Black and White

In loving memory of William Kinney (9), Evelyn Dieckhaus (9), Cynthia Park (61)
Katherine Koonce (60), Mike Hill (61), Hallie Scruggs (9)

Black and White

The words on the page
—ink splashed in a sky
draped in clouds.

The written message
turned into shadows.

Faces appear.

At one time these faces
would have been ‘strangers’ to me.

Now, as I etch eyes in the drapery of white clouds,

I see them…looking into the depths of my Soul.

I cannot grasp or understand
‘all’ that I see
as I sketch these portraits.

While this pen creates images
beyond black satin words
dripping in tears,
I am living the questions

in every line, curve, detail
—each person.

Their stories
—their purpose
—their very ‘beings’

A Living Testament…
A Lasting Testament…

The Only truth
we must choose to stand for
above anything else

is that their deaths not be in vain.


May we hold in our hearts, Audrey Hale (28)

Journal/ Day 14—Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022

July 14th, 2022

The Body of a Mountain

Slabs of rock.
What appear to be plastered in
place, these towering peaks drizzled
with the abundance of snow
capping the mountain’s head.
So many times, in a single day,
the head ‘lost’ in the clouds.
What are its thoughts?

The face of the mountain
—How does it see?
—Can it hear?
—What does it smell?
—Does it taste?
Looking at the mountain,
I trust its ‘view’ never-ending,
and it waits to hear the morning’s
first songbird preparing the
altar it is.
It hears the sun, like a match lit.
A candle it becomes, manifesting
the mountain in ‘ordinary time.’
It smells the incense of heaven
from which it dwells
and tastes the melting particles of
Often it spills the chalice of
its essence creating an avalanche
to feed the unseen places in the
mountain’s body waiting, waiting, waiting.
The mountain’s shoulders
are broad and stately.
They are doorways from which ‘limbs’
stretch unfolding pathways for those
who place themselves in the mountain’s
There feels what seems an extended
invitation, ‘Come, come to this place…
rest awhile, be still.’
AND, from this tabernacle,
the mountain’s soul.
Although not visible, a pulse beats
—it is not marked in time
—the very ‘measure’ of its essence
unraveled when the first stars collided
and it LIVES in this ballad.
The mountain’s base camp
—its foot stool.
Wildflowers decorate the setting.
The mountain’s service never ends,
but its message becomes clearer and
Its body groans just enough
for me to hear,
“Walk now in peace.”


Drops of Color/ Oh, so Grand

Drops of Color
Oh, so Grand

Like a snake,
weaving itself through a 
dry, barren terrain,

its skin blue, shedding itself.
Brown…its milk—embryonic fluid.

A womb—
its cervix walls, solid layers
of rock fashioned, becoming
before a single word of testament
etched in stone.

The canyon…Grand.
Alive, its breaths beholden
to a sky, a ceiling keeping
watch both day and night.

Stars paint the rocks,
and when the sun lifts its
head, it reveals a masterpiece
changing, changing, changing.

To hold one’s gaze on this
tribunal of chapters,
the story line has no beginning nor

Every second look is beyond
the first glimpse.

Its beginning—no one present
to tell.

The Canyon is a Mother
—birthing splendor.
Seekers from all over
sit at her edge,
trek down her paths,
plunge into her waters.

She turns back no one…
Some she holds allowing them
eternal rest.

Many come once,
and are never the same.

In some, she resides.
The dust from her soils
embedded in the marrow
of a being

Oh, so Grand


Journal/ Day 13/Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022
July 13th, 2022

Jungfrau Summit

You stood expectant
waiting for the night’s watchman to
extinguish the last embers that dusk
What was that?  An avalanche?  Your breath?
I saw you, indeed, I did!
Like drawing from a well, you pulled & pulled, yanking an invisible rope,
until alas you splashed the
Moon into a blanket of stars…a church bell announcing the arrival.
The illuminated sphere released itself from you, Jungfrau.  
She cut the umbilical cord.
First she painted your peak with her drizzling stardust. 
Making her wayward path to the west, she rolled across the peaks as if descending a stairway.
I wrapped myself in a quilted comforter, and listened to the moon’s lullaby.
When I opened my eyes, she had passed.  AND you, Jungfrau, you stood
and heard the words, ‘All is well, all is well.!  Thank you’


Drops of Color/ Four-legged Friend

Drops of Color

Four-legged Friend

It was not a chair
placed in some corner
for an unruly Soul.

