• Poetry

    Cleaning the Living Room*

    The dust hoversunsettled in the sunlightthreatening to landon the patterned grainsof tables at rest. I observe the suspension of noise, remembering theactivity:buzzing, rising, howling,softening. The children are gone. It is time to put things in order.Restack the books,ensconce the trinkets totheir pride of place,lay out the careful pagesof precious bookstoo fragile for the 3 year old. I ponder – is it time?Time to clear the shelves,store the volumes,the puzzles, the blocks,the at-hand playthingsthat entertain?Their visits are so seldom now–we might not need thesesimple supplies of childhood. I notice I’m moving materials,organizing, streamlining, rearranging,but there is more being handledthan just the objects of myaffection. Something is being made anew in me,a chapter of…

  • Poetry

    What Students Can Teach Us–Poetry at Work

    We have a mandate to leave no child behind, Yet we are educating children not left behind, But left to die, escaping with their families and their lives, The clothes on their backs and a lifetime of images they want to forget. So we attempt to educate them– ‘educate’from the Latin-‘to lead out’ Lead out from terror, away from want, weariness and war. Away from fear, their homeland torn beyond recognition. Lead them to America, where we shout “welcome!” and expect them to be, Somehow, just like our children. Expect them to forget the hell they’ve seen, ask them to ignore the obvious (they are alive!) Expect them to observe…

  • Poetry

    A very clean 2013

    Well, it seems that wayanyway. Clean and all.Open, blank, unwritten on. And the smashing white/bluesky is limitless today.How unlike our skies to be thatway this day. But it is (a gift!Thank you, God.) SO, making the mostof a Beautiful Good ThingI will do what anyordinary human ought to do. Start well by cleaning the bathrooms (check)balancing two months’ of the checkbook(almost check)and pruning the overgrownout of shapetoo tall branches on thepink blooming viburnumwhich,sure as it’s January,always blooms pink for mejust when I need it.~~~~~~~~~~~ Linking with dVerse Poets Open Link Night– first of the New Year. More inspiring words over there….

  • Poetry

    Carrying the Weight-For Sandy Hook

    The tonnage of this load exceeds all legal limits; the bridge cannot be crossed. Its crushing weight of granite grief will split the spans and send you spiraling down. Unless (and I am no engineer) the load is properly distributed on this barren, buckling asphalt, heaving under the pressures of your shattered, tear-stained hearts. We will bear it with you, even it out                                                                                               …

  • Poetry

    Special Delivery

    I know……..silent, sort of.  But God dropped this in and I need to share…pray, please? For a sister.They say the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the yearbut it can be terribleand I think of the ramping upwith such a force and furyout there in this searching world,readying for That Daywhen we celebrate That Birth.There’s all that noise beforehand–the parties and the presentsand the peopleeverywherehaving ears but not listeninghaving eyes but not seeing.And you on the phonesoftly sobbing to yourself,“just breathe, just breathe”through this hard changing,and I  remind you oflabor and LaMaze andthe mantra that makesyou listen–breathing with you in the middle of the noiseand the pain and…

  • Made Things,  Poetry

    Strong Trees-A Marriage Poem

    Josh Groban is heavenly hollering “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The sweet and gentle resolution of the violin and oboes slows me down to hear your soft love. Not the out loud from the rooftops kind, but quiet as the roots of a tree digging down in the dark, seeking support where we need it. You tether and train the branches so I can build a tree house for all the world to see up top, waving bright flags to the busy, noisy world calling, “Isn’t life grand?” But your towering quiet reminds me a tree is beautiful and strong, growing not just up and out but down as well,…

  • Poetry

    Looking for Life in the Garden

      There is no flower on thezucchini–I guess there will be no more fruit.It is time to put the garden tobed, as Margaret says.Fruit only comes in the right season and we are not to be always producing.there is stillness,rest, tearing out, covering up (mulch helps).There is quiet, it is coolerand less sun to see by day.But the days are no shorter,we still have the alloted 24 hours,same time, justa different direction definedby deeper choresputting down roots in the soilof the Word.Searching for living water(no more drinks from the hose–ever ready)but putting forth the effortto savor draughts from that well–that is the work of the wintermonths to come.drinking deep in the…

  • Poetry

    Atticus to Zeppelin

    Classroom photo, mine. 2012 “Recess teacher!!” That would be me and anyone else over 3 feet tall who has a whistle. “Hey guys, just so you know, my name’s Mrs. Collins”, flashing my cartoon-y fish logo with my fancy-ish name. “What’re your names?” “I’m Atticus, this is Zeppelin.” “Well, those are some pretty big names,” I remark, and proceed                                                                                                        to…