Wednesday, December 26, 2007

While They're Away

26 December 2007, 5:17
Upon reading Wendell Berry’s The Clearing.

Mr. Berry,

You have a way of taking the most noble
and daily responsibilities of a lover of the earth;
casting them in a light of profundity
which makes me wish I also walked The Farm
with you and pondered such meaning-filled subjects
as politics, religion, and care of the earth.

I forget our craft can be bent upon
the commonest of life’s comings and goings-
those tasks which you and I must do,
regardless of our level of environmental sophistication
and our preference for or against politics-
that there is laundry to be folded
which does not fold itself, and dishes
in the kitchen which require my attention.

The world will turn, but this home will not live
of its own accord. I must help it breathe
and pulse and love. The children
who live within my care will not thrive
without a deliberate sort of care-
a tilling, a sowing, a watering of sorts,
a nurturing of their loves, their wants
and their needs which only I can tend to,
assuming they are with me on any given day.

Even when they’re not, it is my willful
diligence which sets their feet on solid ground
when they return. I will be waiting- this house
will still be home to them because I make it so;
because I am faithful to the fields
while they’re away.

Friday, December 21, 2007


18 December 2006, 8:20 PM

There's something about
the color I can't quite put my finger on,
except I found it in a box of crayons,
the tone that only brightens,
deepens, beautifies when pressed
to its limit. They named it
long before I had any inkling
of Crayola, though I might have chosen
the hue before their nomenclature
found its way into my world.


a shade-my-own of not-quite-blue,
for its hue entails a hint of jade-
the color of my eyes- making the heavens
a little more complex than they were before:
The color of wide, West Texas skies on days
when horizons are the only limits.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowballs with Baba

17 December 2007, 11:26 AM

I watched my African put on
his warm against the bitterness
of a belated Kentucky cold snap. There are
few things he hates more than winter,
and there’s not enough snow on the porch
to justify the donning of his gloves,
his scarf, his hat, his lined winter coat,

yet he dons, and I smile,

because I know why he goes
to the purported tundra. For my little boy
is out there in his too-big snow gloves,
clumsily shoveling the paltry powder
into a plastic bag. He wants to be
the only kid with a snowball next summer,
and this man-not-his-father
won’t let our precious boy
gather his dreams alone.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My husband and I are both coming down with what I think is a mild, but uncomfortable, case of flu. But down time can be creative time, so here's my latest creative endeavor. It's only Sculpey clay, but I have to say, having tried it, I'm very interested in giving real clay a try. This was SO much fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Handwriting meme

I didn't get tagged, but I'm participating anyway. ;-) I love to write- really WRITE- with a good pen. I used a Lamy 1.1 caligraphy fountain pen for this one, a gift from my Beloved. The ink is my favorite color. They call it "Sonic Blue", but I think of it as slate blue.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Studebaker II

10 December 2007, 9:02 AM

Restoring a Studebaker
has to do a number on the mind:
blasting the paint from rusted
panels, carefully tapping away
dents and dremeling the rough spots,
restoring what’s been lost- bumpers
and bearings and broken fenders.

The man as old and oxidized
as the lost-cause car works his fingers
to the bone to prove the object of his
labor is not beyond redemption.

And after the primer, after the paint,
after the newly upholstered
seats and dashboard, oiled to a luster,

he finds the old leather bomber jacket,
dry and cracked and fading,
turns the key, throws the transmission;
time in reverse, showered and clean shaven,

almost new again, for just a moment, brief,

the wind in what little hair is left, peaking out
from under the suede cabbie,
a gentleman and his classic once again.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity...

When my son (and now my daughter) complains about going to Liturgy or Great Vespers or Wednesday night prayers, most often my answer to him runs thus: "You don't have to want to go. But we're going, because it's part of who we are, and it's what we do." I have said this so many times over the years that I almost consider it a mantra.

So when I see phrases like this on fast food containers, it completely upheaves my brain and makes me shudder. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, PRECIOUS???

Friday, December 07, 2007


7 December 2007, 2:24 PM

He had passed us on the right and we were
obliged to speed up in order to catch a clearer
glimpse of rusted panels; flattened tires;
more dents than dash, more rust than rev
pulled along behind the unimpressive truck
of a non-descript, working-class gentleman,
as outlived and disenchanted as his lading.
But enough Studebaker (and gentleman) survived
to stir a presentiment of unlived story, still salvageable
from the ruins of Once Upon a Time.

Inspired by The Weekend Wordsmith.

Another Glimpse

7 December 2007, 2 PM

I slept beside sharper skies
than ever I imagined on my own;
his dreams bled into mine, revealed
sunset skies I’d never known,
fading into diamond-scattered midnight
cerulean, so deep and dark and bright.

I couldn’t catch my breath amidst
the beauty of a thing so brutally
gentle; in the wake of brushing up
against a sea of so much tenderness,
all within me bruised and raw-
aching for another glimpse of Paradise.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat

The newest addition to the clan- Skimbleshanks Shroedinger Five the Runcible LFC- Skimble for short. Don't laugh- it's an extremely literary, and therefore dignified and respectable, name. She's so stinking cute. She didn't come home today, as they will spay her first thing next week. We'll pick her up on Monday at 5 PM.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Poetry Friday- Barrista

It's been too long since I wrote on demand. While I'm not certain I even can anymore, I intend to give it a try, and what better place to begin than with the link I just found at the Weekend Wordsmith:

30 November 2007, 9:49 AM

The tank behind the couch brings to mind
a Starbuck's barrista, bubbling cheerfully,
constantly about nothing in particular. I find I feel
closed in; somewhat annoyed by the constant,
white noise, though if I close my eyes or sit
on the couch where I can't see the offending tank,
I imagine that sound brilliantly mimics the stream
down the hill, where I would sit today considering
the loveliness of quiet things, if only Winter
had not kept to conventional wisdom which holds,
for whatever reason, that it's better to be late
than to neglect one's appointments entirely.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Peacefully Mundane

29 November 2007, 8:19 AM

Rays of sun filter in through shutter slats,
by which light I survey the mountains of today.
I can't remember how I came here from despair-
I left the one so long ago, and the journey seemed
so arduous, I had thought it impossible
to force from memory. I had ceased the attempt.
Yet I find I am no longer on the journey- in a sense,
at least, I have arrived. That mountain has been
moved, and I stand amid a peaceful sort of
mundanity in which I find rest from the steps,
the tears,
the blood by which I entered into such.


28 November 2007, 7:50 PM

Sometimes I am so very like
Puddleglum, content with nay-saying,
casting the worst case as inevitably given.

Against evidence, Beloved.

So many good and perfect
gifts have come to us in so short a time,
and though the curses have multiplied,
so much more have the blessings,
and neither do we bear alone.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Eulogy

24 November 2007, 8:15 PM
Bernice Imogene Pope
during Great Vespers

I wonder if I’m being
irreverent, taking time during Great Vespers
to remember his coveralls, her cotton
dresses I so wish I could hold now,
take in a smell I’ve all but forgotten
since last I embraced their sound, their feel,
their willingness to stand in the south Texas heat
until they could no longer see
my parents, my siblings and me.

I’d give almost anything for one more
breakfast of sausages, biscuits, gravy,
pancakes and Brer Rabbit syrup,
and the cranberry juice that accompanied
every one of her meals. I recall with a smile
she was never dreadfully shy about why.

