Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Choices


At some point we will be forced to realize 
Severe decrepitude has set in, 
And nothing short of major renovation 
Will enable this old barn to continue. 
And then the choice arises: 
Do we shore it up, take it down and replace,
Or let it slowly sink to the ground? 
What opportunities arise, and what is lost 
With each of our available options? 
And what do the choices we make 
Say about who we are?

Monday, May 20, 2024

The coming storm


You might not want to get so busy 
Taking care of your own needs 
That you miss all the signs of the coming storm; 
The one that will affect us all…

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The eternal invitation


The invitation is always there, 
To deepen; to step into the Oneness; 
To leave behind the cares and opinions, 
And enter once again into relationship 
With That Which Feeds Your Soul.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Beauty everywhere


One of the many things I love 
About riding on ferries 
Is the opportunities created by reflections 
To indulge my love of abstract photography — 
Yet another gentle reminder: 
There’s beauty everywhere — 
You only have to open your eyes to it.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Friendship


Friendship is such a blessing: 
Tied side by side 
To a wealth of shared interests and experiences; 
Separate but similar 
(And growing more so with age) 
Both free to leave or stay but choosing now 
To spend this time together, 
Floating, yet not adrift, 
Supported and uplifted 
By the calm seas of affection.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Healing green


In a world beset by troubles beyond imagining, 
We turn to — and need — 
The cool greenness of nature 
To restore our souls.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Committing to excellence


I love to imagine how proud 
 The architects, builders, and owners 
Of buildings like this must have felt 
To have created something so intricate, 
So beautifully proportioned and appealing. 
What might you or I create today 
That so exquisitely portrays 
Our commitment to excellence?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Idyllic places


The rural lifestyle seems idyllic 
But has its challenges nonetheless:
 The tranquil beauty of this scene 
May well be balanced by 
The lengthy distance to a store— 
Or from a hospital or fire station, 
 Family and friends — 
Suburban life, for all it’s mocked, 
Is a valiant attempt to compromise 
 Between the convenience of the city 
And the beauty of the countryside 
While teaching us to get along with neighbors.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Determination


Apparently there’s no limit 
To how high some creatures will climb 
To get what the seem to think they need…

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Mothering


Mothering 
— Both my own and others’ children— 
Has been such a gift: 
For me, at least, it has been a means of centering; Keeping me grounded and my outlook open 
To the many other ways there are 
Of being in the world; attempting to be 
Alert to the needs of others, always evolving, 
While at the same time being forced to find 
 The inner strength and calm 
To be a helpful resource 
Without losing myself in the process. 
Today we who are all children celebrate 
All those who took the time over the years 
To nurture someone other than themselves.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Showered with grace


So many people, 
Gifted with the experience of a lifetime; 
So many cameras taking so many pictures; 
So many squeals of delight…
 A delicious showering of grace, 
Uniting us all in joy

Friday, May 10, 2024

Fuzzy love


Growing up in Ohio, 
We were told if we got lost in the forest 
To look for the moss on the trees, 
Which always grows on the north side, 
But that’s of no help here, in the northwest: 
The moss, this time of year at least, 
Surrounds the tree trunks 
Embracing them with sunlit, green, and fuzzy 
 Love.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Inconsistency




After a week spent making tiny paintings,
 It was both pure joy and challenging 
To return to a larger canvas. 
Some part of me worries 
At the difference in the style that appears 
 In the small space versus the large, 
While another voice is remembering 
 Emerson’s foolish consistency, 
“The hobgoblin of little minds.”

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Watching the sun set


Come, sit with me beneath the trees, 
And we will watch the sky together, 
Deepening into night; 
The sun, beaming, as it dives into the waves; 
The clouds’ farewell rosy blush 
 As they slide beneath the purple comforter 
Of darkness.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

In the first blush of evening


Some evenings are too beautiful 
 For words to capture…

Monday, May 6, 2024

A new perspective


It never hurts to try 
To gain a new and broader perspective, 
But it may make going back 
 To the way things were 
More challenging… 
That old song comes to mind: 
🎶How you gonna keep ‘em 
Down on the farm 
When they’ve seen gay Paree?🎶

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Each an island


What if, instead of writing, “No man is an island,” 
Donne had written “Each man is an island,” 
Would we have then more fully understood 
That our disconnection, each from each, 
Is merely an illusion; 
 That beneath what seems to separate us 
We’re inextricably linked by our common ground?

Saturday, May 4, 2024

False suns


Like the flowers,
We humans crave the light 
And lift our faces to whatever sun we find, 
Which, like the sun, might offer grace or harm. 
Might be the spotlight that we crave, 
That need to be the center of attention, 
Or simply being in the presence of celebrity; 
Might be the thrill of belonging to a group, 
Or the furied drive to make it on our own; 
Might be the ecstasy that comes with addiction, 
Or the pride we take in flaunting our abstinence- 
So many temptations to follow lesser suns, 
But only one will ever truly make us bloom…

Friday, May 3, 2024

The majesty of everything


Though I grew up being told 
Not to be the poor deluded soul 
Who “couldn’t see the forest for the trees,” 
I also believe it’s easy to get so distracted 
By the majesty of the trees 
That you might miss the astounding beauty 
Of the tiny flowers 
 That dot the ground beneath them. 
How can we become more conscious 
 Of the value of both ways of seeing, 
And more attuned to the full range 
 Of what’s going on around us?

