Dedicated to Rex DeLoney, painter & teacher, and Karen Bodeen, quilter


                               The pool is giving birth to itself

                               all the time.

                                          Rosie Lee Tompkins


Bright colors, big stitches.

A flash of recognition.

Monday morning, sitting with coffee

beside the painting as yet unhung,

Karen walks into the garden room, Good morning.

Rosie Lee Tompkins is home.


Quilters working, Quilters don’t stop.

Go to the next one.

Why this! What dodge! Such fragile immersion!

What hiding revelation!

Inside outside thread stitch

This measuring.

This another way

This other pocket

border crossing tapes

and big color

Dramatic use of what’s at hand

This spiritual practice.






And the Lord said to Moses: Take unto thee spices,

and the clearest frankincense...and thou shalt make incense

compounded by the work of the perfumer,

well tempered together, and pure, and most worthy

of sanctification.

              Exodus 30: 34-37

Pastor Kathleen comes to the door

with charcoal called Resurrection.

She carries a censer of clay molded

by the artist, Oh my wife says,

seeing the bowl, that censer was formed

by the hands of one we knew, Lorraine Samuelson!

The pastor has come to bless the painting.

The pastor has come at the request

of the quilters of the hearth.

She has come to prepare a place

for the quilter, Rosie Lee Tompkins,

colorist, whom God has given the gift

to see colors, and to spread love.

When the incense has been lit

and smoke wafts through the room

where the painting is hung,

the pastor asks, May I stand here,

beside the painting, By Rosie Lee Tompkins?

The painting itself is surrounded by quilts

by my wife, the quilter Karen Bodeen.

Beside the painting on the mantel,

and within several quilts on the wall,

is the Rabbit Goddess Mother Innocence,

quilt-robed herself, flowers over her breasts,

and her paws folded together in front of her.

Rabbit Goddess Mother Innocence

was created by the hands of Jane Gutting.

Pastor Anderson begins, Let us thank God

for sharing gifts of beauty with us, asking

for a moment of silence.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,

creator of the universe. We praise you and we

thank you for letting artists see the beauty

of your creation. [I ask myself,

am I seeing or hearing? Where am I?

What is this? What is being asked of me?]

I sit on the far couch, diagonal to the pastor;

her husband, who came with her, sits

beside me, and my wife across

from the painting, sits in her customary

chair facing her work on the wall.

Pastor Anderson continues, We ask you

to bless these creators who by their gifts

make the world a more joyful realm.

Through their labors they teach us to see

more clearly the truth around us. In their

inspiration they call forth wonder and awe

in our own living, In their hope and vision

they remind us that life is holy. [Each of us

have before us a glass of sun tea, brewed

earlier this morning on the garden deck.

The tea, Kuki Hojicha (roasted stems),

provides a fine aroma and sweetness,

a gift from Mayumi our exchange daughter

in Japan. Iced, it mingles with the smoke.

Perhaps we’re following along;

perhaps we’re already transported.

Maybe someone is locked into words.

Even here, present to all, I have lost

track of the pastor’s voice as she continued,

We ask you to bless + this painting,

this work of art created to honor

the work of Rosie Lee Tompkins.

Pastor Anderson sat down

in the rocking chair that came

from my grandfather, born in 1899,

and refinished by my wife for my birthday.

The four of us in the room now beginning.

Jim Bodeen

29 June 2021


Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes...

          Alice Walker

Karen says, I am more like Maggie.

Everyday Use, this is love and trouble,

Braided Lives on Turtle Island

Rex, in the story of how we got here

A man puts Turtle Island on the desk

alongside Braided Lives

and we put the words together

that’s all it was.


That’s all it ever is.

One sister stays home.

One goes to university.

One wraps herself in her mother’s quilts

One hung the quilts on the walls.

Every day, the same questions,

our behaviors before us

coverups and coverings.

What to do against the word

this armed confrontation

syllabic violent language drumbeat

veiled beauty another one

almost destroyed us

threatening, remaining danger

Such determined silence in reds and yellows

The every where of blue

Coming from cloth, coming from inside of cloth

Patched up like that girl child.

Rex, can you do that in paint?

With your fist full of brushes?

Karen says she’s more like Maggie.

Rex says, I already knew this story.


Rex in Little Rock, painting,

teaching school, Rex with brushes.

Making that fist.

