Darkness Among The Dogwood


Mourning dove on a front porch,
Says with her eyes,
Her implacable, light-ringed eyes,

Yes, I made a mess
Building this nest.
The pangs were upon me, and

My nest-mess is the herald
Of Easter,
Of passion and pain.
In a corner of the cornice,
I hide my life,
Against the roaring of the foe,
Who stalks like a blight,
A darkness among dogwood,
A hatred complete.

This piercing is a deep breath
Inhaled for the victory shout.

I am the covering;
I will die for life.



Come Up Here To Me Awhile

Take a deep breath, girl.
Fill those lungs;
Relax your shoulders,
Your neck,
Your jaw.

Be still,
And know that
I am God.

Open your hand.
I’ll hold it now,
And sit beside you,
And care for every little thing
That you care about.

Your babies . . .
Their babies,

I’ve got them.

Look at Me.
Hear Me.

Every single word
In My Book,
Is a love song.

One word of Mine,
One word,
Is a feast worthy of a
Great Hall.

Deep in My Word,
Find Me
All you’ve craved,
And all that satisfies you.

Find Me . . .
Delighted with you.

I hear you when you fear
That you might be the one
I forget,

The one
I don’t
Have an answer for.

Ask for Me.
I promise you,
I promise you,
I AM your answer.

I’ll show you a mystery:
Walk with me in love,
And your eyes will see,
Your feet will tread,
A straight road,
Where hard-hearts stumble crooked.

Straight roads are not
Easy roads.

I know this.
John cried Me a straight road –
Valleys raised
And mountains leveled.

I set My face on a
Straight road

To the cross.

And when the straight road
To the end of all things,
The abandoned grief
And naked shame
Became the womb of

That’s what I do
For you.

For you . . .
You are dust.

I held your body in My hands
So gently.
I put my face to yours
Breathed a rushing wind.

And you came alive.                                                                

I did this first on an Eden morning.
It was Adam I held, but
You were there too,
In My heart.
I knew you then.

And then I breathed on you another time,
You and I know when.
The day I called your name.
Do you remember?
And you heard My voice,

Oh, I sang that day.

What I breathe to life
No power can kill.
Your deliverance

On your
Nights can be dark,
There is always the third day

When Joy bursts like
The rising of the Morning Star.

Child of Mine,
Come up here to me awhile.
Written for the women’s conference at Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church, Cullman, AL, March 1 and 2, 2019.

I Love The Man: Evening Ramblings and Morning Truth

In the evening,
I’m fifty-three.
I worry about my mother.
I just learned what a quark is.
Awesome, that.
I love kids’ word creations,
Like ‘fetch.’ No, not ‘go get.’
I worry about my daughters.
I know Jesus and know I shouldn’t worry.
I admire my students.
Art quilts are heaven to do,
But never quite reach what is in my head.
I doubt there’s much in my head.
Heaven, actually
Is to sit with other women and
Look at the Bible. Oh, wow.
Lady Gaga’s ‘Shallow’
Makes my heart ache
Or my stomach. Or both.
Tell me something, boy.’
And I am, like everyone else,
I’ve been married thirty years, and men
Are still a Cipher,
Charming and operating under
Different code.
My favorite man listens to music really
Really loud,
And gazes at his vintage
Sound system and
Likes it.
My son grins when I ask, and says,
It’s all good, Mom.
But, I have to figure that it’s
Harder than ‘all good.’ I also
Know to respect the man.
I’ve known that since I had him.
Had him. As in, lying on a table
And shrieking, OH.
He doesn’t want to know about that.
That’s weird.
Tell me about it, boy.
Morning comes.
And I open the Book.
53 fades into eternity,
Eternity assumes the form of
A Man. Charming and operating
Under different code.
And He gazes on me and
Likes me.
He sings me a Psalm
About warfare, and how
When all is said and done,
What He says is what’s done,
And so, to gather His words
To myself as the gold of my life.
I love The Man.
Psalm 119: 162

Obedience Street – Part Two

Tiny glimpse
Beyond the veil,
Moment of deepest peace,
Knowing my Companion
On Obedience Road,
My walking Buddy,
Is the judge who acquitted me,
The lawyer who pled for me,
The prisoner who accepted my
Life sentence,
My three-in-one.
I would resist the word obey
Except that
When my heart’s Friend says it,
It seems to mean
And that is irresistible.
That’s life
On this road.
Psalm 119: 153 – 160

December Into January And Yoga Pants

December into January,
From Advent to after,
Build-up to come-down,
Weighty to wayward,
And it’s raining;
The calendar has grown soggy,
Clumped into a fibrous wad,
Windblown and
Come to rest against
The dripping screen on a winter back porch.
Days don’t have names in the earliest moments
Of a new year. The year only knows it’s new
Because of the let-down after the feast,
When all it can contemplate is
Digestion, and maybe
A yard-sale in . . . March, when the
Day-names come back.
Meanwhile, I’ll put on my Christmas-new,
Cornflower blue
Yoga pants and ride on
Last year’s
Muscle memory to keep my heels together
Toes tippied knees back
Shoulders down hips tucked
Belly button in lungs respiring
Arm up high balanced at the barre,
Pulsing low to the downbeat of

Conversations With Doubt

Who are you
To write a poem
About someone else’s
I must praise. I must.
For what?
You wouldn’t understand.
That’s not an answer.
Ok. Well. The sweetest of Savior-Gods
Takes things so He can give Himself in their place.
He brings arms and coats and love for those
Watching it all burn.
And even in the tossing first night of shock
He holds and whispers and breathes,
“I will replace with more and better.”
Some things are irreplaceable, though;
They’re just gone.
I think . . .maybe not.
The ashes do not lie, foolish child.
Praise is the exchange,
The gift given to me to
Give back to Him. All the smallest
Particles of me,
Emptied of lesser joys,
Are filled with delight of doing
What they, even flecks of dust,
Ashes, if you will,
Were hand-made to do.
They ascend to priestly duty when they sing,
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.’
Their lyric opens my eyes to see that
All the things I think I’ve lost
Aren’t lost at all. They are
Brave words.
What if
The thing He takes
Is more than you can bear?
What then?