Friday, December 30, 2011

Beggars Mites- a work in progress 10-8-11- the dictionary phase

Your words are like crumbs
on my path.
Scraps, scattered,
to designate, mark, blaze
a journey, a passage-
home.

Hanseled to the earth,
Greteled to a tree;
these crumbs are a child's
way of remembering,
a last ditch of an affect.
("an expressed or observed emotional response")

I gobble them hungrily,
like the black-capped chickadee
of mixed forest
(decidious/coniferous)
the present
or
prairie,
past.
darting, pivoting, hovering,
hanging upside down to feed:
a balencing act
of wild chickery, Queen Anne's lace, and beggar's lice
and body weight.
Is it the weight or the wind
that bows my support,
my foundation?

II.

My days, nights
are consumed
with my caches of your words
I've stored in dead bark,
leaves, and clusters of connifer needles-
3G data plan-
till my 28 day memory fades.
The words putrify in morning light on that 29th day...
like manna, words were never meant to be hoarded-
kept prisoner in the brain...
cankers...
I count the words on my fingers-
I tick them off.
Flicking my fingers in a chant-
a rhythum...
It is not enough.

III.

Instead I would be the jay,
stellar,
raucous,
cackling, cawing,
flaunting my presence
in the boughs of pine.
Flashing blue
in the tangle
of a manzanita maze.
(a wall not unlike Sleeping Beauty's thorny barrier-
but I'm no sleeping beauty and you are not a prince...)

My life in fairy tales
is grim.
What looks to be is not.

Stealing kibbles of dogfood
instead of oily black sunflower seeds...
A sentinel: in a watch-
tower of mammath sugar pine.
I dip, carry, hide.
Loud in my protest
at your entrance,
disturbing my feeding,
my growing,
my changing.

IV. Geier

I would be King of the Sky,
not groveling groundward,
seduously scurrying,
mindlessly amassing
the soupcan you've strewn upon my path.

My olfactory lobe pierces the litter
of the forest floor.
I reign in confidence,
kettling skyward on thermals.

I know what I want:
not crumbs,
or beggars mites.
My life is not fairy tales,
nor grim.
What looks to be is not,
and crumbs on forest floors
leave me hungry.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flotsam from Japanese tsunami reaches West Coast

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) -- Some debris from the March tsunami in Japan has reached the West Coast.

A black float about the size of a 55-gallon drum was found two weeks ago by a crew cleaning a beach a few miles east of Neah Bay at the northwest tip of Washington, the Peninsula Daily News reported (http://is.gd/9jSz9q ) Wednesday.

The float was displayed at a Tuesday night presentation at Peninsula College by Seattle oceanographers Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Jim Ingraham, consultants who produce the "Beachcombers Alert" newsletter.

Tons of debris from Japan will likely begin washing ashore in about a year, from California to southern Alaska, they said. Items that wash up may include portions of houses, boats, ships, furniture, portions of cars and just about anything else that floats, he said.

That could include parts of human bodies, Ebbesmeyer said. Athletic shoes act as floats.

Flotsam in a current travels an average of 7 mph, but it can move as much as 20 mph if it has a large area exposed to the wind, Ebbesmeyer said. The latest float sits well atop the water, has a shallow draft and is lightweight. Similar floats have been found on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

Models show currents could pull some Japanese tsunami debris into the Strait of Juan de Fuca as far as Port Townsend.

"All debris should be treated with a great reverence and respect," Ebbesmeyer said.

If the debris has any kind of identifiable marking, such as numbers or Japanese writing, it may be traceable, Ebbesmeyer said. Families in Japan are waiting to hear of any items that may have been associated with their loved ones.

Ebbesmeyer is retired from a career that included tracking icebergs, the 1989 Exxon Valdes oil spill and Puget Sound currents that affect sewage outflows. He wrote the 2009 book, "Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How a Man's Obsession with runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science."

Ingram has retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he created computer models of ocean currents.

---

Information from: Peninsula Daily News, http://www.peninsuladailynews.com

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

sanctification

"And we Lutherans do work this out with fear and trembling as St. Paul instructs; we’re awed by the fact that Jesus obeyed the law for us and died the death we deserved, transferring His law-keeping to us as a gift by declaration (Justification), as if we had kept the whole of the law ourselves. Additionally, He has also sanctified us (set us apart from the world while leaving us in it) by His Spirit for His purpose: our participation with Him in a massive rescue mission behind enemy lines."

http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/2011/12/09/you-participate-in-your-sanctification-as-its-direct-object/

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Theosis and Mystical Union

The Formula expresses the same reality in these words: "It has been sufficiently explained above how God makes willing people out of rebellious and unwilling people through the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, and how after this conversion of the human being the reborn will is not idle in the daily practice of repentance but cooperates in all works of the Holy Spirit that He accomplishes through us." SD FC II:88

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Orison




Turbulent undulation;
clouds roil,
vortex gathering, spitting, splitting.

