Thursday, December 31, 2009

blue moon

opened my eyes
to a blue moon
stepped outside
feet avoiding snow

on New Year's Eve
will happen again

let's see
easy math
i'll be

i get run over
or any number
of bad news

a lot will happen
between now and then

in the meantime
another New Year


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


(illustration Michelangelo's fresco Sistine Chapel ceiling painted circa 1511)

i love the feeling of a fresh start
a new year
anything is possible

with 2010 knocking
i have ideas
strides to improvement

passed trying
not quite hitting goal,
leaves me hesitant

step out of the foyer
approach that holy place
"fresh courage take"

after all
i know
in attempt


Monday, December 28, 2009


* when he shimmied up the thirty foot flag pole...descended in a flash, and declared, "you'll never see that again."

* watching that last baby move inside of me's not likely that i will ever experience this again.

* the visit in her bedroom--the hug--getting in the car and driving away. knowing that embrace was the last.

* reading a storybook and then it occurs to me..."you will never be asked to read this again."

* sitting through that elementary school Halloween parade watching you stroll by all made up.

what was it about these experiences that made me aware of  the last time?

Last night I savored time spent with those I love wondering at lasts.

usually i brush by lasts. the pain of endings can spoil the nows. life has been so sweet that i choose not to see something as an experience that i may never witness again. usually.


always climbing

with no end in sight.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

dear one

what do you see?
how could you know
that she was in jail last Christmas...
that she hitchhiked to Sacramento
with a cat
 lived and almost died
on the streets

can you tell?
she reads on a 4th grade level
"they put me in stupid school"
wanted to be "regular"
to belong
waiting for the phone to ring
always trying

she is my darling
i see
good through and through
more than enough

can she stay out of trouble?
will she ever know how much she is loved
is our hope
and prayer

wonder of wonder
miracle of miracles


Friday, December 25, 2009

merry Christmas

in my bed
only one awake
peaceful chilly house
husband quiet breaths

the birds stir
they know
it's time to rejoice
He is born


Thursday, December 24, 2009

God is not dead, nor doth he sleep...

"God bless us, every one!" --Tiny Tim

this is a worthwhile eight minutes and 36 seconds....promise!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

silent night

i need a silent night
a holy night
to hear the angel voice
through the chaos and the noise

i need a midnight clear
a little peace right here
to end this crazy day
with a silent night

-amy grant-


Monday, December 21, 2009

my girls

rarely all together
my girls
each one

these girls
my life's intent
make my heart sing

dear girls
Christmas already came
the gift

my darling girls


Sunday, December 20, 2009

only four days

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

He could have made it easy
that long dusty trip
to travel so far
great with child
she suffered and obeyed

the road is rough
travel fraught with challenge
followed by sweet
His love
that Child


Saturday, December 19, 2009

He Heals

"The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the healing it offers do much more than provide the opportunity for repentance from sins.  The Atonement also give us the strength to endure 'pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind,' because our Savior also took upon Him 'the pains and the sicknesses of his people' (Alma 7:11).  Brothers and sisters, if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden."

Dallin H Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," 
Ensign, Nov. 2006, 9


Thursday, December 17, 2009

i've been expecting you

when love comes knocking
you must answer the door
no putting off
no come back later

"won't you come in"
"i've been waiting for you"
not really knowing what to expect
instant recognition

when love comes knocking
be prepared
to change your life

this most amazing guest
you will ever entertain
will be invited to stay
through thick or thin


(today Joseph and Lynda will be sealed for time and all eternity)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15

twenty-two years ago
our 14th wedding anniversary
you were born

the very best anniversary gift
my December baby

rupture then fluid
reluctant to arrive
threatened c-section
i prayed
you came

 in retrospect

when problems present
you come through

not only you
the asking brought

(happy birthday dear Joseph, happy birthday to you.)


Monday, December 14, 2009

pet peeve

i have a thing with punctuality
i find it an important practicality
for me it is a stark reality
that being on time is just plain civility

(none of the -ity virtues referred to in last general conference by Bishop Burton)

Main Entry: pet peeve
Function: noun
Date: circa 1919: a frequent subject of complaint


Saturday, December 12, 2009

leonardo da vinci

never only hands
they are a miracle
worthy subject
hang on...let go...twist...pick up
test the

thank Thee for hands


Friday, December 11, 2009

you never know...2009

it all started splendid
oldest...pride and joy hair
fixed just so
all ready for the Christmas
family photo

then splat
a dastardly pigeon
let go

one amused
some concerned
a day not to be forgotten
for the wrong reason

little boys smile
perfect cooperation
hat girl sees the joke
but, oldest
just a poopy day


