald depths beneath cornflower skies
to paint the slopes.

Wildflowers bloomed for him..

Red dwells now within those waves, hypnotic in their dance,
laid beneath a gnarled and crooked branch of fading oak;
sentinel which guards his rest and stands with great resolve
beside his grave.

Aging branch sheltered him..

Deeply bowed, and bending ever lower to the ground
to honor him whom life bent low with toil and blessings
as he worked soil and wood and hearts and everything which
came to his hands.

Mighty oak honored him..

Grass and flower, branch and tree; they wrote his eulogy.
‘Tis fit that this should be for a country boy as he:
That at his death, Nature shed a tear and bent her knee;
marked the moment

when she had lost a son.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


March 9, 2005

Marvin Ellis "Red" Pope
June 19, 1918- March 9, 2005

I always wanted to know you, Red.

I know where you came from,
but where have you gone?
What answers to my unasked
questions followed you
to your grave?

Father to my mother,
and yet I never really knew you,
nor your wife,
nor how you both shaped
the course of my life
through the influence you wielded
in hers.

I know your hands;
the south Texas soil they turned;
the wood they worked
to form a desk, a chest,
a headboard for a wedding gift.

I remember the finger
missing from your hand,
and the stories you told
of how and why and when...
everyone always laughed;
so Red, your tales must have
held a hint of truth;
because I know your wife
is still quite capable
of biting off more
than a finger.

I never really knew you, Red.
Yet when the phone rang,
and I heard my mother’s voice,
I knew someone was gone,
and I hoped it wasn’t you.

I hoped it wasn’t you.

I always wanted to know you, Red.

A Quote From G.K. Chesterton

"The recurrences of the universe rose to the maddening rhythm of an incantation, and I began to see an idea. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. I had always vaguely felt facts to be miracles in the sense that they are wonderful: now I began to think of miracles in the stricter sense that they were willful. I meant that they were, or might be, repeated exercise of some will."
(Orthodoxy, pg 60-61)

Monday, March 07, 2005


March 7, 2005


"Parsley, sage,
rosemary and thyme.."
each have I gathered
and tied off with twine,
between draughts of bitter
and sips of sweet wine.

Parsley I’ve sought,
yet comfort is scarce;
when found, is fleeting.
Small nosegays I bear
after searching the fields
through years of despair..

Sage is for strength,
found most often
while sifting spare gleanings,
left behind by those
who had no foresight
of the impoverished
who would follow
and seek..

"Parsley, sage,
rosemary and thyme.."
each have I gathered
and tied off with twine,
between draughts of bitter
and sips of sweet wine.

Rosemary; rarest of gifts.
Yet love was not hid
when need was most dire.
In that very hour
was revealed
her poignant truth.

What shall I say
of the courage to walk;
fortitude to breathe
when breath felt like death?
This I found, to my surprise,
as I sought desire to do
the thing which next was
set before my hands:

When opened I my eyes,
I found the fields of thyme
were yet uncut;
the harvesters had left those rows
in search of sweeter herbs.
I had but to make the choice
to pick; to tie; to place in my
tattered pocket; finally to learn:

Courage is naught except
volition toward the road
which fashions fear within one’s heart.

Between draughts of bitter
and sips of sweet wine,
each have I gathered
and tied off with twine:
"parsley, sage,
rosemary and thyme."

"Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme..." taken from "Scarborough Fair," an English folk song by an unknown author, but performed by many; most noteably, Simon & Garfunkel.

Parsley is for comfort; sage, for strength; rosemary, for love; and thyme, for courage.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Eben Ezer

March 4, 2005

In the burial grounds
where the Jews lay their departed
small stones are placed
on grave markers
by the hands of visitors.

It is their custom
this leaving of a stone
in mute evidence that someone
still cares... still remembers...


Where, my beloved Nation,
do I leave stones
for you?

Excerpts from "Bring Stones,"
by Isnala Mani.

Many thanks to Isnala, a Native American
not in blood, but in the Lakota spirit, for inspiration.