"to render turbid by stirring
up sediment"

"to disturb or disquiet; irritate,
vex"

"to move or proceed turbently"

My relationship (time spent)
with you,
(30 years)
rendered disquiet
building turbidity,
unsettled in my soil (soul)


Words splatter
on rock

Serendipity.

II.

like a lightening strike;
searing of heartwood:
conflagrant feelings.

laid out,
set out,
to burn.

a wildfire in an urban interface,
encroaching on forest dwellings,
a near miss,
a well laid plan....

Words can burn
and leave a soddened charred relic.
Or words can abort,
put out,
what took 30 years to grow.

Fire roils.
Water roils.
The air roils.
turbulance
that becomes a whimper
of silence.

A death
either way.

I don;t know what to do.
Leave?
Stay?
How do I leave?
How do I stay?

III.

To lay down
on a forest floor,
needles in my back.
One hand on dirt,
one on scabrous bark,
eyes to heaven
and the undulating clouds-
gray white caps above the trees.
Waiting,


(Why won't the words convey how I feel?
Or how I think?)

Dammit.
I need the pen to stab these words
till the blood boils
and runs down my cheeks
and out my mouth...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

First holiday alone

So after 30 years I had my first major holiday as a single person. I had a good time because I was with a family that cares about me. Because all the holidays in the last five years I was alone even though I was married. Now as a single I have the freedom to celebrate holidays the way I want to. Freedom to enjoy life....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

from He remembers the barren by Kristi Leckband

"If my source of contentment is myself, then my world will constantly make me unhappy. I am a sinner, and my feelings will often lead me to pity myself, to covet the gifts others have received, and to be angry at God. None of that could ever lead to happiness because it is subjective. There will be no contentment for me when I focus on my selfishness. Things go wrong. My life is not always a happy place. If I’m going to trust contentment to come from within me, then I’m going to be sad nearly all of the time. There is suffering in this world, and Satan uses suffering to lead us to despair."
http://heremembersthebarren.com/2011/11/10/contentment-is-not-perpetual-happiness/

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hearing




When the ears close in age,
Will the sound echo against my bones?
Will they vibrate, transform, to words?
When little machines whirr and rasp
in feedback?
Will the tick, tick, tick of clocks
or clack of a keyboard,
the whistling of a fan
(white noise),
pushing back air
and surrounding the hairs lining my inner ear.
(vestibular hair cells)


To HEAR your Word
Through my bones,
Dead bones,
Reverberating – shaking loose cerumen words
Of unbelief.
Your Word:
Body. Blood..
Water.

Sacred tones,
Up and down body scales,
Unsealing
My ears,
Waxed shut.

Life, by itself,
Shuts up the body.
Shelves it in caves:
Dank, dark, bat-ridden.
Guano stench or’ powers
Olfactory senses.

II.

These 5:

Sight.
Hearing.
Smelling.
Tasting.
Touching.

Shut down
in death.
Black to sight.
Ear rustlings
Amplified
And ammonia paralyzes smells.
The bruising hard rock
Barks my shins
And salty tears of fear,
Trickle,
Drop,
to form
Stalactites
and stalagmites:
crosses
crucify the floor, ceiling.

III.

Yet,
God’s Word is efficacious.
Creates a reality-
Of faith,
Of forgiveness,
On His Terms.

Baptism of rock,
Washes clean guano drippings and stains.
Blood flowing from His side:
Clefts in cave walls.

Only the Spirit can ping walls of resistance,
Can navigate for me,
my way to You,
Hung on those rocks
Those crosses of limestone.
Stalactites and stalagmites of our own making.
(We hung you there, left you there to die-)
We put the stones to keep you in that cave.
But we could not keep that rock from moving-
From rising.

This echolocation of His Word-
Brings me
To Grace-
His body, His blood,
Water of baptism
His Word.
Forgives my sins.

Sin –
Weighing heavy like the earth and rock above my head.



And even if my ears close shut in age,
Your Word vibrates in my bones…
Sets free
Me…..

To be continued?

November 6, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Studio 2

Studio

Deliberate Steps.
Structured Talk.
Sequence of ideas.
Responsible for self.
Responsible to community.

(Rules in a classroom, rules in life)


A community of two,
becomes one.
What relational thinking
are we constructing?

(a sexual union that leads to marriage?)

We could execute
procedures
we memorized.

(We could do what is done on TV and in the movies,
but it never works that way, does it?)

It’s not what I desire
to observe.

(I don’t want to play that game with you. I want honesty, truth, and a desire that rings true in body and bones.)


Our discourse
(planned at full moon night)
worthwhile till disconnect.

(Those planned telephone calls where everything important is left unsaid.)

Procedural;
Step by step.
Direct model.
One to one correspondence.

(In the world of dating, where scores are kept, it always seems to lead to a sexual relationship, that looks to be two becoming one but is actually just a flagrant abuse of self.)

Works for math,
Effective execution.

(In math it is never messy. It’s logical and the out come is predictable….)

But Life litters
roadways with white plastic
grocery bags, tied in knots
and ripped out bottoms.

( life is just so much debris we wade through to find treasure.)

