Friday, November 30, 2012


Five Minute Friday

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Writing for five minutes.
A sort of writing flash mob.
Each day, we are moving closer to the long darkness, the season of night everlasting. 
When days melt quickly into inky blackness and linger long on the edge of dawn. The days, they grow colder. The trees, they stand rigid and bare and stoic. 

How curious that in the deepest parts of this season, when there is more darkness than light, we would be offered the gift of wonder.

For who among us can abide in this darkness? To dwell here is to live among the walking dead.

So, the Wise One, He drew back the veil of stars and entered in. In a place at once dark and dingy, the bearer of light broke through the shadows.

It is on such an Eve that wonder lives and breathes and has its meaning. For there is no precedent, nor moment following, that can outshine the resplendence of Love made incarnate.

Even the moon seemed to feel the depth of darkness as it hung low and heavy in the twilight this week, full to bursting and burning with a fiery richness. Almost as if it was wondering as it wandered across the frosted sky. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adagio: A Poetry Project

It's amazing how, in the enormity of the internet, one can still find deep, genuine community. It's remarkable that, despite far reaching miles and the skipping of time zones, one can find themselves drawn close and held fast by another person. It is wondrous and it is true and it is the story of Elizabeth Marshall and me.  
Both of us are writers who hammer out the questions of our hearts and our faith as they dance in tandem with our lives. And both of us fall humbly into the arms of poetry, believing in its power to communicate both the known and the unknown in powerful and poignant ways. It is from this deep place of thought and meditation that this project was born. 
Elizabeth and I love each other's words. We drink them up, let them drip from our lips, and let them press deeply into secret places. We very well might have been content to do that from now until eternity. But when Elizabeth cast a vision, one that imagined a coming together of hearts and minds, mingled among shared words on a page, I immediately stood at the ready. And although neither of us had ever attempted a project like this, we stepped out in faith, not fear. With hope unending and love abiding we offer you this...Adagio: A Poetry Project. 

Writing is, most often, a solo venture, a process worked deep inside the confines of one’s heart and soul. But when two pilgrim poets turn towards each other and embrace the tension that lies between, something new emerges.  A writing “pas de deux” is born and the two begin weaving their words together, in and around, over and under, into something bigger than themselves. The writing becomes a lifting, a balancing, a turning…and the words on the page become an Adagio.


It is in this spirit that we have threaded together pieces of our souls as our offering to the world of poetry and to fellow poet friends. Most especially, though, we offer it as a gift, and lay it right at the feet of our Creative God who is  the Giver of this love of writing and purposeful word weaving.  Today we sing this song and tell some of our story…..elizabeth and holly.

Writing Across The Distance
Her words they twist and swirl creamy smooth
One into another and I drink them in deep and long
She dips her pen into the well of ink
That is her very crimson rushing pulsing life.
And brings up words to stamp white page.
She is like the smiths of old, holding passion fire hot and glowing
And working the ember into ghostly shapes
That cool only when set aside
Full of vibrant living breathing voice,  poetic prose
For all to know her very soul
She lives into days fringed with salt-crusted breezes
And her words they ripen and swell
And drip heavy the fruit of quiet days made full with patience and wonder
She dips her pen into places wet with tears of joy and sorrow mingled down
Always honest, her voice knows only raw and real
She a pilgrim soul on a journey long and winding
Open and bare her heart rests upon the feast table
She is waiting quiet and still
While the shaping takes place
She is still and she knows.
No room for mask or veil or artificial
Her art, like incense to her God.
And she’ll dip her pen in nature’s oil
And mingle earth with bone and flesh to make a  mix of all the world
Not leaving places unexplored, she will blend the wild and tame alike
And make a holy sacrifice and offering of her very  self
A calm and tranquil melody
Poetic heartfelt words.
Two pilgrims on a journey.
Will you join us as we move in faith on this new poetry journey? And perhaps you might consider partnering with another writer to come along side us in this endeavor?  We covet your presence in this space.
If you, like me, would like to read more from Elizabeth, please visit wynnegraceappears. My writing can be found here at A Lifetime of Days. Together, Elizabeth and I are writing across the distance as our homes are hundreds upon hundreds of miles apart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The changeling

There are places that I return to and
each time
things have shifted
I walk paths familiar and run my hands along signposts
the places where I once hung my knowing
the light slants different and the recollecting softens
and I feel at once full and missing

