There Needs to Be a Poem

There needs to be a poem here
something to fill the space
to inspire
to bless.

There needs to be a word
that fills the small green hollows
between the first shy greeting
and the questions
that draw out the hearts
like small burrowing animals
from their safe nests.

There needs to be a song here.
At least a whispered line
with a hint of a melody
and a rhythm
like the chirping of the tree frogs
high in the oak grove.

Let us stand in the moment
shoulder to shoulder
like the deer on the verge
we caught in our headlights,
and listen for the distant unrolling of words.


Gratitude List:
1.  That wonderful woman at OfficeMax yesterday who said that since the Lancaster store was selling notebooks for a penny a piece, she could give me the same price, and then only gulped a little when I said, “That’s so great!  I’d like a hundred for my English classes!”  I quickly realized that I was taking overenthusiastic advantage of a kindness and cut my number back just a little.
2.  Waters of Transformation.  Yes, indeed.
3.  I have a job where people sometimes start the day with a collegial hymn-sing.  Have I landed in a perfect place for me, or what?
4.  Inspiration struck when I needed it and before I was a complete wreck of exhaustion: I have been a little anxious this weekend about preparation for the coming week.  I came away from last week sort of feeling like I had drained my wells of inspiration for lesson plans.  Just like poetry writing, however: When you let go, sometimes the streams begin to trickle back in again, and sometimes they come in as a flood. I hope the students are a tenth as eager for the work I present tomorrow as I am to present it.
5.  Family time.  Meeting Kim’s dear children.  Basking in Craig’s delightful smile.  Listening to the harmonica trio play in harmony.  Discussing recipes for fish.

May we walk in Beauty!


Deep breath.
Straighten the spine.
Scan the wide vista before you.

Feel the morning breeze
as the sun rises
over the far horizon.

Another deep breath.
Spread your wings.


Gratitude List:
1.  Beads, stones, stories, and a little bottle of water from Lake Victoria.
2.  This family.  The growing kids.  The cousins who take time and heart with the little ones.
3.  People who sing.  I love being around Winnie the Pooh and Bilbo the Hobbit types, who are always transforming the moment into a song.
4.  The color blue, from the peace of turquoise, to the love and nurture of Mary’s Robe, to deep visionary indigo, to crisp and intellectual cobalt.
5.  Leaping into the blue.

May we walk in Beauty!


Here are the links to my books:
Song of the Toad   Book Cover

Yesterday’s prompt was to write a poem about family.

Down in the wetland
where the creeks divide
and reunite,

a pair of mallards dabbles
in the shallows
of the swiftest bubbling waterway.

Among the grasses
of a little pool nearby
twelve ducklings

dip and bob,
muddying the water.
Up on the grassy bank,

wide-eyed and watchful
a young snapping turtle
bides its time.


Gratitude List:
1. All the fragile, tender life of springtime.  How tenacious it so often is, against the odds.
2. Stories of holy surprise
3. Rebirth.  Every day.  Every leaf unfurling, every flower opening, every bee in a flower.
4. Reminders, no matter how painful, to strive, to become more compassionate, to open, to open, to open.
5. How a little of of practice, every day, begins to develop muscles: yoga, piano, memory, compassion, letting go. . .

May we walk in Beauty!


Rocks and Light

Gratitude List:
1.  Necessary Conversations: Heavy, beautiful, powerful, sad, life-giving
2.  Music with the Family: Val’s fiddle, “Helpless and Hungry” behind “What Child is This?”, Isaiah’s clear voice singing “No Wind at the Window,” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
3.  Maklubbi.  However it is spelled, it was a delicious Christmas dinner.  And wonderful wine.   And the figgy pudding.  Always the figgy pudding.
4.  Dutch Blitz.  I am getting so slow.  I need to practice, if I am to keep up with these young people.
5.  You.  You.  You.

May we walk in Beauty.  And Light.  So much Light.

Oh, and rocks.  #6 is Rocks.  Susquehanna’s rocks.  Hezza’s rocks.  Goldfinch’s rocks.  The Apache Tear that I wear at my heart.

Tea Party and Prodigality

Gratitude List:
1.  Prodigality: lavish, profuse, wanton
2.  Bees humming in the crocus flowers
3.  The wild conversations that were happening all over the hollow this morning when I walked out to feed the chickens: wild geese calling, woodpecker thrumming, wren, bluebird, chickadee, somebody asking, “Sweet?”
4.  Pot luck lunches!
5.  Family Tea Party: We usually have a Family Movie Night every week or two.  Lately the boys declare many evenings “Family (Something) Night.”  Before we settled in to watch Family Circus Specials for Family Movie Night this evening, Ellis declared that it was also Family Tea Party Night.  What fun.  There were three rules (“I have another rooooo-lah!” Joss declared imperiously): 1.  You must lick the sugar out of the bottom of the tea cup.  2.  No one may throw your tea on the floor.  3.  No one may bring a cannon to the tea party.  (Rooooo-lah-making was suspended when the rules became too silly.)  And Auntie Valerie makes my gratitude list yet again–it was her old tea set.

2013 March 027

Winter Sky and Gratitude

Winter sky at Goldfinch Farm, 2010

Gratitude List:
1.  Val and Dave and three amazing nephews.
2.  There is always something new to learn
3.  Honesty, integrity, loyalty
4.  Compass, direction, orientation
5.  Kale for lunch, kale for supper, kale tomorrow

May we walk in beauty.

Gratitude List Dec. 22

1.  A family that makes holiday get-togethers a total delight (Happy Birthday to my dad!)
2.  Being Santa with Jon Weaver-Kreider
3.  Hot chocolate with a candy cane and a splash of vodka
4.  Annie Lamott’s reminder to take care of myself and not to waste my life wearing pants that are too tight
5.  Circles.  I think I have mentioned them before.  But they mean so many things.  So yes: circles.