Thursday, December 31, 2015

Expression

Ink in a bottle sitting on my desk
Waiting to fill the fountain pen
To overflow the page with words

Eraser set in place
Until the pencil markings
Require a change

Reading glasses perched on my nose
So that the detailed work
Can flow

Paper available
To pens, pencils and markers
The tools may vary but the goal is expression

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wild in the City

Patches of wilderness
Scattered through the city
Keep us in touch with Your earth, Lord
If we are willing to visit it

Textures of tree bark rough to the fingers
With dried grasses crunching underfoot
Scents of growth or decay
Soon after rain
Entangled with the taste of wild food
Whether sweet or sour
Impress the sight even more strongly
As it all layers together

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Respect

One part of the group has the money
But the other part of the group is beginning 
To provide personnel
To keep the whole group functioning
And yet a polite lack of respect
Is constant through a subtle
Show of power, control and favouritism

We live it every day
And yet are not supposed to recognize it
Or comment upon it

The desire for control
Is broken at the cross
And shattered at the empty tomb

Yet we are drawn back into it
As the culture around us permeates
What we think and do

But we are called to freedom

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunset

Pink in the west sky
Turns bare trees to silhouette
As the sun leaves us

Walk The Walk

Winter comes close
As the New Year approaches
Leaving 2015 behind
Knowing we have walked with You, Lord
This past year
Hanging on tight when things got tough
Exuberantly dancing when laughter
Was the gift
Always knowing You are close by in the heart
Looking forward toward Your leading
Knowing security in You

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Autumn Cleanup

Raking leaves into
Piles to be carried onto
Growing compost heap

Periwinkle

An unchanging green
Creeping along open ground
Bursts into purple

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Your Stories, Lord

Yesterday, Lord, we remembered Your birth
With get togethers, food and gifts
And in the midst of it all
Was the re-enactment of Your coming
A telling in detail the story of Your birth
Did the Sunday school pageant two weeks ago
Tell the story as clearly?

How often do we hear the stories of You
Told clearly?
Or are they read aloud once
With the expectation they'll be caught
Just like that
With no interaction 
With the telling of the story

We have the stained glass windows
That show scenes from Your story
We have the church calendar
That moves us through 
Christmas and Easter each year
But have we become too sophisticated
For our own good?
Do we rely too much on reading
To facilitate the passing on of our stories
Without taking the time to tell them
Embrace them and walk our way through them?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Pursue His Purpose

Presenting the story that unfolded
Under the light of the star
Reveals God's initiative to 
Save people from themselves
Unknown to general comprehension
Eternity entered time as a baby boy
He grew in obscurity
In a country remote from the
Seats of
Power
Under the watchful eyes of 
Roman soldiers keeping the 
Peace in a rough world in
Order that He could
Suffer death in exchange for
Eternal peace for all who will believe in him

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Log House

Solid wood built high
Fixed in a permanent wall
As shelter for us

Log House

A log house in the woods
Where the deer and the wild turkeys roam
A place for a heart to settle in peace
While the imagination soars free

Surrounded by the scent of the undergrowth
When walking through the woods
Alive to the possibility of wild flowers in place
While the wild animals wander free

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Simplicity

Simplicity gives
Space for ideas to weave
From mind to fingers
And back again
As something beautiful
Is created

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas

Christ, the promised one, became a man at
Home on earth as citizen and yet
Refugee for a time to avoid jealousy
In power
Seeking safety 
To grow into
Maturity ready to face his
Assignment of teaching and dying for
Salvation for each who believes in him

Why Poetry?

A simple observation
A single question
Learning to sort it out
One catch in the breath at a time

Solstice Yesterday

My early morning walks
Will soon begin to brighten
As the nights begin to shrink
On their way to summer

Monday, December 21, 2015

Praying

Lord, it was amazing to be with Your people
And be the one to stand up and pray
To gather us together as a group
As we talk with You, Lord
About Your world and Your creatures
To ask for Your love and peace to spread
And fill our lives
And be an influence in this world

Unfocused

Sitting here unfocused again
--Guess what it's Monday
And we had a busy weekend
Rebekah and Jamie came Saturday
On our way to Dad's
For a family Christmas
Then they stayed overnight
With us so we could spend 
Parts of Sunday together
--Breakfast and then late lunch
With us attending three different churches
In between the two

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Facing Retirement

Freedom fifty-five was unappreciated
But time continues moment by moment
And suddenly we realize
So much has passed
But a sixtieth birthday approaches
With acceptance that retirement
Could be the next stage
And with that a new vision for life in this moment

One

God in three persons
Yet there is one God
Church in millions of people
Yet only one church truly exists
Now and always
The mind tries to understand
To organize
To visualize
Yet it is perhaps best to simply accept
There is one
Then we can work towards
Practical implications of living as one
Throughout history there have been many
Attempts to live as one
And yet each generation grapples anew
With the concept of one

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Beginner

In this day and age
Perfection is the goal
Forgetting we need space to develop our talents
We aim to compete with the work of master craftsmen
But the beginner
Is allowed to simply be that
Begin at the first level
Then keep working 
Through to a comprehensive ability
One that quietly draws notice
For a combination of technical skill and artistic vision 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December

Day after green day is passing
Even as December is more than half gone
Christmas will soon be surpassing
Even as autumn remains in effect
Memories of winter amassing
Bare trees covered in snow
Elegant homes for squirrels bypassing 
Requirements of local builders 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Books

Solomon once said
"Of making books there is no end."*
And now today
I am adding to that endless mountain
Books of my own design
Even as my heart flutters in excitement
The movement is towards books
With my name on them

*Ecclesiastes 12:12

More Tea

It seems I write often of tea
Perhaps because it brings a pause
To my life, to my thoughts
Allowing me a time to refresh
Before whatever life brings next

Manuscript

Memories in bite size chunks
Arranged for reading on
Numbered pages
Under the watchful eyes of me
Susan's poems
Combined with EhLu's illustrations
Reveal
Ideas and actions of life
Perceived, understood
Today

Monday, December 14, 2015

Shiver

Saturday awoke with a shiver as
Home felt abandoned by heat and
Invaded by cold
Very thankful for portable heaters and
Electricity to provide relief until the
Repairman arrives to fix the furnace

Coffee

"A toonie for a coffee?"
But the stranger shook her head
And walked passed into the coffee shop for tea
But later--when her tea was packed
In her backpack to go
The shake of the head was replaced by
"What do you take in your coffee?"
And hands warming with a large double double

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Joy Now

Step by light step we walk with You
But the imagination dances far ahead
With such a pirouette that it can
Carry us away
But You keep us firmly planted
When we live life now
In this moment
Grounded yet filled with a dancing joy

God Keeps His Promises

Going into Your Word, Lord
Opens other lives to my view
Dipping deep into stories brings
Knowledge to 
Explain
Experience as I walk with You
Past lives open up ways to 
See this world, to interact with
Hope
In a fresh and
Serious way as I
Proceed
Relentlessly forward into the love
Of God: the promise keeping God
Making mercy and grace key elements
Influencing my life
Seasonally and daily
Energizing my attitude as I 
Strive to lift You up for the world to see

Friday, December 11, 2015

Choices

The path before me
Divides with freedom to move
And the dance begins

Choices Begin for Retirement

Andrew is moving toward
Retirement
It has been almost a full five years
Since Freedom 55
Now he is ready
And as he moves toward
Embracing freedom
Perhaps
I will become a pastor
Here in London

Choices Begin for a Book

I began to sort through my poems yesterday
To move toward publishing a book of poetry
From 300 poems I chose 108
Amazing to realize it can become reality

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Morning Walk

A silent walk disturbed only by rabbits
Scurrying away to avoid detection
By the people walking up a country road
As the sunrise approaches
Quietly

Ontario Breakfast Tea

Rebekah found it in British Columbia
And mailed it to me

The simple description sounded like something
Mom would like to drink

And so it was mailed to Ontario as a gift
For the tea drinker

Ontario Breakfast tea being drank
In Ontario for breakfast

Ahhhh
Deliciousness 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Community

