Welcome to Four Lines! I have a goal I would like to write at least four lines of poetry or a haiku every day for the rest of my life. I'm excited about this challenge! Also, along with my daily poem, I will be reading at least four lines of another author's poetry. I'll try to include that here also. So I'm thinking - how difficult can it be to read and then write one poem a day? We will see! - Claudia

All poems on this blog, unless noted, are written by Claudia Callaghan.
© 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Claudia Callaghan
Used only with permission. Please feel free to join Four Lines and request permission.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I remember the year
David and I bar hopped
on New Years Eve
in Minneapolis.

Talking and laughing 
in brimming bars
with people we 
didn't know,
we drank beer from
as many countries
as we could
and absorbed the hot
Minneapolis music sound.

We ended up at an Irish Pup
just before midnight.
Women left their purses 
and everyone their coats inside
(No one steals anything in Minnesota.)
as we stepped outside 
with glasses of champagne
to toast the New Year
with fireworks.
Snow delicately falling.

I kissed David
feeling warm inside,
and cool, with a dusting of white on my hair, 
safe and cozy, our arms around each other.
We watched chrysanthemum fireworks
fall from the sky
in the crowd of cheery people
sipping our champagne
and kissing.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Coffee and tea are both for me,
add chocolate and I am in heaven.

Give me a slightly curious enemy.
I'll graciously serve him a cup of tea
and home made chocolate truffles
every day for one year.
Our hearts will grow
like tulip trees.
We'll share some commonality.

The next year every day
this chocolate-tea enemy and I
will also read ten poems
and walk ten miles together.
Every Sunday we'll alternate
attending each other's
religious services.
My church is the conservatory's
piano practice room.
After the second year,
even though we disagree,
we'll become half friends
and half chocolate-tea enemies.

The third year every day
my former curious enemy and I
will read ten poems and walk ten miles,
I'll graciously serve him a cup of tea
and home made chocolate truffles
unless he insists on serving me.
We'll alternate attending each other's
religious Sunday services.
Essential to our course,
we'll daily deliver to the disabled and elderly
meals on wheels,
our exercising hearts
growing stronger each day.
So....after the third year
we'll become friends,
friends who agree to
sometimes disagree,
friends who sometimes even agree,
and friends who serve each other gracefully,
chocolate truffles and tea.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Upon blank pages
something ancient rages
I do not want to write of.
The good news is
changes come
in stages
with desire.

If change is history,
desire must surpass
histories roarings.
If change is cooking
a ten chocolate cake,
desire must surpass
last weeks uneatable two,
by eight.

If I stay the Coyote
and you the Road Runner
or you, the Coyote,
and I the Road Runner,
no matter how much love
we also experience
our evolution will end.
Our descendants will never fly,
swim under water with gills,
be able to walk through walls,
inhabit the moon,
or live on earth peacefully
loving our neighbors
as ourselves where all life
has what is needed
to uniquely grow.

Upon blank pages
something ancient rages
I detest to write of:
Bad changes usually
come in stages,
with desire
that ends in

I choose to surpass
my cake by eight
and history before
it's to late.
What do you choose?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I like potatoes,
love tomatoes,
adore rhyme.
In a day or two
I'll find thyme
to makeup a recipe
for potatoes, tomatoes,
rhyme and thyme

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's because of Jim this poem is undone.
He's funny like most people breathe.
I can't think to see to write.
It's because there are salads and scones
to make, dishes to wash,
and the table to set that
I can't stop to start a line.
It's because I hear Michie telling Kelly
she wants red hair like her,
or Janie explaining to Orion and Zoli
how to play and win at scrabble,
and Richard, Rick and Emma visiting
from Kalamazoo making our table 11 that
I can't stop to decipher, to light up a line.
It's because I hear how to make fresh raspberry sauce,
Mom, Jim and Mina's discussion of Les Miserables,
and Elaine and Tim, whose opinions I cherish,
ringing the door bell that
this poem is an unassembled casserole.
It's because I love seeing Orion's planetary smile
and Mom merry in her element that
I stand up and push in the chair.
Poetry and promise lost precedence.
I turn off my lap top.  Close the lid.
The voices of my family have won.
This poem is left undone.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My mother's house is never lonely
with family, step family, half family,
friends, in-laws all cooking in the kitchen.
Her kitchen, shaped like a triangle,
is the biggest room in the house
with walls of windows floor to ceiling.
Children run in and out of this kitchen,
throw snowballs outside and play
recital songs on violin and piano
for friends stopping over to say hello.
And oh, every day you can hear adults say,
"Turn off the video games!"

