Life on the Flood Plain

Another original poem for National Poetry Month! This week's offering is a tale of my California childhood, back when the rain was plentiful enough that we'd often watch the winter river rising against the side of the levee. Life on the Flood Plain   Nestled in the south elbow of the levee we are sheltered … Continue reading Life on the Flood Plain

Immigrant

i Blades not sharp or brutal but tender and yielding to the weight of my bare feet sprout on this thin layer of soil that hugs the Donegal coast. I grasp a clump of green shoots in my fist: does that make it mine or does it belong to a middle-aged man with a piece … Continue reading Immigrant

The Marine Mammal Center

Thirty-something years ago, I was hiking with friends in the Marin Headlands when we came across a cyclone fence enclosing a small yard.  Inside the yard were two or three Doughboy-like pools with seals and sea lions in them.  Some friendly signs explained that this was the yard of the Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit … Continue reading The Marine Mammal Center

In Celebration of the Solstice: Abundance

In early June comes a five-day period when every peach on the tree arrives at a perfect skin-splitting ripeness and you race the birds rushing into the back yard with a blue plastic bucket. You drag the six-foot aluminum ladder from the garage climb tenuously and reach for each round fuzzy piece of fruit with … Continue reading In Celebration of the Solstice: Abundance

My Mother’s Orange Tree

On December 7th, 1941, my mother was at her friend Louise’s house.  They were picking the first oranges of the season when Louise’s mother came out to the yard to tell them the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.   Every year after, my mother commemorated the date by picking, and then eating, … Continue reading My Mother’s Orange Tree

Delta Breeze

After a week where the temperature topped 105 degrees each day with little cooling at night, we are all so grateful to welcome back the Delta Breeze, the delightful wind that courses up from San Francisco Bay along the Sacramento River to grace our valley with a natural air conditioner on blessed summer evenings. I … Continue reading Delta Breeze

Writing the Amherst Way

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 17, 2013 A few weeks ago I had the privilege of writing in a workshop with Pat Schneider, the author of Writing Alone and with Others, and the recently released How the Light Gets In:  Writing as a Spiritual Practice. Pat developed a workshop method of writing together in community, which came … Continue reading Writing the Amherst Way