Rex with a fist full of brushes

all those paintings in my head--

Nina Simone, Ali, Amiri Baraka—

Miss Rosa Parks—Where

did you come from, Cotton-eyed Joe?

Rex, can you do this one, for Miss Karen?


The waiting.

Moses drawn up from the water

Corazon endurecido, hard-hearted

pharaoh-vamp, Savannah lokomoto

train track stop. How long, Lord?

Lord, how long.

Hope born of the same word,

la misma palabra

While we wait

This free play

thought gone

Free play through

All of us bordering

free play of thought

and the horns, Mingus, the horns!

My sister, Mingus! Mingus.

My sister!

Ornette Coleman free

Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting Free

Free like Mingus, Mingus-freed.

Moses in a mask, disfigured by God,

having seen.

Seen and mean,

inside color, disappearing

bold brushes,

wasn’t that Rex!



precious Jesus, hear my

daily walking close

Inches from the paint, Rosie Lee Tompkins

is the medallion on canvas, central image

of the quilt from God surrounding

her, come from the hand of the painter,

Rex DeLoney. Light-filled in half-square

scarf. Yellow bandana. And if you look

closer, over-the tops of cut cloth. Look

how radiance emerges! Colors of peaches

from forehead to cheeks. Eyes

deepest blue pools filling, emptying,

Coltrane-like. Bluest brows. Full lips,

unmistakably Rosie’s, wizened-red--

but right here, on her right side--

(the viewer’s left), shadowed

cheekbone to chin, her face, dark,

breaks through squares of material

blocks of red and orange,

epiphany portrait come from

the artist-hand, illumination.

Just above this square

the cross in red and white stripes.

A printed sign at the crossroad

embellished in white jewel-like

lights, A Prayer For Magic.

This is the essence of prayer.

And now, vertical on the cross,

coming up from below, strips

of printed text, scissored, glued:

“In the still-unfolding field of African-

American quilt making, she has no

equal...granular expressions

of imagination and freedom.”

Below the words, still on the cross,

over red paint, two red buttons.

Returning one’s eyes to hers

on the painting, some from Rex,

some from Rosie, marked, unmarked,

her voice a hymn on the wall,

God permitted me to see this color.

A white thread from Rosie’s needle

falls out of the painting from the bottom.

Rex has glued it, border-breaking--

and this thread remains, subversive,

straightening, permitting eyes to follow.

Jim Bodeen

17 June 2021



Could a been,

Time-then-bound in color

during the plague

simple tools threaded bobbins

scissor and needle

the women, the woman,

odd man othering

amidst the great need gift

pieced around his feet

her blue-blooded eyes

deep-pooled Jesus-filled blossoms

crowned-cloth covering quiet

Rosie Lee Tompkins cloth-shaded

weekend delivered flea market

sister free song, trumpeting Eli, Eli.


Virtual tours of history

on my living room wall

irreverent spirituality

Pieced tops

Heaven’s flea market

visual chaos, disparate

found embroidery

Biblical scripture

central medallion is--

Rosie Lee as Christ through Rex.

Crediting God embedded in camouflaged half-squares

And the Security Guard’s call,

Rex, you’re never gonna finish that painting

Velvet, velveteen strips

Rosie’s dress breaking boundaries,

thread falling to the floor

dropping right out of the painting!--

creating sections within sections

tied front to back

order, disorder

willingness willed eccentricity

necktie logic

innervisions, Stevie Wonder, innervisions

deep state living found fish

Effie Mae Martin-Howard—

Hear Karen on privacy and crazy quilt cohering

Haphazard all-overed-ness homage

Flea market business cards

Crazy Quilts and Pillows All Sizes


Green yellow striped black

peculiar internal

lack of alignment


Black orange disturbance

Deliberate accident

Ordered disorder



y su ropa se tornó blanca y radiante

          Lucas 9: 29

...his face changed, and his clothes became as bright

as a flash of lightning

Transfiguration in Luke

and then Esther—transpose the 9 and the 6.

Rex DeLoney’s paint.

What part Rex and what part Rosie?

Is and I am.

What Rex calls

A Quilt for Rosie Lee

Palindromic balanced half-squares--

Rex, Rex! And I came to know prayer

before me, they too, the colorists!

Rex, Rosie, Eli.


Wherever you turn your eyes

the world can shine like transfiguration.

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Bring courage and look around.

Willed and put there.

On the wall.

Everything inside.

Every day, everything.


Clues along the way

Palindromic Esther

and the pool of water.


