Monday, November 30, 2015


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


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
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

To pull into focus
Whatever details are eluding
The naked eye

A simple piece of glass
Shaped to enlarge the question under 

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

Friday, November 27, 2015


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

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The President's Lecture

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

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


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


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


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
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
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


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


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
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
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


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


People play games
(And I don't mean Scrabble)
They arrange details
To control people
Then wonder "What happened?"
When the game whiplashes
Full force
On themselves
Then their anger
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
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
To this point in time

Suddenly the clock or calendar
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


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
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
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


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
We have divided it into
Vocabulary and
Grammar and
Perhaps we'll succeed
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

Thursday, November 12, 2015


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
And a room in which to read
And ponder
To plan 
And consider

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


A life of learning is an amazing
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
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

The autumn leaves
Still hanging in brilliant colour
Or drying on the ground
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?
To create it?

Language Quirks

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

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

The possibilities are many
But where do I look for 
An answer?

Saturday, November 7, 2015


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


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

Friday, November 6, 2015


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


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


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

Thursday, November 5, 2015


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
Knowing words
Left alone on paper
Manage to impress
Nobody unless they are read
Ongoing endeavour
Quietly to offer thoughts for
Thoughts expressed
Until the silence is broken
Vacant space reverberating
With the spoken word
Yet another conversation
Zeal for dialogue

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


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


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


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


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

Bicycle Path

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

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
The music joins in to declare
The depth words alone can

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
Three yesterday
As we walked up the hill
While the sun was 
Pink behind the trees
Making the woods

What Bubbles Up?

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