Archive | March 2018

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve has died

She died yesterday, they say.

Her book, The Weight of Water,

brought the murder on the Isles of Shoals

to living, sweating, breathing life.

Her other books, did much the same.

The Pilot’s Wife, from the very beginning,

grabbed your gut, doubling you over just as in the book,

betrayal, conspiracy.


I wish you a good journey to the heavens, Madame,

where your work soars, and to where the hearts of all you touched

with your talent and words lift in thanks for your existence.

You are cured of your cancer, now.   You are free of the pain,

and we shall hold you in highest esteem.

Thank God for you!



“Poems from the Book of Hours” exposes Rilke’s soul; his mind, his heart,

all while he declares that should You,  God, remove all his parts,

his eyes, his ears, his feet, his arms, his heart, his mind,

still his blood shall embrace Thee; shall carry Thee to the world.

How is it he has such surety when he later asks,

“Was wirst du tun, Gott, wenn ich sterbe?

…nach mir has du kein Haus, darin dich Worte, nah und warm, begruessen…”

What WILL You do? Where will you live, God, when I die?


His questions, and his prayers lead NOT to despair,

but only to the confidence that reasons escape us due to our limited abilities,

which can be stretched, strengthened, expanded until finally all will be clear.


Lord, God, this Holy Season, fill our hearts and minds and souls with joy and knowledge,

that though there be powers beyond our understanding, You are there to guide us to All Good.




It is almost time for the fun to appear

April month brings so much to cheer

Tulips stretch, crocus bloom

Iris yawn, reach to the moon

Apple, and cherry, and plums  bud

Rose knees swell, roots in the mud

And amidst it all, our racing hearts

on April first National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) starts!







Carol and Gary went a travelin’

Just when their careers were unravelin’

Now they’ve been at it for two full years

Seein’ all the sights way far and  real near

RVing the highways, smooth and gravelin’


3/26/18  rJoHerman


She plays at the screen ad nauseam,

choosing it o’er the gymnasium.

She reasons with glee,

that for a small fee,

somebody would say she’s not lazy…uhm…

3/26/18 rJo Herman


To the Brokens Hearts in Parkland

It is time now, my darlings, or it will be soon,

that God-awful time, when there is nothing more to keep you busy.

You have loudly vomited your fear, and your  shock.

You have risen up, held a rally, protested, shouted, been applauded.

You have spewed your anger; demanded change!

[NOW, damn it! (Or better yet, make it retroactive, and bring them all back!]

You have sworn by all that is holy, and un, that NEVER shall this happen again.

YOU shall be last to know terror, and shock, and loss, and grief, and the black hole of impotence.  YOU shall be the conscience of the nation.  Amen!

Yet even before you buried your beloveds, before you began your outcry, before you enacted your plans to overcome, yet another shooting occurred.  Yet another bomb went off.  Yet another sicko proudly had his way with the world.  Yet others died.

So now, my darlings,

It is that God-awful time when you must embrace the silence, and find the confidence to get up and dressed, and walk again through the doors of your school, where all has changed, yet hasn’t. Back to what was, but will never be again.  Where life, and your parents, and everyone watching  insist that you get right back to it, certain that you are all strong enough, intelligent enough, determined enough to never falter. Haven’t you said so to the press?

Your names will be remembered, and the cameras will ever be there.  Forget about them.

Be gentle with yourselves.  Do not cower, but find your boundaries, and have them met.

Be a little gracious, when you can bear it.  Thoughts and prayers come in handy sometimes.

Take the rest of your lives to recover.  It will take at least that long.

Broken hearts still function. Guard yours, but keep them open.

Stomachs still growl, feed yours, well and often, preferably with friends and family.

Sleep still comes, be ready.  It may be sporadic, unreliable.

It is important to keep your strength up, because you see, you will NOT be the last.  That chance has already passed. And many of us against whom you rail HAVE seen what you have seen, and we know, beyond despair, that you will live.  Life is rude that way.

Shalom, and shalom.

3/26/18  rJo Herman





Blue eyes,

Like ice in a crevasse.

No blinking.

No twitching of either brow.

No chewing on the corner of his upper lip.

One, slow, deep intake of breath through that aquiline nose.

One, slower, controlled, exhale out through those same nostrils.

Then only his back,

shoulders squared,

passing through the doorway.

Slamming screen.



3/26/18  rJoHerman




This picture,

No, this photograph.

No, this moment of fog lifting from Jackson Lake, Grand Tetons…

Clouds, and mist, and rising steam,

and sharp, dare I say it, jagged peaks…

grey, and greyer, and black.

Framed and captured on my wall, inviting me to stare, to search for things initially unseen,

Like when I lived in Georgetown;  countless hours spent focused on Guanella Pass anticipating a deer, or porcupine, or screeing hawk, or Jason, come to kill.

It tricks me, as I stand here with the front door open to the chill air I would expect to feel were I there.

It tricks me into thinking the wind outside is blowing these fixed clouds down, out of  the hills, across the wide valley,  shredding the veil of knowing.


 just now as I welcome to my home a magnificent, expertly framed photo “Beyond the Veil” taken by Matt Timmermeyer of a place now on my bucket list, already in my soul…

3/5/18  rJoHerman