Friday, December 25, 2020

Because sometimes I need reminding that my hardships are not


brought home whole milk honey when
store was out of non-fat vanilla

resorted to pinto beans because
store discontinued yellow lentils

preferred pork best by 18th
today is 22nd

extra-firm tofu missing from shelf
had to settle on silky softness

plastic pull-ring pulled apart
store compensated for troubling

plenty of roasted, salted seed sorts
no packages of raw

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Inspired by Syon House and the research of Vinzenz Brinkmann

Don the new self, created by God, 
in truth’s righteousness and holiness 
Ephesians 4:24 

True Colors

The Great Hall relished these moments to itself 
No more guides roting through Neoclassical exemplars 
No more tourists freezing the perfect memories in frames 
Nothing apparent but the Duke’s beloved blacks and whites
From the Dying Gaul hunched in Southern shadow 
To Apollo pedestaled in Northern bright
An empty checkerboard stretching between them
Until the sun rays slanting through the clerestory
Set fireworks exploding 
Green malachite 
Blue azurite
Red cinnabar 
Yellow and ocher from arsenic
Black of burned bone and vine
Reminders of the Greek aesthetic exposed 
To those willing to witness the gaudy truth

Sunday, June 14, 2020


"Oranges" by Gabbie Herzberg

My poem "Little" was published in the 2020 edition of Cedar Valley Divide.  The painting above is my favorite image from the journal, and it's hyperlinked to the journal's online version.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Learned about the Moonlight Towers on Power Trip, a PBS series

Ben Sklar for The New York Times

This is the judgment-
that the light has come into the cosmos
and the people loved the darkness 
more than the light
because their works were evil
     John 3: 19
The Moonlight Tower Accuses

Some Austinites 
say it was the buzzing
like hundreds of murder hornets in assembly
each mandible moving at once
reporting on the success of that day’s slaughter

Other Austonians 
say it was the burning
carbon ash floating beyond a circle 
with a radius of fifteen hundred feet
never sure where on what or who it would catch

Bu I know the truth was
the blinding
light of a thousand candles arcing over the streets
revealing every definite detail
they wished to obfuscate

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Inspired By The Message, John 1:1-2; Started in Poetry & Wellness workshop taught by Emily Spencer

I was with him, 
the helpmate he created with,
rejoicing before him 
each day all the time
Proverbs 8:30

In Readiness From Day One

Watching Mommy measure the dry
Slowly stirring in the wet
Making all things moist
Eager to take a turn of the spoon
Pouring the mix for heating
Puffing up with delight when she says
“My little helper, 
Taste what we made

Sunday, May 24, 2020

After Yesterday's Storm


Emerging from shelters
Dazed by sun following storm
Finding messages beaded
In every North-facing window screen
Around town
Braille-shaped rain droplets reading
“Condolences on your loss”

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Tax Day That Wasn't

The Tax Day That Wasn’t

I spoke to my grandmother today
Through her nursing home window
Framed by frozen forsythia.
Modeling the white straw hat
Navy ribbon bowed, streaming in twins
Would have to wait.

My daughter's face had appeared haloed
Holding the hat secure to her head
Other hand holding her basket
Spilling over with booty
Scattered around our backyard.
Easy to fill up when you’re alone.

She wanted to go right then
Show Great-Granny bonnet, basket, bunny
Her Easter Best.
Wednesday we will after naptime I promised.

Then the snow fell.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Different Postures

Different Postures

Familiar whimper
Same sound made when the candidate I caucused for dropped out

Also uttered upon comparing the inanity
To what could have been
Whenever his opponent tweeted up

There are those who can manipulate a profit
Even when all the buyers have gone home

There are others who run themselves florid
Organizing goods to keep them in common

I look out the upstairs window
At the cardinals fighting over mating rights
To my backyard

Wishing I could tell both crews what I think of them
Face to face

Sunday, March 22, 2020


Drive-Thru Confession
Photo credit: Paul W. Gillespie, Capital Gazette
Fitness centers are closed and they
Drive through windows grabbing local
Takeout each day like it contains
Their full patriotic duty

will i recognize anyone

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Crane Cam Therapy


Soothed by repetitive
Trilling call of Sandhills
Over Crane Cam live feed

We were supposed to be there in person
At sundown when they lifted from the corn fields
Thousands swirling seeking shelter below

Congregating to the river safe
In their numbers

Remember sharing that instinct of

Social creatures?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

How I Am Feeling

While Italians Sing Arias From Balconies

Snowdrops are poking through unraked clumps
If I am feeling ambitious
I could clear room for them
My husband points out suggestively

How am I feeling?

He gauges his symptoms
By my general state of being
Unsure if he is bugged by the common
Or something more exotic
Like my gateway drink

Which okay sure, it resembles urine
But the flavor was milder than the crude ones
Tried and rejected as a teen
It suited my craving
To be un-Midwestern-like

My husband alters our nighttime routine
Pressing soft lips squarely
To the center of my forehead
Putting social distance between us

My kitchen calendar
Is a series of squares
Events crossed out
On the inside

My sister quarantines our parents
Still, they slip through the church’s side door
“We sat in the first pew,” they promise
“We left before greeting anyone.”

When he was young, Dad trained his lungs to run
Pushing asthma ‘round the track ‘til it collapsed
“He has three of the risks,” Mom lists matter-of-factly
“Don’t forget old,” Dad chimes in trying to lift me

My sister’s business trips are canceled
My niece’s freshman year is canceled
My nephew’s golf season is canceled
Church is canceled for the foreseeable Easter

“I am praying for everyone as hard as I can”
Stressed to those working around me in a craze
“I blame Friday the 13th,” I say randomly to the file cabinet
Everyone takes the hint

The word comes down from on high to count
All the cases of gowns and the gloves on hand
Also, for future reference should the need arise
Are we willing to research a live virus?

“Our Irish client is shut down,” I announce
Into the cubicle maze
“Due to COVID-19?” a disembodied voice asks
“No. St. Patrick’s Day,” I explain

If required to work remotely
I will carry their laptop outside
Sit on the front steps next to the cairn
Sing “This Little Light of Mine”

Fantasizing the less sick will deliver
Chicken noodle soup to the very
Thus staving off habitat collapse
When everything turns into the positive

Friday fell on a thirteenth this year
That evening I spotted the first robin of Spring
Those omens cancel each other out