Thursday, May 2, 2024

An hour of joy


From 8:01 to 8:56, 
 An incredible parade of beauty. 
How blessed are we, 
 To be offered this hour of joy?

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Now and when


We always have that choice: 
To appreciate and cultivate 
 The bright greenness of what’s here, and now — 
Or to fixate on our worries 
 About the thunderclouds in the distance: 
Which will you choose today?

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Fragility of blooming


Imagine the ache and the promise 
Of this slow unfurling; 
Like watching your daughter 
Budding into puberty 
As the support system you’ve provided 
Softens and opens — 
The sweetness of possibility; 
That delicate fragility 
 When facing the winds of change…

Monday, April 29, 2024

Beauty and injustice


How much easier it seems, 
 Yet how more rare 
To awaken to beauty 
Than it is to awaken to injustice.
 Beauty requires no response but appreciation; 
Injustice, though… frustration, guilt, horror? 
Shamed by our inaction or our helplessness? 
Feelings that linger, 
 Haunt our dreams and waking hours, 
 Though we try instead to focus
 On beauty…

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Architectural


We don’t see architectural details like this 
On houses any more, but seeing these, 
I find myself imagining the pride of workmanship 
The builders must have felt 
 To create such beauty, 
And the joy the new owners must have felt 
(And the present ones must still be feeling) 
To be living with such perfection. 
Art and creativity at its best 
Can be spiritually uplifting; 
As Eckhart Tolle says, “A portal to the sacred.”

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Shine anyway


It’s important, when you feel 
Your own light is being blocked, 
To shine anyway: there’s always the chance 
That the reflected light 
 From your determined efforts 
Is igniting wisdom and beauty somewhere else.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Ephemeral beauty


So many fallen blossoms underfoot, 
Already having lived out their promise, 
On their way to dust and extinction, 
And yet I cannot bear to step on them, 
But leap across instead, 
As if they were a puddle, 
Hoping not to crush their delicate, 
Ephemeral beauty…

Thursday, April 25, 2024

The play of dark and light


It’s hard to say what’s lovelier here: 
The leaves? Or the flowers? 
Each has such grace — 
 But why do we have to choose? 
For each, it is the play of dark and light; 
The textures and the colors 
That in nature, as in life, 
Offer both beauty and meaning; 
An invitation to explore, 
 As well as joy and inspiration.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gratitude and response


A picture can’t really convey 
The magnificence of this ancient rhody, 
Which is almost two stories tall 
And blesses us with its glorious waterfall of pink 
Each year around this time; 
Nor can words truly convey 
My gratitude for this amazing gift 
And the joy that fills my heart each morning 
 As I sit and watch those pink buds 
 Turn to blossoms. 
The undemanding generosity of nature 
 Continues to astound me: 
 How can we not ache — and sacrifice— 
To protect it?

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Glowing in the dark


Walking by our neighbor’s house at sundown,
 I’m surprised by how brightly this purple pops: 
In this low light, it’s practically iridescent, 
And I find I’m itching to get back home, 
To see if our apple blossoms also 
Show up better in the fading light of evening. 
There are those of us, I do believe, 
Whose true colors shine more brightly 
In darker times; 
Whose quiet worth might be otherwise easily missed.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Green and good


Apple trees blooming, 
A newly mowed lawn, 
A moon so round it stops me in my tracks 
(And wakes me up at 3am, 
Beaming love through my bedroom window) 
Life in this moment is green and good.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hidden iceberg


From our perspective, at the top of the cliff,
 It looked as if a giant were floating underwater; 
Only his foot and toes sticking out
 (You know, of course, 
That giants only have 3 toes!) 
Sort of like an iceberg, 
Like the one we carry in our hearts — 
All the hidden thoughts and history 
That lie behind the words we speak and write; 
The secret fuel to our anger, our compassion, 
And our art…

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Apple blossom time


Our apple trees are blooming, 
Their bright blossoms coloring their branches 
With rosy promises of fruit to come.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Taking that path


Looking ahead, the path seems clear, 
But then it appears to peter out: 
Should we take it anyway? 
Or live in fear 
That we’ll take the risk but then find ourselves 
Trapped at the end with nothing to do 
But turn back. 
But what will we have lost if we take that risk? 
Only time. Only time. 
 And there’s always the chance 
 The adventure will have been 
 Worth that time; 
That you might come back 
Having learned a new truth 
About how strong you can be…

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Blinding preconceptions


Seen through the trees, 
 The setting sun’s reflection, 
The path it casts across the water, disappears — 
Just so, we humans, easily distracted, 
Can fail to see the fine thread that connects us 
To everyone we meet. 
When will we learn to step beyond 
The preconceptions that so often blind us 
And welcome the light and color that 
The Other can bring into our lives?