A walk to the store to refresh the body with food
A walk to the library to explore ideas
A walk to church to meet together in worship
A simple way to keep community connected--
Just live within a short walk of life

Photographs

A memory recorded by cameras
As two were married
And now the arranging of photos
Into books to keep the remembrance fresh

Sunset

Walking home last night
The road traveled west
Suddenly the sun changed everything
As the pink-orange circle lowered dramatically 
Behind the simple houses of east London
Lighting the sky above intensely
And then
It was gone

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Propitiation

You, Lord, became a person
To grow as we do
To be hurt as we are
To love as we can
To die as we will
To rise again so death will
No longer be permanent for us

And so the story is told
Of You in Bethlehem with Your parents
Visited by shepherds and wise men

The story that gets lost in the anxiety
Of gifts and parties and general busyness 

Yet it is so simple
You became human
And dwelt among us
Until You died for crimes
That we commit
So death couldn't keep You down
Christmas and Easter
Are the two ends of the whole
That makes us whole
When we believe in You, Lord

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday

The introvert and the busy weekend
Requires a Monday that's quiet
Perhaps
A lazy morning after breakfast
And an afternoon editing a manuscript
--Just thinking of it brings
Peace 

Stained Glass at Church

Coloured glass cut to 
Catch the sun to glow stories
About Jesus' life

Arranged in windows
Presented as simple scenes
That radiate truth

Contemplate events
Narratives of a growing
Faith of redemption

Forgiveness leads to 
Freedom to live outside hate
With simplicity

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Warrior Woman

The woman as warrior
Was simply a legend in this culture
We heard of Joan of Arc in history class
A simple blip on the timeline of history
That was not repeated for centuries
We heard of Mulan in fairytales
Saving China
We heard of Wonder Woman in comic books
Saving the United States
But now women are soldiers
Living and dying in war zones
And yet the picture is still alien
To our stereotypes of women
Called to be the beauty
Who nurtures all
With the stamina of a work horse

Light

When evil is discovered
The response is often overdone
Everyone must fall in line with a new reality
Even if the good is destroyed in the process
Why?
Laziness? Emotional over reaction? Hatred?
But we are called to love
Each morning we awake we are called to love
Lord, You are light and You are love
And in You no darkness is found
You have called us into the light of You
To be light in this world
But hatred extinguishes that light when it can

And yet Your light will always come back
Growing as it moves in us

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Photos

A moment captured
Expressions lighting the face
My heart leaps anew

Learning Tools

For learning there are both
Books and videos available
In today's world
Each attracts different students
Andrew and I both like to learn new things
He is drawn to videos that show how
To do what he wants to do
While I'm drawn to books that can
Progress slowly or quickly
Depending on how much I already know
Moving pictures or pages with words
Different styles to the same end
Learning something new
As a way of life

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Helper

God is the helper
Woman is the helper
Somehow the treatment
Has been vastly different
Throughout history

What are we missing in this term?
To treat God as the inferior
Breaks relationship with God
To treat woman as the inferior
Creates much of the pain of history

Yet people quickly realized anyone can be
The helper
And so slavery has long existed

But God is my helper
And he is neither my inferior
Nor my servant/slave

The helper is simply one who
Works with us in partnership
Leaving us working as a team

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Moving Toward Poetry

Book two is on the horizon
But soon it will be close
Enough to work with
Close enough to choose
What it will contain
Six months of writing
Provides movement for choice

The Rewrite Continues

Writing fiction and yet trying to keep
Reality in mind
With made up characters
In a made up story
In a real location
Does keep the balance between
Fiction and reality interesting

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Painting

An autumn scene
Painted in oils by Grandma
Many years ago
Propped on the window sill
As encouragement to creativity

My Walk

Standing by the road
Watching me as I pass by
Calm and peaceful
Yet fully aware of my presence
The deer have become climatized
To me and to Andrew
There are no high fences between us
Yet they stay and graze
While they keep an eye on us
As we walk by

It has taken five months
Of almost daily early morning walks
Up my hill in the country
To reach this point

A city girl on a country walk
Amazed

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Rewriting

Questions to ponder
While rewriting a story
To make the flow smooth

Bottle of Ink

Intense liquid words
Kept safe in a bottle
Ready for paper

Monday, November 30, 2015

Light

It begins inside
When You touch the heart, Lord
It radiates outward
Through eyes and actions
It illuminates the path
One step at a time
As I follow You
To walk in Your light

Just Keep Going

Just keep writing
When thoughts are fluttering
Through chaos

Just keep singing 
When the notes lock into
Contractions in the throat

Just keep walking
When the chill of autumn
Deepens into winter

Just keep reading
When the noise of the world
Threatens to overwhelm

Just keep living
In the midst of growing darkness
Life is still amazing

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rest

Rest
For the mind
Is as required as rest for the body

But how does one
Convince the mind to rest?

Is that where play comes in?

A Poet

A poet
Begins in a world of beauty
Challenged by the pain and hate
That devour all they are able to take down
Yet life is the goal
As the poet reaches for words
To ignite hope

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Watchers

Walking down the hill
We became aware of being watched
But as soon as we noticed
The silent statues and
Stopped
We became the watchers---
For the deer returned to motion
And silently wandered away

Magnifying Glass

Carried in a pocket
To be pulled out whenever the situation
Demands

To pull into focus
Whatever details are eluding
The naked eye

A simple piece of glass
Shaped to enlarge the question under 
Scrutiny

How often do I use
These words on paper as a means to a
Close-up view?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Research

Yesterday I had two questions
That I took to Google
The answers were amazing
And informative
Two instant learning sessions
As I spent a few minutes processing
The available information

Life isn't quite so instantaneous
The question bubbles to the surface
Only to be buried again
For lack of information,
Resources and practical experience
But then it comes full circle
And when the answer comes
So does the ability to follow through
And the question becomes
Accomplishment 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The President's Lecture

Yesterday
There was a lecture at the university
That I walked to
A brisk walk
In the sunshine
Of a November day on which the snow was
Melting

The topic was the power of
Simile and metaphor
To shape the world around them
Particularly how they have shaped
Canada
And our view of ourselves as a nation

Photographs

Today I work with the photos from the wedding
To put together a collection for family
A memory
Of family together celebrating
Even as we mourned those missing
And the photos will be a constant reminder
That some were missing

Good Morning

Twenty minutes to clear my brain
De-clutter the remnants of yesterday
Prepare to find words for today
As I come to this journal
To explore my life

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Freedom

Coyotes crossing the road
A pair of wild dogs
Traveling through the woods
Then another pair
Going in the same direction
Wild dogs on the move in the country
Such a contrast to the city
Where a single dog without a leash and owner
Stands out as unusual
A well ordered city
Wrapped round and round
With rules to protect us
And yet in the woods
Freedom still steps quietly

Friends

A new book to open for the first time
An old book from childhood 
Tucked away on the bookshelf
To be returned to periodically 
The spectrum is broad
Interests are wide
And now movement is toward
Poetry
A new endeavour embraced 
When singing poetry
Has always been my way

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bible Study

The buzz, the murmur
The sound of people working
To finish an assignment
--And everyone finished
Then after tea
We shared our findings
In the group for all to know

Lord, it felt like a giant step forward
As each person contributed
To the sharing of work done

Poetry Six Months Later

A pencil in my hand
And suddenly thoughts become words
On paper
A different adventure dealing with
Words on paper

Sentences flowing from left to right all the way across the page work to explore questions for teachers.

