Monday, November 30, 2015

PAD 30 Let the Moment Begin

Let the Moment Begin

When “I love yous”
need not be analyzed.
When gifts won’t
be questioned.
When we’d hear
what each other said.
When laughter rings.
When smiles, hugs,
and kisses would
flow like healing oil
down to our toes.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

PAD 29 Open Letter

Open letter to All

If you see my husband and me
walking hand in hand,
after all these years,
know that it’s more than,
“Awww, that’s sweet.”
What that is
is proof
that God
still performs

Saturday, November 28, 2015

PAD 28 It was a blank and blank night

It Was a Long and Frustrating Night

When we drove cross country,
you’d insist that I keep you awake
and I’d fall asleep and dream
you were running off the road.

I’d whack you in the ribs
and you’d yell that it wasn’t
you that was asleep.

Or we’d pull over at a rest stop to doze
and I’d wake up in the dark thinking
I was driving and try to slam on the breaks.

 I’m glad we don’t do that anymore. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

November 27 leftovers


“First Vulture Rights,”
you say as you root
through the fridge
opening each lid,
examining your prize—
tasty morsels, dull tidbits,
or something on the verge
of expiring.
It’s pretty nice, though,
to not worry about mold
or throwing things away.
And then there are times
when I bring home
a take-out container
from lunch out with a friend
and you ask if I want it
and I lie and say no
and get some kind of
saintly satisfaction
for making a small sacrifice
to feed your pleasure.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

November 26


The turkey in the crockpot
The dynamic duo sleeping in past eight
Hearing your deep voice break the stillness

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

PAD 25 echo

Echoes of the Past

Your beard is multicolored now
A little brown, red, black, gray, white
We chat a bit about the past
When kids were small and things were tight

Like bubbles floating to the top
Good time we’ve had will come to mind
Like sediment the bad drift down
Our memories become refined 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PAD 24 love/antilove

Our love is like a cedar
clinging to the rocky cliffs,
digging its roots in deep
defiantly flourishing.

Monday, November 23, 2015

PAD 23 apology

I’m Sorry

I’m sorry
for the rocks
I threw in our path.

I’m sorry
that when you fell
I blamed you.

I’m sorry
that the clock
is ticking.

PAD 22 Waiting for blank

Waiting for Inspiration

While you smash macaroni
I wait for the inspiration to hit
And our man makes puppy sing
And our woman drinks her shake
While my muse hides in a corner

PAD 21 strange


What you think normal
I think strange
You like things the way they are
I like change

You like to stay put
I like my travels
One stays calm
While the other unravels

You work away
While I stay home
You get things hopping
While I write a poem

PAD 20 wordle: relent, horrendous, artifact, lagoon, wobble, plunder

Catch Up

I will not relent
at my horrendous
to-do list
stacked up
like artifacts in a museum,
though I’d rather be whisked away
to a peaceful lagoon.
My determination won’t wobble.
I’ll go after my tasks
like pirates after plunder.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

PAD 19 thing

Wrinkle Release

House work is not my cup of tea.
I’ll tell you what’s been a blessing for me.
It’s brought to my mind a little peace.
Just a spray bottle of wrinkle release.
I don’t have to iron, just spray it on,
And like magic the wrinkles are gone.
I take it with me wherever I travel
So of crumpled clothes I can’t cavil.
But I’ll tell you something funny I did.
It may make you laugh like a little kid.
One day, when the air was stinky and stale,
I thought deodorizer would improve the smell.
So I spayed it from the front to the back,
But then I discovered this startling fact.
I hadn’t sprayed air freshener at all,
But the wrinkle release up and down the hall.
It wasn’t deodorizer that I had sprinkled,
but at least now my carpet’s not wrinkled. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

PAD 18 idea


You think out of the box.
True, sometimes it’s so very
far out of the box
that it’s beyond practical.
I go to you
to see the big picture.
I’m a person who likes to pinpoint
the exact truth,
while you explore the boundaries.
You bring me balance. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PAD 17 Blank is for the birds, Ode to blank

Flight is for the Birds

Especially when
Evil lurks about
and you have to
stand in stocking feet,
put keys, phone, toiletries,
shoes, jacket, laptop, belt
in tubs in seconds,
pass through metal detectors,
and then scramble
to collect all your stuff
and put on your shoes
before the guy behind you
runs you over.
Oh, I wish for wings!

So here’s an ode to you
as you stay home with the duo,
gallantly allowing me to gallivant.
But I wish you could
fly away with  me.