The natives of this land
may place their stones
beside the root of any tree,
on the bank of any river,
in the midst of any valley;
for they alone never claimed
to own it.

It never occurred to me
that the land belongs to no one.

Nor that,
by claiming to possess it,
we reduce ourselves
to a small plot in eternity..
the only place
in all of Creation
where we have any deluded right
to place a stone.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Windows to the Soul

February 27, 2005

Eyes are a passage into the soul..
Yet also the window from inside the same.

They are the glass through which
an ever-present child-self
anxiously peers,
seeking solace from the goings-on
of time long forgotten, or rather,
quite deliberately evicted
from conscious memory.

But the body remembers,
as does the child.
Long she peers, hoping some passerby
will mark her existence;

better yet, that the grown woman,
whose eyes ever close to reality,
will finally admit she never died..

..and comprehending,
will grasp this truth:
Survival is not the ultimate ideal..

..and upon waking,
will strive
for the first time
fully, abundantly...

to live.


February 21, 2005

6:38 AM

Status Quo.
There is no status quo.
Aleatory promises;
uncertain hooks
upon which she
hung her life;
they make it so.

Misgivings abound
as she turns her head
to look back down
the way she came.

Known for integrity;
her reputation
for loyalty and
steadfast faithfulness.

These absolutes
dissolve into mist,
and she grasps a branch
as her head
begins to spin,
and thoughts spiral
into cracks and crevices-
great fissures mended
not long ago
with the cheap concrete
of necessity.

threaten to undo
a heart turned cold
and stone-like.

"What you want
is irrelevant,
what you've chosen
is at hand."

She turns back
toward the summit,
and climbs.


February 21, 2005

5:11 AM

this early in the morning...

it’s just not natural.

of room temperature,
status quo,
my mood.

So simple:
awake in the morning

Why can’t I?
Why can’t I?


Beyond the Lighted Path

February 19, 2005

More is owed to manner of
living, grieving,
groping, reaching
than to formal tutelage;
favoring questions
beyond the lighted path;
listening when wisdom

in the classroom, yes,
but also in a bar
or on the street;
in a church where
addicts meet
and gather strength
to face another day;
where self-asserted
martyrs shame the ones
for whom they die

while those who sweetly groom
the addicts and martyrs
push denial, live in lies,
attempt to keep the light
from family and friends,
colleagues and priests.

More is owed to manner of
thinking, teaching,
loving, seeing
than to formal tutelage;
whether wide awake
or walking within sleep,
the truth so often
walks along before,
not two steps ahead
of the lamp
which guides the feet,

beckoning toward
wisdom found
beyond the lamplight's reach.


Photographer unknown.

February 14, 2005

A. Hitchcock & J. Stewart

Stairway, stairwell,
ever flowing,
ever bending.

Walking upward,
walking downward,
sidelong glances,
hopeless chance of

swift retreat and
little more for
one's escape from
hellish lances

peering upward
toward the climber
or descender
daring him or her or them
to take the risk...


to fall



Monday, February 14, 2005


"Every long lost dream
led me to where you are.
Others who broke my heart,
they were like Northern Stars,
pointing me on my way,
into your loving arms.
This much I know is true:
That God blessed the broken road
that led me straight to you."

~Rascal Flatts

February 13, 2005

For Ada, Father D. and the Orthodox Church.

of humanity and its
inexhaustible capacity

to hurt, to heal,
to love once more,
to make the leap

To hurt, to heal,
to love, and then
to step again,
to take a breath
despite that which
would beckon her
to bid her heart
be silent..

To hurt, to heal,
to love... to hope.
To give himself,
despite his fear;
to sate her wont
to lavish love
upon the wind;
to share again
the holy hymn
of mysteries which
hide within
the sanctum of
his human heart.

it is fair to say..

enamored of humanity.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Photographer Unknown


First glance reveals a bulb bereft of filament.
Night approaches, dark encroaches,
even as the noonish sky casts its light upon the town...

Or else, the night was passed in blindness and in longing
for this day's first light to end the evening's fear,
the would-be-sleeper's bane...

