"Focail do a chara" is Gaelic for "Words for a Friend." I hope you find my poems meaningful, or insightful, or beautiful, or perhaps disturbing. I write about my experiences -- in my study of death and dying, children's health, and mental health; in my teaching; in my spiritual seeking; in my call for social justice and compassionate living. I hope these words find you, friend, and bless you. Please click the "Subscribe" button below to receive a daily email of poetry.
Let's be honest, is this
the pause within the pause,
or are you preparing for battle?
Beware the dangers
of people, places, and things.
Boundaries are good today.
glimpses of forever.
Meetings and decisions that have disastrous consequences. Deadlines looming and I can't feel the love--anywhere. Rainy day energy and mental health pause. Breathe into the stillness and give yourself permission.
The mind wonders what,
why, and how. The heart, space for
knowing beyond words.
Today's challenge--how to write beyond words, write in the white spaces, figure-ground shift, write the what-is and the what-will-bes, what I am when the white spaces merge into gray sky, cloudless expanse of knowing.
I'm so excited to announce my new book is coming out in July!!!
Talking Through Death examines communication at the end of life from several different communication perspectives: interpersonal (patient, provider, family), mediated, and cultural. By studying interpersonal and family communication, cultural media, funeral related rituals, religious and cultural practices, medical settings, and legal issues surrounding advance directives, readers gain insight into the ways symbolic communication constructs the experience of death and dying, and the way meaning is infused into the process of death and dying. The book looks at the communication-related health and social issues facing people and their loved ones as they transition through the end of life experience. It reports on research recently conducted by the authors and others to create a conversational, narrative text that helps students, patients, and medical providers understand the symbolism and con…
wait for the revealing,
wonder-filled pen on paper
opening worlds of
gray skies and green leaves emerging,
roaring wind -- can you hear it --
white feathered bird singing,
lament in the air,
feel it whirling around you,
space for sadness,
longing and loss.
Things don't always come to you the way you wish.
Sit with that reality.
Welcome the sadness blowing through.
The golden heart broken,
Birds fly and trees rustle,
black ink marks,
and worlds beyond.
Age spots on the dog's mouth,
and an unfamiliar face peers from my reflection in the mirror.
If I want to practice hospitality,
I have to start with welcoming every one of the
seven hundred thirty seven thousand,
six hundred moments
I have been alive.
to move into my final third of life.
In this paint by numbers landscape,
this is the shading and contouring,
added depth and highlights.
Welcome the new hues.
This is the stage in which masterpieces emerge.
I wonder about this mesmerizing magnetic pull, desire to do, have, be, never enough, need; the intoxicating spell of success just out of grasp; separation sensation in my DNA. Before I can find what I'm searching for I have to find myself,
uncover the essence
beneath approval, who
am I, beloved, you
will find when you release, the power of love transcends space and time, connections here, now. Perhaps you're looking in the wrong place; perhaps the breath knows. To be.
Yesterday's cleansing rain washed the cobwebs from my mind,
and this morning's birdsongs herald a new beginning, again.
The purple mountain haze lifts to periwinkle sky,
leaves stir in the gentle breeze, a fly buzzes nearby.
Nature's cathedral, a bird-feeder altar in the wooly thicket of rhododendron.
A homily of wind, and the pink and purple petaled flowers respond,
"Amen!" The bee alights on the leaf and rides the wind-swept
waves. I am bathed and reborn in the healing power of holy breath.
glistening sun on new greens,
buds reaching to blue skies,
and the barking dog cries out,
like the voices in my head,
and opposition forces.
Wade in carefully or the shame will overtake you,
and you wonder what matters.
Feel that familiar ache of longing.
There's a chill in the air but
the sun is ready for you.