Monday, November 16, 2015

PAD 16 Haunted


From our many moves and travels,
we are haunted by hundreds of people.
Occasionally you’ll say, “I wonder
how what’s-his-name is doing,
the one with the bright green eyes.”
I can picture him and his family
and I calculate how old
their kids would be now.
The pastor with all those boys.
The old man with the sense of humor.
The funny lady who played the piano.
I wonder if we wander about in their thoughts
like they do ours. I hope it’s a good haunting,
and not like the phantoms of horror flicks. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

PAD 15 Ritual


R eally now, do you want to do the same things day in, day out?
I agree with the adage that variety is the spice of life.
T oday, you’ll get up and do the same thing with the
U nderstanding that all will end eventually..
A nd where will those rituals be then?
L et’s do something different.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

PAD 14 Ekphrastic

Hanging Out

You know when couples
just hang out,
talking about a little bit of everything?
When we first met,
we didn’t do that much.
Instead, I was seeking God
and you were ready to preach.
A year into our relationship,
we actually had a normal conversation
about pickles. When I met you
I thought I had met another apostle Paul.
But I learned you’re just like the rest of us,
or maybe a bit crazier.
Now, we can talk about everything
from the Second Coming to cottage cheese.
And just hang out.

Friday, November 13, 2015

PAD Day 13 Memories

Some of the Faces

We’ve had a strange life together.
Many moves. Many faces. Two kids.
When our daughter was born in Craig, Co
three days after Christmas,
the 16 below dropped to 40 the next few weeks.
Some nights we had to keep her in bed with us.
One time when she had jaundice,
you laid her on your tummy in the sunshine,
you in your long johns and her in her diaper.
I called you captain underwear and super kid.
I had never seen your eyes so full
of love, pride, and tenderness.

When our son was born in Cortez, CO
three days after Easter,
we lived on sixteen acres and your mom
visited, telling me to quit being selfish
for keeping the baby to myself.
He was eight days past due.
Because there were so many Nathans,
when the doctor said he just named his baby Nathan,
I decided Nathaniel would be his middle name.
I told you not to leave until the baby had a name.
We made it to the Es and named him Eli.
Later, his sister came running into the hospital room,
“Mommy, Mommy I rode the alligator!”

Then there was the day we got Lacy
Twisted, blind, mute. There was nothing
like the feeling of holding her.
I remember seeing you in church holding her
and I knew you felt it, too.
You were heroic when it came
to the problems we encountered with her.
Then there was Dennis who everyone
fell in love with. Playing peekaboo at bedtime.
We laughed when he called you Buzzard
and everyone else knothead or bonehead.
We didn’t realize he had cancer.
He died only after having him six months.

And then came Vanassa
whose smile lights up a cave
She’s got you wrapped around her finger.
And every time you brush her teeth,
I hear her delightful belly laugh.
And Justin, our forty-one year old toddler.
How he loves when you hug him
and tease him, and act like a clown.

Yes, we have had many memories,
over the past 38 years since we met.
Good ones and bad ones,
but the ones I remember most
are the way you treat people,
especially the “least of these.”

And I savor your strong shoulders and hugs.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

PAD 12 After

After Your Sanity Returned

I thought we had it made,
but I didn’t know how skittish
sanity can be.

When you went off
and let that other person replace you,
I felt widowed--over and over again--

until I realized that you’d come back
if I’d just wait it out and treat the stranger
like an annoying relative
who’d come for a short stay.

Eventually the visitor understood
he was wearing out his welcome
and you returned for good. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

PAD 11 animal

Subjects of Discussion

You put up with our animals
through the years, cats;
Whitey, Mouser, Casper,
Rip, Fred, Frisky, Ginger,
Geordi, Data, among others,
Ditto the parrot, Nanny the goat,
Amber the half Saint Bernard.
You tolerated Snickers,
our Calico cat, for sixteen years
even though she claimed me
as her own and would hiss
when you tried to kiss me.
No more pets, the kids are grown,
but we have our dynamic duo
who need our care.
Someday, after all of these years,
when it’s just us two again,
will we have enough to talk about
without cats, kids and clients?
Let’s not forget Ecclesiastes 4:12,
a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PAD 10 technology


You used to be up on technology.
We were the first in our church
to have an answering machine.
People use to call us just
to hear it and leave a message.
Some of those sounded strange.
You were quick to computerize
and to get online. You’re still
my go-to guy when I need a techie.
But you drew the line at cell phones.
You dug your heels in and won’t budge.
No cell phones. So I have a little flip one
in case of emergencies while I travel.
Sometimes I wish we’d join
the twenty-first century,
but I guess we’re not Smart enough.