But my thoughts for me
Lord, somehow the movement to variety
In line length
In word choice
With little or no punctuation
Frees my words enough to
Simply write every day

But next I want to add
Music
To take a story
And put it in a song

Monday, November 23, 2015

Quiet Morning

The week begins
With quietness
As I rest the fullness of the weekend
Tea is calling
To be enjoyed
After a long leisurely walk up Meadowlily

Sunday, November 22, 2015

1 John

The buzz of people working in Your Word
Reading it, searching for the words
That focus us on the author's intent
Abide, Sin, Know, Love, Born of God, Light
And Fellowship
Each a key element to reminding believers
They already know the truth about the Son of God
And have eternal life

A letter in place to remind us
Who we are
And what we have
Because confidence in walk
Come from knowing this

Friday, November 20, 2015

Language

How does one learn a language
That flows as pictures through the mind?
The language has been written down
Composed into individual sounds
But not divided into individual words in sentences
Because of the flow within the meaning

One

To work together as a team
Can be elusive
As each person has their own focus
Their own drive
Their own goal to aim toward
And yet teamwork
Partnership
Fellowship
Call us to work as one body
Where each job is different
Yet essential
And working toward being one healthy whole

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Must Decide

I will not hate you 
Fear will flit through me and by me
On its way to being released--let go 

I will not hate you 
You have proved you can kill the body 
But you cannot do more than that 

I will not hate you 
For it is time to remember a man who came 
To die on a cross to seal my life 
And the lives of all who will believe in him
To seal my life forever 

I will not hate you 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Flowers

Purple asters still appear in sheltered places
With the shortened brightness of goldenrod nearby
Each contrasting with the growing brown
Of dying greenery
As the landscape prepares for snow

Path For Poetry

Walk forward
And the path appears
Faith
Is required in every stage
As I step onto the path
Not knowing what the result will be

At present I'm writing poetry
Where Free Verse dominates
Even as I have tried some structured forms
Introduced in Avis Harley's ABC books

But now I am reading
Poetry handbooks by Mary Oliver
And I am captured by
"Rules for the Dance"
The desire to write singable poetry
Runs deep through me

A new path to walk toward
Not knowing the twists
Or the hazards
That lie before me

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tea

Loose leaf tea
A luxury
In this day of mass produced tea bags
Stored in tins
Arranged in the cupboard
And today
Their sticky note labels
Will be changed for magnets
Covered with hand made labels

Games

People play games
(And I don't mean Scrabble)
They arrange details
To control people
Then wonder "What happened?"
When the game whiplashes
Back 
Full force
On themselves
Then their anger
Erupts
All over the place
When in fact they
Were the ones playing games
With other peoples' lives

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wild Turkeys

Strutting single file
Crossing the road cautiously
Eyes open alert

Six awkward birds stalk
Arranged shooting game style but
Safe from hunters here

Tattered Curtain

The tree is wind tossed
As the howling of autumn
Arrives to pass through

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Autumn Curtain

The seasons have changed
Our tree has yellowed
And the autumn curtain
Is tattered
As the wind brings down the leaves
And so bare branches
Will soon be all that remains
Silhouetted
Against the sky
Until the green of spring
Creeps back

This Moment

This task
The one that busies my mind and hands
Keeps my attention
Focused
To this point in time

Suddenly the clock or calendar
Intervenes
To amaze me with a snapshot
Of how much time has passed

But then I return
To the joy of now
As life is lived in this moment

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Books

How do I remember
The most influential books
I have read?
1 John
Showed me You, Lord
And assured me I do believe in You
Philippians
Taught me
Joy is a choice
And I can build my life on that
The Mrs. Pollifax series
Gave me a life renewed by adventure
Even in the senior years
Lord of the Rings
Simply left me with hope
Sara Crewe
Overcame trials even when
Separated
From all she loved
A Tale of Three Kings
Encouraged trusting You, Lord
No matter how the human kings behave
Jane Eyre
Gave a rerun to Sara Crewe
As Jane overcame trials
While feeling all alone
The Paper Bag Princess
Outsmarted the dragon herself
And exposed the truth around her
Brat Farrar
Where I watched You, Lord
Sift the story
Through the evil
To find
Your truth and love
The Gospel of Ruth
With its extravagant partnership
Focused on loving more than enough
With loyalty and exuberance 

Note for Books
1. 1 John, a letter by the Apostle John found in the New Testament of the Bible.
2. Philippians, a letter by the Apostle Paul found in the New Testament of the Bible.
3. Mrs. Pollifax mystery series by Dorothy Gilman.
4. Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
5. Sara Crewe, a children's book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
6. A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards.
7. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.
8. The Paper Bag Princess, a children's book by Robert Munsch.
9. Brat Farrar, a mystery by Josephine Tey.
10. The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough To Break the Rules, by Carolyn Custis James.


Just Keep Writing

Deer sightings are common now
Just keep writing
The new draft of the story 
Has arrived for a rewrite
Just keep writing
Time spent in 1 John
Has become exciting
Just keep writing
The Karen language is
Opening up--slightly
Just keep writing
There's even a place in the calendar
For friends to visit
Just keep writing
And so I find myself
At my desk
Early in the morning
With paper and pen
And a sense of Your presence, Lord
Just keep writing

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wholistic

When we consider our health
We tend to heal better
If we treat the entire person
Rather than simply one symptom

The cough calls for syrup
The headache  calls for aspirin
But the person needs rest
And healthy eating

The whole person recovers
When the whole person
Is treated

Is language learning
Similar?
We have divided it into
Vocabulary and
Grammar and
Conversation
Perhaps we'll succeed
Better
Immersed into the language
With only necessary explanations

So the study of 1 John
Has begun
And together we are using
The "wholistic"
Approach to language
Acquisition

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Solitude

Peace for thought
Solitude for work
But what happens when those around
Won't allow that as fully as it's needed?
Little work gets done
Frustration mounts upon frustration

What is so difficult
About solitude?
Apparently everything 
When one's family is extroverted 

A childhood of lone time
Teen years filled with long walks
Alone
And a room in which to read
And ponder
To plan 
And consider
Alone

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Remember

Would they protect others?
Our fathers, brothers, sisters and uncles
Travelled far overseas
To aid another people
Facing the hostility of invasion
So many died
We remember their loss
So many lived
We remember their victory
And still protection calls to us
As a new generation
Goes out to protect from tyranny
We remember
We remember

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The New Sound

Languages have different sounds
Unique tones
Which can make learning a challenge
To find the new sound as an adult
One that was not part of your own communication
Growing up
Try it
Get it wrong
Try it again
Eventually a small success
But fleeting
Until the sound finds its place 
Solidly in the speech pattern for today

Learning

A life of learning is an amazing
Endeavour
Books, lectures, hands-on experience
All contribute
To growing day by day
As I simply walk with You, Lord
The pressure of school
With exams and essays
Is finished
But the exhilaration to know
And to grow
Remains
A constant element of life

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Walk To Church

Through the city
One step at a time
To be part of Your people
Together

The autumn leaves
Still hanging in brilliant colour
Or drying on the ground
Provide
The scents of an ending season

Even as new people
Meeting You
Signals renewal and
Life eternal

The Neighbour

To welcome the neighbour
In need
We must trust You, Lord

To reach out to the stranger
In need
We offer help to You, Lord

My right hand making muffins
My left hand preparing tea
My feet walking many miles
Offer You to another
With love

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Musical Poetry

How do I learn to write
Musical poetry?
Read it?
Listen to it?
Attempt
To create it?

Language Quirks

Dearly Beloved
We are gathered together . . .
Why does the two syllable 
Beloved
Become the three syllable
Beloved?

Blessed are the peacemakers
For they shall see God . . . 
Why does the one syllable
Blessed
Become the two syllable
Blessed?

