Beyond words

An unspeakable tragedy has befallen a friend, and I nevertheless find myself groping helplessly for words to fling into the void.


I am a box with the lid
removed, unable to hold
thought or feeling or will
for motion. Voices rattle and the wind
tears through me: funeral
and four-year-old do not belong
in the same sentence.


Found poetry: Anne Lamott

July imageThis passage is from the essay “This Dog’s Life,” in Anne Lamott’s book Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (pp. 81-82).

Bumping up against it

you want to protect your child
from pain, and what you get instead is life,
and grace; and though theologians insist
that grace is freely given, the truth
is that sometimes you pay for it
through the nose.

More travel poetry

July imageHere’s another tidbit from our July journey. I fear I may have taken some liberties in it that I hope my fiber artist friends will forgive.


the sky is getting ready
to spin: see how she cards
the clouds on the teeth
of the ridgeline, drawing them out
in strong, straight lines

Travel poetry

July imageI’ve been off the grid for a few days, which has left me lots of time with pen and paper. This poem riffs on things I saw while traveling and does not necessarily reflect any actual geographic location.

city of bridges, you dangle from the neck
of the mainland by spider
webs and steel, a jewel on the breast of the bay
as it rises and falls, breathing
with the moon

Food poetry: Chinese takeout

July imageI should have taken a picture before we finished all the takeout, but alas! Thank goodness I have this coloring page to give you something nice to look at.

After dinner

we are the fortunate
cookies, we who were flat
but now curl
moonlike around thick
middles, cradling happy
advice and lucky numbers
in our crisp bellies

DIY poetry

outletThe long Independence Day holiday weekend allowed ample time to both celebrate and catch up on deferred household chores.

Series killer

“Adventures in Home Improvement,”
Episode 1,249: In which our heroes make
the genuinely shocking discovery
that the bathroom outlet is not on the circuit
they thought it was.


Trace poetry: D.H. Lawrence

July imageToday’s post is traced from D.H. Lawrence’s “Peace.” (Click here to see the source poem.)


Purpose is waiting around the block
in coffee.

Purpose, creamy purpose dissolved.
My life will only find purpose
when the cafe opens.

Secret, penetrating coffee,
secret as rush hour traffic,
swimming like a lovelorn mallard up the river against the tide.

Buildings, parks, cars,
always in the soft haze of coffee.
Buses inches from the corner,
and the corner just yards away from the coffee shop.

Purpose dissolved in creamy coffee around the block.
Within, deep brown coffee, always with purpose
till it opens subtly, inviting the day;
to race always through veins,
warm creamy veins.

Call it Purpose?