It was a seat
set in an unknown place
—no on lookers.

The chair was
rickety, wobbly.
The cushion frayed and 
sat upon
innumerable times.

By whom?
It matters not! 

Sitting, the rush of
a million voices heard—
like the sound of a waterfall.

There was I,
—deluged, soaked,
not a crevice dry.

Hanging my head,
every lasting drop
spilled to the floor.

Suddenly, every ‘voice’

Lifting my head
—a light found its way
into the room.

A warmth filled my being.
How I longed to stay.
This four-legged friend
carried me for what felt
like hours.

the empty space
seemed to say
‘you can come here


and it does not have to
be in ‘this’ space.

Wherever you are,
Whatever is happening,
You know this ‘place.’

Find your four-legged 
and sit awhile
—or the earth’s floor is a wonderous
cushioned seat!

No matter what is 
happening in your world,
around the world—
it will not go away.

Yet, the prayerful place
will change the 
Soul forever.


Journal/ Day 11 and 12/ Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022

July 11th & 12th, 2022

The mountains
spoke softly
to a solitary star
glistening above its jagged peaks.

“Come, come my friend,
rest awhile,
Let me hold you.”
The star responded,
“Here I come,
and I shall illuminate
your brilliance
under the night’s sky.”

Drops of Color/ Eden

Drops Color

A field 
laid open.
Every direction
unmarked for miles.

A wisp of wind
strummed its way
through the tree
holding a center
like a point of nothingness.

Chimes rang
like a bell-tower
—a rope pulled an invisible
thread by an unnamed ‘Who.’

Each ‘gong’ set off
pairs of hidden wings
draped between the
slender stalks of lush
undisturbed grasses.

The soft scent of earth,
like incense rising,
filled one’s nostrils
—breathing in the landscape
—breathing out the gentle
vapors of a ‘self’
pooling in
the Divine culmination
of the Universe entwined
in a rapturous
never ceasing.

The tree lifted its limbs,
its roots holding

The homily sung
through draping leaves
welcoming the sun
and whispering
‘good night’ to the
slivered moon
slanting into the purple
western sky.

Here in this field,
Eden at play.

The tree stands…

We have never really


Journal/ Day 10/ Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022
July 10th

A Bridge, A Lion and A Monastery

First, a bridge whose
history is etched into
its painted wood beams
—stories of a people
who refused to renounce
or bow down to unknown gods
—lives sacrificed.

Second, a wounded Lion.
Massive paws cradle the
shields of lives lost
—the Lion’s sorrows…
its silent roar
still heard in the
sculpted rock


Third, a Benedictine Monastery
founded in these mountains
some 900 years ago.
The sound of the organ’s pipes
pulls Souls ‘into’ the performance.
No one spoke.
Some bowed their heads—the music
allowing them to sway from
side to side.
Deep vibrating notes
–like an invitation from within the bowels of
the earth
—the rumble, the tempo
reaching the top of
the snow-covered peaks.

The final note
elicits applause
—a standing ovation.

The organist humbly rises and nods her head
in gratitude.

Tear-filled eyes—

Peace filled smiles.

No one prouder than her life’s
He approaches
—a shy smile as he says,
‘The Organist, she is my wife!’


A Bridge, a Lion and The Sound of Music

ALIVE in my every prayerful step.


Drops of Color/ Miracles

Drops of Color

Happen ‘every’ day.

Look…really look.

Listen…quiet yourself…hush!

Touch…the invisible,
pouring itself
into your hands.

Taste…the sweet abundance
—the savory juices
even after 2000 years
—the jars filled with
the freshest wines.

The vineyards are ripe.

We are all laborers


 becoming the miracles
 endlessly creating.



Journal/ Day 9/ Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022

July 9th, 2022

A walk in a womb

Embryonic fluids
filled the center.
The sound of its current
dangles between
enormous slabs of uterine walls
on both sides.
Walking in Oneness beside the river,
I was pushed,
time after time.

