There were no visible signs
of carnage, no police cars or
fire trucks, but the ambulance
in the street with lights
flashing and the neighbors
milling around offering hugs
and leaning shoulders gave
me to understand that lives
were being profoundly altered,
unfamiliar people behaving
familiarly, the human family,

I slowed down respectfully
and curiously no doubt
turned the music down
said a short prayer for mercy
and a short prayer of thanks
that it wasn’t me or those
I love this time reminded
that everyone has a time
which may come at any time
so take no time for granted

and I drove on thankful
for a humdrum destination
and a humdrum day
determined to smile more
and hug more and take
no one for granted



Walking by the lakeshore
winding through the trees
with sunlight on the water
and a refreshing breeze
I find a rock to sit on
and while away the afternoon
living in a pleasant dream
I hope doesn’t end too soon

I imagine that you’re waiting
in a cabin on the hill
a cobbler you made just for me
cooling on the window sill
the water we drew from the well
was sweet and it was cold
in our cabin by the lake
we never did grow old

It all turns to sadness if you let it
like a memory that won’t let you forget it
but if you dream a past that never happened
you have the freedom to create your own end

The water we drew from the well
was sweet and it was cold
in our cabin by the lake
we never did grow old
I sit on my rock
and while away the afternoon
living in a pleasant dream
I hope doesn’t end too soon

Days and Nights

You asked me for a secret
I gave you a lie
you never held that against me
I still do not know why
there was a truth we always shared
in a room so warm and dark
and no limit to the mercy shown
a scarred and weary heart

Oh, the days and nights of love
I’d go back if I could
to the months and years of love
when all was understood

Now you’re gone
it happens
and I do the best I can
sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh
it’s hard to understand
and if I ever have the chance
to fill this void I feel
all the lessons that we learned
will tell me if it’s real

Oh the days and nights of love
when everything was good
all the months and years of love
I’d go back if I could



The low roaring rush
is another kind of silence
the sound of blood coursing
through your veins

the endless flowing
pouring into my soul
and I learn again
what that long ago
David meant by restoration


They don’t show on Doppler radar
the personal hurricanes
but rest assured the carnage
is imprinted in each brain
behind every face you see
may be brutal wind and rain
or the wreckage of expectations
they can’t even explain

How long will it take
to recover and rebuild
how long will it be
before their heart is filled
with a cautious hope
that things might be okay
before the faith comes back
they need to face the day

with something like confidence
there are angels on their side
be gentle with each other
it’s been a helluva ride

What’s Important

I normally fall so short
of my goals they don’t
know they’ve been shot at
but I’ll try again tomorrow
or maybe next week
I’ve been told that the trying
is what’s important
and it’s not what you find
but what you seek

I’ve been guilty of complaining
about my blessings
things I’ve taken for granted
that required more maintenance
than I might have preferred
until something is lost
and I’m reminded of the cost
of my shameful complacence.

I know that moods
both good and bad
are only temporary
but when you’re
full of emptiness
it gets a little scary
trying to have the patience
that this world requires
while waiting for the light
that ultimately inspires


A spider web
in a tree shining
in the morning sun
undulating gently in the breeze
gives one to understand
that God is in his heaven
and the plan continues
to unfold