Love Is Not from a Distance

tree in sunset

Love is not from a distance;

up close and personal, it comes close enough

to pierce us

like an arrow through the heart, a spear.

Can we get the hook out?

Love is the unexpected baby on its way to a stone-cold world.

How did you get in there, so soon?

I will try to love you, and I will often fail.

I feel you hiding in my secret place, moving

like a white swan’s feathers (or maybe black)

brushing up against me, about to take flight

over waters of a vast lake, splashes of yellow against blue,

ripples in growing circles toward the rising sun

too bright to look at directly, creating, consuming . . .

You are not really mine; I borrow you for a time (too short).

I will hold your small hand tightly, sad to think that

maybe after yours grows big enough to break away

–you will forget me–


Love is not from a distance.

Not black letters on a glass screen, texted from a smartphone:

“I love you.”

Love is up close and personal

–often messy–

a mother’s lips against a child’s hot forehead,

her fingertip–with heal-all Mom Spit–

wiping a scraped knee,

mixing bodily fluids:

blood, sweat, tears, and so on . . .


Love is a child’s grown hand

spotted a little from the sun

–slightly wrinkled–

caressing the cheek of an old mother,


in a white bed stacked with pillows

near a window open to a sunset

orange and green,

velvet royal blue like a cape once worn

to the Renaissance Faire.


Love is kneeling before the Queen

who is guarded by men in tights and ribbons,

holding spikes and discipline and honor.

She sat on her splendent wooden throne,

carved with the two-headed eagle, crest of Spain,

her gold crown encircling red hair, bejeweled, layered

in garments beset with pearls and diamonds–

powerful yet kind, welcoming misfits.


We knelt together–you an elf princess and I a Handmaid

ready to serve, mend, repair, arrange bodices and hair.

Schedules surround the Queen, appointments, visitations,

foreigners bearing gifts like Turkish tea or Russian vodka.

I was her Timekeeper, checking my old pocket watch

–round like a circle

coming back on itself like a red Chinese dragon

eating its tail–

birth, death, and all that lies between

doomed to reset, repeat, re-enter,

yet maybe to replenish–


like the greatest Royal Gesture of love:

God come down from throne indescribable,

gold above a crystal sea and rainbows–

angel, cherubim, creatures with eyes and wings and crowns

which they cast down, singing, worshiping, timeless–

God came down from there–

an omnipotent baby knit together with human genes,

in a secret place inside a woman–

born to pain, walking with us, healing sorrows, lameness, blindness;

hands then spread against a cross of splintery wood,

–nails slicing bloodlines–

and so death passed to resurrection,

breaking the circle or enlarging it forever . . .


Love is not from a distance.  Love is Resurrection,

Yeshua baking fish for his followers

–who were radically surprised one morning–

by the Sea of Galilee.  Love offered

eternal gifts for all the Peters, Arwens, and Galadriels,

Queens and servants–beggars, bards, and soldiers

dying on far-flung fields

as they watched the sunrise,

caressed by a breeze like eternal Spirit touching their sliced-open face,

blending with their last, too-mortal breath,

before they vaulting skyward.

tree with train

If you like my poetry, please check out and review my books.







Letter from a Murdered Mom


I bought a beautiful old handmade writing case at a thrift store in the California mountains.  A wildcat crouched in trees on it, yellow against green and brown, carefully stitched with leather.  The store clerk asked $5, but I talked her down to $4 because I always seem short of money.  I thought I’d use it to keep my part-time college English-teaching papers in, for classroom use or Starbucks.

When I zipped it open, I saw the old-world style of neat suede pockets for business cards, pens, and letters.  A small “Made in India” stamp marked one side.  When I reached into an inner, hidden pocket, I uncovered an old letter.

