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Here is a selection of my own poetry.  If you would like to receive one of my poems via email each Thursday, contact me.    Thank you for reading.



Tree branches remember leaves they once held.  

Moon remembers its path across the sky.  

Clouds remember what it is like to disappear.  

Grass remembers green and always returns to it.  

The pen remembers ink it once held 

and how that ink has turned into words.  

Words remember what they were before they were thought.  

Cup remembers the silence of being empty.  

Table remembers once being tree.  

The vase remembers all the blossoms it has held 

and how fragile the world is.  

Rug remembers the bottoms of feet.  

as wine remembers grape 

and the painting remembers itself as a sketch.  

Rocking chair remembers how to be still 

as chimes remember 

how they depend on wind to move them.


Stars must have long memories because they are so old.  

They remember it is their sole job to shine.  

Sun never forgets that either.  

mountains remember volcanoes and earthquakes 

and how to be very, very patient.  

Ocean remembers where its edge is 

and how to soothe sand. 

Snow remembers cold 

and how to fall without getting broken.  

And the wind, oh the wind remembers where it was going 

but then changes its mind. 


Everything remembers something.  What does the heart remember?  

It remembers how passages of music have made it cry.  

It remembers falling in and out of love.  

It remembers its never-ending work, 

to keep you alive each second of every day.  

Veins remember how to be flexible vessels.  

Heart valves remember how to let in just enough and not too much.  . 


The mind knows when it is falling down on the job.  

It remembers how things used to be 

easier than they are now. 

Still, it remembers to remember.  

Especially it remembers the old times, the old things.  

It still carries your childhood phone number in its pocket.  

and the way your mother brushed your hair.  


            ~Penny Hackett-Evans




Begin far away.

Make stops as you approach.

Stand still … inhale the scent of the air.

Listen for messages.

Get closer.

Touch something unusual.

Note how the light falls.

Let your tears fall.

Send a prayer out on the wind.

Ask for what you want.

Kneel.  Touch the ground.

See something very close up.

Look at the horizon.

Feel yourself between the two.

Set it all to music.

Say “Amen”.

 “Crazy Jane’s Religion”

            After Robert Pinsky


When she had no direction, she made

instinct her map.  When she had

no thought, she moved her body.


When she had no church, she worshipped

the air.  When she had no prayer,

she laid down under the pine.


She had no priest, she followed the goddess.  

When the fire went out,

she savored the sun.


When there was no choir, she drummed

and danced.  And when there were no

holy books, she wrote her own.


When she had no horizon, she followed 

the river.  When there was no path, 

she followed her heart. 


Need was her tactic.  Imagination

was her strategy.  Sometimes it worked.

Sometimes she just said “Amen”.

Each day we try to put ourselves back together


We find our name waiting for us beside the bed.


The prayer we said last night still hangs limp on the hook.


The refrigerator blows us a cold kiss.


The calendar page blinks, as blank as yesterday’s.


This day must be shaped again from what is at hand.


We have to bake the danger out of our own daily bread.


Scrub invisibility off every surface.


We have to learn to love possibility as much as cashmere.



Autumn musing

There is something electric

in the blond of Autumn.

How the trees

with a last blast

of strength

play their most beautiful

melody. How the moon

shines bright

in the darkest sky,

the birds harvest

every kernel

and fly off.

At the center of it all,

a sort of false death

that we know

is only transformation.

Isn’t that a lesson

we should take the trouble

to learn by heart?


Have a cup of coffee with me.

I’ll serve you fresh ground

with a little cinnamon,

a spoon of cream.

We can listen to the geese

overhead, and the rain.

We do not need to talk.

Only to let the warmth

of the cup in our hands

permeate the part of us

that is cold … the part

that has so much to say

and no words to say it.

There will be no need

to entertain or impress.

No reason to hurry

or accomplish.

We will practice sipping

our lives silently.

And it will all be enough;

the coffee

the cream

the rain

our two hands

holding some moments

of ease. We won’t want

anything we don’t have.

We will smile.

An Atheist Angel


There may be an angel

Sitting quietly

On the stone bench

In my heart.

A witness

Of all that passes through

That vital organ.

A silent thing

Without shadow

Without words

Without mass.

A second me

That has no “being”

Has only



And a tiny moral compass.

New Year

A dusting of snow

covers the back yard.

Empty feeders

beg for seeds.

Another year moves in,

settles down by the warm spot

near the fire place.

It has all the time in the world,

is not full of resolve.

So few pages already written.

The plot develops

but is unrecognized as yet.

It must be lived into

more than imagined.

Last year’s birds return.

They have not given up.

Feed them.



The Muse is on strike.

