My tiny daughter by the Elm tree.

“My tiny daughter stands by an Elm


The one that gave me vision.

A real Saul to Paul conversion.


Not upon a Damascus road,


Still a holy site.

My parents backyard, and a tree

I’ve known for all my life.


Warm for January,

But cold enough for urgency.

The pain of staying the same makes for urgent awakening.


Another story about a tree,


A confirmation of inner ugliness.

Every mirror, save one, confirmed this.


But this tree, she didn’t believe in anything.

Only now that I was willing

She herself whispering, “Take a look”.


Turn inward, turn around.

Like walking off a cliff, into unknown



And uncertain how.


Then, suddenly courageous, and I swear –

It was something the tree


could offer me.

Indeed now, turning around,

no longer blind

leaping –


From the furthest branch

of my self

back, back into the deep.


And what did I see?


Goddess, if that makes more sense.

Not alone, but underneath



A barren Elm, in the dead of winter

She taught me.”

— WRL, 1.1.18



New Year’s Light

“Of course, the light is blinding.
No one blames you for turning away.
At least nobody normal
Still gripping the edges of their countertops –
Or steering wheels
Bathroom door knobs.
Handles on kitchenware.
Smart phones.
There are so many things a person can grab hold of –
And then forget to let go.
Each week, I spend my working hours
Asking people to soften
Their tightened fists and talon-like fingers
Around the things that keep them too busy, too distracted, sometimes too compulsive
To turn and face this fearsome, gorgeous Light.
But, of course, I am the same.
Lately, it’s a very gripping argument with my own image.
Wanting to find an acceptable version of myself in every corresponding community.
Channeling my own voice through a strangle of synthetic notes.
Sometimes clutching and coercing, other times polite –
There’s nothing creative in it, though
I’m undone by fear, and not by pride,
Neither dignity or manners.
My fear is such a driver,
Too many steps have been surrendered
Hands too.
Tangled up too long in things that have never worked.
And still, somehow, this new day and every other,
By some Grace; let’s call it that –
I find by noticing the dimming,
I am again looking toward that light.”
-WRL, 1.1.18