Monday, September 28, 2009


We don’t know how to
say goodbye, so we polish
our shoes, trim our nails,
put on our best bowties and
cry without shame, beyond words.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Into the deep

In high school
they envied my words,
pretty little clever things
I tossed around for amusement.
But what are words worth
when you can’t swim?
I wanted in:
Into the pool, the pond,
the lake, the stream,
into someone’s dream
of belonging.

Summer bodies
tanned and toned
dive off the dock
into the deep black
how did they do that,
arched like a knife
between sky and sea.
Never me.

September freshmen
pondering life by the pond
just me and Laura,
and she says, “How about
we swim across?”
A genuine question, not a dare.
Not a trace of ridicule there.
Amazing, she didn’t know
that I was not like that.
So I tried anyway.

Got foot cramp halfway,
nearly drowned with the snapping turtles,
but she dragged me to shore
and we laughed
like Olympians.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grandma's Dodge Dart

I wrote a few versions of this poem on Twitter, and had differing opinions on the favorite. I actually like them all for different reasons. Which one do you like best?

Haiku 1
Grandma's last car was
my first, a sturdy old dodge dart, wind
resistant like her.

Haiku 2
Grandma's last car was
my first, a sturdy old dodge dart,
wind resistant like her.

Grandma's last car
my first
sturdy Dodge Dart
wind resistant...
like her.


Two-thirty a.m.
ceiling stares down with dead weight,
relentless nothing.
Monsters play at politics
behind eyelids until dawn.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Another masterpiece. For me?

Monet made attempts,
baby steps, really.
But You not only spark
but flame day after day.

World weary, I ask
what is the purpose of
such sweet sensuous
displays of color?
Just more perfume
poured out on dirty feet?
I don’t deserve it.
I rarely even notice it.

I hear you saying to the world:

Pay attention.
This is what my love for you looks like.
I will not keep my mercy in a box.
I pour it out on all creation
with audacious use of color,
texture, height, depth.
I give you skin to feel
wind on your face,
ears to hear crickets,
eyes to see sunsets,
tongue to taste
my outrageous love
for you,
my greatest masterpiece.


How small and crowded we are in this world.

Herds of people, all traveling cattle class;
all wanting to light one candle, to say one prayer,
to be heard.
To find solitude with the Holy Other.
To find sanctuary.

It will make you a believer or an atheist,
the enormity of it all.

We are not left alone,
but we must be alone,
or almost alone –
to embrace the silence, the deep,
the ancient, the holy –
and to be embraced by it.

We find those ancient stone steps,
make our way through the great carved doors,
settle safe in the back pew,
smell the smoke and bees wax,
feel the silence and solitude of a sacred place.
Tangible representation of soul state,
helping us align, this side of eternity,
body and soul, mind and heart.

We need sanctuary.
I do.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Late summer paint box

Late summer paint box
spilling messy with yellows:
squash, sea grass, fresh corn,
lost leaf lingering by bark;
showy sunflower, school buses.

Goldenrod runs the
full length of September, while
pale pregnant moon
waits heavily for first frost.
August abandoned in a blaze.