Walk With Me In the Rain

Walk with me in the rain.napo2014button1
Let’s not take an umbrella
to shade us from the pleasure.
But take my hand in yours.

Underneath the street lamp
let the rain steal a sweet kiss
on our cheeks.

Oh, we will get wet.

Hold me around my waist
pulling me close to keep
me warm in this crazy spring
rain that doesn’t know
if drops or flakes it will be.

Like us,
unsure of who we are,
let the rain fall as it is
without an umbrella to hide us.




Author’s Note:

It rained last night, the first big rain of spring. A little mushy hail. A bit of lightening and some thunder.

I, too, like Langston Hughes, love April rain.


Stray mother bird in her nest reeksnapo2014button1
of cracked rotted eggs. She’s driven,
good propaganda for a million more,
like a rash. I peek, private of her pair
of hawks. Me? Oh, I dream in the drizzle.




Author’s Note:

I struggled with posting the poem first today. I have never posted the Author’s Note before the poem. Today I almost did, not being at all sure about the poem.

Today at NaPoRiMo, Day 23: “Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds.”

I’ve tried this before and it just doesn’t work with my brain. But today I decided to give it another try.

This really doesn’t work with my brain.

Below, I have given you that part of the poem I used by Slovenian poet, Meta Kusar, written in Slovenian. I chose her because I am half Slovenian; my relatives are from her town, and she was born near the time I was.

Next I put down my “homophonic translation.” (You would think being a first grade reading teacher this would be easy for me. I translate six year-old writing every day.)

And just for fun, I included the real translation, which I did not read until I had finished my poem.



Poem by Meta Kusar:


Sramota in nesreča
kako drevo propada.
Mila moja rajska ptica!
Devet parov rok me odriva in drži.


My “homophonic translation”:

Stray mother, in nest reeks,
Cracked, driving propaganda.
Million more, rash covers peeks
Debit pairs of hawks me oh dream in drizzle.


English Translation:

Shame and misfortune
to see this tree decay.
My sweet bird of paradise!
Nine pairs of hands holding me up.


We used to collect bells. Do younapo2014button1
remember? You made a folding
structure, wood with brass hooks,
on which to hang them. Little ones
mostly, not grandiose like Liberty
or Notre Dame.

Then we collected odd labels from
cheap wine, not yet having developed
a palate. Soaked and scraped, then
laid to rest in photo albums, the kind
with sticky pages and acetate covers.

You always collected watches, pocket,
wrist, forgotten family treasures. Never
expensive, just ones with a story, or
just to keep time.

I always collected rocks, especially
the sparkly ones. Rose quartz, purple
amethyst. As a child I didn’t know
they had meanings. I now understand
stones tell stories, like books.

Can we count books, too? Many
collections have come and gone.
Some come again in realization
that one should never get rid of books.

Art became a passion. Still would be,
if wall space and bank notes agreed.
But dime store prints display as
much joy when the eye is well pleased.

As time moved with suns rising
and moons falling, telescopes, six
of them, most hand made, took up
residence under our roof beneath
city skies with too much light and
eyes no longer keen.

Oh, there were caps and hats like
your father used to wear. Pens to
write with, flowers to bloom, recorders
and flutes to serenade. Maybe,
someday, ukuleles, too.

But the sweetest collection we
ever gathered took hardly no
time at all. It was simple and
easy, my heart collected next
to yours. Happy birthday.




Author’s Note:

Happy birthday, Leroy.


Once upon a time there wasnapo2014button1
an armless maiden with
butterflies blurring her vision.

Like a prayer journal they
fluttered around, a crown
of acolytes offering
whispers of wisdom.

And the maiden would
stroll to the garden green
in front of a small stone altar.

Acknowledging with bows,
Black Maria in prayer,
stepping through the
fact of a doorframe.

It was the way of the mystics
that held her stare
through trembling wings
encircling her hair.

And when rains came
she refused to concede.
Perverse winter storms
avowed never to retire.

As waters rose higher,
she embraced the rushing.
Engulfing the maiden,
the butterflies drowned in
tears falling down as
they entangled to become one,
now the woman hollering creek.




