Monday, December 11, 2017


Meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life. 

Let's search the hickory limbs 
For baby raccoons tumbling over mama
And robins songs bathing in bushes nearby
While the moonlight crawls up the sky.

Rest your lemonade on the rocker 
And silence the world's noise to
Coneflowers flowing in the breeze
And cars' dust shadowing the lane.

Meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life. 

We make a wish list of dreams 
From our hopes for tomorrow. 
Talking too much, maybe not enough,
About the cares of yesterday.

Our slowed down rocking 
Teases life to stop for a second.
We step off life's merry-go-round 
To come sit quiet together, so

Meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life.  

The dim lights near the door 
Beckon us to stay just a bit more.
The fans' whir keep us cool.
There's no place better to ask for.

When the words from our lips 
No longer light the sky 
And a few simple lullabies
Don't bring sweet dreams at night.

You should meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life.

It's the long porch sitting
When we've lost what we were getting,
That heals the hurting heart
And braces us for a new start.

Pondering our words on the porch,
Staring at pillars for strength,
Sheltered from worries of the world
We come home once again, so 

Meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life. 

It's a long porch, so take a sit
And listen to the muse of a friend.
There's chairs for a whole family
And even quite a few misfits.

We'll sing your heart a song,
And we'll tarry right along,
Maybe make some rights from wrongs
When we gather 'round the porch.

So,  meet me on the porch.
We'll ponder our words,
Search our wondering hearts, 
Linger longer together,
And slow this dizzy life. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


I wrote this poem for my sister who claims she loves my 
poetic versing and wished I would write a poem for her.

Change Brings Chances

New winds sail across the waves
Like a breeze lifts wings in flight.

A resting head on a shoulder
Dreams of sunshine tomorrow.

Tears blur the lines on the page
But clear the heart of pain’s shadows.

Cause change brings chances,
No dice roll odds to lay down,

Just boot trekking dew mist ground,
Searching a new path to be found.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Feeling the birthing pains...

When there's a stirring of the leaves and the flicker of a flame in the heart that begins to howl like the wind and roar like a lion, your soul battens down the hatches to weather the changes coming. 

Living the same won't be the same living in the days to come.

It's the purposed knowing deep inside of the Spirituals sung on the cotton fields that may be disguised but refuses to be beckoned away.

It's when the dry, weary, empty, cracking souls bleed blood red like falling leaves from barren trees that the harsh, cold, numb reality of tradition must flesh anew a birth.

What's birthing in you?

We faintly hear the whisper to believe what's growing inside. 

We might begin to squirm with the subtle moving inside for the anguish of deserted dreams.

We might stop breathing for fear of trusting unchartered plans.

We might spin dizzy at hearing warrior voices slinging shame and delivering glory.

What's birthing in you delivering?

We might feel the expanding weight of the burden of traveling an offbeat path to an unfamiliar haven like the carrying of expectations of the whole world on our backs.

But the strong beating of a vulnerable heart clings to staying steady and feeling the imminent swelling of hope inside.

And harbored regrets dissipate like a wind-swept maned Palomino freed from saddle and spurs.

And we welcome the red-cross relief that gives struggling self-sufficiency a sense of purpose. 

What difference does your birthing make?

When your heart's sound check is the prelude to your life's reality check.

When your single pinging piano melody joins the orchestra. 

When your newly birthed heart awakens a husband, a home, a generation.

When the birthed baby resting at Mary's chest becomes your Great I AM.

Your birthing has made a difference.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


When your husband asks you to write him a song, and it comes in the early morning hours.


There's a way to write a love song
Without the whiskey and the whine
And people crying all the time
Built on a life that’s holding strong
Keeping the fire burning all along
We may not make it famous
But our love writes some good lines
I gave you my heart right from the start
You're my Tim and I'm your Faith
And this is our country song

Take my tea and your lemonade
To that old rocking porch
Share a story of the babies
When they rode a rocking horse

Walk the beach hand in hand
Pulling secrets from the sand
Remember all those places
  Water erased our footprint traces

There's a way to write a love song
Without the whiskey and the whine
And people crying all the time
Built on a life that’s holding strong
Keeping the fire burning all along
We may not make it famous
But our love writes some good lines
I gave you my heart right from the start
You're my Tim and I'm your Faith
And this is our country song

