Tuesday, September 30, 2008


on Wall Street and Main Street
markets move
prices rise and fall
confidence peaks and wanes
experts scramble to explain
what the numbers mean
what the future holds
what will become of us
so I breathe in deep
and remind myself
that You own the cattle on a thousand hills
that You spoke the universe into existence
that You are not bound by time or space or finances
no matter what
governments or
economies or
world powers do
nothing escapes Your notice
nothing crashes without Your permission
You allow the rain to fall
on the just and the unjust
You are in control

Sunday, September 28, 2008

After Dinner at Erin's

once we were enemy warriors
battling our similarities
spurred on by our differences
never attempting détente

we clashed vigorously over
nothing more than our mutual dislike
wielding our finely honed weapons
suffering alone beside each other

self-satisfied and insufferable
we found the familiarity of our
conflict somehow easier than
the risk of working for peace

miraculously now we calmly sit across
a table set for two, sharing a warm meal
conversing easily over trivialities and profundities
planning eagerly for more time together

in the space between us now
there is more than détente
there is comraderie, there is friendship
there is hard-won peace

we are still different; we are still similar
now we choose to revel in the joy
of life lived alongside each other
learning to love each other well

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For Lucy Maud Montgomery

The goblins of her fancy lurked in every shadow about her, reaching out their cold, fleshless hands to grasp the terrified small girl who had called them into being.
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Because I love Anne
I read Emily and Kilmeny and Valancy
And Avonlea outshone even Camelot
On the stage of my imagination

Because I love Anne
I looked at the world with eyes that saw
Grandeur all around – Lakes of Shining Water
And White Ways of Delight

Because I love Anne
I treasured my own kindred spirits
Sifted through the Pyes of the world
Until I found my own Diana

Because I love Anne
I watch for real love in my everyday life
And guard against idealizing dark melancholy
Holding out for Gilbert to reveal himself at last

Because I love Anne
I grieve for scope of imagination overcome
By depression and isolation
Desperation overshadowing such resilient insight

Because I love Anne
My heart breaks at knowing
Her brilliant creator sank beneath the depths of despair
Locking away untold stories forever

Because I love Anne
I will share the stories of L.M. Montgomery
With other little girls and hope
They learn her optimism and honor her maker

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He Loved Penguins

He never slept well
But he loved penguins
He lay awake at night
And thought about flightless birds on iceburgs
A row of stuffed tuxedos
Guarded his bed when he finally drifted off
Warm and safe, dreaming little boy dreams
Now he still lays awake
But he doesn’t imagine penguins anymore
He listens to angry noise
Blasting like dynamite into his psyche
Loud words insisting that life is
Darkness and hatred and violence
When he can’t sleep
He wanders, solitary and restless
Drifting off in the wee hours to wake again
Isolated and lonely, frustrated and annoyed
He seems so far away
From the little boy who knew everything
About Emperors and Kings and Fairies
Now intent on knowing everything
About smokes and beers and girls
The boy who loved penguins
Is somewhere in there
I want him to know that there is an easier way
That love is real
That everything passes in time
That he won’t feel this way forever
I want to hang onto him tightly
Pull him in close
Love him for the little boy he was
The curious one who loved penguins
Hope for the man he will become
The one who will again be open and curious
Who will know that life can be creation
Harmony and connection and joy
The one who will find peaceful sleep at last
And wake to teach his own little boys and mine
About penguins

Monday, September 22, 2008


Waking without an alarm
Hovering between sleep and consciousness
I could be any of my selves
Under covers warm and weighty
Rolling to find a cool spot on a pillow
Eventually, one deep breath and a stretch
Ushers in awareness
And my eyes open to a bed I bought
In a house I own, with my dogs on the floor beside me
My laundry on the floor and dishes in the sink
Some days I sigh and wish I could rewind
Time like an old tape in a VCR
To find again late, wine-filled nights
Laughter around a rickety table
A world full of familiar friendly faces
Where I never went to the grocery store alone
Where laundry day meant a long conversation
And Wednesdays meant cheep pizza and beer
Or farther back, bike rides
Marked with the rhythm of practicing spelling
Swinging as high as I could go –
Until the chains relaxed and then pulled taut again
Swimming faster than the other kids
Or miles underwater, muffled sounds overhead
Days when all the time in the world was immeasurably spent
Omnipresent miniature relatives clamoring For apple juice and a diaper change
And time never stretched out long and lonely
Where all minutiae was rich with meaning
Where my best stories were born
And I never woke to find choices like walls hemming me in
In that space between sleeping and waking
With my cheek on the cool pillowcase
Suspended in time

