Friday’s Poem: Sweetness of Things (another for my children)

The sweetness lies in the small things

(as you know), the fire opal of sun

spreading its brilliance on the horizon,

the flick and fold of wings in a moss-adored forest,

the wink and riffle of water cleansing muddy banks.

It also comes when unexpected, when silent

wintered days sneak in to sit with me too long.

What arrives are packages

with great cushy socks for icy feet,

bright bottles of red and green chili powder,

an easy can opener, tubes of silky rose.

There is a card with “hogs and kisses”.

I open a wisdom handbook for my German-Celtic soul;

lift up a vase of peace, soon to overflow with blossoms;

Given, too, is an intricate drawing with declaration:

“Love is Everything”, and so it is, we know it is;

a poem that traces the manner of our circle

with irregularities and faithful, visionary ways.

This family morphs, stretches; it does not break.

Its divergence of pieces are gathered,

unified, set into bright overlapping mosaics.

Our hopes ride like feathers on swift wings

that turn, dive, rise and realign paths

in secret lowlands, imperial skies.

We follow light streaking through darkness,

sing songs that flood the air with ache,

amazement and random delight,

and can heal with tenderness and laughter.

I am gifted with these, by these, one by one.

For sweetness lives in such small things

and then grows bigger.

This is our constellation, one we need not see

but always know; it keeps us and leads us

homeward to the gorgeous might of the heart.

Friday’s Poem: Cross Connections


What speaks from the miracle of eyes,

what means the slide of fingers to lips to brow,

three blinks and a limpid gaze averted,

a smile that dazzles with a hot edge of pain

but is mistaken for flash of charisma.

Spunk, congeniality; possible rage behind the teeth.

We are bigger, more than we seem.

It’s hard to find the way into the human core,

so hire life coaches to chareg for advice.

Why let others think for us? The reality is

our differences are minute or grand,

yet we all carry our links of living forward–

a storm of ideas, delights and losses that find us,

the urgent testing of passions,

and collisions of uncertain and pure feelings.

We pull them alongside us with big strides that

could belong to queens and kings of Fate.

As if we command all we touch;

that delusion is made truth.

Do these moments act on our behalf,

move us forward to a prosperous day?

If not, make it happen, just do the work

and know thy enemy–self or others.

But we are not only statistics,

graduates of spa getaways, a wellness class.

And still we interpret and corral time

and its inhabitants, as if on a quest and

failure is mere fiction– or is it an ally–

that must conform to our directives.

All this is that–a quest. More than a lesson.

Every story has one unfolding, dubious until defining,

and we want more so gather clues,

follow one page, one day to the next.

To see who wins, needing it to be us.


Belonging is the desire. Basic understanding.

If not that, then a rich salve of compassion.

Arms extending and encircling, pressing close,

a reminder we are worth at least that much

and in need of a filling up.

Watch, then, for the grace of it, an overflowing,

a healing spillage that calms the cry

of next in need, a common spring of love.

If only it was easy, a quick cure of a surface wound.

Clean, bandage, a good dose of patience,

no scar to betray the rude scrape.

No deeper moans to muffle, to haunt a heart.

The most egregious things are boxed,

and mostly unforgiven, left to fester.

How much we can do without, past hurts

tethered to bitterness.

If only every soul’s journey could be noted.

If every breaking warring lost quaking

heart-tattered soul-bruised human passing through

this world knew the liberation of

the spirit’s eye, the mind’s wisdom

seeing through obfuscation.

Seeing her and his and their clear center.

Hope could hold up many more weary.

I say it matters, and it has to matter more.

You have not been seen, you believe, but

when a sudden light is beamed by another

at your trueness, it changes things, for though you

may be a stranger it is an intimate awakening.

It is a connection made across a twilit street,

along rutted paths or silvered lake,

the corner bakery and at a mailbox,

humming to yourself on the way home–

there is that moment that makes us pause.

Look. It is there:

the sheen and tarnish of our dreams

and needs glimpsed in one another.

And there arises a finite longing,

bolstered by infinite love that

inhabits this coporeal life,

this gifted sanctuary of who we are.

I am meeting you in a gentle tear in time,

through one door of many, and

say without a word, I see and welcome you

and will believe you find it true.

Through the macrocosm of a universe,

we came here as if meant to come,

to become more,

may it be so.

Because of this, in this way I will

know and love the seeker,

the beloved, essential you.

And then let us pass on the welcome

and its lifesaving blessing,

its uncommon jolt of joy.

Friday’s Poem: A Small Map to a New Year

Let it begin, the invisible slide into another year,

feet and minds discerning the way from now to another now.

We have the moment, this one captivating us once more

as it enters full consciousness with sluggish drift, a fizzing spark,

a lone howl arising with chorusers lined up watching time.

The old wishing, an ardor for new and surprising, arises.

The new year’s smallness is made larger in expectancy,

though it will be more altered by random schemes.

