12 years

That’s how long I’ve been writing posts on this blog.

I began on typepad.com and lost the first three years when I moved to wordpress. I began writing as a teacher, then a runner, sharing my ups and downs, successes and failures.

When I took over as tech coordinator at Fredericksburg Academy, I used it to connect teachers with each other and folks around the world who were using technology in effective ways- what worked and what didn’t.

Recently, after a year or so focused on poetry,  I’ve documented my own learning– figuring out how to use vintage letterpresses to print cards and posters. Again, failures and wins.

I have no idea if anyone reads this. But it doesn’t matter to me. I turn 64 this year…and I think, in ten more years, I’ll look back and have a personal map of my thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

But the one thought that resonates is this desire to keep learning, sharing, and moving forward.

Happy New Year…. 2016


White Lights


John O’Donohue © 2001

If it could say itself January
Might brighten its syllables on the frost
Of these first New Year days whose cold is blue.

Meanwhile in this corner of its silence
A weak winter sun lowers down behind
The moor that rises away from the lake.

Beyond reach of light, the shadowed water
Succumbs to this darkening of spirit
That would deny the bog today’s twilight.

All of a sudden something else breaks through
To appear at the far end of the lake
In two diagrams of white, uneven light.

I have never seen white so absolute
And alone, glistening in awkward form
Dreaming across the water a bright path.

As it stirs and changes I see what it is:
Two swans have found the mirror in the lake
Where a V of horizon lets light through

To make them light-source and light-shape in one.
Now they swim and fade through windows of reed
And disrobe the lake of apparition.

I look and look into their vanishing
See nothing. Departing that perfect ground
I knew I had been hungry for a blessing.

Draft 9/20/2014

“A lumbar laminectomy is also known as an open decompression and typically performed to alleviate pain caused by neural impingement that can result from lumbar spinal stenosis.”

Her yellow skirt, draped
long across scuffed boots,
followed her into the waiting room
where we sat in hard chairs
drinking cold coffee, watching
repetitive news on the television,
may I interrupt? she asked, raising
her hands above her head
if you need or want a prayer,
please come forward, we will
pray up here together, if you
feel the need, she said
I dropped my chin, stared at
the stain in the carpet while
the family of blond women
with red fingernails trooped up
making a circle around the woman
One by one they rose from
their chairs, and she prayed
for us all as I sat there glued
to my chair, wondering why
they hadn’t cleaned the carpet.



No presence here.
A stillness, when two people
share space. No children
romp, no dogs pant or shed.
Books stay stacked, dishes
washed, no messes or toys
clutter floors. You listen to quiet
that seeps under door jams.
Only a ticking measures
seconds gone by until another
hour reminds you to rise, move,
participate in the day. Yes,
you must participate in the day.