the tape is a blur of

ordinary splendor

songs sung loud in a messy 

house vivid patchwork 

some mention of a circus

close to the tear in the hand-made quilt

I touch your brow

tell you

take your medicine before you go out to play

Round, pink, chewable analgesic 

as you lift your head to receive the pill

Eucharist in the living room,

old and beautiful 

Words for “good” and “grace”

So close to your already liturgical

Beautiful like…

A rose

A ruby

A diamond

A butterfly 

A boy in flight

…if we had a fort..

Weighted Blanket

in a fit of unease 

she has an out-of-body experience 

Rising above the squalor

Imagining what it would be like

To live inside the perfect house

Instead–she dusts the counters and all the edges

with cinnamon to deter the sugar ants

Beats the air with questions

Washes and re-washes clothes, stones, teeth 

Delays bodily functions  

To search for

-The weighted blanket-

Surrogate mother/synthetic comforter


of a lullaby sung softly by the

Real One

Fished Out

I still have unanswered questions for the hand-sized catfish I pulled out of the Blanco River today.

It was caught in some debris, entangled in some fishing line.

Hard to get to.

Weirdly specific salvation (if you don’t believe in a God who sees stuck fish).

But if you do…

You wonder who was the fisher with the broken line?

When was he last here?

How long has this darkish catfish been stuck in the line?

Will it live? Line cut, hook still in?

The Gospel is chocked full of fish stories.

But they don’t all get saved, hook or no hook still stuck in the craw.

And then there is me: fished out by Jesus, standing wet in the afternoon sun, inventorying fish stories.

  • The one about the guy stuck in one for three days…
  • The one where the nets broke…
  • The one where the fish seems to have swallowed a Roman coin.

…. Caesar’s likeness on the coin in its belly.

….No sign but Jonah

….The empire of Rome long gone

this one small fish wriggles free

marvels at the hidden depths

in the quotidian

stories of being

fished out.

George Instead?

having an ordinary name 

(Think cow or child’s toy)

Means misnomer–

Betty, Becky, pieces left out

Or added

My favorite-gleanor

So close 

To gleaner

I ask myself

What if it was George?  Harold? Londerson? Jamal?

Would I still 

Recognize your voice

Trace the familiar 

Lines along 

Your hands, your face?

Your gaze holds firm

Your love unswerving

Written, Word

Come to the

come to the dark

stones skipped along the surface 

will sink into concentric ghosts

these stars 

hard to measure 

Line up–

School girls in bright

White dresses 

Wade in

knees, waist, chest

As if they had forgotten

They are luminous,

formed of fire and light.

A System of Touch

these interlocking pieces-

a woman in the crowd reaches out to touch 

Slowing down motion

to Jairus’ daughter

Take this stranger by the hand

(For science, of course)

Blindfold emotion 

-While the girl lies dying-

Somehow temporarily 

All of us

nailed to this single day in history 

When you let go of 

Everything you had a right to hold

Go where we never 

want to go

Then tell Mary

Don’t touch me

Last trace of hell still on my skin

You draw us to your 


Make us whole again

With this system of touch.

“Hear My Voice”

I am a big fan of Jesus, even  though he is a little scary.

Why?  Well, there is the dying for the sins of the world thing, but there is also the stuff he idly seems to throw into his parables–weeping and gnashing of teeth, something about being salted with fire.

CS Lewis is right, he is not a tame lion.  He is the only and original badass and he more than deserves to be the divisor of before and after in human history.

Years ago I cried when I read an article about a nurse who visited new and at-risk parents.  She said that years later the babies she had visited would recognize her voice when they heard her in random places.

This mattered to me because I have a baby out there somewhere who might recognize my voice even though she was just 14 months old when she was taken from me.

The voice of love–that is what I hear when I read Jesus.  He is, by turns, funny, deadly incisive, ironic, and passionately in love with us.

Crucifixion and resurrection kind of passionately in love.

When I lost my little foster daughter I grieved beyond what is comfortable to describe.  I took my cry to God–why?

His voice was clear–if you have to choose for her to know just one of us, you or Me?  Which would you choose?

Him, of course.

Always and only Him, baby girl.

Hear his voice.

John 10:2-5