creating me [using words]

Archive for the tag “poetry sort of”


There was a thumbprint
left there,
a miniscule smudge
on a glass of water
perched on her bedside table—
the last thing
her tender worn hands
before she died.
Her bed now empty
but no one moved
the glass,
afraid to remove
this residue of her life.
She left fingerprints too
—that last day
and also before—
all over my face,
my hands and my heart.
Her life seemed so small,
The world never knew she was here.
But if you dusted me for prints
you’d find she broke into my soul
and stole
nothing but my awe.



Is confidence the hardest
thing to grow in the soul?
And is that why we settle
for arrogance?

Presumption easier
than humble strength.
Those who wrestle truth
walk with a limp
(Jacob knew)

Maybe only the lame
Know how to carry
the weight
of the world,

how to make dark notes
how to speak truth
with grace.

Is confidence
hidden deep?
Is that why we freeze
in fear?

False humility easier
than courage.
Those who wrestle by night
see the day with different eyes
(and are oft’ misunderstood)

Maybe only the night-wrestlers
learn how to live the day
how to honor light
and choose the right, so:

Water your confidence.
Its roots must grow
and grow and grow,

fighting rocks,
finding nutrients,
before the sprout will rise
one inch.

That inch might crack
the hardened plates
of earth,
for all you know.

Your only job:
to grow.

Soul Garden

I have so many molds to break before I find real me. So many expectations to disappoint before I’m free. So many pressures to ignore before I see. So many lists to abandon before I can be. So many lessons to unlearn before I am she.

I have gathered all into my soil like seed and now I kill to see what sprouts–a weed? Plant, bloom, exotic tree? Necessary beginning, that seed, yet not the truth of me, you’ll see.

Dear Pine Cone

Lines from Mary Oliver’s “It Was Early”:

“and in the pines
   the cones were heavy
      each one,
         ordained to open.

Sometimes I need
   only to stand
      wherever I am
         to be blessed.

Little mink, let me watch you.
   Little mice, run and run.
      Dear pine cone let me hold you
         as you open.”

I wish to be held reverently as I open, to be a pine cone someone notices.

Maybe I can hold the world this way, write it letters–

Dear wildflower bloom . . .

Dear night sky,

Dear soft breeze that blows in the fall,

Dear red leaf so rare on a South Texas tree,

Dear fox behind the church I had the luck to spot,

Dear magical canopy of trees

Dear ladybug,

Dear yellow butterfly who flits in my line of vision, then out again

a thousand letters to my thousand lovers

Artists Have a Duty, (I’m Told)

I had something completely different to post today, but then I found this in my office today, and it is ten times better than what I planned:

Anna is 12 years old. The rest looked like this:

I found this on a shelf in my office, rolled up like a scroll. Anna often leaves me treasures, and since this one was kind of hidden, I don’t know how long ago she left it. My concluding thoughts for this day’s work: I am at the right place, in the right job.

P.S. If you couldn’t read her text, it said:

I love to draw,
but drawing is more
than just copying
something you can see.
everything you draw
has a story behind it
and artists have a duty
to find it. I’ve always
wanted to draw things
you can’t see the
depth of the story that
is unexplainable. but
first you have to see
it not with your eyes
but with your heart.

Trusting the Place I Am

I want to trust
my location
my “lot” in life,
so to speak–
not blindly content,
oblivious to new
or different
But seems true
there must be a home
in which to plant
the seeds of hospitality

Lessons from da Feen

Looking’s a way of being: one becomes
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.
~Denise Levertov~

Walking the trails
with my dog,
We never ever plan
which paths
we will take
or which turns
we will make:
the one    open     space
in life where
my inner scheduler
is silent–
over-ridden by
a child’s
sense of adventure.

We see a new trail
and we take it!
No questions,
no time constraints,
no agenda.

We follow our eyes–
Sight is our trail guide,
we are fiercely loyal to her.
(Well, to be fair,
the dog is more loyal
to smell,
but either way
our senses
direct our play.)

Could this way of walking
explode wider,
intruding even my work
and what would that mean?
if looking became a way of being?

Lady Wisdom

Townsmen ordered exile,
She became elusive,
a wanderer traversing earth,
a noble nomad harboring
her vagabond truth:

Now in sly seclusion,
by regal irreverence
She keeps watch
Crops fail:
She laughs
and plucks a wild berry.
She dances in moonlight,
Disappears behind trees
Like a spirit
You cannot catch her
Like the wind
She is free
A rare gift is to sight her,
rarer still to hear her sing
Her music is forever
in the woods and in the wind,
harked by birds and forest creatures
overheard by pure of heart,
by seekers and by drifters,
ears bursting from constraint.

She is subtle
if she shows herself-
You can find her in a painting,
In a poem, in the starlight
In wildflower petals
In lines of holy writ
At times beneath steeples
Inside a mother’s arms
Most of all in silence
Her gentle whisper
Like on the rooftop
She cries loudly,
Beckons boldly
If you’ll listen
If you’ll follow

Wisdom calls.

(Note: This poem made its first appearance in my sermon “Where is Lady Wisdom?” based on Proverbs 1:20-33).

In the Southern Baptist Church

In the Southern Baptist Church,
the only stories
were conversion stories:
“Share your testimony”
they  encouraged–
the subtle message being,
every other part of your story
was irrelevant
save that one moment
in the twinkling of an eye
you went from sinner
to saved.

For those of us who grew up
good little girls, good little boys,
the conversion was so slight
it sounded dull in our own ears,
hardly worth repeating.
Thus it was as if
we had no story at all.

It wasn’t until later I learned
my whole life is a story
my whole life, a conversion.

Be Loyal to Your Own Healing

Participate in your own healing . . .

~not everything you try is going to work~

~not every person in whom you bravely confide is going to listen~


~not every road is a dead end~

~not every obstacle means defeat~

sometimes you will grow




It will always catch you by surprise

to round a bend and discover

you can keep going

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]