Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)


I am a man among a sharp-edged people
with corners like the rocks
that made this
scattered on the slopes all the
way down past Hog Run,
tumbling through the
baptismal silt
to the Shenandoah
and beyond.

They are smooth by then,
worn by water and
collective abrasions,
knocking against each
other on the

I am not enamored with edges.
I prefer more subtle curves with their
laughing reminisces.
I want the joy of the end
without the pain of the
sharing that makes
stones smooth.

O for the grace to be content
in the midst of this angry splashing of
love where I am learning to be at best
an awkward swimmer.

(Written January 14, 2006, reposted from July 2011)

Posted in Longreads and Essays

Geometric Peace – I Seek to be a Parabola

Mathematically speaking the parabolic curve reflects any beam striking any place on the curve to a focal point. Parabola.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words are worse.”

I have three choices:
A) Receive Pain – no response = bitterness growth, delayed psychotic reaction
B) Receive and Return – “an eye for an eye” – consciously open or subtly, demeanation = broken relationships, friendship alienation
C) Parabola – Receive, Reflect, Focus – acknowledge pain, transform into love action – “a way out is always provided” – attitude adjustment = health, healing, and transformation (inner and outer).

May 21, 1995

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

This Place Called We

I watch you dreaming,
strive to read the REM beneath your eyelids,
see the hands you hold in sleep,
the fields where your feet run.

Strange to believe that already how so much of who I am and
who I will be is contained in your body.
Strange to think how fragile is the vessel which holds this
thing called love.

The fear of losing you,
of losing you in me,
of losing me in you,
wakes me up in the early morning hours
when I am away from you.

I am torn between the beliefs that I am whole
alone and yet am not fully complete without you.

These thoughts live together,
rest side by side,
gather themselves around
my heart like a comforter and
give me peace.

Somehow someway there is truth here in this dichotomy.
Such is the paradox of love.
Such is this place called we.

October 24, 2001 

Originally posted here June 2012

Posted in Art and Photography, Prayers and the Sacred

The Atlas Of My Day – Diurnum 1

The travels of a soul for one day (Diurnum).


The Diurnum:

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Two Days Later

Two days later, I’m on the tractor, talking to the wind about you, wishing that this crop of doubts that has grown up in my mind would disappear like the grass I’m mowing down.

The bushog bangs and I am listening to the echo of Daddy’s gunshot in my brain. I stand beside him under the carport in the darkness of a summer night as he places the flashlight on the barrel of the 22 and sights along the beam at the white flash of the armadillo who’s been getting into our garden. I hear the THUMP as the wounded animal bounces off the bushog parked in the field and then in a flash he’s gone before the echo of the shot dies away.

“I never knew one could move so fast,” Daddy says. He levers another shell into the gun and goes out to the pasture to look for him.

We found him the next day, dead, curled up at the edge of the woods just outside the hole that was his home. Dad said, “I guess I got him.”

Thirty years and two days later, I’m standing here, looking down at this armadillo, at the hole in his shell, feeling my armor crack within as you wrap your arms tightly around me again.

I am no soothsayer. These bones at the feet of my memory will not tell me a thing. I don’t know if it’s my faith or my doubts they’re showing.

I’m just a man on a tractor, talking to the wind about you, mowing.

Written June 3, 2000

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred



impatience with amnesia leaves little room for grace though I wonder if admonition has its place

the decision to be silent could breed bitterness
but words so often lead to greater distress

once again I stumble midst the dichotomy
and wonder how I will ever overcome the fissure between you and me


Room for Forgiveness


I have thought forgiveness was synonymous with excusing an action and so have left a room vacant for unforgiveness in the inn of my heart.

But I have realized that forgiving someone does not excuse the action of the one who wronged me. But it does keep the spectre of bitterness from taking up residence within. The wrong is not allowed to fester and grow into something even worse.

Reconciliation may occur and forgiveness comes with that invitation, but that RSVP may not be answered. I am only one half of the equation.

Forgiveness is primarily for my benefit. That room inside is not empty. Rather it is filled to overflowing with the friends of forgiveness; love, peace, joy, kindness, and healing who infect the entire inn with their festivities.

Posted in Musings and Reflections



I am becoming
convinced that
each of us
every single day
has one choice
before us.

It is very simple.

We can choose,
in our speech,
in our actions,
virtually or in reality,
in every moment,
to be mean
to be kind.

Posted in Longreads and Essays, Musings and Reflections

Midweek Essay – You Mis(s) Trust?


A recent Pew Research Study showed that trust in our government by its citizenry is at an all time low. While this is not surprising, other results of the study are somewhat disconcerting. Trust in all of our society’s major institutions is at an all time low as well. This includes the church, medical establishments, etc. This information simply is a confirmation of how fractured our society has become. Such a broken society is unhealthy and in danger of imploding within.

We as humans tend to clump with people of like interest. This makes perfect sense and allows groups of like-minded people to accomplish much when they are focused on one issue together. The problem arises when we remain exclusively within these groups and allow our affiliations to block our interactions with other people who, or groups which, may be different.

Now perhaps you wish to continue to live in a world of rampant fear and distrust. I do not. So then it is imperative that we build relationships across socioeconomic, religious, racial, ethnic, political, and any other lines that conspire to divide us.

Take for example the gist of the following article. “Americans are increasingly skeptical of Muslims. But most Americans don’t talk to Muslims.”

So in a word we need to start talking. And keep on doing so when the conversation gets rough.

Trust is not the same as agreeing on everything. It is an acknowledgement that while we may disagree we choose to respect each other in spite of our differences and that we choose to cultivate and remain in relationships of mutual trust whether we agree on everything or not.

The strength of a person’s character is not determined by who we agree with but rather how we interact with those we disagree with. I would offer that the same applies societally as well. We must be ever vigilant against the mistrust which threatens to tear the fabric of our lives asunder.