Stature
Emphasis
Importance
Focus
The possibilities are many
But where do I look for 
An answer?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Home

A place for head to rest
When the eyes close 

A place for meals to be
Shared together
While we discuss the day

A place out of the 
Distractions of the world

A place
Of our own

Company Coming

A phone call made
An invitation issued
Friends will come for a visit

Poem

Compact
Life in a nugget
With a spark of fire
That ignites hope within me

Friday, November 6, 2015

Angels

Creatures
Of the spirit
Persons living loyal
To the holy One they can see
Always

Friends

Quiet
Yet abounding
With thoughts and ideas
Provoke me to consider life--
My books

Seagull

Bold squawk
Demand for food
Circling far overhead
Alight to scavenge in the sand
Mine! Mine!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Smile

A light in the eyes
Spreads a curve across the mouth
That touches another soul

Written To Spoken

A new day has arrived
Before the sun has risen
Changing the 
Darkness to light
Every moment is important
Finding steps forward
Going toward dreams
Hoping for joy
In each place along the way
Just
Knowing words
Left alone on paper
Manage to impress
Nobody unless they are read
Ongoing endeavour
Pursued
Quietly to offer thoughts for
Readers
Silent
Thoughts expressed
Until the silence is broken
Vacant space reverberating
With the spoken word
eXalting
Yet another conversation
Zeal for dialogue

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Control

How much are others
In control
Of our choices and actions?
To find the balance
Between using individual 
Giftedness
While still remaining
In community
Is a daily challenge
For each of us

Knitting

Needles
And yarn produce
Things to wear for winter
A variety of sweaters
And hats

Home

The world is coming to this city
From my home I can get around
Via Trafalgar Street
Twenty minutes of walking
Finds a Muslim high school
In the east
Or a Buddhist temple 
In the west
Show a sample
Of the changes happening
As the world continues 
To move to me

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Words

To express my thoughts
One tiny piece at a time
Words are built on words

Bicycle Path

Running
By the river
On its was through London
Miles of pathways cocooned inside 
Wildness

Rewrite Update

Yesterday the first rewrite
Was completed
Today I check for typos
Then email it
It doesn't seem quite real
And yet is feels entirely natural
As this step is finished

Monday, November 2, 2015

Just Keep Singing

Joy expressed
Needs more than words
Sometimes
The music joins in to declare
The depth words alone can
Miss

Prayer for Healing

Paul prayed for healing
Three times
But Your answer was Your presence
And with that he was content
But Paul also saw You, Jesus, heal people
On many occasions 
Now Lord, I pray for me
I don't know how my healing 
Would glorify You
But I ask Lord--
That You be glorified
While I am healed
--the baldness on my head
--the lack of strength in my left arm
--the cough that interferes with life
I have been drawn to this position before
To pray for personal healing
But here I am once more, Lord
Only Your power can accomplish this
So I leave it with You
But I do ask: Please, Lord, heal me

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Deer Again

Andrew is excited
To be seeing deer
Again
Three yesterday
As we walked up the hill
While the sun was 
Rising
Pink behind the trees
Making the woods
Silhouette

What Bubbles Up?

To sit at my desk
With pencil in hand
Considering what to write
Poised
To capture
Whatever bubbles up
Lord, my sixth month begins
Today
And still I enjoy
Being at my desk each morning
To lay hold of thoughts
With words

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Next

What's next?
It's an interesting question Lord
One thing finishes
Leaving room for the next
Sometimes it's easy to decide
If there's a lineup of possibilities
Waiting
But only one is suitable at that moment
Sometimes it's a challenge
With so many interests
But limited resources
Once in a while it's almost impossible
If nothing touches the heart
Because the heart has gone cold
May You keep my heart alive
Following Your lead for whatever is
Next

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friendship

Unplanned
Conversation
Lightly catches up lives
Hope for future time together
Brings warmth

Connection

To hear and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's a language
Or a subject
Because there's connection
In understanding

To do and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's on the computer
Or creating something by hand
Because there's connection
In understanding

To be and understand
The joy that brings
Whether it's walking with You, Lord
Or interacting with other people
Because there's connection
In understanding

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wind

The wind has arrived
I can hear it through the tree
They warned us about yesterday
But it is only arriving now
Waves of wind
Then silence
Before another wave of wind
Once daylight begins to glimmer
I may find a fresh blanket
Of leaves on the ground
--Or maybe not
It's the end of October
And our tree is still green
By the time the leaves are yellow
It may require simply a gentle breeze
To bring them dancing
Toward the earth

What's On My Mind Today?

I come to the paper
Early in the morning
To write my journal of life
But sometimes a topic
Isn't immediately there
Clamouring for attention
So many different things
Can capture my interest
And yet the older I get
The more the variety
Comes together in You, Lord
--And in Your church

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Deer

Seven deer
Through the trees
Milling about nervously
Once I noticed them
Wanting to graze
But wanting me to leave
Finally they began to wander away
--Amazing pockets of wonder
In the city

Band

Music for worship
Produced by a band
Needs musicians and 
Singers
The leader must sing
But must the leader also
Play an instrument?
I suspect the combination 
Is for convenience
Rather than necessary
Am I willing to step forward
To try?--
Organize and lead a band
As a singer only

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Music With You, Lord

A voice raised in joy
Being accompanied by instruments
Changing notes form melody
Declaring joy, praise, love or pain
Engaging the whole being
For worship
Gear up to express
Hope in You, Lord
In the tiniest details
Just as much as the broadest
Knowing You, Lord, through Your Word
Listening to the Spirit within
Motivates expression through
New styles and 
Old--always with You as the focus
Potential for unity as we have
Quality together as the church
Realizing we are a body
Simple
To sing and make music
Unless we allow it to be encumbered when
Vanity steps in
With rules rather than heart
eXtend our unity
Yes, Lord
Zero in on one body in You

Monday, October 26, 2015

Framed Words

"God keeps his promises!"
The words in the frame
And on the frame
Noah's ark
A constant reminder
Of truth
Being something to rely upon

Journal

To write my thoughts
My experiences
My wonders
To step out with confidence.
A life lived in You, Lord
Is filled with light
And lived in peace
Yet the rough places appear
Wherever we walk
Am I willing to be open
About recognized imperfections?
Is it not enough that
Unrecognized imperfections
Scream from the page?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Concert

Fundraiser Karen style
--Singers traveled here
From different cities
To perform a concert
Audience involvement
Praised the singers
By burying them 
Under mountains of leis 
--Fundraiser fun style

House Almost Ready

A neighbourhood fire
More than a year ago
Left a family
Living in rented quarters
But the new house is up
The lights are on
The finishing details are
Keeping the builders busy
But soon
Very soon
Our neighbours will be back

Return of Singing

The songs were sung all week
The voice lessons were listened to
About freeing the voice
And living in the moment to reduce tension
Simple lessons
Silly things seemingly to practice
And yet (--the amazing bit)
I sang to an audience yesterday
--And enjoyed singing

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Walking Sticks

Exercise for me
Walk in silence of nature
Using arms as well

Chipmunk

Scurry
Across the road
A zip in the open
As quick as a flash of light
And gone

Sing

To sing without fear
Requires life in the moment
Relax muscles--breathe

Friday, October 23, 2015

Visiting Friends

A task was left to us
By Rebekah and Jamie to bring some
Closure to the wedding by
Delivering a few of their thank you cards
Express and personal
From the parents own hands
Going around the city
Handing out photos of the couple that
Included their thanks
Just a few that Andrew and I
Know personally
Letting them know we still care for them as we
Move into 
New avenues in life that
Open new skills and
Personal
Quests with You, Lord
Reassigned
Service
To different cultures
Under Your one umbrella of church: the body of Christ
Vast breadth of cultures appear here as I
Walk by Buddhist temple to the west and Muslim high school to the east
eXcitement of cultures coming here--
Yet one afternoon together connecting with old friends
Zone of renewed friendship

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Worship Culture

A church with two worship cultures
Became a church with one pastor
Complexity ensued as two
Different service times became reality
Endeavouring to work with one pastor
First solution made one culture second class and
Generated a serious test for loyalty in worship band culture
How to deal with swinging start times and 
Inability to travel with friends from the other service
Just because someone will consistently have to wait
Keeping young parents waiting every week for children
Lacking a friendly flow at one service
Momentum is lost every time flow is lost
No flow is caused by complexity
Ordained by the need for a solution
Perhaps change is needed now
Quest for unity requires flow in worship
Requirement for both services
So how do we
Tackle this lack of
Unity?
View the two cultures as one church
Weave the unity back in with a single start time
eXtend equal honour to each culture
Yet treat all as one church for ongoing
Zest in worship

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Deer

Three deer
Grazing in the field
Watchful of me
As I approach
To watch them

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Just Keep Writing

A jumble of thoughts
Grow messier by the moment
Just keep writing

Words on paper help to sort
Through to find the truth underneath
Just keep writing

A cacophony of voices
Cause chaos all around
Just keep writing

Until a single voice is heard
Your voice, Lord--direct and quiet
Just keep writing

Monday, October 19, 2015

Scattered Thoughts

I am cold after yesterday's snow
Yet it melted by noon
Today will be what?

