imagine you are the sky





you are

the sky,


You are not

the clouds, thoughts


You transcend

the clouds.

You are

the sky,



the clouds—

billowed thoughts,

you are


The clouds,

you transcend.


The sky.

You are.




transcend billowed

thoughts, healing

rain, cleansing

breeze, wash of

gray drifting





you are

the sky.


(photo by Jeff Paul. Poem inspired by a meditation practice detailed in the book Way of the Winding Path by Eve Eschner Hogan)

retreat … well, I just got here

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I went into the woods to write

a story about going into the woods.

When I got there (The Retreat at Pointers Ridge)

I realized I didn’t want to write the story,

2015-06-13 19.20.01

which is to say, I didn’t want to write the story

just yet.

2015-06-13 15.02.59

What I wanted to write, it turns out, was


2015-06-13 15.06.27 (1)

I’ve been writing poems since I was ten years old.

Or before.

The first one I memorized (of my own creation) was

about a snowflake. The snowflake, to be clear,

was not my creation. The poem, delightfully, was.

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No one tells you, when you are young,

that you can journey well as a poet.

No one tells you, when you are in the middle of life,

that you can journey well as a poet.

What will they say when I am old …

or will I simply no

longer hear them?

2015-06-13 15.38.24

I joined the Marines, once,

long ago. I learned the language

of conflict. I learned love.

Hope. Fear.

I went to college. I learned

the same things, only

from books.

2015-06-13 19.24.11

It was in the woods where I

remembered: I speak

more than one tongue.

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I know

more than one path.

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I am

from more than one home.

2015-06-13 19.16.51

I am more

than one woman.


I contain multitudes

still, I contain

multitudes I

contain still


multitudes I





(All photo poems are from The Retreat at Pointers Ridge, South Dakota. The painted door is a creation by artist Jennifer White. Don’t know her work yet? Wait. The photo of the sky out the window of the Writer’s Cabin was inspired by a different photo, made by Jeff Paul. One moment after the other, I tried to see the world as Jeff sees the world, as Jennifer sees the world, as I see the world. I am better for the experience.)

in front of josephine’s

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in front of josephine’s

flowers like prayer

flags breathing

coaxing intention

from the breeze


you wish only

for light

light shall be

yours and

light you

shall be


Note: yesterday, I went downtown to talk photography with a group of women, some strangers, some friends. Emily spoke eloquently of light. Walking home later, I happened upon dangling flowers in front of a shop. They reminded me, equally, of Tibetan prayer flags and poetry. And so I was blessed. And so I was healed.

sculpture walk

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Each year, right around the time the earliest

blossoms begin slipping

from their branches,

a fresh series of sculptures appear

in the heart of our downtown.

We embark, as ever, upon the reasonable,

which is to say:

We take a walk.

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We open our eyes.

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We greet the world.

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Not all change is struggle.

2015-05-02 14.50.06

Some change arrives as a carpet of petals,

unfurling beneath your feet.

she calls me away


She calls me away

from the table where I work

Come, sit

with me instead

It is far better here

with my sighing body

my thoughtful head

resting in your lap



*photo by Jane Walsh

our poets have no time for poetry

2014-04-02 09.58.33

Our Poets Have No Time for Poetry

by lori walsh


Our poets stand in their kitchens, hands,

wrists, elbows plunged deep into sudsy water,

hot as they can tolerate,

Red sauce loosening and lifting from

the plate, leaving a gleaming disk of white

But no pen. No paper.

White plate skipping to the countertop

White towel lapping up those unwritten words


Our poets work as bottled water salesmen,

hawkers of the clean and the clear,

Their names embroidered onto patches sewn into Carhart jackets

They blow their lunch breaks in the children’s section of

Barnes & Noble, shopping for their kids, passing the poetry section by

as the tintinnabulation of their cell phones wages its delicate battle

Their clipboards pinch carbon copy forms with deliciously blank spaces—

Client name. Delivery date. What will you do with your wild and precious life?


Our poets are children, breathing shallow and deliberate

under the weight of expectation

Binder, backpack, water bottle sloshing for maximum hydration

because school is an endurance sport

Topic sentences, Annotations, Double spacing, Conventions

and Voice, oh yes, don’t forget Voice

You have none. You should really work on that.

Their jeans are stained with ink, their skin, stained with ink because they still

have so much to say they cannot help



Our poets have no time for poetry

And we have no time for our poets


We stand apart, All of us,

Noticing nothing,

Save the fact that we are, All of us,


on writing


writing is about seeing, long before it is about writing

seeing is about pausing

pausing, about trusting

trusting, living



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