If we were having coffee

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If we were having coffee/tea, I would ask you about your day, week, or season of life. And I would have silenced my phone. And I would strive to give you my undivided attention. And I would remind myself to truly listen to you instead of just waiting to speak. And I would try to refrain from giving advice unless you ask for it and, even if you do, I would want to first empathize with your struggle and try to be a sounding board or help you brainstorm solutions. And if I give advice, I would try to do so tentatively, couching my words in questions, and not as gospel, as in the “from-G0d’s-mouth-to-my-ears” variety. If we were having coffee/tea, I hope you would feel heard and cared for when our time together came to an end.




The Future: A Sonnet

The future will come

Shaped by the decisions I am making today

And those I made when today was the future

Will the future  come? Yes.

And while so much of it is unknown

There are somethings of which I can be sure


Of what can I be sure?

I can be sure that love will be there

So will hope and the freedom to choose

Even from a prison cell

So will opportunities

And beauty

And imperfection

And so will You, the Eternal One, Who inhabits the past, present, and future, all at once

Writing 201: Future

Today’s prompt, form, and device: Future. Sonnet. Chiasmus

Ode to a gift

I see you

Stored in the original box, in a dresser drawer

Carefully returned there, each time donned

A four stranded necklace of multicolored pearls

You are cold to the touch

But warm my heart, a token of the love of your giver, my sister


Writing 201: Drawer

Today’s prompt: Drawer. Today’s form: ode. Today’s device: apostrophe (it occurs when the speaker in the poem addresses another person or an object (usually personified) directly.

My mother’s hands

Worn. By the time I knew her and them, brought into this world through her womb and love, they were worn. My mother’s hands. Nails never polished. Sometimes covered with grime. Other times with skin shriveled by dish washing or laundry. Never clenched, even when angry. Constantly closed in prayer. Oh, how she prayed. Often they touched my head as she walked by. A gentle touch that sometimes startled. Conveying me back from wherever books had transported me. Volumes she spoke with her loving touch, without saying a single word. My mother’s hands.

Writing 201: Fingers

Today’s prompt: Fingers. Today’s form: prose poetry. Today’s device: assonance (Not present here. Not even remotely. :-))


Heroes or heroines are not born

They are made

Ordinary ones who chose to be brave

No swords, or brawn, or battle plans

Only choices

Only choices


To not retaliate

To respond with love, not hate

To be faithful to the Cross

Even when it means life lost




To hold on when the going is hard

To value what others discard

To start over with the same person in a broken place



Heroes or heroines are not born

They are made

Ordinary ones who chose to be brave

No swords, or brawn, or battle plans

Only choices

Only choices

Writing 201: Hero(ine)

Today's form: ballad. Today's device: epistrophe (means the repetition of the same word (or cluster of words) at the end of multiple lines of verse in the same poem).

Poetry Potluck: “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

The instruction for this weekend’s Writing 201: Poetry Potluck is, “Share with us a poem that you love (by someone who isn’t you, please). You can quote a particularly striking line (or two) in a new message in the Commons, or drop a link to the whole piece. Most importantly: tell us, in a sentence or two, what about it moves you.”

My choice  is  the anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing,” by James Weldon Johnson.  As documented on the NAACP website,  it was first written as a poem.

What moves me about this poem turned anthem? Simply everything. The words. The history it documents. The connection I feel to those who have sung it before me, those who sing it now, and those who will. I can go on and on. I am moved to tears every time I hear, read, or sing the words.

Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
‘Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.


I sit on your knee asleep

My head against your shoulder

Your left arm around my waist

My right hand lost in yours

A firm but gentle hold

Your eyes look directly ahead


A solider on watch


I look at the family photograph

Repeatedly drawn to the little girl

Held by her father

She is relaxed


There is comfort in this image

There is also grief

Has she ever felt that safe in the years since childhood?

No such memory surfaces

 Writing 201: Fog

Today’s prompt: fog. Today’s form: elegy. Today’s device: metaphor.