It's been said that the act of remembering
changes things
changes the memory even
rewrites the code
and so
it becomes something altered
something different
than before

So I balk
because when I walk through the frames
I want them just the way they were caught
rough and unawares
true and alive
honest and proper

I want to wear the garments
of old
because some of them wrap round
just so
and I know and am known
just in the very wearing of them

But memory
it is a changeling
And when I slip into its fabric
there is a pinching

That shifting that happens
it is also a kind of grace
For perhaps in the remembering
we can know our lives anew
We can know that
in all our joys and sorrows and wrong paths taken
and in all that has been or ever will be
we are being made

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This is a repost from last year but it remains the prayer of my heart.
As we pack up the car and drive over the river and through the woods 
to family and all those we hold dear, 
I pray that these words would sink deep.
And I hope that wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving
you will be full to bursting with love unending.

“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” 


Despite the fact that I can feel the dance begin,
the one that sweeps up family and feasting, bustling hands and beauteous light and twirls them round and round my heart,
I sense You pulling me deeper.

Yes, it is good to gather, to greet each other with holy kisses and to give thanks.  Generations after generations have taught us that ritual.  We know it by heart.

But Lord, I long to live out my thanks giving.  I don’t want it to be reserved for pre-appointed dates on the calendar.

I need to practice this act of thanks giving so that it becomes a sacrament. 

Because on many days, the thanks are slow in coming.
And some days, they don’t come at all.
How can this be?

Perhaps it is because my wandering heart finds your shadow and declares you absent, choosing to embrace emptiness and despair.  Looking closer I might see that the darkness that puddles around me is actually cast by the breadth of your wing.  And that you are always passing by.

I must burn the Truth on my lips--that your mercies are new every morning-- so that when my heart fails and my vision blurs, my mouth will declare forth your praise.

Lord, may my thanks giving always be a response rather than a ritual and may I learn to see that your love is everywhere.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Feast of Broken Pieces

Photo credit: Bread! Flikr, Creative Commons

We sit at a table round and old, the edges burnished by years of reaching deep and sidling close. It was bought by my parents, this table, when their love was still young and the road less littered. The years and their offerings, they have left their mark and there are scars to remind us all. But when I run my hand across the polished top, I smile at the way that my fingers glide and dance.

We are a motley crew, this gathering of souls, and yet we are all cut from the same cloth. Our blood runs thick with crooked noses and broad shoulders, almond-shaped eyes and cowlicked hair but despite the familiar echoes, I sometimes feel as if I am looking into the faces of strangers. 

For aren’t we all just stories draped in flesh and can’t it take years to peel back the layers that mask our true forms? 

Some of our tales have never even been whispered but yet, they blow silent through cracks, wanting to be heard. It is their muteness that rings loudest.

We’ve all come hungry...

I am humbled and very excited to be joining 
SheLoves Magazine as a contributing writer today. 
You can read the rest of my piece here at the

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Light that falls

There is a light

square upon the leaf

when I lift my face
just so
the kiss of heaven
warms my cheek

Friday, November 16, 2012


Five Minute Friday

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Writing for five minutes.
A sort of writing flash mob.

I bend low, nuzzling cheek and ear, drinking in the smell of boy and soap. It is warm in the crook of his neck. And his arms, they circle round and round my neck. And this child, he won't let go. Not tonight, at least. Or tomorrow. Or even the day after that. This nightly ritual, this silent clamoring, this desperate is, at once, constant and fleeting. Everything in him cries out for me to

And I should listen.

Because there will come a day when his cheek will be coarse and his smell will slant towards manhood. And his arms, they will lengthen and his reach, it will widen. And that wish for me to stay will cool in the wake of shifting winds.

So, for now, tonight, I will stay. 

And as I nestle into the folds of his fleeting boyish charms I find my soul has a clamoring all its own. 

Stay. Here. 

Remain. Here.

"Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you."
John 15:4 (CEV)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love came down

I can remember what it was like before you were born.
There was love.
So much love.
On and in and around, love moved your dad and me.
Sometimes, love was close at hand, fingering lines in silhouette. Other times, love stood back, just watching and waiting.
But, all the time, love was.

