Mar 31 2015

fifty-three winters and
one used heart

poetry, grief, winter

the lamb walks into april’s forest
wearing nothing but a long lion’s tail

tip dragging through mud
and months held captive
in dirt-speckled
piles on the ground

no one tells you that grief
is a thief

stealing words meant for sunshine

wrapping purple-bruised prose
and wide ocean phrase
in smooth sheets
of scratched-up cellophane
tied tight with
smoke-colored ribbon

leaving letters
to suffocate in drawers
lined with potent
flower pretty

no one tells you
about the choke-hold
of regret

well, they tell you
but no one listens

this year
the lion ate a hole
right through me

a new window, i suppose
with a view i’m still learning

a flick of tail
black wool
and that neverending

the wind howls through me
with the whistle
of fable-fraught table-drawn

and all i can hear
is the caw
of white laughter




Mar 28 2015

to bow with grace

white tulip bending with grace


in the face

of adversity


leaning ever-so-slightly

towards the light




Mar 26 2015

sitting still while the earth turns round

sunrise, sitting still, holding space, spring

And I’m hungry for my garden and sun on my skin and bare feet and sundresses. March moved past in a whirlwind of wind that tore my to-do list right out of my hands and sent it flying to faraway places.

I sat still, holding books and yarn, seed catalogs and fabric, pencil and mouse. My mind feels empty, clean-slated and wandering, these four walls have been traced and memorized enough to be taken for granted. The fire still draws me near, but in a different way, now. Less for warmth than companionship, and I listen for the sound of distant drums.

All the pieces are in place except the queen herself, and she keeps us all waiting with no compunction. I know she is busy threading storm through lightning needle, whipping up concoctions of rain and ice, spilling tears and howling fury as she moves through the season of change. I bow to her strength and beauty, even as she tries my patience.

I hear roots whispering just below the surface, planning parties of revenge on winter’s cold shoulder. Soon, grey will be forgotten, and white will hide in shaded bed and lost corner. The moon tries hard to reassure, patting arms and tut-tutting tiny phrases of comfort, as Mars and Venus play coy across the sky.

March is February’s redux, a second chance at learning silence. Or patience. Or winter’s puzzle.

I watch the bold red cardinal feed his mate a bit of seed and admire his sacrifice.

Hunger is a hollow word, echoing hope through empty chambers.

Life moves forward with each turn of the earth.

My hands grow idle and I watch the show, smiling as the sun parts night’s black curtain for yet another encore.






Mar 24 2015

the beholder’s wings

your eyes are the sea
i’ve never seen

bits of sand and salt
mixed with horizon

and i stand
toes wet
on the shore
of submersion

thinking swim
and float
and maybe even

wanting to dive
into the heart tide
aqua league

crash myself back
against rocks
grown jagged

smoothing over
soothing wound
polishing our scars

etching fern
into your landscape
of stone




Mar 21 2015

holding space


for more light

more heart

more possibility



Mar 19 2015

the tale of two books

books, reading, hawk, falconer

So I’m reading this book, H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald, which is wonderfully written and interesting and beautiful, but it’s also breaking my heart. On the surface, the book is about a falconer and her exploits in training a goshawk for the first time, but it’s also about her grief after losing her father, and it’s also about the history of falconry, and it’s also about life. And so much of it is resonating with me just now.

Secretly, I’ve always wanted to be a falconer.

This book came to me on the heels of another highly-rated, highly recommended book, one I didn’t finish. I wanted to love The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, (I mean, it even has the word magic in the title!) but about halfway through, when I got to the point where she suggests getting rid of most of your books and putting the rest on a shelf in the closet, I stopped reading. Because, you know, books deserve a place of honor.

Even before that point I’d begun to feel like the book wasn’t for me, her approach is very extreme, and while I am interested in the “less stuff, more tidy” philosophy, I will never be the person who comes home each day and follows a strict routine of putting this there and that here in this order, in this amount of time, in the same exact way every day.

I’m the person who will drop everything on the kitchen table to go write down an idea before I forget. Or the one who wears her coat into the studio to check for email from clients and realizes thirty minutes later that I still have my coat on, or the one who will drop everything to rush outside and watch a hawk circling overhead.

I wish I could be more like Marie Kondo, but I can’t, and I’m old enough to accept this. And so, I stopped reading her book. And that’s not to say I don’t think it has value, she has a lot of good ideas and I may implement some of them, but, to use her own words, it just did not “spark joy” in me. I let her book go, along with my hopes for a tidier life.

I’m messy. I will always be messy. Life will always be messy.

With H is for Hawk, while I am loving the book and falling in love with a bird, I’m letting go of something else. A dream.

I’d never really thought about the details of falconry. Of course I knew there had to be raw meat involved–which would pose a problem for me from the get-go–but what I hadn’t ever really considered was the most basic of facts. Being a falconer means holding a bird captive. I know, it’s silly that I never thought about this aspect, it’s so obvious, but I’d only ever thought of how thrilling it would be to hold a hawk on your arm, to have it fly away and return to that very same spot. How fabulous.

But I could never do the captivity thing. I couldn’t do that to a bird whose very freedom to soar is the thing I most love and admire. I can’t even go to the zoo, because it breaks my heart.

With this realization, I let go of my dream to be a falconer.

More and more often, I find myself letting go. Of books I have no desire to finish, dreams I have no compunction to follow, and things I have no use for. I like to think that means I’m opening up space for other pursuits, and perhaps that’s the truth. I’d also like to think it means I’m getting wiser.

I’ll never stop loving hawks. I’ll also never have a perfectly tidy house. And I’m okay with that.

Someday, if I’m lucky, perhaps I will find a way to hold someone else’s hawk on my arm, just once. But if not, I’m okay with that, too.

I’ll still be who I am, messy and grounded and a little bit dreamy.

I’ll still have words to take me high into the sky.

I’ll still have my own version of wings.



.So tell me, what are you reading lately?


Mar 17 2015


the power of lost


armored over and
bitter coated

speckle-pretty and
color faded


in time’s musty

or is it hope


pale protection
roundly painted

and preserved
in smooth treasure box


for polish and
jeweled key

to crack wide open

Mar 14 2015




my version

of friends


high places


Mar 12 2015


The things I’ve forgotten, the messes I’ve made,
the dried-up, brittle-boned detritus of survival.

Perhaps I left it out as a reminder.

A forecast. A prediction.

Or a testament to who I really am,
beneath the soil of wasted hour and wanted nutrient.

Root-bound. Buried.

Parched or drowning, depending on the weather.

Somehow, even so, I will bloom.




Mar 10 2015

the light of irrepressible

the moon kept me awake last night
or perhaps it was the clock-tampering
or the book i couldn’t put down

outside my window
shadows of branch and ice
looked enough like a forest
to quieten my mind

and i wandered
through fields of forced memory
wildflower whispers telling stories
long ago named forgotten

in the silence never silent
i listened to the music of this house
a symphony of survival and

keeping time with tapping toe
and misplaced sigh
tracking half a century of hours
offered and removed

buried warm beneath a quilt
stitched pretty by restless fingers
tracing pattern and loss
joy and forgiveness

worn thin at the edges
by sandpaper hands and
the scrabbling ghost tempo
of tender perennial continuance