Thursday, September 30, 2010

A well-deserved rest

... and then there are the days
when, after having sailed
a lifetime or two,
you give yourself permission
to curl up at the dock
and bask in the morning sun.
A quiet cove,
cool mists of fog,
the gentle rocking of the waves,
the cries of the gulls
and the scent of salt air
to hide the inevitable lingering odors
of diesel fuel
and years
and years
of successful fishing expeditions.

* * *

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lying down on the job

When you decide to lie down on the job,
you run the risk
of not looking
all that glamorous;
the pale underbelly
of all your expertise
is exposed;
folks can start to tell
your opinion of yourself
may have been a bit inflated.
But darn,
that grass sure feels good
against my skin;
maybe I'll roll around for a bit...

* * *

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thirsting for Divine Connection

No one leads this dog to water;
no one needs to make him drink:
he does it when he's thirsty,
for he listens to his body.
When will we learn
to pay attention to our longings,
to honor our hungers
and assuage our true thirsts?
When will we --
seeing our reflection hovering there,
in that for which we thirst --
begin to comprehend
that that face is not our own
but belongs to God;
that what we long for
is the Divine Connection?

* * *

Monday, September 27, 2010

It feels like hope

We clasp our hands
and bow our heads
yet somewhere
deep inside
some part of us
is yearning,
cupping its eager hands
in hope of gathering the light.
I stand before You, humble,
and still that longing
glows from deep within:
I hold it gently
as an offering
of trust:
See? I am both shy and bold,
shrinking away and reaching out:
It feels like hope;
approach/avoidance --
How can I be reserved for You
and yet still bloom?

* * *

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sailing toward integration

Let us harness the energies
of dark and light together:
in combining both
we create a breeze
that propels us
ever more surely forward.

Let us strike a balance
between leanings,
left and right:
in combining both
we create a tension
that helps keep us upright.

Let us find the courage
to walk upon the water,
to step out onto faith
and trust the balance and the breeze
to carry us across the waves
and safely to the farthest shores;
the land of integration.

* * *

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The jangled imperfections of Now

I know,
or dimly sense,
that there's a future
hidden in this scene;
the shadow of the sea,
a dock,
a destination...
But just for now
I think I'll focus on these poppies;
drink in their brilliant reds
and strum my fingers
across their crowned heads,
for their sweet green music,
the jangled imperfections
of Now.

* * *

Friday, September 24, 2010

Focused on the gold

I understand we all see things
from differing perspectives.
What I'm learning from my camera
is this:
Each vision contains
some partial truth --
no one of us can comprehend
the wholeness of the picture.
Would you have guessed
that this scene is contained
in that image to its right?
Like a digital camera,
we have our limitations:
You may see the blues today
but I seem more focused on the gold.

* * *

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One Lane Bridge

We're all so used to thinking
these covered bridges are special;
we never stop to think
that coming up on it,
you can't really see
what's on the other side.
Not only that, it's a one-lane bridge:
only one can go through at a time.
I'd kind of like to stop here,
photograph the scenery --
anything to delay
that harrowing moment
when you pull around the corner
only to find yourself face-to-face
with what's coming through
from the other side...

* * *

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Look again

I thought I'd seen
what I needed to see,
the light,
and the refreshing cool colors,
of dawn,
and so I turned away;
went back to daily tasks
a little calmer,
and ready to take on life.
But take a moment,
I heard You say;
look again,
and see
that the restful calm
was only the beginning,
a hint of the energy
and passion to come
when the light finally emerges
and pours its holy fire
into our souls.

* * *

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drifting into possibilities

A quiet morning
on the front porch
basking in the chirps and hums
of the countryside,
the long rays of autumn sun
the cool scent
of fresh-mown grass...
she rocks quietly,
nursing a cup of coffee
and lets her mind wander
to other places,
other times...
drifting into might-have-beens
and possibilities,
the dog sleeping at her feet
kicks out, and kicks again.

* * *

Monday, September 20, 2010

Waiting to break open

Milkweed pods
in the morning sun
cradle damp-feathered seeds
and wait for a string of hot dry days;
a chilly night or two
to brown and break open;
to release their secret weapons --
bright fairy wings
that sparkle and dance among the moonbeams,
flutter in the light
and drift across the lawn,
soft like mist
above the grassy blades.

