Cherry Blossoms

Withered blossoms
into nothing,
the crater
the past
that never returns
into its grasp.
a few buds remain—
wearied, badgered warriors
the battlefield—
holding fast to hope,
for Spring—
their deposed queen,
to reign in the sun.


Life is a Dirty Kitchen Sink

Several years ago I read an article on house cleaning in which the author offered a proven method to getting into the “cleaning spirit”: start with the kitchen sink. The author reasoned that the sink was ground zero for cleaning an entire house; clean the sink, then move on to counters, then the stove, then the floor, and then the rest of the house.

The article was a bit quirky and fun to read, but I did not put much thought into it until I came to the point where I could not ignore the spatters, stains, and dusty bunnies any longer. At the time, I lived in a two-story house with too many rooms to figure out where to begin. I used to begin with my bedroom, but that almost always led to me re-arranging my closet and wasting most of the day without making any headway. So on that day, I decided to try the advice out.

Before I could clean the sink I had to empty the pile of dirty dishes into the dish washer. After that, I scrubbed the sink until it was shiny and clean. I was (and still am) amazed at the instant feeling of accomplishment I felt over cleaning a sink. From there I moved on to the counters and the stove top, cleaning and scrubbing every inch of surface. I wiped down the oven and the fridge, and then swept the floor.

By early evening, I had cleaned most of the house AND cleaned more thoroughly than usual. The kitchen sink was the catalyst that motivated me to be productive. My task was not overwhelming because I began with something small and simple. That initial wave of accomplishment was my motivation to keep going. To this day, I still begin cleaning with the kitchen sink.

Humans are like dirty houses – we have many rooms and levels that make up who we are. Too often, we fail when we try to clean up our houses because we seek the whole picture and get overwhelmed at trying to do everything at one time. Adopt a “kitchen sink” mentality – start with small goals and let the motivation carry you along. Instead of feeling hopeless of the 100lbs you need to lose, set a goal to shed 5 lbs instead. Then set a new goal, and keep going until you get to your ideal weight.

Staring at two + more years of college at the time was disheartening, but I decided to just focus on one semester at a time. (And eventually I finished!) My mother has often reminded me of the correlation between overcoming a mountainous task and eating an elephant – one bite at a time. So grab a sponge, or a spoon, and get to it. Eventually you will get there.

Old Friend

We shook hands

in our minds

and smiled

as though no time

had passed.

We talked for hours

on that old porch

where I keep our memories –

with the two old rocking chairs

and that painted sunset

that always hangs in the sky.

Maybe someday

those words will live

as though we actually said them.

Maybe someday

we will greet each other

as old friends,

and move beyond the porch

to walk in the grass

and laugh at the wind.



Hope for a new day
takes root
as the sun fades
and its last shards
of glory
unfold in wonder.
I can see you
in the colors
and my breath is still.
A sea of grass
becomes my bed
where I watch
the dawn of Night
and think of your smile.
Maybe someday
will be tonight.
Or maybe tomorrow.
My hand is on the horizon –
I can almost reach you.