Friday, June 30, 2023

Barriers to entry

There are days 
 When we can see hope in the distance, 
But the barriers to entry, though subtle, 
Appear, for now at least, insurmountable. 
So what is the appropriate response? 
Are we to be patient, and trust the way will open? 
Or do we actively resist restraint and push through? 
How can we discern which choice 
Will best serve ourselves and the future?

Thursday, June 29, 2023

A land divided

We are a land divided, despite all efforts: 
Divided, not just by mountains and rivers, 
But by divisions and assumptions, 
Thoughtlessness and cruelty — yet still, 
Our forefathers had it right; E pluribus unum: 
Out of many, one.
 In diversity we will find our strength — 
The strength we need to coexist 
And solve the challenges facing us. 
But we need to be willing to open our hearts 
And listen to both the wounds 
 And the wisdom of the other.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Accidental discoveries

I found these curious sculptures 
 While pursuing an alternate route 
 From the library to the grocery store. 
It’s amazing, where creativity—
 And accidental meanderings— 
Can take us!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Encouraging good behavior

It’s summer now, 
And the dry grasses at the edge of the pasture 
Are alive with color; so inviting!
 I extend my evening walk almost twice as far, 
Lured by their beauty 
 Into doing something healthy: 
Mother Nature, like mothers everywhere, 
Encouraging good behavior 
 With special treats...

Monday, June 26, 2023

A brighter future

The invitation is always there; 
The path is always waiting for you to walk it; 
To choose to move forward into the light, 
The brighter future that awaits you.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Let justice roll

Let justice roll down like waters, 
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, 
The prophet wrote, 
 And still the echo of his words 
Rings in the ears of those of us 
 Who long for a more compassionate world…

Saturday, June 24, 2023

A cloudy imitation

Today the clouds are trying to build 
A lighthouse of their own, 
Letting their whitened moisture rise 
And piling, fluff on fluff, in imitation, 
As if to say, “We, too, wish to be a beacon,” 
Though, in truth, their tower’s an illusion; 
Their only outcome, the rain and storm 
That inevitably arise 
When we take on too much or try too hard 
To be other than ourselves

Friday, June 23, 2023

A sylvan farewell

Today we’ll say goodbye 
To our neighbor’s lovely eucalyptus, 
Whose long and valiant life 
Has shorn her of her leaves
And ended in a brittle dryness 
That saddens the heart, 
And so the time has come 
 To put her out of her misery. 
How kind of the sunset, 
 To send one last pink cloud to wave goodbye…

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Peaceful morning

Having grown used to the sound of foghorns, 
The cats are dozing quietly on the couch 
As I look out over my neighbor’s field, 
So mysterious and inviting in the morning’s mist; 
All the energy of summer, 
Masked in a wash of gray as the day begins… 
I revel in the peace.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

When in dry dock

There will inevitably be times — 
And even seasons — 
When we feel we are in dry dock:
Tied down by circumstances, responsibilities,
  Or lack of motivation; 
Unable to do, or sometimes even to remember, 
What it is we are born to do. 
Strain not against that anchoring leash, 
But conserve your energy. Rest and prepare 
For the opportunity that awaits you, 
So you can grab that wave when it comes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Daisy season

It’s Daisy season, and the fields around us 
 Are snowy with flowers: 
Even on the darkest days 
The world seems brighter for their presence; 
Like having — or being —
 A truly thoughtful and optimistic friend.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Framing transitions

My window frames a sunset 
Too beautiful for words: 
 We love this time of day so much, 
And yet — it’s a transition, a massive shift, 
A movement from light to dark that, 
When it shifts again, 
We will celebrate again. 
Why then have we not learned 
To celebrate other types of change and transition? 
Why is our first response so often fear? 
Is it because we have no frame 
In which to contain it?

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Cultivating beginner’s mind

What if we were to cultivate beginner’s mind 
When encountering new people, places, things? 
A touch of suspicion, or anxiety perhaps, 
But curiosity, and a willingness to learn...

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Perspective on value

Yesterday a man came to plant my tree 
(I’d left a golden chain behind 
Two houses ago, and longed to have another). 
He did a lovely job: dug deep, and fertilized, 
And staked it well. But look: 
How fragile it appears against the sky, 
And how its beauty glows 
When seen from a different perspective. 
Perhaps we, too, appear diminished 
 When viewed in isolation,
 Our true stature only visible 
In the context of our peers…?

Friday, June 16, 2023

Balancing aspirations and acceptance

So often there’s a disconnect 
Between what we mean to say 
And what we said; 
Between what we’d like to feel 
And how we actually felt; 
And — for me — between the bold swaths of color 
I dream of painting 
And what actually appears on my canvases. 
How can we find a healthy balance 
Between striving to be better 
And accepting and appreciating 
Who and where we are?