She had a picture garden in her den. I don’t know
who started it- perhaps the previous Matriarch,
Ma Walker- regardless, Grandmother taught me
without a word, and that’s saying a lot:
she did precious little in silence.

Her ring- the one given her by my Granddad-
was once marked as mine, an heirloom
handed down to me someday when she was gone.
I find I am reluctant to receive so precious a gift,
knowing she is now, in truth, gone.

New site...

For those of you who read my poetry, here is a new site named which my Beloved is currently constructing for my artwork. I'm kind of excited about it, though I have no way of getting word out except through this blog, and I have no idea how many readers I have. Nonetheless, the opportunity for my work to be seen by more than just family and close friends is very exciting. My poetry was well received when I first began posting three or four years ago. I hope those same people will enjoy the visuals which go along with the poetry.

Memory Eternal

My grandmother passed away early Wednesday morning. It seemed particularly appropriate, though it would have been even more appropriate on Thanksgiving. She always made a fantastic meal. I'll miss her dretful. On Monday she'll be laid to rest beside Granddad beneath a liveoak tree in a small cemetery behind Friendship Methodist Church in south-central Texas.

Mistress of Meals

Bernice Imogene Pope, 20 November 2007
Maria Vesper Cavalcanche Lyra Butler, 21 October 1999
Rodney Butler, 21 April 1999
Marvin Ellis Pope, 9 March 2005
Lynette Hoppe, 27 August 2006
Marcus Fiesel, 3 years old, August 2006
Abigail Beatrix Yandell, 13 February 2007
Margie Winzinger, 7 April 2007 (Great & Holy Saturday)

Beauty of Ashes

24 November 2007, 12:03 PM

What matters most,
Beloved, is no longer living in fear
of emotion,
of color,
of light and life and goodness-

of beauty

evincing all I have attained
as cold, dry, dead ash, inert
for want of one to walk the road
beside me toward redemption.


22 November 2007, 11:32 AM
Grandmother Pope

Fifteen years ago,
we gathered at your table for a feast
we’d anticipated days on end beforehand.

I find myself relieved to have
a memory I don’t regret, one I’d go back to
if I could, for just a moment, to ask you
if granddad’s stories are true- the ones
he tells about how he lost his finger-
and to help you make yeast rolls
while the boys play football on the lawn
in the south Texas autumn.

Makes it hard at times to celebrate the day
any other way, remembering now
that you’re gone.

Windy Day

25 May 2004

The tide is turning.
I stand on the cusp of life
awaiting rebirth.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My daughter's artwork...

The gril told me, "You can post it on your website, if you want..." Hehehe... If you look at my avatar, you'll see some similarities.

Monday, November 05, 2007

True Colors

I rediscovered an old song today- a favorite from highschool. I haven't heard it in at least ten years, or at least I haven't listened to it in that long. The words struck me profoundly after a long absence, and a decade of life not being what I thought it would be.


You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
Your true colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
Your true colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Maria's Artwork

I met someone out at Talon Vineyard today who makes beautiful hand-dyed silk scarves and ties (if she had a website, I'd gladly post it). I talked with her a bit about painting and artistic expression, and told her I'd post some of my paintings and sketches. So, Lady of the Painted Scarves (a.k.a. Suzanne), here they are.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Less Than a Poet

1 November 2007, 7:53 AM

I need quiet,
or this gift dissolves
and I become less
than a poet.

In silence I
sit, therefore; ponder
where I’ve wandered since
the last words fell

from my pen; found
voice outside myself,
affirmation and

I can’t recall
when last, where nor why
I found time to weep
or laugh or fly-

no mystery
I find myself oft’
dying, not knowing
now how to live.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Glad to be wrong...

I did in fact have a picture hidden away in my wedding pictures from July, and I am TOTALLY okay with being mistaken. A few months late getting to the post (she was born in June, RIGHT before the wedding), but she's still a total cutie. The most recent addition to my side of the family, Ms. Devin. 'Bout the same size as Li'l Green. Cute, girlie & precious.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Speaking of works of art...

The latest addition to my heartstrings, Lilliana Green, or as I'm calling her, Li'l Green, held in the arms of a beaming mother Mattie. Have you seen those little baby dolls at Wally World- the ones that are supposed to look like newborns, with their closed eyes and soft features? That's EXACTLY what Li'l Green looks like.

My sister in Houston also recently had a baby- li'l Devin- but as I still have no pictures of her, I can't brag on her via my blog. Hint hint...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Latest painting

Progress on my most recent painting. I'm really, really liking this one. It's the oil pastel picture done in acrylics, and I'm liking this version much better.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


11 October 2007, 8:14 AM

It hurts an awful lot, and howls,
when the wind picks up and the bark
grows thick; the bite, sharp.
It’s hard to feel much through the layers
of dead brown, pealing away. One has to trust
the next layer will be closer to sage-
otherwise (or even so) there’s suffering to be had,
and tears, with age. Wisdom comes thus.

She keeps on,

though at times she thinks she’d be grateful
if some wood-wanderer would finally
fell her so she wouldn’t have to fight anymore
to reveal her skin, wouldn’t have to struggle so
to see the inward rage- separate the present
from the past; gentle rain from pelting fires of hell.
She’d failed to hope they could not last forever.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Front Door

Now and again, creativity spikes, and given the proper context, the artist thrives. It seems my dip into oil pastels has inspired another bout of creative activity. Behold, the Front Door.

It's not yet complete (I say that about every painting, and then I hang it on the wall- or in the hole in the front of my house...), but I'm very happy with how it's coming along. The original design is straight from my Beloved's brain, using my imagery and throwing in some new symbols that are particularly meaningful to us both.

Friday, October 05, 2007


16 October 2006, 11:05 PM
Found this in a document on my computer and realized I'd never posted it. Did you answer honestly the last time someone asked you how you were doing?

A sigh, a smile, a sigh
again- subtle- so subtle
one might miss

the smile displayed to ward away
curiosity, concern, callousness.

The smile gives credence
to the lie, paying homage
to subtle insincerities contained
in daily scripts every human being knows
regardless of the language of his heart-
self-defeating, foolish art.

Sidewalk Chalk

5 October 2007, 9:12 AM
"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." George MacDonald, Phantastes

Rain falls softly, washing
the concrete as efficiently
as a pounding storm. Sidewalk chalk
is a messy medium- crumbles and smears
skin and clothing with little or no pressure
or provocation. But the rain,

the wild and wonderful rain sends colors
running like tears down the driveway.
I watch them go, lingering with Sorrow
for very love.

Language, Music & the Enigma of the Mind

I read an article comparing syntax and memorized word meanings to harmonic rules and memorized melodies. The author, reporting findings from a scientific experiment, was excited about the research, as the findings imply a link between brain activity required to process syntax and harmonic rules (concrete thought) and brain activity required to process language memorization and melody memorization (abstract thought). He went on further to state his interest in how those findings relate to the idea of abstract vs. concrete gender difference theory. Fascinating.

The link between language and music is fascinating to me, and I think it exists. I wonder also if the same applies (actually- I think it does apply) to color theory and its application to artistic creativity. Our brains have a plethora of communication possibilities from which to choose, and it validates my experience over the last few years to see someone draw a link between linguistic communication and musical expression, so that I can now extrapolate out and see the same truth applying to the creative work I've been doing.

