Wednesday, May 25, 2011


An angry artist painted 
jaded predictions into a young 
pastor’s portrait. Each sitting brushed
 telling layers onto the covered canvas 
 keeping its secret week to week. 
Unveiled, the easel revealed 
in detail how twenty years 
would finish the man.

Fifty years in his chosen 
vocation  hasn’t erased the warning 
framed and stretched. Waiting, closeted, 
it's an amulet, an antidote, a ready 
remedy if Botox unexpectedly 
tries to inject his soul
with apathy.  

His smile spilled a papa’s
patriarchal blessing over our 
waiting heads. Laugh lines cracked
 open around his eyes bestowing love and 
 benediction. We face our future now
with goodness and mercy following
 us, leavings left by a warrior
 poet whose life proves
the portrait wrong.

Lucky him, lucky you, lucky me.  

Coming down from the mountain has been difficult. The Image Seminar at Whitefish with Eugene and Jan Peterson was truly epic. He didn't merely write The Message, they live The Message. Greg read a piece called Born, Again and Again. It describes the entire experience perfectly. If I told the backstory for this poem, you would need to take your shoes off. Be content to ponder it with me, for I mustn't speak of the sacred just yet. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Early Phone Call

When the phone rings at six in the morning, it usually isn't someone wanting to have a friendly chat. A week ago Wednesday, the phone woke me. I picked it up and saw Loverby's number. Instead of saying, "Hello" I said, "Did your motorcycle run out of gas again?" "No, it's worse than that. Someone turned in front of me - I'm in the hospital. Will you come and pick me up?"

His shaking voice told me to hurry. My one comfort was that he was able to call and the news wasn't from a nurse or an officer.

On the way home, I stopped at the scene of the accident trying to find his new prescription glasses. Shattered glass was mingled with broken reflectors and a headlamp. I didn't find his glasses, but in the rubble, sparkling to be noticed, was a heart shaped piece of windshield.

I'm a grateful wife, thankful for the miracle, grateful that the sacred was not torn from my hand. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Look to the Edge

I was watching a fascinating link that came across my Twitter feed today. It was a behind the scenes look at the making of the Documentary Rising from the Ashes. Anything about Rwanda catches my interest. Each layer of this unfolding story echoes with redemption.

The Director, T.C. Johnstone finished with, "...there was a moment that kind of told the story for me - in the dailies - here’s this peloton, this group of 19 riders, they’re screamin’ down the road, they pass this guy and he’s on an old bike, and I don’t think he even had shoes on, and the team comes by and this guy just starts barreling down and he comes in and they open up the peloton and in the edge of the frame - after I watched it two or three times - they let him in, and he gets there for just like, maybe like 20 seconds he can hang with these guys, then he pulls out and the peloton continues. But we didn’t shoot that! That’s the story.”

Help me see that story, please help me not miss it - the one on the edge of the frame.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Strong Song

I used to hold
shells to my ear,
hoping to hear
ocean music.

Now, I go 
into the open 
pink spirals
twisting a trail
for the mystic
in me.

I follow
this invitation
to its middle
where new tears drip
ointment, tending
old wounds.

This place
welcomes me,
making it easy
to choose
the good part.

Wooed and won,
I’m content to stay
cradled this way,
living inside a song.

Click here to watch Kathy Hastings conch spiral series. I saw them as I wrote. 

~To my beloved rabbi, who pointed the way~