My mother's house is never lonely.
She is not alone,
when we go home.
Her cohorts are sorority sisters
grand canyon hikers,
book-group readers and potters.
Last fall my step father died.
This summer we're meeting
to place his ashes in the ground.
But he'll never be in the ground.
He's watching out for my mom.
That is also why she is not alone
and my mother's house is never lonely.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


In Michigan with my family of copious conversations
not posting due to poetry procrastination,
instead I'm in moments on holiday vacation.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Apologies for not wrapping this poem
in green ribbons and bows under the Christmas tree.
It is in peices, unboxed not ready to see.
Tracking notes: delivery by post when I'm home.

Friday, December 23, 2011

In the middle of this dreaming, winter white pond
we stand still on ice looking out.
In summers here sheltered mallards swim
we stand still behind cattails looking in.

Written by Claudia Annabelle

Thursday, December 22, 2011

While a hundred resumes click,
hum, and print away,
I day dream...
day dream of seven dimensions
branes, according to physicists
membranes moving in the universe.
I sit, breathe in my ambling,
bird watching, tree hugging brain
to imagine that marvel.
Could it be true?
And in my dream
Seven dwarfs appear
Happy, Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Sleepy,
Sneezy, Grumpy...

Orion walks in.
- *poof* go the lined up dwarfs -
Collecting resumes, I say
"I got to tell you, I read today that
there may be seven dimensions!"
He stares blankly and says,
"Mom, that's nothing.  In school
 they said there maybe 11."

Orion sits beside me as we combine resumes
with spiffy cover letters and stuff them into envelopes.
"That's nothing," I say. "Dr Barbour,
[who reminds me of Spinoza]
is mathematically proving there's no time.
No such thing as time."
"A time to be born, a time to die
a time to plant, a time to reap
a time to laugh, a time to weep.
Da da da laa laa laa da da da da da.."
Orion stares at me singing.
I'm the dorkiest Mom in the world.
"No son, not like that song,
no time, no time what-so-ever,
no ticking, Big Ben's busted,
no past, no future.
Just now.
Only now.

Orion stops envelope stuffing,
gazes ahead at nothing,
breathes in his 13-year-old
football and piano playing,
sociable brain until cross eyed.
His concludes grinning,
 "No time? Common, Mom.  I have no time for this."
"What about 11 dimensions? Do you have time for that?"
"No, I'm going to Chris' house."
"Thank you, Orion, for helping me,
I think I'll look for a timeless job
but make sure it's in this dimension."
"Good idea" he says.

Please.. please.. please...
let my next job be one
where Orion and I can live
sublimely, without struggling,
and.... in no time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Writer's Block

She's here, visiting
-I'm not sure how long -
gravity gone askew.

I write ten
  blah blah oblong poems
from perfect pearls,
never to be worn.

It's as if beads of a necklace
I am stringing drop,
and scatter
                 across the floor
     in    different
         hide under the couch
and disappear
                   into heater vents.
Like my soufflé is
oatmeal cookies
             burning and
long composed songs
are foldered,
as drafts.

And yet.... when she sits besides me
drinking her coffee and I drink my tea,
if my schedule remains undaunted,
       the fantastical happens.

            It begins to rain.
I sit at my table without an umbrella
water splashes onto my computer,
rolls down my face,
soaks my clothes to the skin.
      Puddles form on the floor.

That's when she kisses my forehead,
gives me a hug and
fast as she walked in
                          she walks out.

When home from school,
my son doesn't notice
the rain in the house.
I hand, this young critic
of most of my work,
a poem that he reads word by word.
    "Wow Mom!  I like it!"
he says and then asks,
"Did you make any
oatmeal cookies?" 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kevin's going to bed, "Goodnight
and Merry Christmas," he said.
So, that's what I'm sending to you,
I hope peace and goodnight will do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Five Mikes live on my road
of four homes and 6 twin homes,
four beam sun-shiny hearts,
one sun-shiny heart is hidden.

