Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The poet's net

Colors, appealing
though they may be,
cannot disguise
true purpose here:
to trap the fluid silver flash,
remove it from
the liquid sky
through which it swims;
to stop the life
that pulses through the gills;
to turn those living embers
into ash, dissect, de-bone,
and serve them on a plate
to tempt a dwindling appetite,
or tease a jaded palate
with yet another taste
of possibility.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sympathy pains

Though Vermont was not
my childhood home,
I quickly fell in love
as an adult;
and, as a mother,
even from a distance,
will hurt when her own child
is wounded,
I feel the new scars
on her landscape
as my own.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dining on anise and honeysuckle

Though still raw, pink and lean,
their golden trumpets not unfurled,
the honeysuckle buds are triggering
a rash of memories:
the sweetness at their base;
the slipping of the teeth
as we bit through fragile petals
to suck the fragrant honey
from each tip; the pure delight
of that sweet treat,
garnered from the wild
while still a child,
wandering through Ohio woods,
seeking the wild anise and sharp clover;
chewing on those grainy stalks,
the one so sweet, the other's spice
so sharp ...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

That equalizing effect

Even the most ordinary scenes
take on a grace on foggy mornings:
I wonder if it's the fog's equalizing
that draws attention to the beauty
of the mundane... Once we stop
thinking some animals are
more equal than others; some scenes
have more value than others;
some humans are worth more
than others,
the world --and life --
have a way of becoming
infinitely more appealing

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Change and the apple, birthing

Does the flower miss her petals
when they drop to the ground
and the belly that remains
begins to swell?
And when her skin
begins to stretch and thin,
does it ache, the taut pull
screaming like a muscle?
And the blush
that flows over the cheeks;
the sharp split of separation,
once ripe --
does she resist, or rejoice?

Friday, August 26, 2011


Enchanted invitation;
welcoming the inner Divine,
a softness,
an opening of the heart
to what is being borne in us
and born in us each moment,
always new, always awakening,
always precious;
a wonder
that is music,
that is becoming,
that is now,
that is Love

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going with the flow

What is the source
of impulses?
Why would I
suddenly decide
to make another spirit doll
and give it to a friend?
Why would I spend an evening
carving faces out of Fimo;
why would I shop
for beads and buttons,
fabric and yarn,
thinking "this is fun;
let's do some more!"
I'm learning not to question --
but it's so 70's, you know,
to just roll up your sleeves
and go with the flow...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I see a circle
in an old plywood deck.
Yes! I think,
and pull out my camera –
surely this will lead
to something good.
… and it does,
for me, at least,
and then I’m proud:
see what I have learned;
see what I can find of beauty
that others might pass by.

What is the point
Of this pride?
Where does it come from,
And where could it possibly go?
What is it in me,
(in us, dare I hope –
surely I am not alone
in this conceit?)
that so longs for the thrill
of accomplishment,
and recognition?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The shape of our hearts

If our hearts are shaped
by the places we live,
this is the shape of my heart --
Vermont overlaying
the Pacific Northwest --
and I am caught
in the faded zone between,
loving each, drawn to both,
never completely one
with either;
some rosy mix of the two...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some tempestuous volcano

When you think of soul,
what do you visualize?
An uprising
of divine wisdom?
Or is that just the tip
of the iceberg?
Or perhaps
some tempestuous volcano
stirs within,
just waiting to blow its top...
Only one thing seems sure:
there must be light
at the source of it all.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When the imp shows up

What can I say? Some days
the imp in me shows up
and dominates --you know;
the times you laugh when you know
you should be crying;
the chuckles that come
at the worst of times,
when someone's ill or dying:
I still remember the day
the communion wafers were so stale
they stuck to the roofs of our mouths
and the giggles had us
shaking in our pew...

Friday, August 19, 2011


Losses piling, thick green
seaweed coating the soft gray
sand until it can no longer
breathe; bright shells of wonder
no longer sparkle in the sun;
sand fleas no longer leap
for joy in the darkness, their feet,
their clear and tiny bodies
constrained by layers upon layers
of striped grief strewn in
tracks like tears running
down the window
obscuring hope, vision,
all future this dense
sluggish morass.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The journey

We walk in this
enchanted forest;
lured and guided
by the moon,
yet easily distracted
by the shades and shadows
lurking among the trees.
Wisps of possibility
dance like fireflies;
bright enticements
into tangled thickets of remorse.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All one

All one --
the cloud,
the rainbow falling,
the rising fog,
the mountain's looming presence,
its streams and shadows
pouring into sea,
the rain and weeds
that streak my windowpane
and stripe my view;
the ocean and the fish within,
the current and the wave...
all one, all me, all You.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Music to my eyes

