Thursday, October 31, 2013


There is a simple joy 
in shopping for a little girl,
something I wondered if I 
would ever get to do, and I 
did; for Anna Rose English
and now, for Miss Rory Marie,
indeed, the cutest sister ever,
whom big brother adores. 

catherinenglish 10-31-2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My husband made fun of me
because he said all of the
photos of my trip to Europe 
were of churches and cemeteries,
but I was enthralled with the 
beauty and architecture of 
these dwelling places and 
the intricately crafted icons.

catherinenglish 10-30-2013
(the night before All Hallows' Eve)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Today, my dear friend, Ruth,
our eldest daughter's namesake,
shared with me a video about 
the silence of friends and family 
at the loss of an infant, 
as if it never 
happened, that is,
her birth,
yet all things baby 
surrounded us when we came home,
the utter stillness of an empty nursery
too much to bear.

catherinenglish 10-29-2013

Monday, October 28, 2013


Rory grabbed my bracelets
the moment I sat down when 
I arrived, abandoning quite readily
the task of eating Gerber chicken 
noodle mush that not even the 
dog would go near. 

catherinenglish 10-28013

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Miss Rory reminds me
there are only 65 days left 
in this year 2013, a year 
full of many changes,
but "Change is good," a 
wise social studies teacher
once told me when he left 
Aurora, Nebraska, but 
he never moved 400 miles 
away from his grandbabies,
missing their smiling faces 
and ever-changing ways.

catherinenglish 10-27-2013

Both of my grandchildren
love my jewelry, especially 
necklaces that contain anything
shiny and round,
mini-Christmas ornaments,
fun and ever so tempting.

catherinenglish 10-27-2013


A mimosa at Bread and Cup,
a perfect morning in Lincoln, 
Nebraska, breakfast with 
Anna Rose, and the best
apple butter, bacon, eggs,
and friend potatoes, preceded by 
necessary Cholest-Off 
and MegaRed krill capsule.

catherinenglish 10-27-2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013


There is nothing finer than
the friendship of a dog,
a cup of coffee and a really
cool cowboy hat.

catherinenglish 10-24-2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


The smile on a student's face still 
brings me a tremendous amount of joy,
the look of delight when learning 
something new and having fun while 
doing it makes me a very happy teacher. 

catherinenglish 10-23-2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


October Artifacts

Two wet rocks, dredged up from the creek,
chunks of limestone or dolomite,

sumac leaves, some deep red, others autumnal brown,
fat yellow shingle oak leaves, rusting,

a perfect Amanita, cream-colored, delectable looking
but deadly,  a toadstool or a fairy throne

a pine cone
gray, detached from its source of life,
a bough with tiny blue-green needles,

a hollow stump, species unknown,
and my quiet heart,
contemplating the sacred,
the holy road I chose,
this abbey path into the wilderness. 

catherinenglish 10-22-2013

Monday, October 21, 2013


Holy Men and Women

While women in my family
gather in a coffee house in Stromsburg, Nebraska
to fete my nephew’s wife with pink
packages filled with pacifiers and Pampers,
welcoming the newest girl in the family,
I pray the psalms
with males, monks, most of them old,
living in quiet solitude,
south of Ava, Missouri,
surrounded by brothers most of their lives,
no baby girls in sight,
praying fervently for young men,
a new monk or two,
those who will not serve,
rejecting a new birth.

catherinenglish 10-19-2013

A Millennia of Rock and Water

I walk the sodden path,
moss and decay beneath
my dirt-caked Adidas,
just west of the abbey’s guest house,
the autumn afternoon sun blinding,
reflecting off a swath of
black stone upstream,
a tributary of Bryant Creek,
giggling, gleeful, its
power over layer
upon layer of arrogant rock,
unbeknownst to both,
geological time reveals the truth.

catherinenglish 10-19-2013
(Written at Assumption Abbey, south of Ava, MO)

(written at Assumption Abbey, south of Ava, MO)

In Pace Requiescat

yellow, makes a subtle putter sound
while a hawk floats on thermals high above
the tree line, hills behind me, on the southern horizon.
I sit in a green-painted metal chair,
one of the old ones, with a shield-shaped back,
the sun behind me, warming my neck,
patches of clouds, cirrus, on an unusually clear blue day.

chirp, twonk, tweep,
while crickets crick,
cicadas hum,
and breezes whisper
through the stand of Scotch pine,
showing the first signs of the murderous
mountain pine beetle,
Dendroctonus ponderosae,
brown needles
on low lying branches,  while

dead, stay put,
their prayer and work,
Ora et Labora, at an end,
forever listening
with the ears of their heart,
twenty feet from
their abbey home,  a cemetery
of white BotonĂ©e crosses. 

catherinenglish 10-19-2013