Saturday, September 30, 2023

The path not taken

Why worry now about the path not taken? 
It’s dried up now, not traveled much, 
And anywhere it might have led 
Has petered out for lack of your attention; 
Surely no longer relevant 
To the life you’re living now. 
You might walk by 
 And give it a passing glance now and then, 
But here and now is where you’re meant to be.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Take pleasure in this moment

Though the sky above is blue, 
There are clouds looming, threatening; 
Storms on the horizon. 
How can we appreciate the glory of this day 
With those dark harbingers 
Hovering in the distance? 
How can we not? 
Knowing what challenges await, 
We breathe deeply, trying not to brace; 
Inhaling and enjoying 
 The pleasure in this moment.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Fallow time

Now the autumnal equinox has passed, 
The farmer’s plowed his field 
And the fallow season has begun;
 A time to rest and to collect 
Seeds of ideas for next season’s germination; 
A time to back off the drive to produce and control;
 To breathe, to contemplate, and to invite 
 What’s next to permeate our souls.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The mirror impulse

For many years the empath in us 
May manifest like this: as a reflective surface,
 Only mirroring back 
What we think others wish to see. 
With time, we learn to open up, 
To speak our truth and ask for what we need, 
But that impulse is still there; 
To hunker down, take shelter behind the mirror, 
And hide what we truly think and feel.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Change, triumphant

Looking down from above 
At the rivers, like cracks, 
That have carved and are carving 
The mountains around them,
 I’m reminded again 
How much power there is 
In allowing the flow; 
That change will always win out 
Over staying the same.

Monday, September 25, 2023

What we learn

The heights we long to scale 
 Can prove challenging: 
There’s many a slip along the way, 
And the slide back down has a chance of being 
Terrifying or exhilarating. 
But once we’re back on solid ground, 
What will we remember about the journey?
 The joy? The pain? 
 Or the friends we made along the way?

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Happy Sunday!

May your Sunday contain moments 
Of beauty, purity, and grace…

Saturday, September 23, 2023

The soul, exposed

Nature, like life, is a sculptor of sorts, 
Chipping away at the accretions of time 
To expose the essence within. 
And as I stare at this amazing work, 
I seem to see a face emerging — 
A mouth, an ear, the beginnings of a nose… 
Could this be the soul of the rock?

Friday, September 22, 2023

A colorful path

There are those in life who seem destined 
To walk a more colorful path; 
To see more, attempt more, and accomplish more 
Than falls to the rest of us. 
Be humbled and inspired, 
 But not discouraged by their adventures: 
 Though our colors may be more muted, 
We, too, have charm and value, 
 And an impact all our own. 
We, too, can work in our own communities 
 To help the world become a better, kinder place.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Dealing with grief

"Don’t worry,” my mom used to say to me,
 “There’s always plenty more fish in the sea,” 
Whenever I was distraught about 
 A betrayal, rejection, or loss. 
Of course that never takes into account 
The unique attributes of the fish that was lost 
Or the dwindling numbers of fish in the sea. 
But she, because of an early hard loss of her own, 
Was terrified of emotion, and so 
She chose to belittle, not honor, my feelings, 
Lest they trigger memories of her own. 
Perhaps that’s why so many of us 
Deal so poorly when faced with the grief of others: 
We’re simply attempting 
To protect our own hearts…

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A taste of Eden

Where do you go 
When you need to rest and recuperate? 
What is it that feeds your soul? 
For me, a garden like this — 
A mix of sunlight and shadow, 
Light green and dark, private and quiet, 
With places to sit and places to wander, 
Blessed with birdsong and graced with art… 
This — this could be Eden.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Maternal responses

Though our cats have been catching 
 The mice in our kitchen with some regularity
 (Their methods are far more effective than traps) 
I was nonetheless moved by the tenderness 
 Of this charming creation. 
The detail, of course, is incredible, 
But the facial expressions so beautifully capture 
How it feels to protect and to seek protection, 
I found myself feeling a little bit guilty 
For all the dead mice we have tossed off our cliff…

Monday, September 18, 2023

Focus on the Now

It’s easy to get so caught up 
 In what’s past; in what’s behind you, 
That you fail to fully focus 
On what’s right here, 
Right in front of you; 
To worry so much about what you’ve lost 
Or what you’re missing, 
That you miss the blessings right before your eyes.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


Sitting in an old friend’s back yard, 
Snacking on homegrown cherry tomatoes —
 Is there anything sweeter 
 On a late summer’s afternoon? 
Looking at these two on the vine, 
I find myself thinking 
We’re not just aging; we’re ripening — 
Growing from a dull, mottled youth 
To a ripe, juicy, sweet and luscious perfection! 
Life is good.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The promise of the future

Our destination looms 
So brightly in the distance, 
But there’ll be so many ups and downs 
Along the way before we get there 
That it’s easy to get lost in the valleys, 
Lose perspective, and never get there. 
So we hold the image in our hearts, 
Warming our hands at its promise 
Even when we feel buried 
In the cold and dark.

Friday, September 15, 2023

We are One

This is it. 
We are One, 
Steaming through life together, 
Laden with the baggage 
Of our hopes and expectations, 
Our breath streaming behind us, 
Echoing the clouds of breath 
Of those who’ve gone before. 
One boat, one life, one earth: 
How can we best support one another 
 On this journey?