Author’s Notes:

So this evening I wanted to play at something fun. A bit of found poetry seemed to be the answer. So I looked through my bookshelf and wrote a list of books that caught my eye:

The Armless Maiden, edited by Terri Windling
A Prayer Journal, by Flannery O’Connor
Acolytes, by Nikki Giovanni
Black Maria, by Kevin Young
The Fact of a Door Frame, by Andrienne Rich
The Way of the Mystics, by John Michael Talbot
Woman Hollering Creek, by Sandra Cisneros

And a fairytale was born. Fun.

This actually seems to be the genesis story of the very beginnings of a character I birthed a few years ago. Hmmm…might be time for a visti.

Easter Sunday

It was Marynapo2014button1
who saw the Gardener first,
a resurrection of the One
who dug dry soil amending it,1972544_10202777529031265_4090857678259459175_n
leaving rich, loamy earth.

She stood alone,
first to announce,
as my garden offers
sun gilded tulips,
tender eyes opening
in His early spring morn.

Easter Sunday,
I dig into my yard
pulling wintered,
weathered blooms,
cold-day food
for beast and living things
left in anticipation
of spring’s return.

My hands plunge deep
into fertile marl,
once a thick, red clay.
I make room for tender
keen roots to reach,
take hold this day so hallowed.

And not to dismiss,
I leave good room each year
for old, gnarled roots
to stretch and grow.

I, like Magdalene First to Believe,
die to the old,
make way for
His burgeoning spring.




Author’s Note:

I am taken by the stories of the women of the bible. Jesus welcomed all.

In John’s gospel, it was Mary Magdalene who went in the night by herself to stand watch. Possibly in hope, most likely in pain and sorrow for one lost. But it is Mary of Magdala, a woman, to which He first was seen. It was Mary, a women, who was told to proclaim, while the others were safely hidden away. And she stayed. She was the first to bring the resurrected Word to the world.

And at first she thought he was a gardener. How beautifully appropriate for spring and new life.

Happy Easter!

Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

Jesus said, “Mary.”

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

John 20:15-16 (TheMessage/Remix)

Easter Vigil, Sirius

I stand outside under the blackened skiesnapo2014button1
with winks of light looking down on me.

I wonder if these are the same stars she
saw as she walked alone through the streets
early that morn on her way to the hills?

The orange glow of Arcturus,
red hot Mars, the icy blue chill of
Sirius, and the white glare of Jupiter,
eyes looking back from the heavens.

Did they see her walking the road
to a place where they laid Him
behind the stone, inside
even blacker than the night?

Did they see her tears fall across her
cheeks as she gazed up to the heavens
cursing Yahweh for her loss?

Could they look into her emptiness,
her fear of being left alone having
lost one so dear?

I stand under these same stars and
wonder if they see me too?




Author’s Notes:

Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil.

John 20:1 (NIV)

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

Good Friday, Finished

I finish many things in my life.napo2014button1
A book. The laundry. A poem.
I go day after day finishing things.
Yet there is always something left unfinished.

A bowl was there, full of cheap wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine; put on a stalk of hyssop, and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said, “It is finished.” John 19: 29-30

With three simple words, “It is finished!”
He assured me that the only thing that
needed finishing was now accomplished.

Why do I need to worry about tasks
in my life that whisper my name?
Why do I let guilt consume me for
what I do not finish?

In His loving act, so brutal and degrading,
He finished the doorway. He was a fine
carpenter and designed and measured to
make a perfect berth I could pass through.

Let me remember not to be afraid
to step through His door. He joined
jambs to lintel with mortise and tenon
assuring me a safe passage.

I leave my worry, my fear, my
insecurities unfinished. I step through
His door. The one He finished
in infinite love for me.




Author’s Note:
This evening I was humbled to be a part of the Gospel reading and homily for our Good Friday Service at A Church of the Holy Family, ECC. Seven people were given the last words of Jesus as He hung on the cross and died. These words were gathered from the four gospels. We were to read the few lines and then give our our reflection. Between each reading, the choir sang a verse of “Were You There?” It was a moving and beautiful service filled with wisdom and love.

This was my reflection.