Lord, nothing's happening with poetry today
Are my thoughts too scattered from
Two days of not writing?
We visited family on Friday and Saturday
Then I slept in on Sunday
But now I am beginning again
--With little focus

London

A little piece of England
Transplanted to Canada
To put down roots and grow

Friday, October 16, 2015

Renovations

Old redesigned for
New dreams as then reworked
With now first in mind

Bicycle Path

Path curls by river
For walking, cycling through green
Draws community

Crouch Library

Neighbourhood centre
Where welcome for each is real
Resources for growth

Home

Bricks and windows give
Space for children to grow strong
Roots before wings spread

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Favourite Stories

What sets a story apart
To be remembered?
The characters?
The teller?
The story itself?
The moment it's told?
The audience?
Each element would play its part
So how does one try to predict
What story to tell?
Or is it simpler than that
Are we simply made up of many stories
And so we simply respond
To stories?
But that answers why we listen
Rather than how we find favourites--
Perhaps the words of another are true--
"Stories find us when we need them" 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Active Waiting

Active waiting
Brings the story to life: As metaphor
Could this show You
Desire of us active waiting?
Even as we wait
For life to develop to a point of bloom
Going forward
Has many threads
I can pursue even now
Just passively waiting
Keeps the mind and heart
Lost in limbo
Many options stand before me
Now
Only Your
Path draws me to balance action with waiting
Quiet
Relaxing which
Settles my heart is combined with
The active learning which
Undergirds my
View that life involves growth
Whether
eXcitement or peace are before me
Yielding to active waiting provides
Zest for today

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Overcoming

Another day in history
Before I reached today
Challenges loomed in front of me
Defeated me when I had not begun
Everything that pulled my heart
Found a frown on the face close to mine
Growing deeper with time until--
Hope surged through me in spite of disapproval
I chose to follow the
Joy in my heart
Knowing You approved even if another did not
Lord, Your quiet voice
Motivates from within
Never
Overpowering, yet
Persisting
Quietly, consistently
Ruling my thoughts and my dreams
Showing me my talents and joys
Through long walks alone
Under Your watchful protection
Viewed through the eyes of hope
Walking became the gate to overcoming
eXactly in the fields I had dreamed
Your guidance, Lord, brought
Zest to the journey

Monday, October 12, 2015

Creativity

Thoughts fill the mind 
Erupting through the heart 
As lines, notes, beats, movement--words 
Our language contains so little of who we are 
As we work to convey our understanding 
Our feelings are exposed 
Through the variety that creativity provides 
To each of us 
 

Expression

Music rises 
From within to be set free
To the winds
(And the ears)
All around 

Words bubble up 
To be put on paper 
And released 
To the world 

The elements of life 
Find expression 
Through words and emotions 
Music and freedom 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

A year later 
Is approaching quickly--
Family Thanksgiving was difficult yesterday 
Without Debra 
Lord, life on this earth always ends 
You've designed it that way 
Yet it is so difficult to lose loved ones 
To death 
We know of life beyond death 
We believe in eternal life 
But that makes it only a little easier 
Yet life with You, Lord, still draws us 
Back to hope 
That life beyond death is reality 
That we are free to release loved ones 
To You, Lord 
And move forward 
In faith  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Freedom

I can choose
Lord, You have given freedom
And so I can choose
To live the life I've always lived
To strike out on a new path
To share my time with others
To be alone with You
A simple gift to every person
If we will truly accept it--
Freedom
We can choose 

Hope

A lilt in the voice
A smile on the lips
A light in the eyes
When despair passes
At the return of hope

A hug to another
A kiss on the cheek
A deep breath in the lungs
When the darkness ends
At the return of hope

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Community

A disconnect 
Between the two groups
Causes
A break in community
Because
Start times are different
When people arrive together
Someone is early for one service
Or late for the other

Such a simple solution
--Have the preacher preach
Only once on Sunday
By using video camera and live projection
Have that sermon in two locations
At the same time
Both services begin at the same time
Both congregations know they belong

Hope

Expectancy
Of good
Even when surrounded
By pain
Because You, Lord
Hold my hand
Each step of the way

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Attempts

An old ditty from childhood
"Can't think, brain dumb
Inspiration won't come
Poor ink, bad pen
That's it Amen"
Expressed my frozen brain
But life includes overcoming
Instead will learn to relax that attitude
To allow the flow of thought once more

Only

Worship
Recognizes
You, Lord, as the only
Provider of breath and beauty
Always

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Language Learning

Awkward
As I begin
To practice more and more
Speak the language repeatedly
To learn

A Room

A room of my own--
With a door that closes
That makes such a difference
After years of being on call
Always
It's true the door can be knocked upon
Or shouted through
But somehow the closed door
Makes the space feel more solitary
A desk
A chair
A daybed for naps
With shelves and shelves of books
A window looking east
Out onto a tree
A space of my own
To dream by

Monday, October 5, 2015

Poetry

"Life distilled"--
Flavour infuses
Aroma captivates
Melody haunts
--Poetry tantalizes

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Class Participation

See what the text expresses
About the subject at hand
Then spend time putting that
Into poetry
Lord, is this the next
Assignment to try?
When I ask the class
To tell the story
It's like hitting a brick wall
Is this because I'm demanding sentences?
Would poetry avoid the internal brakes
The mind imposes when the perfect answer
Is out of reach?

Journal

Blank pages
That remained empty
Until I threw away
My mental guidelines
Of what a journal should be
Then I began
To use poetry
To simply express
What is

Salad

Tomato chopped
Cucumber diced
Avocado for creaminess
Lime juice sprinkled over all
Freshness of summer
Anytime of the year

Saturday, October 3, 2015

To Learn

To learn without a textbook
Is a challenge in a society
So dependent on written instructions
But other ways to learn are real
Take a deep breath
Accept the challenge
Jump right in to the experience

Gerber daisy

A  single flower
Poised on a long sturdy stem
A pop of colour 
On a dreary day
To brighten the moment

Friday, October 2, 2015

Clouds

As simple as water above the air
That bring rain
Or cooling shade
Yet shape, colour, density
Lend themselves to moods
Whether frivolous or overpowering
That texture our lives
More than droplets of mist
Could predict

Success

Oppression of the many
For the greed of the few who succeed
In the struggle for power, wealth and luxury
The equation set by the fall of mankind
In the beginning

Oppression of none
Was the original goal
As man and woman faced the garden and battles together
A partnership intended to produce joint power and success
From the beginning

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Clogged Drain

Puddle
In the sink
That remains unmoving all day
Requires a plumber's
Expertise

Poetry

How does poetry
Differ from prose?
Why do I enjoy writing my journal
This way
But balk at full sentences?
Somehow this expression
Works for me--
But why and how?
Here I can focus on a word
Or a phrase
To illuminate an idea
Without concern for every bit of punctuation
Topics vary greatly
As life presents new questions.
Thank You, Lord
For providing variety of form
For sculpting thoughts
Within our languages

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Language

What enables some to learn new languages easily
While others struggle for years
To learn a second one?
My walk in this endeavour is renewed
As I work once more to learn the Karen language 
Will I finally find room on my tongue
For a language different from my mother's?