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Perhaps a blessing

Each night, at sunset, I go out 
To photograph the colors in the sky, 
For, as with snowflakes, every sunset’s different. 
The infinite variety holds endless fascination — 
The shapes clouds take,
 The patterns on the water, 
The way the world turns gold, then pink 
As the earth turns from the sun… 
But, as with many photographs,
 It’s not til I look later 
That I see the unexpected gifts: look here 
And see the angel in the water, 
Her wings raised as if in praise of light, 
Or perhaps a blessing. 
Now, having seen her, breathe 
 A prayer of gratitude.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


The dying poppy’s petals wax pearlescent 
As her blossoming season draws to a close. 
Like the essence, revealed beneath 
The transparence of an elderly woman’s skin, 
We see in that opalescence 
Both the beauty that she was 
And the dignity; the purity and elegance 
Of what she is becoming…

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Beauty and violence

The cat had just crawled into my lap 
For his morning nap 
When this rainbow appeared 
 Outside my window. 
Of course I leapt up and ran outside 
To watch it as it doubled, then faded, 
Followed (not preceded!) by an unpredicted rain. 
Back in the house I quickly learned 
The cat had responded 
 To being dumped from my lap 
By taking it out on his sister. 
Hearing her screaming,
 I grabbed my squirter 
 And ran to the bathroom to break up the fight. 
Must such beauty always be followed 
 By violence?

Monday, September 11, 2023

One brown cow

Whether on a crowded subway, or in a bar, 
Or sitting in an airport, waiting for a flight,
 Those moments come, when we’re suddenly aware 
Of the enormous complexity of life; 
 How each person that we see
 Has experiences and concerns 
We can only imagine, yet in that moment 
When we cross paths we are connected… 
And here, passing by a farm on a rural road, 
I can wonder who lives here, 
What their life is like, 
And how they ended up 
 With just one brown cow in a herd of black

Sunday, September 10, 2023


This charming sculpture is Pia the Peacekeeper; 
Isn’t she beautiful? 
Built of recycled pallet boards 
 By Copenhagen-based Artist Thomas Dambo, 
She lives in Sakai park on Bainbridge Island, 
And appears to have a steady stream 
 Of visitors— some quite young! 
 I was intrigued to note that her gaze 
 Seemed to follow us around, 
Inviting us to be peacekeepers as well…

Saturday, September 9, 2023


My husband clapped his hands, 
And all the crows in the fogged field 
Flew up into the air, then settled 
 Down again, as if they’d never moved.
 Applause, that praise some of us long for, 
Can be like that: a brief flutter, some uplifting, 
But then things settle down again 
As if nothing has changed: 
No new horizons opened,
 No self esteem enhanced, but just 
A pleasant memory that fades with time; 
A brief phrase on a resume, 
Buried in a list of accomplishments; 

Friday, September 8, 2023

In praise of generosity

I praise this day 
The generosity of apple trees, 
Whose lush and precious fruit
 Is so prolific, it feeds not only us, 
 But our deer, our community’s homeless, 
And even makes applesauce for schoolchildren. 
 Such bounty, and with so little help from us…

Thursday, September 7, 2023

What fog teaches

How is it, that we’re so determined 
 To hold and see ourselves apart, 
Separate from other humans so like us? 
Doesn’t the fog teach us 
The beauty to be found 
In the blurring of boundaries; 
How alike all things become; 
How alike we are at heart?

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Grudge match

It’s that time of year again, 
When the deer are locking horns again 
Like politicians, gearing for a fight. 
Grappling for dominance, 
They begin with a courteous lick and a grunt, 
And then engage and twist and try 
 To pull each other down;
A pointless exercise from my perspective, 
After which they lie down in my yard 
And take a nap. 
Unlike Republicans and Democrats, 
They don’t seem to harbor grudges…

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

There will be days

There will be days when we find 
 Our constant efforts to do good, 
Be compassionate, fight prejudice and injustice 
Are exhausting. It’s okay, in such a world, 
On such a day, to take a rest; 
 To lie down in the grass, made dry and prickly 
 With the heat of climate change, 
And relax, and close your eyes, 
And dream of a world 
 Where the grass is soft and green 
 And folks are kind, 
 For dreams like these will fuel our future.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Like the bees

Like bees, 
We all have our good points and bad:
 The honey we make and share 
Often outweighed by the venom in our sting. 
But like the bees, we need one another; 
Need the cross-pollination of thoughts and ideas.
Our willingness to share 
Feeds the world’s growth and vitality.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Where Sunday falls

Does Sunday fall 
At the beginning or the end off your week?
 Is this where the journey starts? A sunrise? 
Or a sunset as the week draws to a close? 
However it works for you, I pray 
That rest is still the order of the day; 
Some time to process what’s been done 
And prepare for what’s to come; 
Some time for peace.

Saturday, September 2, 2023


What if the baggage 
We drag along through life 
Isn’t bad, dangerous, 
Eating away at us and our relationships, 
But simply a marker we drag along on purpose; 
A way to make ourselves more visible, 
 More identifiable, 
 Should we find ourselves drowning 
In the minutiae of life?

Friday, September 1, 2023

Have you seen the moon?

A friend texted me: have you seen the moon? 
And though I looked around me 
From my spot in the ferry line, 
The sky was black. She texted back: 
It’s in the East, if that’s a help! 
And so I left my car and took a walk, 
Past the buildings and the trees 
To the corner of the street, 
And there it was, shining on both of us 
Though we were miles apart, 
Showering us both with grace, and light.