fiction, Poetry

Christmas. Finished.

  On linen and straw lay a birth and a death. God hedged by flesh shepherds, magi. ∞ It pleases us to imagine God just born, vulnerable delivery's slick dross clings the ache of mortality. ∞ It's comfortable: God on bovine-scented straw held in woman's arms and a lowly one at that. ∞ It's Christmas:… Continue reading Christmas. Finished.

on writing, Poetry

Considering Death This Christmas? Read T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi”

I'll never forget the first time I read "The Journey of the Magi" by T.S. Elliot. Think: Passion of the Christ, sub magi. This poem is deep and dark and human, revealing the grit that's glossed over by art and centuries. All I knew of the magi is they were funny-looking little men-dolls we set… Continue reading Considering Death This Christmas? Read T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi”

Homeschool Life, Poetry

5000 Words Poetry Lesson, 10-13 Year-Olds

I nearly jump out of my seat when students come up with bold, fresh images that sound like something out of open mic night. A year ago I decided to teach them simile. "A cat is like a kitten," someone offered. Now I have them churning out similes like: disappointment tastes like rocks. Fourteen tweens gather… Continue reading 5000 Words Poetry Lesson, 10-13 Year-Olds


R is for Raveled

  Raveled See the kite assembled, tied, stretched taut on a bone frame, its colors a brazen flutter in a blue-white sky. See the kite coveted, owned, loved. New-toy perishable love. Kites are frustrating. Without wind, without a hand on the string they fall. See that. Or this: a dropped kite sliced by leafless branches,… Continue reading R is for Raveled

Personal Journey, Poetry

Q is for Quacks

Quacks. I wish this were about ducks, but alas-- here is my post about funny farms, i.e., nut houses, psych wards, mental institutions, behavioral medicine centers (they sound nice). Funny farm is my mom's favorite designation. She has introduced me thus: "This is my daughter who put me in the funny farm." You could say… Continue reading Q is for Quacks

Personal Journey, Poetry

I is for Invictus

The first words ever to move me were penned by William Earnest Henley just after his leg was amputated. "Invictus" was put on a screen in my 8th grade English classroom for a rhyme scheme lesson. I furiously copied every word, oblivious. Henley's words challenged my view of myself as a leaf in the wind. It… Continue reading I is for Invictus

Personal Journey, Poetry

Timothy McVeigh & I Agree on One Thing

My favorite poem was basically written by the one-legged pirate, Long John Silver. What's worse, my favorite poem was also the favorite of Timothy McVeigh, infamous building-bomber-baby-killer, who went so far as to quote it just before leaving this world by lethal injection in June, 2001. I remember thinking that McVeigh was about to meet… Continue reading Timothy McVeigh & I Agree on One Thing


Nothing’s More Fun Than Doing The Assignments I Give My Students

The Assignment: A 10 line iambic pentameter conceit poem. His Favorite Pair of Jeans He once compared me to a pair of jeans, Velveteen-threadbare, torn, and faded jeans. We were as close as clothing then, denim Dressed and pressed against each other. Thirteen Years my best friend. So best he could forget The holes, the… Continue reading Nothing’s More Fun Than Doing The Assignments I Give My Students


The Hardest 5000 Words Assignment I’ve Given Yet…

I know this because it's 5:25 PM and only half of my students have posted their work. I've received several emails about how difficult this assignment is, as well as some flat-out I'm-not-doing-this communications. I get it. Some prompts are harder than others. But the ones who did the assignment-- who did what I asked--… Continue reading The Hardest 5000 Words Assignment I’ve Given Yet…


The Agnostic Goes to Church

Brittle as my polish was, and subject to my ensemble's perfection; yet it so swiftly deteriorated, as if God wanted that I should not be wearing my best, but honestly clothed in the dust I carried around each day, and would become soon enough. Impulse buying does not work with God. He wanted me to… Continue reading The Agnostic Goes to Church