Saturday, December 31, 2022

This moment, now

It’s the last day of the year, 
And I find myself wondering, 
“What should I be focusing on?” 
Torn between looking back and looking ahead, 
There’s so much I could say about 
How good or bad it was, or it could be — 
Or I could focus on accomplishment: 
My best or proudest moment,
 Or what I hope to do in the coming year. 
But as I ponder what priceless wisdom to share 
The cat jumps on my lap and settles in, 
Purring as his paws gently knead my chest, 
And as I sit, stroking him, 
And watching the world outside my window 
 Slowly reveal itself in the morning light,
I realize that this, this moment, now, 
The trusting, and the ordinary, 
Is enough; is really all there is.

Friday, December 30, 2022

A question of boundaries

Our state highways have these ridges 
Down the center of the roads, 
And sometimes on the edges, as well. 
They’re put there, I assume, 
To warn distracted or sleepy drivers 
When they start to stray 
From their appointed lanes, 
And it’s helpful: the noisy bumping that you feel 
When accidentally crossing that yellow line 
Is a powerful wake-up call, 
 Easily interpreted, and easy to respond to. 
 But there are other wake-up calls 
(And for the anxious, they’re everywhere) 
Less easy to interpret, to agree upon response, 
Or act upon, if even you agree: 
So some of us travel through Life on high alert, 
Confined to ever-narrowing lanes 
While others seem to drift unseeing 
Across boundaries which some would deem 
Quite clear. 
It’s a mystery, and a source of much 
Disagreement and confusion…

Thursday, December 29, 2022

On the brink of change

Finding ourselves on the cusp again 
Between the old year and the new, 
Drifting between the siren twins 
Of memory and anticipation, 
We pause to appreciate 
 The quiet and the dark; 
The deepening embrace of peace, 
And the knowledge that what’s done is done, 
We did the best we could with what we knew, 
And now’s a chance to rest before 
We’re called to embark again for shores unknown.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Accommodating obstacles

Who, on seeing the grace with which the trees 
Bend with all the challenges they face — 
The storms and seasons, growth and overcrowding; 
 The wet years and the dry; 
 Fierce heat and enervating cold — 
Might not find themselves inspired to believe 
That we all have, born within us, 
 The resources that we need 
To adjust, adapt, and utilize 
 Whatever time and nature choose to throw at us: 
That spark of confidence and selfhood deep within 
That ensures we can survive, 
If only we are willing to stay flexible and present; 
To breathe and bend and stretch our way 
 Through all our future holds, 
Accommodating obstacles 
And learning as we grow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

What’s real?

We know that old saying,
That even a broken clock 
Is right twice a day. 
It’s also true — at least twice a day — 
That there are times when the light inside 
And the light outside my home
 (And possibly my soul) 
Become somehow indistinguishable, 
And it becomes challenging to know 
Exactly what is real and what’s reflection.
 I like the blurring of those lines, 
And seek to replicate it in my art, 
To see what truths reveal themselves 
 When the answers are not obvious 
 And we’ve not been told in advance 
What we’re meant to see.

Monday, December 26, 2022

The messy aftermath

And now, here we are in the messy aftermath 
Of a Christmas that may have fallen anywhere 
On the gamut between horrific and fantastic, 
But either way, some kind of cleanup — 
Whether emotional or physical — 
Will probably be necessary. 
And then, of course, we’ll need to find a way 
To resume whatever passes for normal 
In our exciting, pleasant, humdrum or dreary 
Or change. 
Or vow to change whatever needs to improve 
In the coming year. 
We can do this. 
Really — we can! 
But first, perhaps another cup of coffee…

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Soothe the suffering; shield the joyous

As the final countdown to Christmas begins, 
While young hearts fill with anticipation 
 We hold in our thoughts all those who suffer: 
For all who are alone while others gather; 
And all for whom this season brings 
Not joy but painful memories; 
For all who are sick or dying 
And those who care for them; 
For all who grieve losses too great to bear; 
For the homeless and the refugees, 
The victims of war and oppression, 
For the lost, the cold, the unemployed, 
And all who live in fear or pain, 
We pray they may find peace. 
And for those who are simply exhausted 
 By the demands of the season, 
 We pray that the weary will find rest.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Safe travels

