for Jean’s children

In honor of a dear family friend,  Jean (Holtrop) Sears.  For Sheila and Lon…


Grief is the thief
who steals our full
attention so abruptly
we lose focus on life.

Surprised by final loss
at end of long goodbye;
when body outlasts mind,
death’s blow is blunt reality

We cry for ourselves for
becoming motherless children
as we hold scattered memories
forever in our shattered hearts.

Sweet memories to keep
of one-and-only mother love;
wrapped in timely words, tight hugs,
and eyes smiling through tears.

Remember holiday gatherings with
enough food to feed a small army,
provision of a place to come home;
giving thanks for family and friends.

She encouraged us to be our best
but even if we disappointed her
forgiveness could always be found;
right now can be a new beginning.

Her loving influence yet evident,
revealed in lives of grandchildren;
by faith, she’s in God’s presence
and we will follow on the journey.

why did you?

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Check out the Magnetic Poetry site.


As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.  Ps. 103:15, 16


Death does not discriminate but believes in equal opportunity for all.  Flowers and weeds, sinners and saints…each granted a brief cycle of seasons on the earth.  Life begins as a seed, planted in sanctuary of womb. Cells divide, cotyledon splits; embryo develops limbs, groping in darkness.  Birth breaks through to sunlight!  Youthful stem grows, green with life’s energy, curling out curious leaves.  Powered by nutrients through roots and pollinated by buzzing ideals, adolescence buds into flowering adulthood.  A productive life spreads, shades, bears nourishing fruit until the final harvest.  Life’s wisdom fades to delicate lace, leaving precious seed for the generation to follow.  How one lives determines how one dies.  May it be at peace, in the presence of the good and gracious Gardener.


life’s full breath expires

vein beauty in brevity

flower cut from field



Link to dVerse Poets haibun prompt featuring photography of Susan Judd

but Ava knew Jesus

-with prayers for family of Ava Dieleman


why four-year-olds die?

life brittle as frosted grass

bleak october day

God listens to our lament

frozen tears in his bottle



“Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

photo credit: CDHK

photo credit: Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

bare passages

it was time,

they tore down the

community hospital;

insulated with asbestos,

warmed with memories of

loudly wet births of sons and

quietly dry death of grandfather.

life at dis-ease tries to heal,

bursting forth or fading away

within tired brick walls

now demolished,

dust to dust.

when i die, as every leaf must

photo by lynn

photo by lynn


If i die in fall

(due to my own clumsiness)

as dry leaves crackle

cry over cake, then laugh at

my swift entrance into JOY!

Joining Gayle at dVerse today on theme of Japanese death poems (jisei).

abandoned property

3d_landscape cottage


this old house ain’t home

fly away to paradise

doorway to real life


Link to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai today.

seeking Truth, finding God


Following a false religion might just be a subconscious death wish.

Yet we probably agree that he who lives by the sword, dies by it.

Desire a real relationship with God, not religiosity.



 credit: Nazarene symbol 


By knowing Jesus, we come to understand that

God is truly love.



(“american sentences”: poems of one sentence containing 17 syllables)

1. religiosity. [ri lij′ē äs′ə tē]. noun. the quality of being religious, esp. of being excessively, ostentatiously, or mawkishly religious.  (
2Religiosity is an inappropriate devotion to the rituals and traditions of a religion. (

when words fail


Words can speak life

into a person’s soul

but sometimes words

are only silent syllables,

empty vowels mouthed

between lame consonants

not knowing where to spit.


In raw personal disaster,

how can anyone find words

that won’t do more damage

to an already fragile psyche?

Shame, blame, trite phrases

prove how small irretrievable

words only multiply misery.


Words elude both tongue

and pen when faced with a

child’s death by miscarriage,

accident, suicide;  Language

languishes in presence of

slow painful suffering  by

cancer, AIDS, dementia.


Who has an answer when words fail?



perfect peace


gentle soul possessed of quiet strength

her name, Faith, was her legacy to all

who witnessed her living…and dying.


she was familiar with pain and heartache:

her husband, seriously disabled in an accident,

needed nursing care ’til his death left her a widow.

her precious twin granddaughters lived only briefly,

she herself suffered multiple sclerosis and cancer.


yet she clung to promises in God’s eternal Word,

and at sixty-one years young, she has received the

reward of an undying faith in her faithful Lord.


You took her up into Your presence: her faith is now sight!


“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29b)



collateral damage


Groping slow-motion, sluggish

from sweetly dreamless sleep to

grasp thin robe, grab slippers in dark

to investigate the insistent rapping

on dorm room door.


Startle at troubled faces in collar and uniform;

an awkward visitation of starless midnight.

Stumble backwards toward rumpled bed,

mental fog pierced clean through as

unthinkable words erase reality.


No, dear God, NO!

Push the black panic away,

the fierce pain back into the Pit.

This monster is too horrible…

The incomprehensible can NOT happen!


Now dressed in fragile, trembling resolve

Must identify the broken bodies of beloved.

Bloodied, bruised by a violent vault of metal.

On white sheets, the cold tearless truth is blinding–

Absolutely alone on an axis-less earth.


Past numbing decisions and funeral’s fatigue,

grief rises from mounded grave sites

to suffocate this single survivor.

Nightmares and misery move in with baggage;

Wild sobs drown out the phone’s sad ringtones.


Anger burns at Death’s unrelenting greed;

flashes hot questions at God — “Why did YOU allow this?!”

Turns away from helpless friends’ futile comfort;

bends inward on already shell-shocked soul as

depressed thoughts, ghastly guilt clutch the mind.


Without permission, days and seasons move on,

and the others dare to go on living,  apart.

Faith’s mystery is always the epic struggle;

whether or not to trust…

to accept the inexplicable…beyond belief.



(With prayers for Brittany Vollmer who lost her family on February 23, 2013.)

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