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In 1982, for a college trimester, I studied and did “service work” in the newly independent nation of Belize. Looking back, I don’t think the Belizeans much desired or needed my “service,” but the experience…

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The Secret of Birds

THE SECRET OF BIRDS Phyllis Cole-Dai  Outside the window, an hour before dawn, when night weighs heaviest on the neck of the world, one bird with pluck begins to sing I’m here   I’m here   I’m…

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Names Will Carry

NAMES WILL CARRY Phyllis Cole-Dai                         for Wanda and Tom I carry your names into the mountains you loved, though mountains have no need of names— they know each pilgrim that passes through by scent…

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Ode to a Flat Tire

On this Mother’s Day in the US, you may be celebrating a special someone in your life who has “mothered” you or whom you yourself have had the privilege of “mothering.” My young chap, Nathan,…

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Mother Tree

Yeah, yeah, I know. Mother’s Day in the US isn’t until next week. But when I began this poem, I didn’t know it was going to be about mothers. Or about tree rings. That’s the beauty of…

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This Moment

You ever gone through a long stretch where major responsibilities were pulling you in several directions at once? When all you could do was breathe and keep going, trusting that you’d get to the end of it?

Well, I’m happy to say, I’m just about to emerge from such a stretch. Whew.

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What Happens

  This week I plopped down on the piano bench to muse with my fingers on the keyboard about what to write for today’s Staying Power. One song led to another, and eventually I came to “What…

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Happy New Year!

Like so many holiday travelers (perhaps you?), our family had unexpected adventures, trying to visit my mother in North Carolina at Christmastime. Happily, we eventually made our way to her.

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