Discourse is silence,
Messy pauses,
In empty cans,
Slimy with pregnant molds.

(It’s all those unsaid things we don’t dare talk about yet.)

Steps that seem deliberate
are just missteps off the path.
Trod through beggar’s lice-
Words get hung up in socks and trouser pants.
Lodging in the elastic band of underwear.

(the word we don’t say get caught up, hung up, in the barriers we create.)

Construction is haphazard,
lopsided,
first my side in power
then yours…

(So often it is about who has power over whom? Not a mutual loving relationship but who can one up the other. Who can beat to submission.)


This “science”


of procreation
with pleasure,
flops,
bed ward,
in fiction…

(Can sex in real life ever reach the heights of fiction?)

Yet, relentless in our practice,
high expectations.
Selecting and sequencing,
To make sense of…
“things”.

(Yet as humans we keep trying to find that perfect mate. We use and discard each other instead of persevering through our lifely sorrows with each other. Our hearts are hardened towards each other.)

II. Direct Model ( Ok lets get real with this mathematical metaphor)


Direct Model: Joining. (SEX)
It’s hard (i.e. difficult) (you may take that the wrong way…)
To have 2 seals on a rock,
2 swimming in the ocean…
(and all I can think of is you…) (How can I concentrate when all I can think of is you?)

There is no key word to indicate operation.
(Story problems have got to give the right clues so we know which operation to do. Just so you must give me clues to what you feel?)

The action of joining- (that would be sex)
They jumped in to join the swimming seals…
1 man + 1 woman
Result: Unknown. (And what happens to people when the sex they give is not in marriage, as God wants it to be? The results are not the known because that is not how we were created.)

1+1 = ?

(Oh we think the answer is so simple but if it is not for marriage what the hell good does it do?)




A touch to cube, (a union)
Pulling toward self. (If it is not a union, it is destruction, pulling selves apart.)

Derived facts:
Separating.
(the story supports subtraction- a taking away- could be of self- or the destruction of a relationship.)

Not a sense of step,
but a relationship
Where numbers commune,
communicate on a number line.
Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
are not procedures
but relationships.
( Math is about relationships. Just as life is about relationships. It’s not about physical pleasure only but about that deep connection to each other.)

What connections are left?
And are they true for every situation?
Would you conjecture with me?
(I wonder…?)
Or are we just a broad generalization of failure?

( So are we going to be a couple in love for the rest of our lives or just another fling in emotions? And if it is a fling it is failure.))

Analyze this:
Which relationship might simplify the solution to the problem?

To be joined
or separate?

(So do we try to make this work by joining in mind and body? Or do we just go our own way?)

To sort the factors,
Graph the results
Determine the end result?
A pictorial depiction of the relationship….
We could make a pro and con list, make a T chart, hey we could even make pictures….)

Do the genuine questions I ask myself
Reveal the pattern,
Or disclose the operation?

( So if I am honest with myself can I even entertain a stay motion?)

Are we just a direct model
Or does our relationship
Advance our thinking?

(Can we change to suit each other because our love is strong- I fear not….)

In the name of Algebra
And all that is math
Can we make the connection?

(Just because we can make it work in math it is never that simple in life and because I ask the question belies my doubts… What I want I fear cannot happen. I am sad.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Studio

Studio









Deliberate Steps.

Structured Talk.

Sequence of ideas.

Responsible for self.

Responsible to community.





A community of two,

becomes one.

What relational thinking

are we constructing?



We could execute

procedures

we memorized.



It’s not what I desire

to observe.





Our discourse

(planned at full moon night)

worthwhile till disconnect.



Procedural;

Step by step.

Direct model.

One to one correspondence.



Works for math,

Effective execution.



But Life litters

roadways with white plastic

grocery bags, tied in knots

and ripped out bottoms.



Discourse is silence,

Messy pauses,

In empty cans,

Slimy with pregnant molds.



Steps that seem deliberate

are just missteps off the path.

Trod through beggar’s lice-

Words get hung up in socks and trouser pants.

Lodging in the elastic band of underwear.



Construction is haphazard,

lopsided,

first my side in power

then yours…



This “science”





of procreation

with pleasure,

flops,

bed ward,

in fiction…





Yet, relentless in our practice,

high expectations.

Selecting and sequencing,

To make sense of…

“things”.













II. Direct Model





Direct Model: Joining.

It’s hard (i.e. difficult)

To have 2 seals on a rock,

2 swimming in the ocean…

(and all I can think of is you…)

There is no key word to indicate operation.



The action of joining-

They jumped in to join the swimming seals…

1 man + 1 woman

Result: Unknown.



1+1 =









A touch to cube,

Pulling toward self.



Derived facts:

Separating.



Not a sense of step,

but a relationship

Where numbers commune,

communicate on a number line.

Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing

are not procedures

but relationships.



What connections are left?

And are they true for every situation?

Would you conjecture with me?

(I wonder…?)

Or are we just a broad generalization of failure?



Analyze this:

Which relationship might simplify the solution to the problem?



To be joined

or separate?