Typed with an old-style typewriter on faded yellow paper, it bore a date and names and details I felt unworthy to read, like a voyeur into someone else’s private life.  It was a letter from an American mother to her daughter.  It mentioned names, events, and details.  Folded inside it was a hand-written note about getting bifocals and a scratch-sheet of home mortgage calculations.  It also held a surgeon’s business card and a Retail Clerks Union receipt stamped with a full name, date, and social security number. Continue reading

My Brighton Heart Box


I wrote some texts from my smartphone to my youngest daughter’s smartphone.  That’s how writing works these days.  I sent her photos, too, and tried to share my heart by showing her what hides in my old Brighton tin heart box.  I hope my 3 other children, from whom I never hear, read this too–and mothers everywhere, who save things for children in hopes of giving them bits of treasure gathered over a lifetime (and sometimes a world of travel).  Please enjoy this and feel free to share:


Jessica, are you OK? Do you still have your phone? You know, I lost a lot of our treasures in my travels across the globe, but I managed to keep a few. The 1st photo is sterling silver and crystal, my ring from Turkey, official Arwen pendant and fern pin with matching earrings from New Zealand, Brighton crystal earrings I bought from a Lake Arrowhead Village store in the California mountains when you were little and we all lived together there. I am saving these for you. You are precious to me–and even more to Jesus, who made us and loves us and came down from Heaven to heal us–painfully–and rise again. He patiently polishes the tarnish, smooths out the tangles, and connects broken links of our lives–like this sterling silver necklace from Italy that I hold in my hand.


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Darkest before Dawn


“Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5.

Sometimes it seems as though the night will never end.  I am writing the 4th book in my “Survival” series, “Darkest before Dawn.” I survived cancer, car accidents, loss of my family, abusive men, and teaching English overseas for 5 years–in Russia, Turkey, and China.  What more must I survive?  How can we all survive what is coming?

Have you ever noticed that it really is darkest–and coldest–before the sun rises?  I often have trouble sleeping and have stayed up until dawn.  Just knowing that the sun will rise gives me hope.  Then, ironically, when that yellow orb breaks upon the eastern horizon, I can relax and go to sleep.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”  In the book of Revelation (written by John), Jesus is “the bright and morning star.”

I often do my writing at night.  If you like my blog, please check out my books.


Opioid Epidemic’s 2 Sides


About the #heroin epidemic: those who take “legal” prescription #opioidssuch as #oxycodone or #morphine are no better than those who take street black. It all comes from the same #poppy flowers of #afghanistan. Heroin was invented to get people OFF morphine. Do not #judge. Help and say “#loveu” instead. This #tiffany #lamp has a #light side and a #dark side, but it is the same #thing, found in a #drug #house.

Read how I overcame legal prescription addiction to morphine, Atavan, and Ambien.

Fire Cover


Shabbat Shalom


For #galgadot, #wonderwoman, who has been banned in many countries for being #israeli–a #poem: My little #silver #star of #david slipped off my silver neckchain. “Am I no longer #jewish?” I wondered as I kneelt to find it. As if more than 3000 years of #history could be erased, God’s ancient #prophesies#yeshua— everlasting #torah, #temple, golden #candle sticks, #jerusalem, #spirit, #blood, and #stone. I have never #stepped a foot in #israel, but it will ALWAYS be my #home. #shabbotshalom.


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Homeless America

Homeless Tents

When I was driving for Uber in Los Angeles, I was struck by how many homeless people live there.  Some say there are 100,000 homeless in Los Angeles, especially in the old downtown area and under freeway bridges.  Shelters cannot keep up.  Soup kitchens have not “seen these numbers” since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Local government does little to help, and the police may arrest a homeless person only to free him or her without help the next day.  I saw a homeless tent parked near a Rolls Royce luxury sedan in the Beverly Hills area.  A U.S. army veteran camped out at a McDonald’s patio with his friend.  A man lay passed out in the street in front of a Starbucks coffee shop.  A wheelchair-bound man visited the local cat lover and his shopping cart near Walmart.  Churches lock their gates as people sleep on steps and in doorways.  A man sleeps on his skateboard under a tree in a Redlands, California Walmart parking lot. Will we only do something about the homeless when they climb over our high walls and invade our homes and gardens?  We take better care of our fashion and our pet dogs.  As an Uber driver, I often slept in my car, homeless myself but with a vehicle as shelter.  Buy my books, and I will help the homeless.  Now I am not one of them.  Like most Americans, I could be homeless again–after one month without a paycheck.  America is falling.

Homeless Tent & Car.jpg

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