From the ground

“Dada! Find wiggly-woo!” the twins cry,exultant at the chance to dig fingers in earthand find its inhabitants in their hands. And so, on my lunch break, I fossickin our newly dug garden bed,each patch of earth yielding a companion for these delighted fingers,and I store the moment like compostto ferment within, to wriggle me alive.

Learning to Splash

To prepare my children for a world of puddles,I must learn myself what to do with puddles,how to take the mud with the joy,how to wear the shock of the wet,how to delight in the splash.To prepare my children for a world of shadows,I must learn how to see the sun in the shadows,and howContinue reading “Learning to Splash”

Conversation with my son

At the sink he perchesatop his two-stepped seat to watcha morning routine that’s utterprose for me, discovery for him:how I wetthe shaving brush, lather soap,then smooth the jawlineof my beard, and howI brush my teeth withoutprotest, without needingto eat the toothpaste with each brush.And then how I openthe mirrored cabinet and takemy pill-cutter, splitEscitalopram inContinue reading “Conversation with my son”

Letter to my children – a quarantine preview

I’m looking forward to sharing a number of videos of poems from my upcoming book Les Feuilles Mortes in the coming weeks, including several from my friends and readers across the world. Here is the first, a letter written in quarantine to my young children.

From “Autumn Leaves: Tanka for Isolation”

My twin boys turn onewithin our garden’s walled world,learn to navigateand negotiate space asleaves fall in entrancing swirls. This poem comes from my upcoming collection “Les Feuilles Mortes”. Stay tuned for more information about the launch, or contact me to join the mailing list.

Noah’s Ark: For Eli

I. Delighted by animals, God and rain, my son finds kinship in Noah’s ark, commentating the story as I leaf through his Bible: “Rain! Giraffe. Boat. Noah. Wet. Monkeys!” How to convey what a rainbow’s about, or how I long for him and his brothers to be kept safe in the ark as the floodContinue reading “Noah’s Ark: For Eli”

Sabbath

This afternoon, though I’d planneda much-needed rest, many tasks overtook andsomewhere amidst assembling IKEA furniture I foundthe afternoon gone and dusk charcoaling the sky,so instead I walkedmy toddler to the compost heap and therewe shredded paper scraps to balance the mixand pulled weeds from the side garden whilemy son trialled his latest words and declaredContinue reading “Sabbath”

Little Flowers

“Not too many poets has it been given…to live one of their own poems.”(G.K. Chesterton, St Francis of Assisi) If I would be Francis, troubadour to God,before I can sing Creation’s canticles, I must tendto the sleeping children in my roomand die again, again to the selfthat craves to be higher than them.Only then canContinue reading “Little Flowers”

The dishes you will always have with you

and the laundry, piled upin crevices and corridors as though to say,“You can hide me, but you cannot do without me.”Toys underfoot and books scattered wideamongst other toddler treasures:a measuring cup, a rooster,a brochure considered la mode beforesome other fancy flitted through the growing mind.Some things are permanent, likedishes, some new –an Amen! after grace.UnsettledContinue reading “The dishes you will always have with you”

Christmas 4: Lully Lullay

Today is perhaps the hardest day of the Christmas season, the day that remembers the story found in Matthew 2 of Herod ordering the murder of all boys under the age of 2. While this is not an aspect of the Christmas story that is often told, it finds a home in an old andContinue reading “Christmas 4: Lully Lullay”