No matter where we go
Got a song playing on the radio
Dancing to our own rhythm
Making it close and slow

You can stumble down the stairs
And fumble through your words
But you won't walk out of my life
Cause your always right here in my heart

There's a way to write a love song
Without the whiskey and the whine
And people crying all the time
Built on a life that’s holding strong
Keeping the fire burning all along
We may not make it famous
But our love writes some good lines
I gave you my heart right from the start
You're my Tim and I'm your Faith
And this is our country song

No time for regrets
Or carrying what ifs
We better pick up the bucket
And start marking up that list

Light the stars with our smiling eyes
Stare at me deeper; stare at you longer
Lift our cheeks and wrinkled eyes
Match the shine from the skies.

There's a way to write a love song

Without the whiskey and the whine
And people crying all the time
Built on a life that’s holding strong
Keeping the fire burning all along
We may not make it famous
But our love writes some good lines
I gave you my heart right from the start
You're my Tim and I'm your Faith
And this is our country song

Yeah, this is our country song.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Time--A Sacred Thing

Sitting still and quiet,
Empty folded hands,
Legs stretched out loose,
Crossing hearts
Sharing this sacred thing

Deep inside numb tears lose
Holding churning emotions still,
Draped in the will
To get these moments right
Sharing this sacred thing

Heavy expectation hangs
With hearts that wish
The days to keep turning,
Trapping our will
To share this sacred thing

Without our willful nods,
The clock keeps tap ticking
As the chasm widens
Between here and now
And time and eternity

Sun beams saturate the hard floor
To soften misty eyes, wondering if
Our close distance to eternity
Could pause this living
To share more of this sacred thing

Monday, November 13, 2017


(Dedicated to honoring my Uncle Dave who has valued strength and passion his whole life, who now faces his next greatest act of bravery:  living passionately in the weakness of a life with ALS.) 

When you see a strong memoried man stare straight into his short future, your head spins his direction. From my angle, I can't quite see his screen, but I see his reflection as in the darkness of a TV screen. His silence shallow breathes words with his eyes.

There's sweet assuredness mingling with pain and doubt like whiskey and coke. But his wrestle with the hard life ahead can't be watered down like sinking ice cubes. The slow sweet drink of Coke won't drown out the strength of this bitter taste of the lowball he's been handed.  Certainly, he'd say he's been slid a strong kicking tumbler.

In this part of life's ride, he's facing the frustration of a stop sign on a steep hill. Smoothly moving on is putting his control and riding skills to the test. He's had to disengage the clutch on the life he prefers to live. Yet, his hands still clamp handles of a walker to steady walk him through a daily path of moguls.  Life has already taught him there are many times when the smooth roadway turns to a patch of loose gravel or an encounter that offsets his stable footing.

But he's clinging to his unforgotten riding skills for this one.

Make life an honest ride....There are days when this disease kicks his ass, and he feels like he's face down like the shelf life of wine rather than whiskey, and there are days when he kicks it. No doubt, the fight is worth every second if a second is all he has of this ride.

Live humble these days because he has no white horse to travel upon....  If he could bow long and slow to his queen, he'd stay on his knees kissing her hands.

Kindness is the strength of love lived out in action.  His light hug is belted tightly around you with an "I love you." The gentleman that escorts you to the door, whispers again with head weak low "I love you," and weight lift raises his hands to his lips to blow a kiss goodbye from behind his glass paneled door.

Living well is rightly reworked into willing to live.  When breath doesn't come easily and spending it is worth a million dollars, what do you dare to gamble your last breaths on? He has no time or energy for the deep breathes of reserved regret. Breath is reserved for the bravery of releasing forgiveness.  So much life breath wasted on needless words and worries.

His soul stands in praise with hands held high wrestling with the weeding out and emptying of all the unnecessary.  Now words don't waste his breath. His words speak with the intention to give his soul to the Master.   To speak for what mattered in the whole of his life.  To make his words last for loved ones for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


#MeToo ...I never typed it in Twitter or Facebook because I hoped I'd be much more than a number.

Sweeping his hand to touch my rear or back as he walked by me when clearly the space provided  was plenty to avoid any contact. 

Making passing by him in hallways and rooms difficult as he didn't get out of the way but waited for me to pass.  

Holding on to my leg as if to steady himself as he walked by me sitting or lying on the floor as if he were going to fall or step on me if he didn't.