This Mike watches passers-by from
a window.  If the person passing
or her dog steps a toe on his lawn,
he opens his window and, whatever
he says, they never near his grass again.

Once in the middle of the night
"Little Running Horse" -
our dog's nick name - woke me
whining and pacing by the front door.
Earlier she feasted on
home-made vanilla butter cookies
supposed to be cooling on the pan.
Dark and cold, we passed Mike's house
walking quietly on other side of the street.
I jumped hearing his window open.
"You and you're landscaping,
you and your flowers" he said.
I pretended not to hear,
picking up our pace in passing.

I wonder about him.
The first year we moved in
he gave us two bags of delectable apples.
I thanked him with an apple tart.

A beautiful apple tree,
the most beautiful apple tree in town,
grows on the corner of his lawn
near the street.  With just three steps
you are close enough to pick a few apples!
This autumn the branches profuse
with sweet, crispy, crimson fruit
caught my eye each time I passed.
Never have I seen such an apple tree!
I would smell apple pie with cinnamon,
warm apple cake with walnuts, apple tart,
and apples in a waldorf salad.

This Mike used to be gregarious,
talking with neighbors
returning home from work as we
collected our mail, raked leaves,
weeded gardens.
Something happened.
Something happened to Mike.

I decided then that Apple Tree Mike
has a hidden shinny heart,
otherwise, he couldn't have
the happiest apple tree in town!
Otherwise, I couldn't smell apple walnut cake!

Next fall, I'm gathering my courage.
May be I'll start gathering it now.
I'm going to ask him for some apples
and promise to bake him a tart.
May be that's what he needs!
And that's the reason
for the apple tree.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Love is not an emotion,"
is more than a spiritual notion.
It's a revelation given for devotion.

Love is your infinite Spirit -
you may not want to hear it,
not different, but the same,
irrelevant of the name.
A fossa, a friend, a rocky shore
is space of creation at the core.

To love your neighbors as yourself
freely share your care and wealth,
not with gossip, assumptions, prejudice too,
because your neighbor, your neighbor,
is you.

And Words from Jesus, Harper Lee, and Eckhart Tolle

Jesus said,  "It is easier for a camel* to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
*another translation for camel in Arabic is rope.  Thank you http://www.biblicalhebrew.com
The New Testament according to the Eastern Text, George M Lamsa, 1940, p.xxiv and note on Matthew 19:24.

Harper Lee said through Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" "If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."

My heavenly and humble contemporary spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says when you are looking at your neighbor you are really looking at yourself.

Friday, December 16, 2011

If I had to write a poem today
the poem would be about
loving and liking to love one man,
when my breathing is winded
just thinking of him.
I hesitate to look into his eyes
and when I do,
I desire to look fiercely because,
I am as strong as he is.
Or... I desire to look gently because,
he is as kind as I am.
Or... I desire to look longingly because,
we're together when even apart.
Or... I desire to look intuitively because,
we can feel our smallest to our deepest thoughts.
If I had to write a poem today
the poem would be about
loving and liking to love one man,
until our deaths and after our deaths,
our births...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My brothers saved me a million times
when we were little,
when our back yard was ten times
bigger then it is now,
when we walked downtown
barefoot in summer.
Jim ate wild garlic that grew
by the haunted house on our road,
ran home smiling and breathed
in our mother's face. She laughed.
I could never cry when he hugged me.
John talked of his day at the kitchen table
and enthralled the three of us for hours.
He won awards in grade school
writing melancholy, beautiful stories.
My brothers saved me a million times.

Love is a mystifying, ethereal thing,
so powerful.
It held my world together then.
When we divided, I fell into pieces.
Now I'm finding it within myself.
I promised not to write of sadness
anymore, of fear and pain,
being lost in the mind,
of why and how, what and who.
Suffice it to say,
My brothers saved me a million times.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snow falls diagonally
in a hypotenuse wind,
a tempest of downy white,
flakes as big as popcorn.

My son and I shovel in vain,
the snow rising, rising
past and into our boots -
icy and wet on my shin.

We're doing the shovel dance -
"one foot forward, two feet back,"
while shovels and snow madly fly.
Two little fish in a sea of snow.