And that love?
It remained. Blossomed. Grew.
After a time, it began to seek you out.
And there was prayer, with hands spread atop my head and lips dripping desires at the doorstep of heaven.
At night, as I lay flat in the dark, you came to me in visions. And in the morning, your form began to shape itself in the deepest hiding places.
And slowly, beautifully, perfectly you became.

And, oh, how there was rejoicing!
For when you burst forth this side of heaven, I laughed. I cried Glory! and pulled you closer still.
For more was born into our lives than just you.
More and bigger love--even greater than that which had stirred you into being--held fast to your feet and left trails of holy dust that sparkled as it flew and drifted and settled upon every living thing in the room.
Nothing was left untouched by the holy that day.


Yesterday, as I listened to the doctor explain to me, in scientific terms, the aspects of your uniqueness I couldn't help but marvel at the gift.
You, the gift.
Planted in my belly when I thought it was yet winter.
You, the gift.
Arriving with determined purpose and laughter right round.
You, the gift.

Because when love comes down, it leaves a trail. 

As we walk this path of your life, complete with twists and turns unexpected, your finger, it trails in the milieu, leaving flecks of that first holy dust. 
And it alights upon my coming in and my going out, my standing up and my kneeling down, my struggling and my accepting.

To walk with you means to walk into trust.
Right into its arms spread wide. 
And it is there, beneath that wing that shelters, that I remember.
Love is always 

Linking with Emily and Jennifer

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dust of heaven

In the still
of the afternoon
when the sun

If you
your head
just so

You will find
the dust

Friday, November 9, 2012


Unscripted.  Unedited.  Real.
Writing for five minutes.
A sort of writing flash mob.

Five Minute Friday

I lay down in the field, crunchy with decay and prickly with spent blooms. Such is the bed I choose, sometimes. Down low, nestled among the swaying skeletons of summer, my only view is skyward. The blue expanse is dotted with a billowy white that absorbs my piercing gaze and, if I stay still long enough, I can almost feel the tilt of the globe.  I am captured by the quiet.

I am resting in the eye of the storm and nothing can penetrate this hallowed space. It might be true that a storm rages at the edges and the thunder claps and flashing lights compete to frame this space outright but I choose to remain in this circle of quiet. It is only here that I will be able to hear the murmurs riding atop the gentle breezes. It is here where I can be still and know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There are places

There are places
one wants to go

and these places
they can be seen
in the distance
draped in misty cloud breath
with silver tendrils
pink cheeks

some days
it is as if
these places are
at hand
brushing the
of fingers
making them itch

and this desire
to go
to be
walk in tandem
a pulling
a grounding

enough so
to make
one walk
in circles
I suppose

but the
around and on and in of each other
weaves patterns of
which are beheld
only in the looking back

beauty is the vapor trail
of having once

--sweetening the world with poetry words--
 Sweet Blogger Grey

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A curtain torn

I take my shower in a bathroom small
there is no vent so
the steam
it billows and rolls
about the space                    

the hot water
my skin
and it is at once

in this private space
I practice
once again
the dance of

I try
to scrub away the proof
of my erring ways
the fact that
I have lived on sugar and chocolate
for the last
seven days

And it is confusing
because the act of putting
hand to mouth
is supposed to be
but I seem to always
ruin it

It is the nakedness
I think
that hollers loud
The baring
wide open and needy
renders me

And I murmur prayer words
but they get lost
in the rushing
and I can’t escape
my skin

The water
it washes over
my shell
this casing that
houses my
I know that it
is a temple
but I
don’t believe it

I shut off
the flowing cataract
stand silent

I step out
of that
the one
that sometimes
spins dizzy
and it happens

In that moment
the curtain
and I stand
foot bare
holy ground

John baptized
in the desert places
even if there is still
sand between my toes
I can now speak
the tongue of

Linking with Emily

Monday, November 5, 2012

In which I choose Peace

The other day, I was still long enough to hear it.

That has not been the case much lately.

For, even in the times when I move slower and speak less, I'm still running circles in my head. In there, in that small sheltered space, is a rumpus of imagined debate and flourishing retorts, each with a pointed desire to shine brighter, stand taller, pierce deeper. You may think me a quieter soul but believe me when I tell you that there are places down deep that rage.

For you see, I want to be the one who is right. 

And I don't mean the kind of right that wins a debate. 

I want to be righteously right. 