What really fascinates me is how some people, completely untrained, can intuit the abstract side of whatever communicative medium in which they tend to express themselves, sometimes without a lick of concrete, explicit training or understanding of the theory involved, and they can create profoundly meaningful and beautiful works of art. I knew a man once who couldn't read music at all, but he could sit down at the piano and improvise as if the piano were an extension of himself. What does that mean? The mind is such a fascinating enigma.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yet another medium...

I learned tonight why one might prefer oil pastels to soft pastels- my WORD, soft pastels are HARD to work with. But I enjoyed myself. This one's a bit redundant, though, being basically the same idea as the last oil pastel. But I like it, and wanted to post it, since my Beloved seems to be the poet in the family these days- he just uploaded a book of poems at lulu this evening. Take a look.

Another oil pastel, the message of which is much the same as the last one, though more abstract. But I guess it's all so ambiguous to someone on the outside looking in, one can insert one's own meaning. That's one of the reasons I love art and poetry so much- the ability to communicate self, and at the same time allow another self to find him/herself in the same image, if the reader is open to the experience.

Monday, October 01, 2007

New Medium

Update: I took a digital shot of this with my Beloved's camera, and now it is displayed in its correct orientation.

I'm learning something about oil pastels, and reliving childhood cutting and pasting with Elmer's glue. The tear, the sun, the sun rays, and the baseball bat are all separate drawings, cut and glued onto the background. I'm not done with this one yet, but I'm really liking it.


Well, the image is reversed, which probably means the oil pastel one will be too. I took both pictures on my Mac, and it takes a mirror image. So imagine, if you will, the image above *flipped*. I know you can do it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wood & Rosin

7 September 2007, 7:25 PM

Ah, the master and the pupil-
ok, so you're not a master, but she looks to you
as if you were. She's been waiting for this moment
for years, when she'd take up the wood and rosin;
learn to play like you did once, only maybe she'll
keep with it, and one day be your better,
as I'm sure you hope she'll be.


28 September 2007, 9:21 AM

Here's where it starts, Beloved-
We are the house where the neighborhood
kids gather to play and socialize. You wanted
this and so many other things for so long,
and there was a time when it never could have
happened, not in a month of blue moons
and Sundays. But here it is, Beloved-

it begins

and not even a little bit late. Right on time,
though the road here was and remains ever
so much more painful than it ought to have been.
Yet here we are- arrived at the place
people often remember, but rarely experience.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This Peace

22 September 2007, 11:12 AM

We slept
beneath a canopy of trees which,
according to a piece of paper,
belong to us. You and I both know
we cannot own a living thing. We only
hold it for a while and, if we
hold well, receive a gift in return
which cannot be quantified.

So we hold our Haven and each other;
lay beneath the double-vaulted ceiling
of leaf and sky; read stories and write
poetry as hours wander by and pause
to watch us linger in the space we know
we can never really own, but hope
we hold well, and receive in return,
this peace.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Where I Left My Coffee

21 September 2007, 7:06 AM

You’re there typing, and I
stand here watching, wondering
where you came from. I don’t know
if there’s anything I could have done
to deserve this solace,
if deserving even falls within
the calculation, or if life unfolds this way
for each of us, revealing
what we’ve longed for most only
when we cease to search so madly.
But I’ll take this quiet moment,
when the day has only just begun and you
are too absorbed in writing to notice
that I’m watching, admiring, loving you
from the kitchen counter, wondering
where on earth I’ve left my coffee.

Monday, September 17, 2007


17 September 2007, 9:11 AM
The Last Battle

I wonder if their hearts were
breaking as they raced across the New Narnia?
They knew all along they'd have to leave again,
or at least they feared to hope for anything
beyond what they'd known before.

They knew, by the Lion's Mane,

as wonderful as it was to pursue Him
once more, they'd say goodbye again and weep
for loss of something so precious
and again
and again.

It always struck me as unfair, how the children
were drawn in, pushed back, rarely offered
much choice in the matter. At the whim of Him
who sent for and sent back, always in His time.

There was a stubbornness in them, I think,
that must needs have been torn asunder
from their persons. Especially Lucy-

I think sometimes I understand her well-

and yet in the end, she understood far better
than her elders. I wonder if her greater obstinacy
and the beatings required to sever it
made her heart softer, more open to hope
just one

that perhaps there would come a time- perhaps
this was the Time when they would come home
to Narnia and never return to that Other Place

Monday, September 10, 2007


10 September 2007, 8:56 AM

I feel like myself today,
and I wonder where I've been?
Time has come-
Where on earth has HE been?-
to open doors and welcome
friends and family around
our table, set not only to satisfy,
but to delight with unexpected
hospitality. Even if it doesn't
turn out just the way we'd like,
still, at last we can give
out of the bounty- the overflow,
for there is joy to spare, and hope
has finally found her voice,
enough for a lifetime of Paradise,
for us and for the ones we love.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


It’s different now, in the evening
when that place has finally seen fit
to give you up, let you come home to me.
The ribbon still sways in the manufactured wind,
but I am less concerned with either of them
or the flame still faithfully flickering in the fireplace
than I am with the pulse beating beside me.
I wonder if infirmity will serve someday
to drive you to the point of preferring a cubicle
to the Haven. I’m almost certain that sort of reality
is now in the past- we’ve each lived enough of hell
to know how precious is the soil we walk upon
in this precarious present.

Man-Made Wind

6 September 2007, 8:32 AM

Here is life.
The ceiling fan whirrs above
my head, quietly insisting sanity
reigns here. The ribbon on the mantle
reminds me this is true- it reminds me
of you. In so many ways, I am certain
you remember me, but the single,
constant flame in the fireplace keeps vigil
just in case you forget.

Man-made wind- the sound is somehow
soothing, though I know it isn’t natural.
It keeps the silence away, and I imagine
with the silence, it holds back my tears.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Front Door

28 August 2007, 11:09 AM

We asked them to come replace
the door that stood rotting. I know
he planned to do this a long time ago,
but perhaps necessity dictated
postponing wisdom, until the chaos
and rush of inevitability finally caught up
with procrastination. Whether or not
one's pocketbook agrees, there are some
tasks which cannot be put off another day,
and the gaping hole in the front of my home
only serves to make me wonder if
and when and where we or someone else
might have done this, that or the other
differently, and saved the neighborhood
this cacophony of power drills and saws
and our already strained nerves the worry
of our pocketbook's disapproving gaze.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Turn of Life

26 August 2007, 4:44 PM

I sit with you embracing sounds of life-
wisps of secrets drying fast upon the page,
silent mysteries between a husband and his wife.
Ruminate on moments’ bliss
redeeming shards of innocence;
tender, fragile hints of light,
waving eves of yore goodbye.

Turn of Night

6 September 2004
An older piece, one of my favorites that never made it to the blog.

Sit alone, embracing sounds of night:
cicada buzz and cold moonlight.
Ruminate on moment's bliss,
weep once more for innocence;
tender, rocking lullaby,
waving eves of yore good-bye.

Right Here

26 August 2007, 12:51 PM
The Pub

The breeze has turned suddenly
mild- I can sit at, or near,
our favorite table in the shade
and enjoy a cider, shepherd’s pie,
and your company in comfort
amidst noises close, yet somehow
more distant than if I were alone-
the rev and rush of people going
nowhere in particular, the endless
drone of conversations at other
tables I barely notice, because
I have everything I need right here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Notebook Sketch

14 August 2007, 2:09 PM
Of a self portrait by my uncle, sketched in a notebook and dated 3/4/99, a month and a half before his death on 4/21/99. Found the sketch while unpacking.