Enter a room of quilts

with your moody pallet-praise

looking for words

and quilters, uh-huh,

interruption, aberrations,

quilters go silent, back inside.

Name changing, scripture--

yo-yo geometry, counting sixes

and pinwheel threads

What was here invisible

ghost-void color coded

Love is like an ice cream cone

it gets better with each lick,

she writes it out in thread,

Rosie Lee Tompkins does,


Culture traveler signal caller

flag fragments whole and broken



Stand with hands on hips

Elbows out, color Seekers

Quilted Worship Door


Those mornings Karen and I sat waiting

in front of the television

discovering these people talking

who knew these quilts among themselves,

...it is good for us to be here…

they knew Rosie in her worship life

the ones she had chosen for family,

the Adventists, their eyes

before these jewel-like creations,

sanctified worship from Jim Crow South,

Rosie’s motrher-teacher, Sadie Lee Dale,

divinely connected, the work of her hands,

zip, meander, back and forth,

forms of identity transcending

bent, broken lines, ordaining

of oneself.

You ordain yourself!


String as lines of light

Beauty leading to justice

Faith facing evil


Colors before us

Coloring our very selves

What we see and hear.

Worship easier now.

Worship absorbed.

Worship easier now, Rex.

The same but not the same.

Wrung-out complete.


*From the painting by Rex DeLoney, “A Quilt for Rosie Lee”

Mixed Media on Paper, 22” x 28”



The two of you looking like

the athletes you are, fit

long distance lean

handing over those pie cherries

on SunFlower Hill, dusk,

just after 7

as temperature drops

one digit from 109.

Bless the boat

carrying those just picked

and pitted!

How do you pit?


paper clip

bend tines on old forks.

O to be a pie feeding friends..

Remember, Lucille Clifton says,

this will keep us warm.

But she’s a quilter.

I can make a buttery crust

but thin on fluting

top and bottom together.

To be shaped like the bonsai.

To be fired in the oven like clay.

To have abundance on the tongue

while carrying the stone’s patina.

To have eyes like that.

        For Jane and Terry


29 June 2021



          Rhiannon Giddens, from the album, Freedom Highway

Cherry Pie, Rhiannon Giddens,

Quilting, Rosie Lee Tompkins,

Karen Bodeen, Lucille Clifton,

Rex DeLoney, Pastor Kathleen Anderson,

Jane Guting and Terry Martin

This isn’t Mingus.

I got hit way back

before that and Rosie Lee

belonging and us to to her

having people over

to meet her had to have

something to eat

that’s how Rhiannon came

to us, song now, song-savoring

power danger, see what Rex did,

anyway, the painting is a quilt

Terry and Jane gave me

those cherries from SunFlower Hill

all my failures rolling out crusts

rushing at me in flour

crashing waves, butter

friage be-devil damned

Karen telling me

Don’t over-work the dough

Waterboy drum bang resonant

Couldn’t stop find more sour

pie cherries, cut the sugar,

measure an extra half-cup

4!/2 cherries tapioca

instead of cornstarch

don’t cook first

flute, fold, crimp, thumb-finger

There ain’t no hammer

I’m gonna but this rock

reading Lucille

Luz Belle light my mother too

Jack of Diamonds Rhiannon singing

B. B. King’s Guitar

Clifton’s 12 fingered prophecy cry

whose hands touch me now

will turn to flowers

No matter how hard I tried

Jesus I couldn’t never

make mama happy

You want to see poems

laid out on a page what

Kevin Young does to Lucille’s

well that pie is a poem

that song with the Spaniard’s

guitar backing Rhiannon

that’s what Young does

on 700-plus pages

of Lucille Clifton’s Collected

Gloss demanding underline

notes made me find something

different dream like coding

mimicking Young’s vision

Lucille, Mama, all this light from you

mama Lucille, Rosie

dots and marked geographically

word thoughts allowed below

page numbers Rosie Lee Tompkins

looking down towards me

eyes on kitchen island

shy herself her pool always

filling all the time filling

pie crust holding its crimp

and folding almond hint

alchemy free jazz prayer magic




Karen in her chair, Rosie Lee on the wall.

Two quilters of faith. Two who belong

to something I don’t fully understand.

Calling them fabric artists

is a kind of obscenity. Two quiet ones.

A painting by colorist Rex DeLoney

and birthday gift for Karen.

That’s wrong, too.