Like the barn owl that I saw every walk: it disappeared.

Its feathers amid ferns make me weep. I thought it would stay

on and on, a sign of grace in the strife.

We cannot tell a story before it germinates,

is freely given or exchanged like a secret,

or peered at with a flurry of hearbeats: what will be made known?

And so another year’s unveiling is launched,

subdued, perhaps glittery.

Outside my back window, nothing startles me and yet

the old wide sky pinks up and oranges over,

then greys until, half blinded, I still lean

toward limbs of pines and shelter of mountains,

the horizon beyond current reach.

What is this time amid eternity’s strange magic?

Wind shivers my lashes as I step outside, but there

still remains a tick tick, tick tock: clock towers overseeing the night.

So then let it begin. We have done this before,

made time important as we still

opened arms and found them laden with sorrow,

the unweildy bulk of others’ wants and needs

but, too, astonishment and happiness,

love’s sudden salvation amid wars and storms.

Urgency can move us from victim to hero,

faces cleaned of bitter disbelief, transfigured by hope.

Oh, we are immense in our humaness.

We are brave and heartbroken,

scarred and beautiful beyond measure.

I am bowed down by miracles despite the malfeasance.

And the river knows what it knows as I move

through the days, walk, pray, am silent then sing.

In the center of forest, at water’s edge is renewal

but there is more ahead, women and men

and children rowing and trodding through the world.

Their breath as my breath, their fingers grasping my fingers.

We have learned how to walk on our knees all the way

from sunrise to dusk, and to carry or be carried,

have endured and languished in rock-hewn nights.

So we have lived these times, we have lived them in pieces

and in whole and those still here are living still.


Waiting for one moment to join

another, this age moving to that,

our scrap-stitched courage leading us

to the greater heart of humanity as we

cross bridges to lights in a beckoning distance.

I am crossing with you;

we will clear a path, devise our maps as we go.

Wednesday’s Words/Poem: Such Times Can Be Made Anew

Photo by Hakan Erenler on

As you tumble from the thicket of this year to another

and contemplate grievous wrongdoings in this world,

and how your mind has felt folded with sorrow

or slowed to a stop by the bridle of fear,

and you ask if one should wonder, at all,

why not pause. Look further.

Remember when you held enough hope that you

turned your face toward sunrise as day swung open.

Remember how the taste of honey graces

the buttery warmth of biscuits on your tongue.

Remember when you threw your arms out and

ran through the meadow greeting grasses and flowers.

Remember how, when someone collapses weeping

upon your chest, you are strong enough for all of it.

Remember that when your wounds were harsh that

healing remade wholeness, a weave of lace and steel.

Remember how bees, beetles and birds keep

good company among a delirium of cherry blossoms.

Remember when you dove into green lakes to search

for anything and fish flashed through your legs, and

you got tangled in murk so broke surface for air.

Down you dove deeper despite worry of leeches, for treasure.

Remember the firelight, endless stars dancing above pines.

And then recall this moment here, now, is one more passing,

as our moon and sun grant us rhythm, power, radiance.

If you hold on, beauty missed today will show up tomorrow.

No one can bear up your life as you can, nor clear its hurdles.

No one else can inhabit your heartbeat, nor recreate your story.

So give it more tenderness, allow it the good rest it deserves.

Ignite your natural illumination so it pulses in this fog, that cave.

Your walking in this place of thorns and berries will bless the ground;

if you lose sight of things Light will gather to lead your feet.

It will bring you along with heart and soul, and you’ll think of angels.

Love remains everything you ever wanted to know.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone, and may you embrace your blessings. Find the small joys; may we each be generous with them. I will be back later next week.

Friday’s Poem: Breathing the Breath of Winter

(Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2021)

The breath of winter is flung upon all

and the walk is scented with promise of frost that

may visit or transmute, warmed, into rain.

I am hoping for rain but planning for frost,

even ice, prepared for what comes.

Or I want to think so. I grew up in a land

of dense, deep snow; even birds and branches

were bitten by its ache, shaken by zero dregrees.

The beauty held me. I thought I was lucky.

Being alive was spectacular,

eyes watering, cheeks crisped, mouth puffing breaths

that floated, friendly clouds, in air that stung.

Today I am not afraid of much at all,

knowing I have lived through things like

water pipes freezing, the fire going out

so burning furniture to keep us warm,

cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner,

being thought a nuisance or failure

so later harmed and forgotten.

Suffering threaded through my passion for living.

Now I suffer with those who have shared such troubles,

and those who know danger and brilliance of snow,

the wonder of slow warmth after sheen of ice.

It is not easy learning to navigate

the wind’s vagaries.

But today I am lucky, still. I know where

I am going, to the broad river and home.

And this wind may carry a long, low moan

but it releases a ribbon of song in between–

and that is what I listen for, and that is what I hear.