To sort the factors,

Graph the results

Determine the end result?

A pictorial depiction of the relationship….





Do the genuine questions I ask myself

Reveal the pattern,

Or disclose the operation?



Are we just a direct model

Or does our relationship

Advance our thinking?



In the name of Algebra

And all that is math

Can we make the connection?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mapping: Love 2nd draft

Mapping: Love




Deliberate Steps.
Structured Talk.
Sequence of ideas.
Responsible for self.
Responsible to community.


A community of two,
becomes one.
What relational thinking
are we constructing?

We could execute
procedures
we memorized.

It’s not what I desire
to observe.


Our discourse
(planned at full moon night)
worthwhile till disconnect.

Procedural;
Step by step.
Direct model.
One to one correspondence.

Works for math,
Effective execution.

But Life litters
roadways with white plastic
grocery bags, tied in knots
and ripped out bottoms.

Discourse is silence,
Messy pauses,
In empty cans,
Slimy with pregnant molds.

Steps that seem deliberate
are just missteps off the path.
Trod through beggar’s lice-
Words get hung up in socks and trouser pants.
Lodging in the elastic band of underwear.

Construction is haphazard,
lopsided,
first my side in power
then yours…

This “science”


of procreation
with pleasure,
flops,
bed ward,
in fiction…


Yet, relentless in our practice,
high expectations.
Selecting and sequencing,
To make sense of…
“things”.






II. Direct Model


Direct Model: Joining.
It’s hard (i.e. difficult)
To have 2 seals on a rock,
2 swimming in the ocean…
(and all I can think of is you…)
There is no key word to indicate operation.

The action of joining-
They jumped in to join the swimming seals…
1 man + 1 woman
Result: Unknown.

1+1 =




A touch to cube,
Pulling toward self.

Derived facts:
Separating.

Not a sense of step,
but a relationship
Where numbers commune,
communicate on a number line.
Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
are not procedures
but relationships.

What connections are left?
And are they true for every situation?
Would you conjecture with me?
(I wonder…?)
Or are we just a broad generalization of failure?

Analyze this:
Which relationship might simplify the solution to the problem?

To be joined
or separate?

To sort the factors,
Graph the results
Determine the end result?
A pictorial depiction of the relationship….


Do the genuine questions I ask myself
Reveal the pattern,
Or disclose the operation?

Are we just a direct model
Or does our relationship
Advance our thinking?

In the name of Algebra
And all that is math
Can we make the connection?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mapping: Love




Deliberate Steps.
Structured Talk.
Sequence of ideas.
Responsible for self.
Responsible to community.


A community of two,
becomes one.
What relational thinking
are we constructing?

We could execute
procedures
we memorized.

It’s not what I desire
to observe.


Our discourse
(planned at full moon night)
worthwhile till disconnect.

Procedural;
Step by step.
Direct model.
One to one correspondence.

From couch to bed
In 60 seconds flat.
Litters,
the science of procreation
with pleasure.

Relentless in our practice,
High expectations.
Selecting and sequencing,
To make sense of…
“things”.




II. Direct Model


Direct Model: Joining.
It’s hard (i.e. difficult)
To have 2 seals on a rock,
2 swimming in the ocean…
(and all I can think of is you…)
There is no key word to indicate operation.

The action of joining-
They jumped in to join the swimming seals…
1 man + 1 woman
Result: Unknown.

1+1 =




A touch to cube,
Pulling toward self.

Derived facts:
Separating.

Not a sense of step,
but a relationship
Where numbers commune,
communicate on a number line.
Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing
are not procedures
but relationships.

What connections are left?
And are they true for every situation?
Would you conjecture with me?
(I wonder…?)
Or are we just a broad generalization of failure?

Analyze this:
Which relationship might simplify the solution to the problem?

To be joined
or separate?

To sort the factors,
Graph the results
Determine the end result?
A pictorial depiction of the relationship….


Do the genuine questions I ask myself
Reveal the pattern,
Or disclose the operation?

Are we just a direct model
Or does our relationship
Advance our thinking?

In the name of Algebra
And all that is math
Can we make the connection?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel



Slaps of canned frosting,
Smeared white,
Against graham cracker brown.
Sticky fingers lick the edges,
Smudge the nose.
Crumbs shattering
Against an Umpqua milk carton.
(Forests meeting river,
a cottage stacked behind
Lodge pole pine and Douglas fir.)

Tears run rivers
Through candy muck,
Staining a child’s face.
Starving in a forest
Of sugar cane.
(A Hunger game)

The house the child built:
4 squares of graham,
pyramid roof,
(a Nile of blue ribbon icing.)]
chalky globs cementing striped candies,
licorice strings (red and black)
M and m’s, life savors, confetti dots…
timbering in its lopsidedness,
a house built upon sugar crystals.

