Some Favorite Poems, Mine and Others

Poetry for Bread for the Journey

Dear One and All,

          Here are three poems, often mentioned, or quoted during our time together at Bread for The Journey, Kirkridge.  And then a couple of my own that emerged at Kirkridge—that I shared with some folks in small groups, and that I wanted to share with everyone. (Head's Up, we plan to offer this program again in 2014-15.)


These Days


whatever you have to say, leave

the roots on, let them


And the dirt

        Just to make clear

        where they come from

--Charles Olson,

from Teaching with Fire:


Any Morning


Just lying on the couch and being happy.

 Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.

 Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has

 so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can't

 monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.

 When dawn flows over the hedge you can

 get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven

 left lying around, can be picked up and saved.

 People wont even see that you have them,

 they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.

 You can shake your head. You can frown.

~ William Stafford ~

 (The Way It Is)


You Reading this, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?

What scent of old wood hovers, what softened

Sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world

Than the breathing respect that you carry

Wherever you go right now?  Are you

Waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this

New glimpse that you found; carry into evening

All that you want from this day.  This interval you spent

Reading or hearing this, keep it for life—

What can anyone give you greater than now,

Starting here, right in this room, when you turn


--William Stafford

The way it is; New and selected poems.


The poem starts out innocent enough

-from Stepping Stones, to be released Fall 2014, contact us to reserve a signed copy.


The poem

Starts out

Innocent enough,

Then takes a turn

Toward the truth—

Sudden and


Like finding some

Abandoned shack

Deep in your woods,

The woods you thought

You knew—a place

Known only to

The animals—

It goes that way—

The poem does—

To some place old

And uninhabited,


Moss covered roof,

Weak, sagging porch boards—

The poem

Turns toward

The truth like that.

                   Judy Brown, April 17, 2013



Wildflower rescue

-from Stepping Stones, to be released Fall 2014, contact us to reserve a signed copy.


Before the backhoe

Comes, they come

To save the wildflowers—

Before the bulldozers,

The ladies with the

Spades and trowels

Arrive, alert to

What can be conserved

When much is


Has its cost

But not all costs

Are necessary—

Some come from


An inattention

To what you or I

Might do

To save

The beauty of the earth—

And so I buy their trilliums

To plant beside the cottage,

In our woods,

Passing the money

To these white haired ladies

For their conservation work—

Made hopeful

By their simple care—

My home

A foster home

For wildflowers.

Judy Brown, April 18, 2013

The Wildflower Rescue people are selling their flowers today and tomorrow at the Leland Green, in benefit of The Leelanau Conservancy.