Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Traveling In Tandem

Traveler has made such a long journey
since her blue-eyed boy was born,
those big guileless eyes, looking up,
uttering truths, trusting,
even though his nights were 
so often peopled 
with monsters.

The journey he took into the life 
of his tortured mind
at seventeen
was fraught with pain,
and watered with a mother's tears.
Yet now they both say those years,
that long hard journey,
each of them at the other end of the phone,
a conversation that spanned twenty years
of healing and growth,
was one they might not have made
by any other pathway,
and for that
they are grateful.

He journeys now at times
through other galaxies,
sometimes calls her from the astral plane,
tells her his third eye has opened,
he is now awakened.
She listens carefully, with respect,
for in every journey,
there are deep teachings, 
wisdom to learn,
deep truths to impart
and to receive.
He dances to a music
the rest of us cant hear,
but he is happy to share,
so she listens closely, 
attempting to discern 
the melody.

Her blue-eyed boy is a man now
who says his spirit longs for the wild,
that he wants to return to being
a grown-up child.

Mothers' hearts break during such journeys.
But also, hearts inevitably
heal and mend.
The gift of being brave enough
to make a journey this precarious,
is that mother and son 
have become best friends.

Gabriella at dVerse has set us the wonderful prompt: Travel. One of my names is Traveler, many of my poems having been written on this topic. So I tapped out another, having just returned from a visit to my blue-eyed boy.

'A Feather On the Breath of God'*


The sting of the lash against my back
the early dawn, my sisters' sighs
Oh God, I stand before you,
a humble and unlearned woman

why have you sent me these visions?
who will listen?
who will believe?

you breathe on my life
- a simple feather -
you leave me no choice,
and so I fly

I so love Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: the work of mystic and visionary, Hildegard von Bingen. I have loved her music for decades. It harks me back to those dark winter mornings at Mass when I was a teen: the incense, the holiness, the candles, the chanting of the beautiful Latin phrases. 

Hildegard lived from 1098 – 1179, not one of the best times to be a woman, and she was humble and often referred to herself as an unlearned woman. But her heart was pure and she saw visions from the age of three. At the age of 42, she received instruction from God to "write down that which you see and hear". She was hesitant to share her visions and became ill. Finally, she began to transcribe her visions.

" I set my hand to the writing. While I was doing it, I sensed... the deep profundity of scriptural exposition; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close – though just barely – in ten years. (...) And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, 'Cry out therefore, and write thus!'

On 17 September 1179, when Hildegard died, her sisters claimed they saw two streams of light appear in the skies and cross over the room where she was dying.

*A Feather on the Breath of God is an award-winning album of sacred vocal music written in the 12th century by the German abbess Hildegard of Bingen.

It is an album of early medieval plainchant, the title of which is taken from a passage in Hildegard’s writings that is her own description of herself:

"Listen: there was once a king sitting on his throne. Around him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honour. Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along. Thus am I '"A feather on the breath of God."[3]

source: Wikipedia

Kids, I am just back from my trip and am still digging my way out of my crammed inbox at two p.m. Fortunately I  responded to Susan's wonderful prompt before I left. That was clever of me. Once I am out of my inbox I will start trying to catch up online, which may take another day or two.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Kids, as of 5 a.m. on Saturday, I am off on a road trip with Jon, Zenny and the beautiful Smokey....heading back to our old stomping grounds, Kelowna, B.C., where I grew up. I went back there to raise my kids, so it is home base to them, too. I look forward to the beautiful scenery of the Hope-Princeton, a road I traveled so many times through my life..............I will visit relatives and a dear friend in Kelowna, then bus to Vancouver and see my son Jeff.

I am not sure when I will be back, likely mid-week. So have a great few days, and I will catch up as soon as I recover from jet lag. (I now get jet lag from ANY form of travel, even to the mall in Nanaimo, LOL.) 

I have been having so much family fun this summer, I am nearly catatonic! I will make a lovely dinner guest, with my head face-down in the soup-bowl! I think I am making the heroic effort to travel, in order to have one more day with Jon, Zenny and Smokey.

Ciao, amigos!