You held this notebook
in your hands, most likely shaking
from too much, or not enough,
of one substance or another.
The image is haunting- did you know?-
the end was near. I would come,
hold your hand as finally, at long last,
you found some form of peace.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shy of Should

6 June 2007, 1:34 PM
Found this in my poetry file the other day- realized I never posted it, perhaps because at the time, it felt too heavy and sad. Although I guess that doesn't usually stop me. Regardless, here it is.

I found a wishing flower today. Saddened
to see so many of its dreams irretrievably lost,
I picked it anyway, for you. There is no such thing
as a hope trampled beyond redemption.

So I breathed softly on the parachutes
of which there ought to have been exactly 188,
knowing there was something shy of should-
something not quite matching up to needful-
because I promised I would hope for you,

until all of what was lost, or at least enough,
shall find its way to you upon the wind,
fall in sheets of warming, summer rain to wet
the crackled earth; revive the wishing flowers again.

Loosening My Grip

13 August 2007, 8:20 AM

I held your hand as we walked
into the school today. You seemed
so confident, for a moment I thought
you'd prefer to walk not so close.

I loosened my grip.

You tightened yours,
so I didn't let go. I never will really
understand what makes me fear
for you. I know you're ready.

Everything was perfect.

I saved my tears for the hallway
and walked away with a boy-sized ache
in my heart, realizing all the precious
time that's gone- the time I missed
when you might have come home
mid-day, and we would have
sat in the dining room together
eating cookies, drinking milk
and talking about finger-painting
projects, incomplete, but soon to be
proudly displayed on refrigerator doors.

Friday, August 10, 2007


10 August 2007, 8:53 AM

One sees them, and even
bereft of the horticultural descriptor,
one knows at once it’s just not natural.
Branches do not grow in straight
lines across brick or board.
Those limbs must be coerced with string
or other less merciful implements- wire,
nails, stakes and such, and less obedient
growth must be severed.

If for one moment that vine
or bush
or tree was allowed to grow freely,
unhindered by chafing shackles,
it would become wild and beautiful;
pull away from the unforgiving
brick or the dead, unbending wood.

But the form would remain.
Branches shaped and hardened
into unnatural lines;
uncompromising positions must remain.
They serve as a reminder of lessons
learned in less merciful times.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Don't Want to Forget

28 March 2007, 8:39 PM

I don’t want to forget how it feels
not to know if you want me; to wish you did;
to fear our first meeting, and yet long for it
with every fiber of my carefully assembled
person, outside and in- curious if this is the place
where Love might grow again.

I don’t want to forget the rush of hearing
words I never thought that I would hear,
after watching as you fumbled with your fears,
your dignity and confidence, wondering
what you really meant by coming here today;
to wish you wouldn’t leave before you bring yourself to say
you’d like to see me again, because I so enjoyed the time.

I don’t want to forget a single syllable
of Edward, James or William,
and I want to remember When Africa Was Home.
I’d very much like to taste that Port
just one more time before the memory gets past me,
and you become so familiar I can’t remember
what it’s like to wonder what you’re thinking,
if you’re wanting, when and if you’ll see me,
how long it’s been since I’ve been in the presence
of a man who wasn’t focused on the Goal-
had I ever known a man who wasn’t fixed upon
some distant point he’d never actually see
if he refused to move his eye from it to look at me…

I don’t want to forget sharing Indian food,
plans gone awry, and mystical encounters
in chaotic spaces; finding Home in unfamiliar faces;
faces we would barely have noticed a year ago;
faces we could not live without today.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where You Were

21 April 2006, 7:58 PM

I used to wonder where You were
while all these little ones were being
completely and profoundly unseen

Then I saw You in the womb
I nailed You to the cross
I laid You in the tomb
which now stands gaping
empty before me

I saw you rising
rising up into the heavenlies
with my humanity
whole and wholly redeemed

and I do not wonder anymore
where You were in the midst of my suffering
because I know where You were
and I know who put You there

And I know Who ravaged the Hell of hells
because He was not tempted by it
nor by any right He could have claimed
to say no and walk away
leaving the gates of Hell locked and unbroken
and Adam and all these little ones inside

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


27 February 2007, 11:18 AM
A piece from earlier in the year that I never posted

Getting back to things
less base than mere desire-
wondering what constitutes
beauty. Is it form, substance,
some mix of the two? The gentle dip
where waist joins hip-

wherever it is that they join...

Is it the color of skin, the texture,
the incense of body and breath-
these are form; serve function.

Where lies beauty
in the midst of wind and sand?
The face beheld this moment will be gone
tomorrow. All things will be other,
some joys turn to sorrow, and wounds
to succor and balm.


3 May 2007, 1:07 PM

You must be persistent, Love.

There are so many knots
to untie. This means that you must
be patient, and also have a willingness
to help soothe rough edges, worn
raw from years of rubbing up against
harsh realities which could not be
escaped any sooner than I've managed
to writhe and wrench free
with the one go-round granted.

You must be merciful, Beloved.

There are so many tears
to dry. this means you must
be gentle, even when the salt begins
to sting your eyes; crust along the edges
of this lovely glass of wine.
So many times the brine will mix
with moments meant for gaiety and smiles.

You must be willing to see, my Love.

There are so many colors
in those tears- so many gifts kept
through the years, waiting for your hand
to come and draw them out, as it has done.
So many shades of purple I'd forgotten-
I did not know so many hues could hide
within the Shadows, waiting for their moment
to run down my face, give you a taste
of this rending grief, and every little hope
still waiting in the wells, all for you...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Moving Mountains

6 August 2007, 4:54 PM

Anger is my worst enemy
in this fight- leaves me weak
and wondering from which part of me
I’ve responded, if I’ve even responded.
Perhaps I’ve knee-jerked once again,
made life more difficult than
necessary to prove a point.

I’m angered by the lessons learned
before I ever entered this circumstance,
muddied now by irrelevant emotions.
I must learn to validate but contextualize;
pass judgment regarding relevance
to issues at hand- a lesson
whose importance cannot be overstated.

This is no game. These are the lives
of children who look to us for sanity,
whether they know it or not. They look to us
to make life what it ought to be.

Though I would have it be so,
there are only so many mountains I can move
in a lifetime- so few I have mastered
at this point, and so many who work against
what I see as light and life.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


5 August 2007, 3 PM

I went home today- was free
to be devoutly who I am, to love
the place I’ve come to call my own.
I was free, of a sudden, to see light
playing with the dark.


reminds me no person, no place,
no interpretation of God is infallible.
Every distillation of truth will capture
this or that aspect of His essence,
yet every purely human rendering
will fall short of the Original.

A sobering reminder

that I hold with open handed integrity
what I know to be the most complete
and worthy rendering of Him I’ve found,
only as I keep sight of the darkness
inherent in all earthly visions.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

When Poetry Runs Dry

I most often blog in riddles via poetry- it is, after all, my first love, and I have reason to believe it's what I'm good at. But while the poetry hasn't been flowing of late, my thought world is churning beyond my ability to process it internally. So I shall let it slip out onto the page in prose, and if the same is not my forte, perhaps you, reader, will grant me grace to share my less polished streams of consciousness.

