Category: Hope

Christmas Haiku By Carol Purington


Christmas cookie cutters
in the Christmas cookie tin
. . . a lamb, a donkey

In their flames
the brightness of His rising:
four Advent candles

The old apple tree –
its Christmas carol the red
of a cardinal

In the barn manger
an armful of sweet-breathed hay
Out the window a star

Carol and I began corresponding many years ago.  As you can see, these haiku by Carol are from her book, FAMILY FARM Haiku for a Place of Moons.  Illustrations by Shirley L. Horn.  Published by Winfred Press (Colrain, MA).  All Rights Reserved.

Another of Carol’s many books is Morning Song: Poems For New Parents.  An anthology edited by Susan Todd and Carol Purington.  St. Martin’s Press.  Their website is

For current news, please visit Carol’s poetry page at her family website:

This post was updated on December 19, 2013.

Blessings, Ellen

Psalm 20 – A Favorite Old Poem

When we lived in Illinois, I spent a lot of time by a neighborhood pond.  I was teaching full-time in Chicago then, and gradually realizing it was time to return to Wisconsin.  I thought I was going to be a full-time writer.  Instead there were health challenges, but they made me a better caregiver for my mother.  Many people helped her and she blessed them all.

The world continued on, and I still feel like I am catching up in some ways.   But I don’t mind this anymore.  And now I am writing almost every day and well within the quiet life that is right for me now.

Thank you for your kind reading.  I enjoy your good blogs as well–photography, drawings, mixed media art, science classes (never too old to try and learn things that are harder for me), bird-watching, meditations about creativity, and of course poetry and many essays America, Canada, and other countries. I had penpals from different places in the world when I was growing up too.

The following poem was published first in MIDWEST POETRY REVIEW, in 1994.  Sometimes this seems like yesterday, and sometimes ages ago.


There are days
when everything seems a metaphor…
I persist with a bottle of salad dressing
that won’t open
Touch the childhood scar on my forehead
now blended with a wrinkle
Am comforted by cards and letters
sent at just the right time
Gaze at the blue heron who stayed
long into the Fall
And marvel at the migrating monarchs
on their way.

I ponder the limits of persistence
for the heron left one day
And feel wounds aging into wisdom
although scars do stay
Recognize “help from the sanctuary”
and read Psalm 20 once again
In wonder at these days when
everything seems a metaphor…

New dreams were growing all along
And would be tested true
I finally flew to embrace them too.

* * *

Update, October 16, 2012:  Yesterday I also posted “Psalm 20” on My Journal Poems.

First Frost On The Fields

first frost
on the fields
when did
the robins

late October
kale for sale
at Home Depot

wearing a second
colorful sweater
first frost on the fields

a roundabout way
and by
Tree Farm

frost glitters on the fields

placing the geraniums
in the sunroom
time to transplant

Image of Kale Lettuce is courtesy of

Bossler’s Christmas Tree Farm is here in Oostburg.  I went to the Home Depot in Kohler for new pots and organic soil for the geraniums.  Now they can live inside for a time.

The Seasons Are Changing

One of our favorite memories is from many years ago, after I had been in school on one side of the teacher’s desk and/or the other, from age 4 to 39.  Since many are getting ready to go back to school, the days are getting shorter, the corn is tall, and local produce is abundant, fall seems close.  We bought a home that needed a lot of work, and one year around this time, I looked out the window and said to Karl, “The seasons are changing.”  But of course, if you are in the middle of a lot of outside work, or want to get a sailboat in the water, it’s great to remember the golden days of September ahead–that summer lasts awhile longer!

The image is a sample from from Crafter’s Cornucopia CD-ROM and Book.