At the end of the day, despite my carefully chosen words and filtered sentiments, despite my humble offerings of compromise and understanding, I want to land on the right side of glory. And I want everyone to know it.

But, the other day, in the midst of this internal storm, this desire to wage war with words, I felt this alight upon my heart:

But the wisdom from above is 
first of all
It is also peace loving,
gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others.
It is full of mercy and good deeds.
It shows no favoritism
and it is always sincere.
And those who are peacemakers
will plant seeds of peace
and reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3: 17-18 NLT

And it was as if something broke. Down in that deep place, where fires burn hot and joy is a stranger, my soul was doused.

And I heard the Lord speaking to my most fragile self, the one that had been the source of all this unspoken vitriol but also, the one that most wants to change the world. On the trails of holy whispers I caught hold of this:

The Lord God has told [you]
what is right
what he demands:
'See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God.'
Micah 6:8 CEV

And all I could do was fall into the truth.

I am not called to bring down kingdoms or exercise judgment upon the land.
I am called to lift up the brokenhearted.

I am not called to point out the faults of others.
I am called to look deep and love hard.

I am not called to find the highest virtuous point and stake the flag of faith upon its peak.
I am called to help others to the top.

"Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers,
hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul,
which are the causes of war.
If you love peace, then hate injustice,
hate tyranny, hate greed--
but hate these things
in yourself,
in another."
-Thomas Merton

I am convinced, now more than ever, that we will never know a political landscape that represents the hearts of all people of faith. Because I've watched folks with deep belief and love and conviction tirelessly search their hearts and souls for answers and declarations but, in the end, still find themselves gazing at each other across fences denoting political affiliation. I have been such folk. 

No, the answer lies not in the establishment of a holy land. The answer lies in the laboring for hallowed hearts. It's not about fashioning this world to fit our cracked mold. It's about looking for "the way he works so we can live the way we're made" (Isaiah 2:3 MSG).

I know it now.
I know it deep and long and far and wide.
I am called to be a peacemaker.

On the eve of one of the most decisive political contests in the history of our country, I choose peace.

Peace over paradigm, over pontification, over pretension.

(photo credit: Google images)

And to all of you with whom I have stood opposite, even as we both sank, knee-deep in grace, I give you this:

"I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you,
and that he will show you mercy and kindness.
May the Lord be good to you
Numbers 6:24-26 CEV

Sunday, November 4, 2012


"Pale hoar-frost glittered in shady slips..."
-Anne Glenny Wilson

God of wonder
whose love reaches around


to find me

Nestle in me
courageous faith
that lets loose
the icy heart

Friday, November 2, 2012


Unscripted.  Unedited.  Real.
Writing for five minutes.
A sort of writing flash mob.

Five Minute Friday

I remember when I first saw this tree. It's massive trunk in stark contrast to its feathery leaves. How I was humbled just standing next to it, painfully and gracefully aware of my smallness. And how amazingly beautiful it was. 

It was October and its usual verdant leaves were caught in transition between emerald and amber. To stand at its trunk and gaze up into its flowing, wide-spread branches was to be at once, humbled and sheltered.

But what grabbed me the most about this magnificent tree was its roots. They were dark and gnarled and expansive and they wove themselves in and out of each other, in route to the water just near.

And the whole monstrous behemoth of a tree leaned.........
It gracefully and beautifully leaned into its life source.
It was as if it inherently knew it could sway and bend, reach and extend, grow and rest
because of its roots, flug deep and far and wide.

I want to be that tree, planted by the stream, who bears fruit at the right time and whose leaves do not dry up.

And so, if I am ever cut down, I will be like the stump of Jesse and branches will sprout from my mouth and I will live.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Write enough...

It's true.

As the writing has become habit, so too, have my eyes opened... 

I walk in the woods and the trees part above me, 
dappling the ground with gold and amber.

The crisping air carries the shouts of children further 
makes the call of the goose lonelier.

I touch the earth and I know its pulsing, 
I feel its journey 
sun-drenched day.

To write is to become soused in the glory of the daily 
you can scarcely catch your breath.

It is exhilarating. 

It is terrifying.

It is rich.

World without end.


I have joined the likes of many other bloggers who have one goal in mind:
to sweeten the world with poetry words.
Once a month, for six months, you can expect to find new
photo poetry quotes in this space, courtesy of 
I will also be sharing poetry quotes with others via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.