Thursday, August 31, 2023

Mystical, majestic

Mystical, majestic; 
Echoes of ancient myths 
And Elizabethan forests, 
Where faerie kings masquerade, 
Luring maidens to their leafy lairs…
 It’s amazing, how a little fog 
Imbues a familiar scene with mystery —
 And we humans often seem to find 
Mystery more alluring than clarity…

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Like a ribbon

Like an answer to a prayer, 
The rains came yesterday, 
Soaking the yard and dripping from the berries, 
Then closing the day, like a ribbon on a present, 
With a fabulous sunset: what a blessing!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Lahaina and Kelowna

Awakened by a flash 
And the rumble of thunder, 
I am waiting 
 With the dry grass and the weeds 
For the rain that was promised 
But never seems to arrive; 
Trying to stay in the moment and not worry 
About the fires that lightning can bring; 
Images of Lahaina and Kelowna in my head. 
Having loved what was then burned,
 Do we ever feel safe enough to love again?

Monday, August 28, 2023

Be not ashamed of aging

Oh golden one, don’t hide your face, 
Ashamed your sunny locks grow thin, bedraggled, 
Your complexion mottled: 
Those who love you see the seeds you’ve lost 
Enumerate the birds you must have fed 
And those you’ve yet to feed; 
The countless futures enriched 
By the nourishment you provide 
In simply being the magnificence you are.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Joyful possibilities

The world is full of joyful possibilities 
 If we are willing to take chances;
 To step away from the familiar — 
Even a tiny step! — 
And try something bold and new.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

No longer viable

What makes this house so startling 
Is not so much that it’s leaning, 
But the fact that it’s still standing. 
How did this happen? 
Who or what do we blame? 
And how is it still standing? 
How long before it collapses altogether?
 It’s the same response we have on seeing 
Other kinds of trouble in the world: 
Failing relationships, companies, organizations — 
Why they are not working pales before 
The wonder that they’re still functioning at all: 
The tenacity of humans to cling with hope 
To things no longer viable
Is nothing short of miraculous.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Beings of light

The sun, in her brilliance, 
Ignites the clouds around her. 
As beings of light, 
We are called to do the same.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

As summer draws to a close

As we enter the final weeks of summer, 
Some part of us is wondering 
 If we spent enough time just soaking up the sun. 
Were we too busy doing to just be? 
Did we fully appreciate our opportunities 
 To let those tensions go and just drift? 
Before the chill of autumn sets in 
(And the rain, if you’re in the Pacific Northwest!) 
Find a little time to just appreciate 
The sights, the sounds, and scents 
 Of a summer afternoon, and store them up 
As memories to warm a winter’s night.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Nature’s art

I don’t pretend to know, but I assume 
That with the long dry summer 
The pond is drying up, 
And what water filters in attracts the algae — 
Although perhaps the surface is evenly coated 
But blooming only happens where there’s water? 
What I do know is that Mother Nature 
Is inspiring, and a finer artist 
Than I could ever be, and so I celebrate 
Her amaranthine creativity.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


This little bird, having bumped into my window, 
Is resting on the deck below, 
Taking time to breathe again, 
Shake out her wings before ascending 
Back into the sky. We,too, must learn 
To allow ourselves recovery time; 
Time to rest, to self-assess, test out our wings 
And slowly breathe life back into our hearts 
After those unexpected bumps upon the road — 
You know the ones: the accidents, the losses,
 The surprises we encounter that divert us 
From the path we thought we’d chosen. 
Who knows? Each one could be a gift,
But we won’t know ‘til we make time to unwrap it.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Night thoughts

Ships passing in the night: a cliche, 
And obviously my camera couldn’t find 
Its focus in the dark, so I can only share 
The brightness and the color, 
Not the texture — the lifeboats, 
And all the tiny windows
 (Though I’ve never understood 
How it can be all lit up like that 
At 3 am, when all the folks aboard 
 Are sleeping, as I wish I were…). 
But of course the crew are awake, and busy 
Preparing for their return to port, 
Rounding up the luggage, making breakfast, 
And guiding the ship home through smoky seas. 
And I could bet some passenger, like me,
 Is wide awake and staring out their window 
Into the night, worrying about the challenges 
Awaiting them when they return to land, 
And wishing it were easier to fall asleep again…
 Perhaps they, too, crawl back in bed 
And say a prayer for all who work,
 Or watch, or weep this night.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

What have we done?