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Leafy greenliness


What beauty we might detect in scenes like this 
Would depend upon our willingness to appreciate 
 The randomness, the natural arrangement 
 Of water, grass, stone and stump, 
While at the same time imagining 
(Projecting, if you will) 
Angelic or childlike creatures 
Delighting in the presence of 
A pond, the leafy greenliness of spring, 
And the warm embrace of sunlight after 
A winter’s lengthy cold and dark…

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Compensation


The wind last night was churning up the waves, 
Tossing the trees 
 And hurling pine cones at our roof and windows. 
But still the sun, 
 As if to compensate for all that violence, 
Insisted on brushing all her clouds with pink; 
Put to the blush at seeing wind’s fierce temper 
Exposed.

Monday, April 15, 2024

In that liminal space


They seem to keep recurring, 
Those times when we are clearly between: 
We know — however imperfectly — 
What lies behind us; 
We can clearly tell we’ve left it behind; 
We seem to be moving forward— 
However slowly— 
But it’s not exactly clear 
What we’re moving toward, 
Or how long it might take to get there, 
Or what may await us when we finally arrive. Uncomfortable as we all tend to be 
 With uncertainty, 
It’s easy to be tempted to turn back; 
To return to the known 
 From which we walked away. 
But we need to trust 
 That the reasons for our departure are still valid, 
And what lies ahead, 
 However long it takes to get there, 
Will have something fresh and reinvigorating 
 That will help us more fully realize 
The promise of fulfillment 
 With which we’ve each been entrusted.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Feeding the future


Having carefully rid our lawn of dandelions,
 She now seeks her reward: 
How about a little cracked corn, 
Or perhaps a few tasty peanuts? 
Think of it as nourishment 
For her as yet unborn fawn…

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Curse of perfection


The morning sun fashions a tapestry of lace 
Upon the window just across from me; 
A momentary gift before it rises into the scene 
And overwhelms the vibrant colors with its light, 
Just as a demand for perfection 
Might reduce the charming appeal 
Of a child’s presentation or a haphazard garden; 
A toss of flowers in a field or in the woods…

Friday, April 12, 2024

Stay the course


And on those days 
When life feels like an endless struggle,
 A path of infinite resistance, 
A desperate hanging on to keep from falling 
Backwards into a slough of despond, 
I wish you strength to stay the course, 
The courage to resist the tide of negativity 
 That threatens to overwhelm us all, 
And the grace to see beyond the struggle 
And trust that light and joy will come again.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The wall of thorns


There’s something reminiscent 
 About the choice to hide such beauty 
Behind a wall of thorns… ah yes! 
The fairy tale; Sleeping Beauty! 
But that was not the first thing to come to mind. 
Instead I pictured my daughters, 
And the ways they chose (or learned) 
To dress to mask their beauty 
 From the predators they encountered 
In the world…

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Madrona skin


The evening sun casts shadows on 
The exposed skin of the Madrona, 
Which eyes me as I photograph 
The textures of its bark. 
We are old friends, the Madrona and I, 
Aging together as we stand beside 
 The sea we both have loved so many years.

Monday, April 8, 2024

A floral tribute


In gratitude to a kind friend 
Who sent my husband home 
With flowers from her garden 
(Which, unlike ours, is protected from the deer 
With a tall fence). 
In this era of division I’m reluctant 
To fence off any part of my yard 
For the message of exclusion it might send…

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Impressions


My camera can’t do justice 
To the goldfinch in my yard, 
But only gives impressions 
 Of his color and his shape: 
It can’t define the texture 
 Of his feathers or his feet, 
Or convey that sense I get 
Of impending flight, 
Any more than we, from a distance, 
Can get a sense of what delineates 
One human from another; 
So much easier to make blanket 
Judgments from afar and write folks off, 
Assuming they don’t matter 
Or have nothing to offer 
Because they appear to fit 
Some preconceived stereotype…

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Whimsy


There’s nothing like a little whimsy 
 To brighten someone’s day — 
Your own, of course, for listening to your heart, 
But for others, too, surprised into a healing laugh, 
Or inspired to indulge a little whimsy of their own: Permission to be and do some little thing 
That makes their own hearts sing.

Friday, April 5, 2024

May your light shine through


May the light you carry within 
Be strong enough to break through 
Any clouds that might surround you.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Spring green


A cloudy day in spring, 
And the newly leafing trees provide 
Bright contrast to the evergreens 
That decorate the hills that lie behind them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Skunk cabbage season


It’s skunk cabbage season, 
And in marshy lowlands everywhere, 
The smelly plants 
 Are lifting their golden hoods in prayer; 
A silent cacophony of wet-footed monks 
On pilgrimage in search of warmth and sun.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Silver stream of love


There will be days when the gray hovers there, 
As if hoping to extinguish the light. 
Time to focus on the silver lining beneath it all: 
The river of love that flows through each of us.