Friday, September 19, 2008

Haikus for Lucy

she isn’t here yet
she is waiting, biding time
not ready to meet

she is squished in tight
trying to stretch she pushes
against mother ribs

voices echo in
dark warm spaces--already
she knows and loves some

big hands and small ones
blankets ready to receive
newborn perfection

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Truth in Fiction

there are scenes in some stories I play
over and over again
every one has the same theme
she has lost hope
she has struggled to move on
she is finding her independent footing
and she looks up
and there he is standing in front of her
eyes full of adoration and promise
in a book
in a play
in a movie
even on tv
that moment
rocks me back on my heels
stomach clenching like
I'm the one in love
somehow not trite – at least to me
these quintessential,
so clichéd, moments I crave
when he touches her cheek
and she leans into his hand
you can see her entire body
at once relax in relief
and tense with anticipation
her arms up over his shoulders
her hands find the back of his head
she pulls him toward her
and there is the money shot
the perfect kiss
how can I watch this scene
over and over and over again
in so many different stories
some days, it breaks my heart
but more often, it gives me hope
it seems crazy
does it set me up to wait forever
or are these stories telling truths
like only fiction can
echoes of histories
shadows of sincerity
attempts to capture
what it means to fall in love
and have someone love you back
paling in comparison to the reality
it’s not always the first kiss
it’s the first kiss with forever beyond it

Back to Work Haiku

after vacation
work seems not so bad but not
so good as time off

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Jen's 30th

someday we will be the ancient ones
sitting in chairs like these
our white hair stark against brilliant hues
smiling as our children's children play

on that day, we will have lived long lives
layered, intertwined like vines
growing along white picket fences
we'll have weathered many storms and bloomed

arm in arm, we will lean as we walk
toward the sea, pondering
this treasured gift--knowing we remain
survivors measuring lives well spent

through the lines on each others' faces
we'll catch a stolen glimpse
echoed smiles and laughter--our past selves
lingering with us, keeping their watch

those ghosts trailing behind us will know
their fondest wish endured
we who chose each other then held fast
constant and steady--promises kept
(photo © fly photography 2008, courtesy of my talented sister Erin www.flyphoto.typepad.com)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oceans Apart

There’s an ebb and flow between us
Sometimes I wish would find equilibrium
In the unbalance
I'm never sure exactly
What you’re thinking
How you’re feeling
What direction you’re moving
And whether I’m invited
Compounded when you’re far away
Sadness or confusion or contemplation
Over the miles on the phone
I want to look into your eyes
To see the tilt of your head
Which of your smiles you’re wearing
How your hands are moving
When you’re in my zip code
I just want to be where you are
Regardless of what else is going on
And that’s not complex at all
But time and space meddle
With my sense of who you are
And who I am separate from you
Some days, I just want to sever the connection
To find solid ground again
To avoid the waves and the tide
But I never do
Because that feeling comes and goes
Like everything else between us

Monday, September 08, 2008

One for Debo

Did you see her walk down the street?
Striding on long legs in heels
Red toes peeking out under dark jeans
Black tank top skimming feminine shoulders
She held her head up, her blue eyes clear
Her hair bounced slightly in rhythm with her steps
Did you notice her? Most people did.
She has that way about her.
But her real draw is barely visible in her gait
Confidence and compassion
Humor and humility
Her tender heart
Her knowing smile
Kneeling to look a kid in the eye
Her arm around a friend’s shoulder
Concentrating - brow furrowed
Dancing with grace but not quite abandon
Singing occasionally slightly off key
She is coming into her own
Girl becoming woman
Casting off childishness
Holding tightly to the good things
Letting the bad ones go
Watch her walk – do you see it now?
As she goes, I picture pigtails with ringlets
Like a ghost trailing behind her
Or a premonition holding her hand
Who she was and who she will be
Echoed in who she is today
Keep an eye on her.
She's worth watching.
She'll amaze you.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Haiku Trilogy

