The pen is a weapon
against poverty of vision,
against the cloying superstition
of extinction.

One drop at a time,
ink fractures mountains
that block the sun,

turns tiny stones to tools
that bring a flower to bloom
and saves it for all seasons.

Give us your hopes,
your dreams, your highest self,
each word, each phrase
your own eternity,

each poem
a step
into transcendency.

Grandma’s Tiny Stitches

Her page the quilt, she hummed
a hymn and stitched neat squares,
sketched scenes with needle pen.
She tied her knots tightly…
all part of ‘knowing who you are’.

I knew her lap,
the softest spot on earth,
but I never knew her dreams.
Maybe she gave them to her children,
six she raised all by herself.

She kept them warm in homemade quilts,
taught them faith and fed them
and never said a word
about life being hard. Everyday
she counted blessings; Everyday
she thanked the Lord.


The Difference in Knowing and Understanding

Chase Twichell claimed, in a poem
uncovered by Simon and Schuster,
that while riding on a train,
she saw two cows transfixed.

Having grown up on a farm,
the idea left me stunned
and unbelieving. I have seen cows
stand stupidly and chew their cuds.

They flick their tails, stamp their feet,
and twitch their haunches.
They moo, or bawl, and drool.
Sometimes they lie prone in the pasture

as if the velvet grass were a lover,
or a cherished coverlet turned mat.
At times, I have seen them roll
like children, down a hill.

I have seen them line in lowing herds
to wind their way to the barn
for grain and milking.
Markham knew of cattle and the farm.

I might have thought that Chase did not,
her blurred cows recalled nothing I had seen,
but then I read Stirred Up by Rain
She said, and I quote,

“Believing is different than understanding.”

That’s when I walked out in the rain
The sky, a panoramic movie screen, unfolded
two cows or clouds, it was hard to tell.
I believe I stood transfixed.


Excerpt from Chase Twichell’s  Stirred up by Rain

(her poem was inspired by cutting grass in the rain)

One of two things can happen:
either the noisy machine dissolves in the dusk
and the dusk takes refuge in the steady rain,
or the meadow wakes shorn of its flowers.
Believing is different than understanding

The other Twichell poem referenced is ‘blurred cows’

Clichéd Classroom

Snug as a bug in a rug
in a room as big as a barn
where exhilarating ideas
bounce from the rafters
to land dormant
in a mind steeped in Winter,

Must we wait for Spring
to produce wings of transformation
to queen, worker or drone?

Here, packed like sardines in a can,
ideas reproduce
like sponge,
Cells of inspiration
are discharged
and swim about
until they come to rest,
to flourish

or to die from lack of vision,
as if ocelli
are the only means of sight,

Here, snug as a bug in a rug,
or a caterpillar spinning silken web
to attach itself in pupal stage
to any firm support,

This room, as big as a barn, is our chrysalis,
Where we huddle and wait for metamorphosis.



born again each morning
drink the dew

in the silence of  the dawning
when most all the world
is sleeping

there is a song softly playing
heard only by the heart

Bursting to Bloom

The sparrow does not compare his notes
to the nightingale’s,
nor his feathers to the scarlet cardinal’s.

We are bursting at the seams to bloom,
but fear or vanity keeps us from it.

In the shadows of twilight
we sit comfortably alone
studying the sky for signs of stars.

If it is cloudy we say there are none.
Foolish to believe they cease to exist
because we cannot see them.

Foolish to believe the sound of wintery winds
means there will be no spring.
Snowflakes swirl

but daffodils are bursting to bloom.