Wednesday, February 28, 2018


We’re living in hard times
where lines separate 
and people stop listening—
where people close doors
to listen to the rhetoric of like minded
to listen to their own definitions
Words are spewed into an arena 
and battle lines drawn
Yelling replaces dialogue
The other is penalized,
and demonized, shoved out,
caught up in someone’s fear
We’re living in hard times
where words are misunderstood
and people shelve words
afraid of the rush of red hot fire
We’re living in hard times
where license to hate
has new life

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Finding that Place

          Pockets of silence
               Mark Rothko

I listened to silence
and heard the earth turn
My foot steps whispered 
My breath joined
a shaft of light
When I inhaled
I swallowed silence 
and then walked out

Monday, February 26, 2018


Who has not
Who has not asked
Who has not asked for 
Who has not asked for forgiveness
Forgiveness from
Forgiveness from someone 
they wronged, from someone
they hurt, from someone who no
longer takes a breath
Who has not turned away 
before asking, buried the words,
the deeds — until no corner shows,
no handhold to pull it up and look—
to stare, to wonder whether it needs
to be pulled up-a weed- in a garden

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Prayers and Concerns

One woman gives thanks
for a first grandchild,
another  asks for prayers
for her sister, still others
need prayers for illness
One man says he will
undergo brain surgery,
while another gives thanks
for the attendant who takes
care of a woman trapped
in a contorted body
unable to do more than
utter loud sounds
Unsaid needs and prayers
fill the pews, overflow
into the aisles
Open our hearts to hear
silent needs here
Open our hearts to hear
cries for prayer
in our world

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pondering The Word Open

Does it mean to open
stories not yet told
or to stories buried
beneath passing time 
Does it mean to listen 
to an altered rendition
What does it take
to open a lid on an untold
story, spread it out
and tell it straight—
no editing, no revision,
just plain words
And who will you tell
and why tell the story
Why open the lid 

Friday, February 23, 2018


We wait
the way others waited
We help
to push aside the stone
to open the tomb
We too meet
him in the quiet
of our day,

Thursday, February 22, 2018


       My computer turned gray and then turned black. A sudden and heart rending condition that left me feeling at sea. I make an appointment at Apple’s Genus Bar for 11:30 and pace in front of Flannery ( the computer’s name) until it is my time to leave for the mall. An aside—I dislike malls.
      This, my second time at Apple in a week. The first time a kind member of their team diagnosed  Flannery and declared software the culprit—not hardware. Diagnosis—my system quit and the machine needed a new system which meant that my computer, save for the new system, is scrubbed clean.
      All my documents, applications, photos—gone unless saved in that amorphous cloud. Were all the little boxes checked for iCloud?  Had I saved all my documents to the external drive—Millie?
     It took four hours of waiting: waiting to be seen, waiting for my computer’s documents, applications, apps, and assorted sundry items to be transferred to my external drive.
    I walk both floors of the mall, up and down stairs, have a burger for lunch, people watch, check my watch, listen for a call, share a small frozen yogurt, and finally the call. I need to check that everything had been transferred. 
Then more wait time before Flannery returns to her perch on a small table. 
    Too many people roam around the mall, too many teenagers spend their time at malls, and how do some of those stores stay open. It’s impersonal opium for some people— I expect that not everyone agrees with my perception.
   Once home I realize that I still need  to spend hours putting things back on—even the printer needs to go through the hoops before it can print. 2687 photos had been stripped down to 28. The photos weren’t in the cloud nor on an external drive. Most were landscapes and macro photos. At first I blame myself for not looking in the photo folder. 
    After checking everywhere, behind each icon and bemoaning the loss of the  ocean photos I snapped on a cloudy day or the twenty photos of lupines I had an epiphany. 
   Clean slate. I remember how I meant to include info about each photo— where taken and a short descriptive fragment. Now was the time to start that process with new intentions. 
   Fortunately many of the people photos had been printed. They wait in a box for a permanent home.
   Clean slate. New Beginning. The shedding of the old way. Maybe I even can delete some of the many replications and become more selective. Did I really  need twenty photos of the same lupines?  
     I’m open to change.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

77 degrees in February

                                Walden Pond
                                Concord, Massachusetts

 Children filled pails with sand and emptied them and filled them again. They swished the water with tree limbs and waded ankle deep
    A thin layer of ice melted leaving holes for the water to seep out
    Mothers shared their beach blankets with coolers and tote bags filled with  sandwiches and snacks
    Four boys cast their fishing rods into open water and waited for nibbles
   Walkers circled the pond, some sat on rocks, some settled down and read,a few brought sketch pads or journals—perhaps to record the day 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Open Invitation

my bones warmed
by the sun
and temperature
beyond February’s
usual range
reminded me
that spring
even when
it drags
today winter
dipped into spring

Monday, February 19, 2018

Be Open to Change

     After the last shooting
     After seventeen dead in school
     After nothing is done
     Students rally

if the adults can’t get anything done
if the politicians can’t get anything done
if the gun lobby buys everyone off
and the adults act like children 
then the children need to take over
and tell it like it is—
they need to shout,stomp, stamp
their feet and demand change
and they are beginning 
they tell the truth
call out the politicians
who grumble
who argue
who offer prayers 
without feet
who accept gun money
who turn their backs
and simply offer