Yet again, perhaps one sits and seeks
the world beyond the filament:
gentle warmth upon the breeze of sunset flame,
or cool reflections of the sky at sunrise once again...

Upon reflection, sways perception:

Perhaps the night was sleepless;
perhaps her thoughts were filled with troubled grief.

Notwithstanding, just as likely,
may she not have drifted off to sleep
in dreamless, peaceful slumber;
awakened to the bliss of morning azure firmament,
without a conscious care for broken filament
beside her bed, upon the sill?

Friday, January 28, 2005

The World Ahead

Home is behind, the world ahead,
and there are many paths to tread;
through shadow, to the edge of night,
until the stars are all alight.

Mist and shadow, cloud and shade,
all shall fade, all shall fade.

~Billy Boyd

The World Ahead
January 27, 2005

For Ada.

So long the journey,
from meaningless shadow,
to form of night
and life renewed, redefined;
alight with truths
one only finds on life’s
more bitter trails.

Does it show on my cheek,
in the paths of care,
tear-traced, which
crease a youthful face?
For I know the pain
of striking out;
of treading paths,
bereft of fear,
when naught is left
to lose;
to gain


All mist of doubt,
all shadow of loss,
all cloud and shade
of unbidden solitude;
by light of stars and Guardian
of wholly redeemed night,
shall fade.

Written by Carie Maria
Arranged by Sean Seibert

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Shattered Icon

Mosaic of the Transfiguration of Christ, St. Catherine Monastery, Sinai, Egypt.


Both this poem and Transfixed & Transfigured were inspired by the image above, from St. Catherine Monastery in Sinai, Egypt.

This face,
crafted of thousands
of tiny, broken bits
of pottery.

So unseemly for Your glory..
yet so appropriate.
I and my own are but
broken vessels.
What you have taken
unto Yourself,
You have transformed
and made whole.

And so I hope,
looking upon this
transitory likeness,
that You have taken on
the broken clay,
and from it crafted
such beauty as
could never have come
before you assumed
and redeemed
what was shattered.

Friday, January 21, 2005



Thus has it always been:
Plucked up, on the wind blown,
once settled again,
the seed has always grown.

Too many times to count,
the bloom was plucked once more,
blown into the wind,
scattered upon Nature's floor.

A kind of Virtue can be found
in shallow roots and hardened ground:
Roots so anchored rarely ache
when Time exposes them to change.

But indeed, if this be Truth,
if shallow bonds are virtuous,
then Virtue must now be content
to fall beside the Road, unspent.

Roots long to extend their reach;
know the crop this soil may reap;
find a home, awake from sleep;
know a joy that makes one weep.

Shallow roots cannot sustain
desires which need a firmer base.
Let sun shine, and fall the rain-
and with deep joy, bring also pain:

And ne'er let Time uproot again.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Transfixed & Transfigured


I can see You better when I'm hurting.
I've never understood that until now:
Grieving what is gone;
longing for what may never come;
aching "from wounds inflicted
in time out of memory..."


Staring into space is a hobby.
My target of choice to look beyond:
A blank wall, a repeating pattern
on the couch cushion,
in the textured paint on the ceiling;
perhaps a spot on the window,
or a cobweb- not that I have
cobwebs in my house.
Heaven knows I keep it clean-
as clean as I am able with all the
repeating patterns and spots
on the cushions and windows.


Tonight, my eyes found a new image
to fix upon, to stare beyond:
A mosaic face, the patterns of tiny glass
flowing in and out of a visage
so patient,
so meek..
so powerful,
I could not stare blindly for long.

I found myself entranced by You,
captivated by Your humble countenance,
though depicted as magnificence,
in the midst of revealing Yourself
And yet You look to me and ask;
do not command, nor expect;
only offer Yourself.

What an icon..
What a man.

For just a moment,
I remembered how it felt
before I knew,
before I hurt,
before I fell..
to be in love.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Natural Seduction

January 13, 2005

Cerulean graces my eyes.
My ears detect the buzz of bees;
the nectar they devoutly seek
permeates olfactorily.
Suckling honey from tiny blooms-
pale yellow, peach and ochre hue;
surrendering to cool, green grass
beneath me on this emerald path;
content to feel the subtle breeze
play soft upon my skin; enraptured
by the warm and teasing rays
of midday sun.

