Music and Rage

Gratitude List:
1. The amazing choral concert at my school tonight. I can’t quite find the superlatives to describe our choir director without sounding like I am over-blowing the talent of our choir director. World-class would not be an exaggeration.
2. Cool mornings. Warm afternoons.
3. Sonneting with students.
4. This practice, which keeps me from wallowing in rage for at least a few minutes in the wake of today’s health care debacle. I admit that I am really struggling tonight to move out of the rage into a contemplative place. I don’t want to reflect. I want to throw things and say things I’ll probably regret. So. Breathe. Breathe again. Breathe again. Feel the rage, but don’t let it be the only answer.
5. Writing sonnets with the Creative Writing crew.

May we walk in Beauty!



A couple photos from the goat-petting party at Sonya’s yesterday. I’m still pretty awkward with the whole selfie thing, but I do like that there’s a rainbow on my face.

Somehow, it feels more like spring because we’re having an actual thaw on this day before the Equinox. That last blast of winter stood right on the doorstep of spring, and this morning brought the sound of water dripping from the trees. When we peeked outside this morning, it looked like sun through a rain-shower, but the rain was falling from the trees and nowhere else. Thaw.

Oh, how I need a thaw! I need to get the juices flowing, get the good mojo moving, get the fierce and raw energies of the season swinging brilliantly into the sunlight. Can you feel the balance approaching?

What is being born in you now? What new thing arises, like the little flowers that are suddenly free of their snowy encumbrance to pop into the sun?

Was it only three years ago that I put a little prayer bundle out into the elements on Spring Equinox, setting my intentions to get a job within the next six weeks?  It was a reminder for me to keep my head and my heart in the process of the job search. And within a couple weeks, my friend Ryan suggested I contact a certain school. Now I work there, and my life is full–so full–and rich in ways I could not have imagined.

I have new intentions this year, new goals for where I want to go with the things that I am writing. And so tomorrow I will place another bundle out into the elements, with the prayerful intention to keep my head and my heart in the process of writing and submitting work for publication.

Gratitude List:
1. Balance
2. Thaw
3. Intention
4. Energy
5. Birth

May we walk in Beauty!


(Some of them survived!)

Here in the green
where the wren is calling
and earthworms begin their work,
you can sense the great heart
of the whole,

Gratitude List:
1. Awakeners.  People (both the mentoring and the challenging) who wake up something within me that wants to be more whole, more real, more alive.
2. Love wins.  Love will always win.  Put down your stones and walk away.  Love wins.
3. Field Trip.  Today I am taking a personal day to be a mom rather than a teacher.  First graders are going to the Science Factory.
4. Hafiz.  “Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.”  They are, aren’t they?
5. How some people center their wisdom in their compassionate hearts.  That’s the direction I want to go, too.

May we walk in Beauty!

Hello, Speedwell!  Happy Spring to you, too!
Speedwell, tiny bright eye of spring.  Blue of sky, shot through with strands of deep blue threads of Mary’s robe.
Yesterday I saw a patch of dead nettle, such a bright purple against the dry golden grasses and the mud of the field.
And the shaggy forsythia is pushing out yellow blossoms.

May spring come to your spirit,
first the moment of exquisite balance,
when your night and your day have equal play within you.
Then the riot of song in the mornings,
calling you out and outward,
warmth returning to your bones
and sunlight on your hair,
rain that soaks the ground around you,
nourishing your roots.

Look around:
What is ready to hatch?
What is coming to birth in your spirit?
How will the season nurture this new thing
within you?

Gratitude List:
1. Balance
2. Rebirth
3. Transformation
4. Intention
5. Joy

May we walk in Beauty!

Around the Corner

(Stolen from the internet.  I do not know the photog.)

Gratitude List:
1. Yesterday’s Scholastics Awards Ceremony, honoring the thoughtful and careful work of student writers.
2. It looks like the migrating snow goose population at Middle Creek is really strong this year.
3. Ritual of turning over a new leaf–letting the old thing dissolve in water
4. Being part of many concentric circles of community.  How could I survive without you?
5. Trees.  Sap is rising, buds are forming.

May we walk in Beauty!

Seeking Spring

IMG_0457 (1)

Gratitude List:
1. Friday morning hymn sing with my colleagues.
2. Blue, blue, blue, sky blue as Mary’s robe.
3. The way humor can sometimes make the bleak and difficult breathable.
4. My colleague Amanda, who helped me out of my February Funk yesterday by reminding me that February is the time to be actively seeking the minute indications that the season is progressing.  I came home and found one crocus bud and one aconite bud.
5. The tiny wing-person with the huge voice who is singing songs of spring.

May we walk in Beauty!


Today’s prompt is to write a monster poem.  We’re back to watching Mad Men on Netflix these days, season 6.  This one is sort of inspired by Don Draper, and by characters like him.


Oh, that one.
He looked so dapper,
and spoke with such charm.
A family man, they all said.

He sacrificed everything
for his brilliant children,
and more for his wonderful wife.