My Inner Old One

Birds cross the sky in covens,
this golden autumn-of-my-life.
My eyes follow their flight,
my soul quickening to the sound
of their honking admonition:
follow the predestined route!
Find your way home!

The Voice of My Tribe croons a chant
that murmurs on the breeze.
I feel the winds of change blowing through
the drafty chambers of my 
just-before-winter heart.

The Old Ones are telling me:
Time to open the door of the cage
and free the wild bird of your being,
the one you have been hushing
and placating with crumbs
for so long.
Free her with joy, and,
as her wide wings swoop and thrum 
across the shimmering sky,
traveling between the worlds
in the space-where-there-is-no-space,
along the-way-where-there-is-no-way,
heed the call of those wild birds.
They are giving voice to
 the longings of your soul.
Lift up that expectant, waiting life 
with the urgency
of not-much-time,
and, if you're ever going to fly again
as, once, you flew,
do it soon,
do it completely.
Do it now.


Lisa and Jeff
two shining lights

My son Jeff, (who calls himself Jeff Siddhartha Crazy Horse Marr and, sometimes, Squawking Crow), whom some of you know is a wildly gifted poet, recently wrote this song, dedicated to his sister Lisa's daughter, Ali. The music he composed to accompany it is so beautiful! He is always amazing.

My Dreaming-Eyes 
(Dedicated to A.B.)

You gave us dreams with your youthful figure sweet
Walking the byways lost with secret desire,
Your royal robe of gems with your footsteps fleet
And your golden crown blazing with sunlit fire.

There is a  traveler in my heart
I dream that one day I may depart

            My Dreaming-Eyes
            White bird flying
            Across the sky  

Now comes the cooling evening that leads to dawn -
A still shadow on that house beneath the star.
You must choose alone:  are your soul’s steps led on
To wander, through darkened valley, near or far?

How I long to return to the wild
And turn again to a grown-up child

            My Dreaming-Eyes
            White bird flying
            Across the sky  


Take your brush;  paint living stars against the night;
Walk wondrous hidden paths on the pale moonbeams -
Lift your sparkling eye to the morning star bright;
Go, my daughter:  you may manifest your dreams.

I lose your hand and I wave good-bye
Then turn to love as I start to fly

            My Dreaming-Eyes
            White bird flying
            Across the sky

            My Dreaming-Eyes
            White bird flying
            Across the sky  


Wonderful writing, beautiful advice. Jeff kindly allowed me to share this with you. Jeff also composes classical music to rival Mozart's, plays multiple instruments, and sings. He is, in every genre, completely self-taught. He learned to compose classical music from library books, quite astounding. I am very proud of him. He is also a sweet soul, and very hilarious. We cackle together often. We will have a visit during my time away, and I will treasure every moment.

Lisa has also been writing over the years, and has just had a poem - my favourite poem of hers -  accepted for a Canadian anthology. I can't share it here, as it is hers, plus being accepted for publication, it likely cant appear anywhere else. 

Needless to say, I am a proud mama - proud of all four of my chicks, all incredible beings.

The Maestro

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Observer

The years roll by more quickly
as we age,
as if we are Tibetan prayer wheels
being spun,
till we fly right off our perch
and disappear
into the sun.

We become The Observer
as we age -
the sage
with wisdom
no one wants to hear.

We smile.
It is all right.
They will learn
in their own time.
One day, they, too, 
will be
spinning clear.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Moonrise over Broken Islands
photo by Jon Merk

The song of my life is the summer breeze
dancing within  the rustling trees
it's the murmuring shore, the waves' ebb and flow
it's the beauty of nature wherever I go
it's the call of the mountains, the tumbling falls,
it's the  riverbed green,  and the canyon walls,
it's sunrise and sunset, the golden glow
of a fall afternoon as the sun sinks low
it's the smell of smoke on the evening air
it's the howl of the wolf, the growl of bear
it's the cackling hen and the warbling wren
the fox's leap over the cattle pen
it's the translucent light on the sandy shore
glorious beauty spread all before
it's the moon that crosses the midnight sky
it's the beauty that forever draws my eye
it is, most especially, the song of the sea,
ever drawing away, then returning to me.

For Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Melody - without using the word melody. I cheated a bit with "song," for lack of gray matter.