The Poetry Of Exploration


I nearly weep at the remembering
How beauty hung in every ray of radiant
Brilliance breaking through the trees
Laden heavy on old oak branch
Upon branch
Centuries old with story and weight
Draped like pashmina, draped and dripping
Gray moss makes her a bearded lady
And her neighbor an elegant old sage
Makes me linger longer with every wandering

Can beauty make you weary and worn
Carrying heavy the memory of fragments
Gathered and stored in a soul
A soul
For what the day held.

Circling round and round
Like a mad dog in search of his tail
Rabid in need of earth’s poetic soul
I round each corner
That I had  seen
But a fragment of what He gives

I am Columbus, Vasco Da Gama, Magellan
I am poet explorer
Capturer of lines of lovely
Gatherer, noticer, bounty-hunter
In search of something
Nameless, faceless

Memorizing the berry red, the shadows’ dance
The limb and leaf
Ripples race like dominoes across the creek
Netting and crab-pot, rigging and roadways
Grit and glory, socks sagging
Pinned to the clothesline
Wet with story

And in the end I wonder
As I wander

This was never meant
Me alone

To hoard and have
To savor and store
Somewhere in the wonderment
And uncovering
I am more of Whitman
And Frost
Though weak and frail
The comparisons, faulty
At best

But yet
I am called
To spill through ink on a page
In the fragile lines of a poem
The poetry
I found

Along my way
Clear my voice
Whisper to a few
In this awkward way
Bend in and hear
Me say
I have sipped the cup of beauty
Now I raise the cup, full

Place your lips
Cracked and parched
Upon the waiting rim.
And taste the poetry of God.


Joining my friend Laura today. Monday’s are simply marvelous there.  And joining Angie for a fun first-time link at her place.

Encouragement: A Prayer, A Poem, A Cry

Mercantile MCVL

One phrase haunts me, chases me down daily.
There is nowhere for me to go but stare at it steely eyed daily.
Wrestle with it, sit with it, stare at it, and ponder what it means for me,
To do.
My recent past dredged this up, dredges it up from the silt daily.
Once I penned some words here, scratched out some heart thoughts.
They have taken on a life of their very own, a heart, legs and off they ran.
All around this interwebby world.
Words can run fast as the wind.
Lace them up with care and grace.

One phrase echoes daily on these pages, behind the scenes in the land of stats.
I can’t come here without seeing them there.
I wrote a piece one time or two, boldly with the words
encouragement, tucked in or standing out front.
That is it – the beginning and the end of this prayer, poem, cry.

When I ask Him what to do with my words
They become my true north but I stray
Clothe in grace, wrap in love, encourage.

The number is big, so I won’t say it, it changes almost daily.
Someone finds me here,
My words and me
Googling, encouragement
A letter of encouragement, encouragement for a friend
Words have wings and I pray
They find good here.

Prayerfully, thoughtfully, deeply I cry out
Oh Lord.

Take the clay of my words, Maker of My Soul.
Grab my pen and guide it while it glides along the page.

She is writing
It’s a work of Wordsworth and poetry and nature and High School English
And I can stand in my mother stance over my daughter dear
And say these words to her
We are two and it is intimate and close
Write it like you want to, just say what you mean
You can do it spills from my heart to hers.
She makes art wobbly shaky on a page.
And I know.

If you came here on a trail of encouragement, following bread crumbs
Find it, friend and grab it
He is standing over you, before you and around you.

God is loving, reigning, holding you in the heavenlies this day.

She is writing,
And it is a work in progress
Clothe her in grace and love.

I am the launcher of words, clothe me in guided grace.

We, lover of You and lover of words, steady each mark of our pen and infuse it and us with You.

Encouragement, may it always live here.
Tucked within the lines of poetry
And prose.

Amen? Amen.


Joining my precious and encouraging friend Jennifer Dukes Lee today.

Joy, Comfort and The Element of Surprise

All the moments of joy, they can sneak up on a girl. I rest in the thankfulness of the moment. But not for long. For these moments of Joy, they propel me forward infusing new life, new hope, in all the new mercies.


Yes, these moments of joy can sneak up when she least expects it.

Giving a desire to go and spread and carry and send it out. To give something away. Something of the gift.

These moments come when they are most needed. Like new skin, new flesh springing from a place of fresh healing. Where new sensations of tender feeling are born.

And the world bears  much new in this season. My heart would be wise to have eyes to see it. To wipe the foggy lense of despair and seek the tucked away offerings of life, and love and redemption in the folds of the new skin.

He did say He was doing that. Making all things new.

And old can look new to the eyes that can see, really see. See through and around with hope.

First born visits and walks around this home filled with light and life, by grace, singing. He is singing constantly. It sounds new and joyful. But as I visit the mental records of my memory, I think he always did sing.

I wasn’t always listening.

I think I surprised her as she stood stocking the shelf. Life is fragile and I had just come from a funeral. The sun shining and a full life celebrated. And we all long for those second chances. Mercifully I was given one. I told her I had woken in the night. That I felt a gentle nudge to pray for her. And I told her I should have offered to  the other day. She is a stranger. I am a stranger. We are wrapped in community by hearts, by hurting, and by need.