II.
Hansel and Gretel
On a begging path,
Scattering the crumbs of their lives,
To find a way back home.
(crumbs on forest floors,
feed the hunger, lose the path
stir cravings of gluttony
in evil birds with metallic feathers,
crashing in the quiet wind, trapped in branches of dead-
People’s limbs hung up to dry,)

Their eyes in wonder of gingerbread house,
Lost in woods.
A home, sweet taste,
Breaking off edges to nibble.
Flypaper to attract-
Blue bottles, twitching in death,
Swinging gallows like from the ceiling.

III.

But there are witches in Gingerbread Houses,
Children.
They live in walls,
Trick your eyes with gummy worms,
Crawling through pricky holes.

Their hair, searing strands,
Writhing snake like tangles,
Caressing to stone,
With a touch of venom,
A pearl upon a fang,
burning misery
upon faces of children.
They spread their soot,
Corner to peak,
With whispery breath of mordant bile,
Dribbles down their pointy chins.

Don’t look up my child,
Nor sideways to dusky corners.
Wedge the door!
One foot behind the other.
Scamper to the stair of glossy cane,
Fudge through toffee stones,
AND
Run, run, run!

IV.

One child to another-
Eyes wink shut in sleep-
Winkem, Blinkem, Nod
of a Nightmare.

And I don’t know how to end
this and give you back your dreams.

There are monsters out there.
Come close!
I’ll hold you tight.
Teach you the weapons to use:


“You can READ your way out of anything”

“Write your way to comfort.”

“The sums you add
will multiply your days of gladness.”


Come listen to my story…

Authority

By what authority,
This Higher Thing,
That knows the names and number on all the stars?
Places them like thumb tacks
in the night of bulletin boards.
In a longitude and latitude,
not heard nor understood.
Line, tacked upon a border,
Bulletin of earth and sky.

Our selfish permission
Granted
And little understood.

(He doesn’t need our authority
or permission
to badge his works,
medal his words)

Earthy foundry that He alone created.

We forget our dusty beginnings
In prides of lying.
Puffed up adders of law and sin.
Arrogant in our questioning of authority,
A peacock of ignorance.
His command running swiftly to the earthy
Border of named for stars.

II.
“You can’t debate unbelief.”

III.

The door behind the curtain,
Wedged open with a foot,
Sandaled dirt of a man,
God incarnate.
The hardness of granite
rooted to the earth,
binding up the heart in a litter
of diamonds of agnost,
slamming shut the heavens.
Unbelief, as hard as heart.

John’s baptism
Their crucifixion fence.
Pharisees.
Religious leaders.
Man.
Me.

IV.

I am convicted of my sin,
Nailed on my cross,
When I sit in church.
I see it.
Feel it,
Breathe it.
The stench of offal, viscera,
Carrion.
I sit in urine,
Leachate of my transgressions.
A goat wandering pits and valleys
Of my creation.

My death is no sign.
My life no boundary.
I hear the whispery crepe,
Leaves,
Rustle,
Through the authority of vines,
Left to wither in mid day sun.
(Plastic grapes cradled in a ceiling border.)

And in the waft of rot,
Surrounded and surrendered
The stubbornness of my sewage,
I hear His call.
Acknowledge His authority,
Turn myself inside out.

“ I cannot by my own reason or strength”
come to my Savior.

He must break the wall
Between city and dump
With Water, with Word,
That guards our unbelief.
Only then can I in all unnaturalism,
Repent.

V.
He knows my name,
My sins,
And pins me in his home above.
Death closes my eyes.
In seconds,
They are opened in heaven.
In death my eyes well shut,
Sleep like in what looks like unbelief.
Unsealed by Water and His Word.
I’ll blink to Heaven’s lights. a city with no walls,
Between my God and me.
Face to face for eternity.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Cottonwood Tree/ first draft




Drifts of cotton snow
Line the roadway.
In the air they spin and dance on invisible currents.
First up,
then away,
finally resting,
from it labor
rebirthing,
to a giant someday…
a seeming sturdy tower
(the heartwood’s cracked whispered the wind…)

It’s branches reach to cradle the clouds on it’s fingertips.
The mud sucks at the surface roots and overcomes the radicle-
the aggregate of leaves-foliage-articulates the language of the wind.

Lone,
a solitary figure,
nestled in the pasture slope,
fencing the wheat field
from the cattle.

Our playground,
A slippery slide to the ditchy depths
of thunderstorm excess.
The sun, incandescent, heat radiating,
Scorching freckles on our arms.
We could smell the wheat ripening
Golden and glorious.
We shelled and crunched the seeds between our teeth
as we forged a path and played hide and seek with our dog.
(Run. Run. Leap.)
He bobbed and weaved through the strands…

The Cottonwood tree sheltered in its arms (branches)
the ladybugs in winter, the cattle in summer,
cottontails with poofy cloud tails, shying from chicken hawks and coyotes,
Bull snakes feasting on field mice,
and two little girls running from the reality of a Father’s impending death.





We’d wrapped our sun burnt arms around the scabrous trunk –
rub our tender noses in the cracks,
smelling secrets,
whispering to the cambium our desires.
The itchy bark against our forearms,
Sweat drying
and prickly heat robbing our shade.
We’d strip to undies,
Fling our clothes to flop against the shallow roots.
(We feared our mother’s anger over muddy clothes)
The toast water skimmed over our freckled skin
till our eyes peered out froglike.
It was heavenly hypnotic in its coolness and forbiddingness.

