Friday, February 12, 2021

In the Arms of the Maple

 Happy Friday...  It's almost Valentine's Day, so I'm sharing this warm heart with you and yours.

We happen to be in the portion of NJ that has been endowed with 29" of snow in the past two weeks or so. And it sounds like more to come. I'm a winter person and I mostly enjoy the startling change in the landscape, the beauty, the crisp air. So... I took this photo one day before the sun melted the snow off, and I've been trying to write about it. So far I've fiddled with an etheree.  Let me know what you think... 

In the Arms of the Maple


branch and

twig reaches

out to gather

the cold confetti

(a handout that dazzles

and drapes for stylish soirees)

then north wind blasts some cool music

and ev-ry limb shimmers and shakes 'til

glitter bomb!!! Looks like winter threw a fete!

© Karen Eastlund

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Molly Hogan at  Thanks so much for hosting, Molly, and for your beautiful artist's prayer poem.

Be well, and have a wonderful week!

Thursday, February 4, 2021


 Hi All... I have struggled to write poems lately. Maybe you have times like that also. But recently I began reading A Primer for Poets and Readers of Poetry by Gregory Orr, and I found his approach so interesting that I have been able to try some of his challenges. So... without further ado... here is my poem... based on a memory of me and my father. It may amuse you to know that I ended up being the shortest of my siblings, just 5'2" in my prime. 

Shooting Hoops

I could smell his sweat as we stood
side by side on the driveway
Watch how I stand, he said
The ball swished through the net

I took the same wide-leg stance
heaved the ball and...
it fell short... Try again,
throw harder, let it go just so...

Me with both hands on the pebbly ball
Bend at the waist and swing up
When I made my first basket
sparks lit his eyes... That's it!

We practiced 'til streetlights came on
Mosquitos buzzing in the sultry night
He teaching hoops to his youngest daughter
Me, just a squirt, really trying.

© Karen Eastlund

Today is Poetry Friday... join us!
Thanks to Jone Rush McCulloch for hosting at

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cold Days, Warm Heart

 Big snowstorm here in NJ this week. We've done a lot of shoveling, but the good news is, I've had some good visits with my neighbors because of it. I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where people help one another. Before I was even out of bed on Monday morning, one of my neighbors was wrangling his snowblower along my sidewalk. Later in the day, another came to say hello and shovel with us for a while, hefting some of the heavy snow that the plow pushed into our driveway. Several neighbors shouted solidarity, and we joked and shared a good laugh. And we did our part as well, helping some others. On a snowy windswept day, neighborliness warms my heart.  

Hubby's pick-up bed... and... it's still snowing...and blowing. 😊

I love the way snow transforms the landscape. One day the world is brown, gray, skeletal, and dull. The next day it is bright and glittery, full of soft curves and lumps, crunching and squeaking beneath our boots. A miracle of transformation!

These beautiful paper snowflakes were given to me by my good friend Joey who lives in Minnesota. I see her every few years, but she is always in my heart. Thanks again, Joey! 

I find great comfort in music, and lately I've been taken with this jazzy rendition of Heart & Soul. I can't watch it without smiling and humming along. My grandkids pound out this same oldie on the piano now, and their efforts are a kind of chaos that delights and warms my heart.

Thinking about this post, I remembered a book from my shelf, one that reinforces a warm heart. Embracing the Love of God by James Bryan Smith. I commend it to you and leave you with one of its treasures... these words express God's love for us by way of a compilation of Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and James B Smith:

I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours. You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests. I have molded you from the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother's womb. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. Has it crossed your mind that I am proud you have accepted the gift of faith I have offered you? Proud that you have freely chosen me, after I had chosen you, as your friend and Lord? Proud that with all your warts and wrinkles you haven't given up? I never expected you would be perfect.
I love you. I love you. I love you. Nothing will ever change that.

Here's wishing you a warm and happy heart, both today and in the days ahead. 

Thanks to Fran Haley for hosting our Spiritual Journey group. Find more at

Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:14