Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Prayer for Ukraine

To my sister, my brother in hiding in Ukraine (whether in body or in heart) :

Here the skies are silent – 

raindrops and cloudy-pink magnolia blossoms

all that fall from above

while you shelter in darkness there-below,

once tranquil skies now heralding death,

for neighbors turned hostile in the space of days.

As I sit with downcast soul thinking of your pain,

the magnolia above gives prayerful shape to my groaning,

its velvety teardrops what my heart longs 

to send you to replace all the bombs.

You are my sister – my brother,

Children of One Father.

Though the life you knew has been violently uprooted,

your tender roots reach deeply into His faithful soil

And so – even now – your soul rests ((eternally)) secure.

Like this weeping magnolia,

when all your tears have fallen to the earth,

may your bare branches sprout abundant leaves

“for the healing of your nation,”

pointing with Hope to that Greater

Tree of Life that will heal them all.

My z vamy.

15 March 2022

Rennes, France

Halle Thompson

*My z vamy = "We are with you" in Ukrainian

Monday, October 25, 2021

My poetic muscles have been sleeping for about a year (while they slept, I’ve been learning to paint). But today, it felt like it was about time to wake them up and give them some exercise. So here are some simple “pliés and tendus” to get moving again…

20 minutes of sunshine

after the storm

Had I stayed home, 

I would have missed…

  • raindrop-frosted, lavender-white blooms framing the clouds under their trellis
  • the snail helping his friend up the steep bank on moving day
  • sunlight glinting through golden ash leaves painted with perfection upon the sky’s blue canvas
  • my longing for the blackbird to open his butterscotch beak for a serenade
  • turquoise-orange flashes of kingfishers in flight low across the river 
  • the wafting aroma of wet willows reaching down their welcome
  • a robin’s wary hop across my path to hustle and hide, though I wished he would linger
  • burgundy berries gracing green bushes whilst sumacs donned their best frocks for the annual autumn ball
  • the swoosh of waters jostling one another through the dam to freedom
  • periwinkle piles of cloud kissed pink by the setting sun
  • the passion flower’s three-tone fringe skirt contrasting with the electric orange of its ripe fruit 
  • the starlings’ final murmurations as they came to rest upon the crane for a good night’s sleep

I sure am glad I didn’t stay inside.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Later You Will Understand

Perched on the counter beside her,
chattering of lands far away,
I watched her fill the kitchen sink
ankle deep with warm suds.

Then came the invitation.

Peeling off socks, I slid aching
arches into their bath,
where they met with the tender
touch of home – love wrapped
in hands shaped to serve.

It wasn’t the first time
my feet had surrendered into
welcoming hands,
but they were much tinier
when guided carefully 
from her womb, 
a “little footling breech”
who just couldn’t wait 
to meet her Mama.

As I pat my own feet dry
an ocean away,
a similar yearning 
is lodged in my heart – 
these past nine months
a different kind of waiting – 
not for birth but to feel
again her touch.

Savoring new hope 
in feet freshly washed,
my heart is drawn to 
the Savior who knelt,
the full extent of his love
poured out by hands which
cleansed both feet and hearts.

Spoken in the language 
of basin and towel,
his invitation called 
the beloved to yield
sullied feet and clamoring 
control to the hands of the 
shaper of stars and seas.

Sliding upon splashes,
his words danced forth:
“Later you will understand” – 
this love a mystery
spreading deeper still
as souls soak in its
boundless basin.

Perhaps those same words
floated in the air 
of her kitchen as she
followed the example he set,
tenderness transferred to
once tiny feet by my mother’s
caring caress. 

Like his dear friends
in the upper room,
I realized not what she
was doing. Only later,
across the sea,
would I understand – 

the love flowing with 
water through her fingers
bound us together

© Halle Thompson
September 26-October 24, 2020

“You do not realize now what I am doing, 
but later you will understand.” 
Jesus in John 13:7

Drawing by @trustandsee

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Yellow Day ?

She told me today’s a yellow day.
I wanted to believe her -

that under the gray veil

pressing down the corners

of the sky and my lips,

dying leaves hold

sunshine on their backs

They might be soggy

from a long rain,

nostalgic for the crisp

crunch of before

or for days when

a golden orb warmed

their tender leaflets,

newborn fresh

Green was coursing

through their veins 

as they fluttered carefree

in the balmy breezes,

unaware the arc of their 

existence was bending 


But now the bite of

autumn stopped it fast,

emerald giving way to gold

as they felt their fragility -

theirs calling out to mine

amidst raindrops streaking 

the windowpanes

She carried three of them

in her outstretched hand,

fingers exploring textures

as heartstrings were gently

tuned toward light -

hers and mine

Yes, a yellow day - 

when tender hearts 

join leaves aflame

to play a symphony of hope

October 13, 2020

photos by Oskars Sylwan, Rodion Kutsaev, Max Böhme & Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Sunday, October 4, 2020


The world is full of unfinished poems.

The early lines flow like creamy honey,
ink spread across the page
like softened butter on
loaves fresh from the oven.

I feel the elation
of a puzzle-piece well-placed,
the joy of alliteration,
lines well-paced.

But then comes a time
when the pen runs dry.
The garden hose has kinks
and the dahlias are drooping.

The stack of scratch paper
where I scrawl my poems
grows ever thicker.

I wonder if this one
will end up there, too.

But perhaps that stack is 
not a graveyard but a
greenhouse --

A safe space for new-sprung sprouts
to send out roots,
unjudged by voices of haste.

I read that dahlias may droop
in times of stress --
Who doesn't when faced with the
unfinished poems of our lives?

But the secret of their sagging
stems is this:
water sent from leaves
to strengthen roots.

So when we feel that all our
poetry has turned to stammering
and the puzzle, once so thrilling,
is far from done,

Meet me in the greenhouse,
warmed by sunlight,
where a tender gardener
will write the lines to come...

October 4, 2020

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Stand In Horseshoes

For the kid whose family just moved to town,
for the girl who wonders who she'll sit with at lunch,
for the boy who just got picked last again,
--- stand in horseshoes ---

For the porcupine who bristles at the first sign of danger,
for the parrot who mimics so she'll never be known,
for the tortoise who finds life's safer in a shell,
--- stand in horseshoes ---

For the young mom whose children make her feel less alone,
for the empty-nester seeking purpose now that kids are grown,
for the widower who never imagined life without her,
--- stand in horseshoes ---

For the darting mind longing to belong,
for the wandering soul searching for home,
for the crystalline heart who can't risk another shattering,
--- stand in horseshoes ---

For the woman who dons an invisibility cloak while yearning to be seen,
for the man whose jokes mask a black hole of solitude,
for the one whose parched lips thirst for the cup of water
        your hands can hold out --

For hearts to start healing,
it doesn't take much. 
Just open your circle and
--- stand in horseshoes ---

September 17, 2020

I owe the title and concept for this poem to Aime McGinnis, who posted this quote on facebook a while back: 

Also: Horseshoes are better than circles.
Leave space. Always leave space.
Horseshoes of friends > Circles of friends.
Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes.

- Glennon Doyle, June 3, 2014

Photo by Leon Liu on Unsplash

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


Swept skyward in waves
of colored light
My soul rides frothy
swells to their crest
Rocked in cool silence
by the dance of
golden-blue billows
capped by rose silhouette

(poem inspired by the stained glass window by Jacques Godin in the Église Saint-Trémeur, Carhaix-Plouguer, France)

August 12, 2020