over & over, closer & closer

i finally took down my christmas tree.

she was a beauty. she brought us so much joy.

i hated to pluck the fragile ornaments off, one by one,

and toss her outside. but i know she will break down gently

into the soil and help create new life. she was already breaking down

in my living room: pine needles and sap and bits of branches everywhere.


part of me wanted to leave her there by the window and watch her decompose,

watch her finish her process of drying up, falling apart, withering to bits on the floor,

to see how long it would take, what it would look like. i don’t think this would bring me as

much joy as seeing her fully fledged with ribbons and lights, but in a more tangible way, it would

remind me of my own fleeting life, my own gradual breaking down, my own gentle (de) composition.


in her place by the window sits a large house plant that had been dying in a dark corner. now she can

sit in the sun and revive. she looks at me gratefully, watching me work, watching me watching her.

she reminds me of how happy my father was to sit on the balcony in the florida sun, soaking up

the warmth. there’s a picture of him somewhere in a rocking chair, facing out to the world,

slightly smiling. he knew he wouldn’t make it through another winter; he was ready to

go toward the light … into the light … through the light … to become light.


these are the rituals we need. these are the things we live to observe,

experience, write down, and remember. we do the same things

every year, over and over, as if getting closer and closer to

the bright light center with each magnificent spin.


Note: When viewed in a word doc format, this poem forms the shape of a pine tree on its side. I don’t think I can show landscape view in this platform.




hands on

god is not one of us;

god is all of us.


if we could put our

hands on


the whole world,

we would feel it—


the story of

the story of the


spiral pearly gate

opening and leading


us up and out of our

self-preserved caves,


around and around in

remembrance circles until


we could not do even one thing

without love.



maybe we get stronger


these grand moments tessellate,

become memories,

weaving latent symmetry.


science re-aligns:

brilliant humility;

always questioning,


always loving the design:

bright-brain mandala–

mazes lighting up the sky.


she sings to the rain;

embryo turned baby girl

turned future woman.


the dark day sings through the years:

while making coffee,

choosing her favorite mug;


the cat plays D-sharp,

the start of how great thou art,

on the white upright.


the glorious axioms

–love, light, shadow, breath–

shine through from the other side.


a day is worth so much more than fifty cents

i keep finding myself driving down the short, short street

where i lived while you died — past the canary-yellow

pick-up whose bed remains empty; past the arched-flowered

front porch; past the circular stone drive.


where we walked to the first school bus stop,

beside the cool morning bench and lavender

bushes and walnut tree growing a stunning yellow

fungus in the shape of a swelling flower;


where my girl waited and cheerily tossed rocks,

petals, leaves into the gaping hole where the tree’s limbs

intersect — as if to say, you are beautiful; you are

worthy of receiving love unto your selves.


just down the street, the city library — where i can

never seem to stay in good graces; three weeks just fly

by and away and leave me in the breathless red:

a day is worth so much more than fifty cents.



sun day

i wake to morning light

communion breeze

song birds

child safe, asleep


openness, forgiveness: a

gentle bringing together of

dream-forgetting and

kind remembrance;


even the pairs of

mother-child fighting

outside my window are

pieces of mirrored divinity


attending to each of

these gifts gathered here

with the senses i have received

i partake in a humble holiness


this is my church

and inside i am the

minister, choir, and body

of the word of God