Just To Be In Skin Deserves A Medal (Fall 1999)
A Wild Surmise (Winter 2000)
Poems for Claire (Summer 2006)
Sleepy Head; Her Majesty; Gift Giver; Moclips
The Value of Poetry (Christmas 2006)
I was asked by the editors of Pietisten to be the new poetry editor. It would be presumptuous and impossible for me to replace Bruce Carlson, but I do agree to tell why I think poetry is a necessary emphasis and should continue in your wonderful periodical.
Poems for Claire (Christmas 2006)
Poetry Corner (Spring 2007)
Walter Brueggemann in his excellent book, Finally Comes The Poet speaks about the danger of muteness in our society. Brueggemann says, “Moses and Israel had learned that muteness leads to brick quotas” (p. 55).
We Who Were Beautiful (Spring 2007)
Poetry Corner (Christmas 2007)
When I teach a poetry workshop, I ask the students to free their minds and try to imagine a place in their lives that they retreat to when they want solitude and reflection, a place where they can clear their minds of everydayness, where they can think new thoughts. It may be a bench in the park, or their private room, or a walk by the lake, or in the library. I tell them that when they have imagined such a place they are to describe it in as many one syllable words as they can put on a single sheet of paper.
The Farmer and His Wife (Christmas 2007)
Poetry Corner (Spring 2008)
I once read that the mind is like an endless video-tape—recording every sensation, thought, feeling, memory, action, fear, taste, et al in the course of the human experience. And, if that is so, then the substance of who we are is surely influenced by the sum of those experiences. And if we believe this, it follows that when we nourish our minds with qualities that deepen our character and enrich our souls we have chosen a wise direction.
The Last Chapter (Spring 2008)
Poetry Corner (Christmas 2008)
To my mind language has never been more exalted than when Saint John penned the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Language, conversation, letters, emails, communication, poetry, fiction, and other uses of the word or words, therefore, should not be used with lightness or in a thoughtless, uncaring way.
Springtime for the Nation (Christmas 2008)
Poetry Corner (Summer 2009)
Sometimes I think poetry is a phantom language that communes secretly and, with a clarity so far reaching, it informs the very heart of human expression; it is that place within, where the internal voice has its own soap box. Poetry is that mysterious inner language speaking directly to the soul
The Poetry Crowd (Summer 2009)
Poetry Corner (Epiphany 2010)
There is a place in Seattle where artists, authors, poets and English majors come to learn from each other. It is named after the poet, Richard Hugo. I’ve only been to the Hugo House twice since its inception, but it has had—through word of mouth and newsletter—an indirect influence on me.
Poem: Advent (Epiphany 2010)
Poetry Corner (Spring/Summer 2010)
Two major poets were together one evening, Robert Lowell and John Berryman. Lowell asked Berryman to give him the six best lines in English poetry. At first Berryman resisted and called Lowell’s challenge absurd, insisting such a task was impossible. But as the night deepened Berryman’s resistance wore down.
The Great Recession (Spring/Summer 2010)
Easter and the Jesus Seminar (Spring/Summer 2011)
When language lacks the power of metaphor, it is too direct, too shallow, too narrow. Its focus makes the audience go away saying, “Well, yes, I can see that, that makes perfect sense.” When instead we should go away saying, “I wonder what that means for me?”
Poetry Corner (Fall/Winter 2011)
Has language become too familiar? Too anesthetizing? Too comforting? Do we soften the meaning of words by making them sound less offensive?