I see my son laughing.
We laugh and laugh, the belly kind,
until I fall on a cushiony drift and
he throws snowballs at me.

One year the banks were seven feet high
on both sides of the drive way.
This is why I celebrate with champagne
when in Spring the first tulip breaks

through Minnesota snow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is my first attempt 
to explain my love for
Moonlight Sonata's,
First Movement - 
that reminds me of creation.

Emptiness and space,
from nascent dark to luminous,
day and night from water.
The first day.

Omni One
forms a euphony
separating oceans and sky.
The second day.

The third day.
Earth is home
to the 10,000
green and fruited things.

The movement is quiet beyond quiet,
powerful beyond powerful,
beautiful as beauty was born.

It is the sound of Source,
the sound of Source moving
upon the face of the waters,
the deep waters.
It is the music - of this
Nameless, Infinite, Intellect
beyond the understanding
of most earth-raised, three dimensional minds -
that is part of you and part of me.

Emptiness and space,
from nascent dark to luminous,
day and night from water.
The first day.

Omni One
forms a euphony
separating oceans and sky.
The second day.

The third day.
Earth is home
to the 10,000 living
green and fruited things.

God saw that it was good.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Every morning Moon Beam
wakes me purring,
gently tapping my face
with her paw.

Fearless Moon
wind in her face
takes in the world
bike riding in her basket.

There's a moon
shining in my house
rascally sweet
confident, unowned.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orion, my thirteen-year-old constellation,
sometimes you turn your "Mom's volume"
down and I'm drowned out by Linkin Park,
a phone conversation or your piano playing.
I have something important to tell you.

This has to do with me,
I'm not going to say....
 "Finish your home work.
Read every word.
Take out the garbage.
Walk the dog.
Great effort!"
"One hour of piano!
Let's go to Big Bowl!
How was your day at school?
Close the front door -
It's 15 degrees outside!"

I'm going to say ....
I want to, but I cannot
attend your choir concert today.
I can imagine you
walking on stage,
singing with your class mates.
I hear Christmas Carols and Hanuka songs.
I hear your voice too,
changed to a beautiful base.
You may goof off a little
but mostly you are concentrating.

I love you to the edge of the universe.
That is how far love goes.
And the universe is expanding too,
so I guess that means,
I love you forever.

I give you my word.
I will go to the May concert
if I have to run five miles
because my car breaks down,
(You know my running ability!)
if I have to cancel tickets 
for a trip to Hawaii,
if I have to decline a date
with the greatest man on earth,
if I have to jump over the moon 
and bring back a basaltic moon rock.
I will be at your May Choir concert.
I will be there.
I hope you have your, or may be
I should say, please have your
"Mom's volume" set high enough,
so you can hear me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My piano misses me.
I hear him yoohoo! as I pass
to do some task or other.
I don't think he's lonely.
My son rehearses for a recital
and the kitten leaps across his keys.
I probably shouldn't wait
till he starts yelling, or miraculously,
playing "Clair de Lune" on his own
- the song I imagine myself to be -
to start practicing again.
Actually, I miss my piano.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This poem is mine.  This poem is yours.
You may read these words 
and understand them.
You may dislike them, crumble them up
and lob them into the waste basket 
like a basket ball
or make them into an airplane
and fly them across the room.
You may decide to memorize them,
send them to friends,
or magnet them on your refrigerator.

Poems become our thoughts -
the partnering, the square dance,
the ballet of words --
about the places where we walk
and places where we have never been,
the people we love,
death, life and birth,
about tears flowing, hurting,
the inability to cry,
beauty, ugliness and all in between,
trying till you sweat and apathy,
about flowers we water,
and trees we plant that become forests.

Maya Angelou wrote "Still I Rise" for the world.
Her poem is hers and is also mine. 
Eddie Vedder's "Society" belongs to society.
His song is his and is also yours.
A teacher's extraordinary teaching
belongs to herself, 
her students
and more than her students.
How far will her creativity
continue to create?
And who and what has
inspired her?

Even though I don't know you.
I've never seen you before.
Even though we have never spoken.
This poem is yours.  This poem is mine.
You may read these words
and understand them.
You may dislike them, crumble them up
and lob them into the waste basket 
or you may use them as some part of
your dance in creation.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What is chocolate, besides chocolate?
What is snow, besides snow?
What is a baobab, besides a baobab?
What is a crow, besides a crow?
Heaven, they are heaven.
That must mean we live in heaven.

