Fall 2016 Writing Circle Poems

Dear Friends,

We’re happy to share a selection of our writings from Fall 2016. Over these past three months our themes have taken us on a journey about beginnings and new chapters, finding the music of our lives, and the meaning of family.

From our writing circle family to you and yours, we send warmest wishes for a blessed and peaceful Holiday Season, and a hopeful New Year. We’ll resume our monthly gatherings in February.


December 2016






Beginning Again

Gunilla Norris


Here is the kitchen.

Will you enter it with me?

Let us share the heart of the house.

Here dwelling and becoming

Are like angels to wrestle with.

Here limitation will be our friend

And we can grow into love.

Into bread.   You, a sustenance for me,

And I a sustenance for you.

Both of us fostered by

The measuring cup shaped by

The teaspoon and the quarter-teaspoon.

Here the shining world grows

More transparent in its beauty each day.

We are disappearing in  its light,

Turning into the moment’s bright copper’

Surrendering to what we do not know

… what we cannot see or touch.

Becoming what we are, unknowing,

Light, praise, shared bread…

A living way.






Just In Case

Susan Maitner

Inspired by “The Best Thing “ by Richard Page


Just in case I carry the CD with me

Just in case

I put the player in the car


Each gesture important and deliberate–just in case


Sometimes it can be hard to share a song

To reveal the tender and

Expose the deep and sweet


Even among friends

It can be hard to speak of grace


Some words must be savored in solitude

Reassurance held and havened

In a mother’s heart


Dear friends, How I long to have you listen


But I am shy

Made cautious by the sting of too many

“Thank you for sharing”s


Sometimes I feel so odd and apart

Sometimes I cannot not risk


Today my hesitation gets the better of me

I laugh among you and keep the best thing hidden


Tucked away yet here

It is enough


You are with us

Just in case




Letting the Dust Settle

Nicholas Lizza


The dust’s settling.

So much is familiar;

But it’s all new, too.

All the fear, riding in the background all those years;

Now it is the most noticeable element.

And it’s covering the whole landscape!!!


I am grateful though, that what was always there,

and somehow not,

Is no longer unacknowledged.

And while gone, ignorance is a kind of bliss, too.

These days I seem to have the strength to

Let the dust settle.

But God bless the future!

Being wide open,

Anything can happen.

These days, I would rather learn through good news

Than bad,

Through having too much

rather than not enough…

So I am casting my vote.

Let the dust, the dusting and all the world

come to me clean and bright and new

and deeply felt

deeply remembered

I like that…







Music Inspires

Maureen West


I watch the man in the blue vest climbing the hill. Older – somewhat unsure of his steps. The yellow leaves of the honey locust are brilliant and spur him on.

Arriving at Calvary for our morning pages. It’s the first Saturday of the month. We will reflect, write and laugh, enjoying our being together.

Today our watchword is Music. What is the music of our lives telling us?

We considered the BLUES, how they can free us by singing along and acknowledging our truth.

We have a 12 year old inside us, dancing in the basement to Stevie Wonder. What freedom that was.

How about Mozart or Bach to move us along, to get ourselves into motion?

Then there’s a lullaby, which gave me comfort as an adult and now I sing to my Mattie to soothe him.

Thank you, Ruth Brown, Chris Williams, Stevie and you poets and musicians for echoing the beat of our lives.




Music Everywhere

Sue Edmondson


Oh, Music is so much a part of life put on a waltz and dance around and around in an ecstasy state of merriment.

Oh, to Billy Joel and his song The Piano Man with the upbeat of his rhythm on the piano. Makes me want to sway back and forth. There is a line to his song that is so true.  The line goes like this “to forget about life for awhile.”

Oh yes, music is for the soul and furthermore music is marvelous for the heart and mind.

Oh, Stevie Wonder— His song, ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ — triggers my mind to call someone and say I just called you to say I love you.

Oh, Michael Buble and Barbra Streisand—Their song—It Had To Be You- gives chills down the spine and joy to the soul.

We sing; we dance; we listen. Even trees and plants make music and also animals as well. We are all one part of life on this planet.

Without music I would be like a being in a square black box with nothing,

no sound no nothing in the square box.




Ode to Music

Eileen Gerety


Music connects me to life

It’s not always strife

Yes… sometimes I fly

Like a song in the sky!


Somehow I know

My place in the show

When melodies wail

And life – beyond the pale


Rhythm pulses along

My life is a song

Both troubling and true,

It’s both joyous and blue


My melody abounds

Sometimes, truly astounds!