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Open and Shut Case

     My computer presented a gray screen and then turned black—India ink black—and then the screen flickered, shimmied, and grew unresponsive. I turned it off, waited a few moments until it lost its petulant exterior and turned it back on. As if to punish me it grudgingly started and immediately turned to gray.
     So I did what any one would do— put my laptop in its case and headed over to the geek group at the Apple Store. An exceedingly helpful computer expert turned on the recalcitrant machine and it performed slower than ever and proceeded to prove that it was ill. A diagnostic test was run and something on the software was corrupted. At this time it appears as if the hardware is still chugging on.
     I’ll be returning next Thursday with Flannery, the name of my machine, with both Flannery and an external hard drive. According to the expert they’ll strip her of her innards and then reboot her. This entire project is fraught with angst.
      I asked if there was any other way  to get her up and running. No. A simple no. “ You’re fortunate,” the computer expert said, “ that this is a software problem and not a hard drive problem.” And I am thankful that my hardworking and congenial hard drive continues to power on.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

It’s Not Enough

    And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,
    that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known
    the mystery of the gospel.
       Ephesians 6:19

it isn’t enough to tell the mystery 
if you live as if nothing’s true
just words, you need to live
the gospel, every time you
see anyone as less than, each
time you forget the hungry, or
when you forget the homeless
or when you deny others their beliefs
you deny the gospel—
the gospel changes lives
if i don’t see that 
your bold words
carry little weight

Friday, February 16, 2018

Live the Word

         ...God will open up to us a door
            for the word...
                    Colossians 4:3

and they invited God
to have a seat at the table 
to partake in the conversation

it’s hard, they said,  to speak 
of violence, of children 
dying by gunfire, it’s hard
to listen to the babble
of a people who don’t
listen to one another—
deep listening is hard

and God listened to their
anguish, heard their pleas
and reminded them that
they needed to do more
than read his word
they needed to live
the word in the world  


Thursday, February 15, 2018


     not everyone is open to compromise even when  the choice between refusing to move a bit toward the center creates a dire situation for 800,000 young people who wait and wait to know what tomorrow looks like
     sometimes it’s necessary to take an absolute moral stand—but this is not about taking such a position—this is about demanding your way, about holding hostage to get what you want— this is about forgetting the other
     have we forgotten the stories of welcoming the stranger, of being open to the other
     have we forgotten that we or our parents or their parents or back to the first settlers were once strangers in this land
     have we lost our way, mired in a place where guns are worshipped, violence in the media is commonplace, where the alt-right gains followers, where racial and anti-semitic remarks are made too frequently, where people are demonized, where white is lionized, where discrimination against LGBTQ people is acceptable, where the rich get richer and the poor lose out, where too many people are homeless and we call hunger food insecurity instead of hunger
     have we lost our way 
     maybe we can begin finding a pathway back by welcoming the dreamers, by remembering that we were once strangers
     “ know the soul of a stranger”  Rabbi Sacks 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Indoor Botanical Garden

a fish shape emerges 
amid corkscrew tendrils
without a marker to reveal
the name or natural habitat
is this jonah’s whale 
will the wind howl
will the ocean churn
does this fish bare a message
will i be open to the words

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lesson on How to Atone

        O Lord, Open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare
        your praise

               Psalm 51:1

It’s time to clean up
change my ways
find those I dissed
and get it right
Walk right up to
those I ignored,
those I laughed at
and set it different
Find those I need
to say sorry
Loosen my tongue
let me set it right
and then just watch
me raise my arms
shake my hands
shimmy and shout
and offer you praise


Monday, February 12, 2018

Atone I

        O Lord, Open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare
        your praise
               Psalm 51:15

O Lord loosen what’s inside
hidden beneath the detritus
of time, of the everyday
Who can on their own
uncover, put to light
what they need
to before they
go forth

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Fellowship

Not everyone knows how to read
A few read words with a staccato
tempo while others stand mute—
spoken language too complex
They share their worship 
We sing the hymn they sing
How much does God love you
and they spread their fingers
inches apart and by the time
it is sung a third time 
the congregation opens
it’s arms as wide as possible
We are all God’s children

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Realization

 Open the door
to possibilities,
to the unexpected
to having the world 
tilt, to discovering
the smell of a flower
the sound that the wind
makes when it surrounds
the cattails around the pond

Open the door

Friday, February 09, 2018

Of a Certain Age

I discover the I within—
dance to my  own melody
My feet trace the edges 
of the past 
I touch 
familiar ground
stare at exiled places
Time collapses
and I stand before
open memory

Thursday, February 08, 2018

A divinis

they stand 
in silence
with bowed heads
until the music 
calls for voices
space opens
and they enter

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Open vs Loose Words

my father loved words
their sounds when spoken
how they looked on a page
when he wrote a note
one letter sliding into the next—
each word, he said, plays a role
he knew arcane words, simple
words and those with complex
family histories and pedigrees—
he said to find the apt word
you need to soul search
words, he said, tell the truth
but sometimes people choose
words as a way to alter
or masquerade the truth 
when a politician says  
some people 
live with food insecurity
we mean that they
know how hunger tastes
to say food insecurity
camouflages the truth 
with loose words—

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


     tomorrow the meteorologists predict snow,
     snow that turns into sleet and ice—
     before it ends unexpected events
     will happen and lives may change
     uncertainty follows behind us
     dragging stories 
     along with endings
     we can’t imagine
     we live in this moment
     we create our lives 
     from single moments
      single moments
      create our lives