The factory has shut down.

The paychecks bounce.

Parts of poems lie on the floor

gathering dust and rust.

I peer through the dirty windows…

What am I to do?

I imagine trying to shape

a handmade, one-of-a-kind poem

one made of fine exotic wood,

hand rubbed, like the ones

you see in the New Yorker.

But, I know 

that’s not going to work.

And anyway, I am sort of jealous

of the Muses sitting across the way

in the bar, eating nachos,

drinking beer

in the middle of the afternoon,

laughing, telling stories of the hapless

poets they work for.

I’ve half a mind to join them.

Thanksgiving  by the Sea


I have been watching the dolphins

and I would like to learn from

the way they thank the ocean

with their playfulness.  Or maybe from

the seagulls that thank the air

by whirling in circles.  Maybe I could

learn to give thanks like surfers

that fall into each wave laughing.

Or maybe I could praise the darkness

like the sliver of a moon slips itself

into the night sky --  a brilliant 

thank-you note without words.  

Or the way the ocean reflects 

back the glorious sun at dawn

and the way the waves sing

the Halleluiah Chorus constantly.

The world teaches us over and over

how to be thankful.

Praise with your joy – it is enough.

In the cottage of my heart


there is a collection of smooth stones,

call of a seagull,

waves that lap on the shore

of what matters most.

I drift.  Time separates,

becomes transparent.

Queen Anne’s lace blooms

beside lavender thistle.

Crickets sing.

Moon rises full,

reflected in the glass

of the dark lake.

Here I am asked

simply to rock

beneath the truth

of my life

and befriend




A Cup of Sun

I sat by the river this morning

determined not to fish for a poem --

until a perfect yellow leaf

floated by – a little cup of sun.

I watched it bob along

without hurry or regret

and then go over a small waterfall

and disappear.

It would be good

to learn to travel like that

before I die.

Yom Kippur

When the gates of the Hebrew new Year swing open,

I, too, am given the chance to atone;

for the petty disappointments I continue to carry

for songs I could have sung and didn’t

for un-danced dances,

kisses given without heart

for words I wish I could reel back

and my resistance to gray days, rain and boredom.

for times I was not mindful

and others were harmed

for sitting in the back row

demanding that the world entertain me

for clinging to outcomes,

forgetting that heaven is here on earth.

My prayer is

that the process

of remembering

my sins


to soften them,

wash them

into the stream

of last year

where they might flow


and transformed

by the river

of time.

What if…

What if you refused
to give up the wings
sprouting from your scapula?
If you decided you could,
after all, fly?
That you were not content
to be fastened to earth forever?
That you could rise high enough
to see the big picture,
could soar beyond
the borders set for you?
That you would not remain folded?
What if you lifted off
the perch of all you know
and flew out the open door
of what cages you?
What then?

An Altar of Disappointments

would have lint, cat hair,

paper with singed edges.

It would have receipts

for purchases that in the end

after all

did not make you happy.

It would have rainy days,'

hours full

of the nothingness of boredom.

It would have candles but no matches,

tickets for movies you missed

and alarm bells would be ringing.

There would be shopping carts

in the two open parking places

cold coffee in styrofoam cups

and it would still be raining.

The goddess of disappointments

would be telling you

to be still and breathe

and think of your gratitudes

and you would want to smack her.

Ode to Being Average

Praises for the B- student,

     the runner who finishes fourth,

          the woman whose roots are showing.

Praise to those who drive dented cars,

     wear sweaters with a small stain,

          who don't belong to book clubs.

To the ones whose gardens have weeds,

     whose kids drink in high school,

          who love to sing but can't carry a tune.

Praises to those who are 15 lbs. overweight,

     those who have bunions

          and aren't sure if God exists.

Hallelujahs to those who love their cats

     and don't care about the cat hair every where,

          for those who sometimes eat cold cereal for dinner.

Praise for those with a common cold

     and for sadness that seems to come out of nowhere

          for those who never miss Jeopardy at 7:00.

Praise for those who are half an hour late

     and forgot to bring the papers,

          and can't remember the password.

Well, you know what I mean,

     in other words

          Praise for us...

               you and me.

All our mediocre moments

     and our average selves,

          the one in us who doesn't quite measure up.

Let's have a come-as-you-are party.

I want to be a crow                                                 


To circle around

my own desires,

flap my gregarious wings,

proclaim my place

and carry off remains

of dead things,

tell dark oily truths

into the light.

To pierce the air in a voice

that must be reckoned with.

To eat and eat and eat.  Rip

into what is craved

and then lift off

on ebony wings


unafraid of stuffed shirts

hanging on dead wood.

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