Life Online

The extrovert often prefers life face to face
With people
Prefers to avoid an extensive online presence
The introvert often enjoys the arms length
Interaction of the world online
An opportunity to tell one's story
At one's own pace and in one's own way
Intense or laid back
Gentle or complaining
Choices and time alone to make those choices
Inspire the introvert

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Camera

We live in a world
Filled with cameras
To capture us in good moments
And embarrassing silliness
But life is still to be lived 
With confidence

Makeup

A change
Of line and colour
Becomes like a best friend
You always want by your side
But it's not a need
It's simply an expression of being
So never fear
The camera 
Without it

Monday, September 28, 2015

Facing the Re-write

A novel lies
Before me
Covered with 
Detailed comments
Evaluating my narration
For elements that entice an audience.
Going forward with suggestions
Hoping to produce work
Inclined to draw a reader in to 
Join my characters on an adventure
Knowing safety while
Losing awareness of real time in
Motion and motivation that exists
Nowhere except in this imaginary world.
Open to whoever reads the story
Providing a
Question to 
Resolve.
Seeking
To see new found characters
Uncover the person who
Violated the call to respect life
With all dignity and love. Who instead
eXalted
Yet once more the cult of self--a
Zone that rejects the light of life.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Seagulls

Scavenge
Demanding food
Circling the sky above
As people fill the beach below
Saucy

ESL Bible study

How does one focus
On each student in a one room school
Where the differences are honoured
And each student works at their own level?
How do I find this for the Bible study?
The levels of English comprehension vary greatly
As one group is too slow for some
And incomprehensible for others
How to find the approach that works?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Return

Music revives
Questions awaken interest
Preaching energizes
The pastor is back

Facing The Edited Version

First draft can be weak
--As long as you edit brilliantly!
Edit brilliantly?
I have read the comments
From the editor--
Some large changes need to be made
How will I tackle that?
Glad the weekend is here
It gives some space for thinking through 
The consequences that will result
From changes to the story

Friday, September 25, 2015

Next Home

A home in the woods
Where the deer wander freely
--Neighbours to delight

Dreams

The dream that won't go away--
Pursue that we're told
But you can't until you really notice it
In its simplest form
I've drifted toward writing for many years
But always wrote as a teacher:
Facts, facts and more facts
There was no success 
Since I would show it to no one
Now I'm writing mystery fiction and poetry
Enjoying it and the process
As I put it out for others to read

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Re-write

Re-writing begins
The edited copy arrived yesterday 
And so the adventure moves forward
As I face the red and blue marks 
All over the paper
Time to take the passive voice
And turn it into active action
The reader
Can experience in their imagination

Lunch With Mom

Walk home
From school when spare
Lined up beside lunchtime
For lunch of my own with Mom
--Bonus

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Shared Tea

Sat with cat
Relaxing in the sun drinking tea
Set down my tea 
While my mind wandered
Through thoughts
Suddenly aware of a furry head in my tea
Thoroughly enjoying herself

Learning a Language

The process begins again
As I work to break the unilingual wall
Around me
Contact my teacher
To set up lessons once more
Will this attempt be more successful?

Moving Toward Illustrations

Illustrations now
Begin to percolate in the 
Mind of the artist

Poetry sets theme
Imagination conjures
Concepts to design

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Today

Lord, its interesting watching life move forward
With a relaxed pace
Yet filled with a growing variety
Your timing Lord, makes it work
I'm amazed at what You can fit into a day
And today I talk with an artist about the second book
Before I return all the questions to the publisher about the first book
So that the mystery novel can move to the next stage
In the timetable


Process to a Book: Cover Design

Questions for me to answer
So that the artist can design the book cover
A trip to Chapters to see
Designs on other books
Overwhelming variety
Simple elegance to cluttered kitsch
Matte finish or glossy
Stark no graphic to comfortable country cute
Yet through the experience
A direction was found
A simple design with a single nondescript songbird


Monday, September 21, 2015

Bible Study in September

Serious study with workbooks
Notebooks and pages of 1 John to read and mark
Together the adventure began on Saturday
Together the adventure will continue
Our small group is back together again
With a different style
And yet it's our group--
The one that began at Mumu's home five years ago
Will it now bring a break through in understanding?

Hope

Guidance
Encouragement
One tiny step today
On the journey--life lived with joy
Embraced


Hope

It glistens as water for the thirsty
That sparkles as it guides
To the well of living water


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bible Study Begins

Old friends
Sitting around the table
Working through the massive workbook
The sheer volume of questions
Would overwhelm one alone
But was fun done as a team
Partners together in learning
About You, Lord


Process To A Book: Considering Illustrations

Images for a book
How does one decide?
Poetry is words spoken
Or words written
But it can be layered
Visually with more than words

One to eleven images
For a book of poetry
What will enhance it?
Deepen the experience
Of poetry?

Image evoked
Through words
Yet digging to the core
To touch me
By an added visual element


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Autumn Approaches

Leaves
Begin to change colour
As they prepare to fall to the ground
The smells of autumn already surround
When I walk by the river
The drying leaves
The browning foliage
As green retreats for another season
Splashes of golden rod
And purple asters
Muted against dull green
As it drains from the scene

Water

Drizzle
Drips from the leaves
Rain
Smacks on the roof
Water
Refreshes from a glass
After exertion
From a watering can
Returns life to a shrivelled plant
After a dry spell
In the winter
Freezes into crystal patterns
Frost, snow, ice
That warms back into water
To keep us all alive

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bible Study

Three basic parts:
--Observation
--Interpretation
--Application
How to use it to its fullest
In an ESL setting?
Ponder the complexity
Reduce it to simplicity
By understanding the key components

In the Heart of a Follower

A favourite pastime of mine
Brings together the Word of God and the Spirit of God in me
Challenges me to understand
To puzzle through to a conclusion
As a discipline it is called meditation
As a part of life it is simply 
Pondering


But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19 NIV

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Contrasts

Deer
Graceful creatures
In the wild
Move with quiet assurance
Even as they are wary of people
Poised to run if required

Turkeys
Strut across the road
Crash through the underbrush
Equipped with wings
Yet choose comical awkwardness
On the ground

Next

Move into deeper phase
With discipleship Bible study and
Liason between the English church and the Karen community
My designation becomes
Missionary

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Smoke

Smelled smoke
Inside my house
A faint whiff
A flicker of fear
But no source found inside

When I stepped outside
I tracked down a neighbour
Burning leaves
Evoked old memories
Back to childhood
And the fires of autumn

Not many burn leaves in the city
These days


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stages in an Adventure

A process began when I
Began to write a mystery
Challenge to put a story on paper
Delineate characters and action chapter after chapter
Endeavour to create a novel
Fascinating
Goal brought me into contact with a writing contest
Home can still be where
I work
Just as pastor's wife and homeschool mom
Knew me as a homebody
Looking for future employment
My personality
Needs a home setting
On my way to that now as I
Practice writing each morning
Quest to improve
Rhetoric
So many words on paper bring me now
To the editing component
Unknown levels to be delved
Vision to complete led the
Way through the contest--an
eXtravaganza--that I lost--
Yet I have
Zeroed in on a contract to publish

Monday, September 14, 2015

Purr

The purr came back
The hiss couldn't keep it away
--And I got my cuddle

Competency

Competency
Without written directions
Is difficult
In a person raised on written directions
How do I overcome this challenge?
Two subjects are creating this impass:
--the Easy Worship program
--the Karen language
To move into success
Will require what?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thanks Pinterest!

Lying on my back in pain
Hour after hour
Over the course of a few weeks
With little to do
I couldn't read books for long
Facebook doesn't fill that much time
Finally I asked my daughter
To sign me up for pinterest
So
I signed up
And began to collect
Things that took up no space in my house
     It reminded me of my mother's files
     Magazine articles
     Newspaper items
     Photographs
     Carefully saved and filed away
As I lay there collecting
Information and encouragement
I began to notice
I was drawn like a squirrel to bird seed
To information about writing
Over the weeks
The encouragement gently prodded
By the time the pain was gone
I was serious to begin
--First a mystery novel
--Then poetry on a blog
We'll see where the journey leads
Thank you pinterest!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Territory Wars?

Reepicheep would bound over to visit
For caresses and cuddles
Extending purrs in return

Cally has moved in from down the street
Sprawled out in front of our car
On the driveway 
Sunning herself
A claim of expanded territory?

