Pilgrim Love

Stumble of sleep, no shoes, waning moon blurred by fog.

First dog already past the neighbor’s, heading for the field. Second dog scratching near the stairs.


Walk slowly, hands folded. Thought is effluence, air, so what?


Cloud scree, orange heat, shards of cloud, a pine tree. “My old friend anger” not so old. Water and the spirit are where?

There goes my heart, barreling into the forest.

Pilgrim love, refugee attentiveness.

A white rock, a shivering fern, a rooster caw. Heart-shaped prints of deer where they cross the road hungry.

Fear of hunger. The messenger named bile. Look up.

Turn back.

Morning lilac, no peace. Clear moon clean and bright, there.

Categorized as Sentences

No Help For The Bile

Dreams of Emily Dickinson through the lens of Carl Dreyer. Backlit with no sense of the light’s source nor what space was behind her. Or was the dream of the first line, “Dreams of . . . ” Woke happily, still dark, not tired at all.

Yet outside it smelled of rain, the air thick as wet flannel, a thing to be pushed through. Feet slapped the pavement walking east. Quickly lost both dogs. Mistook a wedge of dislodged pavement for a snapping turtle and the birds started.

Anger, too. I prayed but the prayer was futile because it refused to acknowledge any power not already under my control. Is that the right way to say it? I believed I could see peace instead of discord and pain but where was I supposed to look?

And it rained a little. Stopped to listen beneath the old Maple tree on whose limbs I once read Tolkien and Frost. Down further, past the bridge, the old dog kept nudging me forward as if was the old days, as if it was. In the woods, a branch snapped and I started.

Found the younger dog after two deer race panicked into the bracken west of where we were walking back. Neighbors up early, a baby crying, the moon a rose slur amidst thinning rain clouds. Tea is no help for the bile. Sat quietly on the zafu doing nothing but nurturing an old lie, this.

Categorized as Sentences

Snakes Could Be Seen, Patiently Creeping

Saint Francis in the grotto, editing. Lambs pick slowly through the countryside, buttercups and daisies brushing their soft shoulders. Shepherds lean on hand hewn staffs and gaze into the blurred-by-summer distance. From somewhere comes the high plaintive sound of water, like children singing hymns while they wash their clothes. Dreams then of milk, a ceramic bowl of figs, a woman studying scrolls.

Or Saint Peter of Damaskos composing The Seven Forms of Bodily Discipline. “The fathers fled from the world as a hindrance to perfection; and not only from the world but also from their own will for the same reason.” Red dust, scent of oregano. All night by the window with a only a rustling candle in love with the sound of one’s voice. When the sun rose, snakes could be seen patiently creeping onto the broad flat stones that warm their blood.

We ate chocolate mousse twice yesterday and then lemon cream cheese cake, both after working in the gardens, the harvest held in scratched hands included scallions and spinach soiled with mud. We ate boiled chicken and fried zucchini and salted cucumber, all of it washed it down with tea. Later, walking past the cemetery at dusk, we talked about the foolishness of commerce, apparently without irony. Attended as always by angels, but left unhindered. It has to be that way he wrote, believing he had no other choice.

Wondering too about the holes in my shoes, which have always been important testimony, yet also a source of pride. Where is my red sequin shirt when I most want or need it? Warm milk with a drop of honey before bed, thirty minutes of stories, then simply the blessed quiet of gazing out the window at so many unnamed stars passing back and forth in the Maple trees. Something is clearly missing else why this perennial yearning but what? I woke to the dogs groveling for a walk, wrote this – where was it before here – , didn’t want it – want what – to end.

Categorized as Sentences

Everybody Laughed Because

“Heaven is a sea of untranslatable jokes.” But isn’t community at least in part a matter of talking, of being able to? As two nights earlier the joke I made about what you do when D. speaks and everybody laughed because?

Beside the road a slender doe and jumpy fawn, the symmetry of its white spots as perfect as a domino. Tiger Lilies abound. And earlier still, unmoving in the brook, nearly lost amongst the mossy stones, a turtle.

Just after sunrise, the moon was a russet glow amidst silent pines. Over where a century ago the trains used to run. Turning to walk away into the familiar is another way to approach the question.

Avoiding lunch in favor of watching crows circle the stream or was it just family. Talk loudly in case of bears. A new standard for gentleness, one that has no dreams.

He wrote he wrote. And I did too, and happily. Not the familiar so much as the answer.

For some reason the wild strawberries which are no bigger than a newborn’s toes make me think of stars. Reading while overhead clouds gather and in the distance the tractor rattles haying so late. Christ consciousness is not for sale!

All afternoon a fear just below the surface (what surface) that upon return we would find its brown body just over the meridian, a little pile of guts bland in the summer heat. Tell me again what can love can do?

Categorized as Sentences

The Promise Of Eclipse

A summer walk in which every other step seemed to take one in a new direction. Moon-colored honeysuckle, the promise of eclipse. Turkeys in Ted Porter’s field bob their heads, peeking. We are not ever where we believe we are, yet we must be somewhere, or . . . no?

He answered and nobody heard. My brain aches from judging so many choices! Where the hill crests and ancient maple trees appear willing to give up the ghost we must decide either right or left. Black-eyed susans, fatally poisonous to oxen, growing in bunches where elaborate planes of light cast by the setting sun call angels to mind.

Or turn and recall that moment years past when tears were a careful proxy for love. I am peeled open, I have peeled myself open, and now what. Over there merely a memory of phlox. Will a day come when there are no trees?

He wrote, it pleased him, but he could not justify pleasure, and so he never wrote what he wanted to write. Actually, there are not many ways of looking at it – only one. The plastic tube of the low D whistle reminded her of a favorite cat who enjoyed curling up in private places to sleep. Rain, thunder, but not lightening.

Will you or won’t you? The demand uttered lost much of its gusto. A glass of water after the kids are asleep, a quick glance out the window, again the yearning for bears. Can’t you just say God does not want us to be lonely and leave it at that?

Categorized as Sentences