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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

Poetry Top Ten 2014

When I look at how far I've come with my writing of poetry, I have to sit back and wonder at whence these words came. My darling muse, strife, and everyday life worked their way into the lines creating this lovely magic, and I give thanks for every single bit of it. I also have immense gratitude for my ability to seize the moment when inspiration would come even though I never seemed to have enough time for everything. There is no telling what the new year will bring, but after seeing the goodness that came my way in 2014, I can hardly wait to experience what lies in store.

My sincerest gratitude goes out to each of you who have given my poetry life. Without anyone to read and appreciate them, words fall silent on the page. You are their breath. Thank you.

All Things Purple: Poetry Top Ten 2014

 1. To Survive

 2. Find Me

 3. Ode to the Early Responders

 4. Safe

 5. Take My Heart

 6. Entirely Insufficient

 7. Time to Hide

 8. More Than a Dream

 9. Together

10. It Started With Goodnight

Honorable Mention: A Resounding Yes

Poetry Top Ten 2013

Top Ten Readers' Choice 2014

Another year gone by, another list showing me what you've enjoyed the most.

Now that I've done this list making thing a few times, I realize what a treasure it is to capture this moment in time when one year ends and another begins. I'm not into making New Years' resolutions; however, I very much enjoy reflecting on the past year in order to see how far I've come and take stock in how much further I still need to go with all that I want to do with my life. And this go around has given me a large measure of joy as I went through the several musings, remembering where I have been and comparing it to where I find myself today.

It is always a pleasure to share the very best slice of my year (in your estimation).

All Things Purple: Top Ten Readers' Choice 2014

 1. To Survive 

 2. Find Me 

 3. Be the Change 

 4. Uninvited 

 9. Safe 

10. On Thin Ice 

Honorable Mention: Texan Sunshine

Previous Years' Top Ten Lists:


stand amazed

As I reflect on this Christmas season and those of years past, joy, love, and gratitude are the hallmarks. 

The years have dragged me along while also flying past, and my heart is filled with gratitude for it all. To learn and grow so deeply has been a painful experience nevertheless I give thanks to Heavenly Father for keeping watch over me and my family through every trial. We have been watched over with a most tender hand. 

Love permeates my thoughts as they turn to the people who surround me now and at every point that I stood in need of love and they were there. Whether intentional or not, many people have been the Lord's hands in loving and protecting us. I have been loved even when I could not see how anyone would or could ever care about me. Friends have made time for me when I needed to not be left alone; they have sacrificed family time and happier friend time to help me through my dark days. Every time I stop to ponder what has happened in my life over the past several years, amazement washes over my heart, and I can hardly keep from weeping with joy and gratitude for the miracle that has been my life. It gives me hope for the future, that it will continue being a miraculous journey of love and joy. 

With Christmas upon us, I tie all of it together to honor the Christ Child who was born, shared the gospel with the world, atoned for all that we have done—our mistakes, sins, sufferings of body, heart, and soul—only to be crucified. But he overcame death. And that is how we have Christmas to celebrate. The love and joy that we sometimes take for granted comes to us by the grace of God and through the light of Christ within each of us. 

While it is not a traditional Christmas song, the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" has always been one that resonates with me. I especially think of the second verse at this time: 
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine 
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,

Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
My hope and prayer is that the light of Christ will brighten your Christmas and that you will feel God's love for you no matter where you are, no matter what is happening in your life, whether or not you fully recognize His divinity.

Let's stand amazed and neither forget nor take for granted the gift of Christ's birth. He lived, atoned, and died for us all that we might live again and be with God and our families for eternity.

Happy Christmas to all!


photo: C. T. Duncan

You make me happy 
Are words that stay with me
Even at times when you cannot
Woven into my every thought
Drawn between each day's lines
Laced throughout the moments
Where you weren't supposed to be
And yet—in every part of any day
Sleeping, waking, breathtaking
Somehow you are everywhere
In the sunlight breaking over the hills
Within the wisps of clouds over head
I listen for music floating on the wind
And my senses will not forget
Fluttery dancing, talking, sharing
Then caring more than hope would warrant
Wishing beyond what shooting stars do dare
Even still—all that happiness
You gave and give
Sticks with me in a permanent way
Like superglue for broken hearts
Needing to be pieced back together
Revealing hidden, slivered layers
As we paste our selves into one

A few more words:

Electric Lines

Christmas Break

Where does a week go? I'm telling you, it seems like only a few days should have gone by, but no. It has been an entire week since I had my exit interview and began looking for a contract. 

How does that time slipping by thing happen? It's called life. And if you don't make the most of it, it passes you by without ceremony. 

I'm filling my Christmas break with celebrating Christmas (of course), editing, lesson planning, and clearing my house of nonessentials. That list set forth, it will probably feel like a three-day weekend or so. 

What I wonder about is how everyone else will be spending their Christmas break. If you care to answer, leave a comment, so we can all get some ideas for how to pass the fleeting moments the best we can.  


Phone calls, emails, texts, eating, children, buses, tweets, posts, driving, exercising, thinking, editing, writing, dictionaries, friends, hugs, driving, talking, writing, reading, wishing, hoping, praying, and hopefully sleeping soon. 


I just had a thought
Run clear across my mind
So quickly yet deeply
That I don't know what to feel.

I will never be as perfect looking
As all those you'll ever meet,
And you shall never find me
Ready or ever wanting to compete.

I catch myself wondering
If those roaming eyes of yours
Might open up and want to taste
How precious this love can be.

From afar we feel together
With the blooming pleasure
Of beloved exploration
Transporting us nearer still.

Actions spiked with adoration
Coupled with discordant communication
Show my blinded eyes that I do not know
Where I stand within that enigmatic heart.

Nurturing sweet love
With ink and postage
Sending more than things
To travel by road and skyway.

Warning given though not taken
Without asking, I give affection.
You tell me one thing
Yet elicit another.

And all I remember now
Is how my flaws
Are so many
And distance is great.

I opened up this broken heart
To someone who didn't want it.
And yet the sense that you do,
That you need me, is still present.

You kindly reject, and I ignore
In a tangled dance of sorts
Because this heart
Knows your heart

And never wants to admit
That you might never
Find the courage
To love only imperfect me.

Consequently, you will have to be
The one to choose for me which one:
The exit door or deeper in to the us that I perceive
Because I don't have the courage to love you any less.

the short list

The end is near, and I know I did well. Student teaching looked insurmountable just a few short months ago when considering all the other problems I am facing right now. However, I did make it. It wasn't all on my own though. I did all the work, of course, but I have had phenomenal support from family, neighbors, friends, and my teaching mentor and supervisor.

I could not have faced some of the days that I had without all the texts almost every single day no matter what's going down, last minute dinner deliveries, cleaning crews (need I say more), front porch conversations, late night middle of the sidewalk in the rain while I cry hugs, sanity saving Sonic runs, Chik-fil-A light lemonade, and so much more. I can't even keep track. Maybe when everything simmers down and I can take a moment longer to think, I will write it all down.

Until then, just know that even you reading this and following my journey has given me a bit of wind for these wings of mine. And I thank you all.