He played it so well,
even she who thought she knew him best,
had no sense of the truth

until he’d drained her dry.


Gratitude List:
1. The smells of springtime in the hollow
2. Lush blankets of purple dead nettle coming up in the rows of stubble in the cornfields
3. Reading and reading and reading with my children–just finishing Jennifer Murdley’s Toad, another gift from one of our book faeries.
4. Memory and forgetting
5. Concentric circles of community.

May we walk in Beauty!


I am really liking the word numinous.  Jon gave it to me to chew on the other day.  He will occasionally do that.  “Do you know what numinous means?”  And I’ll do my best to describe what I think it means, and then he’ll read me the dictionary definition.  And he doesn’t do it to trick or trap me–he looks up words that capture his attention, and then shares them.  He also gave me noetic the other day.  I like them both, numinous like luminous, and not dissimilar in meaning either.  Luminous, but more so.  And noetic like poetic, and also not dissimilar, but more scholarly, perhaps; the poetry of intellect.

2013 April 032


Gratitude List:
1.  This day, 26 years ago.  Pizza, pool, and a penny for good luck.  I decided that it was time to tell that cute shy boy how much I liked him.  Turns out, he liked me too.  He’s still cute, and sort of shy, and I like him a whole, whole lot.
2.  Flinchbaugh’s Orchard, you are so beautiful!  People, if you live near Ducktown Rd., you owe it to your soul to go sigh at their trees.   Springtime, you may be one tough goddess in your big old mud boots, but I can see your frilly pink petticoats.
3.  Rain.  The fields need it and it’s really beautiful and it makes me feel like I am in Scotland and it brings out the intensity of the colors of spring.  I can repair the Poet-Tree tomorrow.
4.  So many lessons to learn.  This may be turning a challenge into a gratitude.  I think I will never be an expert in matters of heart and friendship and interacting with people.  Sometimes I feel so awkward about who to be, how to be.  But that means there is always something to learn, always a new path to explore.  And for that I really am grateful.  Trying to be, yes.  And am.
5.  Good well-child checks today.
May we walk in beauty.

Ready for My Big Girl Boots

I’m gonna be bustin’ out all over, see,
and breaking the rules,
like Spring did when she came
stomping up over the hillside
in her kick-ass boots.
Spring, she’s all bluster and whoosh.

Did you see how she stood,
one foot on each rim of the ridge,
cocked her elbows akimbo,
flounced her frilly pink petticoat
and hooted and hollered
all over the hollow?

Because I want that kind of magic,
that fearlessness and fiercesomeness,
that wild-hearted yodel and galumph.
And a pair of those big girl boots.

Spring, she nodded and winked
at the wide-eyed rooster
on the weather vane.
“Tag!  You’re it!”
Then she skipped off to the River,
over the folding foothills of Mt. Pisgah,
spreading a carpet of green behind her.

(edited 3-17-14)

2013 April 027

Gratitude List:
1.   Sitting by the creek near this tree with a good novel (The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield) and watching my boy engineer dams and pools in the creek, catch crawcrabs.  He’s so sparkly.  Better than a nap, any day.
2.  Play group!  Watching the children grow.  That amazing homemade nutella.
3.  Freckled nose
4.  Making stuff
5.  Wind.  For clearing.  For inspiring.  For bringing a new thing.  For the gypsy ache to move and shift.  For music in the woods.  For words that blow through the woods.
May we walk in Beauty.

More from the Queen of Swords

I’m just a seer, not a sibyl.
Thing is, no one seems to get the difference.
Expecting me to know the future,
to sniff the wind like a wolf
and Know.  Like that.
What’s coming up the pike.
How the caribou are moving in the valley.
Whether someone is about to leave the room.

I’m really always the last one to know.
Call it the handicap of my profession.
So much lies outside my sensing.
Perhaps I am the wolf indeed,
smelling the rabbit in the underbrush
but missing the smell of fire
when the wind blows the other way.

The little breezes that blow
this way and that
and swirl around the valley,
they only serve to tickle my nose,
to confuse my brain.
I need a strong and steady wind
from one direction to get my bearings.

It doesn’t make me a liar
and it doesn’t make you a fraud.
But now I see what you meant
about the lonely tundra.

2013 April 025

Gratitude List:
1.  Forsythia:  Last summer the township butchered our poor neglected forsythia that they deemed to be growing too close to the road.  She took those wounded arms, laid them out on the ground, and dug her fingers into the soil.  So many little bushes growing from her wounds!
2.  More birdsong:  Screech Owl in the afternoon, and cuckoo, and woodpecker.  More more more mockingbird.
3.  Breaking the rules.  This is about poetry and then maybe it’s not.  Perhaps it’s about springtime and the poem I am going to write soon about her big boots.
4.  Fatboy Slim and Praise.  And love poetry, sensual and praiseful.
5.  The sun.  Did I say the sun?  Yesterday I said Vitamin D which means the sun and means that something is blooming inside me.  And oops, I mentioned spring in #3 already, but there it is again.  And did I say that I would be starting to break the rules?
May we walk through poems.