Most of my poems result from reflections on real life experiences. Thoughts and feelings, questions and prayers, hopes and hurts all swim together in the river of reality. So I write. Instead of holding those issues inside, I write. Poetry and prose, I write. Some of the journal drafts find their way into my blog or my books. Or, like today, both.

My tenth book — embracing now: pain, joy, healing, living— is a collection of 100 poems. These poems are all from that book.

As I’m writing, I’m also missing baseball. The game is a type of sabbath therapy for me. Resting while watching. One of the sports I hope to begin seeing soon, baseball is the story behind the poem, “the line kept moving.” Do you like baseball? Do you miss baseball? If so, read and reflect on the sights and sounds of our game as you read that poem.

The first drafts of many poems are written early morning. Very early morning. In the book, you’ll find some about that. Do you like breakfast? Do you wake early? My poem “breakfast percussion” gives you a feel of my early morning feelings. Here’s a reading from that poem on our Poetry Network: CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Two poems mention Millie, our youngest grandchild. One waiting on her birth. Another thinking about how DaddyO, my father-in-law would be enjoying time with Millie—if he had not died five days before her birth, in the same hospital where she was born. She’s now growing up very fast. DaddyO is missed very much.

One of the longest poems is about the trip Debbie and I took to visit our son Aaron and his family in Dakar, Senegal. Titled “the scenes of senegal,” the poem lets you glance at our experience there: the roads full of traffic, the early morning sounds of loud prayers, the feelings of floating on salt water, the views from an ocean and a roof and an airplane.

During our times of uncertainty and worry, let poetry slow your hurry. Read slowly. Read again. I hope the poems from “embracing now” help each of us to actually embrace every now, every moment, every stroke as we swim together in the river of reality.