Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me of You


Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me Of You

I have a frayed quilt, folded
Age frays fiber like a document shredder frays secrets
It lays limp as a reminder
Of reconciliation
Anchored, the weight of redemption holds it
In place
Like black vinyl held his lines for years
Before Pandora gathered the whole collection in a mysterious cyber place

(You’ve never seen it, you loved quilts, but this one you would not)
The yellow squares are a billion one inch pieces
No one will count-check behind me
The yellow squares scream louder than a caution light
The shade is one off of gauche

But it’s the story that marries peace with threads
Storytellers know
Poets do too
Fraying helps the edginess

I love every square inch
Except the polyester fabric
Which is 100 percent of this masterpiece
Sewn by church ladies
Or a grieving widow or an Appalachian blue haired lady, retired from teaching
An educated guess at best

The giver is whom I love
I wish the quilt were cotton
Some days the man-made fiber suffocates
But sentiment makes me hold on helpless
To surrender

I can’t get away from your dying
Even the everywhere’s I used to go
To hide and grieve
Have the hollow feel
Of bristling poly-fibers

Flammable, like my burning grief
It is early
The flame still burns
But I’ve got a head start
Preparing for good-bye
With the covers pulled up to my hairline

I sang Amazing Grace to you
And then I realized
If you could remember
If you could speak

You would have preferred Bob Dylan

The prophet, the poet, the Nobel Prize receiver
You saw his greatness before the committee

Knocking on heaven’s door
Simple twist of fate
I shall be released
The times they are a-changin
Just like a woman

You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace
Let’s pretend they were Dylan’s version

(We needed the words of a poet
We still do)
We both know Dylan could rock

You are my sunshine



The Backside




The Backside

A hundred stories blew right by
Unseen by the naked eye, a hundred and one
If you count the one so wind-soaked, water-logged and beat down
There is nothing left to tell
Shreds of truth washed out to sea
Particles of memory swept up in the counter-current backside of the beast

A hundred years from now

Someone will dredge it up, tell it to a crowd of hungry men, women and children
Hovered on the edge of their seats to know about the day the wind raged
History, a fan of repeating herself

At the hair salon
She said the waiting was the hardest part of all
Tell me your story
I’m beginning to try to listen again

Forgetting doesn’t help remembering
Warnings came from somewhere down the coast, farther south
Watch out for the backside,
The tail end
Every cliche, metaphor
You’ve heard them all
Listen up, for once, to talk of eyes and calm

While we wept for Haiti
I wept over Vascular Dementia, ALS and Cholera, hunger and disease
And Haiti some more
The Shirley May, The Mary Margaret and God’s Grace
They made it through, tethered to a wide and weary oak
Simple solutions mock me

Anticipating, we know too much of what we do not know
Wringing our hands over unknown outcomes
And then the shaming began
For the stayers and the ride-it-outers
Who know the nuances of wind and tide
But are certain of not one thing

The quiet dark of the blind preparation
Is a quiet we never knew

Run a bunch of models
Focus on the European One
Fine lines  wear the well-honed edge of a butcher’s knife
Lord have mercy plays on rewind and repeat
In sharp contrast
The Weather Channel, bless its heart
I thought I’d die if I heard one more warning of how bleak my future looked

When the wind blows
Echoes from my childhood
We are slowly prepared by  nursery rhymes
For what’s ahead

When the wind blew
At hurricane force
I sat on my backside

Resting up
No one named the raging storm in my mother’s brain
After one of the gospel writers

There is still a storm that’s raging
Though not at sea
For me
Waiting is the hardest part



No One Has Time For This

No One Has Time For This


Gathered up

As a rising first-grader gathers fists full of fireflies glowing like the French’s mustard yellow porch light on my neighbor’s stoop two doors down to the left

Gentle clutch made to save the beating wings in a Mason jar, pierced with a Phillip’s head screwdriver

Air holes, a sign of breathy hope to hold them over ’till Wednesday

Caught on a summer Tuesday

One ordinary  South Carolina mid-summer’s night in August after the dust had not quite settled

November is too far gone while being too far off

Our collective attention shifted from Georgia peach ice cream, churned to the speed of slow, wait

Leaving no one to stop and  listen

To a cackle of words about washing fresh Bantam chicken eggs, under the tepid water, after the gathering, before the delivering

 An act of gifting

To my neighbor

The other one, who always has time

To listen

To a story gathered from salty remembering 

For the ones who have lost interest 

In politics and platform diving during the summer of our collective malcontent

Practicing Spontaneous Hospitality

One of my favorite places on the internet is Gracetable.org where I am honored to be a contributing writer. I am privileged to be one of several writers share this writing space and community.

If you know my writing home to be “poetry and prose through a lens of grace” there is a little piece of prose there. Today. One I chiseled out from the hard stone places of my heart. I know, there has been  poetry only here for a good long while. Follow me to Gracetable where I am wrestling with the idea of practicing spontaneous hospitality. What an honor to have you there. (Click here to go there. See you at Grace Table.) Spoiler alert. I think you may like it there as much as I do.

I did not need to offer a physical place at my table, an elaborate meal, or a cleverly designed invitation. I was invited to give the gift of my time. The gift of myself.

Another of my favorite writing homes is my own tiny letter, “A Quiet Place For Words.” Why? Because it is so quiet, off the beaten path and interactive. The format is my favorite, a letter from me to you, written every few weeks to subscribers. Well a favorite, along with my beloved poetry.

What joy to interact with subscribers. The newsletter is going out today. Have you signed up. Come pull up a seat. (Click here to subscribe there). Of course it is free.

Thank you for reading. Always.

peace and grace,