The Lunatic Moon

This is from 2013. There are no physically manifest poems on the PoeTree this year.

The Lunatic Moon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider
for Mara

The thing is, I am a Twisted Hair.
The thing is, I believe that bridges build their own burn.
I am weaving that into the braid at this exact moment.
Some days I walk on burn
to return to the path that calls me.
Perhaps this is where the poem begins.

The thing is, when I read that line
about what I believe, I felt seen and known.

Burn your bridges, burn your easement, burn your draft card, burn your bra.

The thing is, I am simply a character.
I am devouring. I am pretending.
The thing is, I am a simple character,
made of burn, of bridge, of web.

Weave yourself a bridge of sunlight and flame. Weave an easement to the moon.

The thing is, the more I twist these strands into the story,
the less I am a solitary spider, and the more I am the moon.

We’ve learned the twinkling light of the star that refreshes, the wild light of the moon that pulls, and tomorrow, the Fool steps into the light of the sun, feeling her full power. She finds herself able to experience joy in a new way, not in denial of the hardship and pain of the journey, but because of it. Now she knows her strength. Now she knows her wildness. Now she knows her fierce and tender heart. She absorbs the power of the Sun.

Gratitude List:
1. Poetic conversation
2. Odysseys, journeys, adventures
3. This writing life, fragmented and small as it is
4. Chocolate bunnies
5. Every day a new sensation, a new color, a new birdsong

May we walk in Beauty!

The Rivers and the Bridges

Nag Hammadi and Susquehanna (via Dreamscope app)

Being able to weave together two different photos gives me the chance to blend my obsessions. Here, the Bridge over my River, and a piece of ancient Coptic text on a papyrus. I don’t have much time these days for personal researches, but when I have a free moment, I often turn to texts from the Nag Hammadi Library. Right now, I keep a page of The Thunder, Perfect Mind open on a tab on my Chromebook. Those texts are both a bridge and a river for me. I love how this mash-up placed text where the leaves of the sycamore would be in summer, and how there seems to be the suggestion of a greater arch in the sky above the arches of the bridge.

Gratitude List:
1. The willows are putting on their shiny green dancing clothes for spring.
2. The way flocks of little birds connect the dots across the sky.
3. Three crows in a field in the dawn, bobbing their heads up and down, doing obeisance to the sunrise.
4. Tea. It has been such a non-frigid winter that I haven’t often felt the need for tea to break the chill. Lately my students have been making tea in my room, and I enjoy a couple cups a day with them, and then some in the evening. It takes away the craving for the second cup of coffee and leaves me feeling warmed from the inside out.
5. Teenagers. I don’t know why I used to be anxious about the idea of teaching in a high school. The brilliant minds, the bursting creativity, the great hearts, the developing critical thinking skills. I love them. I am learning so  much. They are also my rivers and my bridges.

May we walk in Beauty!

Long Naps and Dreamtime

solstice-morning-sun solstice-spirits
One of the perks of having people riding with me to school in the morning is that I can ask someone else to take pictures of the Solstice sunrise over the bridge. The picture on the right has been sent through a filter–I like what it did with the visual rhythm of the old bridge.

During these long nights after Solstice, I try to stay particularly aware of my dreams. This evening after supper, I fell asleep on the recliner. I can’t remember the whole dream. I remember a sense of feeling like I was sort of an outsider in a group of people at some sort of resort, but the image that strikes me was of a mountainside across a bay. There were large areas of woody hillside covered in blue and purple shadows, but the sun was shining down on one bit that was bright emerald green. When I conjure the image in my head, it’s like a piece of painted art rather than a physical landscape, but in my dream, I desperately wanted to get a picture of that little green patch of sunny green.

Last night, I had planned to spend some time working on a meditation I had just read. I thought I could work my way into the space of the meditation, and then gently fall asleep, but I couldn’t get past the first moment of focus on the candle flame. Every time I woke up in the night, I would go back to the flame, and start with orienting myself in space, and then I would be asleep. Perhaps it would be good to have something like that for the insomnia moments.

Gratitude List:
1. Christmas Caroling and Singalong Chapel. The men’s chorus singing “Twelve Days of Christmas” was one of the funniest Christmas carol moments ever. The women’s chorus was beautiful, and Javon’s final song, “Peace on Earth” gave me the chills.
2. Cloud-shadows on the sky
3. Fred’s Christmas routine. He can no longer jump up to sleep on the Nativity scene like he used to. Now every morning he goes under the little table, beneath the table cloth, and waits for someone to toss his mouse to him. Then he goes and plays shark hockey with the sharks that Josiah sets with his Lego world. He still has a lot of kitten in him.
4. Chocolate
5. Long naps and dreamtime

May we walk in Beauty!

Bridge Week

DSCN8665 bridge2bridge Bridge3
Bridges. One across the Susquehanna (EWK photo); below it, a bridge in the Scottish highlands, a photo found on the internet, which some friends and I have used for a meeting of hearts; and on the right, two bridges across the Mill Stream at my school: on top, a photo from the school website of the footbridge, and below it the road bridge on Mennonite School Road, taken from

This is the beginning of my final week of summer. It’s a bridge week, from the open rhythms of the summer to the formal rhythms of the school year, from a slow and contemplative pace to a quick and formulated pace. These are not value-judgement statements–I need the macro-rhythm of shift from one to the other, and I am looking forward to daily structure which someone else has created–I only have to fill in the outlines. While I will miss the freedom of the summer schedule, I long for the more formal rhythms and rituals of the school day.