Thursday, December 10, 2009

i stand all amazed

today is a day for temple worship
lynda becomes endowed
supernal gift
parting veil
glimpse of heaven
comprised of family


*to be endowed
*temples close by
*worthy children
*willing heart
*frosty air to breathe
*i know i am His child
*colorful wrapping paper
*morning stretch
*to create
*our heater works
*toast and hot chocolate
*we can pay our bills
*young ed was born


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


there is a crack
most appealing

a vessel to carry
holding my heart

i could never abandon
memory of
she who came bearing this gift

lovely comfort

"Wabibitos live modestly, satisfied with things as they are.  They own only what's necessary for its utility or beauty (ideally, both).  They revere humans over machines, surrounding themselves with things that resonate with the spirit of their makersWabi-sabi is imperfect:  a beloved chipped vase or a scarred wooden table.
This getting away from perfect is one of wabi-sabi's most appealing facets.  It means you can keep the tablecloth even though it's fraying on the edges and admire the rug as it fades from brilliant red to pale rose.  You can let things be.  It's like going to Grandma's house.
Our Depression-era grandmothers knew wabi-sabi.  And their houses were so comfortable because they understood, inherently, the difference between wabi and slobby.  Their tablecloths and linens were faded, but they never had rips or tears.  Their furnishings had a settled-in quality, but they weren't dilapidated.  Their floors showed wear, but they were always swept, with rag rugs that wove together memories in their use of old garments."
~Robyn Griggs Lawrence

i read about this idea today (having no idea there was a term for this philosophy) life is filled with wabi-sabi...i love it so. this is why i find it difficult to toss items from my life. it's not that i'm hanging on to junk; chipped and scarred speak life and living. those visual reminders make me feel comfortable, and often tell a story.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

first star

barely married
first Christmas
choosing an ornament

California warmth
didn't feel like home
downtown store
ornaments galore

but, i knew
it had to be a star
to grace the boughs

that little star
35 trees later
still lights the way



Saturday, December 5, 2009


a Swiss tradition
each Christmas
generations passed down
house fragrant
symbols on each cookie
a proud people

sugar, cinnamon, eggs, butter
toasty thin wafers
crumbs scatter

his mother Lois
her mother Stella
her mother grandma Mani
her mother grandma Karlan
as far as anyone can remember

now our children

swiss iron
emerges each year
we gather
tell stories
listen to the songs

a sweet cycle


Friday, December 4, 2009


the tree is up
home smells of welcome
clock sings NOEL
little bits of sparkle
scattered to and fro

He would feel peace here
surely He knows

sharing just a little more
a way to honor


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

cast on, knit, cast off

metaphor (i think so)

"Choosing your wool is dizzying with potential: The waves of colors and textures tempt with visions of a sweater or cap (and all of the accompanying compliments you hope to receive) but don't reveal the hard work required to get there. Patience and attention to detail make all the difference. Also willingness. Challenge keeps it interesting, but don't select a pattern that's too far beyond you. Always select the best yarn you can afford. And use the type of needle that feels best in your hand; I always used bamboo. Even now, it all seems unbelievable to me that by pulling together a motley collection--the soft yarn, the sharp needles, the scripted pattern, the smoothing hook, the intangibles of creativity, humanity and imagination--you can create something that will hold a piece of your soul. But you can."

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

sporting her first knitted creation...miss lizzie...
and yes, she does hold a piece of my soul


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


the most baffling thing
just can't figure out
why such a happy event
makes me feel a little blue

love these kids
it's a fit
hand and glove

a chapter closes
i keep looking back
wanting a little more
of you


Sunday, November 29, 2009


the most i could ever hope for
my heart's desire
to enjoy each other

to really truly care
show up
delight in

a mother's dream
my fondest wish
always to be friends
come true

(my eight taken in August at David's wedding)


Saturday, November 28, 2009

the mask

did you ever wish
you had a mask
perpetual smile
no matter what?

heavy hearts
thorny paths

but then
there would be the


throw away the mask
you are enough

masks are for theater

they get heavy
obscure vision

we are about real

illustration by IRISZ AGOCS

Friday, November 27, 2009

my boys

these are the guys
the smiles
easy to love

it doesn't matter what i'm doing
when they walk through the door
my world stops
i'm there

