For My Sister

Beach by Chris - 2.jpg


For My Sister

This is your portrait at age 42:
sitting on your favorite beach
watching the summer ocean curl in,
your hair clipped away
from your bare face,
a few wild strands in the salt breeze,
your luminous smile.
You make the kind of before-picture
where anyone would think, she’s already
This is you, by nature,
serene, an artist in wonder,
you, before you leave
what you came here
to remember.


Beach by Chris - 4.jpg

The photographs in this post were taken last week by my sister, Christine. I had written this poem a bit ago (and never told her), but was searching for a beautiful image to go with it. How serendipitous and ironic that the gorgeous shots I imagined should come from her! When she showed me her photos, I asked her if I could use a few for my next post, but I didn’t tell her about the poem. Surprise, dear sister! And thank you for beautifying my day.


Monday Morning Mary: Star of the Sea

Our Lady Star of the Sea - 3

Today’s poem is inspired by my serendipitous visit this weekend to Our Lady Star of the Sea in Manasquan, New Jersey. I love this representation of Mary, with a sailing vessel in her arms, her feet steady on the surface of roiling ocean waves (more pics below).

Prayer for Blessing from Our Lady Star of the Sea

No matter what the ocean brings you this week,
or where it may carry you,
whether you find yourself amid dark waters,
or safely sifting through shells at the shoreline,
may you be blessed.

May you sense the calming presence of Mother Mary
offering you the divine gifts that you need
in every moment.

May her face shine upon your face.
May her heart illuminate your heart.
And may she be for you
a brilliant star
upon a midnight ocean,
offering you beauty and tranquility.


Our Lady Star of the Sea - 2

More pics from the day…

Our Lady Star of the Sea - 4

Our Lady of the Sea Wildflowers

Our Lady of the Sea Water and Sky

The Parable of Sea Glass

Sea Glass Cairn

Sea Glass Cairn

The Parable of Sea Glass

One summer evening, as dusk gathered on the Jersey shore,
Jesus turned to the kite-fliers, frisbee-throwers,
lovers, loners, and bennies,
and said,

The kingdom of heaven is like this:

At first the crowd thought he was talking about
a perfect summer night, like this one,
but he continued,

An artist made a beautiful glass globe
He beheld its perfection for seven days
Then he let it shatter
Countless pieces fell
into the dark ocean like rain
There they tumbled and tossed
in the storms and tides

Eventually the pieces began to wash ashore
but they were no longer clear and gleaming
with everything perfectly visible through them
from every angle
Instead they were frosted and dulled,
their original color and clarity obscured
by the crust of the ocean.

said Jesus,

they were translucent.

A little boy digging in the sand
looked up and asked,
“What are trains losing?”

Jesus smiled.

He knelt before the boy
and pulled from behind the boy’s ear
a huge piece of sea glass
the size of a fist or a fish

Jesus stood and held it out to the crowd, and said,
I tell you this:
hold one another up to the light
and see, then, if you have eyes

Some in the crowd thought he was a lunatic
and wanted to beat him up under the boardwalk
Others fell to their knees, blinded by the brilliant light
shining through the sea glass
For one reason or another,
they all wanted to touch him
But by then he had given the glass to the boy
and vanished.