The sun shielded its face,
the rays lifted the clouds.
The waters,
a glistening blue-silver.
Within, soaring
—each step calculated
as best can be.

Magnificent pines.
Spectacular green needles
create shadow spaces
revealing learning places
stored in the cabin
of my Soul.
Becoming…here in this womb.

I am Becoming.
The question living in me
EVERY day…

Who am I?
And who are you, Lord?

This pilgrimage, like past treks
…questions asked
…answers not sought.

The pursuit is the prayer.
Taking notice
of the tributaries finding
their way ‘into’ this birthing canal,
drops of water, too numerous to count.
They thrust themselves from the edge of
a cliff
—the volume, uncharted
—the sound…a force not to be reckoned.

Soaked in wonder
Bathed in awe

These words cascade down the river
uniting with the drops
thrust from the waterfalls
and again,
I am born anew.


Drops of Color/ And…for the next performance

Drops of Color
And…for the next performance

—waiting with wonder.

The wand…was it the wand,
its wave,
or the hand?

Was it the spell
spoken aloud?

I ‘believed’ the furry
little fluffy-tailed creature
would appear out of that hat.

So simple…so magical!

When I was a child,
I thought everything could
be solved by a wave of a
wand, the passing of  a hand,
a verse spoken aloud.

Quickly, I learned
it was a staged performance.

Life is not an act
yet, our actions
allow us the ability
to choose the parts we
shall LIVE out.

Many times now, in the
growing later years of 
my life,
I have drawn the curtains
—not to close out the audience,
but to invite in a
Source who bids me to
sit awhile and listen.

The hushed space is
beyond any magical
notion.  All concerns sit
on the shoreline,
and I plunge into the 

All my questions become
the drops in which I swim
—an enormous ocean
I am in, I am.

When I set my feet
on land,
stillness and movement
prayer and action unite.

How can I help you,
Source of Life?

Suddenly, a creature lifted
its delicate ears.

Hearing my voice,
it was not afraid.

I watched it nibble
the lanky grasses—
green, juicy
—it took in each blade
with sheer delight.

—in fellowship we live this life.
In harmony,
the community is the sun, the stars,
the trees, the rivers,
the desert sand, the Artic icebergs,
the winged-beings and four-legged
creatures, the two-legged persons…
all varieties of colors, genders,
beliefs, faith traditions.
I could go on and on
or maybe

I’ll take off this hat,
put down this wand splashing
ink on this page,
and I will pull a blade of
grass from its root,
place it between my lips,
and hop a while with
my community—

what a wonderful life.


Journal/ Day 8/ Switzerland Via Alpina

Switzerland 2022

July 8th

Rays of light,
like a winnowing fan,
unfold like fingers
pointing in all directions.
I pause and offer thanks.

Luminous vapors
come together forming a
pack of puffy white cotton
candy clouds.
They hold the mountains before
floating by.
I pause, filled with gratitude.
Stepping on earth’s bed,
roots stretch out like spools
of yarn, knitted together.
My ‘soles’ cross the lingering drops
of the waterfall’s rocks.
They are washed revealing bright shades of red,
as if tanned from the flame high in
the sky’s dome,
igniting a stage whose performance
goes on and on and, I,
I pause beholden to the wonder.
A river runs freely.
Its flow knowing, showing no sign of halting and, it
has no understanding of stopping.
I hear its roar, as the boulders
held in its sway, act as if a
tambourine elicits its eternal
I pause and am so very grateful.
A long day’s journey
brought me to a simple place.
Upon arriving, I hear a gentle woman calling
my name.
I enter a space.
I am washed and refreshed beneath a shower.
Outside, the heavens pour down
sweeping rains.
Earth, too, wants to be made clean.
I pause, made humble.

Invited to a table, I am greeted
by a gentle man who brings glasses from
which to drink.  Soup, warm as I
touch the spoon to my lips.
Next, I’m crunching a salad with
juicy ripe tomatoes, the greenest
cucumbers, shreds of carrots.
The main entrée is set before me.
Apricot ice cream paints my pallet’s
final bite
—I pause in this holy communion.

The night moves in.
The day’s memories, a sweet
blanket, cover me.
I whisper softly, ‘good night.’

Pausing, eyes close in prayer.