Sunday, May 31, 2015



C an do it attitude
O ptimism
N ever getting bogged down in
F ear
I solation and
D epression
E xpecting good
N ot bad
C onfident in the Lord
E xpecting Him to help me face whatever comes my way.

for May 30


J ust as I am expecting nothing but
O pen and honest communication and connection with
Y ou, knowing that everything will turn out okay. 

for May 29


L ife lived
O penly and honestly
V alueing others,
E specially their eternal souls

for May 28


H eavenbound
O ptimistcally and fruitfully
P assing time until
E ternal promises manifest

for May 27


F earlessly
A bounding
I n
T he grace of the Lord until
H eaven

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Poetic Asides Learning

Grade School Lessons

In first grade I learned
about unlikeable people.
The rough boy behind me
was the bane of my existence.

In second grade I learned
that God looked in the window
when the teacher
wanted us to behave.

In third grade I learned
I needed glasses
when I made mistakes
copying from the board.

In fourth grade I learned
how nice leaves looked
once I could see them
with my new glasses.

In fifth grade I learned
what it was like
for a boy to hold
my books for me.

In sixth grade I learned
a teacher’s criticism
could keep a kid
from writing poetry.

Poetic Asides Learning


I was about four or five
sitting on Daddy’s lap
counting to one hundred.
He acted mighty impressed.

I think of his kindness,
patience, and attention
while missing a TV show
and I’m mighty impressed. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Phoenix Rising Guild Memorial poem

Daddy’s Chair

Daddy had a big overstuffed chair. It was his throne.
One of us sisters, at times, would sit in his chair,
but when we’d see him coming we’d move fast.
He never asked us to get out of his chair.
He’d go to another one, as if he’d sit there.
But we’d insist that he’d take his place.

He had a big place in our hearts.
He slaved at the steel mill,
worked hard in the yard and garden,
hunted and fished to feed five daughters.
He had a sense of humor and teased us,
We teased him about being bald and grumpy.

We may not have verbalized it at the time,
but we knew he deserved his own chair. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From a photo of Santa Barbara

At the Beach

Beige sand stretched out
shimmering in the sun.
Palm trees poked up
like abused paint brushes.
Pastel purplish mountains
lie in the background
like a giant slumbering seal.
Adobe houses with red roofs
assumed an identity of nature

Friday, May 22, 2015

from morning pages

Let There Be Light

I am a quivering utility line
waiting for the power surge.
Flip the switch, Lord. Between
us let’s light up someone’s life.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

morning pages

End Tables

One cluttered with books,
pot holders, clock, plate,
cup, notepad and pen
a mini office, kitchen,
and library combined.
The other held nothing
but the phone,
all important,
the next call
might change a life

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Poetic Asides childhood

Bare Feet

Pounding grass
Tiptoeing over stones
Sticking to tarred road
Delighting in thick moss
Numbing in cold creek water
Stepping on honeybees hidden in clover

Phoenix Guild That's My Line

“Goodbye, I did not get to say, that is my regret” from Julieann’s No Regret-Except


My friend was of the positive faith persuasion.
Convinced he’d live beyond the prognosis
of prostate cancer, he prayed, confessed and died.
Goodbye, I did not get to say, that is my regret. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

From the news

Grandma’s Lap

“One more lap,” Grandma said.
Fast, she ran round the yard.
Ran at school. Ran to win.
It should not be this hard.

“One more lap,” Grandma said.
It was all about a lie.
Round she went lots of times.
It felt like she would die.

“One more lap,” Grandma said.
She’ll never lie again.
Grandma’s anguish, too late.
Grandma pays for her sin.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

from morning pages


I am a baseball, about to be hit.
Will I go into the first baseman’s glove,
bounce about freely in the field,
or over the fence out of the park?
Let the whack that hurls me be gentle
and may I be that home-run ball
that glorifies Your name.
Or rather, may I be a rocket;
but there still would be a fire at my tail.
I guess if one goes far
one has to go through some suffering. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"Small stone"

Catching a Glimpse

The coats lined up
along the back of the couch,
bowed over like a row
of repentant parishioners.

