• 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,…

  • The Church Year

    Seven Books for the Seasons

    Did you know that woodchucks (aka the groundhog) and Jesus’ birthday have something in common? On the church calendar, February 2nd is Candlemas, the last Feast Day in the Christian year dated in reference to Christmas. This celebration of Candlemas marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple 40 days after his birth (as Jewish custom required), and the purification ceremony of the Virgin Mary at the same time. (Luke 2:29-32). The word ‘Candlemas’ (or Candlemass) refers to the custom of blessing and distributing candles and carrying them in procession before the Mass celebrated in churches in many parts of the globe. The lighting of the candles is symbolic of…

  • On Reading

    On Reading & Reciting Poetry

    I have a signed copy of this lovely book from Caroline Kennedy’s Seattle appearance a few years back. I was amazed by how many of these poems she knew by heart, many of which she recited for us  that night.  I am a terrible memorizer. Memorization is an analytical skill, a counter-intuitive trait to this Random Abstract Global thinker. However, next to trying to remember favorite Scriptures, which I’ve gotten mostly by osmosis lo, these 40 plus years, I do want to get some poetry in my memory banks. As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (Thanks to Johnny…

  • On Writing

    5 Questions for…Sophfronia Scott

    I  met Sophfronia Scott at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids April 2018.  I’d admired her writing work from afar, particularly an essay in Ruminate magazine about dancing in her kitchen. I knew she’d be speaking at the Festival and scanned the meeting places, looking for her beautiful dreadlocks and beaming smile. I noticed her at one of the hotel counters and taking gumption in hand, I introduced myself, told her what a fan I was of her writing and asked if I could interview her. She said “yes!” May I introduce Sophfronia Scott. 1) In your essay collection “Love’s Long Line” you begin by telling your…

  • Book Reviews

    Aging With Grace–40 Women Over 40 Tell All

    Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV Two weeks ago I took my first ever trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend the Festival of Faith and Writing, a gathering for Christian writers, bloggers, authors and poets at Calvin College. One speaker in particular that I hoped to connect with was the powerhouse that is Leslie Leyland Fields.  In real life Leslie lives with her family in Kodiak, Alaska, where they own a commercial fishing business. In the…

  • My Poems

    I am From {a #poem}

    I am from doughboy pools and homemade Barbie houses from Huffy bikes and Helms Bakery donuts. I am from three sisters to a room and broad green bermuda lawns. I am from bright sandy beaches and weeping willows whose drooping green sheltered me from California’s sun. I am from Coppertone and Sun-In from Helen and Wes and John. I am from belting out a tune and scribbling in the dark from roller skating and tree-fort-building from fighting at the top of my lungs and finding quiet at any cost. I am from Bible stories with Mrs. Cluck and anywhere-you-can-take-5-kids-on-a-Sunday. I am from the Hebjums and Lindseys, a Best at heart…

  • On Writing

    How the Things we Keep, Keep Us

    May 12, 1974 “Dearest Jody, I’m writing you today to say, “I’m glad I’m your mom.” I am now, and always have been, so proud of you, Jo. Can’t remember a single moments’ “trouble” that you’ve ever been in or any periods of anxiety that you have caused. Sure there were minutes of panic…like the time Colleen hit you with the baseball bat. But so far as the really important things like your character and independence and industriousness are concerned, you’ve never caused me any doubts. With much love, Mom” ~~~~~~~~~~ As a newly retired teacher—first Fall without students—woohoo!—I can FINALLY get to some gargantuan projects that I’ve wanted to…