"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.
A leaf falls.
A bird sings.
A bee winds her way from flower to flower
and the sun shines on the ivy carpeting the rhododendron thicket.
How many times have I described this to you?
Every morning it feels new to me.
The same bees.
The same birds.
The same rhododendron blossoms bursting pink and white amidst their long-fingered leaves.
The same mossy ground and the same dried leaves crunching underfoot, new life springing up, lead buds from the forest floor.
The same blue sky and white puffy clouds and gentle breezes rustling the trees so they look as if they are dancing in time to the bird’s symphony.
My eyes take in the greens on greens and baby blues and pink and white as I breathe in the musky smell of forest air
and I want to tell you about the yellow hairy caterpillar inching past
and the berry-colored flower petals reaching up
and the bird in the feeder fluttering her wings and eying me warily
and the trees reverberating as the fleeing flock of birds flies away.
I wish for yo…
Corralled like cattle, bodies, extremely
oppressive heat, dirty, disenfranchised,
isolated, stench, despised, traumatized
and sick, afraid, inhumane, unseemly
bodies, thrown away, like meat, obscenely
bodies, sweat, life and death and holy in
every dirty labored breath, bodies, din
of murmurations, bodies, let them be,
bodies, hungry, lack of humanity,
bodies, thirsty, hatred, lies, decompose,
bodies, legacy of platitudes, disposed,
bodies, dehumanized, routinely,
bodies, separated, called uncleanly,
bodies, shameful, this is our history.
May you be blessed by the peace of a rhododendron thicket in the cool of the evening,
bird song symphony,
crackling-barked limbs spindling over your head,
leaves reaching down and spread as if hands blessing.
May you be blessed by white blossoms and blue skies hanging on to the fading light,
spied as pinpricks through the canopy of leaves.
May you be blessed by the peace of aloneness and the stillness of a summer night.