angel beside us

God kneels beside us--as we
lay face-down upon the floor pleading
for Him to make Himself known to us--
waiting with holy all-creating all-encompassing
arm hovered just inches above trembling shoulder blades
the arm of YHWH upon our backs if only
we would let go of fear

that chest-tightening instinctual emotion set off
by the very idea of another being materializing
at our side, placing an arm around our shoulders,
so much so that we would jerk upright and
flash open eyes in that breath of a moment before
an angel alights


spinning still

the merry-go-round goes round and round
and here I sit complacent--maybe--
in the center watching those around me live,
become distant
while I sit afraid to jump into the
blurred unknown of the greater world
though experience whispers the potential pain
is worth it
and really it's this small spot of comfort
I sit on that streaks larger smudges
upon my lens with every opportunity I pass up
yet still I only stare at my unmoving knees
and wonder
how does anyone ever find North in this spinning mess



a crescendo of beaked voices carries
on a storm-bringing breeze
as black feathered forms,
having saturated the trees, drop
to grass sand and gravel from
steel wool sky
drawing ever nearer in their massive
flocking form as they inch southward
suddenly a soft whirring of wings
erupts from the field
and a black cloud thunders past
leaving only silence behind


walking the dog

almost took a trip through the neighbor's yard at
the end of a leash this morning
their chickens were scattered about
scratching at the dewy lawn and
Stella thought one might make a fine
alternative to the breakfast she hadn't received yet
and loads of entertainment besides
but she trotted on perpendicular to the road
swiping her tongue up across amber muzzle
restrained only by an annoyingly stubborn human


the body of Christ

what if
I am an appendix?
that useless component
wondering at the worth
of its own existence
dropped on this earth with
no idea and no direction for
no one knows the purpose
of an appendix and
I am left up to my own
lonely devices
to find myself in

ah, but in God I am never alone

so perhaps this
is the first shuffle of feet
in a long journey
the realization that I am part
of something that is whole
and without me it would no longer
be what it was so
the appendix should not wonder
at whether but at what
is its worth


portrait of a cafe

"...in a small town, oh
what is that place called..."
a nearby voice booms to
acquaintances and
a timer buzzes
dog barks over 
clinking clanging silverware
I detach myself and
at my two-person
side-table in the back
of the room
in front of an
underappreciated homey fireplace


to listen

to still the mind and
find the Candle within
exist as a soul
and listen
for God speaks more often
with warmth
than with words
beyond the chaos of
our understanding



is there anything so inviting
as a blank page,
an idle pen?
the silence beckoning to
scratching scribbling
and though the mind may
cease to flow
the hand still begs to fill
vacant lines


one more

oh, that sweet
bitter taste
of one more
the feeling of loss
before it's over
the difference of
one more and one last
caught between a smile
and a silent tear
tracing pain down
my face
a sob preceding
the aching void

oh, to be a blade of grass
to grow and be mowed
and grow again
to not know pain
or the heartache of
leaving a lover behind


three poems (!)

to be a pest
to be a fly
oh, to ride
horse and cow and dog
to zip through garbage heaps
--make use of someone else's trash--
your only vice
to be a pest
because no one understands
a fly

the park
a roar
a constant dinning roar
of rushing traffic
a fly zipping past right ear
the whir of hummingbird wings
leaves whispering to the breeze
drumming hands on knees
fly past left ear
a bike softly clicking uphill
chatter fading as footfalls diminish
flapping flip-flops
clinking leashes
happy trotting paws
silence of blue sky

soar and
soar and
flap feathered wings
land on tip of tree
and flutter
to hold balance in
battering breeze
and leave
soar and
soar and



two wooden rocking chairs in the yard
sitting, facing
my open bedroom window
as if positioned to spy
on me
and not the cows lined up
curiously behind 
their unsuspecting backs


free feet

I never did like shoes,
they pinch my toes
and rub my heels
and make my arches hurt.
but free feet--
ah, soles bare to
wet grass, warm pavement,
the dull sharpness of gravel
in the driveway--
that is bliss.



light breaks as dawn
as a desperate gasp at the pool's surface
and suddenly I have a heading
no means of getting to the destination
no petty details
but a direction, a path, a way to move forward
to live
and not just exist
moving at first in inches
questioning, conversing, listening
shuffling that turns into steps, becomes strides,
gives way to dancing
and just a paper thin will holds the body
encapsulating my soul
from sliding back into melancholy
if the mustard seed grows
the soul will thrive



"...once I'd dreamed of sailing around the world, of paddling down the Amazon, of sitting around a fire with tribal people and sharing their food and their lives. I had loved the person who had those dreams. She was daring and idealistic...and gone."
--from Tales of a Female Nomad

but she's not entirely gone,
by the way.
she just gets lost sometimes.
or buried
under everything else.
just please don't let me forget
that "everything else"
isn't me.


