Poems Pictures Prayers & Ponderings,

a prayerful reflection on the Catholic faith

The Story of P4


The four Ps represent  Poems Pictures Prayers & Ponderings.. You can see from reading  the About Us page that how the book came about was unusual. In this section I hope to tell the entire story of how the book came to be in its most unusual way.


We often think that God no longer talks to us, but His Voice is alive and well. It sounds hokey to say that He wanted the words of the poems read and pondered along with the art, but that is what I truly believe, or else I certainly wouldn't have spent my time and energy on getting them published.


I will never understand why God chose me for this project, but I am thankful that He did.


This section is a work in progress. As I've shared the book with family and friends and also shared some of how it came to be, so many people have said that I need to share the process too. And so, here is the story.


As the poem book was, this is a continuing work in progress. Here are a couple of pages for starters.




The Story of P4

Show It the Light of Day

“Jesus said to the crowd: ‘No one who lights a lamp conceals
it with a vessel or sets it under a bed . . .’ “

The Holy Spirit had lit a light in my life in the form of
sixteen poems that were hidden under my bed, along with two unpublished novels.
There the poems sat for four years, to see the light of day only occasionally,
but life goes on and often gets in the way of the sacred and of God’s will.

It was November 12, 2011, as my husband lay dead on our
living room floor, that God set the wheels into motion to bring His poems to
light. Little did we know. Firefighters with paddles shocked the life back into
Kayo on the third attempt, leaving him unconscious on our rush to the hospital
where caring medical personnel and technology took over. Body temperature
lowered, in a medically induced coma, my husband’s life hung in the balance
somewhere between life and death, and our futures were in suspended animation,
each day unfamiliar.

After thirty-seven hours of prayerful vigil by family, friends and even strangers, Kayo returned to consciousness in a surprising and even funny way that had doctors and nurses calling him the miracle man. With none of the predicted brain damage or damage to his heart, and with not even a diagnosis, we returned home a week later with a pacemaker/defibulator screwed into his chest and instructions that he not drive for six months.

The first two months went pretty quickly with much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving and a family Christmas that we weren’t sure he would be alive to see. Each day was a blessing just to be alive and together. He had gotten back to work almost immediately, although temporary loss of memory caused a few problems, such as not knowing how to turn on his computer or knowing what the icons stood for.

Then came January and things began to slow down a little and life became more normal with the holidays behind us. His office is at home, and so I was also home all day in order to be on call incase he needed me to drive him somewhere. Boredom soon set in and that’s when God revealed His plan for me to have His poems published.

“Lord, I need to be here and I want to be here, but what am I going to do?” All the closets and cabinets were clean.

“Get the poems out and put them in a book.”

I’ve always believed that obedience was where Adam and Eve went wrong and Noah went right. Obedience is the virtue opposite rebellion, and obedient is what I wanted to be, but I had no earthly idea what it meant to put a book of poetry together. I’d been a “shop” teacher and curriculum writer for Industrial Arts at one point in my professional life and understood how to do that, but as a curriculum writer, I had an editor and worked with wonderful people who took the lessons I wrote and brought them magically to book form and to teachers in the classroom. I knew it took many people, time, expertise, and money to bring a project to completion. I was just one person feeling my way through the dark.

It finally dawned on me that if God could get me to pen poems, He could get me to publish a book. He was going to lead this horse to water and I was going to drink if that’s what He wanted me to do.

That sounds valiant and noble, but in reality, the poems had already been under my bed or on a shelf for almost four years. Back then, shortly after receiving the poems, I was at mass one day knowing I was supposed to share the beauty of the words He had given me. I was working part time, babysitting for grandkids and my mom had just moved to Independent living near us. It was all too convenient to ignore God’s call back then and I wasn’t going to do it again.


The words of St. Catherine of Siena inspired me. "Oh how sweet and glorious is the virtue of obedience which contains all the other virtues! Because it is born on charity and on it the rock of holy faith is founded; it is a queen, and he who espouses it knows no evil, but only peace and rest."

I asked, “What is stopping me, Lord?” “Are you afraid to fail?’ He asked. “No. I’ve failed a lot.” “That’s right, but you are afraid to succeed.”

Where to Begin?

