November: A Guest Poet





Leaves reign down
leaving long limbs
Exposed like raw pain.
Blessed be the name of the Lord?


Blessed be
Blessed be
because pain weathers well.
As leaves to earth
We return to the genes of our souls
bare, not
becoming at last
Who we always were.

–Rita H. Kowats

This poem hangs on the wall of my living room all year long. A friend wrote it after deaths in her family. She gave me a copy when I was falling downward after a loss. She did it in beautiful calligraphy–inky, black letters on ivory white paper torn around the edges, and then mounted on a dark red background. The tails of the calligraphy g’s sweep down beyond their assigned spaces in graceful arcs–reign, waiting, mutating, leaving, genes. A small red leaf with saw-tooth edges floats down to the bottom of the page. I had the poem  mounted on black and set into a chrome frame.

I love that poem and have read it often over the years, nearly always with a few tears–not from loss, but from the joy and the assurance of who I have become–who I always was, loved by such special friends and family.

After many years apart, I lunched with Rita this week and we picked right up where we left off. We talked about the poem, old friends, November, and writing. She keeps a blog with more lovely poetry you can check out–Spirituality Without Borders..


Permission to use the poem granted by Rita Kowats.

photo credit: <a href=””>Sudachi</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a


2 thoughts on “November: A Guest Poet

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