It’s wildfire season now, 
In both our state and Canada, 
 And though we have no fires close by 
The smoke obscures our view 
 And forces us to close our windows. 
I ache for friends in eastern Washington, 
Where the air quality index is over 350, 
And wonder how long they can continue 
To breathe without suffering ill effects. 
I wake in the night with images of Lahaina 
Streaming through my head, 
Imagining that happening 
 To all the little sea coast towns I love 
And cringe: what have we done 
To our precious earth?

Saturday, August 19, 2023

When the mask grows too small

Does Madrona ache, or mourn, or celebrate 
 Those seasons when its skin begins to peel, 
Exposing all the green wood underneath? 
And does that stripping also slough 
The blackened scars below? How does this work? 
And what — if anything — does this tell us 
About those seasons when we, too, 
 Must be revealed beneath the masks 
That may have grown too small for us to wear?

Friday, August 18, 2023

Distortions from a lens

I’m not sure why 
 The glass in my living room window 
Turned an orange sunset to magenta; 
Everything else I’ve seen through it looked normal. 
Perhaps it was the angle from where I stood? 
But still: a gentle reminder 
 That what we think we’re seeing 
 May not be real, as it’s always filtered 
Through the lens of our experience. 
Try standing in a different place,
 Or in another’s shoes 
 To get a truer picture.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

When paths diverge

The choices that we make when paths diverge 
May matter much — or possibly not at all; 
They might converge again in some new place 
Or not at all; only time will tell, 
 So your best guess, based on what your eyes, 
 Your intuition, and experience have to tell you — 
And perhaps a bit of prayer — 
Is all you have to guide you: 
The time has come to trust 
That choices made with best intentions 
Are meant to bring good outcomes 
For all concerned.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The ache beneath the pleasure

A chance encounter with friends,
 A beautiful evening, a glorious sunset, 
And a flock of geese circling through the sky: 
All the makings of a fabulous summer evening— 
And yet, beneath the surface, haunting images 
Of the fiery devastation of a beloved town. 
We treasure these precious moments 
And ache for the losses elsewhere in the world.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


On a warm and sunny day, we decided 
 To walk a new path for us, around a lagoon. 
And so we strode off into the woods, 
Appreciating the shade of the canopy of trees.
 Having forgotten to bring hats, we hoped 
The path would continue to be shady, 
But soon began to wonder 
 If we’d ever actually see the lagoon — 
And then it came: a break in the underbrush, 
And suddenly the lagoon was revealed 
In all its bright blue splendor,
 Framed by a lacy tracery of branches. 
Those of us who venture 
Into new territories must learn to trust 
The promises of those who’ve gone before us, 
And be patient, believing that, with time, 
The truth will be revealed.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Being present

What day would not go more sweetly 
After awakening to such a glorious display?
 Or are you one who believes 
 Life’s inevitably all downhill from here?
 Or one who didn’t see it; 
Too busy drinking coffee, making lists… 
No matter where we are, life will be richer 
If we’re present to what is.

Sunday, August 13, 2023


My cat watches, mesmerized and chirping at 
The bird who’s landed on our deck; 
The bird stares back, paralyzed I’m sure, 
By her steady gaze, unaware of the glass 
Which, like the restrictions imposed by laws, 
Separates and protects them both —
The bird from the cat, 
And the cat from the Eagle that flies overhead…

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Appreciating the mix

So many different types of clouds 
Coexisting in the sky —
 Dark, and light, and gray; 
Cumulus, cirrus, stratus, and altocumulus, 
All dancing together, a patchwork inflorescence 
 Of flowers in a garden of blue; 
Like the churches I grew up in, 
Where folks of all persuasions 
And backgrounds sat together in the pews, 
United despite differences 
By shared experience and beliefs…

