My Aim is True

IMG_2137Sun after snow we know means cold cold cold

Yet jackets come on and faces turn up and we say Beautiful day! to strangers

And strangers nod and agree and turn their faces up and the dogs roll around in the snow

I will walk down to the lake

I will head out onto it, where yesterday a semi truck wandered and didn’t fall through

I will kick away the thin top layer of snow with the side of one boot

to reveal the ebony ice and the strings of sound under the ice and the

pops of air under the the strings of sound under the ice

layered in vertical layers above the living breathing bottom of the lake

God’s Etch-a-Sketch

I will step over this snowbank

Out onto the lake and say Beautiful day!

and lay myself flat onto the ice so I can peer into the many levels of life


I will! I will!

I will not

because now I know the snow bank is immense and slippery

and beyond it the drifts are thick knee deep

and near the place where a semi slipped onto the ice and didn’t fall through

a warning is posted Thin Ice

Thin Ice

It’s a lie

I know there is ice under the ice under the ice

and yet I shy back and bend away from the wind and wish

God would erase away this winter this thick drift this thin ice this


The bright sky goes orange and sharpens the gleaming charcoal branches the white ice the wind

I turn toward home

disappointed and


When you went away to your Beautiful day were you hopeful?

Did you think it could get any better?

Were you disappointed? or humbled? or relieved?

When finally you arrived were you able to see beneath the layers

to the pop pop pops of air and the music and the life underneath?

When you got there, were you able

to lay your body flat on the solid white ice

and be free?





Most people remember their firsts. Robin was my first after 6 years of hospice. And so much hospice! Eleventh hour care! And Robin, who I went to, selfishly, because I knew helping someone else would boost my spirits. Robin, who i said yes to because his location was convenient. Robin, whose name means something to my family, and who was afraid to die alone. My first. Robin didn’t die alone. He left this world quietly, calmly, up and out and on his way to God. Robin, who looked like Jesus. A prayer to Zion on the little player near his bed. And not alone. Not alone. Never again alone.

Poem for Christmas & Eve

by Julie

Angels on Ice


Candle by candle by lighted candle

People place a great heart on the frozen lake and make

Snow angels within the flames

How are they hopeful with

No spring in sight?

How do winter fish thrive under all that black ice?

How do December trees trust May to paint them green?


Light by light by firey light

Heart by heart by heart

Heaven is Earth’s undoing

No sun No air No water

And tears and tears and tears

Where do the tears wash away to

When they fall on a frozen lake?


So many questions

So many candles

So many sinking hearts

So when do the tears start healing?

When does the daylight rise?


One by one by precious one

Heart by heart by heart

When does Zion know

It has secured the lion’s share?

One by one by one by one

Are there not enough angels there?


Angel Eve


You Don’t Need a Reason

Hospice volunteers get the big question all the time: Why? Why do you do this? It must be so hard… Why would anyone want to sit with people who are dying?

Here’s why: I dunno. We just do.

Mostly, maybe, we’ve discovered that hospice volunteering is not only a great way to give back to the community, but also changes people’s perspectives on life.

Click here to read more:

Volunteering: Minor Commitment, Major Return 


This is It

A person who is terminally ill commonly passes through a series of stages marked by physical and emotional changes that are recognizable to health care professionals. One of the last stages may be referred to as “Actively Dying.” As its name implies, this stage can be physically and emotionally active and, for a caregiver, very difficult. Inviting in someone supportive who has been through this stage before can be helpful.

In contrast, the stage after Actively Dying is calm; eerily quiet, simple. For caregivers, it feels like a long exhale after hours or days of gasping for air. Our loved one is still alive, just resting now before embarking on what many believe is the final journey home.

“This is it,” the nurse tells us, in a tone so tender and kind, it belies the words she is saying. “He won’t wake up now, but he can hear you. You can still give him the comfort and love you have been providing all along.”

A shiver ran through the room, and she continued, “If you see two vertical lines on his forehead, a number eleven, you can give him pain medication sooner than scheduled. This is about comfort now. You did a good job. You are all doing such a good job.”


For a Moment

Jorox Canyonby Penny Moore

For a moment

When I sink into the knowing

I feel you breath with His breath

The wind lifting ribbons

We untie ourselves without knowing

I like to hold you passing through

The ribbons gently waving on

The palm of my hand joining

Our passing on One to another

A moment never changes

When you touch it that way



Owed to You

what does the world owe you?IMG_4869

sleepy one, restless under goose down and lavender

do you wish for a rainsoaked sportspage to protect your sleeping face?

hungry one, how will the gifting gods please you?

you, backing away from a holiday pheasant, roasted, plum sauce soaked

do you need a plum to cheer you, half eaten, discarded wrapped in napkins? would that satisfy?

you are offered every day, the light, the air, that red bird, that neighbor’s cat and more

you are offered every day, those branches, that water, a path to walk and shoes to make the walking better

you are offered, you decline, your nose tilts up, face arches away

it isn’t much, you say, you want to see the world

blind to the world before you

for all you are given, your heart burns for better, much, more

cherished one, be grateful

one day the wind will rise and the sun will die and the flowers will crumble away

even now, the great ball of burning slinks into the shadowing woods and a cold breath of autumn bears down

weighted like a rainsoaked woolen cloak draped over your soul

and you are missing all the gifts in the world, because you waited for the world

to give you more

Winter Birds

blue jay shutterstock_46837495

Loved ones lost are always near

Somehow they always find us here

A certain flower, make of car

A train at night, or falling star

They shake us from our winter frost

Reminding us of loved ones lost

These little signs that come so far

Flash like moments where we are

Though we toil on our own

They tell us we are not alone

— from Winter Birds, by Rob Moore