What is a mean lie, besides a mean lie?
What is a gun, besides a gun?
What are dead zones, besides dead zones?
What is starvation, besides starvation?
Hell, they are hell.
Does that mean we live in part hell?

If God created the earth it must be heaven.

If hatred exists on earth is it then part hell?

Pray hard, with every cell, every atom, pray hard.
Ask for more than yourself, with more than yourself
with every person, every plant, every fish, every stone,
every mountain, every sun beam, every candle, every river.
Pray gently, with every cell, every atom, pray gently.
Ask for more than yourself, with more than yourself
with every creature, every island, every song, every home,
every star, every breath, every dance, every conscious moment...  

What is this earth in which we live?

The more you see heaven, the more it will appear.
Here is where heaven is.  Heaven is where you are.
When you drive a cab, don't fly a plane.
When you help your neighbor, forget about your email.
When you drink tea, just drink tea.
When you pray, only pray.
When you scuba dive, don't be in Madrid
When you're speaking to a patient, don't eat creme burlee.
The more you see of heaven, the more it will appear
Here is where heaven is.  Heaven is where you are.
If you plan to blow up a building,
you aren't where you are.
If are a judge with your future in mind,
you aren't where you are.
If you think of what someone's thinking
you aren't where you are.
If you wonder what's for dinner,
you aren't where you are.
If you're involved in why they're wrong,
you aren't where you are.
The more you look for heaven, the more it will appear.
Here is where heaven is. Heaven is where you are.
When you practice the piano, practice the piano.
When you walk on the sand, walk on the sand.
When you fill the bird feeder on a snowy day,
fill the bird feeder on the snowy day.
The more you see heaven, the more it will appear.
Here is where heaven is.
Heaven is where you are.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I will remember your voice.
And, yes, connect it to your name,
even though we've spoken only once.
Will you do the same?

However, if you call me Sherie,
I will call you Shane.
Beloved and God is gracious
are the meaning of these names.

Don't misunderstand this purport
as any precipitous caring.
It's strictly from amusement
and a sanguine sense of daring.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Knight Sir knight,
Thank you for the flower.
Get down off your horse
I'll kiss you for an hour.

Friday, December 2, 2011

two stanzas of four lines
intangible ticking time
a deft pantomime
juggles eight limes

a half second off trail
one falls to the ground
a passionate rebound
catches the heart's sail

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Your father has died.  What does that mean?
The paradox of paradoxes is visiting.
Wear black hats to black shoes,
weep on shoulders, share the blues,
revisit memories with the sad news,
solemn traditions assigned on your families behalf,
walk through the graveyard, read the epitaph.

Your father has died.  What does that mean?
The paradox of paradoxes is visiting.
Wear red and yellow, add in some green.
love and feel loving, hug Aunt Bernadine,
enjoy poignant music, your dad's favorite song,
smell all the flowers, laughing's not wrong,
cry and smile and cry all day long.

A spiritual note on the side,
it is for you to decide.
Teacher Tolle says we are
born to be conscious
to die and stay conscious.

Your father has died.  What does that mean?
The paradox of paradoxes is just visiting,
tapping your shoulder, whispering in your heart.
Your father's not dead!....you're never apart.
He lives and through death survives.
My friend, that is what it means.

Following poem XXVII by Emily Dickinson
(in it's entirety because I love this poem)

Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 't is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than a day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A charming charm of lemon and black
gold finches socialize every summer
in my yard. They fly like roller coasters
and glide over ethereal hills and valleys.
I sit still as a statue on my deck watching
them gather three feet away at the feeder.
Occasionally, I'll play the piano for them.
When they perch in the trees, I attend
a symphony of talented gold finches.
Could their music be partly for me?

And four lines from Emily Dickinson
A Bird, came down the Walk —
He did not know I saw —
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sometimes something happens and you didn't mean it to.
Then the pointing starts and you didn't mean that too.
Then the anger lights and you wish for water to douse
the flames.  Then you say you're sorry and hope
you are forgiven.

Four lines by another author
Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all,

Monday, November 28, 2011

My heart is blooming.  I smell like roses.
Today I was asked for the name of my perfume.
I answered, Poetry, - the scent of words, the colors,
mix, and planting of words, the wonder of being a garden.