I recently remarried, and am settling in to a life that I had given up for lost years ago. I have my son, and now I have also a gentle, kind and loving husband and a beautiful daughter as well. My opportunities to love and be loved have multiplied in the last few months, as have my venues for repentance and healing.

Funny how that works. As a single (divorced) mother, I spent an awful lot of time alternately blaming my ex for whatever it was that went wrong, and myself for allowing whatever it was that went wrong to happen. No matter how often I repented for my part in our fall, I always came back to the point where my ex was primarily predator, and I, primarily prey. I think it's a comfortable place into which one settles- the belief that there was little one could do about one's circumstances, because one was, after all, a victim.

So now I'm remarried, and finding myself very happy to be; content for the first time in a very long time. At the same time, I am facing a great many of the demons I faced the first time around, only this time, I have a better grasp on who I am, and on who my spouse is, and I find that I tend to want (and to be able) to trust his integrity and character against some of my more negative perceptions of reality. And I find that when I choose to do this, and to communicate with him about the Shadows from my past, those same Shadows tend to be dispelled, and I find one of two things happens, and I'm never quite sure which it is. Either 1) My Beloved is who I trusted him to be, or 2) my Beloved rises to that expectation, and becomes that person for love of me, because I chose to trust him. Either way, our path is that much easier, because I choose to trust him and not my fleeting emotions.

And I'm driven to consider the possibility that many of the things my ex and I became, we may very well have become because we chose to trust our more negative perceptions against the other's integrity and character.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


13 July 2007, ~6:30 PM
l’Arc de Triomphe

We have wandered these streets
at ungodly hours- a labyrinth
of beauty and culture and cliché.
We have done what we came to do,
and sit now at Victory’s pinnacle, almost,
though not quite, ready to return home


13 July 2007, ~4:30 PM
Vavin Café

A million shades of green, one of blue
as I sit listening to you read aloud from a book
I’d not have considered a year ago- I didn’t know it.
A world has opened before us since we entered
autumn and life together, and I wait to discover
the many shades of green we still have not seen

The Grass

13 July 2007, 3:20 PM
Jardin du Luxembourg

Get off the grass???

I came thousands of miles
and eight metro stops to sit on the grass;
feel it beneath me as you read aloud
from Bradbury.

Up until now, the French had seemed
more sane by far than my people.
But Americans know what grass is for,
and while they might use it
for American football,
at least at home I would be free to sit with you
upon the green, instead of a hard, metal chair;
and listen to the wind in the trees.

My Home

12 July 2007, 5:36 PM
Bonapartes Café, Waterloo Station

My feet ache, as do my legs,
and the day went far faster
than I’d wanted, though not
much faster than I thought.
I know that goodness and light
tend to speed the hands of time.
I used to grudge the clock this
seeming inequity. I’ve discovered
of late that time and place
are nearly as inconsequential
as the weather. If I am with you,
all times and places are alike
to me- you are my home.

Rainy Paradise

12 July 2007, 2 PM
Duke of York Pub, across from Victoria Station

A dark cloud hangs over
Victoria Station,
but I’ve told you a number of times,
the weather is inconsequential:

I am with you.

Victoria Station will always be
paradise, even when it’s raining.

Distinctly British

12 July 2007, 12:10 PM
Ashford Int’l Train Station

There’s nothing particular about
the flowers. I’ve seen yarrow
countless times in the fields
and on the roadsides back home.

The mist is simply, unremarkably
the same water that hangs on the fields
of Kentucky; falls unceasingly
in the spring- it falls as it pleases here.

The trees are familiar, boasting only
slight varietal differences, so slight
as to share names with those friendly,
shading branches in my own yard.

Placement is key, scarcity or plenitude
and care given to wild things- something in
the life of things that makes them
distinctly British- or otherwise.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Missed Train

12 July 2007, 8:43 AM
Hotel Beausejour, Montmartre, Paris

We missed our train. My dearest Beloved,
there is another-

we have missed our train before,
and under far more dire circumstances.

Missing the train did not keep us from Elysium.
It will not keep us from London or Hyde Park,

nor from Shepherd’s Pie, Fish ‘n’ Chips,
cidre and Guinness at Victoria Station.


11 July 2007, 12:06 PM
le Louvre, Paris

We came a long way to see her,
but Mona keeps unpredictable company,
so we shuffle along with the rest;
obtain a cursory viewing of a dear,
distant friend. But her eyes follow me
as I passed, and I know she would too
if she could.

2 Euros

11 July 2007, 1 AM
Paris Metro, Alma-Marceau

“A lovely flower for a lovely lady…”
“No, merci,” but a persistent, opportunistic
man wins out, and she is left holding
a very expensive gift she did not want;
would not have asked for, and he is left
digging in his pocket for 2 euros
they would rather have put toward
a café au lait and uncomplicated romance.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Guarding Elysium

10 July 2007, ~11 PM
Champs Elysees, Paris

Champs Elysees, the road which runs between Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, is lined, one end to the other, non-stop and on either side, with sycamore trees. They've been there, some of them, since long before I first saw the city in 1983.

She's been here all along.
When that little girl on the tire swing
first drew breath, Sycamore was
guarding Elysium, and the way to victory.


10 July 2007
Bistro Melrose, Montmartre, Paris

All the sadnesses which brought you
to me and to Paris and to Bistro Melrose-
they bottleneck as I watch you
from a million miles away and wonder,
would you do it again?

Good Company

10 July 2007, 7:?? PM
Bistro Melrose, Montmartre, Paris

We're in good company
with the likes of Hemmingway
and surely others whose greatness
may or may not have gone

unnoticed. So many details
some may never notice, but I do,
storing each crystal, each gold-
flecked rotunda, each olive
and spilled vase away in the
storehouses of my memory.

And the Bordeaux my Beloved
has locked away- its fullness
and its flavors, still wet upon my lips
and fading slowly, hesitantly
from my palate.


I've seen dreds, daisies,
bug-eyed sunglasses
and sheik young men
with far more gel than hair.
But I must admit the one cliche
I could not have done without
is sitting here with you,
a cafe au lait
and bug-eyed glasses of my own,
feeling sophisticated and classy
and every inch a tourist in Paris.


A rainy day in the City of Light,
but we choose the sidewalk seats anyway,
because this is Paris, and we came here
to do just this. We had hoped
for sunny, warm weather; would have settled
for warm and rainy; will be content
with 56 degrees and a light drizzle,
because in the end,
the weather is inconsequential-
we're home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Touch-down in the City of Light

Woods and patchwork
quilts of vineyards-
every forest has a village,
every village has a steeple,
and the grey mist breaks-
blinds me with morning light.
Mist still hangs in the sky

and I,

I inch closer to Paradise;
touch-down in the City of Light-
may it steal our darkness for a while.


10 July 2007
Flying into Paris

I know it's down there,
hidden in shadow and cloud-
the City of Light.

My eyes are too tired,
and my heart far too jaded
to believe, sight unseen.

Beyond Elysium

10 July 2007
Flying into Paris

Miles above... whatever lies below,
all I can see is sky, cloud and
sun, finally above the horizon.
The blades are still in tact, and I
begin to believe they will remain so,
even beyond Elysium.

Sunrise Over the Atlantic

Paris is
somewhere below us,
the sun in the East
rising warm and beautiful
on the first day we'll spend
in Elysium.

