Category Archives: online writing courses


108 Poems to Kali


This is Kali who rules the fireplace in my living room. She is from a folk painting made in a village near Varanasi, India. I traveled there in 2008 and bought this from our tour guide.

I’ve been taking an online class through The Shift Network. Our teacher is Mirabai Starr, a wonderful woman who I am thanking most for introducing me to the concept of inter-spirituality (you can appreciate and practice more than one perspective).

Our class is called The Way of the Feminine Mystic. Mirabai is most known for translating Teresa of Avila and other saints and mystics. She has made Teresa more accessible, especially to one such as I who only looked East for inspiration and wisdom.

We are to do a project by the end of this class, something to do around a female mystic or wisdom figure. I chose Kali (or did She choose me?). For several months now, I have been writing short poems to and about and for Kali. I always sit on my couch right in front of Her (except for a few written in an airport). They nearly always surprise me for I never know what will come forth. Now reaching poem #60, I am past the halfway mark. I feel I have just begun. Since I have come from a zen tradition, I’ll accept this beginner’s mind as a good thing!

Anyway, this morning I decided to stand right up there before Her and take a close-up of Kali’s face. Enjoy!


“Women Writing, Lives Changing” — with a social justice twist

Next month I’ll once again be teaching an online class with Catherine of Siena Virtual College. This time I have proposed a class for activists. Here is the description:

I see this course as a respite as well as a place of empowerment for those who work in areas of social justice. Too often we feel alone or isolated. In this online course, participants will have safe space to write about their hopes and dreams, share their frustrations, and feel supported by other people working to make this world a better place for all.
Whether you are a community organizer, a volunteer in a group that fights for equality, access for marginalized populations, or envision a better way, you will find a home here. The class will allow each time and space to pause, look, share, and return to her chosen work with renewed vision and energy to continue.

If these words speak to you, consider joining me for a series of Saturday morning sharing through our writing online with women from around the world. For more information, go to:

how great to stay at home / poem 99

I got the phone call first thing this morning: no meal delivery today. The coordinator had a meeting and had the Thursday volunteers deliver Friday meals. Hurray! I was relieved for I’d awakened with that damned morning stiffness and had to prepare for the online class I’d be teaching Saturday morning.

So I’ve had a luxurious day focusing on the creative writing class I’ll be teaching/facilitating via Catherine of Siena Virtual College website. I’ll be using Women Writing for (a) Change’s processes [and giving full credit, of course] but we’ll hold our circle in cyberspace. I took backyard deck breaks, talking on the phone to several people. I read, had my decaf, looked at my mail. My friend Vic invited me to come over and hang out with her and Nick later, if I wanted but I’m content.


seems like such a boring word
but actually when you are really content,
everything is just right with your world

preparing . . . & poem 94

Someone phoned me a little bit ago and said she hoped she wasn’t interrupting a 4th of July gathering. No, I reassured her. I told her if I sounded a little out of it it was because I was still ‘in my head.’ I’d been on the computer, thinking, and writing much of the afternoon.

This, to me, was a rich and blessed day. I have plenty of friends and family if I had wanted to track down a social gathering for the holiday. No . . . I was using my time to prepare for an online class I’ll be teaching next week. Ten women from all over the world will share words online in real time. I look forward to seeing what this experience will be like. A year and a half ago, Karen T. Waters (Portland, Oregon) and I created the first online class using Women Writing for (a) Change processes through Catherine of Siena Virtual College. She’d then taught a class. This time I’ll be the teacher. While it is exciting, it is also a challenge.


women from different perspectives
sharing our stories online
what an honor to be holder of this circle