And she told me why I may have felt she was hurting and yes thank you for praying for me.

I was surprised by the joy of her smile. She thanked me and thanked me. But in the giving, I was left walking ten feet above the earth.  Buoyed by her tender gratitude. And I may have a new friend in this life. She smiled a smile that is blazed and branded on my soul. From her place of tangled worry and stress. She smiled and thanked.

Its as if the icy tundra, the frozen reeling earth which grieves is melting. The sorrow slowly melting from the cold. And the days, the few days between us and  His birth are a healing balm of warmth.

The pain and grief redeemed by new birth. And all that He brings as Light of the World, shining bright in cold darkness is warming the souls of men.

In these days, He brings Comfort and Joy. He is comfort and joy.

He sits across the table wrapped in budding new and I see what warmth and care of another  can do to the heart of man.

How the smile breaks so wide it wants to leave the face. How the hands wrap around gentle with comfort and joy.

My mommas heart is surprised. It is beautiful living breathing joy. And it is new. This is redemption from the piles of ash, and prayer has fueled this fire of burning joy. Its fragrant beauty drifts my way and I inhale. Billowing joy.

We dropped a gift of gold in a glass of liquid last night. For the girl who has the birthday rocking up on the heels of Christmas.  She looked down into the sparkling water and saw a gift, she knew it had been mine. I hoped that in a passing from mother to child there would be sweet surprise, in the offering. In the receiving. And in the receiving she smiled. But I realized the joy was mine…in giving of something I treasured.

Releasing  to another. There is  more joy in the offering than in the receiving.

I think I would do well to give it all away for the joy in the release. And I would be wiser than those three wise men to look to Him for all comfort and joy.

Listen, do you hear the hymns of praise. Can you hear the songs up in the heavenlies. A song of redemption breaking through the clouds, the icy pain melted by a baby born in the bleak mid-winter?

May each of you find comfort and joy in the receiving of His son. And may you seek and see and find the elements of surprise, the wonders of His love in the all around you in the beautiful days leading up to Christmas.

Alleluia Anyway Always.

Joining Emily.



I Know Now, A Little More About Writing And Living

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart — William Wordsworth

Writing is both mask and unveiling — E.B. White

Every day I learn a little more about writing and living and how they intertwine. Does living drive the writing. Doesn’t writing come from the living.

But writing feels like living a second time. It often feels like a second go around, a chance to grab a clearer understanding. To place the lens up again with the glass wiped clean. Out from the fog comes the changed perspective. Ever so slightly, a changed experience evolves. Or the experience changes, is evolved when the breathing is released on the page.

And so I didn’t keep my promise, of sorts to you and to myself, that I was on a bit of a blogging break. Because in some ways I was still writing at the desk in the corner of my mind. Penning phrases and re-living the days of this life.

Processing the flood of strangers at our family Thanksgiving who turned out to be lovely and wonderful. Well I only spoke to one or two of them and they were perfectly lovely. I found myself too busy visiting with family that I see less often than I’d like. Do I feel a twinge of guilt for not mixing and mingling with them. Yes, how did you know.

And sitting in a small circle of family, from two to well, over fifty two, as a little one was cheered on to let her sister pull her tooth. The one in front in that Christmas song. The one that would make her smile all wonderful and toothless. The very tooth hanging by a thread, twisting and turning like a white sail flapping in the wind, nearly untethered.

So White was right. It’s an unveiling.

It’s a re-writing in the remembering. It’s life unveiled as the fingers dance out on the backlit keypads and reframe from memory the fragments of a life, played out again in recessed corners, deep crevices of wrinkling wobbling memory.

There are some seasons where slowing down the recording, the pulsing breathing, rebreathing of events seems to snuff the very life out of the living. To leave it in a dusty corner of the mind feels like an early burying of a life. An early death of sorts. This is that very season for me.

Because if White is right, then leaving the events veiled kills the potential for sharing the very heartbeat of the writer with her readers and her God.

If unveiling is sharing, these small seemingly wondrously mundane events where you may say I know, I have lived that, felt that, I am not so alone after all, then pull back the veil. To shared humanness.

We sat in the sunlit swamp with barely walkers and ones with walkers. And the stories of lives intersected like a pile up on 1-95. But rather than life-taking it is life-giving.

It is the aunt who retires in weeks after years of working and watching her face muse and ponder her plans.

It’s hearing of new jobs and hurt knees, new joints. Of aging and birth piled up like raked leaves, a collection of color and signs of changing seasons.

And it’s watching teenagers heave back in shared laughter at the giddy free falling joy of family who are more like friends and all their favorite foods, served outside by a blue river that most days is swampy muddy brown.

But today. Today it’s blue, the sky is blue, tummies and hearts are full. And the writers can’t stop reading the moments in reverse.

Retrieving yesterday’s moments which today are fresh memory. And while they are fresh, I will write with today’s breath yesterday’s breathing. Yesterdays living. Dip down into the inkwell of yesterdays still-wet stories, and stroke out understanding with an unveiling of the seemingly mundane moments.

And hope that our shared human experience gives legs to the stories and sets them out to run free.

And maybe we will all understand a little more about writing and living.