* * *

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An icon, and a shrine

She holds
some part of herself
now lost forever
tenderly in her arms,
an icon and a shrine
to the promise that once was
and now will never be.
Mourning her loss,
she fails to see
the blessings that could emerge
from one man's willingness
to give it all up --
to leave the separation
that is now;
to step boldly
through the pain of transformation
into the wholeness that will come
when hate and greed
and blame and shame
are left behind
to moulder in the cave of self.

* * *

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Red barn gleaming

Red barn gleaming
in the afternoon sun,
empty of horses;
just one old truck
waiting to plow
in the winter to come.
Times are changing;
what's to be done?
Green grass growing
but the farmer's not mowing;
no cows or horses
to eat the hay
that already lies
in big rolls in the barn.
Old dog scratching
stands by the window
watching the ghosts
stealing into the barn,
dancing in the rafters,
playing in the shadows,
calling him softly:
"Come out and play!"

* * *

Friday, September 17, 2010

Old dog, sleeping

She sleeps beside the stove
and dreams
of younger days
when she could climb the stairs
and look for children
who are no longer there;
of days
when she could climb into a chair
and sleep beside a cat
who is no longer here;
perhaps she dreams of joining them
wherever they may be
or maybe she's just lying here
and wondering
how it all will end.

* * *

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I love the way
these chairs are always
waiting there for us --
sitting in the summer shadows,
covered with snow in winter,
always an invitation:
Take the time
to sit and talk,
to share a moment
in the sun,
to breathe,
to hope,
to remember
the way things might have been...

* * *

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The barn remembers

Late afternoon,
and the sun paints golden bars,
imprisoning the old red barn
in light
while inside
sparrows flutter and dream
and ancient voices
echo in the rafters:
sounds of children
playing with kittens in the hay,
farmers milking,
cattle huffing and mooing,
horses stamping,
eager to run across the wide field.
Still now,
but for the mice and birds,
the barn remembers, and glows.

* * *

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vermont in autumn

What can I say?
It feels like home to me,
this red barn,
and the autumnal hills;
that sweet road
that leads off to the left,
through the hay;
the dogs that greet me at the door,
the homemade maple syrup,
and home ground coffee,
the broccoli
fresh from the garden...
There are angels in this house,
and wide board floors,
woodstoves and fireplaces,
rag rugs and comfy chairs;
piles and piles of love
and two dear friends to visit with;
old friends whom I adore
and cannot wait to see again:
Home away from home.

* * *

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's always "stuff"

Oh, he said --
But that's all just water under the bridge...
or was it water over the dam?
At any rate, this collection of junk
you're glaring at today
will have slipped over the edge tomorrow,
to be replaced by some new collection
of worries, and imagined slights;
of to-do lists and regrets.
That's the thing about dams and bridges,
and about the flow of life itself:
there's always "stuff" gathering at the edges,
cluttering up the picture.
Sometimes -- have you noticed? --
it's that stuff that gives the image life and color.

* * *

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Don't mess with me today;
I've had enough of your assumptions.
Just because my jacket
looks like armor,
doesn't mean I'm up for a fight.
Just because my skirt is short,
doesn't mean I'm looking for action.
Just because my hair's a mess,
doesn't mean I didn't spend
a lot of time on it.
Just because my makeup's heavy,
doesn't mean I'm a model, or a slut,
or a member of the lower classes --
I could be an opera singer
on my way home from a dress rehearsal:
you just never know
what beats below
this shiny purple jacket:
could be a powerful set of lungs
or maybe a heart,
just as red-blooded as your own.

* * *

Friday, September 10, 2010

Breathe on me, Breath of God

God's breath has come
to fill our sails anew,
and so we skitter silently --
bright patches of love and joy --
across a sparkling sea of light.
The dark and colorless void
we leave behind --
this backdrop,
which illuminates
where we have been,
what we must overcome,
and where we must
return --
fades before the thrill
of wind
and color;
the space within the heart
fills with light and air
and we are soaring
once again.

* * *

Thursday, September 9, 2010


One night, when we showed up for dinner,
this painting stood on an easel
by the door.
Your colors so delicious,
so perfectly capturing
this home we've grown to love so much...
my heart leapt in recognition,
just as it did
the day we met:
you have a way of knowing
what needs to be seen
and what needs to be said.
To discover that our husbands
could be close as well
was icing on a cake
already sweet.
And now this painting hangs
at the bottom of the stairs;
I cannot pass
without thinking of you both
and missing him.

