Robert Frost once said – A scholar is someone who sticks to things. A poet is someone who uses whatever sticks to him.

I’m covered by beggar-ticksknapsekêrel, my Afrikaans readers. I thought I was no stickler, but the empty entries blurt the truth. I’ll handle the little beggars, one tick at a time.


wye draaie loop

August – skipped writing

September – skipped writing

October – skipped writing

skipped writing: a note to myself, to stay connected.

I’ve been giving here this writing a wide berth – wye draaie geloop.  I write the words skipped writing as a reminder – a note to myself, to stay connected, and to keep the relationship. A superficial part of the self condemns the blank dates, hisses failure, and splatters shame. The note to myself is a conscious call from deep – calling me to awareness (i have not written anything in 3 months) and calling me to action (i’m writing now). And how wonderworking the life that arises from this deep otherness being – it is as if I’ve not missed a moment of writing.

Always we begin again: it must be true.








You reading this, be ready


Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

teaching the dead bird to sing


the title of a book. it called me. i’m into birds lately. so it seems.

” … to perch on a lonely sill, with only myself for companionship… perhaps to be discovered by One capable of teaching me to sing an untimely song in an unlikely place …

… the life most of us live is a lonely one … wandering through our own wildernesses, eager to find a traveling companion with whom we can be vulnerable together.”


extracts. elixirs.


It is a cold day nearing Autumn’s end. My mom is 76 today. Over the phone I heard the tinkle of cups and conversations, the deep whir of my dad’s voice, and I felt peace pulsing  across the ether … six days gone we honored my dad’s 80th birthday … goodness and mercy follow us. I sit on my sill (in reality a doughnut shaped cushion), apron strings hugging my body. Wafts of early morn’s baked bread still hovering (not puffing the struggle with a cold sourdough starter). I listen to the sound of woodwork tools. Timber and trestle, shavings and sawdust – young adult hands dovetailing old wood into new dreams. A self figuring out another self – jigsawing pieces together.

And here I am, seesawing – 27 years older than the young working on his life’s puzzle, and 27 years younger than a lived-life of 80. Perched and cold.

… and rigid fingers start typing, pressing words into a blank space … for some One to read and see, for i remember another’s written words –  for me, to see

…. to break the bread of our lives with one another through any form of sharing is prayer…









A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

a Chinese proverb

This bird’s throat is sore. Not from singing too much, but from giving too many answers. She needs to practice singing. And she needs to remember – she’s a bird, and singing is her calling.

How to be a teacher (nota bene)


Gratia plena for the gifts

to show, to share.

You must observe you are

the learner, the listener,

over and over

more than you are they who enter

a world – sharing people,

discomforted and

yearning. Listen to them,

hear their call, the voice

of all our selves.    


Be – with awareness of being

present in the here and now

allow eyes to join.

Listen and keep listening.

Welcome words of the wise;

guard against the self.

Guard against the pretension

that uplifts itself to inspire.

There are no know-it-all teachers

only hesitant beginners

growing in life, the teacher.


Welcome the begin agains.

Receive the moment’s surprise.

From the others the message;

not your own voice, slow and endless

learning to the one who teaches

be a teacher that grasped

always the begin again.

                                                                                                      ~ sonja s

~ an imitation of a poem by Wendell Berry