Wherever you’re headed this holiday season, 
And whatever your method of transport,
 I wish you safe travels, the kindness of strangers, 
And joy at the end of your journey.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Deep winter blues

The long solstice sunset: 
A gentle reminder 
That the deeper the blues, 
The brighter the joys shine in contrast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Blessings in disguise

This robust angel is actually 
A ceramic wood stove that was removed 
In this past year’s construction project. 
It was very heavy, so they only carried it 
 A few feet past the house, 
Which has been bothering me 
Because it blocks my view. 
So I was amused to realize 
 The reflection of the lamp by which 
I meditate each morning 
Had turned her into an angel — 
And isn’t that the way of things we resist? 
How often the people and events 
Which drive us crazy 
Turn into blessings in disguise…

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Colored by the season

Those winter days, 
When everything we see 
 Is filtered through the colors of the season,
 Past memories and future 
Hopes and expectations.

Monday, December 19, 2022


As we approach the final 
Diminishment of light, 
Hope rises as we eagerly 
Await a brighter horizon. 
We give, share, and receive 
 Not just the gifts of Christmas, 
But the promise of new life; new possibilities: 
An end to past concerns, 
A wealth of gratitude, 
And a renewed generosity of spirit.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A moment of peace

Whether the holidays bring chaos or sadness, 
Make time today — if only a minute or two — 
To picture yourself 
 In whatever peaceful spot you imagine: 
 Perhaps on an island, completely alone, 
 Closing your eyes and breathing the scent 
Of salt water and fir trees; 
Blessed by the sounds 
 Of the waves and the birds. 
Breathe again. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Protection from the storms

Perhaps it’s just the time of year, 
But seeing this shot makes me think 
That each and every one of us 
Needs and deserves a place of safety; 
A community, a family, a system of belief, 
A home where we can tie up 
 And feel protected when storms threaten. 
But knowing that there will be times 
When that seems unavailable, 
We also work to cultivate 
That security and stability within us:
 Internal peace, in which we can 
 Find refuge from what storms we may encounter.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Tightrope walking

There are some tightropes 
 We were born to walk; 
For which we have the exact skill set required. 
But there are others
Which will never fail to stump us: 
Where the tension’s wrong, 
 Or the wind’s too stiff, 
And there may not even be a safety net. 
We can’t always avoid those, 
But we can choose to learn from them; 
Use those experiences 
 To help refine our sense of self, 
And guide us to become who we’re meant to be.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

When paths converge

That moment, 
When all the paths you’ve traveled 
 Finally converge, 
And you can see your way clear 
To the home that’s always awaited you, 
Here, in your heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The nature of trust

My first response, on seeing this sweet sculpture, 
Was a sadness that my cats, 
Who are siblings, 
Don’t do this any more: 
The brother now delights in attacking his sister. 
But once I set aside that thought, 
I began to appreciate how beautifully this captures 
 The nature of trusting relationships: 
That we can rest in the knowledge 
 That the other will watch over us, 
And we watch over those we love, 
That they may find peace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Echoes of peace

May the quiet colors of a winter morning 
Echo in your heart, and bring peace.

Monday, December 12, 2022

At the end of the rainbow

What if you spent much of your life 
Following to the end of the rainbow,
 Only to discover there’s no color left, 
And no pot of gold at either end? 
 Would you regret the journey, 
Or the choices that you made? 
What choice could you make today 
To restore some color to your travels?

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Stop a minute

He stands, regal, majestic, 
Beneath the holly tree, 
Bathed in a circle of light, as if he’s waiting 
 For whatever joys and challenges 
The holidays may bring — 
 But there I go, projecting again, 
Having awakened early, my mind circling 
Round that endless list of holiday to-dos. 
I need to follow his example: 
Stop a minute, take a breath, 
And revel in the beauty that surrounds me.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

A welcoming practice

What if, instead of stressing out 
Over all that’s asked of us in this holiday season, 
We decide to take on a practice of welcoming? 
Welcome the guests and carolers 
 Who come to your door; 
Welcome the cat who crawls in your lap 
Or plays with the ribbons 
 When you’re wrapping presents; 
Welcome the child who needs a hug 
Just when you’re on the phone; 
The dog who needs walking, 
The mate who needs talking — 
All the inevitable interruptions: 
Welcome each as reminders 
 To wake up and breathe.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Accumulated stories

