Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful for the Many Blessings

pictures to be posted later

It that annual celebration of family and thanksgiving
we gather round the table and notice who is missing
traditions broken by death and living
and yet we gather to give thanks for the many blessings
the breath of life for another day
a new marriage, a new sobriety,
the possibility of a new home
new teeth, and new tattoos
all designed to bring happiness
for a little while
we bow our heads and give thanks
glad for all who have gathered here.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Early Morning Phone Call


The phone rang early this morning
too early for a sales call,
no family or friends,
unless it was an emergency.

My mind tried to predict
who and what and why
only the sound of , “Hello,”
then a click.

It didn’t matter, except,
it sounded like my sister 

who passed
a month ago. 

Her voice was clear
maybe she had to say


but then remembered 
she was dead

and hung-up instead. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

After the Rain

Woke up groggy this morning
couldn’t form my thoughts
words got twisted on my tongue
felt hung over and confused
but I haven't had a drink

still find in difficult to think
then the rain broke through
first a few drops than many

the words 
started to form
first poetry 
then prose 

I worked 
the rest of the day 
until a story was told
and I had said everything


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another Dream Along a Roadway

Last night I was riding in a car along a mountain pathway.
Bill was driving and we came across a scene
of a serious accident. Many bodies were strewn
across the road. I turned to Bill and asked him to stop

so we could help the injured and cover the dead.
He said, “There are too many we can’t help them
better to keep going and stay out of the way
so the rescue workers can do their job.”

At some point I felt relief, overwhelmed by my helplessness
wondering when I became a burden instead of a helping hand.
We continued to drive around the mountain side
beautifully covered in snow, offering us a tranquil vision

of eternity. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Facing Life

Another report of a super storm
thousands left homeless
many died -
an emergency
for Red Cross and volunteers
to lend a helping hand.

After the storm ghosts linger
wandering aimlessly
death came too soon
their souls not ready to depart

Gradually the debris gets cleared
a new life must begin
restructured and redefined
missing loved ones and precious things
filling the gaps with small acts, 

surviving in the face of no evidence
that life will ever be normal again. 

Prayer helps and falling in love again
is a boost, a baby born 

with all the promise of life
and little by little routines

becomes familiar
and the tragedy 

only a faded dream. 

Prayers for survivors in the Philippines,
Midwest and Italy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jung Shin

He dyes his hair
to hid his age

and wears it in combed back
so unlike other Asians

he wears a hearing aid
and large rimmed glasses

his smile is sincere
and his talent so amazing

with a few strokes
he finds the face on the canvas

and with expert hands
guides his students to do the same

creating personal masterpieces
for generations to enjoy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pagan Babies

When I was young I used to save
a milk carton of pennies
to feed the pagan babies in China.

Carton after carton was given to the nuns
who packaged those pennies
and took them to the bank.

When enough money was collected
the nuns sent a check to the missionaries
who fed their bodies and saved their souls.

Years later, the population of China
is booming although there are few
Catholics among them

and as our economic systems fail
I wonder if somewhere in their schools
children will collect cartons full of pennies

to save us of from our impending bankruptcy
and deliver us from our financial missteps
so that we can redeem ourselves from collapse?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Meal

Last night I had a dream
I was standing outside the back door
with my husband

we could see my mom
setting a long wooden table
for a home cooked meal.

The clatter of dishes
and conversation filled
the room.

I opened the screen door
and my mother said,
"This is not for you."

I stepped back onto the patio
and looked at my husband
to tell him we would have to wait.

The next morning I told him
about the dream. We agreed
we still had things to do on earth

so we better get about
doing those things before
we crossed that threshold

to the other side.