I Move Closer

It wasn’t there yesterday, but

it’s there today,

a large brown bug,

still, unmoving.


When I check again, it’s still there,

still unmoving.

I move closer.

I pick it up.


I turn it over. A tiny

seed’s held tight in 

its grasp…What will

I die holding?


Turn, Turn, Turn

It’s not that there’s no place to turn

when doubts abound, 

when things get rough,

when pain persists.

If we open up, we might see

beyond our fear

to another


With that counter-instinctive turn

 we can slowly 

make our way to

love’s outstretched arms.







Where Do I Go When I Am Lost

Where do I go when I am lost,

when mind races,

when, heart beats fast,

and fingers shake?


Where do I go when I am lost,

when feet won’t move,

when mouth goes dry,

and eyes just stare?


Where do I go when I am lost,

when what I knew

and the one who 

knew disappears?




Storm Tossed

When there’s just a hint of a storm,

my dog Jimmy

shivers over 

to me and asks

“How could you have let things come to

this? Haven’t I 

made myself clear?

Storms are scary.

You have to nip them in the bud.

Help me out here.

Just get a grip

and make them stop.”


A Saving Word

It must have been beginner’s luck.

It certainly

wasn’t skill or


but as I sat with my sangha,

eyes closed, breathing

in and breathing

out, struggling 

with heavy feelings of despair,

a purple and

pink “Hi” appeared

and made me grin.



Four years ago today, on September 4, 2011, I started this blog with the following poem:

The Shed

Before even a road was laid

the shed was there,

nestled amidst

tall pines, scrub trees;

a holding place for lawn tractor,

shovels, hoes, rakes,

and a woman,

who, mowing done,

rested and watched two great blue

herons soar and 

nest, their place found,

hers yet to be.

What I didn’t know then, but what I have come to know, is that it is in the act of writing that I have found my place. Thank you for joining me here on aholdingplace.


Jane And Me

The biggest difference between 

Jane Austen and

me is that she

wrote and wrote well

while all around her, daily life

swirled and stuttered.

I write too, but

not at all well

in this cacophony of kids,

and cats and dogs

and plaintive pleas

of look at me.


Somehow, Someway

Sitting on the riverbank, I

watch my thoughts float

by. I’ve learned at

last to follow

them and I rest content. Then

somehow, someway,

somewhy, somewhen,

I find that I

have plunged on in after them

and together

we are carried

far out to sea.


As If By Magic

I do nothing and they appear

each and every

year, their golden

faces tilted

in the sun, their black eyes aglow.

Joined by other

rooted friends, they

beckon bees and

hummingbirds, butterflies, and me

to linger for

a season til

they have to go.


An Open And Closed Case

One day I refuse to act on

a suggestion

that could ease my

tension, even

solve a problem. The next day I

decide to act.

What’s the difference

between one day

and the next? The difference lay

not in the day

but in me and

my willingness.