Blessed now. Rosie Lee, Karen, Rex.

Quilts, color, paint. Looking and seeing.


Looking at her this morning

getting used to her presence.

Being here. Being.

Ester and Gilbert coming through her eyes.

Her eyes, Ester said, Black people

read the world looking through

a person’s eyes. Gilbert

mentions the imagination.

So much is in the imagination of the artist.

Sterling Brown’s Strong men.

Rosie Lee’s strong vision.

It will be hot today, hotter than yesterday

and tomorrow will be hotter

than today. We’re burning,

beautiful thing, the earth is on fire.

The woman grabbed Jesus clothes

and he asked, Who touched me.

Others coming today to look at your eyes.

What will they bring? Karen,

sitting with you at coffee,

Rosie Lee looking down at you

from our wall from a quilt,

surrounded by your quilts,

both of us warmed, warned,

content, she is, in fact,

with your mother, coming from her.

And me, I have Williams and Flossie

with us, too, his asphodel, ours,

for you, a lifetime,

great love arriving

like that, come my sweet, to sing for you.

Ground temperatures hit 118 degrees

in the Arctic Circle. We’re quilted,

the two of us, air conditioned,

in the time of rising sea levels

and mudslides collapsing los marginados,

margins everywhere disappeared.

Rosie Lee Tompkins come from God

who gave her eyes to see color

was also given this, The pool

is giving birth to itself all the time,

words in blue paint chosen color

on Rex’s brush. You write the elegant

words on white paper, placing them

on your water colors as you paint.

The framer covers it all up

to square it with his limited world

betraying faith’s insistence and belief,

in our planet’s resurrection, his

world first cousin to insurrection

and order. Oh, I get it, he says,

I totally get it. In tears, Rosie

still not with us, arriving, not

arriving, I say, Take it apart,

give her to us as Rex painted her.

This painting come to us

through the quilted dream body.

Correct, in-surrect. Resurrect.

Rectitude. The associations

and their song and heel click

from our youth. Direct

re-direct. Right path, straightened.

Lucille Clifton calls this world unknown,

threading together her need

and her needle wondering

if her daughters’ daughters quilt.

Rosie Lee Tompkins is with us.

She comes from the artist’s brushes.

She has a place in our family.

She is part of us, she sees us

in our becoming, she too

is coming into herself.

You too, are with us, Rex DeLoney,

old friend with Little Rock roots.

Your quilts, Karen, Clifton’s foregone knowing.

This pieced partnership. This material

from a patched-up world, drawn to you,

mysterious and quiet in full color.





Your poems arrive with pie cherries

from a friend. The dedication, BF,

ma, mommy, grandma, lu,

on pages laid out with so much space

each line relaxes into itself,

your embracing arms.

Michael Glaser and Kevin Young careful.

My mother’s name, Lucille.

A granddaughter, 15, with your names in the middle.

A foundation and brick. Book coming in at 769 pages,

and this is betterness

These are good times

and when these poems come out

I’m just back from Viet Nam,

still don’t know how I found them.

my mama moved among the days

like a dream walker in a field

you’re born in 1936, where I’m going,

quilter. The Colorist Rex DeLoney

brings Colorist Rosie Lee Tompkins

into our family with a painting

he calls Quilt for Rosie Lee,

you two born in the same year,

you two shaping ways we breathe.

Rosie Lee faces my wife Karen,

two quilters while I read

somewhere in the other where

lines collapsing around

the yellow-eyed woman

looking at us in a living room

where/ alchemists mumble over pots


Your uncollected poems up front

and throughout, the R.I.P.

5/23/67 for Langston

Oh who gone remember now like it was

the early capital letters, Dear Mama,

all that i do

i do for you

Adhering to gift principles

the gift must always move

poems and quilts blessed by the pastor

they’re all women now

Lucille entering with Rosie Lee

my mother Lucille, too,

like she just got off the bus.

House full of Cele and Lucy and Lu.

Mysterious Luz Belle, smiles

all around coming from El Salvador,

these blessings moving things around

every poet envious of shaman fingers

I get your poems for the pastor

leaving songs of Rhiannon Giddens

by your portrait on jacket of the book.

I read your Crazy Horse poems.

Spirit bird women all

I promise pastor a slice of cherry pie.


What’s going on here in poems

happens in needle and thread,

happens in pillow cases

of transfigurations.

Tony Morrison chides scholars.

