Archive for the ‘love’ Category


The Light Gatherer

Carol Ann Duffy

When you were small, your cupped palms
each held a candlesworth under the skin,
enough light to begin,

                                              and as you grew
light gathered in you, two clear raindrops
in your eyes,

                              warm pearls, shy,
in the lobes of your ears, even always
in the light of a smile after your tears.

Your kissed feet glowed in my one hand,
or I’d enter a room to see the corner you played in
lit like a stage set,

                                       the crown of your bowed head spotlit.
When language came, it glittered like a river,
silver, clever with fish,

                                                and you slept
with the whole moon held in your arms for a night light
where I knelt watching.

                                                  Light gatherer. You fell from a star
into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside
mirrored in you,

                                  and now you shine like a snowgirl,
a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder
you squeal at and fly in,
like a jeweled cave,
turquoise and diamond and gold, opening out
at the end of a tunnel of years.


to my mom and mother-in-law, and all the other women in my life who’ve been such an influence for good — thank you for encouraging me to shine


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Sitting here getting ready to do lesson plans for the week before I go play for a funeral.  It’s pouring rain and intermittently thundering, so I’ve unplugged my computer.  I woke up feeling like a truck ran over me — about how I’ve felt every morning for the last two weeks.  I am very tired of being sick.

I laid in bed listening to the rain (I didn’t have to play for church this morning, fortunately) and trying to go back to sleep.  I finally got up and proceeded to bite my husband’s head off when he asked what time the funeral was today.  I apologized soon after, but I’m still feeling sad about it — maybe more guilty because of what he did later.

I apologized while we were eating breakfast and got a hug and a kiss.  After I showered I was feeling more human (don’t you just wish you could stay in the shower when you’re sick?) and I was sitting at my computer trying to start my lesson plans (no, not done yet) and felt a blanket settle around my shoulders. My husband set a lighted candle on my desk and kept pottering around at his desk.  I asked him why he was being nice to me since I’d snapped at him.

He said, “Because I know you’re trying to be good but you don’t feel good.”

Another hug and a kiss on my unhappy head, and he kept doing his thing.  I went to make tea and saw my new cup I got yesterday at the (in)RLMN meetup.

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“Created to be lovely”.

I initially picked that cup because I usually feel anything but lovely.  Except when my husband tells me so.  And then I realized I’d been anything but lovely to him.  He’s got his own set of stress and isn’t feeling top-notch either, but I’d been whining around about how bad I felt and biting him (metaphorically), and hadn’t even asked how he was feeling this morning.

So I’m drinking tea out of this cup and hoping I can ingest a little loveliness of spirit along with the jasmine white…

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the sun is still shining

and birds, no doubt, are singing


the general population is going through their day

following a plan

running errands and


somewhere, too, children giggle

and lovers

whisper sweet nothings

others fight

and someone, somewhere, is perfectly happy

maybe with coffee and a good book


that is there

in that other universe

called reality


in my world

i watch the machines

cringe at the beeps

strain to hear a whispered word

try to see familiar features

lost in a face of sickness and


in this world

(it is small)

everything revolves around the numbers on the screen

the inputs and outputs

that tell everything and

not enough


in my world today

the hiss of oxygen is turned off

and the machines


and the heart beats slow

the numbers fall

and my world





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Starlight shines, the night is still
Shepherds watching from a hill
I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

A perfect child gently waits
A mother bends to kiss God’s face
I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

Angels fill the midnight sky and they sing
Hallelujah, He is Christ, our King

Emmanuel, Prince of peace
Love come down for you and me
Heaven’s gift, the holy spark
To light the way inside our hearts

Bethlehem, through your small door
Came the hope we’ve waited for
The world was changed forevermore
When love was born

I close my eyes to see the night
When love was born

— Mark Schultz

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wrap them in peace and shroud them in snow

let pine boughs and windsong whisper of rest

blinding tears freeze on twenty small mounds

so leave them in quiet in a black silent night


grief is the darkness fallen at Christmas

our season of joy is heartsick and pain

where is the light of Bethlehem’s star?

where is the song of the angels this night?


wrap Him in cloths and lay Him in hay

angels and shepherds whisper of glory

Light of all heaven to shine in our darkness

death touched the Child on that silent night


darkness and grief have fallen at Christmas

a Babe took our sorrows and carries our hearts

a cross is the light shining into our darkness

we cling to His peace for our dark, silent night


for the children, teachers, and parents of Sandy Hook Elementary

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Post A Day: Dec. 8

someone I love


“someone I love”

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I Could Take

by Hayden Carruth

I could take

two leaves
and give you one.
Would that not be
a kind of perfection?

But I prefer
one leaf
torn to give you half

(after these years, simply)
love’s complexity in an act,
the tearing and
the unique edges —
one leaf (one word) from the two
imperfections that match.

“I Could Take” by Hayden Carruth, from Collected Shorter Poems (1946-1991). © Copper Canyon Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission.


I know this is a little odd, but I realized I didn’t post anything for my wedding anniversary.  When I saw this poem on Writers’ Almanac on July 30, I thought it was a great one for that.  So I’m back-posting to June 13, when I was just a little too crazy to think about blogging.


According to Jewish tradition, the first person was created as male and female, then separated later into two halves.  The belief is that each person is searching for their perfect “other half”.  While I don’t believe that there is only one person for me, I do think that people should know each other well, should complement each other, and share companionship as well as attraction.  I find it hard to believe that Kent and I have been married for eight years — our relationship has been strong for so much longer, yet the time seems to have flown so quickly!  Kent is my companion, my partner in crime, and my best friend.

I just love the last line of the poem above — the two/imperfections that match.  As we are married longer, we are learning to be better partners, to let each other’s strengths balance out our weaknesses. The idea that we support each other when we need it, that we are imperfect people who are stronger and better because we love the other.

Happy anniversary, lover.

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