Not yet

It is not yet
And so
The turtle is still submerged
The snake has not stuck out his head
The birds still fret and know
It is not time to make a nest
It is not spring
And yet
One notices
The days are getting longer
The wind is from the south
The cat is at the window
The squirrels begin to play
Along the fence as if to say
Begone you winter day
And though
The trees are brown and bare
I know it in my bones and heart
I know it as
I walk by my closet
And leave my coat inside



Remembering winter

For the heart weighed down by woe, on winter’s darkest, coldest night, the hope of Spring will cling.


Western Yarrow

I know it is the first day of summer. The temperature here in the Land of Oz has already hit 100 degrees. Not a record, that goes to May of 2014 and 2011 when it hit 100 degrees, but still one hopes the hot weather will wait until  July and August.


cherry blossoms haikus

cherry blossoms

Here I am cold
Beneath cherry blossoms
Falling like snow

Shaded by cherry blossoms
One is still warmed
By beauty

A thousand petals, each a paler shade of pink
A thousand blossoms, and none alike
What then is beauty?

Try and emulate Kobayashi Issa –
Birds, insects, humans, alike
All share God’s gift, the cherry tree


cherry blossoms in spring

How does the green grass know to grow?




A blade of grass in spring
Waves merrily in the breeze
As if to say, eat me

A bright blade of green grass
eagerly grow
Until it is mowed


I see the green grass in spring
I hear the songbird sing
But best is the warmth of the sun after a long winter

The south wind blows
The green grass grows
The good earth knows it’s spring


Thoughts on a Thistle


What images and thoughts come to mind when seeing a butterfly alight on a prickly thistle?

Prickly is the purple thistle
To birds and beasts and man
But not the butterfly


Oh Mary in her purple gown
Has a visitor today,
A thistle blooms in May


Each flower blooms and waits
For a butterfly – to come, to sit, and sip,
Then to fly away

Or, finally

The gentle summer wind blows
Not half as sweet as the nectar of a flower
To a butterfly


Purple thistle, gently kissed
By a Swallowtail butterfly
Summer’s pleasant, winter’s not


On top of the world

on top of the wor4ld
on top of the world

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
Khalil Gibran

Kansas has many simple pleasures. One is a walk in the park, then coming across a yellow coreopsis blooming bright in the field.

Ah Kansas, there sitting on top is a green guest. And I am reminded that what is interesting and beautiful in Kansas is as much a state of mind as a place. Everything has its wonders, even a simple flower and guest,

The beauty lies in being content.

The snake


The snake

By the boggy pond
In the cattails
Whose brown seeds
From the year before
Spilt upon the ground
Scattered by the wind
Near the green shoots of spring
By the boggy pond
Slithers in the grass
A snake
This demon of deceit
Both stopping suprised, snake and I
Eye to eye,
Stick stiff and very wary
Both wondering
Is he kind or evil

Kansas Garter Snake
Kansas Garter Snake

I, master of the earth
Can I grab him by the tail
Will he bite me with his teeth
Watch me vomit and retch
Until my guts are spilt
And mingled in the mud and dirt
Cough while my lungs collapse,
Numb in my extremities
I, master of the earth
Brought down
By man’s mortal enemy
Far from home and help
Here by the boggy pond
I will meet my end
By this humble snake
Who has no legs
And cannot run like me
Long I tarry in silence
For death, patiently complaisant,
Graciously awaits my decision
When, I suppose,
The snake tiring
Sticks his tongue out
As if to laugh
Turns and slithers in the grass
This King of his domain
Slithers away to where
He hears a frog croak
Or an unlucky nestling
Crying for his meal
He, Lord of his terrain
There are tastier things to eat
Than me

snake (1)

A fool’s fool

A paleontologist looks at the Flint Hills and sees the Oceans of Kansas.

a fool sees not the same sea a wise man sees
a fool sees not the same sea a wise man sees

A fool’s fool.

Is it foolish
To praise folly?
A fool sees not
The same seas
A wise man sees.

I once knew a fool
Who sailed a ship.
He plowed the sea
And now had nothing to reap.

On a fool’s errand
Two fools meet.
If one fool can do
What another fool can.
If one fool follows another
Who’s the fool?

I once knew three fools:
(times 3, out loud, faster each time)

[So, one smart fool
He felt smart
Two smart fools
Both felt smart
But three smart fools
They all felt smart together.]

Christmas Traditions

It is just a few more days until Christmas, and I am reminiscing about my favorite tradition at Christmas time. Forget the gifts, forget the food, for me it was going with dad to chop down a tree in the woods. Dad in his overcoat with an axe and me bundled up like the Michelin tire-man, trudging though the snow to find the perfect tree.

Christmas Traditions
Christmas Traditions

Don’t worry about deforesting the planet, more than 350 million Christmas trees are growing on Christmas Tree farms in the United States and three trees are planted for each one taken.