The Prompter Room

For Friday, August 31, 2018:


Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots.



The Prompter Room

For Saturday, April 30, 2016:


“Jump, and you will find out how to unfurl your wings as you fall.”

Ray Bradbury

Some wings would have been nice a few days ago!  The day after I wrote that I was going to take a week off from my blog for a vacation of sorts, I took a tumble when I was outside feeding the birds.  It wasn’t the worst fall I’ve ever had – after several minutes, I was able to get up by myself, which was a good thing since no one was around – but it did shake me up (as falls do for most folks, I imagine) and I said a few choice words as I sat there on the ground.

Because I do have a propensity for falls, I’m always VERY careful when I walk.  I thought I was last Sunday, too, but still something – a hidden tree root or a rock or who knows what – tripped me up and down I went.  Once I hobbled back inside and fed the two dogs, I could nurse my wounds, a wrenched knee and shoulder.  For some reason, though, I felt more bruised inside for the rest of the week than I was outside.

I had hoped to read and catch up on other folks’ blogs and comments in my vacation week, especially now that I had to take it easy because of my fall, but Mercury came into its retrograde phase a little early and sent my Internet connections to you-know-where in a handbasket with the wings I could’ve used earlier.

So much for that plan.  The extra time, then, went into more edits on a client’s novel manuscript, and I made good progress.

Another good thing came out of this past week: I found a poem I wrote three years ago that I’d forgotten about!  That’s always a treat.  Since that discovery felt like a gift, and as I ease my way back into The Prompter Room, I thought I might share that little poem to say ‘It’s good to be back.’  I think it fits this past week.

Gathering Glimpses

A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.  That’s how I hold your voice.



Sometimes the words come too fast

to grab by pen, take hold

on paper, thoughts generated by

who knows what – a sight,

a sound, a smell, a memory,

newspaper or book – yet still


the poet picks up pen and paper

in the liturgy of waiting,

has faith that wayward words

from long ago might find their place

in just this poem or that, born of

and in and for the collective

union of emptiness,

knowing it is often true

that the most important part of

a poem is the words that are left out.


And sometimes it is best, in those

fast and furious moments,

to let the cat sleep in your lap, or

sit beside a quiet stream, to listen

to birdsong, the calls of crows,

and to watch the boulders emerge

from beneath the melting snow.



© ERR 3/26/13

The Prompter Room

For Friday, February 26, 2016:


“Observe the wonders as they occur around you.  Don’t claim them.  Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.”

Jalauddin Rumi

“Some people feel the rain.  Others get wet.”

Bob Marley

Can you smell the rain coming two or three hours ahead of time?  It’s a sweet smell, especially in the summer, fragrant and refreshing.  Have you seen rain coming from a distance?  Where it slices through the sunlight along a valley between mountains?  And then the mist of its edges starts to envelop you, a mist so fine you can’t feel it yet but you can see tiny water droplets on your skin?

Do you stand there and wait for more, or do you get into the car or under a roof before the rain grows in intensity?

If you’re like I am, you likely retreat to a drier place, or at least put on a jacket or pull out an umbrella.  Once in a while, though, it’s worth it to stay and wait for the rain.

Rumi’s advice to not claim the wonders we observe takes me back to not a rainy day, but a day full of other wonders.  It was a spectacularly perfect summer day in Vermont, as only Vermont can pull off: warm and plentiful sunshine, eagles and hawks soaring in the updrafts, wildflowers in a field of grass, the waters of the southern end of Lake Champlain sparkling in the background.

I had a camera with me, but I chose not to use it that day many years ago.  Instead I stored up the wonders.  I inhaled the fragrances of sun-warmed grass, the wildflowers, the sounds of the bees and dragonflies as they swirled around us, the cries of the raptors, the soft sighs of the waters easing into the rocky shore.  When I wrote a poem about it a few days later, I said that it was a day for memories, not for photographs.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with photographs!  I’m a photographer, and several friends are phenomenal photographers.  My best friend’s work is like haiku from a camera – the way she finds the hints of wonder in a subject, usually one or more flowers, and blends the hues and colors is nothing short of amazing.  She sees and finds the artistry in what to most of us is a simple petunia or tulip or violet.  She entices the viewer to want to reach out and touch the satiny petals even as we know there’s more to wonder at than what we see in the frame.

I’ve taken plenty of photos of places and events I want to remember, but there are some rolls of film – yes, before digital cameras were affordable and before cameras in phones – that are still undeveloped, and others just sit inside my computer.

But the memories are fully developed.  I still see the people, the places, and I can go back to them anytime I want to.  I remember the warmth of that sunny Vermont day, the smell of the approaching rain through a Southern mountain valley, the wide expanse of a Welsh riverland, the intoxicating fragrance of red ginger in Maui, watching a chameleon turn different colors as it climbed through lush foliage (now that’s a wonder if ever I saw one!), the pathways a little garden snake makes in the leaf litter, a perfectly-formed spider web glistening with dewdrops in the early rays of the rising sun, the bright and curious eyes of a chipmunk ….

There is so much artistry and wonder and beauty in this world, sometimes right in front of us and at our feet, if we but look for it and pay attention.  Even in the rain.