Later walking home, abreast the ripening heads of winter wheat,
The dog scouting our path,
We were lost amidst the wheat, the sun, and our impending sorrow,
Foretold one night of our Daddy’s death.

We thought ourselves clever to hide our mud-soiled undies under pile of dirty clothes.
I’m sure our mother knew that forbidden adventure
in ditch water had happened again.


Later
Much later,
after a Father’s death,
and the years left the farm behind,
the memory of that refuge tree
gathers me close in it’s sheltering arms.


Every time I glimpse a cottonwood
or glance at the fluff flowing in the air,
I silently wrap its memory around my body,
and hug the bark:
A soft pillow of comfort
in memories of 2 little summer girls,
burnt in death.




Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kansas- completed?





Kansas

This land,
it suits me,
gloves my hands in dirt
(soil, earth, loam, terra firma)

shoes my feet,
roots them,
entangles them in a weave
of Timothy, buffalo, blue stem,
bottlebrush, and foxtail millet:
a living body suit.

I grow upon the horizon.
The wind tosses the chaff,
like stalks of my hair.
I morph to the wind.
A machine, giant upon the hills.
Ancient energy for a 21st century.


II

A garden
of wild onion,
earthy tastes,
on a baking summer day.
Cactus hidden in buffalo grass,
snares the bare feet.
Sandburs jab, bring blood to a child's foot.
Devil's claws hook and pin into ragged denim bottoms.
Tumble weeds caught in barbs and fried on electric fences.
All created to keep me here
in mind, in soul, in imagination...


III
In this garden
Adam would have named the flower "sun".
Eve would have reached for a wild plum,
Growing in ditches, hidden spring water.

Walking in that garden
there'd be no live bushes
to hide behind;
just tumbles of weeds
blowing across the grass.

God would call the wind
to sweep the hidden horizon
to unearth
fleeing man and woman...

The snake would rattle with his lies,
and the woman would crush his head
against a rock.
A rock that would stand
never fall,
a limestone wedge planted in the earth.

IV
In the prairie Garden of grasses
God would form man of loam,
Rich in wormy compost.
The breath would be the wind,
held back against the Osage orange
and cottonwood tree.

The rivers, rich brown
with runoff life,
water the grassy fences.
To the East to the West, to the South, to the North-
The Saline, the Smokey, the Solomon:
Trifecta under an angel’s sword.

The snake coils, hidden in the sun of limestone posts.
A rattle in a baby’s hand
(a baby that would smash his head)
V.
From one man’s fall
(tripped on a rock)


came all
puncture vine, goat head, sand burrs
that vexed me as a child.
Fire ants that bite, thistles stuck in fingers,
wasps stinging flesh.

Came another man’s rise:
The sun pinned upon the rolling hills,
Like some bug stuck in a formaldehyde jar
and mounted on a styrofoam tray.

VI.
That killing jar could not keep
Him pinned upon that hill-
No stone left buried in the loam,
could hide His body from the day.
His Word, His Water, His breath,
His body and His blood,
keep me still in prairie grass,
growing stems skyward,
roots trenched in terra firma.
Walking windward on God’s breath.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Still looking for an ending...

Nebraska
Part I

The Platte’s muddy
Ribbon, twists,
Braids, plaited
With trees that suck
The life, the water,
from the river.

The “divide” (a?)
Between Little Blue
And Republican Rivers:
Cather’s land.

II

Soybeans, squat, bushy.
Corn majestic tall.
Both in a blue bowl sky.
Pivots of water
Puddles and pools,
where cows come to stand.
Rolls. (Rolling?)
Into Kansas.
Prairie becoming a cultivated carpet.
A land I can shrug on,
Glove my feet,
Root them in blue stem
And buffalo grass.

Kansas III
If I “can’t go home again”—why
Do I feel so alive?
under endless sky?
Wind that whips
Yet caresses and wraps its arms around my body.
Rhizome, planted
To keep me still.
A voice wakes me.
Why do I undulate
my emotions like the limestone
struggling to break
through the surface
of the humps of hills.
(the ocean underneath the waves)
Once when I was a child
I held a seashell
found lying in a cow pasture.
White as the cumulous clouds
Stacked in the east.
I marveled at its placement
Without a present sea.


If all I am
Is formed by 15
Can the mountains
Ever take the place of sky?

Why do I fight?
To twist, twine myself
In the grassy earth?
Will my skin
flake off like chips
of limestone exposed
by the cut of the road?
Are the scars of my life
Imprinted like the fossil shells
on limestone fence posts?

IV

I can’t be the fence.
I can’t keep the barb sharp.
The electricity
cannot flow.
It will keep rolling,
heaving past
the telephone lines.
The prairie surges,
Swells fecund,
fructiferous,
and I can’t ask myself,
“Can the mountains ever take this place?”