Where’s the work on Clifton?

Page beautiful forces my read in kind.

Tiny mirrored squared bullets in black ink.

look i am the one what burned down the dew drop inn

I would write on that line and the willie poems

Precision of voice and story, direct line to and from danger

with a truckload of library credibility

and direct access to archives.

Liminal space on pages with time to breathe and recover between poems.

Burning pages. Women at kitchen table. Cherry pie.

In the meantime. I’d go there. Already and Not Yet.

Old Testament witness

Animal blood, night vision, certainties

All that is uncollected belonging and here, part of us,

merciful meaning, mean, meantime

All for mama, all of it, quilts taken down from walls warming,

scholarship of the heart mama’s burning poems remaining




also a pastor in the Midwest

who left after his sermon

to spend a couple of days

with his wife who’s

our interim pastor.

Perhaps I’m drawn

to her situation

because of my own itinerant

status however suspicious

my credentials. As we surface

from prayers delivering

prayers delivered

emanating color and justice

we turn to music,

to Miles, Coltrane,

the surrounding fabric

on walls, binding us

flavored by charcoal,

wafting incense swirling

talking about 1968.

The pastor’s husband

has a photograph on his wall

of Robert Kennedy in Portland

days before his assassination.

My father took me,

I was about seven.

I remembered pictures

and sure enough,

my father was in

the photograph with Kennedy.

No, my father wasn’t political,

not really.

He went to see Rosie Greer.

Dad was a fan.



These two women

in our living room

showing us how

Rosie Lee Tompkins

Lucille Clifton

quilter and poet

is it

what’s the difference

is it

quilter and poet

poet and quilter


Each one

born in 1936,

each gifts

showing us

how showing

us how


the way

out of time






     for pastors Jewel R. Withers, Jr. & Kathleen Anderson

    Little Rock, Arkansas—Yakima, Washington

    and for Rex Deloney, Colorist, Little Rock, Arkansas, &

    Karen Bodeen, Fabric artist, Yakima


Walking the yard, pruner in your old leather

holster, lopper in hand, that Monday

after Easter, how was it? You stopped,

as always, by the Hinoki Cedar

and bonsai-like, Pinus Contortis, lost

in trunk diameter beauty, foolishly probing

ungloved hands into the pine

after dead needles, giving new growth

a better chance for sunlight. More

meditation than prayer. More nature

than Christ, even as you believe

without doubting, Christ-presence

in the branch? How was it, Easter?


Twice blessed Easter, This is the day

the Lord has made, twice. Worship

streaming from your native place,

and again, from Rex in Little Rock.

This is the day the Lord has made,

three days, Friday to Sunday, and while

the faithful wait out Saturday,

you get married children and grandchildren,

out door and verified proof of new life’s

transfigurations. Stones, cairns, boulders

marking way, nothing hidden, no one

waiting for anything except cake,

early baked in your oven, new

recipe, coconut cream injected

to sweeten what’s already sweet,

Flaked coconut spread over whipped

cream. This is the day that the Lord

has made a day early.

You live

with a fabric artist, your friends

poets, painters, jewelers, surrounded

by all desire that may be delivered.

Sol y sombra, you move at will

from beauty to beauty, silence and word.

Let them eat cake.


Such are the joys of listeners,

great inheritors of Catherine

and William Blake up through fabric

artists come through the rural south

the quilter Rosie Lee Tompkins,

and Alice Walker’s two sisters arguing

what’s to be done with Mama’s quilts

in the story Every Day Use--

frame and bequeath them in wills

or wrap bodies warm, exhausting

their threads so you may better know

the cost of your grandmother’s love?

Among the questions, Eli Leon.

Eli Leon, her champion.

They meet at a flea market

in Oakland, red thread

among everything gold.

These questions, along with similar

others, are your only unknowns

waiting for sunrise on Easter morning.

You are the one who remembers

the Jim Harrison poem. You still

hold out for more justice, Easter Morning,

proud, poor white peasants, where

we come from, who we are, frying potatoes

in bacon grease, joining the army

for the GI bill in exchange

for being shot at. The dice.


Listening first from your butterscotch

chair in the living room, with your notebook,

the visiting pastor, an interim you haven’t

bothered to meet, Kathleen Anderson,

her name, baptizing a child, breaks out

into giggles, overcome with joy

before the baby, surrounded by family.

She giggles again reading Mark’s gospel.

