Troubled Sky


Woke up to an empty house

Troubles in this world

troubling my soul

Down by the water

should cheer me up

I’m searching for those messages

Flowers planted along Sunset Drive

Some still holding summer’s smile

others faded and shrivelled

I wish the eagles would come and chase away

my melancholy

Container ship passing by

What will it take to wean us from some of our comforts

so that others would be less poor?

Just giving up a cup of coffee causes major

upheaval in my head and heart

A tree is cut down

apparently because the roots are pulling up the sidewalk

Why don’t they just move the sidewalk?

They do in India

Inconvenient, yes, but spares the life of a tree

What is life worth to us anyways?

I feel we are mixed up about that question

I remember a wise man once said

“one’s life does not consist

in the abundance of his possessions”

He was warning us about greed

It’s a time in history again

where we need to be inconvenienced

stretched and changed

It is a time to value life and protect it

Desperate refugees

Unborn children


Our very planet

What will we do?

Will we listen to the voices of the wise

or close our ears and hearts

and hope it will all go away?

Oh, it will all go away

Quickly if we don’t do something

about our destructive ways

Life is fragile

delicate as

a butterfly’s wings

yet resilient

able to heal and restore

Let’s not push things beyond

the limit here

We still have time

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts on Belonging

Be. Long.

Longing to



to be


To love

and be loved.



Free to be



and grow

in this

rich soil.


I belong to God.

He belongs to me.

I belong to this earth.

I am made from it.

The earth belongs to me,

not to exploit but to care for and use as needed.

I belong to heaven.

I have the breath God breathed in me.

Heaven belongs to me.

This breath of God is my down deposit.

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Love, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outside Wildside

Admiring the grand old bur oak

across the street.

Some dead branches have been cut off,

some big holes in that tree.

The locals are telling me raccoons live there,

fierce raccoons.

I hadn’t seen them yet,

and had been there for over a week.

I guess I was not prowling around

when they were.

We saw them a few nights later,

five of them slinking around the garage next door.

Maybe they are going after a cat,

there are a whole lot of strays in the neighborhood.

Then I saw another pack,

when we walked home from Jazz in the Park.

The locals were taking me the long way

because it was prettier.

I saw those lit up eyes

and clapped until they disappeared into the gutter.

We gave the gutter a wide berth

and crossed the street.

The city is alive with wild creatures

while we are sleeping or indoors.

Have you noticed

how the wild takes over quick in some places

when you lay your hoe down for a few minutes rest?

The prairie grasses are beautiful,

but you have to remember to flick all the ticks off

when you’re finished with your hike.

In the Northwest we battle dampness and mold,

Blackberry vines can take over your yard before you know it.

Rats love the city,

Seattleites are seeing more than the usual, this summer.

A friend once told us

he sees coyotes out when he’s running early in the morning in Los Angeles.

A few years ago, in the spring

A bear ran through our neighborhood.

Good for us city slickers to be reminded

We are sharing this planet.

Categories: borderlands, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


More roses

Where I come from, west of the Rockies all the way in the LA basin, fireflies were part of the magical world of Disneyland. Some mythical land, somewhere was alive with them, but I was only able to see them in the caverns of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” ride.

This summer’s visit to Omaha awakens that magic again, sitting on the front porch with my merry daughter.  Those  creatures are real, towing their flickering lanterns as they dart in and out of the Magnolia Tree.

Stories I have heard about or read about in books of faraway mystical lands bring the same feeling of enchantment that these little bugs are stirring in me. “It’s true! It’s true! There really are fireflies in the world!”

Traversing parts of our world, especially far-off Central Asia and India, exploring ancient ruins in bone dry deserts and strolling through colorful bazaars in bustling towns with exotic names awakened similar feelings.  The bazaars were real, with all the dazzling colors and variety of goods I had read about. The magic wore off as I shopped regularly for fruits and vegetables, haggling over prices with the stall keepers.  There never was any magic in the meat and fish section with the pungent smells, in fact I had to avoid them in Taiwan when I was pregnant with my firstborn.  Leave that kind of shopping to my strong stomached husband!

The magic of a volcano became real to me when my family was able to spend three months on the big island of Hawaii.  Kilauea produced a different kind of awe in me than these fireflies.  Something like, Wow! Maybe we shouldn’t be so close to these fissures in the ground, and I definitely want you kids to stop jumping over them, even if your father is leading the charge!

My most vivid experience of this kind of awe happened when I was seventeen.  I went to a concert put on by some Jesus People in my home town. I had never been to such a concert, but was so curious about these people.   Little did I know this one small  event would lead to a major shift in my life that continues to this day.  I remember awakening the next morning with this powerful sense of God’s love for me, just as I had the night before.  The same sense of wonder, that something I longed for was true, strongly surrounded me. “Jesus loves me this I know…”

Categories: beauty, borderlands, Faith, God, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Prayer, Seasons, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Summer Chimes



Along ancient paths

newly surfaced again and again

poplars, descendants of

the Aged Ones,

are whispering

in the warm summer breeze


Will i stop and listen?

Autumn will come

soon enough

and lash these chimes,

winter will find them gone


Now in this warmth only

is their message heard

for this season,

later the falling leaves

and bleak branches

will have another message


Life presses in

with it’s pressures

do this, do that

and hurry up

you are late again,

fill every moment

with a call or a text

until the pulse races

and the poplars

playful message of

peace and joy

cannot be heard

for another year


© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Life, Paths, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Pains


This chaos

on the edge of growth



face to face

with my lack or gap

hang on


be hung on to

this is

the knife edge

to the other side

of this messy process

of becoming

more of who

I am destined to be

(c) 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment



Muster up your strength

gather your wits

grab a bike

hop a bus

catch the ferry

book a flight

or just put on

your shoes

follow the signs

and get out-of-town


It’ll do you a world of good

to slow down

change your point of view

breathe some fresh air

hear the wind in the trees

or the call of the gulls


Stop, look, and listen

not for cars

but for signs and messages

take beauty personally

this is for me

I too am beloved


© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Poetry, Travel, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


sun breaking thru on pier

When I find myself


about another

place to live

quiet, peaceful

clean and uncluttered

wrapped in beauty

like a multicolored scarf

from India

and start searching

the island websites

for the latest

houses on the market

I know it’s time to

rest again



for something to change

the wind to shift its course

strength to gather in my bones

a new burst of energy

to finish a task

long calling for my attention

for thoughts to string together

to make sense of this season

for gratefulness to replace


I’ve been told

“Strength will come

for those who wait.”

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bath Water

I have thrown out

a lot of dirty bath water

and I am sure

I have more to throw


the drain

But I am hanging on

for dear life to that baby

because the baby

is my life

line to life

He grew up to be

my Savior

and I for one


needed and still need


He keeps my head


when all around

the walls are crumbling


Through the fire

I go

and the rain

the waves lifting high

and falling

“steady as she goes”

I’m not going


with depression or


Rising instead


walking on those waves

holding on to that strong hand

until I make it

across the water

to the other side

where the table is set

and there is room

for all who will come

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments



Natural or made by man

lost, lonely, wild

road’s end

path unseen by

naked eye to

naked I


Forgotten, desolate

dangerous place

to be


Another purpose

unseen by me

greater use

of sanding, refining


my waste places

into potential


where seeds of

patience, kindness,

love and joy

have room to grow

without my



© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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