The pieces we collect over the years —
 The pottery, the knickknacks and the paintings — 
May well make little sense to those who visit, 
But to us each gift or purchase tells a story 
(Those that don’t will get tossed out along the way) 
Of a friendship, an adventure,
 Or a place that brings fond memories to mind; 
Some enchantment, brief or lasting 
Whose echoes we’re reluctant to discard…

Thursday, December 8, 2022

On flowers

Perhaps the reason we love flowers 
 Is because they allow themselves to be 
So totally open and vulnerable, 
So fully who, what, and where they are 
In each stage of their brief lives: 
There’s so much grace in that — 
No self- consciousness, no worries 
About the past or the future. 
Just to open slowly, blaze and bloom, 
Fade and then fall… what bliss!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What light reveals

Yesterday the winter clouds parted briefly 
And a patch of sunlight fell just beyond 
The roof of my neighbor’s house, revealing 
This golden stand of windswept trees, 
So far away I’d never really noticed them before. 
With time, I’ve learned 
Each photograph’s a metaphor; 
Each with a story — or two, or three — to share, 
But this one I’m not sure I want to hear.
 I like the thought that there’s beauty everywhere, 
But I’m not sure how I feel about being reminded 
We mostly only notice it 
 When the brief light of fame 
Brings it to our attention: 
I’d like to think we’re more observant than that…

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Let the light shine through you

Just as we do not need to see the sun 
To realize it must be shining bright, 
We do not need to proudly proclaim our faith: 
Its presence will proclaim itself 
Through the light we bring into the world.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Celebrate the aged

So often we assume 
That as things age, they lose their beauty, 
If not their value.
 But who would deny 
That the appeal of this picture 
Lies in the charm of the old truck, 
The washed out textures of the barn and its roof, 
And the magnificent curves of these ancient trees? 
Rather than mourning the loss of suppleness,
 Let us celebrate survival, 
 And the wisdom that comes with experience.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Fragile reminders

As the skies grow gray 
And the grass turns gray with frost 
We long for color, and feel doubly blessed 
When our loved ones bring us flowers. 
These fragile blooms remind us 
To be grateful for life’s blessings 
And mindful of those less fortunate 
Who desperately seek shelter from the cold.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

In gratitude

The snow kindly held off 
Til our drive home, 
The gallery was packed 
 With friends and strangers, 
The paintings beautifully displayed —
 A lovely evening: all my worries were for naught. Thanks for all of your good wishes; 
Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Winter storm

I’ve spent this last year working 
 Toward a show that opens tonight 
In a gallery far, far away
 (Actually slightly more than an hour’s drive) 
But of course tonight there are warnings 
Of snow and high winds, 
So the trip promises the possibility of adventure. 
And so, though I’m a person of faith, 
The worries begin to surface: will anyone come? 
What if the lights go out and no one can see? 
And what if we can’t get back home? 
Who would care for our cats? 
Perhaps I should never have offered to hang 
This painting, appropriately titled 
Winter Storm!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

We are enough

As the chill of winter deepens 
And the sunset colors fade, 
We send hope, and warmth, and comfort 
To those in need of each, 
And do our best to carve out 
 Quiet time for ourselves 
To remember we are loved, and we are enough.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A blessed reciprocity

Say what you will about the current admonitions 
To maintain an “attitude of gratitude,” 
The fact of the matter is 
That when you’re determined to stay open 
To the blessings in the here and now, 
Eventually they will thank you in return:
 A blessed reciprocity at the root of being.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Monday, November 28, 2022

Feeling thankful

The setting sun tosses a final splash of color 
To ignite the night-blackened branches 
Of my neighbor’s trees: 
A perfect end to a perfect weekend, 
And yet another reason — one of many — 
To feel thankful.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A simpler life

There is, within, a part of us 
That hungers for a simpler life, 
Forgetting how much work goes in 
To maintaining fields and farms 
And how little recompense 
 There is for all that labor. 
With time, we learn to make space within 
The more complex lives we’ve chosen 
To appreciate what might have been 
And, driving by, to stop; drink in 
The beauty that we pass.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


We put hummingbird stickers on our windows 
 To keep the birds from flying into them. 
Yesterday this little guy perched on the fence 
Five feet from one of those windows 
And stared steadily at the sticker 
For some ten minutes.
 Perhaps because my mother would 
Have turned 100 this month
 (She died a quarter century ago)
 I wondered if he might be missing his mom…
 Projection: it’s not just for movies.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Outside in

