As The Winter Is Long [a NEW Poem]


In the dreary midwinter
time is never-ending and merciless.

I chase the shadow’s
bright reflections, brittle patterns
on the silvery snow.

This distracts me from the echoing lament
I woke with today.
Melancholy sits dismally on my chest, like a lethargic cat
As I consider what’s gone wrong with me.
There’s always something and I’m as tired as the winter is long.

I chase the shadows.
Somehow, they hold hope
when I’ve got none.

“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of god is glue. — Eugene O’Neill


p>Ever conscious of the grace of God. As I think and pray about, and write the details of my addiction story, it is heavy.  The weight of mistakes, the shame of walking backwards trudging through the broken ways my addiction hurt my family; It’s heavy to carry it.  Thanks for your prayers as I finish up an essay on How to Love an Addict. 

{faith is waiting, leaning in. a lump in the throat}

It is the prolific writer and theologian, Frederick Buechner, who said:

“Faith is different from theology because theology is reasoned, systematic, and orderly, whereas faith is disorderly, intermittent, and full of surprises…. Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting.”

A poem that came to me this morning.


a mother wakes in the darkness.

shivers, the room is cold. there is a sacrifice,  rising

before them all.  it is also her survival.

the sky inky blue black, she stumbles down the stairs.

these moment, early

are thick

with her worries, cloying.  she sits

physically surrendering to the Holy One’s presence.

Let me be your life.  

Let me fill the crevices of your heart where you still fret and worry.  Trust in me and surrender your doubts about ephemeral things like destiny, talents and purpose.

Your fears about the children, and their walk in faith.

Your anxious heart can be full today if you open your sweaty grasping hands.

Surrender Child. Trust me.

Why is it so daily, this laying down of self?  Letting go of control?  This giving in, this


again, today.


“That we may come to be one spirit with God and be found under grace, may God help us all! Amen.” — Meister Eckhart, a modern translation.

Longing for Miracles


I had a moment today.

I whispered it out loud.

“I wish I could turn off my brain.”

It races you see.  It pushes and collides, a pinball machine. It drives me. It’s in frequent turmoil, or is that my heart vibrating?  I think so much, I think so hard

about things that my head hurts, building into aggravation and strain.

Becoming anxiety

inside me.  And I hate anxiety!  Trapped inside a sticky web of lies, that swirl all around.

To me it means I’m not trusting.  That this faith thing that I purport to live by, just maybe it isn’t real.

I had a moment today,

when I longed for a miracle—A book of

Acts, Upper Room, Pentecostal filled with the spirit, holy ghost kind of Miracle.

Yes please, just one.

Then I got to thinking.

Faith is

believing without seeing.

I had a moment today.

The Second Half of my Life, Indeed.

Happy Birthday to me.  


by Joyce Sutphen
The second half of my life will be black to the white rind of the old and fading moon. The second half of my life will be water over the cracked floor of these desert years. I will land on my feet this time, knowing at least two languages and who my friends are. I will dress for the occasion, and my hair shall be whatever color I please. Everyone will go on celebrating the old birthday, counting the years as usual, but I will count myself new from this inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift, past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder, asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road. The second half of my life will be wide-eyed, fingers shifting through fine sands, arms loose at my sides, wandering feet. There will be new dreams every night, and the drapes will never be closed. I will toss my string of keys into a deep well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice breaking up on the river, rain soaking the fields, a hand held out, a fire, and smoke going upward, always up.

A Poem: love in the shadows

.love in the shadows.

Originally uploaded by M e l o d y

Said it before, but I am thankful for my home which is a peaceful haven and for the love I experience there.

Love in The Shadows

What do you see
in the shadows?
What are you searching for?
I see you wanting;
hoping for more.
Can you hear the music,
the song lingering here?
Shelter, comfort, home;
fragrant with his scent and sound.
What is the color of
the shadows,
the songs,
the scent
of love?
it has no color, sound,
or smell,
but it is abundant.

by Melody Hanson, 2007

A Poem: good dad, bad dad

good dad, bad dad

Originally uploaded by M e l o d y

My Dad’s death stirred up so much turmoil for my sisters and me. Processing that, I wrote this poem.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.

I shed no tears today
for the warrior who has fallen.
Taken down by Cancer’s sword.
My heart is full of memories,
good and bad.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Constant worry.
Constant change.
Who could have foreseen
the Cancer overtaking his mind;
that became my liberation
in five short months.

The danger —
of loving too much;
needing tenderness,
and all the things Daddy’s are supposed to be.

Emotions jangling around me
like some kind of white noise;
pushing their way into my conscious thoughts.
Invaders, threatening to undo
the weak hold I’ve found on a Good Life.
So many memories
good and bad,
bad and good.

Who was he? Why was he MY dad?
MY tormentor.
MY warrior;
Finally broken,
beaten by the cancer
that was to become my friend.

these thoughts which plague me.
the unspoken promise
to keep our secrets to the end.
How do I remember?
How do I stay true and honest,
when the Truth causes an ache
too strong to feel,
to face,
to bear.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Who was he in the end?
A demon? A saint?
Now simply a Muse —
remembered, but no longer feared.
Thought of
in furtive,
anxious moments.

Good Dad. Bad Dad.
Who is he to me now?
A man driven to despair
Living a chaotic, frantic life.

Not the Good Life I choose,
Not the legacy I will repeat.

Good Girl. Bad Girl.
Who will I listen to?
Who will I believe?
I am the woman I choose to become
These are the Good Days
that I can change.
Yesterday is Dead.
Burned in the funeral pyre.
Dust settling around me.

Good Girl. Bad Girl.




by Melody Hanson, 2004