for Tom 

The El Salvadoran Cross
is unmistakable, a neighborhood
of intersecting white houses
and red tiled roofs
filled with laughing children.

Jim Bodeen
10 June 2016


Just Sanctuary Moving.
Just sanctuary moving around the house.

Just memory, then. Just Memory.

Say the thing over and over.
Say it over and over.
Over and over again.
Over until you get it right.
Just Memory.

Walking the garden remembering.
Walking the gardens remembering.
Walk the garden and remember.
Re-Member, remember.

Place where it starts.
Places one comes back from.
Places one comes back from?
Where is the garden now?
Where in the now is the garden.

With the book in the garden
In the garden with a book

What hasn't been said up to now?
Has it all been said?
Has the inexhaustible been said

Said and done
Is any of it true
I mean, still true
What holds

What holds is what remains

Remember. Just remember. Remember it then.
Uncover what you can
See what comes up
See and re-joice
Just Sanctuary Moving

Jim Bodeen
23 May--7 June 2016


Mid-morning, first week in June,
below Canada Chokecherry and China Snow,
heat wave on the way, record temperatures,
with the notebook, chasing away robins
who want the rapid ripening serviceberries,
and my granddaughter wants a pie.

North Park, a grove of four trees
and a basalt stone table, gift from a friend,
a call back to my North Dakota childhood.
Specimen trees instead of willows,
and no railroad tracks to follow.
No Indian graves. A different kind

of dreaming. The woman
at the nursery call this Serviceberry.
Looking at it, I balk, unable
to see placement or beauty. 
She disappears and I think
she's given up on me, only

to return with a book too big to carry,
open to the page.
This is what you're looking for, Jim.
This tree is the heart of your park
completing the grove. I'm as far
from North Dakota coulees as I can be.

the purple berry with the edible seed.
Juneberries, well-loved on the prairies.
Known by many names:
Saskatoons in Canada, and Juneberries,
Serviceberries and Shadbush in America.
North American native people made

Juneberries part of their diet.
An important ingredient in pemmican,
a blend of berries, dried meat and fat.
Sometimes called sugarplums,
today's gardeners praise the 5-petaled,
fragrant white flowers in drooping clusters.

Amelanchier arborea, berry
of my North Dakota childhood.
Berry of my mother's kitchen--
connecting family picnics at Tasker's Coulee,
where bushes grow wild traveling
from Missouri by bird. Tasker's Coulee

in the Wildlife Preserve created by FDR,
seat of Lutheran theology and country church,
where personal mythology is born in me.
Did the tree goddess from the nursery know?
In the first years, the few berries 
go to the birds. My granddaughter takes me

by the hand and childhood returns
with the tree's bounty, Grandpa, taste this berry!
We fill our cereal bowls until they promise a pie.
These are Juneberries, beautiful thing,
Let's take them to Grandma. I was your age,
a boy, when I first tasted this pleasure.

Jim Bodeen
May-June, 2016

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