Monday, February 28, 2011

sweet and salty (for virginia)

this morning i

tore the top off the jones bottle you gave me
heard the seal break with finality

watched bubbles rise like childhood hopes
through blue, true as friendship

remembered rainbows upon window sills
rimming spring peepers and thunderstorms

raised the glass to my lips
swallowed soda, sweet like river dreams

ripped the picture off the empty bottle
read my fortune: "lady luck will soon visit"

felt a tear slide
tasted salt

toasted cheers to you, kindred spirit
to love

kindred spirits, we.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

winter drought (for serge)

craggy breath forms
vapour clouds that
freeze and fall, freeze and fall --
another snow storm

pale hands reach
for sun, grasp shadows,
wipe up today's mess,
flick off the light

dry eyes squint
up at this empty barrel,
down, at no more rope,
over, at the cover of my Bible

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

winter toes (for ruthiey)

good morning, toes!

you're looking very "Temperamental" today.

(as are twenty of my thirty little piggies,
but that's our secret)

now, where are my slippers?

peek at ruthiey's raspberry toes here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

redemption's journey (for misty)

my friend spoke to me
of beige places as maps --
maps tracing toddler discovery

and if so, then oh my,
my world is full,
full of maps

over the cupboards and
up the stairs and
across light switches, door knobs, khakis

each new mark
closer to the ceiling
than the last

...and of redemption's journey,
mapped out by the marks
of my struggles, and i pray:

may each new mark be
closer to the ceiling
than the last.

she spoke here.

there are many others here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


a wick can never drink its fill.
once set aflame, it pulls and pulls
on hot wax until
there is none left within reach.
then, when all hope is gone,
it sputters like a drunken man,
up in smoke.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

other brother

And going on from there
He saw two other brothers,
James the son of Zebedee
and John his brother,
in the boat with Zebedee their father,
mending their nets,

and He called them.

Immediately they left the boat
and their father
and followed Him.

- Matthew 4:21,22

i so would have tried to finish mending my net first.

i'd have gone down in history as an "other brother".

nothing more.

Friday, February 18, 2011

snow castle

there's what's left of our snow castle --
that dirty pile the plow made
beside the parking lot next door.

we would bundle,
round the corner,
follow the prints out back,

find adventure.
awaken this dragon,
transform me into a princess.

every time i went up,
i worked on the stairs
so you three could follow.

on the top
we drank blue-gold sky,
hid from car lights.

every time i went down,
you took your turns
hugging me on our sled.

i don't care that it's melting.
my memories won't.
we'll build again next winter.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

hurry back (for leah)

together we sat
under your picture window
overlooking the highway
that turns at the lights
and winds north out of town

your son was in the laundry basket
or upside-down on the couch
or in the chair, feet on ears
my sister watched him
like it was the last time

i didn't want to touch you
or i would cry
but i'm no buddhist --
i'm going to feel this --
so i did

and i do,
and i will,
but this is getting old
this saying good-bye
this praying see you soon

your eyes brimmed with light
as my feet shuffled down your porch
the paper towel blew off
the food you gave me
i snatched it back

but i can't do that to you

faraway friends, let's meet at emily's

Monday, February 14, 2011

unfolding valentines

never cared much for valentine's day.
come on -- it's just another way
to push long-stemmed roses,
pink bears with red toeses
and chocolates arrayed in a heart-shaped tray.

thirty-five years ago today,
a girl and a guy i know made their way
from the aisle at a church
to the end of their search
for a home of their own, a place to stay.

twenty-nine years later -- the twelfth of may --
their very first grandson came to play.
but when school time drew nigh,
the boy started to cry
as from rooms full of people, he shied away.

then along came the time for all to say,
"will you be mine? happy valentine's day!"
a bag of paper hearts
helped the boy to start
unfolding in friendship -- come what may.

now i sit here and type in my way.
i look at those paper hearts, and i pray,
"thank You, God, for my boy,
for our home filled with joy,
and yes, thanks especially for valentine's day!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011


seeking solidarity
pilfering economy
pilandering ecstasy
philosophising "immortality"

men in prison, enthroned

hovering light
creating sight
owning right
reclaiming night

God-from-stable, entombed

"come and worship,
come and worship,
worship Christ, the newborn King"

and i will

come to emily's

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

a confession (for james and lisa)

my girlfriend,
you are sick today.
this really isn't good.
you can't even bear the thought
of eating yummy food.

my guy friend,
you stayed home today.
you took care of your wife.
your iphone rang and you went running
because she's yours for life.

my friends,
i tried to help you out,
to share with you a token
of my thanks for your friendship...
but now your shovel's broken.

how's that for "imperfect prose"?'s some deep stuff.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

new contacts

oh, look at the world!
fresh, crisp, clear.

oh, slimy little beautiful
things in my eyes.