V
I am hot-wired
To these forsaken farms.
Barns slivered gray, collapsing
inward, to let the sky fall over them.
The roads dwindle to grass,
velutinous over earth.

Dusty toes leave tracks
in the earth,
like dinosaurs left tracks in limestone rock.
The puddles from thunderstorms
the night before, vaguely brings to mind
some other timely tragic
upheaval.
Seas sucked to ground and sucked up to heaven.





Monday, August 29, 2011

Revision 2

A strand of agates,
Pearls in a pile of sand.
An island, desert,
in a sea of softening asphalt.
I run my fingers through
the beaded rock.
It feels like water rushing
through a hand pump.

It belies my preoccupation
Of rock, tree, grass.
A yawp of a crow,
Sooty black against denim blue,
(smokey at the horizon)
startles my pseudo reverie.
The heart dances
outside my chest
I push
it back to beating.

I don’t know this tree.
Its leaf is not familiar.
It bothers me,
I don’t know its name.

The serrated edge
of the leaf,
rough on my fingertips,
strokes my mind.
I deliberately rub
it against my skin,
wondering if the green
of late summer,
rich in vibrant life,
will tattoo my epidermis.
The chloroplasts,
plant blood,
oozes,
sticky in its morphology.

I need to:

Focus,
Grasp.
Hear,
inside your head.
Will the words band,
in a strand
and jewel the tongue?

A kiss of words
pass the lips,
mouth my desires.
Plant morphology:
the nodes of a relationship-
leaf, root, or branch?
The living organism.
I avert my eyes
so I can’t see the answer.

Perhaps this prairie plant,
native grass,
will roil its seeds
and quit the wind.
I crush it between my fingers.
Rubbing scents, releasing
emotions for the future.

A tease of a touch,
A start,
a brake,
a change of attire.
Under your voice hides the wind.
It startles me.
The leaf rips,
"x"ed to mark the spot.


I wished upon a star.
It streaked across your skin
on a Kansas night in summer.
It yielded nothing
but a mummy of a leaf.
Releasing the heart
from the chest,
the rock from the sand,
the seed from the grass.

The west wind drives
us onward,
We yield
to limestone fences,
sunken
and laid upon the beds of grass,
Matted in disuse.

A sculpture of a Zephyred wind,
dedicated to our youth.
In later years
consummated in dreams ,
caught up on our horizons.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Church




Church is the only place I can think clearly. I go not because I have to or because I think it saves me. I go because I need to be there to get my booster shot of the Word, confess and receive forgiveness for my sins, and take the the body and blood of Jesus. It strengthens me and gets me through the week and whatever torment I am putting myself through. I go because I can fellowship with other believers and receive comfort and friendship from them. I go because I can use my mind to think, ponder, and grow in my knowledge of God and His word. I go to sing because I love to sing. I go to chant, speak, and say the Liturgy.

Because I am defined as a person through my life in Christ.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Anticipation




A strand of agates,
An island, desert,
in a sea of softening asphalt.
I run my fingers through
the beaded rock
like water rushing
through a hand pump.

It belies my preoccupation
Of rock, tree, grass.
A yawp of a crow,
Sooty black against denim blue
(dusty at the horizon),
startles my pseudo reverie.
The heart dances
outside my chest
I push
it back to beating.

I don’t know this tree.
Its leaf is not familiar.
It bothers me,
I don’t know its name.

The serrated edges,
Rough on my fingertips,
Strokes my mind.
I casually rub it against my skin,
wondering if the green of late summer,
Rich in vibrant life,
Will tattoo my epidermis.
The chloroplasts, plant blood,
oozes,
sticky in its morphology.

I need to:

Focus,
Grasp.
Hear,
inside your head.
Will the words band,
in a strand
and jewel the tongue?

A kiss of words
pass the lips,
mouthing my desires,
in this plant morphology.
The nodes of a relationship:
Leaf, root, or branch?
The living organism,
averting my eyes
so I can’t see the answer.

Perhaps this prairie plant,
Native grass,
will roil its seeds
and quit the wind,
as I crush it between my fingers.
Rubbing scents, releasing
Emotions for the future.

A tease of a touch,
A start, a brake,
change of attire,
Under your voice hides the wind.
It startles me. The leaf rips off the branch.
An "x" to mark the spot.


I wished upon a star. It streaked across your skin
on a night in a Kansas summer.
It yielded nothing but a dried mummy of a leaf.
Releasing the heart from the chest,
The rock from the sand,
The seed from the grass.

The west wind drives us
onward,
a sculptured Zephyr,
dedicated to our youth,
consummated in our old age.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ascension (1980)




The fog on the freeway:
... Ice...
...Chains required...
...5 miles beyond...
this point...
and I'm sure
I'll miss my exit.

This wall weaves,
coils around my car,
poised to strike.
The heater hisses,
as the Datsun wheezes up the hill.

I wonder,
Am I as ghostly
As the signs
appear and disappear?
"Ashland/Klamath Falls
Exit 1 mile

God, you set,
timed this run.
I didn't know
this ascension in elevation
would make living so difficult.

