What Gets Under My Skin: Words

Caged Bird A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. *** But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are… Continue reading What Gets Under My Skin: Words


What You Get When You Flood Your Mind With Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”

Lenore’s Reprisal (inspired by “The Raven”) January is a dangerous month. January is deadly. Don’t believe me? January. killed. my. Lenore. Ok truth. A-steering-wheel-through-the-heart killed Lenore, but it was January’s fault. Lenore’ll tell it was the road, slick with ice and a blanket of snow. She’ll tell it was the brakes on the Volkswagon—that’s what… Continue reading What You Get When You Flood Your Mind With Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”

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

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

Via Non Facta: Everest Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood... To understand humility as more than a theoretical concept, to be dethroned, struggle in a wilderness, to cry out for God's strong arm, to not feel like the beautiful one, the popular one,… Continue reading Via Non Facta: Everest

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