Pout and be gone, poetry man—your wife

feels what you cannot on Easter. More

proof in how much you are loved.

throw water from palm branches on all.

Worship again while you walk. Following

worship reading from Eddie Glaude Jr.,

the black professor’s rare book,

Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach

to the Study of African American Religion.

You, who have had late coffee and oranges

with your wife of half a century, Sunday

Morning, carrying Wallace Stevens.

You, who hears Duke Ellington play,

Come Sunday, coming through Archie Shepp’s horn.

My Lord, what a morning. Rare book,

headphones in your ears, Church of God in Christ,

walking Yakima in Little Rock,

this may be your come to Jesus moment

on Easter, walking the neighborhood in clothes

hand-sewn by your artist wife. Hand-carved

walking stick from a cottonwood tree

from the hands of the ancestor-griot himself,

your friend, Gil Chandler. Walk,

my privileged friend, listen.

Holy Temple Cathedral, where the distance

is worth the difference. Rex brings me

through the door. Senior pastor

Bishop Jewel R. Withers Jr.

Hand clapping. Foot-stopping.

Clap hands, clap hands.

Far from shoreline, but the boat,

the boat’s right—get in the boat

Getting through Saturday.

Rex the colorist. Artist, painter, pilgrim.

Coach too? He did some coaching.

Brush man. Jesus man.


Saturday’s the day my children

will be here, the pastor’s wife says.

Saturday’s my Sunday.

Jesus understands. Jesus

knows all the Sunday songs.

Resisting breath is resisting God



Resisting white supremacy.

A cross-walking.

Easter’s uncommon faith provides.

To be otherwise. Being so.

A yes to how broken we really are.

On my Easter morning porch,

Professor Glaude, cup in hand,

Pragmatism encounters the underside…

Thrown into the messiness

of living. Who’s that behind him?

Is that, no, could it be Howard Thurman?

This, the invocation of Jesus,

a distinctive form of Christ,

a change of will, no longer content.

No longer resigned—daring

to be otherwise--

otherwise with the green light of no guarantee

Walking the development with earphones

This is Easter Sunday in Little Rock

after the song--

way out, way through, way maker,

man on a walk, man in a pew

looking at the back side, beginning.

“They didn’t kill him,” Bishop Withers says,

“He died on his own terms. Those sad ones,

living in the past. When my wife

hands me a jar that’s too tight,

I’m not giving it back until it’s open.”

Use everything. Women smiling, men chuckling,

that tiniest crack acknowledges the past in the moment.

We stand on diseased, distorted and deformed ground,

directed against us, here where a different way

of being in the world, a made-possible us,

in new space, a foundation made of shards.


Walking the Sunday yard, sun-stoned, altared

Sun-stoned altar

Alter-chained, changed

Re-written halleluiah

To save us from ourselves

Blessed by the question that carries

Eat long, as long as I can

Live Easter, as long as we can


The Lutheran pastor now, singing camp songs

from the pulpit, Pastor Kathleen,

So high you can’t get over it.

You gotta come in through the door.

Door, door space, threshold aha back at you.

The women knew exactly which tomb

overwhelmed by trauma and ecstasy.

Cross-companion every day.

She asks, What else really matters?

In the garden

you can say it twice

What else matters.

Say, Amen.

This is Easter.

Little Rock Yakima Easter.



      *Pastor Kathleen Anderson

Reading sandwich recipes on the telephone

I may think that I want to read.

A small yellow-bellied finch

lands on bird bath with fresh water.

Another one waits on a nearby branch

of the Ed Wood Half-Moon Maple.

Sunday morning. Come Sunday.

Ellington wrote it for Mahalia.

It’s for all of us. Kathleen Battle

and Johnny Mathis. Ben Webster

and Oscar Peterson. That’s the day.

Finch in the birdbath. Finch in the maple.

Old man in the lawn chair with coffee.

Surrounded by Easter-image music blind.

Practicing in paradise.

This glimpse of the accessible, accessed,

if only in the doorway, glimpsed.

What resurrection is.

Before me in the safety of my own house, a quilter

and the story of Rosie Lee Tompkins.

Rosie Lee Tompkins, from Gould,

74 miles from Little Rock. And Rex.

But beautiful. Clap hands.

Unknowns and risks in every color.

Walk me to the threshold.

The gospel of what shows up

The gospel of who in wonder.

Jim Bodeen

4-14 April 2021–10 May 2021

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