Saturday, August 27, 2016

With Lunabella at the Quay

Today Lunabella discovered birds.
I showed her pigeons pecking at our feet,
she watching with amazement
as they lifted up and flew into the sky
- "Look Luna! Birdies fly!"-
After that she kept on
looking up,
as I have done since I was her age, too -
head tilted back, and grinning at the sky-
at birds, and clouds, and that
dream of endless effervescent blue,
that has kept me moving forward
all life through.

I stood holding her, Rainbow Child,
showing her bobbing boats in the canal,
its wind-tossed swells,
guitar-man singing songs
I knew when I was young,
singing into Luna's ear
the songs I've always sung,
and it hit me, in a wave, 
(and still I grieve),
already mourning
this beautiful world
that I will be missing so completely
when I leave.


Blackbird Fly Away
by Shane Owen at deviantart

I heard an owl this morning
just before dawn,
and I thought of you,
all these decades gone:
waking to the doves' gentle coo,
me amazed at waking next to you,
with your dark blackbird heart,
so lovely in my eyes,
soaring/captive Brother eagle,
both longing for
and fearful of
the skies.

Your beauty and your pain
held my heart fast,
fire and rain, I thought would 
for forever last,
a fire of passion
felt for no one other,
a rain of tears
when you could not tell me: "Stay,"
and so I 
slowly turned
and walked away.

"No easy answers,"
was what you always said,
with your so-easy smile,
and those compelling eyes.
There was an easy answer,
but you could not say the words.
You could not choose just one sparrow,
with the sky so full of birds.

We set the doves free when I left.
Blackbird was playing on the stereo.
I loved you then,
and love you still,
though you may 
never know.

I have remained, this lifetime,
a solitary dove.
The answer was, 
Brother Dreamer,
then and always,
only ever Love.

One from 2013, my friends, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets Unitedwhere there is always good reading of a Sunday morning

Woolly Mammoth

You are supposed to weigh  75  pounds,
the vet declared, with exasperation. 
But you have turned into a megafauna,
through the years,
a smiling, happy, well-fed  woolly mammoth,
because you love food too much,
and I am unable to starve you.
We have a dilemma which,
given your advanced age,
we are not too likely to resolve
to the vet's satisfaction
this lifetime.

for  Gillena's prompt at Real Toads, to write about a megafauna, a large animal over a hundred pounds, in 100 words or less.  I have been living with one without knowing it. Smiles.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Face of Loyalty

Bravo, Guardian 

Bravo, you are well-named.
When rescuers tried to take you away
from the rubble that had been your home,
you stood firm.
your job was to remain at your post,
stand guard
until your people
could return.

When the walls tumble,
when all one has is lost,
a faithful dog's heart
is the great gift
that remains.

Bravo's  people were pulled from the rubble and taken away, after the earthquakes in Italy. He felt it was his job to guard what was left of their crumbled home, and, once he was lifted from the rubble, growled at rescuers, refusing to leave his post. Finally, they were able to convince him to go with them, and he was taken for treatment of a serious leg injury. Just one more small story of survival of the earthquake in Italy that touched my heart. I hope his people will find Bravo soon.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016


photo of 1950's Kelowna
by Don Collier

Sister Forest,
when I stand under your soft-sighing branches,
breathe in the scent of cedar,
walk on pine needles soft,
I am infused with a deep green peacefulness,
feel more blessed than in any cathedral.
I breathe in Spirit,
the breath of the ancient ones.
I breathe out gratitude, beatitude,
send a prayer skyward to the Holy One,
who created forest, shining silver sea,
the earth and sky,
and you and me.

In memory I hear bells ringing 
at evening benediction,
in a small white church so many years ago,
the sweet smell of incense,
as the censor clanks to and fro,
the look of light refracted through stained glass,
those long-gone days we thought
would for forever last.

Send gratitude and praise, my friends,
for these soft, sweet-scented 
end-of-summer days,
when blessings fall upon our hearts
like gentle rain -
these days that will not,
will not ever
come again.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Blessings

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Row upon row of grinning people, munching popcorn, 
eyes on the ring, ready to be entertained,
and in she comes, huge grey beast,
prodded by sharp poles, yelled at by trainers.
She sullenly complies till, one sharp jab too many,
she turns on her keeper, knocks him down,
rolls him around the floor, enraged,
charges out of the tent, folks screaming and scattering,
is shot in the street, paying for her captors' harshness
with her life - this life she did not choose.

TYKE was an African elephant, not suited for circus work, (what elephant is?) yet made to perform anyway, for years,  until the day in 1994 when she snapped, killed her trainer, and ran into the streets of Honolulu. She was shot and killed by police, who fired 86 bullets into her. There is a film about her, (Tyke: Elephant Outlaw) explaining how owners had been advised against continuing to force her to perform, advice ignored in the interest of finances, as usual. She was not the outlaw, in her run for a freedom found only in her death. This breaks my heart.

for Kerry's prompt at the Sunday Mini Challenge at Real Toads: ten lines on the theme of "This is not what we came here to see."

source: Wikipedia

Saturday, August 20, 2016


photo by Jon Merk

And now the little nightbirds all are sleeping.
A froggy chorus rides the evening air.
High in the cedar, mourning doves are calling;
in the topmost branch, they've found
some purchase there.

The dusky light creeps softly down the mountain.
The heron on one leg folds up her wing.
Owl swoops the tall grass searching for her dinner.
Around the pond the noisy crickets sing.

Onto the darkening pasture 
creeps the nightfall,
atop the barn, a silver slice of moon.
The stars wink on. The twilight turns
to darkness. It's time to sleep. 
Morning will come too soon.

One from 2013, my friends, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.