Parking Lots for Peace

When I saw the picture of the parking lot, I started thinking about my sister’s homecoming and how joyous that was… but then I remembered how many people over the decades have taken their sons and now daughters to parking lots and watched them climb on buses to go to serve their country rather than disembarking from camp or vacation.

And then prayed like heaven, because certainly not like hell — perhaps through hell — that their children would come back to them.

It’s interesting to me how the metaphor can deepen as I’m writing. I had my 14 lines about my celebration… At some point in the midst of writing, it turned and offered me another glimpse. It’s always surprising… Perhaps I’m not an experienced enough poetry wrangler, and I should be better at staying with the vision. Or perhaps that’s just the nature of poetry and the nature of Peace.

Both can be pretty, but both are so much more than that. They are always potentially more raw, more honest than pretty. So it seems, at least to me, are parking lots.

Holding the pen is an interesting privilege. I hope I always wield it for Peace.


The Peace of a Pack of Poets

Such fun last night. Poet Brian Teare was quite wonderful. And the kids were grand: Baby poets, doing wonderful grown up interesting work.

And taking comfort in one another. And courage.

That’s the purpose of a pack.

We should all know who’s in our pack!

Read together, write together, hang out together… and dare together. it’s a good model.

It’s a good model if your Pack is actually working for Peace — and not working from Fear.

The poets were working for Peace.

And we give thanks!



The Peace of Enough to Eat

The picture is of a field where the wheat has been harvested.

It made me think about leaving wheat for the poor to glean and feeding the poor in general.

Imagine the Peace in the world if there were enough for people to eat. Imagine if that were part of our mission. Whether we worked to find training for available jobs so people could purchase food, or we raised money so that there was enough. It doesn’t matter. Both are needed. But we could all stop criticizing and go to work.

Let’s be deliberate about our food…

Let us wage food justice. Let us wage Peace.


A Much Needed Peace Sabbath

I’ve spent so much time preparing for yesterday’s service that I couldn’t anticipate how great today would feel. What it would be like to sit back in the bosom of my family (and oh bosoms of both gender where put to good use as we all wept and sniveled and then slowly laughed and rejoiced.

Family bonds were knit together in a new way, with new people, and new possibilities.

Old friends came and paid respects.

It was extravagant and outrageous, over the top and oh, so, Deb.

And today, I am exhausted. and I must admit. relieved. All the verbs I conjugate in today’s poem are real, but, it must be said, at the moment, not really what I’m feeling… that’s more… to rest. to talk. to chat. to listen to a little poetry. to be. In communion with my Swedish Sisters and my American. To eat breakfast with my family the whole mixed up blood, no blood, just pile in mix of relationship.

I thought perhaps I subconsciously scheduled that memorial for the Day of the Dead. I think perhaps it was really for the extra hour of sleep at the end of Daylight savings. It will be dark early, but tonight, I’ll take the time. Thank you all for your support… (and a happy, grateful Sabbath to you all.)


My Once Favorite Brother

In honoring the UN’s International Day of the Girl, I wrote this second poem in response to Susan Daniel’s Poetry Blogpost. It struggles with the emotions a young mother would feel for a beloved brother who not only participates in but profits from the practice of child marriage. It is a system that must be eradicated. When our girls are safe from such predatory behavior, when our girls and women, both young and old, have the right to decide their futures, then our relationships with our brothers will be celebrated. Thank you for listening. Thank you for taking this issue into your heart and mind.

The Petals of My Daughter

The wonderful David Bauman (who today is reading at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, PA, sent me a link to a post on Susan Daniels’ Poetry Blog inviting women poets to write a poem about child marriage or child brides in honor of the UN’s International Day of the Girl.

This was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on an agonizing subject. Some of you will know that the Elders, an international, interfaith group of Senior States Men and Women are working hard to eradicate this tribal custom where it flourishes in our world.

This is an issue of power, male dominance and tribal custom which masquerades as a religious issue. I have longed for a way and a place to speak to this, but I speak best through verse. With Dave’s urging, I wrote, we recorded and he posted to my wonderful new Youtube Channel. (more about that later!) Here is the first of two poems: This one’s entitled: The Petals of My Daughter. On this day dedicated to empowering the voices and actions of our daughters, let us work to make the world safe for them.