Quietly and unobtrusively "Pssting" and beckoning with his fingers to come to him  

Repeatedly asking me to take him for a ride, an innuendo before I even knew what that term even meant. But I certainly felt the laced meaning behind the words, the daring me to reveal I
knew it too, like some shared sick secret.
Calling my house on Christmas break and asking if I just got out of the shower and stalking past my house.

These many encounters shortened here, starting in my teens and ending my freshman year of college, may not seem very nerfarious, but these constant concealed actions at the hands of your good friend's older father should make the hairs on anyone's arms stand tall. But his acts made me feel very small and unsure and unstable.

The constant effort to avoid him in person or on the phone made me feel like I was living a double life with my best friend.  I could confide anything in her but this,  hoping that she would realize the anguish he caused for me.  I thought she might recognize my avoidance from my continual refusals to spend the night, to hang out at her house without her mom home, to sun bath in her back yard....

In my young way, I tried to call him out.  When others couldn't see his suggestive advances, I would call out for all who couldn't see him to hear, "What do you want?" or "Why are you calling me?"  I even asked my friend to never leave me alone with him. It's remarkable (not really because I grew good at expecting  the slithery) that the one time my friend left her bedroom to go to the bathroom, he peaked into the room to talk to me.  His wife's calls, "Leave her alone," seemed to abate his actions for those moments. What did she know that he was trying to do?

I often wondered how many people he did this to.  I wondered what about ME made him think he would get away with his weirdness. I questioned myself. Was I too nice to him?  There was some shame in thinking he could even think to try to do these things to me as if I were ignorant to know what he was attempting. I remember my thoughts tailspinning. If I tell each little gesture or comment or facial expression or movement of his to someone, it may not seem as a big deal to them. Yet,  I very much felt like I slowly lost my sense of confidant control the more I had to put up with him. THAT was something I definitely hated.

While there are greater details to my story, I wasn't raped or physically harmed. While I lacked age, I didn't lack fear or disappointment. My biggest disappointment is my best friend not really believing this of her father, even though I realize that it would be difficult to face this about your father.

Yet, I am very proud of the men that defended my story and my honor: a high school boyfriend that wanted to go clobber him; my father who on two occasions made himself very clear, and my husband who affirms my sense of disgust about this man's actions and validates my "small" harassment experience.

For me, joining in writing #MeToo  is still complicated and difficult because of my expectations for what I want this campaign to accomplish for our future.

It has to be more than a hashtag that leaves others woefully wondering about our stories. It has to give more than a tangible sense of how many women battle this kind of disgust. It has to do more than comfort women by realizing other women share similar experiences. It has to be more than just listening to a woman's words. It has to be more than just women listening to women's words because if this is just woman to woman...WE KNOW WE ARE NOT ALONE! Thus the hashtag #MeToo.

What I want is for gentle men to know that we trust you to support us,  #MenToo.
We as women want to know that our gender is not alone in this fight,  #MenToo.
We want you gentle men to listen and validate our stories, our worth, and our power, #MenToo.




Can I get a #MenToo!

Monday, October 16, 2017


In the immediate aftermath  and shock of death, information is collected  by a newspaper to announce and celebrate a life to write an obituary.
                 Names…dates…honors…survivors…a picture…a recording of the remains of  life.
But what if the dying were able to provide a real tribute to their own lives?
        Passions…purpose…highlights…heroes…hopes…etchings of  the testimony of a life.
It’s a difficult  and brave matter deciding how to define the life you are living–to review it from outside yourself to decide in limited words what will represent your life at its end.
I wondered what questions I would ask to be able to write this type of obituary for another person. So here are the beginnings, the questions, the ramblings of a brain that is throwing around the idea of engraving someone’s life through words.
Here are the first raw thoughts of questions that I think could be used to glean the picture of a life in order to help to shape a story for others.
  • What is most important in your life?

  • What do you admire about your life? 

  • What inspires honesty in you?
  • What have you spent most of your time and energy on?  Why?

  • Gratitude…what do you have genuine gratitude for?

  • What is it not too late to say?  To whom?

  • What has “saved” your life today?  everyday?  this year?

  • Be a completely wishful thinker.  Tell a wish you have.

  • Recall someone who at sometime has been a lifeline and tell the story.

