• Book Reviews

    Susan Cowger-Slender Warble, Poetry

    Susan Cowger confesses she was the ‘black sheep’ in the family, not quite fitting into the mold of family vocations–nurses, pharmacists, sensible people. Instead, her first language was art, a calling that led to a BA in Fine Art (1977) from Montana State University and subsequent MFA in Poetry with a secondary emphasis in Art from Eastern Washington University in 1997. Susan is a sculptor, visual artist (oils and watercolor) and a writer. What made her take the leap from two dimensional and three-dimensional work to words? “Art is often abstract. I wanted to help people enter into the art, so I started writing little poems. It seemed to help,”…

  • Life in General

    No Anchor But Jesus {{#backtochurch}}

    “Where do people put such things when they live by Plan? Our entire plan is simply Miscellaneous.” -Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons, 1950 Last Sunday was our first time back in a building to gather and worship for church since March of this year. I refer to that time as “2020 B.C.” as in Before Coronavirus. Guided by our pastor and staff, we were properly spaced in family or couple groups, masked up and elbow-bumping our hellos to one another. It was….. weird. And it was somehow wonderful at the same time. Why? Because we were together again with our brothers and sisters, standing in the same room with live music.…

  • My Poems

    Contemplate {a #poem}

    I’ve no chisel but this pen chipping at paper like stone, carving words, not to build but bend graphite like steel, curve the bones (Dear God, not break) but lay in place and then form a space to hold a new edifice, sculpt and rest and tap some more while You hand me bricks to begin, restore. *** The word contemplate is from the Latin, and literally means to carve out a temple, from the two parts-‘com’ and ‘templum,’ i.e. an “intensive space.” Words are swirling everywhere lately and the voices are l o u d. Seems no matter where I turn there is something to fear whether it’s danger,…

  • My Poems

    Five Haikus for Spring

    Blue Door Sapphire welcome says hello at the start of day I walk and wonder. Wisteria Dropping amethyst Translucent emerald trailing Reflected treasures Haiku for Spring Drops of see through gems moisture gift drips slowly down Silvered honesty. Accompaniment Devoted songbirds Daily raise their melody No maestro but Spring. Aerial Hummingbird sips blooms From windows I spy each zoom Birds in lilacs appear I’ve been writing poems throughout this season of #lifeinthetimeofcorona and very grateful for the sure thing provided by Spring, which listens to its own Maestro, Creator God. Regardless of ‘lockdown’ everywhere else, His presence is not isolated inside. The familiar form of haikus–3 lines with syllable counts…

  • My Poems

    Accompaniment {a #poem}

    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Birds, their tones both winged and bright Harmonize from branches out of sight Know their parts, score memorized Flash and zoom before my eyes. Soprano, alto, second, bass Throaty praises from branchy place Echo, float, reverberate A pause, then celebrate Mornings’ rise first slow and quiet Against dull backdrops now a riot Their songs a span of treble and bass Background my day, this hallowed space. ***** The daybreak song of birds seems brighter and more clear than ever before. Have you noticed? I tried to to capture their music ((impossible)) by playing around with meter and rhyme. I hope the joy comes through the…

  • Life in General

    Naming our Losses {#lifeinthetimeofcorona}

    When Washington State brought the country’s first case of novel Coronavirus to the US, we had no idea what had begun. While the sudden deaths of loved and aged family members was a shock, the nursing home tragedy was still an hour and a half away from where I live. Things moved quickly, tho’. Suddenly the virus was way too close to home and there were deaths of a different kind, no less significant. Travel plans were curtailed and questioned everywhere. A writer’s retreat I’d been looking forward to for a year was prayerfully and tearfully cancelled. I would grieve for weeks. Folks were elbow tapping each other the last…

  • The Church Year

    Finding My Name~an Easter Week Story

    When my mother was taken by cancer at the age of 55 and I was 33, there was no estate to divide, no money to deposit, no silver to share. After she was gone, I wasn’t saddened by the loss of anything tangible like an inheritance, but because there were questions I would never have answers to. For instance, where did my name come from? When my mother passed, I felt unsettled about this piece of my life. The older I got, my identity and family history became more and more important. I had never heard the background, the whys or whos of my name.  There was no connection to the past,…