I dream of a world
where you and I
might co-exist in peace;
where accidental trespassing
into your sleepy space
would only mean a sleepy look
and you could resume your dozing;
where I could sit and watch you sleep
like some besotted mate;
enchanted with the gentle rise and fall
of your speckled chest,
the delicate curve of your flippers,
the arc of your whiskers,
the soft sheen of your fur,
the round innocence of your belly,
the sweeping power of your tail...
all music to my eyes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A serenade for the sea

We sing a song for the sea,
we sing,
a serenade for the sea,
for all we adore
who are here no more;
for those who played
in the sun and the shade,
for the friendships shared
and the truths that were bared
in the quiet moments
between dark and sleep,
for the secrets we swore
to keep forever and lost;
stories that fell
like leaves to the sea
and drifted away
with the waves.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


These days,
even the humble petunia
has learned the secret
to dressing up
and garnering attention:
dancing on the color wheel,
she chooses a partner
just one shade shy
of her opposite,
tying a band around her skirt
then skipping into the garden
flourishing her petticoats
and trumpeting her gypsy siren,
swirling around
the fire of the sun
beckoning her lover forth
with soft green fingers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The nuts and bolts of travel

So here it is:
the nuts and bolts of travel --
where you planned to go
may not be where you ended up;
fog may obscure
the sights you planned to see.

And on your most important journey
you may find you are alone,
peering through some rain or tears
at destinations you never meant to visit,
trials you never intended to endure,
food you never expected to eat,
and the one person
you never thought to meet
in such a lonely space:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Camp director

He stands, quiet,
at the edge of the circle,
watching as the children
dance and sing,
turning occasionally to speak
to the staff on concerns of the day,
but always turning
back to the children:
bright faces reflecting in his eyes
like kayaks beside
an old upturned canoe...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Touch upon this grace

A random drift of rope
curls like lace
or a lock of my daughter's hair
on the wooden dock,
its graceful curves appealing
if unkempt, a bit disorganized;
imperfection at its most charming.
We, too, in our natural state,
unmasked and unarranged,
having fallen as we were tossed,
can bless the eyes and hearts
of those whose eyes -- or lives--
touch upon this grace.

Monday, August 8, 2011


My most glorious memory of yesterday
is green –
Not this green, of the maple leaves,
Glowing in the morning sun
Beyond my kitchen window,
Or that green –
the bright stems of the daisies
Left for me in a vase
On the table beside my bed –
But the artificial green
of a hank of crocheted yarn
(the beginnings of a hat)
sticking out of a young girl’s pocket
as she stands –more proudly now –
saluting the flag as it slowly lowers,
dropping like the evening sun
into a sea of campers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tangles, escalating

Too tired to teach, I watched the students
pulling string of different colors
from a tangled mass, and thought—
Here’s how I can help.  I spent
an hour or more pulling colored threads
and sorting into piles:
A simple task, like housekeeping,
and yet, if left undone, the work
can escalate exponentially.
Think of all the other tangles –
thoughts, dreams, and relationships
that, left unsorted, also can become

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dragon, dragon

Dragon, dragon, breathing fire,
how can we learn to cope
with the fear of burning?
When will we see past
your scaly skin
to the jewels that lie beneath;
past your snarling jaws
to the smile below;
past your powerful hooves
to our own --
and oh-so-delicate--
feet of clay?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Purple wonder

This little flower
does not complain or whine
or try to make her life
anything other than it is:
she drinks up the new rain,
dances in the wind, skirts flying;
opens her heart to the sun
and stands, unbending,
as her petals fall,
dropping like tears
to fade into the grass
and feed the soil,
then with a careless toss of her head
flings out her seeds so others may enjoy
the purple wonder that will adorn
some future garden.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A long gray summer

I see the sun is feverish again:
the Northwest clouds come rushing in
to wrap her in their wooly blankets,
protecting her from those of us
who seek to steal her warmth,
who long to grab a ray or two --
tuck it in a pocket for a rainy day --
but however thick the coverlet
she still sweats through,
spilling rain onto lush green lawns
and gardens desperate for light.

Starving for her heat, the fruits and flowers
are begging her to toss those covers:
cheering jeering clapping stomping; sailors in a nightclub,
clamoring after too many months on the cold dark sea --
Take it off!
Take it off!

Monday, August 1, 2011

On seeing herons on my shore

Our children stand like herons
on the brink of maturity, fishing
in shallow waters for the treats
that persist in swimming by
while we watch from nearby windows,
alert as always for any sign of trouble
while rejoicing in the perfection
that is youth, that is flight,
that is promise, and delight --
turn your back for an instant,
or greet them with enthusiasm:
either way sudden shifts might occur:
who knows what that blue future holds...