Prompted poetry: the farewell

This came out of today’s write-in at the Eagle Creek Public Library, with a shout-out to James and Matthew, who were my writing buddies today.


leaving is never so simple
as it ought to be – ties persist
even when severed, ghost limbs
whose lives-of-their-own trouble
our sleep with twitching

It’s here!

My copy of the 2014 Lexington Poetry Month anthology finally arrived yesterday! I’m delighted and honored to have one of my poems included in the collection (“Drafting,” p. 42). You can order your very own copy at or view individual poems at


Prompted poetry: daggers

This poem was inspired by the title of a book I saw someone reading while at lunch today.


the way is paved with glass
daggers of our own desire

not so we cannot pass
but that we may not
pass without making a sound

Day Fourteen, NaPoWriMo 2015

April is National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo. It’s taken me a bit to get my bearings after the ten-ring circus that was spring break/Holy Week. I was very happy this poem pushed its way into my head while I was otherwise occupied with driving.

Clean cut

straight line
razor fine
smooth as sin
you wouldn’t know
if it weren’t a darker
shade of pink

Prompted poetry: broken

When I was a young production editor, I fretted over the minute errors that inevitably show up in even the most thoroughly proofed text. One wise author told me certain cultures traditionally held that flaws in one’s handiwork were openings through which the spirit entered. Something that might be seen as imperfection could instead be seen as an invitation to the sacred.

Better than new

over time we found
it was not so bad to be broken

some times the mended places were stronger
and some times they opened us

to one another, to life, to depths
of pain and joy that perfect wholeness

did not experience – in this we followed
the example of the One Who saw

in brokenness the best way
to heal the world



Prompted poetry: follow

Thank goodness for the recursive nature of these forty days, for the promise of turning and returning that will eventually lead me t0, as the song says, “come ’round right.”

Circle game

In the video are a cat, a turtle, and a pillar. The quicker
cat comes up unseen behind the turtle, often
unable to resist patting it on the carapace before leaping
back to the far side of the pillar. The turtle turns, catches
a glimpse of tail, and strides after it with purpose. Round and round
they go, sometimes completely circling the pillar before
the cat taps the turtle and the game reverses.

I likewise ponderously pursue something so far
beyond me that I only perceive it from the corner
of my eye. Sometimes I feel its feather touch on the hard shell
I carry and change direction in my desire to move
always toward whatever wondrous mystery it is
that seems at the same time to be chasing me.



Prompted poetry: practice

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” (Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki)  I pray each day to be given a beginner’s mind, both as a writer and as a human being.


Each time I sit down before the blank page
I am a beginner; every time is the first time

No one has written this, not even I
It is as new as I am new to writing it

So each poem, each day, each breath
Is a gift, a chance to start from scratch