Thursday, March 22, 2018

One Day, Little Bird, You Will Fly

You were born whole, and perfect,
but life is scary once you leave the nest.
You receive so many messages
that you are not the best :
your feathers, not as beautiful as other birds,
your neck's too long, your hair's a sight,
you cannot possibly take flight,
you will never soar as high,
you'd better settle for the low branch,
not risk falling from the sky.

You carry those words
like a mantra.
You become afraid
to try.

Little bird, I'm here to tell you,
you have believed a lie.

One day, small bird,
you will understand their gig :
they only make you small
so they feel big.

I see you, on the end
of that quivering branch,
contemplating the sky.
I want to say :
we are enough
the way we are,
you and I.

(How long have you waited
to hear those loving words?
Only all your life.
Me, too, small bird.)

One day you will
grow tired of watching
others swoop and soar.
You will feel wind gather
under your wings,
and step through freedom's door,
know the heady rush of rising,
being brave enough to try.

One day, little bird,
you will fly.

for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: "You and Me", Alice Cooper's lovely song about being enough, just the way we are.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Colour of Our Hearts

Why is it that so many people
see skin first,
when looking at
a fellow human being?

It seems to me
that we should see
only the colour
of our hearts.

I have never really understood division over skin colour. I just see human beings. I have a problem with my own skin colour, if anything, as it is the colour of oppressors of people of colour all over the world through millenia.  So difficult to understand this bias.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

An Evergreen Soul

Tall Tree Trail, Meares Island

My soul goes walkabout
into the forest
on a vision quest.
Amongst the breathing trees,
the white owls are speaking,
softly, so as not to be overheard
by the Others.

My child,
you have journeyed far,
and you are tired.
You are approaching the edge of
a far valley.
Attune your heart
to journeying.
Prepare your traveling song.

My soul sits itself down
at the base of a great green cathedral
whose trunk has grown
for almost one thousand years.

My child,
you are weary and heartsore,
and can find no surcease.
Place your hand on my trunk
and I will tell you all I know
about Enduring.

My soul tiptoes up close to
a gentle, startling deer.
She tilts her head, recognizes
that I mean no harm,
and does not turn away.

My child,
you have learned to keep
a distance from the world.
I understand.
My way, too, must be one of caution,
for there are fast unthinking cars and
angry men and killing guns
out in the Land from which
you come.

On the shores of my soul,
there are waves,
forever advancing and retreating,
while I perch in this desert of the heart
as precariously
as a cactus flower,
afraid to take root for fear
the wound of blooming
will be

Bloom and thorn-
sometimes the messages
are mixed.

My soul emerges from the forest
surrounded by
six white wolves.
My honour guard,
they will protect me.
My soul puts forth the rough, hardy shoots
of a cliff-dwelling juniper.
They wrap around some 
shambling, slipping rocks
and hang on tight.
They have learned
to be tenacious,
and self-sustaining.
They have learned
that even the most solid surfaces
can move and change
and crumble away.

An evergreen soul
can weather the storms,
can withstand drought,
can find joy 
singing in the rain.

for Paul's prompt at dVerse: Soul Gazing

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dear Lunabella

Dear Lunabella,

I'm sitting at the beach
looking at a world that is
all beautiful and blue,
and I want to hand it to you
just like this:
blue sky,
puffy clouds, peaceful dogs,
and a silver sheen on the water.
The waves are singing.

I don't want to leave you
the world on the news:
children dying, suffering, starving,
war everywhere, racism, division,
animals being tortured and murdered,
corrupt politicians, climate change,
and corporations raping the earth.

How to give you hope
when mine is fading?
How to feed your dreams
with my aching heart?

But I see you,
bright Rainbow child,
with your shiny spirit,
and I see the young folk rising
across the country.
You all deserve this world
the way it's meant to be.
So I know, for you,
I must believe again.

For Mother Earth can heal,
if we all help her,
and there is enough for all,
if we all share.

I turn off the news
and all negativity,
and look with eyes like yours,
little Rainbow child,
wearing your shining spirit
of many colours,
alive with all your tomorrows
of hope and promise,
and Life! oh, how it shines!

This is the world I want to give you,
all blue and shining
and wrapped in sunny ribbons,
as brand new and perfect
as your trusting eyes.

love, Great-Grandma

for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: "Dear" poems, and shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

As I watch the young people speaking truth to power, unafraid, because they see things clearly, not through the filter of money greed or power, I begin to think the young folks will be the ones to save us. I can't wait till they begin voting and moving into the corridors of power. The old way has gotten us in a pickle. Let's get money out of politics and find people who want to SERVE.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Turning their backs
on a White House
that does not hear them,
their silence 
is more powerful
than a scream.

I stand in solidarity with students marching across the USA today, asking for something so simple it is heartbreaking that they have to ask: safety in their classrooms. In front of the White House, these students turned their backs on the government that does not hear them. Their silence was more eloquent than words. It is sad when students have to do the job we adults have failed to do over the years. But I am heartened that we have strong young leaders on the way up. There is hope.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


This beautiful collage was created for me
by my friend Steve, The Unknown Gnome,
one of our early Poets United poets,
who sadly left this world too soon this week.

I am referring to Pup in the following poem,
whose spirit I hope still accompanies me 
along the beach.

We were traveling together
when you took the turning
where the Disappeared go,
and were seen no more.
I could not follow. The way was barred.
Still, I continued walking,
carrying your soul with me
in a small wooden box,
hidden under my cape,
held close to my heart.

When I tire, and falter,
am tempted to turn back,
I can hear you thumping inside your box.
You will not let me abandon the journey.

(Asleep, she found herself
crossing a barren desert.
There was a river ahead,
and she could hear voices, singing,
coming around the bend.
They were coming to get her,
but then she came back into her body.
Not time yet.)

Death is a river, turbulent, roaring,
through time-worn rock-walled chasms
green with weeping.
It dashes our brains out on the rocks
so the eagles may feed,
then settles us, lighter and relieved
of our earthly burden,
in rippled ponds along the shore,
where beaver and wolves may find us.

I will meet you there
at twilight
on the last day.

At midnight, a ghostly spectre
glides mistily along the shore.
She is beckoning,
but I pretend that I am blind.
She is calling. I pantomime
that I am deaf and cannot hear.
Not time, yet.

These words are a pathway
between the time when you were here
and now.
They are as full of your absence
as my heart.
I am still traveling.

You always did go
before me on the path.
I am getting just
a little closer.
Not time yet. Not yet.

This poem was written in 2014. I borrowed some lines for a collaboration with Paul Scribbles last year. But this is the original. I am feeling my mortality these days, and decided to share it with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United this weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2018


The curtains are blue, on rungs,
surrounding the last resting place,
the bed where breaths go in and out,
rasping, until that final moment,
after which there is no more
life on earth.

Before then,
may there be great swirling galaxies
of miracle and wonder.
May we catch our collective breath
and drink it all in,
with awe, with gratitude:
the beauty, the colour,
the sweep, the reach,
the astonishment of each dawn,
on another day of living
on Planet Earth.

for the prompt at Real Toads: Curtains

Today it is gloriously sunny. The daffodils are blooming, and I am off to the beach, with a grateful heart.