My Mystery

Invest in myself
A novel concept
Why did I avoid it for many years?
I set aside money to invest in people
But always thought the "people" would be someone else

Now to realize I will
Invest in myself
To edit
And publish
The mystery novel entered in the writing contest

Invest in my own writing
A new adventure will begin
An extension of the initial stage
That told me the story
It grows into the hard work of editing
To make it something that tells others the story

Then it will bloom 
Into a published mystery novel
Released to the world



Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 Birthday

One year later
A little girl was born
Hope and joy out of grief felt at a distance
The news reports remembered devastation
But family rejoiced with new life!
Quick and lively little sister to tag along
Beloved daughter to nourish
Love will insist on its own way

Happy birthday Abby!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Slice of Now

Plumbonkers revisited?
Take out a collection of my poems
And rework them for publication
In a book
What a cool concept

Centred, left aligned, right aligned?
Illustrations?
They would fit better with poetry
Details to work out

Today a contract for a mystery
And agreement for a second book
But no illustrations for the mystery
Details, details, details
Lots of work ahead revising the mystery

Suddenly I'm a writer
Soon I'll have a published book
All the while also beginning the Bible study
Lord, why does it feel comfortable 
Moving in two directions at once?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ideas

Ideas are encouraged
Pursued
Followed to their conclusion
Allowed to grow
To multiply
--Then move into reality

Find the Team

Businesses have learned to
Find the team first
Then grow into it

How does that work Lord?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Port Stanley Pier

The pier opened yesterday.
When we arrived
We became part of the steady stream
Of people walking out into the lake
On the safety of the pier
Set far out into the water
To protect the harbour
With walls to protect
The people walking out to experience
The power of a Great Lake
As the waves began to pound--
Storm on the way
To test the new pier

Beach

Get away
Lord, sometimes we just need to get away
A different texture under our feet
The landscape stretched to the horizon
A place to sit near other people
Yet in isolation
As they are intent on the get away also
Away from home
To sand, sun and waves


Monday, September 7, 2015

Labour Day

Remember
Release from being "less than"
Unions have battled hard for workers
Feminism has battled hard for women
The advances have been real
But
Always new fronts in the battle
For those who are treated as "less than".
Who are today's "less than"?
--Migrant workers
--Sex trade workers
--Surrogate mothers
--The aborted ones
These are just a few of the world's "less thans".

Lord, You love each and every "less than"
Through You, the kingdom work comes
--Injustice is attacked
--Mercy and grace will flow.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Baby

Snuggle
Wrapped in softness

Concordance

Big book
Boring book
--On the surface

Big book
Study tool
--To dig deep in the Word

Big book
Light switch
--To reveal the light and living water within

Big book
Old fashioned
--That still provides help in this modern world

Big book
Gateway
--To a long slow soak in Your Word, Lord

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Reepicheep

Neighbour's cat
Often runs over to greet us
As we leave for a walk
Purrs and cuddles
To start the day

Phone Call

Phone call
To us--
Suddenly Andrew has a job interview
To be chaplain
At a nursing home

He applied months ago
--With no response from them
One phone call
And all that has changed
Maybe he'll have two job offers
After a four year drought

A quiet excitement
On this front
As we wait to know more.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Gord and Denise

Anniversary time again!
Brings another year to
Celebrate
Doing life together!
Energy expended
For boys raised,
Goals for education reached,
Home renovations accomplished--
In the spirit of working as one and yet two
Just
Knowing 
Love is part of the relationship.
Memories bring
New
Opportunities to
Present 
Quiet
Reflection of lives
Savoured
Together
United as family
Vibrant in life
Watchful for each other
eXciting day--
Yes--a new year
Zeroes in to begin.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home

A little house
East of Adelaide
Filled with the evidence
Of lives lived here for twenty years
Books for me
Old computers for him
Remnants of homeschooling days
Tea cans and drum kit
African violets and guitars
Deck swing and television
Interests as diverse as opposite personalities
And as similar as ministry 
With new Canadians
Teacher and pastor
Sharing a home 
Together




Moving Through

A walk
Across the river
Jumping from rock to rock
A simple step when they're adjacent
A pause for courage and a leap
When the space between is wide
But the river will be crossed
The firm ground will be reached
The next stage of the journey
Will begin

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Passion

Passion
It's easy to find
But so hard to let show
It attracks attention--the wrong kind
Negative attacks
That leave bewilderment
And uncertainty
Passion
Will not go away
It simply digs deep inside
And waits
Then one day it emerges again
With a sense of readiness
Anticipation
Joy
And butterflies in the stomach
But now the wings are waiting
Passion
Will fly

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Your Word

Your Word, Lord
Gives life
Brings hope
As it invites us in--deep within
To find the source of thriving

Radiance
Emerges
As You are trusted
And so begins a walk with You, Lord

And all of it goes back
--Way back
To time spent in Your Word
Seeking to know You more

Pilot Project

A hope runs deep inside me
To see the Karen (and many others)
Thrive in this land called Canada
Deep roots in You, Lord
And a growing fluency in English
Is the path I choose to pursue.
This month is a new beginning
On many fronts
But for me it begins a Bible study
That puts people deep into You, Lord
As they also go deeper into Your Word in English
Lord, may we see a breakthrough
No generation needs to be sacrificed
For the next
In You, Lord--each of us can thrive.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Today

Scattered thoughts--
The single idea is elusive--
Time to recover from the crazy weekend--
Visit from our daughter and son
Visit with Dad and family
Then went to church by myself
(the new reality with Andrew as pastor elsewhere)
Before lunch out with Andrew to meet the people he'll work with
A full weekend
Now is the time for quiet
--And a long walk
Settle my thoughts
To write my story
My story--what brought me to this point?
Why has my heart drawn me to work with the Karen community?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dad

Long walks down by the lake
Soccor teams coached
Scouts helped while Carl was there
Busy at church
--Or busy away from church
Overtime at GM
Books and more books
Concern for your family of four
Fifty years (almost 51) with Mom
Long walks at the Oshawa Centre
Golf
Politics and the NDP
Hard drinks and opinions
Plans for your next trip
Chipmunks in the backyard
Goldfish in the rainbarrow
Long walks at the Ability Centre
Well Dad--it's been a full 80 years
Happy birthday!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Writer

There once was a girl in Whitby
Who wanted to express her heart on paper
But got discouraged by the grades
In English class

There now is a woman in London
Who is putting that behind her
By letting her words find their way to paper 
Every day

iPad

Device designed to help
Do my work
Plans for teaching, writing, editing
Word upon word strung together
Ready to go

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crickets

The cheep
Breaks the morning silence
In an ongoing song
Evidence of wildness
In town

Thriving

Language barriers
Create walls between people
But there must be a way through
For those new to the country
Their children often pierce the walls quickly
But thriving needs to be an option
For the parents as well
Would a hands-on Bible study
Be more effective
Than a conversation circle?
With Bible training and
Heart engagement
English fluency would seem secondary
To the task at hand
And yet would still result


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pinterest

Avoided as a timewaster
And yet
When the pain laid me on my back for
Hours on end
It provided encouragement
. . . for good health
. . . to follow dreams
. . . to write

Dragonfly

A buzz
Gentle touchdown
Colour and transparency
Hovering a moment
And it's off faster than my eyes
Can follow

My Study

Desk in the centre
Surrounded by books
Gazing out the window
That looks out at the green of a maple tree
A daybed for a reading corner
It's an amazing space
Into the world of ideas
And words
A soothing retreat behind a closed door

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Study

A desk
For new writing
Surrounded by my books
--Friends of a lifetime gathered here
With me

African Violets

Colour
In a small pot
Mem'ries of Aunt Irene
Settled on my own window sill
--Joy spot

Rearrange

A work space is shaping up
As we arrange and rearrange the furniture
A little house
Being maximized for two
Music room and t.v. room for him
Study with a window and a swing on the back deck for her
Once its all been moved around
Many shelves of books to sort and simplify
And african violets to pot for the window sill
We can settle to work routines
And living routines
That allow individual work space
And togetherness
All under one roof

