Gleaning--On Reading News on the Internet

Sift each word, parse out the kernels

To keep in your hand. Let fall

The ciphers weighted with noise

And save the manna at the center.

Set this aside to feed yourself then

Cast the chaff to the wind, palms

Up, for birds to swoop and rush

In, nourish themselves from

Your leavings.

Sate your hungry soul instead on

Only what you need and rejoice-

Your treasure remains, seed for

Another day.


Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash


Chloro phylls the horizon
with a palette of lemon and
lime. Calyxes drop feather
dusters of honey and ochre,
the firs ever present stand at
attention, constant witnesses
as am I, while God greens up
the world.

Gilt Gift

Sometimes I guilt myself right out

of joy. Like the surprise of an iridescent

butterfly from an unsightly cocoon,

who would expect this shimmering

show in morning sunlight?

Eyes are trained on Northwest firs

framed in blue, frosted feeders,

feathered presents hidden among

the trees.

I’ve held my breath, wondering.

Did my mother ever ponder stilling

herself, take a moment with the

birds in her California garden? Gaze

restful at morning fog carried

in on marine air? Was she ever at ease

in her troubled life, as she parented

us alone?

I will never know.

I cannot ring her up to ask, there

is no email to send, no letter to write.

She is gone, stolen far too soon.

I consider this feigned injustice.

How wildly unfair I should gather

such beauty as surely she never did,

then abandon my thoughts. No.

I will not leave reason to balance the

ledger, steal this away, too. Feathered

hum of heat, filigreed pane, frosty view.

I drink in sleeping green, hear her

whisper over my shoulder,

Breathe in the brilliant morning.

Surrender second guesses and leave

logic to the philosophers.

I startle to the present, welcome with

wonder this gilt gift, nothing to ponder

but my thanks.

–From my new book “Hearts on Pilgrimage-Poems&Prayers”