She reminds me of a bird–
tall, thin and knobby-kneed,
with a smile
that takes over her face.
There’s a fragility
of bone, but not of spirit–
her spirit, too large for
its narrow frame
spills over,

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The Very Human Race: to the moon

What began as hot competition
for the virgin moon
ended as sweet triumph
for all mankind.
The imagination,
the intelligence,
the agony,
the stamina,
the screw-ups,
the pathos,
the hope,
the sheer nerve
of so many men and women
who dared to dare,
leaves me both
proud and humble.

In honor of the first lunar landing, July 20, 1969

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A Butterfly Break

I was doing my Saturday chores like I do every week-end and walked outside for a minute, when a bright orange butterfly caught my eye. It was big and beautiful, hovering over the ground in the full, hot sun.

I watched for a minute, thinking it’d fly away, but it stayed there, fluttering in the sunshine. I slowly walked closer to it and stood there, still watching, when it perched ever-so-gently on my bare foot and stayed there, slowly lifting its wings up and down, sunning itself.

Finally, after a minute, I moved my foot and went back inside to finish my chores.

Posted in beauty, emotions, gardening, human interest, nature, pets, poetry, psychology, spirituality, wonder | 1 Comment

Not Just Yet

Saturday morning–
a morning for errands, cleaning,
hurry-scurry things.
But not just yet.
This morning I’m taking
a few minutes to
sit right here in this corner,
with the cat sprawled across
my lap, and gaze at the
mossy oaks outside my window.
Not much is stirring yet–
no scolding squirrels or
chirping birds, just the hum
of shower and razor–
my sons waking up.
Soon the house will come alive
and I’ll be off and running.
But not just yet.

Posted in beauty, birds, cats, family, human interest, mother, nature, pets, poetry, psychology, relationships, spirituality, women | 1 Comment

Book Review: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk ~ Ben Montgomery

“The water inched past their knees, then their waists, then up to their chest, beating hard against their bodies. They strained against the current. Emma closed her eyes, feeling the stone riverbed with her feet, trying for all she was worth to hold on.”

Before Women’s Lib, before slick designer hiking gear, and way before GPS, there was Grandma Gatewood. This strong-minded mother of 11 with 23 grandkids knew who she was and what she wanted. She wanted to walk the Appalachian Trail from beginning to end. All by herself.  And nothing was going to stop her.

It all started in a doctor’s office in Ohio when Emma Gatewood picked up an old 1949 National Geographic describing the new Appalachian Trail as a “soul cheering, foot-tempting trail… wide as a mack truck, that food was easy to come by and that trailside shelters where plentiful and spaced within a day’s walk from one another.”

Grandma Gatewood decided then and there she’d give it a shot one day. Well, that shot came at the age of 67, after she finished raising her 11 children and divorcing a brutal husband. She was a tough old bird; a hard-working Ohio farm girl with a robust constitution who could do almost anything she put her mind to. Continue reading

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Tall and solid, with blonde hair,
no upper teeth, big sagging bosom,
trache scar on her throat.
Blue eyes full of fun,
and a leprechaun’s laugh.
Left hand curled in place thanks
to a brawl-induced stroke,
she walks with a cane, saying
slow n steady wins the race.

The sweetest woman on earth
when she’s sober, say her friends.
A poet, a pianist,
a heart full of love,
a body full of mistakes.

Posted in emotions, friendship, human interest, love, poetry, psychology, relationships, religion, spirituality, trauma, Uncategorized, women, wonder | 2 Comments

Requiem for a Friend

I have come from
the funeral of a friend.
A funeral bathed
in light and tears
and beautiful
winged words
that pierced the heart
with knowing.
And upon the altar of light
in front, on a small
square table,
sat a box of ashes
draped in whitest white–
a small reminder of the man,
and of us all.
And so we sang,
and listened,
and wiped our tears–
and brushed the lips
of his farewell,
and ours.

Posted in beauty, Christianity, death, depression, emotions, friendship, human interest, mysticism, poetry, psychology, relationships, religion, sadness, spirituality | Leave a comment


We’re dancing, you and I,
an astounding pas de deux
of the psyche,
our deep inner wounds
of a shape that fit each other
like two puzzle pieces,
making us hurt again and again–
or heal.
It’s amazing to me,
this law of attraction
that animates the dance we call Love.

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Mystical Moment

The communicants flowed
timeless to the altar
like a living stream of light,
like a river they flowed.
As one.
I watched from
inside the moment,
yet outside of time.
Both the watcher
and the watched.

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A Sweet Old-fashioned Little Poem

When to the flowers so beautiful,
the Father gave a name,
back came a little blue-eyed one,
all timidly it came.
And standing at the Father’s feet
and gazing at His face,
it said in meek and lowly tones
with sweet and gentle grace,
“Dear Lord, the name thou gavest me,
alas I have forgot.
Then looked the Father kindly down,
and said, “forget me not.”

Margaret Anne Smetana

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