Close Quarters

Close quarters on our way to find
the fields of Elysium
under sun or rain or starry skies.
The blade about your finger unbroken,
untouched by the locusts
and the sands of time finally passing
less painfully, or at least in the direction of life.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

As Weary As I Am

3 July 2007, 4:22 PM

Somewhere in the midst,
between creation and resurrection,
I'm certain there was rest, though I'm grasping
with little hope of finding it. I wonder,
four days hence, if I'll have to be content
to heed His call to wake,
as weary as I am today.

Monday, July 02, 2007


2 July 2007, 11 PM

The wave mounts up on wings
like an eagle eyeing its prey,

and I wait.

I see it, like the helpless
victim that I am, unable to escape.
Precious little difference
between me and the rodent:
I am aware of my hopeless state,
and of the fact that my state
is not actually hopeless.

I know I can't escape,
yet if I could, I would not. I know
the wave, unlike the predator,
is as merciful as it is relentless-
that the object of my fear bears

in its wake the remedy

of my fears. I am aware, more than most,
of pain, and of necessity. I will receive
the waves breaking upon and breaking
my very self, and in the same
I will receive my self again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

High-Maintenance Paradise

27 June 2007, 11:42 PM

The most beautiful Paradise,
this side of Eternity, requires maintenance.

I know this,

and so there is no unexpected bitterness to deny
as muck and mire settle in, reminding me that happiness-
even contentedness- is not a given. Deliberate
effort is required in order to keep chaos at bay.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Whole Again

20 June 2007, 11:51 PM
St. Augustine, Florida

There’s another half
to this shell. I look
at its gentle but persistent curve
and I wonder whither the other half went,
whether another shell collector
has picked it up, turned it in his hand,
pondered its mate, or his,
or the insurmountable odds
which would have to be surmounted
in order for the halves to be whole again.

Beautiful to Me

20 June 2007, 2:29 PM
St. Augustine, Florida

Beautiful, broken bits-
the tides give them up,
pull them back,
give them up again until
they scatter on the beach,
and I come to sift through remnants,
finding beauty in slivers of silvered
purples, pinks, ivories,

and think of you, of me,

of the pieces we’ve salvaged
from the chaos of our seas.
I’m bringing home to you these
pieces of things once beautiful,
still beautiful to me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


12 June 2007, 11:11 PM

The stars are not as distant
as I once supposed. You linger
to count and connect seemingly random
patterns- it takes imagination to see

the sense of things; sanity
in the midst of chaos gone mad,
madness coerced into some strange
semblance of order, when everyone knows
there is no order in darkness-
there is only one rule when light fails:

No one can see,

and under such unwholesome law,
all hint of beauty fails in me,
in you,
in her,
in humanity.

No one wins if goodness fails,
though as of yet, ill has not prevailed.
The constellations are still ours, a guide
when all else fails- the sun, the moon,
the azure sky, and all the sundry forms
of wherefores and of whys. The stars prevail-
they cannot fall but that they leave the evidence,

a trail

by which we trace their origins
and find the Source of light.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Seed for Songbirds

5 June 2007, 8:42 AM


The Raven never leaves
off- seeds are falling
to the ground, scattering too far
ever to be found in their entirety.
She’s like a sower, casting seeds
only on the dry, rocky, wounded soil,
knowing full well they’ll never sprout;
only find arid places to bake in the sun,
crack, return to dust with never a
chance to find what might have been
if only the Sower of Discontent
had left a little seed for the Songbirds.

Even in the parable of the sower,
very little seed found the soil-
and he was just doing his job. If I remember
rightly, the seeds that found rocks,
shallow ground,
thorns and thistles became food for birds.


Even so, some seed was found
on fertile ground- it does exist. All is not lost.
There are corners of Paradise untouched
by ravens and serpents. There are trees
growing strong and tall beneath suns rising;
moons waxing and waning as they ought,
with no regard for stark, raving blackbirds.

And there are other birds- Songbirds nesting
in the limbs of Oaks and Sycamores,
among the intertwingled branches of white roses,
growing wild and unexpected in the Haven,
bearing, unapologetically, beauty and brambles...

And I wonder if the doorway to Peace exists
in understanding the Songbirds
were never ours to begin with- a precious
charge within our keep, entrusted
for their sake, and not for ours. We must
allow the days and nights, the suns and moons,

the roses and the brambles

to bend and sway, listening all the while
to these precious life-songs of birds
who rest in our Haven for a time, only
a time- listening when their songs are bent
with tears or free to find the uppermost
branches and the sky, the sun, the moon,
the stars and the heavens behind them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Oil

26 May 2007, 9:02 PM

The oil is thin, but thick
with honeysuckle running down my face-
reminds me of a moment when I thought
I lived outside of grace. I stood
before a man I had yet to call father,
and he pronounced a blessing:

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit…

The scent of antique rose
filled my senses with Reality:
Something bigger than myself was mine;
offered something more than shame to me.

I touch my face, and something somewhere
between rose and honeysuckle glistens
on my fingertips. It soothes the hurts,
imparts a scent I’ll notice long after
I’ve left the Nave, a scent that will remind me
of the cobbled ways I’ve walked
to find the honeysuckle breezes
and the roses, still adorned with thorns,
yet beckoning my spirit nonetheless.

Civilized Haircut

28 May 2007, 10:18 AM

I have this thing against
a civilized haircut. I’ve come to enjoy
all things growing a little more wild
than convention smiles upon.

Reminds me of the days
I never saw- you in Kenya,
growing up in darkest Africa,
going barefoot always,
except when monsoon season
came and left the dusty ground
muddy with the rains of Kenya.

I prefer to see as much of you,
as much of me be free-
free like the wind that sent
the black coats flying,
set the colors and Kerichans
singing in the open fields,
without a care
for a civilized haircut.


29 May 2007, 8:34 PM

There are promises and lovely things
requiring wisdom to discern- one must
be willing to be the pupil of a harsh,
exacting master if he wants to see
the woundedness turn whole again,
see roses bloom where once the thorns
were all there was to see.

Yet be content, Beloved.

There are promises and lovely things
seen easily with naked eye
without a single squint or double-take.
They come with claps of thunder,
the breaking of a cloud into sheets
of warming rain upon weary, arid fields,
and in the face of such as these,
the most tenacious heartache yields.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What's Your Story

16 May 2007, 8:37 PM

What’s your story?

Surely you didn’t plan this random
rendezvous at McDonald’s, where I wonder
as our eyes hold for a moment,
brief, then falter as I knew they would-
because a mostly white woman my age, ordering
burgers and fries to go cannot hold the eyes
of a middle-aged Mexican man working assembly
in a not-quite-restaurant without breaking
something hidden not-so-deep inside herself-

what’s your story?

How did you manage to get to this country,
much less this dead-end town, even less
this dying franchise, where you shuffle fries
and burgers into boxes for the walking-dead,
most of whom never even notice or look up at you,
much less wonder who you are, who you were
when your laugh lines formed. Did they form
from laughing or from years of troubled grief?

What’s your story?

