When my sister died, August 11, 2016, we decided to have a birthday party for her. Her 25th birthday was coming up, September 4, 2016, and we wanted to celebrate her, as well as come together, again. I wanted to plant a tree for her, as a way to honor her wishes of being cremated at The Farm (in Fairview, PA) and Harbour Island, Bahamas. I had her hair and would plant it with the tree to watch her grow.

This is the tree we found, a joyful, dancing Weeping Japanese Cherry Blossom Willow Tree. It blooms pink in the springtime, and was 11 feet tall. I hugged it immediately.

Fairview, PA

Fairview, PA

Claire's spirit rules all, she is present in all ways and most recently, my film.

The Ladies


2016- A year of great loss

But with a glimmer of joy

Let’s not forget the light in the dark

Two beautiful baby boys


Christmas has come for another year

Their first in the Bob Knox home

But as we gather for holly and cheer

To the Ladies, I dedicate this poem.


First, the woman of many names

Margie, Grandma, and Mom

Different roles, but to her the same

All fabulous, loving and strong


Always in style-the best clothes, jewels, and shoes

At life she was a winner

She early established the rule of twos

That is, dates per night, and drinks before dinner


She spun circles around all the boys

On the Rainbow Gardens dance floor

But it was Bob Knox who gave her a lifetime of joys

He was like no man she’d met before


With her six girls she was loving but strict

A true German through and through

They’d sneak out, have their fun,

But she couldn’t be tricked,

And they thought she never knew


Christmas Day was her favorite time

She created the ribbon tied boxes

She’s the reason we celebrate, gather and rhyme

The inventor of Christmas at the Knox’s.


Next, the woman of many locations

Across the globe she flew

A girl of action, of several vocations

Surfer and Stylist to name a few


She’d fit in as much as the day would permit

Her adventures were never done

And when I’d ask her how she does it

She’d respond, “Darling, I always have fun”


She brought people together, it was her gift

Each friend in her life essential

Secretly matchmaking, she was sly and swift

She made us all feel uniquely special


From camo to pearls, she’d transform with ease

You could never quite pin her down

If you’d sneeze in your hand or forget to say please

Ms. Manners would scold with a frown


Blonde and beautiful, from the crowd she stood apart

She had gumption and charm to spare

Cool, charismatic, and a great big heart

There are few as wonderful as Claire.


Margie loved it when she came and stayed

She watched her as she grew

In those summers a unique connection was made

She taught her everything she knew


Each Christmas they’d prepare, hang lights by the dozens

The reindeer perched on the shelf

They’d ready the basement for the guests and cousins

Mrs. Clause and her little elf


They were true kindred spirits, together ‘till the end

And now as they watch from above

Each happy moment is a message they’ve sent

Of their everlasting protection and love


And though they are here no longer

Know that they live on within you

With each day their legacy grows stronger

And the power of love will continue





Shannon McCain

December 25, 2016

Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine
Meltin' in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins my own
They belong to me, me

People say "beware!"
But I don't care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me

'Gloria' by Patti Smith

From 'Constellations' collaborative essay with Aaron Hill, 2010

From 'Constellations' collaborative essay with Aaron Hill, 2010

The inheritance and womanhood in a family

The traits, the gifts, the thoughts, the love that is passed down

The hips, the lips, the shoes, the walk

Crafting, creating, cultivating the history of the world


Knox is my name, Moody is the other, our passing through space and time

Has many layers, depth in this Earth, rays in the sky, brightness in the stars

Claire Gyllian born 1991, Mary Margaret born 1926

Claire Gyllian born 1991, Mary Margaret born 1926