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Showing posts from March, 2016

Spring Updates

The Camellias are in bloom. The children fancy pulling them to pieces and leaving little piles of red petals on the sidewalk.  The time change brings Phil home in time for dinner and romping in the front yard. With the same slide, lawnmower, and rock-climbing crash pad, the children grow more and more inventive with their types of play. Lee's imagination has come alive of late. There are dinosaurs and dragons and buccaneers and fires all over the place. This imagination boom has made play with Rose all the more delightful. They run about calling each other's names.  "Lee! Come see somefin'!" "Oh no, Rose! A monster is coming! Let's hide." "Lee! Time a eat!" "Do it, Rose! Do it!" Lee has also grown in courage. The people in the grocery store no longer scare him. He will now bravely walk beside the shopping cart. I've been doing my shopping on the weekends when Phil could watch the children because I was un

Why Won't You Nap: A Poem About Daily Disturbances

Lean into pain; ‘Tis muscle ripping, Allowing for more, Through recurring strain. ’Tis no injury, Warning or punishment, But refashioned inclinations Of disordered hearts: Born wanting instantaneously, Bred demanding sacrosanct rights. Deceived diva Dissonant from holy choirs. Unbalanced cog Obstructing the machinery. Skiff colliding With the King’s navy Bound to feed the hungry.  Nothing is wasted or lost. No yearning unrequited, But transfigured and diffused Unto the way eternal Through today’s wants frustrated And tomorrow’s hopes replaced And yesterday’s offenses burned Like incense’s sweet fragrance. There on the altar, I scatter the wood shavings Chiseled clean-off my own form. There they ignite With the lamb’s immolation He gave to set hearts aright To lift the banishment And encompass all natures, All voices at rehearsal, All gears grinding down, All ships learning to helm, Bound to feed more hungry

Rain Makes Puddles

Rain makes mud and puddles. In the parkways, in our sandbox, down the gutters, in our raised-planter beds, on our breakfast patio, in the Lee-dug ditches in our backyard. The heavy rain sends us indoors until it stops and I put on the children's boots and rain jackets. It is a commitment to ten minutes of preparation and then maybe an hour of clean-up. I'll have to peel the children's pants off, get them clean pants, convince them to put on their clean pants, chase after them and force them into their clean pants. I'll have to hose off their rain jackets and remember to bang their muddy boots together after they're dry. I might need to hose off the front patio or give them baths. Then I can see to my own frizzy hair and muddy clothes. Maybe. But I'll still have towels and clothes draped over my arms when they come tromping into the house pulling out the crayons or asking to play with the play dough or opening up the kitchen cabinets and asking for a snack.  I

Preparing the Ground

In the morning the fog rests around our home. The Whittier hills are concealed by it, and the tops of the Podocarpus trees are pale in it. Lee stands out on our breakfast porch, walled in on three sides by house and fence. He gazes up at the window of white above him, and when he comes back inside he says, “I just been smelling the air out there.” “What did it smell like?” I ask. “Like . . . air,” he says. Today I will configure the garden: a preliminary step to planting when winter neglect has made the garden a catch-all for various uses. Lee has turned the soil with his shovel, rake and backhoe. Rose has swept the dirt out of the raised beds and onto the DG as if this were a way of tidying up the place.   As a collector of succulents, Phil has stuck several Jade stem-cuttings into the garden and there they have taken root and grown like little trees. Last year’s fennel seeds, scattered into the compost pile and later transferred to the planting beds, have sprouted

A Poem For Mothers of Naughty Boys

Grace. Confounded soul of mine, give grace! What can decipher their plight? Perceiving eyes, soulful listening, growing experience? None of these, I say, So give grace. Disturbed stomach, perhaps. Oncoming flu, we’ll see. The prick of some slight performed out of sight, who knows. Poor sleep?  Caged oomph? Wants with no voice? Fears without comforts? I guess at the cause, But even mother knows not.  God alone comprehends, So give grace. And take no offense at rebellion. He means it not against you. Every child pains in growing In this war between I and us, Brain evolving, Man-a-making A dig, unearthing discord after discord. As in me, so in them. Give grace. Unhand mastery; For the Master must rule. Entrust fears; I, mother not maker. Leave vanity and pride To stoop lower Rising higher Unto grace.