Emergent Occasions


No man is an Island, intire of it selfe;

Every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;

If a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were;

Any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde;

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee.

— John Donne
‘Meditation XVII’ from
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

Out the car my foot hit the cement at exactly
Noon, exactly the moment the bell tolled
The bell hitting me close by yet, I ignored her,

Until she shouted and roared, until she leapt
High; I ignored her until the occasion
Emerges and so that I had to beat back the waves.

How true, I learn; one can never unring the bell.
No. Unsell your filthy body you
Holy whore, just see if you can.

Wring out my sweet, soaking dishrag and
Twist her with your might and she will
Only be more ragged and limp.

The day presses on into isolotary comfort of night.
Dinner bells gone cold.
Faberware stands hard up and dried in racks.

I am diminished. One foot on the cement
Clod floating away from the
Maine land, all’s quiet, except the ringing in my ears. … Read on…Emergent Occasions

Heart Work

I hear you. Tapping on the glass. You
Want to be let in. You’ve been patiently
Waiting on the stoop for so long, and you’ve
Done your job, enjoying the passersby and
Soaking up the sun. You’ve done all the
Cataloging of songbirds and counting the
Shades of sky as it shifts from dawn to
Dusk. You’ve had your fun, your rest,
Your respite from the toil of
Life. You’ve had your walkabout and
Now are tapping on the storm door
And asking to be let back in to
Work. My heart, I am saying
I hear you. … Read on…Heart Work

Pink Eye


After handing me a cup of
Cinammon tea, Colin gently repeats
How he ordered the nematodes for
The garden. And I “oh-yeah” him
And say: hey, yeah, I think I did
Hear you say that once before heh-heh
and

This tea I am drinking is from
The second of two identical tins
He gave me at Christmas because
Last year, he said, I moaned
A little bit when the last bag
Was tossed away. And I smell

Chicken noodle soup huffing out from
Under its lid. He made that
Too. And it is a blue Sunday, and the
Cookies wait under lids for the Bake
Sale and the kids putter, and the
Lawn is mowed and I have
Pink eye and something viral and
I have never
Felt this loved before. … Read on…Pink Eye

With Turkey


Two men say: I love you
With turkey. They do it at
At least twice a year,
Once at my husband’s
Table, with me at the store
Choosing all the groceries, the
Parsnips off season,
The magical ginger root
To dress an everyday carrot. Pushing
The cart through the refrigerated aisles
I catch myself cruising a thought:
Someday wouldn’t it be nice to
Make my mom’s mom’s mother’s
Dressing recipe — which has more
Sausage less bread than Henry’s — but then I
Don’t, I wouldn’t because
This daylong ritual of trussing and
Chopping and ram jetting
And then, just so, while whisking,
Timing out the sides, is
Colin’s way of telling
His Dad: I watch. I learn.
I notice. I love. … Read on…With Turkey