Nova, Novem,

You are a



Ah, November.
You make me a

Ah, November.dscn6535Pictures:
*278 West into Cullman at Holly Pond, Nov 25
*Woodland St. Japanese Maples, Nov 26

Dear Mother In Law

Dear Mother In Law,
Look with gentleness
Upon the oddly assorted
Your son’s wife adorns herself with this
She knows she has no excuse –
Two adults in a Fiat, how hard can it be??
But, dear MIL, she has that recurrent malady, that
Packing Paralysis.

Browns, Blacks, Russets,
Leathers, Denims,
Downs or Fleeces,
Sleeves or no?
Boots or clogs? Or heels or flops?  Or one of each?
And so she hops.
The gray paisley scarf with
Silver threads, which
Does not match with anything?
Triumphantly in the suitcase!
The mustard one that adds real autumn soupçon?
Forgotten as a yahoo password.
Belts, earrings, running shoes,
Like place cards for the Thanksgiving table,
Newspaper article about the kids,
Oddities all and faithfully packed
Ducks in a row.
But a melange, a jester’s patchwork
Of basic clothing.  Astonishing.  Weepable.

Dessert, devotional, face soap,
Wrinkled shirts as useful as doilies,
Carted to and fro, merely freight and weight.
All the ‘ers’: charger, razor, tweezer;
Layers for unlayering after too many hours sitting
Stuffy by the fire,
Or relayering for a hike up Lookout.
T’s to Parkas, she’ll season it all wrong.

You are right. She could have packed it all
By now. But it is easier,
And quilt-covered pleasant,
And gratifyingly indulgent, to
Wallow in the overwhelm, to
Despise the very concept of the overnight, to
Once again retreat with Eudora and say,
“Away, cruel world!”

No one bother me, I’m busy
Deliciously hating packing.


Plan B For Empathy


Empathy is one thing,

But a law of physics,
I forget the specifics,
Says that two bits of mass
Must by each other pass,
‘Cause neither can dwell
In the other’s boundered realm.
Their space they can’t share
While the other is there.

Silly mass!

I can only be me.
Thou can only be thee.
It is physics-ly preposterous
To think there is a hope for us
To climb into another skin,
To see the world from that within.
And worse, on just your average day,
I’m blind and fine with mass’s way.

So, Plan B
For Empathy:

I will be still and listen to
The One whose hands made you.
He sees the view through your eyes
And talks me ’round to your sighs.
He speaks of you as a father proud,
And melts my callous hardness down.
His heart in mine reveals your road,
Your point of view, your pain, your load.
His love, and not our common plight,
Links our hands, our breath, our sight.
His blood above us canopied,
Makes one space that we both can be.

He’s circumvented physics before;
What’s once more?

I see this world
Through your eyes
Only by seeing
You through His.

St. Elmo Serenade

“Position yourself so you can
See the mountain,” He soothes.

Is this the fracture point?
It’s been this way before,
And will be again.

Doubt is good.
Keeps me from thinking I am
God, makes me listen.
Certainty is good.
It is the best part of us shedding blood
For someone else, for something true.

Certainty can be deaf. Bled dogmatic,
It is the end of
And doubt cripples.
I must resolve,
Against fatigue within and cries without,
To do the grocery trek
So I can cook dinner
For my ocean-tossed children.

So I do.
And there at the foot of the wine-lovely mountain
A fine woman,
Lends me her coupon card for my
Chuck roast, and we talk
About our children. And my heart weeps.
And hopes.

“Position yourself so you can
See the mountain.”

There is a mountain, Oh Lord.
Open that rock and river us.
I see

 “He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.”
Psalm 105:41

There’s A Little Bit Of Friday In Every Monday

~There’s a little bit of Friday in every Monday.

~Someone said to me, with a granule of grandiosity,
‘I’m uncomfortable with . . .’
And that got me thinking.
I suspected that when we say that,
We aren’t really; we just need to sound original,
To swim against our current.
Ditto: ‘I’m the kind of person that . . .’
And: ‘It saddens me that . . .’
We have much more complicated motives for declaring discomfort
Than actual discomfort.
To very loosely quote C.S. Lewis*: I think this because of me

~Turns out life’s easier if you’re tall;
I concluded this inductively
And discovered it in its absence.

~Count the pictures you’ve posted of yourself.

~ In fact, what if we start a new picture-taking fad:
Keep your hand off your hip. (Take a deep breath. You can do this.)
Keep your right knee straight.
Keep your left knee un-hyperextended backward.
Keep your head upright, not tilted.
Keep your hands at your side, not gang-signed implying you are a card-carrying Crip.
Keep your face McDonald’s, not, “Club can’t even handle me.”
Keep your lens pointed away from yourself.
(Go with me here) Is it possible for us not to posture??

~Today I chose one of six
Scattered pairs of reading glasses based on the
Color of my sweater.  My cardigan.
What does this say about me?

~Jackolanterns and people age
Alike, or we’re all just pumpkins.
h? What’s that, Sonny Bob?

~Saw a sign today at the Texaco Station that said:
Chicken Salad Platter His Grace Is Sufficient
But would the chicken agree?

~There’s a little bit of Friday in every Monday.

*Lewis said he got much of his material for The Screwtape Letters having to look no further than his own heart.

November Went To The Beach

November went to the beach.

She’s just now returning,
Gulf water dried in her flaming hair,
Smelling of dark tanning oil.
She knows she’s late.

She’s a mare-beautiful
Girl in her knee boots
Blithing in after the bell
With no tardy slip.

She’s two overall-wearing Great
Raking Delancy and Gus’s leaf-fall
Because Gus

She’s Regina
Stepping from her velvets and
Leaving them for the handmaids
To brush.

She’s the Sorceress in the air
Softly suggesting,
‘Hate them on Tuesday. Hate them!’

She’s eleven Men in red,
Eleven in purple
Tirelessly storming each other’s wall
To minimal gain but we can’t stop watching,
While the mealy apples simmer into

She’s the Doyenne
Coming out of retirement,
Arranging her magenta mantle
About her
To speak the wind chimes,
One and all.

She’s the Inkling that urges
Sportsman Lake geese
To elect their first-leg point man,
And to give her regards to the salt life.

One thing she is not