Saturday, April 22, 2017

Impossible and unending (revised)

I arrived
during the homily,
gladly found 
a place in the back.

Thought of you
and prayed for you.
For all this week
has brought your way.

But more,
for daily life, fear, pain
that must seem
impossible and unending.

Afterward I hopscotched
my way forward through
congregants making
their way home.

And lit a candle,
thinking of you.
And hoping for something better,
anything, better.

I lit a second,
and quickly a third.
Soon realizing I would run out of candles
before I ran out of people and prayers

So I quit.
Quit lighting candles,
that is, not prayers,

and left.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Winter 2017, Bellingham

Never thought
I'd get tired of snow.

I was wrong.
Very wrong.

post Easter reflections

It must be
the day after Easter
I've got a ham
sandwich for lunch

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wherever she goes

Balancing herself on the edge of a step
our granddaughter reaches
to touch the switch. Asking,
"Can I turn off the dark?"

Soon enough she will learn that "we" say,
"Can I turn on the light?"
Cute phrasing will drift and fade as she
is squeezed into social correctness.

Yet I choose to hold hope,
that there will remain within body and breath
an ever-kindling coal nudging her
to turn off the dark, wherever she goes.


                                   Reading at SpeakEasy 19, Poems of Darkness and Light.
                                        April 8, 2017, Mt. Baker Theater, Bellingham, WA.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Poems of Darkness and Light

Whatcom County poets reading new works at the Mt. Baker Theater on Saturday, April 8:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cryptic Advice

“Remember, Jimmy,
NEVER marry a catholic!”
The joy of a Mother always
ready with cryptic advice.

“Great, Mom.” I keep the rest
of my words in my head.
As if I care about marriage. And, let’s be
honest I have no idea what a catholic is.

But I was ten, maybe eleven, and curious.
So, next trip to Fred’s I wander the aisles.
Produce, dairy, cereal and bread.
Honest. I tried, really hard.

No luck, wasted effort. I was
unable to find a “catholic.”
Try as I might I couldn’t figure out
what color they were.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Continue my way home

Heading north out of Oak Harbor
traffic is squeezing from four lanes to two.
I give way to a logging truck.
Could have pushed and
beat him through the funnel.
But, true to self, I let him go.

Chunky, dark bark surrounds
damp, shiny rings of timber,
glowing with the orange of a perfect setting sun.
I have no clue what grows on Whidbey.
Maybe it came on the ferry from the peninsula.
Seems I should know my trees.

There’s the story of the day the Grandfather I never knew
didn’t come home from working in the woods,
resulting in seventy-five plus years of my Mother
floundering as a rootless soul.

I remember the family buzz
when Uncle Earl, his hard hat catching a glint of sun,
had his picture in National Geographic, The National Geographic,
reaching deep into the wedge of an imposing redwood.

And then that tale of Grandpa S. developing
the process that made Pres-to-Logs.
He did the work, company got the credit
and the money. Not sure they still make Presto-Logs.

After a few miles the truck
edges to the shoulder.
I pass, make momentary eye contact,
acknowledge the kindness, and continue my way home.