And a poem by Emily Dickinson
How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn't care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears --
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity --

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I promised myself from now on I will love
trees instead of men.  Trees are easy to adore,
being beautiful, and their beauty changes
with the sky.  Trees are huggable, easy to talk to,
will not leave no matter what and are just
as pleasant to gaze upon at 39 or 139!

Today I saw a man as beautiful as a tree.
Our eyes met in that time-less space.
I was in seventh grade again unable
to stop starring at John Thelie on the bus.
And Nora Jones was singing in my mind...
"Come away with me in the night..."
Oh dear!  I ran like hell out of there,
but not before he ran after me
and handed me his business card!

Four lines from Emily Dickinson

I hide myself within my flower,
That wearing on your breast,
you, unsuspecting, wear me too --
And angels know the rest.

Friday, November 25, 2011

When you were in fourth grade, knowing nothing of hate,
we sat in the warm Florida sun next to each other
on one of the benches of our picnic table.
Through worried lines older than your years, you asked,
"Mommy, when are you going to die?" I smiled at your
sweet face and apprehensive eyes, "Probably not for a long,
long time...but really, I don't know when I'm going to die."
In one of the most cherished hugs of my life you wrapped your
nine-year-old arms around me and said "Mommy, when you die
I want to die too, because I never want to live without you."

I reminded you of this moment, my wonderful son now of 27 years,
with a DPT.  And my dear Zoli, how proud I am to know
that one day you will live on gloriously and happily without me!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We gather together with a feast of favorite foods: pepper
olive tapenade, artichoke garlic - with twice the garlic - dip,
toasty french bread, shrimp cocktail, lemon tarragon turkey,
walnut cranberry dressing and orange sauce, vegetarian gravy with
converting-carnivore-capabilities, rum apple cider with extra rum!,
velvet pumpkin sweet pecan cheesecake and celestial chocolate truffles.
I wish all people could share Thanksgiving abundance every day!
I wish all people could share love, acceptance, joyful repartee,
tranquility.  Ideologies differ as seasons around this table, city, state,
country, continent, hemisphere, world.  This exquisite, living world.
I believe one shared holy day of love on earth by all is all we need for
permanent peace.

Lines from The Course in Miracles:
"There is no order of difficulty in miracles.
One is not harder or bigger than another. 
They are all the same. 
All expressions of love are maximal."  
"Miracles are thoughts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Onyx, our lab husky mix,
hears a duck gently gliding
on the pond surrounded by
a forest of tan and brown
cattails a half mile away.

Monday, November 21, 2011

At the piano I am a bird
flying with a melody, then
through thundering chords and out -
to light upon a magnolia, singing,
solitary and completely a blissful part.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Maria said it's like I'm beginning anew,
a life poem to joy in writing, that sings, dances,
paints moving pictures, cartoons, writes songs, cries,
loves family, friends, earns respect, benefits many,
overcomes with words and no words, colors and
no colors, earth and space, thoughts and Presence.

Friday, November 18, 2011

red vase with red roses and mums
on the oak dinning room table
roses dark as deep ripe cherries
bright mums like autumn maple leaves
in full bloom, filling the room with beauty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There's no evening in Minnesota November through January,
day turns into night promising glistening snow trees.
I love the wind whistling outside the window and Orion
singing his songs at the piano. I look up from my poem
where the night is white and in the morning we're snowed in.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warmed Target sour cherry pie
whipped cream on the side
a steaming mug of Earl Gray
to delicious to believe

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sarie bought home a gourmet walnut potica roll.
My daughter loves this classic European pastry
as much as I do, finely chopped walnuts with sugar
rolled in a thin layer of dough and not to sweet.
I slice it like my grandmother used to
and put on a kettle of chamomile tea, serving
them with my grandmother's grace and dignity.
When I was little, the grown ups, after dinner,
would discuss politics with politica rolls and coffee.
I'd listen as long as I could, savoring the potica roll,
that delicious recipe passed from generation to generation,
and then drift off to sleep with my head in my mother's lap.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

His fix is medication to sedate her.
Being looses tone and meaning.
The wind she loves is only cold.
The 10,000 greens are only green.

