Category Archives: poetry

Sunrise services


The sun now arises victorious over the darkness,
beckoning with promises of fervor and rejuvenation.

I come alive with a desire to revel in this delirious warmth-filled with the promises that only the spring can provide

I burst with words of homage and prayer.

Preparing for sunrise services with my pack and boots,

reaching to the heavens
I seek the divine within the trees
the spring ephemerals
bending my head to the heaven beneath my feet.

Silence is my offering. What more could I bring in my comparative poverty?

My devotions are in the rhythm of my footfalls and the pulse of my exhalations as I seek the promise of truth in the pink buds of the dogwood and azalea.

I must wait-
They are not yet ready to reveal what they know.
They counsel patience-all in due time.

In my eagerness, I kneel to peer into the bluebells.

And feel a kindred yearning and eagerness to grasp the sun,

knowing that time is short
and precious
Fading all too soon.

And there is so much truth.

Thoughtful Lawn Maintenance

How nice it would be to pull all the thoughts out of one’s mind and lay them all out on the lawn. Just put it all out there. Be able to see it all in one sweeping glance.

Empty out the trash, get the photos in the album, get an answer to, “When did we last see Aunt Sally?”

Then you could think! With all of it out there in front of you, you could finally, finally get it all straight. All those hazy memories focused.  All of the nostalgia remembered for what it really was.

All of the noise dimmed.

Depending on one’s temperament, a sunny, dry spot will do; if one is more of that kind of mind then use the shady, boggy spot behind the hedge.

Then the acreage-how much space do one’s thoughts take up? I will allow you to be the judge of that. Talk to your neighbor first if you need some of his lawn. No one likes their thoughts to be crowded and jammed together with someone else’s.

Unless, you are lovers, perhaps. And, if that is the case, then you are more than neighbors.

Allow your thoughts some air. Give them room to get up and walk around a little. Let them mingle; some may have never met. Feel free to listen in on their conversations.

You may want to build a fence. I think someone said that good fences make good neighbors.

I guess what I mean is to be careful about letting your thoughts wander too far. They do tend to cause trouble, or, at least, get in the way when let loose without halter or bridle.

If you can get them to be still for a moment, start organizing.

Oh, damn, they’ve scattered again.

Morning Coffee

I’ve been up for hours now…

I’ve made the coffee. Read a few pages of Churchill while I waited for it to brew.
A fascinating history of the English Civil War!

I’ve run my five miles. Had to do some stretching at mile three.
Had to walk for a bit. Tomorrow, I’ll bike.

I’ve typed my thoughts for the day. At least five hundred words.
I  think I read  that somewhere. To become a better writer. Maybe I should type
a thousand. I tried to write a poem; it needs some work; the images can’t be seen.

I’ve walked the dog. Looked at the setting moon on the horizon. He looked too.

Now I’ve brought you coffee as you wake up, tousle-haired and groggy .

I’ve gotten so much done!

But I haven’t talked to you yet-
We haven’t shared our morning coffee.
I haven’t gotten to the best part of my day-sharing everything I’ve already done with you
as you look at me over your steaming mug with your bleary eyes and your beautiful lips.

Listening to you as you talk about your plans for the day.

The coffee is so good,  rich and strong.

You’re going to be late to work you exclaim!
It’s already 7:15, you remind me.

But there’s still some coffee left to drink.

I’ll make it.

I ate alone

Contributing to the Daily Post-  Unseen

I ate alone today.

Before I sat down to my bowl of oatmeal and coffee, I fed you first.

Before I wrote my first words of the day, I fed you first.

I checked every feeder-the suet, the squirrel proof one out by the fence, the old, red  sunflower feeder by the bay window.
I made sure the pretty little one by the screened-in porch was full.

I stood and waited for you to come. And waited! I had things to do!

So, I ate alone. I wanted so much for your bright little bodies to enliven the greyness of my suburban kitchen view. (What does make you all fly in together and suddenly disappear once again?)

I cleaned my dishes and went about my morning.
The gas company needed to be paid.
The coffee table was a mess and the bathroom needed cleaning.

I heard you arrive late, your cheeping and trilling calling me to come see! some see! as I completed my chores. But I was in the middle of things now!

The checks are on the counter now, ready to go out to the mailbox.
The living room is neater. All those magazines are organized by subject.The bathroom smells of bleach. The paper is filled, the sink is wiped.

Now I can sit down. Now I can write about the beautiful birds-how they come and go.

Now I have time to write…

But, I had fed you first.

I wanted you to be able to see

You mentioned, the other day, that you wanted another bird feeder,
so you could look through the window above the sink and see the finches.

Maybe you thought I wasn’t listening.

You said the other bird feeders were too low and you couldn’t see over the railings of the deck. You wanted to be able to see the cardinals and the blue birds while you cooked for us.

You’ve been saying how distracted I am.
You didn’t know that I got on-line right away-you know how much I avoid stores!

I searched for the right pole, measuring the height, the angle, the type of hook.
It needed to be able to attach to the deck.I picked a feeder-so many choices.So many websites-you thought I was working on another essay I was on so long.

I wanted you to look out the window and see something beautiful.

Our son helped me make sure the new feeder hung so that you could see it.
He stood, having to bend down now, at the window to be sure you could see.
We filled it with seed and checked again.
We agreed that mom would be able to see the birds.

I wanted you to be able to see how beautiful you are.


Thank you so much for the book


You have so kindly bought me two new editions of my favorite book.
You have let this old thing share our bed for decades now.

One is a beautiful copy; its leather binding speaking to the age of the words that reside between the supple covers.
The other is a paper-back, easy to fold; easy to annotate andso comfortable to carry in a backpack.

Thank you.

I am so sorry that they are gathering dust now,
next to all of those old copies of nineteenth century English novels
we read, side by side, soon after you and I moved in together.

This tattered wreck of a book was young and full of promise then.

I can’t let this old book go-
I know the pages are  yellowed and crumbling with age.
I know the corners are dog-eared from all the backpacks and back pockets.
But the rubber bands hold the pages together in an embrace  and not one has been lost.

There are so many more promises to keep; how could I let it go now?

Holding together my notes, my thoughts, and the memories of all my travels
that I have shared with you
through all of our years together.


I live under the flight pattern of Canada geese. The honking rhythm of dawn and dusk rises out of the fields in front of my house. In fact, as I write, I hear them in the distance.

By the way, for some reason, they are not Canadian geese but Canada geese; not sure why.

I won’t be waxing poetic about how these geese are somehow a metaphor for the changing seasons and life moving on or anything like that. Like most Canada geese, these avian lawnmowers don’t migrate; they’ve found their little paradise and stay put. We get to enjoy their low-flying racket and green droppings at all times of the year.

No, these geese remind me of something else, far more meaningful-Mary Oliver’s  poem, Wild Geese and its promise that redemption does not need to come from expiation or self-inflicted penance.

For all of the daily sins committed or perceived, all one has to do is to look up into the cleansing rain and the warming sun and realize that, like the elements of the landscape,  belonging comes from being in the world. One can seek solace in a companion that will listen and share in return, but, perhaps, this poem is offering a different idea- healing and wholeness can come from taking a walk and listening to the world calling to you and inviting you to come explore. Inviting you home.

Please enjoy this poem. And, keep going, I end with Calvin and his never-ending wit and wisdom.

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

And of course, like so many things, Calvin captures this need for acceptance perfectly. You can have both the woods and a true friend. You just need to find your Hobbes, someone who will listen, accept…and doesn’t mind a little mud.


Calvin and Hobbes