Fathers in nature

Fathers who sing

Fathers by nature

Fathers unsung

Unknown fathers

Absent fathers

Abusive fathers

Patient fathers

Founding fathers

Church fathers

Fathers of faith

Foundling fathers

Father of Light

Father of the Son

Father always with me

Our Father, the One



Graffiti in town recently seen:
   May you be…
   safe and happy
   well and beloved

Where is this vandalism?
   May you be…
   fully and free  
   like the son of man
   in all his glory?
   May you know…
   mercy and grace
   faith hope and loving?
   May you…
   smile and speak
   in the image of God?
   May you not be…
   tested and tagged
   censored or silenced
   jabbed then traced
   afraid or compliant?

Do not go gentle
into that confined space
Rage, rage
against the dying
of the face

Both photos from Wikimedia Commons by Basile Morin

October Inventory

Our low endeavoring sun
gently downs golden leaves
one by one except when
A frigid blast hurls them
stinging into my face

Leaves soggy one day
crunchy the next
My feet and cane
pestle and liberate their
musty pungent fragrance

Our sky widens again
Sea reclaims once more
its chameleon surface
as boats leave marina slips
on trailers heading into town

But not before sailors take
one final jaunt into grey
green and blue reflections
Return and unwind dock lines
from their hips

Piers abandoned but
boarded by fleet-footed
white mewling gulls
puffing and huddling until
wind hoists their unfurled wings

Stray grasshoppers dragonflies
Lethargic bees and wasps
Solitary monarchs who
missed their scheduled flight
to Mexico

Expat Canadian geese
foolishly form their V’s
then land again in futility
Honking memories of
migratory prowess

They linger all winter
Icy film or deep freeze
on lagoon and marina
simply propels them to
open rivers and sea

Being likewise temperate
We zone out indoors
Hibernate with books and tea
and poems to remind:
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Photos by Sandra Johnson of Into The Light Adventures. I highly recommend you visit her blog filled with excellent nature photography. Here’s the link: https://intothelightadventures.com/


October drizzles a blanket
of soggy leaves in the park
covering burial mounds
next to civil war cannons
Beneath rubber boots
small twigs snap
Sound staying beneath my feet
muffled by foggy mist
A woodpecker’s hammer
breaks apart the clouds

So I sit down
take off fingerless gloves
press my palms against
a warm black molded bench
Pull off my cap
with my hair undone
Look up to absorb the sun
The hat blows off the bench
rolls toward the pond and stops
caught on the edge

There are times I miss
picking up your empties
cleaning your ashtray
You know that plastic
turquoise colored one
I bought for you
when you come to visit the kids
After all we have between us
now is history
It’s where everything is headed

Yesterday keeps untold stories
folding into dreams once real
No person can unsing
a song that once was sung
Lingering one sacred night
below a harvest moon
I watched our windows
from the backyard barefoot
Inner lights shining forth
our children’s laughter

Upper photo Wikimedia Commons by Dietmar Rabich; lower photo in the public domain, attribution not found


In tender camaraderie
within the covers
of body and mind
I declared to him:
My shoulders are
in my heart
No better yet:
My shoulders are
in my womb
To one up me
he said:
Mark off a spot
I’m all shoulder

Solitary now
Calling on God
for insight
and scanning
the night sky
Entranced I see
the birth of galaxies
He shows me
opening upon opening
wheeling within
Brilliant harmony

My vision reaps
ecstatic time with
grateful humility
This is home
While living lies
in the light of others
we can only reflect
But a better way
is a mystery
To mirror what we
cannot know

Who is able
to bear the weight
of losing matter?
Cloaked in pride
eclipsed by certainty
I grasp reason
and forfeit
precious faith
When I surrender
the shadows
I am lifted into
the Light
of pure Love

Photo, Coconino National Forest – Flagstaff (Public Domain)

H o s p i t a l

We look down at
dumb magazines
or smart phones
While deep inside
panic zooms memory
down the halls
droning in our ears

We calculate our
luck infinitely
Constrict our
honeycombed throats
Emergency sirens
swarm outside
Claxons alarm us

Hearts in
the waiting room
enter pleas
with promises
and we sit here
guts strung out
on a sting

Hesitant and polite
we dance around
the obvious entrance
where fear and
faith are spoken
What becomes of
our beloved?

At this late hour
regrets cling like
pollen on bouquets
The janitor crosses
a shampooed carpet
to remove the
withered blossoms


Whose fault is it
I struggle
to rip out
the metal cage
of childhood fear
that grew around
my hopeful heart

Its metal mail
nearly absorbed
cripples the pump
capacity to my brain
and crumbled
rusty habits of feeling
battle to remain

I falter
rushing ahead
when talking
corrosion disconnects
gray matter
from my ever
too quick tongue

Skin transformed
to armor
crushes my backbone
with perambulation
clearly unpredictable
I list a little
when walking

The doctors say
I need more iron
But that is suicide
My heart still loves
inside its prison
“Its inside is bigger
than its outside”


Edited Carrie, Grandma & Me

(Top photo of eastern box turtle by Casey Greider; bottom photo of my sister and me with my grandmother in front of the county children’s home)