Textures, blossums, beautiful branches,
sun loving leaves of all her favorite trees,
she cannot climb, she will not see,
as she writes sedated poems.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tallest oak, rust leaves high,
in the sacred, sapphire sky.
Single flower, rust petals low,
in the first November snow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Buddy has come to visit and will soon die,
Fred says, because of his heart. (I think
because of his heart he has years left!)
He's an old chihuahua with beagle ears
and brown eyes. One thing is certain,
in Fred's heart, he'll live forever.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chili on the stove, wafting spicy goodness... mmmmm!
Warm air, cozy on my arms drifting from the fireplace downstairs.
Moon snuggling beside me contently purring - sweet feline fashion.  
                                 Three paths into a poem.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beautifully played and read poetry
       needs light and attention.
How powerful is my intention
trying to write and read in the dim
       with one eye closed?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Peggy said it's time to face the dragon, face the dragon,
the ocd dragon that's chained my foot to his foot,
the ocd dragon who drags me back into the dreary dark,
the dreary dark.  How?  How?  How?  How to distract
the dragon so I can free my foot?
May be I should ask him out to dinner!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

He left and I'm still on one side of the bed.
The other side, man-free, is occupied
by two cats, a 90 pound dog, uplifting books.
Now this is peacefully fabulous.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Listening to song after song,
not wanting to go to sleep.
Then singing clear and soft
enough to wake the dead.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The front garden's like sugar frosted flakes in the morning
and like my favorite coral, sweater in the silk afternoon.
By evening, it's beautiful brown like comfortable leather shoes.
In the cold, cloud night this cinereal garden is creating.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

If I sit under a tree in autumn,
watch the first leaf fall
stay until the last falling leaf
will I have changed?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eyes sting, skin's hot, breath's jagged.
I head backwards, look down, forget about sky,
my children, rose bouquets, musicals, lilac trees,
summer tomatoes.  I don't hear you encouraging.
I wish for gentleness.
My words in my hands.
My words in my face.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Two energetic hands cupped as if to play the piano
waiting excitedly for inspiration... not impatient.
It is the mind that looks at the clock and remembers
the horizontal plane, darkness, and a 6am alarm.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Supposed tos, shoulds, laundry, dishes, four lines,
less than whispers as I want to just sit and read through
the Gardener's Supply Company catalogue while
listening to my son and daughter's priceless conversation.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I write on snow with angels wings and gown,
shoveled paths, snow balls rolled, boot tracks.
As if to say there's nothing permanent,
the morning responds, a page of sparkling white.
A correspondence begins!

Four lines from Oscar Wilde

Tread lightly, she is here
  Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
  The daisies grow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zoli,  Zoli, roly poly
in the meadow, meadow green.
Spy a bear, call a hare
share with them a tangerine.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sara's Moon Beam is the color of gray marble
though she has white paws and pink on one ear.
In the middle of every action, with her wise green
cat eyes, she moves with whimsical grace like Sara.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The pain in my brain is insane
In this frame I am lame and to blame
With this fear and these tears I'm not here
I can't hear it or get near it ....  Spirit

Four lines from another author,
William Shakespeare

(Beatrice)  What fire is in mine ears?  Can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell!  Maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When my brother was seven he told me
he was going to marry milk and his pillow.
Being five, I wondered - how can he do that?
Now I know.  At 53 I'm going to marry my piano.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

For some nameless reason I name
I want to write four lines all day.
Falling leaves linger in mid air
because I am studying the Tao.

Four lines by Robert Frost

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a woods, and I -
Took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Here I am trying to come up with something
at 11pm when I feel like nothing.
My yawning mind can't think of anything
not even one more thing.

Four lines by another author,
Lao Tsu
(translated by Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English)

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of not being.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We sweep tulip leaves into a pile
the fall color of milk chocolate,
the texture of Nestle Crunch Bars,
the sweetness of goodbye till spring.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Missed, and missed again, for reasons having to do
with how small I see myself, my woe and my weeping.
These lines, this liking, to new to be love, needs space,
moments, a million moments, to grow.