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Beginner’s mind

Not having the gift for gardening,
 I really, really appreciate 
 The work of others who somehow achieve 
Such simple but masterful effects 
Just using flowers, trees, and grass. 
And isn’t that the gift of beginner’s mind? 
There’s so much pleasure to be found 
 When we don’t project onto what we see 
The rules and preconceptions 
Of a critical intellect…

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Challenges of hierarchy

Random circumstance has placed one blossom 
Higher than the others — 
Which doesn’t make her wiser or more beautiful. 
Primarily it means she is now separate; isolated.
Unable to mix with or learn from 
Those she perceives as beneath her,
She’s out of touch with the realities 
 Of a life lived closer to the earth 
From which they all were born and are nourished…

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Healing from the ugliness

Some days, the beauty we find in the world 
Is simply breathtaking.
 Look deeply, and long, and let it heal 
Your heart of all the ugliness we’ve also seen.

Monday, June 12, 2023

When swallows come

The swallows are busily building a nest 
 Across from our front door. 
They’re making a dreadful mess, 
And I know I should really knock it down, 
But the thrill of having their babies so close 
And being able to watch them grow 
Overrides whatever need I have for tidiness. 
Plus, watching them flit back and forth 
 With their pointed wings and split tails 
Is almost as much fun as watching the fawns 
Dancing in bouncy circles 
Around our sunken garden…

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Intimations of friendship

I watch from inside the house 
As the aging lawn chairs 
Gleam white against the darkening sky; 
Intimations of deep conversations;
 Secrets and opinions shared, 
Enveloped in the soothing scents of lavender — 
Memories of a summer afternoon 
Enriched by the blessing of friendship…

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Infinite resourcefulness

What is it about spilling water 
That we all find so appealing? 
Perhaps it serves to echo 
The infinite resourcefulness 
 Of the divine spirit within…

Friday, June 9, 2023

Dancing in the wind

Once the rhododendron florets have fallen,
 The grace of their delicate support structures 
 Is exposed, their tiny arms dancing in the wind…

Thursday, June 8, 2023


I don’t remember noticing this 
In other cats we’ve had, 
But our current cats are super sniffers: 
Fascinated by smells. 
And now the weather’s warm enough, 
They wait for me to open windows, 
Then spend hours sitting there, 
Watching and sniffing; 
 Curious about the world outside. 
In us humans, I think, that curiosity 
About that world outside our bubble 
Is more often a sign of youth — 
 One I admire but sadly rarely manifest as I age…

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Echoes of the Divine

I am not, strictly speaking, a boater, 
 (Though I must confess:
 I was married in a canoe)
 But I have always been drawn to the edges 
Where boats and water meet; 
To the wavering reflections, gentle curves, 
And the rich simplicity and depth 
Of favorite colors: shades of blue, 
Made more vibrant by light and shadow 
And the golden glow of wood. 
In those colors, I seem to feel an echo 
 Of the richness and the depth 
At the center of my heart; 
That divine spark seeded there that ignites 
 Joy, love, and creativity.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Shadows on the path

Even though — and, of course, because — 
We’re walking in the light, 
There will be shadows across the path. 
Don’t fear the dark, but see it as restful shade: 
On opportunity to slow down 
And catch your breath 
Before you renew your climb 
 To your next adventure.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Potential for joy

From the garden comes this reassuring message: 
Whenever something’s dying, 
Something new is being born: 
Don’t let your grief obscure 
Your awareness of the future’s potential for joy.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

From acceptance to appreciation

Like the sunsets, infinitely varied 
Thanks to the weather, 
And the clouds on which the light comes to rest, 
We carry out the same tasks and motions 
Day to day and week to week, 
 Yet each remains unique, 
Offering its own challenges and blessings.
 In moving from acceptance to appreciation 
 We might discover joy.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Reverence for life

The tenderness we feel for the young; 
The urge to protect their innocence 
 Seems universal. When and why 
Do we lose that reverence for life?

Friday, June 2, 2023

Not asked or imagined

Sometimes nature — without any help 
From those of us who dream of controlling it — 
Gives us gifts we could never have imagined. 
The response? Overwhelming gratitude!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Right here, right now

I love this morning view 
From my bathroom window —
 It feels like I’m in Tuscany: 
Bringing back travel memories 
 Without ever having to leave home! 
Have I always been such a homebody? 
Or is this just a reaction 
To the isolation of the pandemic? 
Or is it simply that I’ve learned to love 
Where I am, right here; right now?