Let Nothiing Be Lost

Published in 2014

In constructing my latest collection of poems, Let Nothing Be Lost, I was thinking of poems much the way I consider colors of fabric in the quilts I make--some lights, some mediums, some darks. You'll find here: cornfields of Illinois, canyons of NM, as well as bits of my beloved Ireland. The title, Let Nothing Be Lost, is an expression of my deeply felt awareness of how all things are connected and, indeed, nothing exists outside of the interactive process that rules all life.

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for Christian

That moment when night has nearly taken over
but mountains to the west are still backlit
by dark blue light

I look out the kitchen window
and see in silhouette my grandson
throwing the ball for his pointer pup.

How good this life can be
when you’re fourteen, braces off,
four inches taller than last year

and a dog of your very own,
or when you’re growing old and see such a sight
at that last wag of the day.


Romancing Trees


Branches of tall trees form a perfect arbor above our heads. It’s
as if they long
for one another, we agreed. Shushing, we could almost hear
their murmurings.

Why shouldn’t growing things have feelings for each other, we thought—rhythmic pulses, electric magnetic vibrations, quivers
when leaf tips touch?

That day we were certain trees romance each other. Those trees, I wish I could name them,
but it was a long time ago in Northern California, the rest of our story yet to be told.

That mottled, leaf-shadowed trail,
only the beginning—pulses synchronizing, electric charge when shoulder brushed shoulder, heat of interlaced fingers as we talked of trees.


Timing is Everything


In time you learn to read signs:
pie is done when fruit oozes at the lip of the tin;
above 50 degrees, time to plant trees.
You learn when to advise, when to keep quiet.

One day, when its time to give up this place,
I hope I’ll know the signs
and not be one of those hangers-on
who lets things go to ruin.

Still, there’s appeal in the thought
of perching on the barn roof
like a rusty weather vane
and staying until a helicopter
or an angel comes to carry me off.