In the center a headband,  
the flower looking up
like a naughty child peeking
up at the prayers.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mercy, grace, and love

More of You

Mountain of mercy
Ocean of grace
Reservoir of love
E ven though I am

O rnery and unfaithful
F orgiveness prevents

Y ou from giving up
O n me. I am
U nder Your covenant. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

From morning pages

You Are…

Like an unfinished painting
Splashes of color
Shapes forming
Promises of beauty

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

PA loss


Eyebrows point noseward
Mouth turns down
Eyes weep
Body weakens
Moaning, wailing, keening
Swimming in molasses

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PA Bury

Bury the soldier
And grieve
And wonder why
Was it worth such a great sacrifice.
What did it accomplish
The government that he fought for
Was it really on his side?

Monday, May 11, 2015

PA bury

Bury the Hatchet

Baby, I can’t bear
to continually listen for your footsteps
waiting for one fell swing
to chop off my head.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Phoenix Guild wordle

A Mother’s Day Poem of Sorts

When stress flames up like a California conflagration,
mothers may disparage all those around to cope.
She may seem austere as an old-time schoolmarm,
but her fanaticism for her children lies at the heart.

Presumptuous people assume that hate has won out.
But my rebuttal is that if she didn’t care, she wouldn’t cry.
The critic may say she must be more in control of herself
and not let her own pessimism dictate her actions.

The skeptic may say, some moms, but not all.
You can analyze, scrutinize, criticize but the loving one
would delineate what’s really going on in a mom’s life
and with gregarious enthusiasm lend a helping hand.

Friends prolific in kindness will go a long way to inspiring
the innovation, not the downfall, of moms everywhere. 

May 9, 2015

Bury Jesus

In your heart.
Let him resurrect
your old dead life
into a spring lamb.

Friday, May 8, 2015

PA Across the Sea

Across the sea
people like me
are being beheaded
for what they believe.
Here I am free.

But for how long?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

PA craft


C reating, making, shaping,
R andom items like lids, seashells, scraps of cloth into
A rt or something useful.
F ashioning a masterpiece from junk.
T urning odds and ends into something worthwhile.
I nspiring imagination.
N imble fingers
G oing for two kinds of green.

May 6, 2015

The Advantage of Worry

My college friends and I
discovered a grapevine in the woods
which sailed out over a small ravine.
We called it Vinny.
We had a blast for several days.
But it broke.
The friend who was on it at the time
jumped off before it went over the high part.
We went to another friend who knew about Vinny
and with sober faces told her that Vinny was dead.
Her face equally serious,
she asked us who we were talking about.
When we told her, she was relieved
it wasn’t one of her classmates named Vincent.
Maybe worry does have one positive effect.
When you learn it’s not as bad as imagined
it’s such a relief. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

PA honest


We used to be honest
with each other
to the point of pain.

Somewhere along the line
the pain got too intense
and we became quiet.

Now our talk is only surface.
Isn’t there a happy medium--
honest, but not too honest?

Monday, May 4, 2015



Father, please don’t hold my bad parenting skills
against my children. Step in and be the Father
that nurtures, cherishes and disciplines them.
Graciously fill in the gaps I left behind which to me
are as big and desolate as the Grand Canyon. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

From quiet time

As surely as fruit flourishes
on well-watered trees,
people produce good deeds
as minds meditate on God’s Word.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

PA Work

A Lick and a Promise

“A lick and a promise,” Mom would say
when she didn’t have time to clean properly.

I picked up on that phrase with a passion.
Half-hearted hurried cleaning with a vow.

Next time, I’ll move everything to vacuum.
Next time, I’ll free the corners from cobwebs.

Next time, I’ll clean the counters to the end.
Next time, I’ll dust the Venetian blinds.

Why am I in a muddle to get to the next project?
Wouldn’t it be better to do less, but do it well?

Friday, May 1, 2015



They want
to have their cake
and eat it too
as they shove
what’s abhorrent
down our throats,
crying, “Freedom
you haters!
We gasp for air
as chains entangle
our hands and feet.