Small Stone – Aug 8


Listen! The insects still singing in the silent trees on this slow rising summer day.

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Small Stone – Aug 4

What I look through:

this window spattered

with  shadows from

a million rain drops,

and here,

the ghosted streak

of a small birdwing

and two tiny brown feathers.


Wondering if we’re not always peering past some old catastrophe to a new day, like this one, thickly green and still after the rain, the sun rising?


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Small Stone – Aug 3

Kaspa, at Writing Your Way Home, is hosting another Small Stone invitation for August. He says: 

What is a small stone?

A small stone is a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.

Come on along…

The airport 

glittered before dawn

like rhinestones 

scattered on black silk.

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Daily Detail – Rain

Rain comes like soft sighing thru the leafy trees, petals falling on stone.

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Breakfast Detail – one egg

Yellow omelet folding over green avocado and soft pale brie.

(todays offering for the new practice: a detail written in 17 syllables,

an American Sentence)

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Daily Detail – Meditation

Untethering the mind, unclenching, releasing God from the details.


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The Daily Detail 5/17

A rainbow of little prayer flags droops in the windless morning rain


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The Daily Details

Challenged by a new practice: Writing a Detail every day. Kind of a Small Stone of observation. To help me notice, stay awake to the world, practice putting a few words around what I see. I invited my Wednesday Writing Group to join me. The idea is to really SEE something in the world around us, to name it, describe it, find the words.

As I write my Detail this morning:

See how the dull green moss grows over the reddish weathered brick where the gray mourning dove pecks for seed.

I’m reminded of the form Allan Ginsberg used he called The American Sentence. It was his American answer to the Haiku: a sentence of 17 syllables. So I rework my detail:

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 8.49.24 AM

No necessary information is lost but only condensed.

Here’s an article from writer and teacher Paul Nelson who I follow for our August Poetry Postcard Project: Where you’ll find some great samples of the form and as well as a lively discussion of The American Sentence.

I also think of Dave Bonta, a blogging writer I’ve followed for years at The Morning Porch where he posts a daily observation. It often sparks a poem in his readers.

We live in a culture now learning to communicate via text and tweet using very brief sentences to communicate. I wonder if we can capture full detail, make the Detail vivid and still use a minimum of words to say it? I’m going to give it a try. See if I can put my Details into 17 syllables. No guarantees I’ll always pull it off. Feel free to check me out by counting them! 🙂


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First Prayer

For April, Poetry Month, I’m following prompts offered by Jena Schwartz. Its lovely to get up, read her offering, then just write what falls off the pen. This is my response for today:

First Prayer

Some mornings I open my eyes

and still find myself brooding,*

 This music, the brooding,

The wind and the metal bells…

the first prayer:

For the unclenching of the common fist,

The scoured, the scalded heart,

The rancorous cry,

For the face unmasked,

Treacherous words allowed to fall

Quiet into the uncurled hand

Spilled onto the still earth,

All the knotted ropes undone,

Until we turn and turn,

Breath and rain

over the parched spring land,

all the cages opened

wherever there are cages,

time freed from clocks,

days from dates,

and something in the small,

wild, fierce and tender human heart

walks free            or flies.



* photo and quote from Jena Schwartz



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“Even knowing what you love is no salvation”…

Still dark

and the one bird

already singing.


I wake. It’s Monday.


weighs the heft of it


in one hand,

the tide of sleep

washing out.


The waning Paschal moon

casts shadows across

the sunroom floor
You are only trying to say

what you see in the world. Spring.

Winter. Even knowing what you love

is no salvation…”*


Even so.

I light the candles,

I begin with poems…




*from Night Music, Jan Zwicky, Forge

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