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.

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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