one dream

just because I don't have a single dream
doesn't render me a failure
it means I have no plans
to get in Your way
and the dream that I'm left with
when all else seems meaningless
is to follow You

prodigal daughter

You never left me
I fell empty
of my own accord
shutting You out
because I didn't like the words
whispered in my mind
turning and yelling
of abandonment
pointing my finger at You
when I was the one running
in circles
deafened by my own screams


echoes of Esther

"for such a time as this"
and what, Lord, does this mean?
I am in a transitory position
neither here nor there
still struggling to comprehend
the recent past
while simultaneously trying to plan
a too-quickly approaching future
so what position have I come to
that You would say
"for such a time as this"?
yet at every stage in my life
I have complained of being in-between
without solid knowledge of
where I am or where I'm going
but isn't that life?
I claim to travel a dark path
carrying a Flashlight that reveals
only just the next footfall
and my immediate surroundings
perhaps I should stop
to gaze around every so often
perhaps then I would know where I stood
that God should say
"for such a time as this"



Perhaps Judas never meant for Jesus to die. Perhaps his idea of turning the world upside-down involved overthrowing the Roman government, and Jesus wasn't acting fast enough for his impatience. If something angered Jesus enough, like the vendors in the temple, He might finally take up arms and claim His rightful place as king.

But Jesus had higher plans, greater aspirations, achieved through humbler means. Judas expected force; Jesus had no need of it. Jesus already ruled--rules--everything. Everything. And so, He came not for Himself, but for His children.

When Judas realized this, that all he'd believed to be true was completely false, he felt great remorse. He had betrayed his Lord to death, and it caused him such agony that he sought death himself.

We all have a bit of Judas in us, much as we scorn the one "who betrayed Him." Impatience, misunderstanding, sin. Human traits. Jesus forgives.


Sun dance

Sun dances
as young buds it coaxed
burst forth in leaf
drawing strength from their Father
in the midst of
early morning birdsong

and even as the Great Orb dances
some ignore its Light
and fall
spiraling into the rising mist

but those who stay
and bask
grow and play a role beyond
the imaginative capacity
of their mindless bodies


to fly

oh to glide across the air
to feel 
wind uphold wings
pull at feathers

to be near enough to touch
the sky yet
still not comprehend
what it is

to drift and
and drift again
to spin

oh to soar



slender white legs protrude from
short dress, dance in the air
freshly shaven
gleaming smooth in sunlight

soft bare feet walk by
tenderly on
rough sidewalk
seeding blisters to grow callouses


Holy Tears

Jesus wept.
we often laugh about this,
the shortest verse in the Bible,
the easiest to memorize.
but do we ever stop 
to think about what it really means?
Jesus wept.
Jesus, a human man, wept.
it takes a lot for a grown man to weep
both great sorrow and great strength
and Jesus, the bodily form of God,
wept at Lazarus' tomb.
our Lord God also cried in the face of His own death--
a sleeping like Lazarus'--
those agonizing hours before His imminent suffering
a choice He made Himself
before entering the womb.
or did He weep
for those who would feel the most
pain in His passing,
or for the great sin of the world
which He was about to shoulder
as a sacrificial Lamb?
this often spoken
often overlooked
passage embodies in a Name and a word
the unfathomable welding of human man
and Lord God
fully both
He took on the sins of every person
that has ever breathed a breath of this earth
and that ever will
showing greater strength and compassion than any man
greater humility than we ever dreamed our God to have
Jesus wept.
to see Jesus cry
watch tension, emotion seep
out with tears
that beautiful release but
then hear the agonizing cries of my Lord God
to know the pain
the gut-binding pain that takes hold and promises
never to let go
that nothing will ever be ok again
and the hope He knows for certain is there
seems but a shadow
of something that once was
my Lord God curled as he was in the womb
at the thought of His descent to the tomb
and all that trails behind
and drags before
the meaninglessness of it all when really
it means everything and
Jesus wept.

we know nothing of pain or sorrow
or Love.



sunrise, sunspots
raindrops leftover
after last night's storm
drip           drip  drip
drip    dripdrip
from the roof
and songbirds bring
spring singing
over the whine of a
distant train 


daily... oops

So I knew I'd missed a few days, but I thought it'd only been 2.  I guess I was a little off.  Math never has been my strong point.

three circling
like kites in the wind
with cloud-moving wind gusts
not watching or hunting
but for the ecstasy
of being a bird


not of this world

and oh, You love me too
though i stumble through life on this earth
like a penguin in the sky
a bird
yet so very different from the rest
and sometimes i forget, believe i belong but
You draw me back to the cleansing Water and say

look at this beautiful place I have reserved for you
don't forget Me,
I haven't forgotten you
so spread your flippers and soar but
leave your heart--your soul--
in My hands
and always return



paintbrush winds across the water
pulling surface with broad soft strokes
not waves nor ripples
but morphing marks on the canvas of Creation


spring walk

bark-skinned creatures reaching upwards
from a rippling eye-blue sky
to tickle the gaseous realm above

handprints in the soft slimy mud
water lapping at their toes
a fuzzy nose once sniffed here
a tongue lapped 
the reflection of sky and trees
and striped tail trailed behind



sun-dust sprinkling slowly to the sidewalk
as from a giant upended saltshaker,
glittering against a brilliant blue sky

too warm for these icy flakes
and yet here they are
floating down to tickle noses