"can i fix you something to eat"
"what's up"
"drive safely"

no one prepared me
i honestly had no idea
i should have known

my mother behaved the same way
adoring the men in her life


Thursday, November 26, 2009

3:48 AM

it was just a dream
a bad one
i decide to check on you
round the corner
only your white hair
blue eyes
barely visable
mostly submerged
looking for help

it was just a dream
that woke me pre-dawn
i jumped in the water
overshot the jump
snatched you up

only a dream
you were two
maybe three
"don't swim without me"
you nod
"do you know how many times
i've pulled you out"
i hold up four fingers

even though a dream
i'm sick inside
sleep has fled
i want to bawl
you looked so helpless

the dream evaporates
i pray
so thankful
it was just a dream

(note...two separate times i have jumped in the water to pull out totally submerged little kids. both times i was fully dressed...once in a pond; the other time a swimming pool...neither of those kids were scary)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009



* my Boise family is coming to town
* i get to cook the special dinner
* my health is perfect
* children love to gather here
* my feet are warm
* abundance surrounds me
* she brought home pumpkin bread
* she can apologize
* he forgives
* the breeze cleared the valley
* maria helps me
* blessings rain
* toast
* tweety is sleeping here
* showing the girls how to knit
* he makes fires
* America
* freedom fighters
* missionaries
* scriptures
* honest hearts
* morning


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

faces in a crowd

to a bystander
just faces in a crowd
i see

to be God
and love every face
is to sacrifice
your Son


Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

this bed

this is the bed
where all have gathered
as long as i can remember
children come here

days ups and downs revisited
sometimes enveloped
more often perched
we make plans

somehow it is like king's X
at day's end
ollie ollie in free

now grandchildren come
squeeze in

this holy place
of consecrated love
made visible
to offer real rest
from worldly care


Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Twilight" ignites

funny, no?

Dear Jonathan in Aberdeen:

If somehow you were able to understand the appeal of these books to women; you would have an edge on most men in this world.

While it is true that these books are not great literary achievements. It is also important to note that the imagination found within their pages makes them fun for most women/young women to read. As my daughter-in-law Melissa so aptly pointed out...IT'S FANTASY.

So, Jonathan, I can see that you have an engaging sense of humor by looking at this photo. If you must keep yourself warm I would suggest that you abandon the idea of burning books and embrace literally "a hunk, a hunk, of burning love." Which is more than Edward Cullen would ever be able to offer.


Cristie Clark Carter


what if?

the wind in howling
chimes clanging
trash cans tipped over
strewn in back yard

Christmas is coming
it's December 1
pumpkin spice candle burns
a few reminders displayed

my computer crashed
sweetie let's me borrow his
it makes me cranky
i am too plugged in



