The Green

I’m just overwhelmed by the beauty of nature this week.

This photo, for instance, taken in the front yard.

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And, in perfect timing, a dear friend gave me a book that’s all about finding God in “ordinary time.” I love what the author, Sarah Arthur, says about her reading habits by the seasons: “I read poetry in springtime, novels in the winter, how-to books in autumn and baking recipes. But come summer, suddenly I’m somehow illiterate: creation itself is one long run-on sentence I can’t find the end of.”

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For me, it’s this spring that’s making me a little bit illiterate and also reluctant to get anything done indoors. I’m trying to write. This season should make writing almost inevitable with the wealth of inspiration flooding from the trees, the ground, the sky. But for some reason, it’s harder than that. I just want to sit and admire.

Remember Me

I’m currently working on writing several children’s books which has been so much fun. Two years ago,when my husband let me be in charge of the production and publication of his children’s book, Remember Me, I learned a lot about the process, and I realized I wanted to write my own as well.

Many of you know that Remember Me is a book based on the lyrics of one of the most beloved Mark Schultz songs by the same title, and all of the proceeds go to the non-profit Remember Me Mission (www.facebook.com/RememberMeMission). I picked two great Nashville artists, Aaron and Michelle Grayum, to illustrate the lyrics, and the result is beautiful. We’re so proud of this project. You can purchase it on Mark’s website (Mark Schultz web store) or select Nashville locations like Parnassus Books (www.parnassusbooks.net).

And, stay tuned for updates on other books to come!

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Three Loves

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’m thinking about love in all it’s varied forms, and for some reason also writing poems around a single letter (in today’s case, T).

Here are three poems about love…They’re all different but kind of the same. I guess that’s just how Love is.

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Friendship

The love in friendship crawls
And sidles by,
Sticks around like sand between toes
and grows
Outlasting luck and sometimes love
It makes the turn again
Into something ever more
Miraculous

To a T

Take my love as token, talisman, talent,
Truth told twice to turn tides,
Tent
Toddler’s toes, tissues tugged
‘Til tattooed trust,
Taste
Test
Turnaround, tumble-down,
Talk about
Titanic theft

Having a Baby

When you have a baby you give birth
To your own trembling heart
And bring it home for a bit,
To hold,
Then watch it go
To playgrounds, parties, pools,
And someday lock itself inside another woman’s house
Where it will make the windows glow and beat

Two poems about Grace

The Dark

You used to be immune
To fear and understanding,
And who knows whether we kept you that way
Or if it’s by design,
But the thin thread held tension just long enough
For us to get comfortable

Until that night you wanted the door open
Light on
One more story
Drink of water
Don’t leave, please.

When did you become afraid?
Was it just today
That our words became warnings?

I can only pray for you to know better,
See the clay under your nails for what it is—
Dirt.
But also work and weight and wonder.
See in the dark as He does,
With that blind instrument of grace.

-January 2015


Does It Matter?

Does it matter which way is home
When the water freezes and cracks
If you travel by mustard seed trail
Or neon road sign’s flash

If giving into hunger
You run aimless for awhile
While bats and birds
Line up on the cables and smile
For miles

Does it matter which way is home
If you stand and wait and call
Until momentum or a branch
Drives you forward or you fall

And even so, who’s left to say
That the way you’ve gone is not the way?

-January 2015

“Mom ePoems”

Today I’m sharing some of the little poems I write in my head in the middle of the night while I’m feeding babies. I started doing this with my first son, Ryan. Now with my second son, and my increasing internet comprehension, I’ve given them a name, “mom ePoems”. Whether you’re a mom or not, I hope you enjoy…

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Feeding You

Today I fed you ham
and I fed you peas
and cheese

Then you ate a snack
and another,
crumbs growing on your face

sipping milk through a straw
and leaving bits of food on the end

You burped and laughed
and looked at me expectantly,
“More?”

I sighed.
I don’t think there’s anything left to give you.

(May 2013)

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First Weeks

Your father (not me) once said that
it’s hard to love them when they’re just a blob with eyeballs

But I think your eyeballs are one of your best features

(May 2012)

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Go Slowly

Go slowly,
you will hurt yourself.

you will choke on all of those Ritz crackers

you will leave me
Go slowly.

(Spring 2013)

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Her Again

Today you came home with your first black eye
and I said, “Who is she?”
Who let you fall, believing there was a step made for you
When there was none?

(Fall 2012)

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Being Tired

I am tired.
There is a bull-weevil of tired-ness
Burrowing through my soul

And I am wanting just to lie here,
even though I can hear you crying

And wait until you’re eighteen
and you come in to check on me.

(May 2012)

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Hold all the looseness up

Hold all the looseness up,
Spin it around
and set it down
Until the looseness leaves
And we are left with longing.

(August 2014)

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Pregnancy Test

Weeks are a funny thing.
You can have 40 left
and life is just beginning
Or ending.

(September 2013)

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Milk Neck

When you were new and I was new
There was a smell

I had no idea where or what it was

And then one day I discovered the old crusted milk
in the fat folds of your neck,

Poor neglected child you were.

After that I was more vigilant
And I didn’t let the milk dribble and collect

But I kind of missed the smell
–it was addicting

Now you smell so sweet
Your neck and hair

I sink my face in when you’re close

Sweat, salt, cream, sugar
all, both, please

Nothing rancid
It is almost too good.

(May 2012)

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Your Hair, for Ryan

Your hair has made you many things
Banker, boxer, boy

Rock Star

The night you came it was so black
with your light brown skin
that I was sure you were Hispanic

Then suddenly it was red
and in your green jumpsuit
you looked like a leprechaun

Then bald and serious

Then light brown

Now blond.

What will next season bring?

(Summer 2013)

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Waste

So many houses being torn down
So much packaging.

Your yogurt has a container, a carton and a box

What are we doing while we are unwrapping?
While we are wasting time?

(Summer 2013)

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Stay tuned for more babies, more poems…