Audio Files

Selected audio clips of Kathe's work included in Miracle of the Wine available through Amazon.



El Capitan by Full Moon

During the day you'll see rock climbers, and at night you'll see their
flashlights strung across the face like erratic Christmas tree lights.

—Frommer's guide to Yosemite National Park

Touring the valley after dark from an open tram car, we view
Half Dome, North Dome, Clouds Rest, Royal Arches, Sentinel Rock—
all ghost pale by moonlight. The thready glint of Bridalveil Fall
mists to the valley floor to join the calm Merced of summer.
In the shadow of El Capitan we pause while our young ranger shares
his climber's love of Yosemite's fine granite, the strength of its sheer faces.
He has scaled this tower of rock more times than he now cares to count
(or tell his mother)—each climb a journey lasting days,
perhaps a week or more spent fastened to a monolith the height
of three Empire State Buildings. Shocked murmurs confess
both awe and curiosity. How many are there tonight?
With his flashlight, he calls his brethren from their rest
and the pilgrims answer, a dozen or more, in kind.
Like wise men, we peer upward, drawn to newfound stars
and find ourselves at worship in their cathedral, each light
an act of praise amid the grandeur.


El Capitan
Photo by Joseph J. Palka III



Future Wilderness

Teetertown Preserve, Mountain Farm Section
Something there is that doesn't love a wall —Robert Frost

Above Califon, the timeless blue
of a crisp April morning gleams
on the pond at Mountain Farm.
Higher still along the rocky slope,
the trail enters the woods, then travels
down the edge of what my map names
Future Wilderness. I've come to find
this place where the future returns the past.
As the path parallels a farmer's fence,
the ruined mounds snake among trees.
The old neighbors, good or otherwise,
are gone, and the cows too.
No one has made a friendly game
of wall-mending in eighty years.
Each freeze and thaw has had its way.
No pines or apples grow, but oaks,
sycamores, beech, maples
and the delicate white dogwoods
have crossed the fallen stones to take back
ground cleared long ago. The woods
are rich again in shadows, riotous
with birdsong and the scurry of animals—
deep in the mischief of spring.
Without our care to wall it out or in,
the land relives itself and the wild returns
from a time before our fathers
ever spoke of fences.



Miracle of the Wine

God has given us a dark wine so potent,
that drinking it, we leave the two worlds.
- Rumi

What is your favorite of Christ's miracles?
An icebreaker for those newly called
to help us warm to service.
Predictable answers follow—
the loaves and fish, the blind healed,
the dead quickened—
then the miracle of the wine.
His first act of power, the one
through which he is revealed.

Not yet the great rabbi
teaching on the mount,
the healer trailed by crowds,
or the martyr on the cross,
but a guest at a local wedding
apprised by his mother Mary,
They have no wine.

Jesus, at first annoyed with her,
My hour has not yet come,
then compliant—a mother's dutiful son.
His feet firmly in both worlds,
he caters by miracle to the pleasure
of guests already tipsy
on the common vintage—
vats of water changed to fine wine
that we might all know
the celebration eternal.

Cover image by Martha Weintraub



Photo by Frank Magalhaes

Mother's Teacup

Eggshell fine,
a treasure left to her
by my Welsh grandmother.
Back home from a visit,
the week she starts chemo,
I find it in a photo
she just gave me,
one culled from a box
full of faded sepia,
the edges crimped and
curling up like smoke.
Taken at my first birthday,
the dining room a stage
set with all the family
impossibly whole, the cup
rests in the background
on a china closet shelf.
Six years later it fell
in shards at my feet,
the day I had to touch it,
feel the coolness
of ageless flowers,
the only time she ever
raised her hand to me,
to punish what
we still can't change.