poetry Posts

Poetry on the Plane

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I spotted them as I passed through the security clearance line at National Tuesday morning. Gaggles of teens swarmed the airport, all wearing the same t-shirts, the better for their chaperones to keep track of them. But this family stood out even against that crowded backdrop, and not simply because they were all four wearing red t-shirts.

It was because I knew what that TAPS emblem on their t-shirts stood for – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Every Memorial Day, TAPS holds a camp for the surviving families of deceased military members. It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids whose parents have died to connect with other children who’ve suffered the same loss. Also for surviving spouses, moms, dads, brothers or sisters to connect as well. read more

The Children Who Heal Us


Last night I started randomly receiving a series of text messages from daughter Ashley. At first, I thought she was sending me silly things my grandsons say. Just recently she sent me a note saying that Sullivan had asked if she could go get his “Granny baby” for him. Sullivan comes up with the most outrageous sayings. I think he’s in training for Comedy Central, but these texts were sent well past Sullivan’s bedtime.

I realized it was poetry Ashley was sending. Ridiculously bad poetry: “You are the bubble in my bath. The plush in my towel. The vanilla in my candle.” read more

Powerball & the Poet

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What will you do with this one wild life of yours? the poet asked.

Not spend one second of it standing in line to buy a Powerball ticket, the old woman replied.

But what if you won, what would you do with it? the novice asked.

Why? Did you buy a ticket?

No, the novice rued.

Well, what would you do, if you had won? the old woman inquired.  While money didn’t interest her, the imaginings always had.

Go to Hawaii, said he.

Shop, said she. Where is the largest mall?

In Canada, another chimed in. I’ve been. read more

Peacock in the Desert


It was one of those God poetry moments.

There we were, having just hiked some rocky butte at Eagle Crest in Central Oregon. We were winding our way down the backside of the Butte when I asked my friend, One Pan Peggy, if she had ever read any Flannery O’Connor.

One Pan Peggy and I have known each other longer than we’ve known our spouses. We were roommates at Oregon State University. Our stories have been woven together over the years in the most unexpected of ways. We both married Tims, for instance. read more

The Power of the B-I-B-L-E

bible mama

I love the Bible. I love it for its poetry. And I love it for its song. I love it for its wisdom. And I love it for its hope. I love the way it gives comfort, like a mother or a father reaching out to hold an anxious child’s hand.

I love the way it encourages and believes in me when I doubt myself the most.

I love the stories, even the ones of mothers weeping for babies lost, and babies found. And the stories of human frailties and outright awfulness.  The adultery. The abandonment. The acknowledgement. read more