What’s your name- are you Diego, who lost
his family and his fortune? Luis, who sought
a better life somewhere, anywhere north
of Chihuahua? Are you Tovito, who’s family
is happier here, despite the seeming lack
of dignity, for work is honor, and honor is life,
and life is precious, even here at McDonald’s.
And I walk away still wondering and aching to know,

what's your story?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Grass is Growing

26 April 2007, 11:39 AM
The Haven

The grass is growing.
In the midst of hell unfolding,
there is a Haven- a peaceful
place which fosters life, no matter
how small and delicate. There is one thing
all these little deaths cannot change-
that life will always encroach
on the mouldering heaps of decay,
making of despair a sustenance
which cannot be taken away.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Wrens

24 April 2007, 11:29 PM

The wrens have returned, Love,
and they're nesting in the hollow
of that Oak where your heart
once had been. I raise a blessing for the gift
of life renewed, burdens lifted, to the Giver
of love and laughter and all things
bent, all things broken, now renewed.

Some wording taken from "The Color Green" by Rich Mullins.

Closer to Sacred

24 April 2007, 8:24 AM

One feels better in the wake- more whole,
though perhaps less holy for the struggle.

Yet there’s the possibility that grief can sanctify,
and so perhaps the morning finds me
that much closer to sacred.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Mood

17 April 2007, 8:53 AM

So many factors play a part in this
my mood at any given point on any day.
It seems my curse- I cannot put to rest
this need to drive a thing into the ground;
to find the hurt round which each little
swing is wound. There is always a cause,
even when it manifests as less than rational.
There is always a reason when one loses
reason in the midst of sadness, anger,
grief or happiness- yes, joy as such
distracts as much as any other state
of mind; causes one to peer ahead, remove
eyes from the path and yearn toward
some distant point I’ll never actually see
if I refuse to move my eye from it; be present
in the beauty of the moment given me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


11 April 2007, 8:23 AM

Do not lament Him, Beloved,
seeing Him in the tomb- the Son conceived
in the womb without seed- for He shall arise
and be glorified, and glorify the Unholy
by His holiness. Though darkness fall
as a shroud, impenetrable to our tainted
minds, yet shall His light fill such things,
the rays of which have pierced and torn
and sundered all that kept at bay fulfillment
of the promise- the Word shall be held
no longer, nor enveloped by the tomb again.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Palms

8 April 2007, 10:50 AM

So many things have been eaten
by the locusts, but not this moment,
sacred as it is- Robyn rests
beneath the shade of palms, in the shelter
of the Nave, gazing up through longish
leaves which leave their outlines on her
face and in her mind- someday not so soon
she’ll leave this place behind, but not
this moment. In some way, big or small,
she’ll remember the incense, the darkness,
these haunting hymns,
and the palms.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


7 April 2007, 6:30 PM
MSNW of Blessed Memory

A great many things have been eaten
by the locusts- though I’ve known for some time
she was not one of them. Too alive
to be destroyed by such wearisome creatures;
too full of life and beauty and charity
in the truest sense of the word,

and I never even knew her;

only stories of a woman so inclined
toward hospitality, one could not help
but stay awhile, pull up a chair, sip
a cup of coffee, fresh and hot and ready
for the men she may never have met
before they sat at her table, partook of her
kindness, making all things warmer,


more satisfying than a meal taken alone
before the day’s work had begun.

Building Terebithia

31 March 2007, 4:23 PM

So very brutal, the wrenching joy
of tearing down Death, making room
for Life to come again to places it must have graced,
for Death can only come where Life has been.

Making way for life to come again; fill spaces
dry and crackled brown, soon to green;
touch the face of gentle Springtime skies,
making ready for the very first
and longed for Summer of our lives.

Spring Greening

28 March 2007, 10:02 AM

The brushes are greening,
behind white fences- they
go on for miles in both directions. I
had not dreamed the changes
Spring would bring- so many good gifts
since last the reddish orange hues
painted every branch reaching high
into an azure sky. Autumn to Spring,
and life begins again, right on cue,
and so unexpectedly I cannot help
but gape, awed at the chronology
of things I thought I knew so well,
yet could not clearly see in Hell.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Villain

27 March 2007, 1:27 PM

Time cannot be rushed- no,
he's a stodgy old Villain in a checked
cabbie hat, limping along the beat
and beating the hell out of Patience.
But no one can call him- the shots
are his, and cannot be coaxed
from the complacent pistol at his side.

Does he ever find reason to shoot
from the hip? Has he always been
so compulsively chronological?

I wonder, does the old man ever
skip light along the beat instead of faking
a bum leg and holding up the line
of weary travelers so ready to rest
aboard the train, made to stand
out in the rain- the cold, Spring rain,
because it isn't Summer yet,
and Time won't bend to spend his warmth
on teardrops falling from the melting sky.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bus 567 and the Universality of American Pie

16 March 2007, 8:57 AM

There are some songs, some books, some poetry and art that span time. They touch something universal in us- who knows how?- but they do, and years after their relevance should have worn thin, even died, they still tug at us, still make us laugh or weep, still make us dance, still make us talk their subject matter around in circles and into the ground.

I tested this theory today in the most hostile of environments- I brought a collection of songs that hold true to this idea, in my world anyway, onto Bus 567 and played it while I picked up my middle school/ high school students. There’s something sacred about music in the world of high school students. Don’t mess with their rap, their country or their crap. They’ll let you know in a heartbeat if they don’t approve, and they’ll mock you openly if they find your taste outdated or unpalatable in any way. So I was quite surprised when they heard the music I’d brought with me today, and no one said a word.

I took this as a sign that there was at least some level of general approval, and though it was officially “country day”, I didn’t turn on the country station. If they’d asked me to, I would have, and they know that. But no one ever did. Maybe because they saw me singing along. Maybe because they wondered what music this was. Maybe because they liked it. Or maybe because they were afraid to ask. That is a distinct possibility. They do, at times, fear me.

I did notice that no one was singing along.

And how could they? These songs are not the music of their hearts. The music of their hearts lies somewhere between the Dixie Chicks and Snoop Dog. I’d really like to believe that Snoop is not the music of anyone’s heart, but I know I yearn in vain.

So I began to lose hope as the CD progressed, from Dan Fogelberg to the Eagles to Billy Joel and on to James Taylor and Don Henley, even Mac Davis. I was counting on these men (didn’t realize there weren’t any women on this CD…) to speak to my kids- counting on them to communicate between my generation and theirs, to draw them out and make them wonder if there might be something in the world outside of their pirate headbands and pants hanging down to their knees. But it was obviously not happening. They respected my music, but it didn’t speak to them- didn’t sing to their hearts, didn’t move them to tap a toe (does anyone tap their toes anymore?), didn’t make them want to sing along.

But I’d forgotten about Mr. McLean.

I’d just about given up hope. I mean, when songs like “Hotel California” and “Fire and Rain” fail to elicit any response whatsoever, a generation is officially dead, right? There’s nothing more beyond that.

I’m in the final inning, down by 2 [hundred], the bases are loaded, and Don McLean steps up to bat with “American Pie”. Home run, I tell you. Home run. Who knew that almost every student on a bus in the middle of nowhere Kentucky would know the words to a song that outdates them by roughly 30 years? But they did. Mind you, they didn’t know all the words- even people who were alive and kicking when the song came out usually don’t know all the words. ***Quick aside: I was barely alive when the song came out, but I DO know all the words to “American Pie”, I fancy that I understand what Mr. McLean was attempting to communicate, and I think it’s a brilliant song, even thirty years after the fact. The man was a genius.*** Back to the point- they didn’t know all the words, but almost every student on my bus could and did sing along with the chorus, and I could tell they were fiddling with the verses as well.

