Understanding Love in Sonnet Form

I knew a way to guarantee my love

When I, first born, came here without a care

My family welcomed me as from above

I didn’t know what I was meant to share


Secure, I ate and slept, my needs were met.

I grew, assured the world revolved on me

And then at school became the teacher’s pet

Unconsciously believed I held the key.


As I grew older, this I knew was true

With love no guarantee or oath is sure

My heart was broken, bent and full of rue

I lost the love I thought had been so pure.


So whether friend or foe I do admit

You must give love before receiving it.

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The Daffodils Don’t Know


The daffodils don’t know

And they don’t seem to care.

They’re dancing in the fields

And smiling at the sunshine.

Seemingly oblivious

To hurt and pain and fear

Or are they?

Maybe they are doing their best

To help the situation

By dancing, smiling. Laughing

With the joy of being alive

So as to teach delight to us

As worries and frustrations

Pile up at our front doors.


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Restful Day

Giving Thanks for a Day of Rest

I need this day of no commitments

No tasks to do except to be

Be present to the moment,

Be silent in the listening

Be attentive to new life

Be happy in what is

Be a smile, always

Letting instants go

As fast or slow as they wish

And be, just be in the great I Am

Luxuriating in the presence

That is not wasted

But filled with eternity.

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Show Tunes

A group sings show tunes at a local nursing home once a month. The melodies bring back memories of happy times for us all.

Show Tune Psalms

“It’s a Grand Night for Singing”

At Josephine’s

The wheel chairs circled

Around the piano

And “senior” voices singing with abandon

Not in the right notes or words

What does it matter?

The singing and the memories it brings

Is a blessing powerful and good

The Show Tune Psalms, more sacred

Than forgotten prayers

Are prayers in themselves.

I’m “Getting to Know You” and

“Wouldn’t it Be Loverly!”

If we would “Never Walk Alone”

We would always be “Younger Than Springtime.”

We could “Climb Every Mountain”

While “Whistling a Happy Tune.”

“If I Loved You”

At every “Sunrise and Sunset”

I would lift my glass and voice “To Life”

“Something Good” is bound to happen

On this “Beautiful Morning”

Joining in heart and song, we know that,

“People Will Say We’re in Love”

What could be better than that?

So, until next month, when we meet again

We’ll have to say, “So Long, Farewell.”

And keep these Show Tune Psalms

In mind and heart.


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Morning Views

When I look out in the morning, I need to see something of nature. My eyes are not ready to focus on man-made lines. I want the soft green of fields or the expansiveness of the sea. If that’s not available, I can at least look at a plant or flower near my door or a small patch of lawn. As a last resort, I can view a beautiful painting or photograph of nature with soft, natural colors and lines. If I am able to do that, I find my day rewarding and pacific. That’s not to say that everything is wonderful. There are still persistent, daily irritants, but my ability to let them flow by me like the flotsam on a stream is strengthened. I can understand that the person who pushes to get ahead at the store might be more of a hurry than I; or the person who responds to a question gruffly may be suffering a hidden pain. It is more difficult to let go of the day-to-day mistakes I make. If I remember, I realize my need to return to gazing with appreciation at nature. Sometimes I see, in looking at my own hands, the love they are capable of giving. Memories and possibilities spring up to connect me once again to this experience of earth.

an untended garden

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I’m Back

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. But I have been writing. I have finally organized my poetry with pictures into book form and I wrote one poem every day in February.  I’ll start posting those regularly.

Here’s one:

Marking Time

The first of the month

A little new beginning

Resolutions to keep

And promises to make

Time goes marching on

Unseen and unnoticed

Without some markers

Feasts, remembrances

And cyclic songs to mark

Time’s passage.

Crawling first, then running

Like children embarking

On their journey through life

My time,

My hours, minutes, seconds

Impel my scattered heart

To stop and look and listen

Before my time is gone.

Bryce Canyon



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end of Advent story

Tiny sheep, cows, donkeys, goats and even a horse were gathered around, some sleeping, some eating and some gazing at the sky. “It’s perfect, except for the people,” Alfred thought.

Alfred heard footsteps behind him. He turned to see a dark haired boy, about his age dropping to his knees beside him. He looked familiar. “It is perfect,” the boy said. Or did Alfred imagine that he said it? They admired the scene, watching the miniature animals lie down, one by one.

Alfred finally felt the cold of the snow pressing though his pants. He knew he had to go home, but felt glued to the spot and it was so pleasant kneeling there beside the stranger. Not looking at the boy, Alfred whispered, “Do you come here often?”


“I’ve never seen you before. What is your name?”

“I’m Manny, but Mother insists on calling me Emmanuel. That’s my real name.”
“Maybe we can play in my fort sometime. Where do you live?”

“Yes, I’d love that.” The boy paused before answering the second question. “I live on the other side…of the woods,” he finally said. “I have to go now, I have some gifts to prepare for my brothers and sisters. But I know we’ll meet again.”

