To see the announcement for my poetry book, Sparrow, selected by poet Dorianne Laux for the Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize at Writers & Books, go to

You can find a review by Kathleen Kirk at EIL:

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Everything is gestation..."

"Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life: in understanding as in creating."

--Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A plum morning, red oak and purple sweetgum leaves--

overhead, gray clouds.

Image from

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Elizabeth Berg

A student told me I had to read Elizabeth Berg, so I am. This quote is from her book on writing, Escaping into the Open:

"The more you write, the more there is to draw from, the more you say, the more there is to say. The deeper you go in your imagination, the richer that reservoir becomes. You do not run out of material by using all that's in you; rather, when you take everything that is available one day, it only makes room for new things to appear the next." (103)

The deeper you go in your imagination, the deeper you are in your imagination.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A nid of orb spiders
near the swingset has sprung,
gold globules rushing

the strings. So my girls grow.
Today they invite a friend
to play after Kindergarten. An airplane

walks the path over our house. My girls
dance through the web
dripping spiderlings from their hands,

drape them over their shoulders,
elegant shawls. The spiders are young,
and the girls. The earth

leans back in her rocker,
smoking her pipe, watching.
It is a time of war, but she recalls

her first children,
when nothing had happened
on the long first day, but peace.

image from

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Quote from Kathleen Norris

I wrote down this quotation in my poetry notebook and have been returning to it and thinking about it all week, so I thought I'd share it with you.

"Paradoxically, human love is sanctified not in the height of attraction and enthusiasm but in the everyday struggles of living wtih another person. It is not in romance but in routine that the possibilities for transformation are made manifest." -Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

Sunday, October 11, 2009


for Paul Marshall

When we came to the end
of the path we rested,
wondering if we couldn't

grow wings. Looking,
we saw only the path's end,
the brick wall, the razor wire,

the concrete monuments
of men on horseback,
sabers raised. Then someone

began to dig, and from that moment
we traveled not so much forward,
as deeper.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Butterfly Effect

But what about the butterflies everywhere
already moving their wings?
And isn’t there always a hurricane
beginning or blowing itself out or holding you
in its eye, even now?

How can you say it’s the butterfly’s wings that unleash the wind?
How can you say it’s not?

When he walks in the door yelling
are you sure there wasn’t some cause, some butterfly wing
so small you weren’t aware you were
starting anything? Are you sure it isn’t your fault
just for thinking you could fly in the first place?