I lifted the three-ring binder out from under the bed, got a damp cloth and wiped away the dust. I’d typed up most of the poems by then but not all of them. I’d written a few reflections and had jotted notes about traditional Catholic prayers that seemed to fit with certain poems. Reading  over them again brought tears to my eyes with their beauty and the knowledge that God had graced me with them and that I had let Him down. I sobbed and vowed that I would not let Him down again so that others could share the beauty of the words held in the binder. It was daunting. There didn’t seem to be any
order, but He would make sense of it for me.

Nearly four years had passed since Tuesday of Holy week in 2008.

“Something unsettling rests inside my mind and heart. He
chose him as His own, and then suddenly, he was torn apart.” The first night I
had awakened with that verse in my head, I knew it was about Judas Iscariot.
I’d always wondered about him and his role in our salvation; it seemed he was
doing God’s will. “It’s a dirty job, but someone had to do it.” I’d spent years
praying for Judas and sometimes prayed for his soul just in case there was hope
for him, but never requested his intercession with God, just in case. I felt
the words of the short refrain expressed my concern and confusion. With that
thought, I went back to sleep, only to regret it the next morning, because it
seemed more like a dream, and I couldn’t remember a single word of it.

It may have been the next night or maybe a few nights later
that the familiar words awoke me again. This time I was determined not to
forget and repeated them over and over, trying to memorize them until I fell
back to sleep. Yea, right; not one word came to me the next morning. It was sometime
after midnight, early the Tuesday of Holy Week 2008, when the familiar words
woke me the third time. “The third time’s the charm.” I was so thankful to hear
them again and got up, found a pencil, grabbed a piece of computer paper from
the printer to write the few words.

They were just rolling through my head, and then without
hesitation, much to my amazement, the words continued, verse after verse,
painting a picture of a despairing Judas and a loving and merciful God.
Stunned, with the last word written, I wept, reading and rereading what I had
hastily scribbled on the page.

I think back and have to laugh. As the words were coming so quickly, and with my past writing experience, I was trying to write so carefully and perfectly, my mind racing down two separate tracks. “Is this a poem? The words rhyme.” “Should that be a period or a semi-colon?” “Should I be writing this in four lines, verse form?” “Be quiet and keep writing!” Honestly, I don’t know how God got through me.

The next morning, I walked into Kayo’s office and said that I wanted to read something to him. He hadn’t awakened during the night when I had gotten out and back into bed. The rims of his eyes quickly turned red as tears began to fall for Judas. We just sat in amazement. “Where’d that come from?” “I don’t know.” “Where did you find it?” “That rhyme came back to me last night and when I wrote it down, this whole poem followed.” We just stared at each other, not knowing what to make of it. Holy Week of 2008 took on a whole new meaning.

Several month and sixteen poems later they stopped as abruptly as they had started.

Four years later, I was to pick them up, dust them off, and start all over again. God lead me every step of the way. Nearly every page has
a story of its own, beginning with the title!


More to come soon . . .

The Holy Spirit had lit a light in my life in the form of
sixteen poems that were hidden under my bed, along with two unpublished novels.

In Comes Valerie


As her work indicates, Valerie is somewhat quiet, charming, intelligent, extremely creative, artistic, and is a devout Catholic. As I began to put the poems together with prayers and ponderings, I could visualize a little of what I wanted, but knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not capable of the layout and formatting, unless God took over again. When I told Kayo, he immediately thought of Valerie Pokorny.


Valerie had created beautiful brochures for Texas Alliance for Life, The Diocese of Austin and for various other organizations. She was quick, thorough, and creative, and had an uncanny knack of knowing what the person wanted. In other words, she was exactly the kind of person I needed
to help me through the dark. The problem was that she and her husband had moved to San Antonio and she was very busy with a two-year-old daughter. I later found out she was also pregnant with her second daughter. I called and talked briefly on the phone, trying to explain what I was looking for. She told me
that, although she had never taken on a project like that she was intrigued. Good enough for me.


We met just a few days later at the Rally for life on January 22, 2012. We had instant synergy.
I sent a list of some of the materials and she sent a very unassuming bid for the work, underestimating

her talent and benefit to me. You will hear about Valerie’s contribution throughout each segment. The book would be no where as beautiful as it is without her.