12 DEC 2016 [safe journey, little brother]

Safe journey, little brother.
Hand high, head higher
Tall with things promised
Tall with self to prove
Sworn to be selfless
To bear and defend and
Become less of one
You will yet bear more weight
Than the promises you swear
While the things forsaken
Forever weigh heavy

Safe journey, little brother.
Firm stance on yellow footprints
Firm feet on solid ground
Heart flag staked
To God and country
Or country and God
Where is your heart?
To Whom are you promised?
To us, to them, to all
That you truly love?

Safe journey, little brother.
With sun and sand
Water and wind
Overcoming with struggle
Easy, someday
Less so than words
Unrelenting and seeking
Your heart and soul
And body. All.

Safe journey, little brother.
While Christmas comes
We will make snowmen
Melting shapes, making cheer
With sticks and stones
You will be remade
By words and men,
Sticks and stones

Safe journey, little brother.
We will pray and write
Pennies and postage
Sending words, just words
Pieces of our days
Words that you will not hear
There, until home again.

Safe journey, little brother
Keep your oath
We will keep ours
Prayer for your journey—
In Whom do we hope?
That you might be kept

Safe journey, little brother.
These words and prayers
Threads between coast and heartland
Will not spare you
From the breaking of self and soul

Safe journey, little brother.
Come back as new
Remade as a man
By God first, country second

Safe journey, little brother.
In losing self and all else,
Do not lose Him

Safe journey, little brother.
Hand high, head higher

Safe journey, little brother.


Autumn Movement



I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things
come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
not one lasts.

“Autumn Movement” by Carl Sandburg

photo: mine; what once was.


I want to write. I want to write to make me feel the way I do when I read. The words change me. I can do anything. I have done everything. I have fallen in love, walked the world, touched the sky, and laughed with the taste of freedom in my mouth. I have been braver and better and loved more deeply than ever before. I have wanted and cried and it has always been the words, the words, the ones that others write and the ones that I want to. Words heal me. They make me feel complete. I want to write, to keep that warmth alive.

I don’t want to write. I don’t want to feel the way I do when I read. The words change me. I have been torn apart. I have lost, myself, my soul. I have fallen to my knees, grieved for the world, ached for the sky, and lived with the salt of tears in my mouth. I have been seared and burned and bled more deeply than ever before. I have wanted and cried and it has always been the words, the words, the ones that others write and the ones I can read no longer. Words have broken me. They have shattered me into emptiness. I don’t want to write, to feel their knife of pain ever again.


O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,

’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!

Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key

Going Dark

There’s something about maintaining a blog that is very freeing to me. I love the freedom to write about anything, to gush about writing, to fangirl about things, and to give and receive support from fellow writers. You all are the best.

But there’s something about a blog that is also quite deceptive. It’s easy to feel like your “internet life” doesn’t have any overlap with your “real life”. It’s quite possible to form opinions and make comments and share stories that are at complete odds with your “real life”. You might be having a sucky day, but you’re cheerfully commenting on someone else’s status. On the flip side of things, you want to be real, but you don’t want to overwhelm someone with your “real life”.  There’s a disconnect and a balance that walk hand-in-hand.

I think that’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed so much about Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk‘s ‘What’s Up Wednesday‘ posts. There’s a good balance of finding the positive, sharing the real, gushing about the hobbies, and challenging each other. I’ve enjoyed every minute – thank you!

But, especially within the last week, my “real life” has been creeping up on me. Okay, so maybe shouting and waving red flags. There’s been the usual busyness, but sometimes things sort of jump out and grab you by the ankles and freak you out.  At some point, you have to stop and take the time to get things sorted. And quite frankly, doing that right now is going to involve letting this blog “go dark”,  Too many small emergencies left unattended can become one giant catastrophe, and right now, circumstances are handing me about six giant catastrophes. A few are personal, a lot involve other people, and one specifically needs constant focus and, as a side effect, almost zero “internet life” communication.

So, for now, this is me saying adieu. I’ve updated my Feedly, so I can try/still would be able to stalk y’all from afar. Maybe, even after this long and winded spiel, I’m still in denial about the limited opportunities I’m going to have to actually do that,

I don’t know if I’ll still be able to hop on and comment, or how soon I’ll be back to actively participate in this blog and get to be a part of this community again. Until then, thank you for everything, and I’ll still be cheering you on.

In Memoriam


In memory of my cousin, who is recognized on Memorial Day, but remembered every day.

They played these songs at your funeral, and a thousand hearts cried in that auditorium.

Hawkeye sat at your casket, and the world caught sight of it.

The American flag was hung from the firetruck ladders, and hundreds of flags were carried by the Patriot Guard. I will forever love those people. They were the wall against Westboro and the wall keeping us together. Their flag line at the cemetery was unforgettable, as the sun blazed and they stood motionless, holding their flags and holding our hearts.


I will never hear taps the same way again, and the trident symbol is no longer just a symbol. It’s a memory, of row upon row of pins in a cherry red casket, pounded in with hurt and anger and without a spoken word.

There are a thousand more things to remember that day, because you never forget. Sacrifice is unforgettable, and this is our chance to remember.

Thank you.


“For cancer is so limited—-It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot invade the soul. It cannot reduce eternal life. It cannot quench the spirit. It cannot cancel Resurrection.”

by Robert L. Lynn. 

Found on a bulletin board in a Mayo clinic