Point of Sail

I had trimmed them.

The trolling motor

ran silent as I entered

the channel.

Milky Way’s to my right

and Star magazines to the left.

I wonder how a seventy million

dollar divorce is worked out.

I mean, really–seventy?

The peanut butter cups

my ears and my mind

lets go of the rudder.

No longshoremen to help

with the catch of the day.

I sidle up to the dock,

place the stick of separation down,

and begin emptying the hold.

A gallon of milk,

snap peas, Gala apples,

shredded cheese, minced garlic,

Eggo’s, chicken breasts,

salsa verde, ice cream,

onion, wheat bread,

Where’s the fish?

No fish. The closest thing

is a box of Capt’n Crunch.

No real evidence I was out to sea.

“I don’t know if I’m floundering or


The clerk just rolled her eyes

and spun the bag carousel.

Fall to Peaces

Come down, down, down.

Play follow the leader

until liter after liter

burnishes the field

and soaks my soul.


Rain, acquiesce to gravity.

Give in to the thirst

of earthen wear.

Don’t ever stop

in mid-air.


Play upon our gutters

and splay the timpani

white noise through

the gaping window.

Seize and distill.


Peace-drops, keep descending,

cleansing like a prayer.

Be our confessions,

our kneeling grace

and gratitude to God.

Ars Poetica

One nerve ending,

dying from subtlety,

strains to tell all the truth,

slanted as it were.


Ars Poetica. Ars Poetica is a term meaning “The Art of Poetry” or “On the Nature of Poetry”. Early examples of Artes Poeticae by Aristotle and Horace have survived and many other poems bear the same name.

Tell all the truth, but tell it slant. Emily Dickinson
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/emilydicki165671.html



3:58 a.m.

My bladder didn’t alarm me.

Thoughts pulled me out of bed

and I lifted the toilet seat anyway.

I then fumbled in the dark

and plucked a book off the shelf.


Wendell Berry started poeming me.


Old man thoughts strung

to the background hum of the fridge

and a faint ticking of the clock.


Wendell thinking in lines

and subtle turns of phrase.

Language was handled over and again

like a threshing toss in the wind.


He said what he meant

and meant what he said

like one grain of wheat.


“I know that I have life

only insofar as I have love.


I have no love

except it come from Thee.


Help me, please, to carry

this candle against the wind.”


How I long to mean like that.




To Infinity and Beyond! I know, I keep using that phrase…Thank you Buzz Lightyear

Eternity is not infinity.

It is not a long time.

It does not begin at the end of time.

It does not run parallel to time.

In its entirety it always was.

In its entirety it will always be.

It is entirely present always.

Wendall Berry

p. 47 Leavings, Poems

We have a six-year-old sassafras. Her name is Emily. Whenever my wife or I tell her we love her she one-ups us. The other night when I tucked her in I said I loved her she fired back “I love you more!”  How can a little tart exude such power over my heart? She also responded “I love you to the moon and back!” many times. But the reverberation that catches my mind and heart is:

“I love you infinity!”

Followed by

“I love you infinity, infinity, infinity!”

Really? Wow! This little pip-squeak set in time, my time, to blow my mind and detonate my heart. In my estimation that equals a thousand of Ann Voskamp’s gifts. I am grateful.

Buzz Lightyear, from the Pixar movie Toy Story, embossed my frontal cortex a while ago with his intellectually suicidal statement:

“To infinity…and beyond!”

I was talking to a friend recently about the infinitesimal real estate us humans can inhabit. Think about it. Only 29% of the earth is land. Humans can merely ascend so high before running out of oxygen. We can only dive so deep before the pressure wrings us like a rag. We are walled in. We are essentially tucked in a linen closet of the universe. Why?

Dear God,

I don’t want to be unthankful, but why are we so fenced in? Is it because we couldn’t handle a little gardening? Is it because we are in time out?

Sincerely, Jerry

Dear Jerry,

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Do you want me to start the “where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid” speech? Listen, the uninhabitable vast spaces are there to keep you wondering about Me, like you are presently. Simply look at these areas as room to grow acreage. Seriously, I didn’t hem in the universe so you would consider that there is always room to grow. I put bright and colorful creatures in the deepest, darkest places of the ocean so you would ponder my intention. So you might ask Me why I splash shadows with frivolous bright colors for no human to see. You will never be satisfied on earth just like that C. S. Lewis thought that has wrinkled your brain. You are ultimately made for another world. Although the world is busted up, I have given you the sense to take in what I have revealed thus far with awe and gratitude. There are gifts, way more than a thousand, but you can start counting and thanking. I like that.

About that little tart of yours, I dare you to love her back…infinity, infinity, infinity.

I love you…infinity,


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.