Saturday, August 23, 2014

What's Happening on my NEW Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Redirect; Visit us at our new location!

I'm not abandoning this blog (this conglomeration of blogs really), but I've been wanting to streamline &/or consolidate all of them for a while now, so I've started something new:

Please follow the link and take a look. I'm hoping to revitalize my blogging by making doing it more consistently and having each post be more brief and focused. I hope you'll like it and follow me at the new single blog site. Thanks. See you there.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Stupid Raven

I know that my Redeemer lives
Be that as it may,
There's still this
Black bird
Rapping on my chamber door
Incessantly reminding me
Of my loss

Grief is like an earthquake
At least mine has been
I knew it was likely to come
I thoughti'd prepared
Yet when it arrived I was still 
Shocked & overwhelmed

What's worse
Are the aftershocks
Never knowing when they'll come
Or how frequently
Or how hard each will be
Or how long they'll each last

I know you're better off
And in our Savior's arms
But you're not in my arms anymore
And I'm not in yours

I'm supposed to beon your shoulders 
In the sun
Or slung over your shoulder
Asleep, too tired& too young
Depending on your stamina and strength land patience

But this fucking raven keeps visiting me
In my chamber
"No more, never more!"
Shut up

Stupid bird
Stupid melancholy
Stupid pain

Let me go

Rain, rain, go away
Comeback again some other day
Maybe someday when it's easier to ignore you,
Work through you
See past you

Today, you're all I know

Saturday, May 03, 2014


I can't help thinking
What a kick
My grandmother
Would get
Out of
The pair of cardinals
In our young mock pair tree
Outside our kitchen window

Is this a poem,
Just an observation,
Or a tweet?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Make Art That Hurts

I've been reading about the German Expressionist painters recently since I'm teaching my Eighth grade class about it. To see a slideshow visit

Ernst Kirchner in particular interested me. Much of his early work looks like Matisse's. But Matisse believed that every painting needs to be joyful and comfortable for viewers. After Kirchner suffered a breakdown as a soldier wounded in WWI, his works came to reflect his deep suffering. Kirchner wasn't necessarily fishing for sympathy, but his paintings certainly invoke emotions and provoke reaction.

Norwegian master Edvard Munch is know for deliberately making his viewers part of his paintings like audience participants standing in a stage play. His viewers are usually discovering intimate scenes that in real life they'd probably not be intended to see. This strategy of Munch's doesn't merely express his feelings, it effectively shares experiences.

Notifying friends of a trauma may solicit sympathy, but sharing an artwork you created or a poem you wrote in response to your trauma can in very real ways shae or replicate your experience thereby eliciting empathy.

Art (not just painting, drawing or sculpting, but writing too) is not only therapeutic for the one creating it, but can be cathartic for the viewer too. In that way it builds connections between people and helps students develop empathy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hardest thing I ever had to write

Merle C. Mallory, age 83 of Phoenix passed away Sunday, March 30, 2014 peacefully, surrounded by his family.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, Merle is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Sharleen Mallory and his two sons and their families; Bart and Debbie Mallory of Surprise, AZ and their children Daniel and Emma; and Ted and Bethany Mallory of Charter Oak, IA and their children, Grace, Ellen, and Annamarie. And by  two sisters; Marlene Smith of Ann Arbor, MI and Mildred Dean of Whitmore Lake, MI,

Born February 8, 1931 in Petoskey, Michigan to Clifton Frank and Hilda Gay Mallory. He attended high school in Belleville, Michigan, where his family had moved during WWII. Merle enjoyed working for a local farmer after school.

On December 5, 1950 he went to work for American Airlines. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He was stationed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bennington where he was part of the Air Reconnaissance Squadron VMC-2. He achieved the rank of Sergeant as crew chief for planes patrolling the Caribbean for Soviet activity.

Upon discharge in 1953, he resumed his employment at American Airlines, a job he would continue another 45 years, working at the Detroit Metro and then Phoenix Sky Harbor Airports. While working in Detroit, he met his future wife Sharleen M. Reilly, whom he married at Angelica Lutheran Church in Allen Park Michigan on April 20, 1963.

Merle attended adult instruction classes at Angelica where he was both baptized into the Christian faith and Confirmed as a member of the Lutheran church on the same day,  May 10, 1964.

The couple moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1968 where they would raise their two sons and become members at Christ Church Lutheran, where he attended Bible studies, often served as an usher and volunteered. Merle retired from American Airlines in 1997 and enjoyed traveling with his wife, bowling, playing cards and dominoes, and doting on his grandchildren. Merle never missed watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game on TV.

Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 PM Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Hansen Chapel, 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020. Memorial service will be at 6:30 PM Friday, April 4, 2014 at Christ Church Lutheran, 3901 E Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018. Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church Lutheran Scholarship Fund.

Other Posts & Poems about Dad and/or grief
Great way to remember both of these; P51 was one if Dad's favorite planes and Psalm 51 was his favorite psalm. #P51 #PS51 #Psalm51

Written on a plane on the inside jacket of a paperback on the way home

no words

no images

 works well enough
there's not even
 much comfort
 in the familiar
cold comfort
 when there is



 sleep is
  no escape
when what little sleep
   actually comes

better to just
 keep moving
trudging on

what else is there to do?
what else is there?
what else?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

On the coldest night of the year

Your window rattled
the storm window being blown between the frame and the real window

but mine did not

The pages shuffled as I turned them in my book

but yours did not

The wind chime outside our neighbors back door made a little noise

but the owl in our tree, that most nights hoots and hoots

did not

Every once in a while there's a deep hollow thump from some duct in the basement, or maybe it's the fuel barrel becoming more empty. 

But the dogs from over a block and up the street haven't made a sound. 

Once in a while I notice your breathing calmly and evenly. 

And there's that wind chime again.