I look to the Hills
for my Strength.
I can't see them,
but I know
they are there.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Curriculum







Curriculum


“A path run in small steps.”
By definition
A curriculum:
What we teach,
The bling of our personal touch.

Incremental repetition.
Variations of steps.

Bantam chicken feet
In forest litter.
Guiding to a nest:
(Definition 3)
“to force a person, object, or animal
to move in a certain path.”

A community: where a child (free and reduced lunch)
Plays with unifix cubes of primary colors,
in patterns of AB, AB, AB.
Little hands hold trains of cubes
to measure a chair,
and draw frogs in a pencil lead pond,
when all they really want is a laser gun
to shoot the bad guys.
(See that’s the force!)

II.

I follow rules.
I believe in research.
I believe the educational science.
I strive to be current.
I swallow and do the exercise,
(no matter how painful to self.)
I admit my weaknesses.
I strengthen,
because it is what is best for the child.
(Hello, Margaret!)

Curriculim:
Foolishness on a path.
Risks on either side:
Science. Belief.
(Definition 2: systematic knowledge
of the physical or material world gained
through observation and experimentation.)
Often for years,
Controlled grouped.
I trust the rules.
I trust the research.
I trust my ability to learn.

Data does not come easy for me.
Just as Latin and French did not roll
off my lips and communicate meaning.
I trick the brain to understand.

By myself I don’t do what is right
For the child,
That chooses markers
(oily bright in all their messiness)
over crayons
(waxy crumbles that glide not on paper)
Vygotsky, Piaget, Maslow.

III.
Curriculum
Reading Street, Bridges,
Scott Forseman, Houghton Mifflin.
It is not what we map,
(map, a verb)
It’s not the Essential.
It’s not the CORE.
It’s not the Coop,
Or the nest box;
Just random eggs,
placed in a carton,
To sell to school districts.

IV.

I had a hen,
A Banty hen
Who scratched the forest floor,
Scratched at needles,
Tore at the detritus.
Spearing grubs, and gobbling grasshoppers.
Underneath the Manzanita
She laid a nest of earthy eggs.
I found the eggs,
Washed them in the sink.
Refrigerated.
And when I cracked one
The almost chick
Sputtered in the yellow butter.

That chick that I committed to hypothermia
In my refrigerator,
Did not perish from the lack
Of a mother’s love
Or even from nature’s predators,
But from my ignorance.
As I heaved into the trash can,
And swore off eggs forever,
I wondered what small steps went off the path?






Monday, August 15, 2011

What am I asking? A future with a husband...




I. Drop down menu:



Talk in hand leashes,
wrapped in knots-
tangled,
And I would trip!
Tugging dogs, eavesdrop, sniff for other life (e.g. dogs)
(and its your turn to wrap the poo in generic baggies.)
a small path framed in a hedge of mountains,
prairie fences, or ocean currents.

It’s not the where.
It’s the who.

II. What am I asking?

To not be alone in silence
Or in the company of friends.

To hold a hand, entwined over a Bible.
To sing the Alleluias in Divine service 1.
To commune with knees grazing,
Hands gripped in fellowship of blood and body.
To kneel in forgiveness,
And confirm absolution,
with Pastor’s hands raised in blessing.

To pray, to feel, to respect, and know your leadership in God.
To be cherished, gently guided, before God.

To know our sins are forgiven,
and our Savior
hides them in the mask in God’s eye.

I would be one with you in God
for our earthly lives.

Coram Deo.
Before God.

In His presence.
to know Life before God is beautiful.
A restoration of intended.
Marriage.

What am I asking ?

Drop down menu:

As one, grafted and spliced
Upon the tree
(oiled wood, branches bleached)
Skeletal in our forgiveness.

There’s no machine, deus, to hide behind.
Fleshed together, a union:
With you as my head
and I by your side.
Our body exchanged to each other.
Everything will be one when I am with you.

III. What am I asking ?



Empty bed,
Drop down sheets.
(cotton crisp, line dried in summer)

The Content is a Noun.
Skills are Verbs.

What am I asking?
Example gratia.

Stroke (e.g- touch)
skin surface.
Moist in contact.
Beaded up,
on lips,
a sheen that slides,
oils, penetrates.

Body wicks the sheets,
Flames out,
Gasps at lesser oxygen.

The face of your body,
Against mine,
crumples to the floor,
like sheets tumbled in a dryer.
and when your mouth
should cease its talk upon my skin,
I’d trace your gentle lines of fate in perspiration.

We’d speak with no voice,
Wondering if it would commit us:
Act of War.
Act of Love.
Act of Self.
A nation of WE.

What am I asking ?

Conversation, quiet in the lulls,
Laughter in the strum of our feet on black tar asphalt.
(Sinking, sticking in the summer heat.)

Camaraderie comforters in winter,
Wrapped in couches:
A show and tell of books, paper, and misc. bits of life.

A quilted pattern pieced together by mutual desires.

My future husband: lover of God, lover of me.


Personal Narrative Poem Map