Crossing the bridge, 
 On our way back home after Thanksgiving,
 I am reminded of a lesson learned 
A long long time ago that bears repeating: 
Structures, organizations — even relationships 
 That look stable, and inviting from the outside 
Can have a very different feel 
 When you’re inside, and can actually see 
 What’s holding them together…

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Giving Thanks

Perhaps today, unlike my cat, 
We can pause our endless search 
For what’s hidden, new, or different 
And make time to be not only grateful 
 But content with all the blessings of this life. 
Knowing that everything could change 
In a single moment, 
We appreciate what’s here; what’s now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Maxfield Parrish sky

Yesterday, when watching for the sunset 
(Which comes so early now 
I sometimes forget to look, 
 And then it’s dark)
 I remembered to look east 
Instead of just focusing on the west 
And this amazing sky 
Loomed over our neighbor’s farm. 
A Maxfield Parrish painting, 
It left me breathless: 
So grateful something prompted me to look!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A hidden opportunity

In every moment, there’s an invitation: 
A hidden door, through which —
 If we were brave or wise — 
We might, upon adventuring within, 
Discover that deep- buried well 
Of love and creativity 
 Which joins and fuels us all. 
Open your eyes and heart and seek that door, 
And pray you’ll have the wisdom 
 And the courage it may take to step within 
And find that boundless source of all that is.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Maintaining focus

This being human seems to be a matter 
Of constantly shifting focus 
Between what’s here and now 
 And what lies ahead: 
Like a camera, we can find it challenging 
 To achieve a satisfactory balance 
Between next and now, light and dark, 
Frequently losing sight of one 
While fixating on the other.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The textures of the Now

Where we are will always have its imperfections — 
Relationships patched or broken, 
A future partially obscured 
By echoes and reflections 
Of a past we cannot seem to leave behind — 
And yet, there is still beauty in this moment,
 If only we could pause, be fully present,
And appreciate the textures of the Now.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Thankful and mindful

The leaves are down and crisp with frost 
That sparkles in the morning sun 
As winter’s chill moves in. 
Be thankful for what warmth you’ve found, 
And mindful of those who shiver in the cold.

Friday, November 18, 2022

You’re an original

Judging by appearances, 
You might think this is a pumpkin 
Only a mother could love. 
But arranged with a bunch of “normal” pumpkins, 
She turns ordinary into extraordinary.

Don’t be afraid to be different: 
 That which sets you apart 
Might be exactly what is needed in this world.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Sharing our needs

To be thoughtful and kind does not have to mean 
 We carry our unvoiced needs to the grave,
 Hoping someone will notice. 
Those of us who find joy in caring for others 
May need to remember, as the old song says, 
“No one can fill those of your needs 
That you won’t let show.” 
Listen to your heart, and don’t be afraid 
 To let others know how you feel: 
Allow them to feel the joy of caring for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Inevitable imperfections

It’s important to remember 

That however perfect life may seem, 
There will always be imperfections. 
Yes, this town is fortunate 
To be blessed with views 
Of both water and mountains, 
But those beautiful plumes spewing forth 
Carry within them the distinctive scent
 Of a paper mill. 
Whatever you’re choosing — 
 A job, a mate, a home, a community— 
You’ll need to know what’s important to you 
And learn to accept and even appreciate 
The gifts contained in the inevitable imperfections.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Seek th blessings

There are the clouds that drift into our lives
 And the ones we make ourselves, 
When in our rush to achieve and acquire 
 We divide all our experiences 
 Into high and low, good and bad: 
Divisions insubstantial that can interfere 
With learning and growth. 
Seek, instead, the blessings 
 That reside in each moment, and be thankful.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Be the light

The morning sun gilds the trees 
And turns the bottom of the seagulls’ wings 
To gold as they surf the wind. 
May you find light today, 
And BE the light 
That brightens someone else’s morning.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday’s invitation

Each week begins anew 
With Sunday’s invitation to recharge.
Setting aside our concerns, however briefly,
We find a way to rest out at the edge 
Of whatever challenges we face 
And turn our gaze to the peace that lies 
Just beyond our grasp, 
 Listening for its echoes deep within.