Monday, November 9, 2015

PAD 9 Mistakes

We’ve Made Mistakes

We’ve made mistakes throughout the years
We’d hash them out in angry tones
Exacerbate them with our fears
We’ve made mistakes

The consequence the heart bemoans
The Lord remakes our prayers and tears
And turns mistakes to stepping stones

He listens with attentive ears
And resurrects the dead man’s bones
The hope we have, God engineers
Through our mistakes

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PAD 8 Submerged

Up for Air

“I’ve never been depressed,”
you said that first summer.
I thought that a marvelous thing.
I had struggled with the blues
most of my high school years.
Some time into our marriage,
came winds, rains, and waves.
You submerged into the depths.
They say don’t let a drowning man
grab you, that’s true.
We both dwelt beneath the surface
praying someone would see air bubbles.
They did, but no one
could teach us to swim.
We developed gills,
until we could tread water.
Now, after all this time,
we occasionally doggy paddle,
but more often than not
we get along

Saturday, November 7, 2015

PAD 7 Simmer Down

Simmer Down

Please, simmer down it’s just a piece of bread
Though soon it might be worth a bag of gold
A little waste’s not worse than being dead
Please, simmer down it’s just a piece of bread
Be thankful we have extra food, instead
Your mother taught you well, or so I’m told
Please, simmer down it’s just a piece of bread
Though soon it might be worth a bag of gold

Friday, November 6, 2015

PAD 6 We're Being Watched

You’re Being Watched

You’re being watched throughout the day.
You’re first to rise. Prepare the meds.
You’re diligence is on display.
You do the laundry, make the beds.

You’re being watched throughout the day.
You help with breakfasts for the two,
And usher them along their way.
You make us laugh by things you do.

You’re being watched throughout the day.
You’ve patience of a fisherman.
You make us feel that we’re okay.
You spend your workday on the run.

You’re being watched throughout the day.
You make phone calls, get things in line.
And you give hugs without delay.
You make disasters come out fine.

You’re being watched throughout the day.
I haven’t thanked you near enough.
So this short poem is just to say.
You’re being watched with all my love.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

PAD 5 Festive


Where did this disability come from?
Not being able to celebrate.
Birthdays. I got used to no presents.
I buy what I want and sign your name.
When I open it I say,
“Just what I wanted, how did you know?”
The same for Christmas.
And when you look at the gifts I buy you,
with indifference, I try to not let it bother me.
Valentine’s Day. Not.
Easter. Your enthusiasm rustles
like wind in a bush.
But no bunnies, chocolates, or egg hunts.
Independence Day. Yawn.
Halloween. No go.
Thanksgiving. You munch while I cook
and when the feast is set
you’re not hungry.
New Year’s Eve.
You go to bed at ten
while I stay up till midnight
putting together a jigsaw puzzle
telling myself, “Happy New Year!”
December 28th 1981
and April 10th  1985.
You had trouble hiding the celebration
pouring from your eyes.
You fairly vibrated with excitement
at the birth of your children.
Why are you afraid to rejoice in the good things?
Yes, we’re waiting for heaven,
but it’s okay to enjoy a little bit of it on earth.
I think when we delight in God’s gifts
like children opening presents at Christmas time,
He smiles.
You have many strength, talents, and abilities.
Celebrating isn’t one of them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PAD 4 Once Upon A

Not a Fairy Tale

Once upon a time
a girl kissed her boyfriend
goodbye in Pennsylvania,
boarded a plane for the first time
and flew to Wyoming to visit
her sister for the summer.

She looked up churches
in the yellow pages and found
one with a youth pastor.
It must have youth.
So she went to First Baptist.
A guest choir sang that night.

As the music played, she noticed
one long-haired dude in the audience
clapping along with enthusiasm.
He was the only one,
in the hundreds of people
who clapped.

They worked in children’s ministry
and fell in love over the summer.
When she went back to Pennsylvania,
she dreamed of her two loves side by side.
She chose the Wyomingite.
She broke up with her boyfriend.

She dated the western dude
long distance two years,
until they finally got married.
And they lived
happily ever after.
Well, close enough.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

PAD 3 United


The way a tree
Roots into the ground
Draws nourishment  
Casting leaves in return

The way its limbs and leaves
Reaches out to the sky
Giving, taking

The way it grows
Toward the sun
Providing shade for others

We flourish together

Monday, November 2, 2015

PAD 2 Surrender

That Day We Surrendered

All to each other
And as one
Donned a knitted sweater.

A beautiful sweater
Of bright, happy colors
Woven in perfect harmony.

Years went by.
We hardly noticed when
The sweater began to unravel.

After unemployment, two kids,
Bad decisions, dashed dreams, sickness
We wound up tangled in yarn.

Dark colors crept in.
Blood red, puke green, black.
It was an ugly sweater.

We noticed other sweaters.
We could untangle
And put them on instead.

But we begged Heaven
And God began to knit
With sharp needles.

Each needle stab pierced painfully
But we kept the bedraggled sweater
Through richer, poorer, sickness, health.

The new colors blended with the old
And strands of gold and silver
Thicker, warmer. More beautiful.

I’m glad we stayed in our sweater.