I never really wrote
or received
By the time I was old enough,
correspondence via post was mostly over.
My generation put down pen and page
and began to share life digitally.
Of course,
I wrote and received
notebooks of notes in school
from girlhood comrades
and poured over puzzling punctuation
in my yearbook
from lamborghini loving boys.
But not day to day letters,
like my mother received
from her mother Dolly
about lazy days of Florida rest
or holiday turkey scandals (dry).
I resolve and conceive a lot
in writing and reading,
both in my head and in my heart.
And so perhaps I think I’m behind
in my intellectual and emotional sorting.
And that’s one reason
I write poems and brief writings ~
so that I may catch up
to where I might be
in a world still with letters.


I didn’t attend the funeral,
but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. – Mark Twain

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. – Liz Carpenter

One of my favorite historical letters, written by American Civil War officer Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah, can be viewed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Ballou

image: Mark Twain, 1835-1910, biography.com


It’s true I see him mostly in summer,
and so our reunion is in warm weather.
He is waiting with our people
at a round table with open chairs,
asking questions with no corners,
and responding with no slip slope.
He is dapper in a crisp polo
and pressed pleated shorts,
his tennis shoes ever white.
And when I come in he grins,
his downturned smile playing at suppression,
his boyish and mischievous humor
bursting to share the good joke.
And I laugh out loud for no reason but joy.
I am so very glad to see him.


Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

For my amazing & beloved Uncle Ken, 1933-2014

Katheryn the Courageous

Brit the Bright
and Psalmist Sam
Emmie Emerald
Giving Graham
Ruby Railroad
Funny Fred
Gorgeous Grace
and Too Tall Ted
George the Good
and Prairie Paul
Tinker Tess
and Sailing Saul
Faithful Fi
and Get ‘Em Gil
Cloudy Cole
and June Bug Jill
Peter Painter
Piano Peg
Looping Lyle
and Marvel Meg
each retells
ten times again
the Courage kept
by Katheryn.


These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33


Rise up Katheryn! xo

tonic place

thimble berry
pocket stones
daylight tale
and tweedle tones
cedar aisle
birch tree maids
nearby creek
to gurgle praise
flute and string
a granite chair
lupine waltz
in open air
conceive a day
of leaf and lace
a wild tender
tonic place.


We wake, if ever at all, to mystery. – Annie Dillard

image: our Susie Blythe, by De La Vue Photography