Sunday, April 29

Sometimes They Rest

A hummingbird's heart beats at 1,220 beats per minutes when it is in flight. It's wings beat 60-80 times per second in normal flight, achieving a speed of 25 mph.

Sometimes they rest. I took their cue and rested as well.

Tuesday, April 17

Great Blue

Great blue
great blue floating
great blue floating over an onyx lake;
his twin winging back
as he glides,
gently lighting on a solitary branch.

How can I breathe in the presence of such majesty?

Solitary branch
solitary branch bows
solitary branch bows graciously
to receive its suitor,
arching over the still, smooth water,
illumined by a ray of morning sun.

Why are my hands empty as the offertory plays?

Morning sun
morning sun streaming
morning sun streaming through the woods
casting gold dust
upon the surface of silent, dark water;
great blue poised, still as a solitary fisherman.

Is this what it means to be “of the world?”

Solitary fisherman
solitary fisherman waits
solitary fisherman waits for a ripple,
a flop, a splash, a sploosh;
a breeze rustles his feathers
as cautious steps draw me closer, his twin vanishes.

What drives the hunter deeper into the woods?

Twin vanishes
twin vanishes in an instant
twin vanishes in an instant as wings unfurl,
branch sways as he lifts into the air
skimming the surface, casting a wary eye
as he draws parallel to me.

I turn
I turn and watch
I turn and watch as each wing stroke
separates us,
until he vanishes over the treetops
in search of other sanctuary.

Wednesday, April 4


Mary Oliver

Just mention her name to a group of poetry lovers and watch them take a deep breath and look wistfully into the distance. I am not immune. This poem helped me reclaim my life.

On March 30th, the writers group I belong to travelled to Asheville, NC to attend an evening of poetry reading by Mary Oliver. Yes, THE Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award...THAT Mary Oliver.

Five days later, I still cannot put into words what the experience meant to me, so I'm putting down some observations with the hope that one day, my vocabulary will catch up with my emotions and I can convey what a deeply profound experience it was:

The 6 hour drive was worth every minute. In hindsight, I would have driven 36 hours, knowing what was waiting for me.

The auditorium was packed with people who looked oddly familiar.

The natives grew restless when it didn't begin on time. At 8:15 the crowd began slow, intentional clapping in unison, like they were beckoning a rock star.

She is small, well kempt and striking. She is much more refined, less wild and tom-boyish than in the photographs I've seen of her.

Her voice is strong, her cadence captivating.

She is funny, witty and quick to say thank you.

She takes requests from the audience, some she honors, others she discards.

All the ferns and flowers at the base of the lectern were unnecessary. She was the only flower needed on the stage.

I cried from start to finish.

We waited in line for more than an hour for her to sign our books. She looked me in the eye, I thanked her for the ah-ha moments her writing had given me. She smiled.

My writers group went back to our mountaintop cabin with the intention of having dessert and sharing the experience. All we could do was drink wine and watch the flames dance in the fireplace. An occasional grunt of approval was all you could hear over the crackling of the fire.

We went to bed completely spent.

She took questions from the audience. One person asked, "How does a young poet continue to write when they compare themselves to the Masters?"

Her response, "You don't measure just sharpen the pencil."

Tuesday, April 3


Woman of Grace...Woman of Pluck

The garden bench elevates us
over arching blackberry vines,
groaning under the burden of summer fruit.
Sitting side by side, we keep our voices low.
There is no need to speak loudly
in this cathedral of creation.

Long deep pauses, breathing in the cusp of a new season,
we speak softly of sisterhood, kinship,
awe for the natural world.

We dissolve into stillness,
embraced by rising ridges,
blanketed by dense woods,
anticipating their preoccupation with color.

Dropped in the middle like a shining diamond;
a small lake, shimmering
with late morning sun and gentle breezes.
As we sit, I notice the threads of her clothes,
sewn with hands of grace;
compare them to mine,
sewn with hands of pluck.

The snap of a twig draws my gaze to the north shore of the lake.

We are talking softly when she emerges from the woods;
delicate hooves testing the firmness of the bank.
Breath catches in my throat.
She turns her doe eyes to me,
hesitates for a moment
the slips her agile body into the water.

We watch, speechless as she swims,
her head majestic, her wake a ballet.
She turns to shore, mounts the bank
and vanishes into the woods

We exhale our collected breath.
Our eyes meet, spirits quiver in unison
sisters witnessing the Divine.


Redbud ZigZag

Monday, April 2

Beautiful Together

When leaving
take only
what the heart
can bear:
one soft, sweet kiss,
one long, reluctantly
relinquished hug,
one lingering gaze
awash in smiles
and silent tears,
two hands so tightly
clasped, unclasping,
letting go and waving
as we disappear.
When leaving,
take only
what the heart
can bear
and hold the rest
in memory
and hope.

Too soon…
too soon my love you drove away.

As we wound down the mountain,
I searched for your taillights through streaming tears.

You stopped at the bottom waiting,
for one last glimpse,
a final wave,
a silent I love you,
but I didn’t see you,
your sweet gesture of farewell.

Isn’t life like that…
how looking right instead of left
can change the landscape?

Had I looked left,
my heart would have leapt
and my body followed,
racing into your arms so full of love,
and yes,
and everything
good, and
fine, and
everything I have prayed for.

Too soon…
too soon my love we parted,
streaming tears a reminder
of the taste of you,
the spice of you,
distilled in the perspiration of passion.

soon my love we will be reunited.
I will wait for you at my door
with streaming tears of happiness,
arms, and
eyes, and
heart flung wide.

Until then,
know this to be true…
This woman loves you.