What is hell?

What is hell?
I feared the flames and torture,
As a child hearing our minister sermonize about it.
This alternated with the message,
Of unlimited love and acceptance,
From Jesus, God and the saints.
This always confused me.
And ultimately I abandoned God,
Who I felt had abandoned me.
But spirit always called to me.
That never stopped.
And it must come from somewhere.
Whether named or unnamed
Whether organized into a hierarchy,
Of priests and ministers,
Or found in the wonder of all we see,
The awe that even with all the damage,
Humans have inflicted on the earth,
That it is still reborn,
Resilient and ever new,
The waves and tides,
The storms thunder,
That shakes our very foundation.
The blessed seasons of birth, death,
And renewal.
The mystery, the unfathomable reach
Of time, of our universe.
And here we are, with our petty squabbles
And concerns.
Here we are,
The beings who can truly witness it,
And we throw that ability away.
Losing it in desire, greed, lust, boredom.
If we could just learn,
To sit, listening to the miracle
Of birdsong, the cries of a new baby of any species,

The sounds of mating foxes and lovers…
It is enormous,
And so little to ask of us,
To use these brilliant minds to look,
To cooperate, to find connection.
How do we climb out of hell?
With love,
With insight,
With becoming who we are truly meant to be,
Open and without an agenda.
Basking in the universal love,
That evolution has allowed us,
To see, hear, taste and feel.
What a miracle,
What an opportunity to return,
To who we really are….


Why would I want to bury,

Whatever lives within this unique,

And beautiful form?

Imagine what mysteries might exist,

Woven from countless moments,

Of love and strength,

Of courage and fear?

Yes trauma, yes ecstasy,

Yes all of it, to create a singular soul,

None other than itself.

Think of the map that could be made,

At the awe and wonder at what makes up,

Any human life?

Think of YOUR photo here.

Of the wild, sweet child,

Who has grown,

Waiting for you expectantly,

Hoping to be found,

As you pour dirt over them,

Deny them.

Come, they sweetly beckon,

Sometimes plead.

Come, uncover me.

Let us discover together,

Our unbreakable bond,

And hold one another in compassion,

Rejoicing rather than rejecting,

The miracle that we are here,

On this earth,

In this moment,

On this Path.

There is life

There is life beyond this life.

There is hope, hidden behind dark clouds.

The world where we live,

Dies and is born again.

If we become still,

We feel it’s pulse.

A sound in an infinite universe,

Existing regardless of ears to hear it.

Emitting light, though no eyes may see it.

How can we not be ever in wonder,

And awe at all that is?


You are away.

Gone from my sight.

My arms reach out,

And embrace empty air.

My ears strain for the sound of your voice,

And there is only silence.

I inhale, hoping for the scent of you,

But only ashes remain.

My fingers strain,

For the feel of your soft hair,

The smooth skin of your hands.

But touch absence.

Nothing can bring forth,

Your laugh, your breath.

Where have you gone my darling one?

Your Spirit has danced away,

To a timeless land,

With no point of entry,

Save one.

Countless tomorrows,

Like fun house mirrors,

Reflect images distorted by time.

And gazing upon them,

Is a lonely, aging mother,

Longing for your return.

Your light still shines

Dan and Odie

Your light still shines,

When darkness descends.

When the shifting winds of time,

Catapult me into confusion,

Your brightness brings clarity,

And strength,

To take another step,

To find my way.

To face the challenges inherent to being.

Life is spirit, energy,

Never extinguished, only transformed.

As you transformed me.

Forever changed by your goodness.

Into more than I imagined I could ever be.

Thank you,

For all you gave,

For all you continue to give,

As my faltering feet step upon the earth,

Leading me home, to you, to love,

To becoming what you saw in me,

When it seemed to dark to see.


There is a scent, to the night.
A taste, sweet and earthy.
There is the white light of the stars,
And the silver moon.
A feel in the air, a sigh,
That the day is over.
Some creatures sleep,
And some are just awakening,
To stalk or slither as we slumber.
The night is fertile,
For growth and dreams.
We can embrace it,
Without fear, for the spinning earth,
Will wheel us round,
To greet the dawn once again.

The End of the Day

I did some good today.

Provided empathy, support and much needed medication.

I did some good today.

So maybe I can sleep tonight.

Give myself the same grace,

For being human.

For giving my all,

For caring.

For wanting to provide some ease

And comfort as my patients

Transition from this life to the next.

I did some good today.

Maybe I can sleep tonight,

at peace with that.


Your brother calls me from upstairs.

Heart pounding, I race to reach you.

Vomiting, burning with fever,

Heart rate too fast, gasping for breath.


Nurses’ brain takes over.

Pushes the mother self roughly away.

Time slows to a crawl.

Calm assessment.

Airway, breathing, circulation.

A mantra we all learn,

Tattooed on the slick folds of the brain.

The call to 911.

Endless moments until they arrive.

As I circle around you,

Monitoring, ministering, comforting,

Detached, but loving,

While the mother wails inside,

Locked away for my own protection.

How many times love?

How many ruptures of these selves?

One confidently acting,

The other weeping, reaching,

But held away.

I cannot, would not lose these memories,

That come in flashbacks,

And haunt my dreams.

Some of my best nursing moments,

Where I shone as a provider.

But that schism left scars.

And that same proud nurse,

And frightened mother,

Circle each other like rabid wolves,

Equally ferocious in their love for you,

And refusing to let go.

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