those few simple notes

Dawn has been extraordinary this winter.  Colors and clouds surpass the boundaries of language.  The sky seems impossible.


At the rise of the sun, the male black-capped chickadees sang their spring song.  They’ve been singing for at least three days now.  The first sign of lengthening days.  It’s as if all the possibility of spring is packaged in those few simple notes, fee bee-be: the promise of warmth and green, the smell of soil coming to life and blue mustard flowering, the sound of running water and widgeons calling. We are lifted from darkness and carried into the light….by a little bird.


The story I need to hear



I sat at first light this morning, the thinest thread of light suspended between dense clouds reaching from the earth into the great above.  I wasn’t sure I would see the sun this morning and that was OK.  But low and behold, that mighty life-giving miracle of energy found that thin thread of space between darkness and sang its song of color for two breaths worth of time before heading back under cover.  The sit spot always gives the story I need to hear.  Today’s story: the light will always find a space to shine.

honey bees

honey bees rouse hungry

the only thing to eat:

cranberry-colored blossoms on the maple tree


the maple tree’s branches are bare

no leaves to feast on the sun

the maple tree rouses

to make love with the honey bees


this place called home

home lives inside the heart

and my heart dwells here

on the shores of water borrowed from the other side of the mountain

on an earth that’s hard and forgotten.


my heart mingles with wild plants that are maligned by most

(i find them miracles)

tenacious plants that chose this place and persist

they have not forgotten the earth

let’s not forget to thank them, those maligned plants,

for they have a wisdom of their own.


i chose this place, too

and, like them, i’ll persist

i have not forgotten the earth

i’ll love all her weeds and thank them

and i’ll seek their wisdom,

for mine has been forgotten.


and just like them, one day i’ll move on

and i’ll have awakened an ancient wisdom that belongs to all beings

and i’ll leave behind love

a love that persists

my heart dwells here

this is home



olive ridge

 yellow blue moon in the eastern sky

three boys: one tall one six one small

flash lights darkness


night games


a few short years

darkness will be home

to a teenage boy


my son



each individual

and the whole of them)


this moment is truth:

rejoice in them

that is all there is


to do


As I write, jars of peach syrup “ping” as they cool. Fifteen pounds of plums picked from the neighbor’s neglected tree sit on the counter awaiting the same pureed fate.  All three boys are in bed after a full day: some school, some sword fighting, a visit with friends, and lots of reading and being read to.  Their bodies wrestle under the sheets after another well-lived and perfectly ordinary day.  At home.  

H O M E.  

It’s a little bit location.  It’s a lot of other things: contentment, service, commitment, gratitude, work, imperfection, love.  My feet are sinking into this dirt.  This grass is plenty green.

she sits on her nest

she sits on her nest as if that is all that there is to do.

can i just sit on my nest like that?

as if that is all that there is to do.

i’d like to.

is there anything but the nest?

it seems we all think so.

but how big is the nest?

perhaps it is as small as basket of twigs and as big as the universe.

i think the robin knows.