Friday, August 11, 2023

Old friends

I think my father brought me these dolls 
 After one of his long business trips; 
I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8. 
And yet somehow I’ve kept them all these years, 
Allowing them to follow me from house to house, 
From move to move… I’m not sure how or why 
They ended up in this windowsill, 
But I get the feeling they approve 
 Of this, our most recent move, 
And are enjoying our renewed closeness 
To the natural world.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Never enough

The buck outside my window, 
Demanding to be fed; 
The cats rubbing against my legs 
 As I walk into the kitchen; 
The rhododendron leaves that droop, 
Requesting to be watered — 
All small reminders of the larger problems 
 In the world that I can’t fix; 
The daily stream of news that breaks my heart. 
And so I do my best 
 To care for those for whom I can 
 Make a difference, knowing all the while 
It will never be enough…

Wednesday, August 9, 2023


My weather app tells me it’s not raining, 
Yet I can see the evidence with my own ears, 
And hear it with my eyes: 
The ticking of the water in the downspout, 
The splashes in the birdbath, the reflections 
That deepen the colors of the deck outside my door. 
How often, in paying such attention to our phones, 
We ignore the input of our senses 
And miss that deep connection 
 To the universe that cradles us 
In its welcoming embrace?

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Mining the depths

In the tides of circumstance, 
There will inevitably be times 
When the familiar is washed away 
And what lies beneath has been exposed. 
Fear not, but see it as an opportunity 
 To be curious; to explore the underpinnings 
Of life as we have known it: 
Both the dark and the light, 
The rocky and the smooth,
 Seeking those bright kernels of understanding 
 To carry back with you into the more familiar 
Confines of existence.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Sunset variations

Last night’s sunset: 
A continuous display 
Of amazing light formations. 
I felt privileged to watch the incredible show.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Creating space

Like meditation, these quiet restful places 
We build for ourselves 
Can bless a whole community: 
What touches us, or soothes and calms us 
May have the same effect 
On all who happen to pass by; 
May serve as a reminder 
That there are other ways of being in the world; 
That there are those who will make time 
For peace and solitude, knowing the comfort 
And the solace that emerges in that space.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Where the eyes are led

The patterns in the sea and sky: 
A constantly evolving invitation 
To look up, look out, to notice 
Where our eyes are being led; 
To pause the endless round of tasks; 
To look and then to breathe a sigh 
 Of gratitude for all the beauty in this world.

Friday, August 4, 2023

When shadows fall

Evening, and the shadows fall 
Even as the last rays of light 
Ignite the distant treetops. 
Time to head home; to scurry 
Like the rabbit and the fox 
 To our respective burrows 
And say a prayer for all who have 
No homes to return to; 
That they may at least find someplace 
Warm and dry.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Who will win?

We humans:
 So determined to make our mark; 
To leave some trace that proves 
We were present, we existed, 
We brought something to life — or death — 
That might never have changed, 
Had we not actively interfered. 
But nature — moss, or waves, or rain, 
Grass or weeds or simply time — 
Will do its best to cover up our tracks — 
At least, that’s what we used to hope, 
But now, faced with the heat and fires 
We wonder if we haven’t gone too far, 
Damaged too much for nature to recover.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Golden evening

We sit and watch, entranced, 
Watching the mist rise 
As the evening sun bathes the river 
And the surrounding hills with gold. 
Who, upon breathing such pure, exalted air, 
Would not feel blessed to have returned 
To this primordial oneness with the earth?

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Still growing

I’m always seeking to reconcile 
The difference between the art I appreciate 
 And the art I create. 
Those paintings I appreciate are simple, bold, 
Like this photograph, 
 With just a few added elements 
 To spice things up a bit. 
But the ones that I create are so much busier, 
As if some part of me cannot allow 
Any part of the canvas to be silent; 
As if that meditative space is not enough 
To engage the watching eye, I.e., mine. 
I suspect the paintings perfectly represent 
 The tension between who I long to be 
And who I am, and I need to be patient with that. 
Who knew that at this age I’d still be growing…