Pillar of Salt


Today you turn, you twist,
look back to the beginning of now,
throw your tears over your shoulder,
salt enough for any god’s pillar.

How does it weigh?
The balances and the boundaries,
the feather and the soul?
Can you say what you have learned?
What will you carry with you into the wilderness?
Which character will you play in the coming cycle?


We’ve come to the end of the Fool’s journey. Tomorrow we face the World. The World Tree. The World Web. The World of Dreams. Here comes the future. Today, we looked back at the work of the past. Tomorrow we face the future, wind in our hair, sun on our faces. Are we right back where we began? Or do we set our own Fool’s feet upon a whole new road? We’ve traveled one circuit of the circle. We’ve made one round of the labyrinth. Now we carry the new mysteries and secrets into the coming cycle. How does that look to you?

Gratitude List:

  1. Race Against Racism today in Lancaster. Such good people, running in the rain. My young running buddy was a good companion–we actually walked it mostly.
  2. The Islamic Community Center, who invited my church to race with them. I felt so welcomed.
  3. The Spoken Word poets and storytellers. This is another incredible community of people that I am honored to be part of. This year they chose one of my poems as the ensemble poem. It gives me chills to hear my words in these powerful voices.
  4. Truth. That’s the theme of this year’s Spoken Word Play. I love all the different takes on the topic, how our ideas blend together.
  5. Friends who will stop and pick your flowers. A friend came by today, and when we didn’t hear her knocking, she picked herself a little bouquet of lilies of the valley. I felt so treasured.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Guardians

I am extremely tired tonight after a long dress rehearsal for Saturday night’s Spoken Word performance. I am extremely excited about this. The other poets and storytellers are marvelous. I am always awed to hear my words interspersed with the words of such intrepid and creative wordsmiths. Tonight’s poem on Guardians will be something of a place-holder so I can get more quickly to bed.

First was the angel with golden wings,
then a wild crone with her hair on fire,
and a tiny owl with a fierce bright eye.

Next came a pair of wee folk whose names
were as melodious as their meanings,
followed by a dark and silent woman with a silver pen.

A ginger-haired gnome on a chicken came next,
with an ebony goddess in a yellow dress,
and a wave, and a stone, a feather, and a flame.

Today we met the Guardians. Tomorrow is the day for the Challengers. Who are the Challengers you Fool faces on her Journey?

Gratitude List:
1. The compliment fest. This afternoon, a boy in one of my classes suggested we go around and give each other compliments. I was a little reluctant to put people on the spot, so he took a piece of paper and spent the study part of the period writing a compliment for everyone in the class, and then before the period was over, he went around the room, looking everyone in the eye, and told each of us something he liked about us. These were deep and thoughtful compliments–he clearly sees us. Such a powerful inspiration. My week was made.
2. This preppy spring with its stylish pinks and greens
3. The emotional wisdom of young people
4. Spoken Words
5. Revisions

May we walk in Beauty!

Let Your Poem Out to Breathe

Artist at work.

Today we will do the revision,
the re-make, the whole re-creation.
Today, we bleed.
Read it, and read it again.
Does it say what it means to?
Then get out your scalpel,
excise and re-shape,
find the new form hidden
beneath the words.
Let your poem out to breathe.

Gratitude List:
1. Bruce’s spinach and feta scones
2. I got my copy of Valerie Baer’s Baking With Whole Grains
3. Pot luck
4. Revising.  The poem, the plan, the purpose, even.
5. Getting Ready for Spoken Word Play.  Memorizing.  Seeing Daina and Marie again.  Feeling the shape of the poems on the stage.

May we walk in Beauty!