My love and I dance

To music – a joyous trance


It transports us above

Flying together like doves

To places newly grown

Without music – unknown


Connect and be

Music says to me…..

“The beat of my life”

It frees me from strife


Pulses push through…

The message – how true

Listen to who you are…

Be yourself and you’re a star!


Music saved me

And helped me to be

Just who I am…..

NOT…. In life’s traffic jam.


I’ll never know

How I’d have grown

Without music, I’m lost

With music, Oh My Gosh!





Janet Maulbeck



Here among friends I feel I can do it

The music of life is streaming



and the drumbeat

Calling me

to action

to the work

to the beat!

I like the morning song best

announcing the possibilities of the day

the next moment to come

how many dreams of what can be

The afternoon can be a medley jazz improvisation

as I struggle to find the next note

sometimes a big brass band

comes right down my street

replete with




and tambourines

It arrives at the corner of dreams and synergy

driven by work and trained by hope!

Evening falls hard

So much left undone,


an unfinished Symphony

when will I learn to move

from my wailing laments

into soft lullabies

and an ode to Joy

for what has been

and the what is!








Sue Edmondson


To me the subject of family is a broad subject.

To me it has many different branches like a tree.

There are birth family, marriage family, extended family and the church family.


The most important family is the birth family to me.

I was given birth by my parents.

They provided a roof over my head, plenty of food, and money was no subject.

But giving hugs and kisses, and saying I love you, was not much in their lifestyle – anyway not to me.


Marriage family was a wonderful experience to have.

My husband who was 18 years older than me was a great love to me.

He provided everything I needed.

His family, to this day, is like my birth family.


My extended family that is my best friends and relatives played a large part in caring and sharing and giving affection to me.

Even my family of churches has given me warmth and affection that I have never experienced before.

My siblings have shown more affection and caring towards me in the last ten years than ever before.

I am now blessed to have my birth family, marriage family, extended family and church families so close to me.





Eileen Gerety


With a shout out to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the “beloved community” he envisioned……………


I see it clearly

The task ahead…

Supposed to feel dearly

But sometimes I dread…


Packed with meaning

Emotions may run wild…

And send me reeling

Just like a child…


So, who is our family?

Turkey, rituals abound

And, who is for us

When life runs aground?


Reclaim the name…

Seems right to me

Life’s not a game…

Just … who walks with me?


My family are those

Who stand by my side,

When life sends me throes

And harrowing rides!


Not necessarily from birth,

But of a shared life,

These are the ones

Who bring joy not strife!


A “beloved community”

I will heartily embrace

One who loves me …

And the whole human race!





Janet Maulbeck

We sat at her bedside.

That small room opened up to a gateway

the door that she did not want to go through…

Her oldest grandson, the first of the new generation

sat at the foot of the bed

barbecues, scooped out watermelons, decorated bikes,

first day of school parties,

Christmases long  gone but not forgotten.

It was not all bad and terribly imperfect.

We saw the good,

called it good

and blessed it !

How frail we all are.

Imperfect creatures struggling to find our way..

But love covers a multitude of sins…

when we remember through the eyes of love…

Grace falls like snow on the ground of lives.

Here is mercy coming to call us home…




North Star

Lorri Lizza


The experience of family

Is hard to nail down or put in a box

We weave walls around those we hold close

And those we steadfastly leave out


A family’s love can be sweet and supportive

Or devotedly controlling and pushy

Being an older sister

No doubt ‘pushy’ applied to me


My family was always home base

Where I felt safe and welcomed to be

I learned from watching my elders

What it meant to give unselfishly


But how to extend this experience

Across today’s turbulent political field

Can we attune to a home base vibration

And rest in the safety it yields?


“Giving and receiving are one in truth.

I will receive what I am giving now.”*

The message reverberates through eons

A response to every “But how??”


Choice waits in the question – A gift

Tied up in a gorgeous red bow . . .

Who will I name family?

Who will I judge foe?


This flow of giving and receiving

Lives eternally side-by-side

A stunning expression of clarity

Our North Star

Our Salvation

Our Guide.


(* A Course in Miracles, Lesson 108)




Traveling in The Light as Opposed to Traveling in The Dark

Margaret A. Dukes


On the paths of the condo complex

we approached each other.

I gave a big smile and hello

She responded in kind

in her traditional Muslim dress

and headscarf –

covered by a Mickey Mouse


What could be more American?