I dropped off my high schoolers, and while I was sitting there waiting for the buses to get moving, one of my middle schoolers, one of the two or three who had not been singing along, came forward. “I have a question, Ms. Busdriver…” Some of them call me “Ms. Busdriver” no matter how many times I tell them my name. “When this song is over, will you turn on the country station?” I thought for a moment. “So you like this song, then?” … “It’s weird, but it’s kinda nice.”

Well. High praise from a 14 year old middleschooler. Way to go, Mr. McLean. You’re still speaking, even after 30 years.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


14 MARCH 2007, 12:48 PM

There's a tree outside
my window- it's beginning to bud,
and I know that Spring has come,
or will before the bitter cold kills
everything that's left of me
this side of Wintertime.

This side of Wintertime,
dead branches evince
hard-lost battles, but warmth renews
even the oldest, most scarred sentinel
in the gravel parking lot; redeems
what most would call an eye-sore,
where I see myself, and you, and all
these things for which I've sought
a home. There's life in those branches
still, even the ones bereft of sap,
for they tell the story of how and where
and when and why you turned my head;
caught my eye in such a way
that I could want you to come into my life
in such a way that we could find the path
to wholeness once again,
or for the first time
this side of Wintertime.


14 March 2007, 10:32 AM

There's something big and beautiful
and green and natural and so very real
about my African- I find him true,
more tangible than any color, taste or scent
heretofore discovered by my senses;
green- the shade of misty Kenyan
mountains in the morning;
intoxicating- a scent that pours
from acres of drying leaves, overwhelms
even only ever in my mind;
bright- the sound of Kerichans singing
in black trenchcoats and flashes of happy
colors underneath, all blended and blissful,
flying in the wind and rain.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wait for Me II

Another Emesis
11 March 2007, 1 AM

You’ve become familiar with the phrase-
(I wonder if you look for it)

wait for me;

discovered how much better it can be
when we arrive at the point-
whatever purpose we’ve purposed to fulfill,
whatever discovery we’ve set out to discover-


I realize, none-too-soon, how similar
are all things between us- that it matters
how and when and where we each arrive
at whatever paradise upon which we set our eyes.

No joy would be Heaven without you,
and I begin to believe the same is true
if you arrive before I do.

So you wait for me,

and I begin to believe you are content to sit
beside me where I’ve stumbled, allow me
to learn that you can love and want rightly,
wipe my brow, kiss tenderly the cheek wet
with tears you had no hand in wringing
from a heart so grieved and heavy-laden.

You wait for me

to gain strength and stand; walk again,
no longer alone in this wounding shame,
and persevering despite the same.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Grieving with Strangers

The griefs of others have a way of tapping our own. And I don't think it odd that we need not even know the ones who are grieving- it's a universal experience, and one only need share humanity to partake in the wounds of another.

Abigail Beatrix Yandell
Memory Eternal

Sunday, February 25, 2007


25 February 2007, 7:23 PM

You’ve a humility about you
that goes beyond what I can verbalize,
describe to any sense of satisfaction.
It’s not that you’re tops-
I’ve seen you swagger; fluff your feathers-
all men do. Yet there’s a willingness alongside
high-minded ideals; observed hypocrisies
that takes me by surprise each time
your hand extends to ask for mine
or seek within my mind what I observed,
what moves my heart,
what plumbs my core-
what you might have missed
or never known before.


25 February 2007, 12:58 AM

Remove your sandal; tread softly,
for wounded as it is, this place is holy.
Worn and weary wayfaring began
to find its resting place so long ago
the travelers lost all site or hope
of anything akin to home,
yet home was in the making all along.

Remove your sandal; tread softly,
for wounded as it is, this place is holy.
In this moment, on this sacred ground
is food and warmth and life sufficient
to leave beyond content- at home-
these hearts so close to letting go the same,
now letting go the hurt, the lie, the shame

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Better Than I Do

18 February 2007, 10:42 PM

I’ve wanted to meet you too-
there are things about him I can’t know
until I do, and things about this family
soon to be mine only able to be seen
from behind a woman’s eye.

I wonder what you’ll see in me
from behind the same; what you’ll imagine
exists within my world, this world which loves
and longs to love him better than I do.

Apathy's Consequence

February 18, 2005

One of my ponderings from two years ago.

The sky is falling all around,
but we sleep on without a sound.
Those dreams which we once held so close
now are drifting down,
drifting down
upon the apathetic breeze
that bids not slumber break its ties...

It matters not if you are gone
when I open my green eyes.


16 February 2006, 9:14 PM

One of my ponderings from a year ago.

I'm alone tonight
in this little
with moons and stars hanging
from the ceiling fan
paintings on the walls reflecting
the contents of the shadows of my mind

shelves with books and candles
and empty bottles
(few would realize their significance)

There's a gentle glow that only comes
with softer light than most prefer
just enough that one can see
from the street through the window
into my corner of Paradise

where Windows into Heaven line the hall
and in the midst of it all
I remember you
how you helped me find myself
so much so
that there's not a place in my home
where one can look
and not see me

If they knew how to look
they would see you as well
just as I do

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Redemption & the Sun

10 February 2007, 11:31 PM

It's been a while since someone made me
want to write a poem about happy things,
lovely things, things that make those on the outside
cringe to hear them said, because it's been so long
since music was so sweet; since thoughts were so
like honey; since feet upon the mountain of despair
had been so beautiful, bearing news of things
unheard of, the joy of which could never be
believed if not for hands which bear the truth
in upturned, open palms- a heart as lost as mine,
as near the letting go of hope as I have ever been,
a love as close to giving up the yearning to be known;
its God-image, branded so upon the flesh
that one ought sooner die than let it cease to long
for what should have been so very long ago;
what it still might know, given the chance,
given the hope,
given the moment to say yes,


oh God, please let it come- redemption, and the sun.

Construction Paper

5 February 2007, 8:36 AM

I know a little girl who used to play
as if the sky was a great, big piece
of construction paper stretched
across heaven, and someone,
probably God, had poked holes
in the paper. Angels walked about
on the other side, alternately hiding
and letting through the light,
causing them to sparkle in the night.

She knew better. She wasn't looking
to deceive herself with fantasy-
she simply loved the mystery
of what she couldn't explain to any
degree of grown-up satisfaction.

But I'd forgotten her until I sat
with my son watching cartoons
on a chilly February morning. Curious
George would not have been my choice,
yet in spite of me, he gave the little girl
a voice to say she wishes she could
still see the stars that way; she could
see the stars at all; I would look up again,
and see the paper stretched across the sky.

Monday, January 08, 2007


7 January 2007, 6:25 PM

There’s this phenomenon I’d guessed
existed in theory- another set of eyes
would most assuredly deny realities;
evince insanity of all the parts
which can or cannot bear the grating
of the wind, or worse reveal
the meadow and the sycamore,
the butterflies and flowers as figments
of my making; all that I have
come to claim for truth, as farce.

Stormy skies let loose their boon;
clarity none too soon and slate-
blue ships arrive to wash away
deception’s residual sway.

They are mad, each in his way
or her own, they are mad,
and I alone escaped to tell the tale.

And I alone have found another,
saner set of eyes to peer into the madness;
tell me it is madness, though I often
have such difficulty seeing it as such.

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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