Alfred was too stunned to say anything. An unexpected thought entered his mind. He jumped to his feet and ran back to his house. Rushing to his room he knew exactly what to do. Elsie and the sheep turned to him as he opened the door. As he lifted each one and patted its fur, tears sprung to his eyes.

“I love you guys, but you need to take care of my sister.” He carefully wrapped each one in shiny paper. “Be good, now. Watch over her.

The angel light smiled and Alfred was sure he heard heavenly music floating through his room.



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Advent story, part seven

It was dark when they finally got home and his parents got busy in the kitchen preparing a buffet supper. His Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill would be there shortly. Many of their neighbors usually showed up, too. Alfred went to his room to try to find a present for Agnes. Elsie and the sheep were running around on the dresser. The angel light glittered and music filled the room. Alfred asked, “Do you think I should check the woods one more time tonight?” Elsie and the sheep nodded vigorously and he felt someone take him by the elbow and lead him down the stairs, through the kitchen without his parents noticing him, and out the back door. Bright stars illuminated a glistening, snowy path, leading him a little beyond his fort. The huge cedar tree he often darted under when it was raining seemed to have a light shining on it. Alfred approached, listening. His heart leapt when he saw the nativity scene beneath its boughs. At least it looked like a nativity scene. He knelt in the snow for a closer look. There was a stable of sorts situated in a hollow in a huge boulder. Tiny sheep, cows, donkeys, goats and even a horse were gathered around, some sleeping, some eating and some gazing at the sky. “It’s perfect, except for the people,” he thought.


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Advent story, part six

School was out for the entire week before Christmas and Alfred’s mother had lots of chores for him and Agnes. She always assigned the dirtiest projects to Alfred. Agnes’ asthma prevented her from doing so many things.

The house had to be scrubbed from top to bottom. The gingerbread baked for the gingerbread houses, the outdoor life-size nativity scene retrieved from storage and arranged by the front door. More decorations needed to be hung outside. “Isn’t this enough already? I haven’t even had time to go to my fort all week.”

“That can wait until after Christmas. You’ll have another week of vacation before you have to go back to school.”

“But, Mom…”

“No, buts. Just hand me that extension cord.”


            The animals stayed on his dresser with no more activity that week. The only thing Alfred was aware of was a glowing light over his dresser when he turned out the lights. But by morning, he forgot about the moving animals and got right to work. His mother kept him busy all day. Every day she asked him about his plans for a gift for his sister. Unable to give her a definite answer, he finally told her he had a plan. He didn’t, but had the impression that something would turn up.

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday that year. The children’s program was presented in the afternoon after mass. Agnes sang a solo. Luckily her asthma was under control that day. Sometimes her asthma attacks landed her in the hospital and the family kept vigil while she struggled for air. At those times, Alfred forgot how aggravating she could be. He felt sorry for her.

After reciting his memorized poem, Alfred was eager to get home. He sat through the rest of the program daydreaming about what he would get for Christmas. He planned to search through his room and wrap a recycled toy to give to Agnes. “She doesn’t ever like what I give her, anyway. What’s the point?”

It was dark when they finally got home and his parents got busy in the kitchen preparing a buffet supper.

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Advent Story, part five

“What does that mean?” Alfred asked.

“I come to announce the promised one. Wait with patience. He will appear when the time is right.”

Alfred wanted to ask more questions, like, “Who are you talking about? Why can’t I see you? Why do you talk in riddles?” But, something in the demeanor of the spirit made him hold his tongue. He stopped trying to catch sight of the—what was it? An angel! “Are you an angel?”

“Do you believe?” Alfred heard the question in his mind.

“Yes, yes of course.”

Without realizing how he got there, he was standing in the mudroom, removing his clothing. “Yes, I believe,” he said again.

“What do you believe?” Agnes asked. “Who are you talking to and why did you change your mind about going outside? Is it too cold for you?” Her tone irritated Alfred.

“I did…” Alfred changed his mind about telling her of the angel. He said instead, “I didn’t want to be late for my shopping trip with Mom. You want a Christmas present, don’t


you?” Agnes coughed. Alfred could hear her shallow, rapid breaths. In a kinder tone he said, “Maybe today I can find something for your collection that I can afford.” Why did she have to be so bossy?

He ran to his room and put the animals on the dresser. The angel was nowhere in sight, but a glow of amber light pulsed around Elsie and the sheep, even after Alfred turned the light off. “Bye, guys. Be good.”

Another unsuccessful shopping trip put pressure on Alfred to find something suitable for his sister’s Christmas present. He already had the wood birdhouse he had made for his father wrapped and under the tree. The special chocolates he and Agnes had made for their mother was hidden in Agnes’ room.

“But, Mom,” he said, “how can I find something she won’t turn her nose up at with the measly amount of money I have left?”

“Use your imagination, Alfred. You’re good at imagining things.”

the girl with the moss-blond hair

the girl with the moss-blond hair

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