Poor Over

Always early morning,

when the quiet nudges me awake.

Then the fridge hums,

and the computer fan whisper syncs.

In a trance, I hope the kettle

cooperates for my mandatory

pour over.


Pour over coffee…

On what grounds?

Might I incriminate myself?

The process gives me pause, literally.

Have you ever prepared a pour over?

It’s like being in the Army…

Hurry up, then wait.


The weight of it all

while I wake is what grinds me.

On a good day I’ll distract,

watch the weather report between pours,

fiddle with my phone etc.

On a better day I will look and listen.

I observe the brown noise falling.


They say the two inches of oxygen

between the cone of milled beans

and the awaiting mug

enhances the flavor.

If I close my eyes and open

my imagination I hear the trickle

of a brook, and the mending of my mind.


A prayer of sorts, as I sort through

yesterday, and prepare for today.

I thank God for coffee,

then poor over the humanity,

mine, yours, the world’s.

I grab my mug of brew,

and cream it with “Lord have mercy.”


Give Me Poetry or Give Me Death

Give me poetry or give me death,

where slanted literature bends the literal.

Where canticles supplant cadence.

Let loose of the linear

for a few lines.


Let us cool our feet in a psalm.

Let us clear our head with a couplet.

Let us step back from the world

and its human distortions

for a bit of clarity.


Ah, for heavens’ embroidered cloths;

An evening spread out against the sky.

All grasses sing, tone on clear tone.

Lead us beside the still waters

for a few breaths.

Before The Apocalypse

Why do You want my attention?

The humming bird distracted me.

The cupboard, left open, gaped at me.

The white noise downpour fascinated me.


“Come,” You say, “and I will show you things.”

“Just a minute,” I say, “A field mouse. See it?”

I have this family to feed, and seed for the feeder.

My children will rise like an apocalypse.


You still want my attention?

“For a little while, before the questions, demands,

and heavy loads flop over your shoulder.”

You read my disheveled mind like a morning paper.

“It’s news to me, and I care.”

Middle Distance

The mystery is there.

The challenge is there.

It is there where ideas

Are transformed in

Their forming.


It is where we look

When a question gives

Us pause.

It is where truth

Begs to be handled.


It lies between myopia

And dystopia.

It is beyond this moment

But before infinity.

Unsettling middle distance.


“Who do you say that I am?”



Mark 8:29

Golondrinas: Spanish For Barn Swallows.

They pluck flies on the fly
their wings curved like a parenthesis.
One, maybe two barn swallows
comb the field’s rising breath.

A flight pattern established
for an evening out.
Dining on the freshest food,
swallowing mosquitoes

that could sip on me like a cocktail.
Sometimes the swallows swoop
and other times they swagger.
They know what they are after.

Yesterday the barn sat with its mouth open
and swallowed one which swallowed a fly.
I don’t know why.
The barn choked and coughed it up.

Notes were taken:
We possess a barn.
The swallows possess a name.
They existed for each other for a moment.

Tight Words Loosen

Two hands open,

and spider leg fingers

touched down and

touched me.

She worked on me.

She pushed on knots

with oiled syllables.

Over and over

phrases massaged

my backbone.

Knowledge loosened

into understanding.

I was etherized on a table

long enough to rise

without what ails me.

Now my hands are again open

to work something out for you.


For Luci Shaw.

“When I Awake, I Am Still With Thee.” Listening to God

Buford had to go.  Buford is big and his “going” is big, so I grabbed his leash and hooked him up.   He sent air kisses.  That is when his cow-like tongue would lick air between the closest pieces of my exposed skin.  A walk would do us both good.  I didn’t have to “go” but had to get going.

There is a path around the perimeter our seven acre field.  It is like an empty block lined with pines.  I used a brush hog last fall to carve a lane so I could stroll next to the whispers of God.  One of my favorite sounds is the hushed tones of wind being filtered through thousands of needles.

Years ago I was delivering a package.  There was a rain soaking, and the cool humidity seemed as though it was slowing the flow of my marrow.  I remember being a bit down after having breakfast with someone.  Life dreams came up in conversation and his dreams were out there on a farm.  He was raising organic cattle when he wasn’t crunching numbers.

After breakfast I was delivering packages under a blanket of emotional clouds.  O.K., I was bumming.  I was bummed all the way down to doubt.   Self doubt, God doubt was dripping slowly on my forehead as I walked a package of shoes to a stoop.   A question slipped out of my mouth.  I asked it out loud just above the asphalt.

“Do you love me?”

It was then the wind picked up and whispers of peace came.  I had not perceived the wall of pines.  Don’t misunderstand me, John 3:16 was always in my back pocket and Jesus loved me this I knew.  But when nature calls, God answering through his design, I listen fairly well.  His “yes” was as loud as a psalmists cry.  I added to the precipitation for a while and kept hoofing it from doorstep to doorstep.

I never would have imagined my own personal wall of pines.  This place, hemmed in by the whispers of God, blesses me hard and often.  My hope is to keep on writing about the grace that has handed me life.  God is good and His words speak to me from pages and pine trees.

How many ways does God bend your ear?  Be encouraged and don’t be afraid to ask God questions.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17,18