kitchen wall
remind wisely

but much more

opportunity laden

making a lovely life

to be wise
type and shadow

to die at night
and rise anew

born each day
to try

photo by alison carter brasher

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ten years ago

we were in the temple
lights flickered
that was all
no other indication

katie and ed
receiving endowment

gnarly dark mess
twisted uprooted trees
blowy dark erie

that august day
visible, tangible reminder
dependable safety

Daniel 3:15-18

SALT LAKE CITY (AP)(8-11-99)- A rare tornado touched down without warning Wednesday in the downtown area, killing one person and injuring more than 100.
The black, swirling cloud struck about 1 p.m., uprooting trees and temporary buildings set up for a retailers convention. It also damaged the roofs of the 8-year-old, 20,000-seat Delta Center, home of the Utah Jazz, and the Salt Palace Convention Center. Windows were blown out at the nearby Wyndham Hotel.
Ken Connaughton, spokesman for Mayor Deedee Corradini, said there was one confirmed dead and more than 100 hurt. Earlier, he had said there were four dead but later he said that was erroneous.
Chris Garcia of the city fire department said his people had transported about 25 people, seven critically injured.
John Dwan, University of Utah Hospital spokesman, told MSNBC that two people were in critical condition there, plus 10 with lesser injuries including severe cuts. More patients were likely to come in, he said.
He said he was expecting a thunderstorm as he drove back to work from lunch. "Then it got really dark ... and I said 'Boy, that is one of the biggest thunderstorms I've ever seen. Then it started swirling. You could see it swirling."
Dwan recalled that he thought the approaching storm looked like a tornado, then he thought, "Nah, that couldn't be a tornado, we don't get those here."
Bill Alder, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service, confirmed that the location of the tornado was unusual. He said the state experiences only two tornados in a typical year.
The downtown area looked like a disaster zone with trucks overturned, power lines down, windows blown out, shards of glass everywhere, and police and firefighters attending to dozens of injured. Helicopters were landing to ferry injured to hospitals.
The streets were littered with debris from the outdoor retailer show at the Salt Palace, which was evacuated because of a gas leak. It was not known how many people, if any, were trapped beneath the beams of the collapsed tents used by the convention.
Dan Groff of San Diego, attending the retailers convention, said he saw several critically injured people in the area around the huge main tent.
"I helped one guy who had a beam fall on him. His knees were buckled under his chest. It just crushed him," Groff said, adding that he could not detect a pulse.
Robert Stock of Toronto, a sales representative for a rock-climbing company, said he saw the roof of the Delta Center lift up when the tornado passed over.
"It peeled it right back, just like an orange peel," he said.
David Gross, an exhibitor from Sudbury, Mass., was inside the Salt Palace, watching the tornado through a door. It resembled billowing black smoke.
"There was lots of thunder and wind," he said. "The roof opened and it ripped off a door. It was over in 15 or 20 seconds but it seemed like a lot longer than that. Everything was shaking and shaking."
Crowds of people gathered on streetcorners to watch the funnel cloud over the Mormon Church's historic Salt Lake Temple.
Heavy hail the size of marbles preceded and followed the tornado. The weather service said that at 12:41 p.m., spotters reported a severe thunderstorm with 1 1/2-inch-diameter hail over the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley in the suburb of Herriman. Other strong and possible severe thunderstorms were reported in the area and in Davis County to the north.
Gary Morgan of Vancouver, Wash., was setting up a booth at the retailers convention.
"The building just started to flutter, then it became more intense until the structures were coming down and things were just flying through," Morgan said, adding that at least a dozen people he saw were bleeding.


    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    solid true

    so, here we are
    approaching forever
    this is what commitment looks like
    the leap of faith

    had i known then
    what i know now
    it would have been a piece of cake

    wanting a guarantee

    i trusted you
    with my forever and always
    taking the terrible awful chance
    never looking back

    your promise
    "you will never be sorry"
    a sincere declaration
    backed up with covenant

    if you give your all
    and i do the same
    so it is

    photo by alison carter brasher


    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Ray Charles

    i was offered a job
    to work for this man
    personal secretary

    i interviewed
    the offer came the next day
    i declined
    "no thank you"

    why no?
    i went home
    talked it over with sweetie
    it just didn't feel right

    even when i typed
    took dictation
    answered questions
    drove from Studio City
    to Los Angeles
    i wondered
    "what in the heck am i doing here"

    for starters
    we were a one car family
    sweetie needed that car more than i
    Los Angeles was too far
    find work in "the valley"

    interviewing for that job...
    well, i'll never forget

    just a small town girl
    from Bountiful
    sitting in that big fancy office
    gold albums on the walls
    not a white person in sight
    but me

    (favorite Ray Charles song..."You Don't Know Me" sung with Diana Krall)


    Monday, November 16, 2009


    ok, i admit it
    hopefully it won't reach problem proportions
    my dilemma

    ...can a girl have too much jewelry...
    a rhetorical question
    i wait to tire of bling with no success

    let's see
    four necklaces
    one neck
    a slight problem
    easily fixed
    we'll just stack and layer


    a bird...fitting
    a bee for the queen
    stones from the earth

    luckily ten fingers
    anklets and toes
    trinkets, jewels and gems galore

    is it redundant to say
     jewelry makes my day?

    photo alison carter brasher


    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    my dear ones--minus one

    here they are
    minus one
    the love that got me out of bed each day

    here they are
    full of life
    with so much life to live

    each face reminds me
    girl in denim...delightful
    white collared girl...distracted and singing
    airplanes on chest...earnest
    baby..."what the heck"
    yellow socks...responsible
    boy in around house
    blue shirt and tie...his tormentor

    the sum of each
    the joy of all

    (this photo was taken shortly after moving to SLC...sissy born '92)


    Friday, November 13, 2009

    one of my favorite places

    Y do i get goosebumps when i enter your stadium?
    Y is your fudge the best i ever tasted?
    Y does the hourly bell still ring sweet?
    Y do i dream about the HFAC?
    Stephen Covey
    Truman Madsen
    Charles Metten
    Kresimir Cosic
    faithful bishops
    great friends
    Angel Flight
    memories memories memories

    Jerry Carter
    Julius Caesar
    we grew in love here
    and boy howdy did we ever have fun

    first time
    away from home
    pretty much
    on my own
    life expanding experiences
    parents provided
    heaven on earth
    i will always be thankful

    too strong to say

    photo by lizzie carter