Posts for June 4, 2015

Jessica Swafford

Do Not Swivel if You Meet Resistance

Do not swivel if you meet resistance.
Stand strong, unwaivering in place.
Treat the situation as you would a bear.
Make yourself big, scream
At the top of your lungs.
Claim or re-claim what is,
And shall always be,
Rightfully yours.
Do not swivel but heartily embrace
What comes your way.
Give it a giant ol’ bear hug,
And it is yours.


June Fourth

Today I killed my dog.
It was an accident,
but I cried anyway.

Rona Roberts

The Haiku Holds Its Form But Salad Supper Gets Away

Hard-boiled egg slices—
No, deviled eggs sound better—
Supper’s mission creep.

Amanda Corbin

The walls are painted with stars, or a trip to the planetarium


This dark thing

captures the chill of space

makes a gallery of cosmic splinters

grips the skeptic’s eye

like a seizure

and frames all of humanity

inside this one tiny planet.

Jonel Sallee


O viriditas digiti Dei…!
       Hildegard von Bingen, Symphonia armonia celestium revelationum
When I was a young girl, six or so,
The grand sycamore tree at the end of Grandpa’s long back yard
Was my sanctuary.  Under its dense and spreading leaves,
If I positioned myself just right,
I could sit, unseen from the house,
And I was free to indulge my childlike thoughts,
Which—given my chronic reflective nature—usually turned
To thoughts about what God must be like,
For I had heard God’s name at every meal 
And always on Sundays.
From my grassy pew one day,
Looking into those massive limbs,
I saw a sphere,
Green and translucent,
Contracting, expanding, breathing
(Of that I was certain),
Playing, dancing, bouncing among those leaves,
And then stretching Itself out so that it seemed as if
The electric air between us
Enveloped the tree
And me,
And it felt like More-than-Life itself!
Perhaps, even, like God!
The years following that day turned into what passing years always do—
Memories fade and disappear,
Trees die,
Theologies and philosophies and all manner of argument
Replace such silly notions
As a breathing green ball.
And so I lived, as best I could,
My very ordinary life,

Except that one day, a few years ago,

I found myself along the Rhine,
Across from Bingen, walking among ancient vineyards,
Planted centuries ago, just down the hillside from Hildegard’s abbey;
And suddenly, in some unexpected, electric moment,
I could hear the voices of the sisters at noon, singing in the abbey
Hildegard’s glorious melodies!
And for a moment,
I thought I could see her,
Walking there among the green and plentiful leaves,
Her head held in her hands,
Perhaps in pain, perhaps only trying to capture the sight:
All those angels!
Mandalas full of them!
Composing her thoughts—Viriditas!
Viriditas! I could hear her whisper. Greening!
We must all be at the work of Greening!
And in that moment,
There on that brilliant emerald hillside,
I swear this is true:
A breathing, living, green sphere wrapped itself around us,
Hildegard and the verdancy and me,
And I understood:  This was surely the closest I had ever come,
Since that day under the sycamore tree,
To knowing God, to knowing life…
To knowing life!

Gaby Bedetti


Parenting in an age of entitlement is a Lear-like role,
managing the ache of filial ingratitude night after night,
so we were dumbstruck to receive a 500-word email from our son
thanking us for supporting his travel to Japan: “It means more to me
than I show, and for that I’m sorry, and need to get better at expressing gratitude.”

Pat Owen

True Colors

                                        True Colors

At daybreak
just at the shoreline
a small, dun-colored bird
ordinary, non-descript
until binoculars and the rising sun
show her true colors,
it’s the yellow crown night heron
jewel-tone colors glinting in the sun.

Lennart Lundh

Gaining Entrance to the Past

I read your scars in the darkness
left when you closed the curtains.
They present themselves as hieroglyphs
beneath the fingers of a seeker
after hidden truth and treasure.

There is no special stone to aid me
and my own marked skin provides
only the scantest reference.
Teach me the things they speak of.
Make me privy to your singular society.



Poem 4, June 4

Beauty Reveals the Truth


So it was with Keats,

poet of 54 poems in a life

cut short by poetry,

seeking its miracles

in the desire

& in the suffering

of his own heart.


So it is with me,

writing a poem each day,

wording miracles

like rejoicing in your arms,

like capturing suffering truth

within the flow of Old Seventy Creek

& within the beats of my own desiring heart.


the client.

she watches you
from across the table

she imagines what
it would be like
to overtake your body

to live life through
your senses

to go home
to your bed
to make love 
to the man in it

to pull a towel
tight over your breasts
after a warm shower

to comb through 
dripping, untangled hair

to catch a glimpse 
of yourself in the bathroom mirror
as you lotion your legs

how beautiful!
to smile to yourself and think
yes, I belong in this world