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Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Encouragement

Could it be
possible that each
of us is

the Christ child,

divine infants swaddled
in mangers
of awareness,

of welcoming

birthing our
pure belonging?

Arriving here
to show, not save,
people of the world

how to save

how to open
minds, hearts

and bodies stiff
with fear,

against all odds,

to Love?

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Prayer to My Mom on Mother’s Day 2018the 27th since she passed away.

Mom, you made the best damn berry pie and apple crisp that this earth, and your oldest son this earthling, have ever known…and will ever!  All winter long our Sunday dinners of pot roast and the infamous ‘grease potatoes’ were topped off by homemade desserts, fresh out of the oven, usually pie(s) of some sort, often ala’ mode ….and you always made two!
(At least that’s how I choose to remember) One entire pie for brother Chris and I, the other for the rest of the family and whoever else might have graced our dining room table that afternoon to fight over. Stuffed, grinning and semi-comatose after dinner was our lot in life on Sundays. Not a bad fate, thanks to you mom, who brought tons of sun to many rainy Oregon weekends.

I can see you standing at the stove when I got home from school concentrating on cooking dinner, apron carefully tied in back until I snuck into the kitchen and furtively untied the strings, laughing as I scooted fast, making my getaway into the adjoining breakfast nook. You feigned annoyance but couldn’t hide your smile as you went back to stirring the gravy or sautéing onions and garlic.

Mom, you knew how to play and you glimmered in fun when my friends came over after school or on weekends to partner in crime with me in stealing snickerdoodle cookies from the highest cupboard shelf where you’d made a half-hearted attempt to hide them from your marauding son and his chums who always loved visiting with Mrs Lautz. A fact which made me happy and proud.

Your generosity of spirit and goodness shines through now as I write these words to thank you for how you ‘mom’d’ us so well, which given some facts of our family’s life, was often not an easy task.

Even the time at the top of the basement stairs when in a moment of over-the-top annoyance with my and Chris’s shenanigans, you cracked our heads together--shocking the crap out of both of us because you almost never lost your cool—turned out eventually to be somehow or other fun, aching forehead notwithstanding!

All the times only you could locate our lost baseball under the holly tree or in scary
Mrs Tupling’s hallowed rose bushes next door should qualify you for sainthood mom.

It’s been 27 years I haven’t been able to bring you flowers and See’s Candy and a card on this day and I wish to hell that wasn’t so Mom. I love you and shall always deeply appreciate
how you loved me and nourished me (via food and much more) and made our home,
well, a home… and if there’s an afterlife, I’m sure you are enlivening it with love and laughter and filling it with your very special sweetness.    Amen.


The day is cooling off.

Inside tall grasses next to a path
of dirt, stone, ant trails
and occasional coyote scat--

a path we’ve walked for hours--

suddenly a rattler shakes
her maracas insistently

welcoming, warning tired hikers
to the coming dusk’s strangeness,

(like first quiverings of an earthquake
that break through private reveries)

awakening and settling here
among gray boulders, great
oaks and circling hawks aloft

who scribble the news across a sky of pink light:

day’s quiet secret cracked

percussively apart

by snake music.

Maracas crack
through thick
gold grasses.



The day is cooling off.

In tall grasses next to a path
of dirt, stone, ant trails
and occasional coyote scat

where we’ve walked for hours,

a rattler suddenly shakes
her maracas insistently

welcoming and warning tired hikers
like the first quivers of an earthquake
breaking through private reveries

to the coming strangeness of dusk
awakening and settling here

among gray boulders, great
oaks and circling hawks aloft

who scribble the news onto a sky of pink light:

Day’s silence ripped
apart by snake.

Friday, April 13, 2018

her armpits 

twin earths,

holy lands,

dear sisters of quiet

reading library books
underneath a dark 

in hungry times
this pilgrim's tongue 

returns like a thief
night after night

to linger in fields
of dank tobacco

of jasmine blooming,

as your sweet lips
wordlessly move

in secret, together..

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Armpit Poem

twin earths,

holy lands, in hungry

your pilgrim's lips

and tongue 

return night
after night,

dear sisters
of quiet,

to linger and taste
in fields

of dank tobacco

of jasmine