* * *

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And shadow is her brother

This is what I love about light:
that she makes all things beautiful.
Even though her power
highlights a flaw in the pumpkin,
and gives precise definition
to the hole in the leaf;
and even though we can clearly see
that these pumpkins are not yet ripe,
the light makes all things beautiful.
And here is what I also love:
that Shadow is her brother,
or perhaps a sidekick, or a straight man,
always holding the darkness back
so she can help
those imperfections glow.

* * *

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Poppycock, Fiddlesticks and Balderdash

It's a lot of responsibility, you know --
this being old, and wise --
there are just too many hats to wear
and too many roles to play.
All I really wanted was to greet you, and observe;
to just sit and smoke my pipe,
I'm still supposed to remind you
to be safe, and use protection;
I'm still supposed to celebrate
your birthdays,
though I long to ignore my own,
and I still have to engage, and watch,
when all I really want to do
is pull up a comfy chair,
turn my back on all this excitement,
and quietly sit and ruminate.
Today, I'm one with Ebenezer Scrooge:
Bah, Humbug! I want to say
to all your tweets and twitters --
Poppycock, Fiddlesticks and Balderdash!

* * *

Monday, September 6, 2010

Loving our demons

The caption says
this should be love,
but sometimes I'm not so sure:
there seems to be
approaching and avoidance
on both sides --
as if this were not a child at all
but rather some homunculus,
a demon, who, having risen from within
swirls through our thoughts
and must be held,
and recognized;
loved, welcomed, and released.

* * *

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Riding the waves of judgment

I'm trying to follow directions --
trying to let the wonder of Your Love
splash inside my chest --
but you can tell
it's not the real thing:
the curves are not as smooth as yours,
and you can see the stitches,
the places where it wasn't right:
I had to gather here
and let it out a little there.
And then there are the bleach spots,
the times I tried to wash away
the anger and the fear,
and, overzealous, removed the color, too.
And then I hear your voice:
ah, my dear -- so critical,
so hard on yourself.
Of course your splashes will be different:
they are real, and reality will always have its flaws.
Rest a moment, my love, and ride the wave;
See how closely it resembles my ideal, and rejoice.

* * *

Saturday, September 4, 2010

When the heart aches

So much sadness;
so much sorrow in the world.
The clouds roll in
and the heart aches,
and suddenly words fail me:
what can be said
that hasn't already been said?
What can one person really know,
of another family's loss and pain?
I see there can be beauty and promise
in the empty chairs, and the view
but every time
I try to follow that path,
I find myself wishing
I could erase the grave:
I know I'm not alone.

* * *

Friday, September 3, 2010

A shift in the wind

You know it's coming --
a shift in the wind,
a reversal of tide,
a long-awaited boat
that will bring you something
or someone new
or carry you to some new place.
Anticipation rises:
I see it in the lift of your chin,
the way you clutch your coat,
the rapid rise and fall of your chest:
For each passenger on this boat,
a new beginning.
Though some things never seem to change --
this building,
that ferry,

the water lapping at the pier --
I see the colors have begun
to make their nightly transition
from blue to black
from white to gold.
And so it begins,
the darkness that will pull us through to dawn.

* * *

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Boundary dispute

Get out the war canoes:
some part of me --
that fight or flight mechanism
we hear so much about, no doubt --
is ready to do battle,
lining up the troops,
prepping for some unknown skirmish,
hooked on the idea
that there's something I can do
to control this situation.
You'd think it was my border
that's being threatened;
my boundary that's in dispute.
I seem to keep forgetting
where I stop --
and You begin.

* * *

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Popeye or PeeWee

Those were,
he thought,
the golden years --
and now look,
what a mess I have become.
All the dapper clothes
and careful styling
cannot hold the truth at bay:
time is passing,
and I am flawed:
the things I used to care about
will rust away
and I will be left...with what?
A tarnished image?
So be it then --
I am what I am.
Oh, no -- that was some other
cartoon character,
equally foolish, equally short-lived...
oh, wait: wasn't that also God?
I guess you get to choose which you remember.

* * *