Fleeting Glory


Helpless Against the Storm


Here, in my suburban yard where peonies lie thrashed on the ground, battered by weekend winds and storms, I am grateful to have peonies, rooted to the earth, beside a house, strong on its foundation.

I collected strewn branches this morning, filled a bag with switches from the river birch. Each bending of my body was a prayer for survivors in Oklahoma whose lost trees are the least of their concerns, who have nothing but their own shaken foundations.

Each time I snapped twigs and added them to the compost bag I mourned for broken bodies, those buried yesterday in rubble and, closer to home, our dear friend Leonard lying in his hospice bed.

My body stooping, straightening, snapping, stuffing.

My liturgy to remember, to ask that the ravaged can bear the suffering, find relief, have hope.

Lord, have mercy. And grant us your peace.

Express Yourself

Express Yourself

 Created from photos taken at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Spring Cleaning My Pigsty


The temperature dropped, and my squeals rose.

“Who wants to walk through gardens in this kind of weather?!”

As the snow carpeted our crabapple blossoms, my complaints rained down on Craig.

“She can’t really still want to make this trip. We’ll be miserable!”

“She” was a good friend who had organized a two-day adventure for five of us to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, 200 miles south of us. The museum, which opened 18 months ago, was the dream of Walmart heiress and savvy art collector Alice Walton – 50,000 square feet of galleries designed by Moshe Safdie to nestle into the woods of her childhood and display the work of American masters.

A long, winding email stream had gotten our group to its current date, the first weekend in May. We anticipated warmth and sunshine for our gallery and garden walks. We got cold and snow instead.

At my insistence, Craig proposed a staycation. We could tour Kansas City galleries, see a movie and order dinner from the Friday Night Food Trucks. We could find another weekend for Bentonville.

My friend dismissed the idea. Emphatically.

Grrr. I grumbled as I packed, pulling out a winter coat, gloves and a hat I had already stored in the basement. Grrr. Out of spite, I grabbed little more than my toothbrush and clean underwear. Grrr. I groused as our departure time came and went – why was the person who didn’t want to go the only one ready on time? Grrr. I griped when Craig managed to take a wrong turn on a route that had no turns.

Then we were there. And Crystal Bridges gripped every part of me.

Had we heeded my sniveling, we would have missed this:

Crystal Bridges

The museum wasn’t the only beauty in town. Amid the drizzle and cold on Saturday morning, we discovered the farmers market around the downtown square. And a gallery of modern art housed in a hotel. And a food truck selling crepes. Coffee, steaming pancakes and adventure with friends kept us warm.

Downtown Bentonville

I hugged my friend and apologized for being quite contrary. If not for her insistence, this little piggy would have stayed home. I would have missed the art and architecture and gardens. I would have missed time with friends and small-town explorations. Thankfully, this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy ate a spinach crepe, and this little piggy cried “Yea! Yea! Yea!” all the way home.

All photos by Craig Lueck. Click here to see his photo illustration from the museum.


Today we’re linking our post with Artist Date from Tweetspeak Poetry. Check it out for a higher level of poetic writing than nursery rhymes.