Irish Hills

The life of the soul is not linear

but topographical—

time does not pass, it mounts

contours mimic visages, memories

of people and places

that belong to the one who says, “This is my land,”

I know how it was formed, which rivers are navigable,

where the crossings are—

how long it takes to get from A to B, and

how the light feels when it falls on hills, crests and rises…

This poem appears in my new book, Quiet Waters, and speaks to the inner landscape in each life that is so wonderful, storied and complex, but often under siege – in need.

Between the trees I see

photo of forest during daytime

There’s an inner life

that gives shape to my exterior,

prompting me to carve out time

spent quietly in a soothing

tree-rich nature sanctuary, full of paths

that loop back, ensure you don’t

get lost in anything other

than thought; help you dwell

on what you came for,

what is essential, worth the retreat.

this poem about solitude, about how we find ‘where we are’ and what’s going on – in the midst of how we are being formed, in our travels towards peace with God, and in many ways, holiness – is from my new book Quiet Waters

the way our soul learns

person wearing gray hoodie jacket watching lake

solitude: time alone with God long enough to sense

his presence, his nearness; to grow in the certainty
that he is with us and for us, always and into forever

silence: space to notice what we hear

when no one else is competing for our attention and allegiance, who and what really calls our name, speaks truth

contemplation: to look longer at the beauty of the world;

to find, take our place in it; close the gap between us and God’s creation to the smallest of margins, open up new vistas

a poem about what comes when we come to be alone with God, to grow still, lean in – from my new book Quiet Waters

In Sync with the Season

woman with her dog near the fireplace

in solitude and silence,

close to the fire, listening to crackling

kindling, snapped off branches, whole logs burn

I contemplate the coming frost—

the need to resolve unfinished bits of Fall

Winter: the perfect time

to make peace the way Jacob made his timely,

pressing peace with brother


after how many years (?)

finally choosing to play his own part

knowing most of us die with a to-do list better extinguished

a poem about homecoming, finding peace – from my new book, Quiet Waters

Hear My Prayer

black twin bell alarm desk clock on table

if solitude is time alone with God

what holds me back?

when I am tired, Lord, hear my prayer—

there is too much to do and too little time to do it

when I am a cynic, Lord, hear my prayer—

there are things I have tried, and they have failed,

I see a pattern in me and those around me

when I am busy, Lord, hear my prayer—

there are people who need me, hold claim:

 who will take care of them?

seeking solitude to be with you Lord, hear my prayer, to live simply

this poem is about finding time, making time, setting time aside not to do, but to be, alone with God, to hear the one who hears our prayers – appears in my new book Quiet Waters