Work is hardly worth
All this time and effort to
Bring home just bacon

Weekends bring slumber
Slower mornings then lazy
Afternoons dozing

I wish for cool days
Stretching into breezy nights
Autumnal dancing

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ready for Rain

Parts of me have been dry so long
Deprived of any moisture
Hardened into unyielding stone
I don’t remember how softness feels

When I survey the varied terrain
I skip over the baked ground like white space
Focus instead on the luscious green fields
Bursting with life soaked in steady rain

Storm clouds gather on the horizon
Ready to pour down life-giving sustenance
The green fields are ready, soft and waiting to receive
Tiny roots and leaves barely shading the top soil

But the bone dry crust is doomed
When the rain comes, water runs off in rivers
Nothing penetrates the scabbed, scarred ground
An impenetrable shell shields everything below

Unless the rain falls so very gently
Collecting leisurely, it pools on the surface
Some evaporates into oblivion, but a few drops manage
To slowly soak down, ever-so-slightly softening

That’s when I notice – I feel the dryness
Opposing the smallest claim moisture has staked
The hard ground, desperate for rain, cries out
To be broken up and turned over, exposed to all the elements

Rain finds the plowed up earth, soaks into every crak
Saturates even the smallest spaces between the dirt
Finding at last the seeds hidden beneath the surface
Ready to germinate as the slick mud becomes soft earth

And if the seeds grow fast enough, they lock the moisture in
Protect the ground from the sun’s dehydrating gaze
Secure the surface from the exposure that forces crusting over
Ensures that the soil remains ready for rain

Five O'Clock Haiku

I want to go home
No more work today please thanks
But conversation


On the best kind of day
Air blows gently against skin
Like a lover’s breath against an ear
Cooler than expected
Promising delight

Sunlight brightens all it touches
Grass and trees, earth and sky
Like a knowing smile skips heartbeat stones
Patiently anticipating
Impending joys

Featherlight clouds slide slowly
Across a clear sapphire sky
Like bedroom eyes along curves
Slowly tantalizing
Heightening senses

Rain slips gently along face and hands
Between parted lips, along a palm
Like a tingling first kiss awakens desire
Each touch rousing
Thirst for more

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Words incubate life’s experience
Creation requires
Time on the ground
Choices made
Hopes deferred
Dreams realized

Words indoctrinate hard earned wisdom
Contemplation of
Hypothesis tested
Paths traveled
Bridges crossed
Treasures found

Words generate new growth in spirit
Motivation from
Visions revisited
Stories deeply rooted
Discoveries charted
Lessons relearned

Words encapsulate Love’s desires
Expectation cedes
Possibilities cherished
Passion remembered
Joys rekindled
Hope reborn

Words formulate a kindred spirit
Conversation brings
Souls intersected
Sorrows divided
Kindness inspired
Heartsongs shared

Monday, September 01, 2008

Are you ready?

When it begins in late summer
It seems too hot
For two-a-days
For pads and helmets
For running far
For hitting hard
For jumping high
Yet they turn out
Grueling long days
Condition character
Turn talent into greatness
As the weather cools
Their true power is revealed
Youthful vigor yields to
Potent and refined masterful technique
Impossibly quick cuts
Perfectly executed routes
Breathtaking long, spiraling passes
Backs breaking through superhuman barriers
Walls of living steel
Lightning fast resistance
Clashing, colliding, crashing
Strategies weighed in rhythmic intervals
We watch with rapt attention
When rain turns to snow
Green grass gives way to mud and sleet
Stories are born
Legends are made
Victors emerge
Triumphs and defeats are tallied
Success fuels inspiration
Until at last, the champions are crowned
Half the year we watch
Half the year we wait
Can you feel it in the air?
This year’s time has come
It is September
And again they take the field