Explores the beauty of the natural world.
Attempts to pull aside the veil.
Concerns people and their lives.
The eighth greatest day in my life was the day I received my B.A. from Fairfield University in 2009. The ninth greatest day was in 2013 when I was again handed a diploma from Fairfield; this time it was my M.F.A. The tenth greatest day is everyday since. Great days one through seven would be the day I embraced Jesus in my adult arms, my wedding day and each birth-day of my five children.
Before my graduations I had the opportunity to work behind the scenes as assistant editor for Dogwood and then as poetry co-editor for Mason’s Road. I was also privileged to read non-fiction submissions for Spry. These experiences, along with many words spewed out and subsequently edited out, allowed me to achieve my next goal: seeing my name preceded by two letters -- "b" and "y." My essays and poems have been published in Mason’s Road, Spry, Ebullience, What Next? A Guide to Life After the MFA, Time for Singing, Pencil Marks and in Penwood Review. Spry and Ebullience surprised me with requests for interviews – truly fun experiences.
In September, 2013 I presented ekphrasis iii – a poetry response to seven cast pieces, using Haibun form, in the Bellarmine Museum at Fairfield University. Students, instructors and staff, as well as members of the greater community attended to learn about the ekphrasis response, the Haibun form of poetry and the important role cast replicas played in the evolution of museum exhibits worldwide.
A recent transplant to Vermont, I marvel at God’s creating hand. I find inspiration wherever my eye rests and revel in the peace and tranquility in this wondrous state. I thank God every moment as I am encircled with the warmth and love of family and friends.
On this tenth day I find myself tasked with chores and on creative breaks with my computer. Equal parts physical and mental - the perfect day.
Breaks from menial tasks allowed me the pleasure to view the day, as it passed along, through a wall of windows. Right now a soft, baby-pink tinged sky blooms into flamingo pink before the sun, in its final breath of today, turns the sky to fire. The wind has been hard at work on this day, the trees upside down brooms that sweep the sky. Leftover autumn leaves, now crunchy brown and exposed through melting snow, skitter across land in transition: dregs of snow snuggled next to muddy swaths, make me look twice for chipmunks or moles, or small birds. Mice. But no, I see only leaves at play in the wind.
Ripley, the Golden Retriever pup we adopted one month ago, expends her extra energy while she runs after the leaves, heads into the wind. The cable snaps her gently back once she reaches the end and then she's off in another direction. Occasionally, she rests, occasionally she nibbles on exposed roots and branches. Then, she stops everything to take care of her business.
I watch her and my thoughts revert to my children as children -- her energy just like theirs once was; my energy rising along with my strength. Renewed, I can keep up.
Once night falls, I look forward to the pup standing by the door, waiting patiently. As I hook her leash onto her red collar, my patient wait is over. We stroll across the yard and I keep her close. Porcupines, skunks, bears, bobcats slink nearby. As she noses around, I point my gaze skyward, my eyes seeking stars, planets, a shooting star. The moon - waning (or is it waxing now?) into a fingernail sliver. Venus has dropped down closer to the horizon but still shines bright. And where is Mars?
Ripley has completed her chore. Darkness is pervasive and animals stalk quietly so it is time to return to light and warmth and family. A treat and a "good girl" for Ripley; a cup of tea and cups of coffee for us. And when I lay down tonight, before I sleep, I will have so much to say thank you for.
Words from Verse Currents
From Shrapnel Grace
Not the Birches
The breeze tours
This time, gently
as if a shadowy giant
Riffling the tops
of the pines, the maples, the oaks
But not the birches.
Over these he bows,
hands on bent knees,
And with pursed lips exhales softly –
the way a child breathes on milkweed
to make the seeds fly.
His breath sends shivers through the leaves –
they execute perfect pirouettes.
Oh – to regain my compassion, my sympathy…
Where is my love?
My heart – as big as my fist –
is granite centered in my being,
heavy as I walk through each day,
my soul trapped.
When did I journey
far away leaving You behind –
my back turned.
Is this the road
the journey follows –
Optimism, Pessimism, Apathy –
When there is more life behind then ahead.
Yet – You still listen.
Once my father admitted:
I always wanted one more
But your mother said: ‘no – two is enough.’
Would there have been
a wing man for my brother –
Someone who always had his back?
Or would a sister have shared
my room, my clothes, my secrets?