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Road Trip

Sitting on the porch with a coffee

Waiting for the day to begin.

My father slipping away from us one drop a day.

A name forgotten, a stumble, a tear, a disease.


All things become clearer even as they cloud with grief.

And I pull from a deep river inside where peace resides.

Where joy and humor and, above all, gratitude reside.

A river where others are welcome and some drink deeply of the cool water when they find it.

A thirst we all have.

A river many of us can’t find.

I did not create the river, but uncovered it.

Removing layers of stories and injuries and nonsense I had placed on it for decades.

But the river was pure as ever once I removed the debris.

Unconcerned with my silliness, my recklessness that once hid its source.


And now I sit with my father, my hero, my lighthouse,

Helping him remember, helping him walk, watching him accept with courage and grace

this fast-moving death that approaches.

He cries often now, my stoic, sensible, Scottish father.

But not of grief or regret. Only of love and gratitude.

He is beautiful to see.


And the things I believe to be true are now seared into me as true.

Love. Forgive. Have grace. And love some more.


So my river is deeper now. Daily.

And sadder. And more joyful.

It does not stop flowing when someone dies.

It does not stop flowing when a heart is broken or a baby is born.

It gently flows always in everyone, the same connected river.

His is connected to mine. To everyone's. And will be when he dies. And always.

So I drink from it to sustain me and remind me and comfort me, even as I allow my heart to break.





ian baby tree castine.jpg

The Secret is Love

There was a baby and a dog.

If you ever have a question,

Or you get lost,

Just look at them. Gaze at them.

Their faces give away all the answers.

Give away the secret to love.

And the secret

Book no.2
Book no.1
In the Forest

Come Home

Go out into the world 

my heart

There are wild adventures you can not even imagine

From jungles to fields to city streets flooded with neon 

to food and noises and mountains to feast on

And maybe, probably, some things you might wish

You hadn't seen, or learned

Then come home

I will be here

And the sheets drying in the wind on the line

And the cat asleep in the chair

And warm raspberries I plucked that day on my walk, in a bowl in the kitchen

And maybe even bread from the oven 

if it’s Wednesday 

Come home and rest 

my heart

And stay a while. 

Happy Little Girl

Before I Broke You


All those pictures of you at three and four, and seven

where your face could barely contain your smile

are now tiny razors

swift little cuts when I see you, before

before the falling apart

of me and dad

of your safety

before that awful conversation

before the two homes

before small backpacks full of weekend clothes

before heartbreak and anger

before the tears and conversations late into the night

before you slowly patched yourself back together

before I helped you

before you became the gorgeous, resilient person you are now

before I broke you

which in truth was me saving you, I hope,

from the inheritance of my mistakes

the estate of my willingness to suffer

I robbed you happily of those legacies

and I know in their place I offer you something much more

beautiful. But still...

with them, I took your innocence

I took the smile in those early pictures

that I have never seen again.


Drops of Beauty

Once I realized that at the bottom of a cup of sadness

were drops of beauty,

I was no longer scared

and sadness became my friend alongside joy.

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