In our back garden
the quiet primrose

(Eyes raised high will miss it
Eyes following footsteps will miss it
Eyes hurrying will miss it
Eyes seeking splendor will miss it)

Small flowers
Yellow, red and white
Barely peek above
Mounded leaves

Whisper spring softly

While high above
Boisterous trees
Shout out showy blossoms

While The Goat God Dances

The goat god of mischief

The cozy comfort of home

The soothing softness of touch

The steady stream of news

And yet, and yet

The eager earth of spring

The persistent promise of tomorrow

And the lasting legacy of love

Though the greatest of these
be love

Our time now
calls for faith
demands hope
requires patience

While the goat god
on too many graves

I Hear No

I hear my mother’s TV…
My husband’s staple gun…
The soft tap of my fingers on virtual keys…
Our dog barks.

But I hear no traffic from the nearby road –
It is a new experience
To hear no.

I hear no friends laughing as we play bridge…
no grandson giggling as he snatches off my glasses…
no colleagues working together…
no restaurants…
no movie theaters…
no churches.

I must listen more carefully
Right now
To hear yes.

Away From the Sunrise: A Contrary Vision

Following a poetry prompt, I took my most recent poem and tried to reverse all the imagery. The result is interesting (at least to me) and helped make me more aware of all the specific imagery that makes up that poem. So here, without further ado, is Away from the Sunrise.

Still dark dawn
As we walk away
From a scrawny sunrise

The noisy path straightens
And straightens more
Arrows through robed trees
Slowly brightening into low living beings

Noise fills the path
Not the usual blasé noise
Certainly not erupting joy
Complex noise
That common ordinary noise
Of several young people
Unfortunate enough
To recognize hate
Walking with difficulty
Up a straight path
Through attacking trees
Past empty, still buildings
Away from a threatening land
Slowly strengthening from weak early gray
To hard morning blue
With yet many dull patches
Of cloud-caught sun bursting
Outside sky and earth

Outside now and here
Outside then and now
Outside yet and then
Outside never and yet
Outside ever and never
Outside enough and ever
Outside us and enough

Into the Sunset

Still bright dusk
As we drive away
Into a sumptuous sunset

The quiet road curves
And curves again
Sinuous through naked trees
Fast fading into tall ghosts

Quietness fills the car
Not stunned awe
Certainly not simmering anger
Simple quiet
That rare miraculous quiet
Of two old people
Lucky enough
To take love for granted
Driving easily
No hurry
Down a winding road
Through guardian trees
Past hurried homes
Towards a gentling sky
Fast fading from strong afternoon blue
To soft evening gray
With yet one brilliant streak
Of sun-caught cloud leaking
Between earth and sky

Between here and now
Between now and then
Between then and yet
Between yet and never
Between never and ever
Between ever and enough
Between enough and us


I wrote a poem
Celebrating spring
And dolphins in Venetian canals

An Italian friend wrote, “The canals of Venice are clean, but I have ambulance sirens in my ears night and day reminding me of all those people dying alone. I can’t stand all this. I’m sorry.”

I love quiet days
With my husband

I miss eating dinner with my mother, playing bridge with friends, wandering slowly through grocery store aisles, babysitting our grandson.

I am grateful
The President
Is listening
To medical scientists

I worry that he did not listen soon enough and will not listen long enough.

I rejoice in spring
Lenten roses, primroses
Daffodils, violets, vinca
Buds and blossoms

I mourn for a world on pause, with sickness, anxiety and death the common denominator.

I pray
I believe

I doubt in my own belief, knowing the shape of it to be culturally determined.

I seesaw

But now I see it, feel it, experience it, live with it, every hour of every day.

Seesaw sickness

Veracity vertigo

The Good Samaritan, Pandemic Version

… a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “A lonely man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho…Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he tried to grab his hands to bless him, but the man backed away. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, tried to kiss him on each cheek, but the man backed away. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him but not too near; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity, so he kept his distance but talked with him for awhile. He walked with him and gave him his email address and phone number and wrote down the man’s contact information so they could keep in touch. When he left the man, he smiled and wished him well and promised to call or email him regularly, but he kept his distance.”

And Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the lonely man?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy and kept his distance.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Almost Luke 10:25-37

Les Eydins

I see the bottle
White Wine
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

In France
the village is old
spilling down the hillside
for centuries

Golden stone
creates the buildings
towering close
unbroken lines
over narrow streets

From the ancient church at the top
to the merely old church at the bottom

Through the village
to the turn off
dirt road into the small
grandly named
Chateau Les Eydins

I remember the dogs
two of them
Invisibly tethered to the farmhouse
or is it the chateau
stopping in the bushes
at the edge of the winery
the vignoble

I remember envying Wendy’s beautiful
to my ears

And my stumbling attempts

But that village
all of life’s security
in that narrow street
winding down
between those golden buildings

Some people would feel claustrophobic
I tell Wendy
I feel only safe
on our way to the winery

We each bought two bottles

One sits
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

March Evening

The day darkens.
The breeze breezes.
The clothes sway on the line.

I hung them out late and left them out through the light rain sprinkles. Tomorrow will bring sun. I pretend that sun and rain and more sun will ensure they are germ free.

I sip the last of my white wine.
I hear night sounds
and traffic sounds –
A back garden in the city.
Life in the time of quarantine –
how lucky I am.