I yearn to stay,
as long as I may tarry,
as nature sings its songs,
and all of this tranquility
converges in its majesty
in order to make love to me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


January 12, 2005

The second in a series relating my
experience of reception into the
Orthodox Church on January 9, 2005.

Sealed upon my brow.

Upon my eyes and ears..

Upon my nose and mouth..

Upon my heart,
upon my hands,
upon these feet on which I stand..


All is holy,

"It is meet
and right"
to bless the flesh that goes

to see and hear;
to smell and taste;
to will and work;
to walk upon the earth..

in the will of the Father,
in the love of the Son,
in the strength of the Spirit:


Tuesday, January 11, 2005


January 11, 2005

In this quiet;
in this grief;
"in this moment,
sadly sweet..."
I come to know Thy mysteries.

In this grace and mercy, meek;
in this tear upon my cheek;
I know that Thou art here with me,
as ever Thou hast been.

Knowing what will never be;
sensing truth inside of me;
giving Thee what troubles me,
I'm learning now to find the peace
of Spirit Holy dwelling now
within my soul, refining me;
defining me.

Take my laughter;
take my need;
take the troubled thoughts in me.
All is Thine, and also me-
Above all I have longed for
through the years since first
I took my breath,
I desire Thee.

Thanks to my friend Derek for the title.
If anyone has a better idea, I'm still open,
although I think this title fits the piece
quite well.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


January 9, 2005

Today, I will be chrismated
into the Orthodox Church. I have
seldom known such anticipation,
nor such quiet, brooding joy.

"Thine own of Thine own..."
There is naught of us that we can give
which is not already Thine.

"We offer unto Thee..."
Only what Thou hast freely given,
being Love, unto humanity.

"On behalf of all..."
Not only your servant and priest,
but this Body of believers,
and all believers everywhere,
Your creation,
and those who,
in a mystery,
seek Truth...

"And for all..."
We offer all we were,
all we are,
and all we ever hope to be,
for the sake of all,
for the sake of Love,
and for Your Glory.

"In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
...keep us in Thy holiness...
now and ever and unto ages of ages,

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


January 5, 2005

Morning twilight
graces my pillow,
courts my weary eyes,
reluctant to release
their failing fancies.
Hesitation proves futile,
as ever it has:
For who can hold her
when Dream perceives
her time has come,
eluding grasp as reason
waxes in the morning sun?
Ever she wanes with dawn,
ghostly and beautiful,
donning wispy,
blue-grey garments,
her visage grieved
as story dies once more
before its end.


January 5, 2005

The sweetest grief
I ever knew:
This life has naught to do with me,
but rather, all to do with You,
the space You opened,
held for me,
within eternal Reality...
all for mercy,
nay, for grace,
nay again, for love...
like a veil of lace
obscuring the last remnants
of evening twilight.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Celebrating Nativity

December 25, 2004

The trees still shimmer
with the breath of God.
Days ago He passed by
in the chill winter wind,
breathing soft upon the limbs
and boughs of saplings
and mighty ancient trees alike;
His breath, frozen in a moment.
Perhaps the evil one intended
to keep it impotent,
for it to return empty,
nay, for it to return

But the breath of God
is beyond the assaying
and whims of the accuser.
Frozen, yea, but frost upon frost,
ice upon ice,
glaze upon glaze produces prisms
so complete in their fashioning
that one wonders where source ends
and refraction begins.

This beauty is far too sophisticated
for one so at odds with virtue
to dim its splendor.
Nay, but the faintest light
of distant star or Guardian of Night
draws a twinkle into sight
from places where the breath of God
did deign to pass and mark His sigh.

How much more so on this,
the morn of Incarnation revealed,
does the light of day in prisms sway
and bring delight unto the eye.
Hardly did I mark the road
as I made my way across
the glimmering fields of Kentucky
to celebrate Nativity
among the Faithful.

George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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