There you have it, folks.  I've finally updated everything from the past week, so make sure you scroll all the way down and even click "older posts."



discreet alcoholic breath
of yellow sponge rising in luke-warm water
stirred into sticky substance
pressed, pulled,
pressed, pulled, placed in
cold slimy steel and left
with light damped out and warm moisture in
punched, left again
lifted by gentle hands, formed
fitted into rectangle
enclosed by black box
bottomed with a deformed red-orange "W"--
seeping the sweet scent of sandwiches, toast,
warm buttered bread



like the sweet uncertain breath drawn
between a word and a kiss
the soft reality
of nowhere
flowing from one harsh somewhere
to another but
not quite there nor the other place
and these in-betweens have names
sometimes known, sometimes unseen
the conscious world to some
yet as insignificant as a speck on a map
to souls just breathing through



voices rise, waver
fall jigsaw puzzle-style into harmony
and gain strength once more
shrill notes fill in one last place--
the missing piece we never notice
until it's there--



winds whip, waters rise
marsh animals converge on the bridge
like Noah's ark

and we are left to wonder
did they all get along
in this moment of terror?



old white refrigerator
orange rust splotching in
from the corners and edges
not wedged between cabinets but cradled
in the old weathered branches
of a large tree
standing lonely in a marsh beside the road

and 3,000 once dwelled here
but if the winds weren't enough
that gave their homes for trees to hug
the oil spill cost them their daily bread
and 400 now remain
to hold a semblance of a town
where abandoned foundations outnumber houses


nature's hungry centrifuge

shaggy palm trees arranged around a square
a slab of concrete swept almost clean
but for three bent pipes left clinging desperately
and everywhere, scattered
abandoned foundations of once-houses
survived by gnarly wind-swept trees
reaching for--something
(those who left?)
bent like old men
--longing for the boy lost somewhere inside
buried by time--
dreams, lives, the everyday mundane
thrown into nature's hungry centrifuge
obliterated in an instant



palm trees and
shotgun houses like neat little boxes
but peeling

trailers on stilts of cement and
great swooping branches of ancient oaks
dripping with grey spanish moss

marsh gives way to
oil rigs, shrimp boats,
gulls laughing and floating

like kites in the wind...



deep inside your throat
doubled over
for lack of air
violently shaking
and finally a gasp enters
laughter bursts forth
until a sigh
a chuckle
and silence

Note: I might be without a computer for the next week, so either I'll post 8 poems at once or pick my favorite when I get back.


fairy dance

bud peeking from tip of branch
almost spring
but a cold laced flake perches
and melts
another follows and soon
the world looks like a fairy dance
a young bud wonders at the excitement of it all
and waits
just a little longer
for spring


crow in crystal branches

fog kisses gently the earth
weary of its own weight
curtains the still morning
revealing winter's true beauty

dark lines peer through crystal branches
--mist solidified--
above, a crow caws to its mate
an echo response


Ash Wednesday

white falls like ash
to cloak the ground
when pictured as ice and slush
but really just another
billion kisses from heaven
a whisper
a reminder
that God draws near
and Jesus comes
to fall like ash
and heal a cold hard world


billions of flakes caress the ground
unique as individual humans
clusters of rain too cold to fall
so they drift
occasionally whisking sideways
or briefly spiraling upwards
to defy gravity
purely for the joy of it

and a girl deemed too old 
for awe and magic
familiar with trudging through cold
stares out the window


surprise snow

No one saw it coming, not even Phys. Plant, who failed to put ice melt in front of the student apartments.  Perhaps the snow mocks us for putting hope in an early spring, even as it turns to slush upon touching the too-warm walkway.

a honk
and eyes implore the clouds
for a rambling V
but settle on a lone goose

and chin drops towards earth
where boots slosh through slush
of snow fallen on too-warm ground
and puddles form


AD Building

How many
         hands caressed this banister before me
         drops of sweat from sun glaring through towering glass
         feet thundering down blue textured stairs
clambering for freedom after long boring class?


Sunday afternoon walk

My fiance and I went for a walk after church today, and laughed at the antics of some ducks who really just wanted a bite to eat.

Mallards in a shallow stream
churning paddle feet
burst of murky cloud erupts
iridescent green head dips,
pulling feathered tail towards the sky,
bill scoops and reemerges
dull brown collected on smooth orange,
churning paddle feet


therapy horse

I visited a therapeutic horseback riding stable today, and this is what resulted.

large, fuzzy, plodding
guided by a child
yet protecting

stands still as child shifts
unblinking to find body lying across
or sitting backwards in the saddle

plods on
velvet muzzle held low
gently placing hooves

guided by a child
no--holding precious bundle
teaching through obedience