I love that my school uses the bridge as its symbol. It offers a rich metaphor for reflction. As I contemplate the coming season during this last week before school, I wonder how I can make my work at school into a bridge, safe and sturdy, that helps to lead young people from their childhood into their adulthood, toward independent critical thinking, toward compassionate responses to the pain of those they meet, toward trust in their own instincts and ideas.

Gratitude List:
1. I am taking a Reiki class today. I’m very excited.
2. Bridges
3. Family time
4. Harvesting up in the fields just before sunset, when the clouds are big and towering. In the fields, we’re up out the hollow and can see the full sky, how the light from the nearly setting sun in the west hits the clouds to the south, shining golden and white, glowing magenta and tangerine.
5. Morning yoga–waking up the spine, feeling the stretch.

May we walk in Beauty!

Crossing Bridges


Gratitude List:
1. Summertime suppers.  Everything is based on the veggie of the moment.
2. Working together. Just before sunset, all four of us went up into the fields to transplant brassicas under a glorious Michelangelo sky.
3. Dream fragments.  I woke with this phrase in my head: “You have been chosen to be the caretaker of this tree for the time that you are here.”  Try as I might, I cannot remember the context, cannot pull out the fleetingest of images, cannot see who said this.
4. Bridges.  To recovery. To hope.  To new strength. To the other side of the terrifying chasm.  To the each other. Keep crossing them.  Keep building and fortifying them.  Keep believing in them.
5. How a little phrase will capture and hold the attention of the inner eye: beloved community, furious opposites, the interior castle.  How they ring like bells in the inner consciousness, saying: Pay attention now.  Think on this thing.

May we walk these bridges together, in Beauty.



A spider’s web across the path spans the space from here to there:
the bridge across the River, the yarn I knot with my needles,
the trail of crumbs leading out of the woods, the pathway between us.

(Trying my hand at a Korean Sijo this morning.

Gratitude List:
1. Thursday’s chapel speaker: mindful meditation.  Powerful.
2. Soba noodles and fall veggies stirred up in the cast iron wok.  That man is a mighty fine cook.
3. Bridges.  Webs.   Labyrinth pathways.  Strands of yarn being knitted or knotted or crocheted or woven. Narrative threads.
4. Quiet spaces.
5.  Sleep and coffee.

May we walk in Beauty!

Lullabies and Wake Up Calls

Before you knew it
you were halfway across.
You had thought each step
would be an ordeal,
that you’d wrestle
the fear away
with every buck and sway
of the bridge.

But that bright butterfly
slipped along ahead of you
through the mist, the cloud,
and you followed it
until the cloud parted
and the valley lay out below you,
full of wonder.

The bridge,
you know,
the bridge itself
is the journey.

Gratitude List:
1.  Family camping-in-the-yard night.  Didn’t get much sleep, me.  But lots of snuggles and an great-horned owl lullaby and a crow and cuckoo wake-up call.  Worth it.
2.  Anticipating hearing the Africa stories this afternoon.
3.  Church.  I know.  But I love these people.  I can’t wait to get there and sing with people, and listen to the ideas and the stories.
4.  Kitty snuggles
5.  Bridges.  Made of language, of the future, of dreams, of feathers, of steel, of anxious wishing, of people, of hearts.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Way from Here to There

This isn’t really a poem.  Not in any polished sense.  More like a ramble that wanted to look like a poem.  Consider it a scribble in the writer’s notebook, a placeholder for me to return to and flesh out at some later date.

The little ones wanted to know
at what moment on the bridge
we were in Columbia
instead of Wrightsville.

At what point have we gone
from there to here?

But the bridge is its own thing,
a place between places,
spanning the distance
between town and town,
and time to time.

Everywhere and everywhen
begins here, ends here.


Gratitude List:
1.  So much to anticipate
2.  Bridges.
3.  The birds of Goldfinch Hollow.  These weeks, it’s like the Keystone Kops out there.  Cardinal chasing cardinal past the window.  Then back again.  And a third time.  Next flyby is oriole chasing mockingbird.  Then sparrow after chickadee.  Never a dull moment.
4.  Whatever brings relief.  Ice packs.  Cold nettle and mint tea.  Antihistamines.  Sleep.  (This one is sort of a whiny gratitude, I realize.  These days when the allergies are really bad, I tend to get wrapped up in my own misery.  Whatever can give me a few moments of rest and calm, whatever can help me feel closer to baseline again–that I am truly grateful for.  REALLY grateful.)
5.  Community.  Powerful personal healing stories.  The dancing flames quilt banner.  Pot luck.

May we walk in Beauty!

Yes, More Snow Geese

2014 February 088

Gratitude List:
1.  Like snowflakes falling across the field, they settled.  Like they were choreographed.  Snow geese.  It always reminds me of the chilly winter day about 20 years ago when Jon and I were hiking on a ridge at Middle Creek and we looked out over the valley and the lake and it was suddenly like being inside one of those Japanese paintings, where petals or snowflakes or geese are settling downward so gracefully.  Today was no less magical.
2.  Dinner with good friends.  I just don’t want to say goodbye.
3.  Quest for a stone.
4.  The River.  Always this River and this Bridge.
5.  Spikes of crocus in the flowerbed, and sunny aconite abloom.

May we walk in Beauty.