  • What do you hope to still be working on when you die,  literally or conceptually?

  • Who do you call for help at 3 a.m. 

  • Who do you want to make proud? 
  • Tell a time you made someone proud.

  • What person in your life has offered the most influence?  guidance?

  • Where have your actions spoken the loudest to demonstrate love?

  • Who will miss you?  Why?

  • Besides those in your immediate family, who contributed to your being well?

  • What moved your heart?  Tell the story of proof.
This inkling of an idea may never get off the ground, but some brave souls have already willingly offered to pitch their lives into my hands to mold into their stories. Turning this idea into a reality seems a daunting task,  but some day it may be trumped by my belief that it is a lasting comfort  that the living can have the final lasting words on their lives.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


agreement, accordance, or harmony.

  1. 1.
    jointly arranged, planned, or carried out; coordinated.

    synonyms:jointunitedcollaborativecollective, combined, cooperative
    "concerted action"
    • strenuously carried out; done with great effort.


  2. 2.
    (of music) arranged in several parts of equal importance.

CONCERT...the meaning is not lost on me in the midst of our COUNTRY'S recent tragedy. It stands like a siren beckoning us as a country to dig deeper, to hear, to heed, to hone a weakened resolve to work together for the humane soul of our country.

A COUNTRY CONCERT...the strange 
significance of those words side by side is not lost on me. 

With compassion and fearless deed, fraternity was the first concerted response, mutually agreeing to save lives through any means possible, even at the ultimate sacrifice of laying down one's own that others might live.

There was no debate or side or reason given for helping a stranger, merely the desire to help end pain, tears, and cries of the wounded and bleeding. A concerted effort to defend life. 

In the wake of horrific events, once again our bleeding country is called to concert to listen to one another, to mutually collaborate to hear the cries around us, to choose to not be divided by the orchestrated mayhem, to work to clear the chaos, to act to end the pain of strangers. 

As citizens of this great country we must make a concerted effort to listen to the heart of the words that ache for our nation that keeps dividing itself in pieces in the hopes of uniting itself in cause. 

And yes, hearing others above our own assertions will require a strenuous, concerted effort. Hearing others' heart cries may take the sacrifice of our own words and the carrying of their burdens. 

But bringing peace to the chaos requires a country concert, a mutual agreement to coordinate because we all are parts of equal importance. 

Monday, August 21, 2017


KAREN COMBS is my reminder to be always at work for others.

This happened more regularly than I really want to admit. A moment of exhausted frustration reared its ugly head just when I wanted to make a hopefully simple, quick teacher trek to the copier and then run back to my room to accomplish a million other tasks.
But then that quick trip turned into a blind, confused, unbelieving stare at the copier. Sometimes, it was accompanied by guttural moans that I wished were silent. 

And then a calm voice nearby always offered, "Can I help you"  or "Is there something I can do for you?"  

I tried to be mindful that she, too, had a million things on her plate to accomplish along with answering the phone and buzzing people into the building and getting field trip drivers lined up and organizing a school wide fundraiser and ...  
Karen Combs helping another teacher problem solve.

So, my polite answer was that I was just trying to figure something out.

But then before I knew what to do, I felt her presence alongside me asking, "What have you tried?"  

As she miraculously worked her way through the quandary of the machine, her response to my frustrations were always in agreement, "I hear ya!"  While I pushed buttons at her prompting, she would say, "No worries, I've had to try this before."  

She ALWAYS gave me her good side.  
She ALWAYS made the time for my issues.  
She ALWAYS made it seem like I could accomplish things on my own, but she was just going to stand there beside me.
She ALWAYS made me feel like I was on the right track. 
She ALWAYS made me feel like I didn't need to get frustrated because I could master it.  
She ALWAYS offered a possible guess or solution.  
She ALWAYS validated my problems. 

She stayed with me through the problem until it was solved. On those days when my teacher time ran out at that copier, she even offered to complete my work and bring it to me! 

I know I fall very short of being that kind of a reminder for people, but I am ever grateful for the person she encourages me to be just upon every remembrance of her. 

She is my reminder to look around and see the needs people have.
She is my reminder to be a sounding board for others' frustrations.
She is my reminder to offer help to people. 
She is my reminder to put others before myself.

I'm thankful that our paths crossed and that she is all of those reminders for me. 

Who is your reminder to be a problem solver with others?