Archive | January 2017

It’s Okay, Grandma


One by one she lays them in my hands: her treasured

stones, her feathers, ribbons, grimy little balls,

her brightly colored beads; relics of her miniature

life, each opening to me the secret joy aglow

behind her child eyes; and with each sacred

piece she shares, our hearts knit tight,

tiny stitches of stones and feathers and beads,

a net to hold the shining of the stars

and of the moon.


A sudden bead slips through my fingers,

pings across the floor, rolls to that hidden

crack where all forever lost things hide,

my clumsiness unraveling our sweet,

sweet finely-knitted trust.


“It’s okay, Grandma,”

her hand upon my hand.

Her tiny heart, filled with treasure

far beyond her stones, her beads,

absolves, forgives; she shows me

yet another bead, and we go on. 


Beads and stones, feathers and names,

thoughts and words and lists of things to do;

it seems that in this later season of my life,

they all slip through my fingers now and then.

“It’s okay, Grandma.”  

Her whisper holds, embraces me;

and I go on, letting go the stitches I have lost;

smiling at the memories, the beads I still clutch

tightly…in my hands and in my heart.



In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:9-11

The name bubbles up through the Jordan,

spills down from a dove-wingѐd shaft of the sun;

“belovѐd,” a centered inner sureness;

a strength to face temptations in the deserts

of his soul, as well, the coming rigors

of his life, the loneliness of death;

a power to exorcize demonic hauntings

crushing minds to powdered dust;

a love to heal, to mend, to touch,

to re-knit lives unraveled by the years,

forgive those who would spit

into his face, hammer his hands,

and steal his very life.


No thundering voice when water washed

me in the blessѐd triune name, no snow-white dove;

but gentle stirrings now and then; sometimes in silver

silence wonder-filled with snowflakes, stars,

and fir tree branches sighing in the winter wind;

sometimes in echo of Belovѐd’s laughter in the trilling

of the tiny wren who often visits on my deck;

sometimes, from quiet time to quiet time,

his footsteps stepping from the ancient tales

into the very pages of my ordinary life, his still,

small voice, “fear not, I christen you,

yes you,

I christen you belovѐd too.

Live strong, live every moment long, each soul bone

bathed in holy water of my Jordan love.”