"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.
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Worry resides in
the future. Hold on to the
here and now. Grateful.
Afternoon shadows deepen
and anniversary memories trigger the saddest day of my life.
Twenty-seven years of loss feels like yesterday
and I struggle to remember
your laughing eyes,
dry sense of humor inherited.
your stoic sense of responsibility and self-control, commitment, and incapsulated joy,
and I just want you to know,
I appreciate you
Carrying coffee around like a baby's
bottle, appreciating the electric grid
and praying it holds, still
safe and dry, some aren't,
pelting rain sounding like ping
pong balls dropping against the back
drop of howling wind, flood
warnings widespread, refuged by
brick, buried cables, some aren't,
trees taking the brunt, waving
limbs, so far so good,
some aren't so fortunate. Bird
singing in the storm, dog
at my feet, sheltered, protected,
We ride by Alpine aspen trees and listen to the hum of the bus;
a back beat to the tour guide’s Spanish, English, German, spiel.
Ilba—18-year old daughter of the Austrian Emperor had a forced marriage to Napoleon.
highway and roadside industry, farmland,
concrete and asphalt and corns and grasses,
Cold skin against unfamiliar air conditioning,
Romantic valley of the Wachauw:
apricot trees and vineyards,
sound of horse hooves on cobblestone streets,
kayakers and motorboats pass our tourist barge and
across the aisle, the George Clooney lookalike
— if George Clooney had been an accountant instead of an actor —
smiles at a woman in the next seat.