Four lines from another author,
Emily Dickinson

Arcturus is his other name -
I'd rather call him star!
It's so unkind of science
to go and interfere!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Elizabeth has the energy of a saint.
and I want to be more like her.
When she walks my dog,
my dog is a saint too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I practice piano during Orion's lesson
then float... and fly down five flights of stairs!
The day I float..and fly up those five flights
I'll have moved up a level to stay.

Four lines from A Course in Miracles

I cannot keep this form of upset
and let the others go.
For the purposes of these exercises, then
I will regard them all as the same.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lesson of the Big Bellied Buddha...

thoughts delirious
hold them not nearius
nothing is not serious
nothing is serious!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I trigger him.  He triggers me.
We rat-a-tat-tat each other
with words.  Hey... time to
live without each other.

Four lines by another author,
Nixon Waterman

If I knew you and you knew me -
if both of us could clearly see,
and with an inner sight divine
The meaning of your heart and mine -

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just rake leaves... observe and rake leaves...
listen and rake leaves....no thought..
space for leaves.. leaf space!
No words now... just rake leaves...

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's October and my beloved tulip tree
is the color of apricots and daffodils,
of orange juice, pumpkins, bundled wheat,
school pencils and ripened yellow tomatoes.
She is the daughter of the sun.

Four lines by another author,
Robert Frost

Snow falling and night falling, fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Moment by moment, note by note, white, black, gray -
at my piano, playing Moonlight by rote, night turns into day.
Day turns into night and I am still at my piano playing.
Night turns into day in moments and note by note I am praying.

Four lines by an anonymous author

Give me a mind that is not bored,
   That does not whimper, whine or sigh;
Don't let me worry overmuch
   About the fussy thing called "I."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Miracle Samuel, little Samuel, who are you
reaching out to connect before you are born...
before breath, the moments of your very first day?
Miracle Samuel with a hand of hope.

Four lines by another author,
Emily Dickinson

We never know how high we are
Till we are asked to rise
And then if we are true to plan
Our statures touch the skies-

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crisp as toast... a tired post.
Glasses clink or eyelids blink?
I can't think. Does this make four?
- Can't write no more.

Four lines by another author,
William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand, beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm going to dye my hair green
and never brush it again
root the rest of my life in the meadow
then die and become a tree

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's the difference between a
Lamborghini, poppy-red and new
and a rusty old Ford, dented and blue
from the sky?

Four lines by an anonymous author

Great events, we often find,
   On little things depend,
And very small beginnings
   Have oft a mighty end.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This morning gold was on the wall,
not the tulip tree's leaves or shadow,
but silhouettes of the brightest space
through which the sun was shining!

Four lines by another author,
Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.

Friday, September 30, 2011

(if I knew the sign for heart I'd put that here)

Four lines by another author,
Nancy Byrd Turner

The earth is weary of our foolish wars.
Her hills and shores are shaped for lovely things,
Yet all our years are spent in bickerings
  Beneath the astonished stars.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Break down runs after break through,
win and destroy.
Break through moseys along
carefree and unaware.

Four Lines by another author,
Robert Blake

Tyger, Tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Today writing
four lines
is as impossible as
crying four tears.

Four Lines by another author,
Robert Lowry

Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river-
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For Him, My Teacher - Five


Four Lines by another author,
Emily Dickinson

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, for him
Is aristocracy.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sometimes when I hug Onyx in the morning
I hear Cesar whispering loudly in my ear,
"No hugging
Before walking!"

Four Lines by another author,
Emily Dickinson

I measure every grief I meet
   With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
   Or has an easier size.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I was going to moan about the noose around my neck,
an ugly necklace put there by you - of course not me! - for all to see.
Instead, I'll meditate on the graceful, unobtrusive Tulip Tree
shining outside the window of my home put there by Being.

Four lines by another author,

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I hug my two favorite trees each morning
with so much love
I feel the bark on my skin
and wind and fire in my hair.
I gave him our bed for $750,
the most comfortable bed in the world -
willingly, peacefully, kindly, hopefully
because he wanted it and he left.
I told Orion, who I love more than everything,
that I don't exist when he plays piano.
It is only him, the piano and Presence.
Funny thing is, he doesn't exist either.
Our dog is teaching me everything all over again,
things that I have known and know, but don't alway live.
She connects me to my singing
and teaches me to hug trees.
L is T, O is R
V is E and E is E.
S is S, if you wish.
Trees are loves and love is tree.