Monday, August 24, 2015

Writing

Learning to write is an interesting approach to life
Putting thoughts on paper where others can view them
Is scary on some level
After a lifetime of keeping them hidden inside
Is this where I will meet other minds
As we struggle to understand
The life You have given us to live?
But through it all is the call to love
--May these words contribute to moving fences
And tearing down walls
So that all people can find Your love, Lord

Trust

Trust You
Ev'ry moment--
With our reality
Because knowing comes in hindsight--
For peace

Prophecy

Prophecy is an interesting
Element of life--
Easy to ignore
And yet how often do You speak
Through us before the reality?
We walked into a church
With him saying "It needs to close"
And it did.
And now I'm walking toward ordination and a Bible study
Saying "There needs to be a school for thriving"
Only when we look back will we know
If they are words from You

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Together

Well Andrew, my dearest Andrew,
Today's the day--
35 years married (to each other!)
And still facing the future together
It has been a fascinating time
To follow the Lord together--
Pastor and wife
New places: Arnstein, Brockville, London
Raising a beloved daughter
Studying God's Word
Walking--always being drawn back to walking
A bicycle built for two
Many elements to a life together
Apartments and houses
Anywhere can be home
Now on the verge of a new adventure
Pastor and missionary
Still working in the Lord's field
Even as we begin to work at different churches
We are still one family--together

with lots and lots of love,
Susan


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hope Bible Institute

A freedom that is new is filling me
Bringing joy
That will move me forward
Into the dream of twenty years--
A school
That initiates thriving
By bringing minds and hearts deep into Your Word
And tongues fluently into English
The plan is simple
The speed is slow
The guide is the Holy Spirit
Through the Word

Let's go!

Friday, August 21, 2015

About To Begin

Pieces
Arranged by You
Work, ordination, school--
Moving forward by Your guidance
Thank You

Pastor
(English speaking)
At the Chinese church here
Fin'lly to work with You only
Not me

I move
Toward new things
As a missionary--
Teaching, writing, ordination
Through You


Thursday, August 20, 2015

ABCs Moving In

ABC books have long been favourites--
Before I ever wrote ABC poems
Catching a structure that helps form my thoughts
Demanding more than just a few syllables
Excavating my memories
For gold . . . or coal
Going longer than Haiku or Cinquain
Homing in on the underpinnings
Inside
Just searching for You, Lord
Knowing You
Live inside
Makes my world secure
New excavations daily lead to new discoveries of You
Open my heart, open my eyes--open my mind
Personal
Quiet
Retreat from the chaos outside into the 
Security of You
Tangled emotions can rest
Under the reality of 
Vindication through repentance 
Wherever I am
eXtreme living water wells up
Yielding life everlasting--the
Zenith


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Walk

Four feet moving while we talk
As we go for a long country walk

The sounds in the bush cause us to balk
Is a coyote or bear also out for a walk?

The sight of the soaring hawk
High above the steps of our walk

The silence suddenly rent with a squawk
As we see the flit of blue jays above the walk


Walk

The long distance--slow
With room for thoughts to soar high
Above the footsteps

Walk

Long walks
Into silence
Give room for thoughts to grow
To explore my internal depths
To rest


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Early Morning

An early morning with paper and pencil
Before me
Considering what to write about
Doing the brain clearing
Exercise of writing of everything and nothing
For twenty minutes before
Getting ready to tackle a topic or two.
Home is a relaxing place to write each day
In the atmosphere of my office
Just arranged for me
Knowing the door is closed
Leaving me free to concentrate.
My thoughts
Needed for consideration
Open to words that are
Perhaps--shaped
Quite
Ruthlessly (or gently)
Seeking a kernel of
Truth to express onto the page
Under my window that 
Views the tree providing shelter and . . .
Whenever it
eXtends its reach into my thoughts
Yielding inspiration Ay to
Zed.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Birds

A flurry of wings off in the
Bushes as we walk by--
Chickadees
Darting through the greenery
Ever searching
For food.
Great egrets wading in the river before flying
High into the trees--stark white against more green.
Into the sounds of mourning doves and blue jays
Just walking along the paved path
Knowing we are surrounded by wild birds
Looking for food and shelter.
Mother and father sparrow feeding their young
Now and throughout the summer
Out of reach of the neighbourhood cat
Perched on the roof of our car
Quietly watching the busy birds.
Robins on the ground
Searching for worms
Turning heads sharply to hear the movement
Underground
Value in the calmness of 
Watching the birds
eXactly where they live--even the
Yellow goldfinch
Zeroing in on a feast of thistle seeds.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Carl (Happy Birthday)

A baby brother entered the scene
Back in the days when life was simpler
Carl was his name
Danger was his game--
Even with signed permission in a letter
For dirt bike rides through the  fields.
Getting out with friends
He avoided three older sisters
Intent on the world as he saw it
Just following his path.
Karl and Carl hung out when  they were young, but
Life always included friends
Motorcycles grew until
Now a Harley Davidson
On the road gets him around.
Past days in the fields
Questing adventure
Readied him for
Solo trips to work and group
Trips with Monique
Until life is simply an adventure
Veering toward the sunset
With Monique at his side
eXalting just as much in the freedom of the road
Yes--she has her own motorcycle--
Zooming down the highway together.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Flying Solo

A fear of flying solo
Brings a person down to nothing
Certain she needs more communication--
Decisions are impossible without a permanent team
Ever needing reassurance 
Finds her lost and alone and in the end unable to work
Going alone is part of life
Helplessness is rejected
In pursuit of the dream in the heart
Just fly solo
Knowing that others will eventually join the team
Live now and
Move toward the goal enjoying life
Now truly is key
Operate in the moment--even when that includes flying solo
Possibilities explode when
Questions don't demand
Results different from reality
Seek the goal
Then enjoy the path that is actually 
Underway
Viewing the results
With love and
eXcitement
Yet allowing others to add
Zest when they are ready

Friday, August 14, 2015

Priming the Pump

Written
In haste to clear
Clutter filled to edges
Space now left to focus my thoughts
With ink

Priming the Pump

Clear thoughts by writing
To focus thoughts on details
Words both splashed and planned

Priming the Pump

Priming the pump
To experience water in a gush
Feed the pump water
Priming the pump
Clearing the writer's mind to focus
To experience the words in a rush
Priming the pump
To experience water in a gush

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Stepping Forward

Confidence grows
As You settle the path
Before me
Ordination to seek
School to open
All part of movement
Toward newcomers thriving in Canada
By thriving in You

Deer

Doe--alert
on country
road
"Is
all
clear?"
Doe--graceful
steps forward
crosses--
soon followed
by
fawn prancing
behind

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Work?

Still holding back
With no decision in sight
He decides
Then he hasn't decided
Back and forth it goes
It's never been a difficult decision before
Why is it this time?

Footsteps

The floorboards squeak
As he walks above me--
Writing behind a closed door
Leaves me open to sounds
The tock of the clock
The squeak of the floor
The chirp of the crickets
Singing outside the window
Waking and writing
As the neighbourhood
Begins to move

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Greg and Kelly (Happy 25th Anniversary)

Together in love
Bound by a link of marriage
With Katie and James

Ministry focused
Yet following the Lord where
He leads--step by step

Home filled with laughter
Yet striving to reach out with 
The love of Jesus

Twenty-five years since
They said "I do"--lots of time
To show it's for real


Monday, August 10, 2015

Preacher

A man on fire--preaching Your word, Lord
Before a small group of people
Coming to this small town just
Days after the funeral of a friend
Entering again the world of presenting You
For others to hear
Going into Your word
Holding forth that truth
In Your name
Just as Your Spirit
Keeps
Leading him:
Ministry 
Now renewing as it
Opens in a new location to 
Present You to a new group of people seeking
Quality from Your word as we
Seek Your kingdom now
Through life today so that we
Understand truth balanced with love: the gospel
Vindicates all
Who will believe the
eXistence of God in human flesh as Saviour
Yes--
Zero in on the essential gospel truth