Saturday, November 18, 2017


Today I opened the door
onto grief,
that I have not put into spoken words
shared some tears and a peek
at the losses
hiding under
the brave smile
I have worn
for so long.
And it turns out
it is all right
to cry.

for Brendan's prompt at Real Toads: Doors. Today I attended a grief workshop. I have always been a strong, stoic person. As a single mom of four, I had to keep on going through many losses, with no time to grieve. And then my dog died, and released my tears.  When they are long suppressed, they will eventually come out, as they have been doing for some time now. And that is okay.

Friday, November 17, 2017


When all of life is threatened,
and barbarians are strutting through
the halls of power,
when our future survival
hangs by a thread,
it is said that is when
the Shambhala warriors 
will arrive.

They are bodhisattvas,
beings of peace.
You may not recognize them -
(or you might: 
check out Joe Kennedy III
and Barak Obama) -
as they will look like everyone else.
(Look for eyes that shine
with spirit and compassion).
The Shambhala Warriors 
will walk the corridors of power
armed with two weapons
  - compassion and insight.
With courage and integrity,
they will dismantle 
the ways of death,
and lead us on a new path,
for the time has come
for a great Turning.

When you feel this earth grief 
we carry
is too much to bear, 
take heart.
It is because you care
that you are alive 
at just this moment,
to assist the transformation
from the patriarchal 
to the divine feminine.
Women are rising up everywhere.
They are planting trees and gardens,
cleaning streams and beaches,
standing guard to protect 
the sacred waters.
They are protecting life,
gathering together
to oppose the ways of war.

Women are wise in the ways
of growing things: 
food, animals, children.
They reject the ways of death.
Women understand that all things 
are connected.
Everything depends on everything else.
We are each a strand in
the web of life.

Mother Earth is speaking to us, now,
with all of her voices. 
Let us hear her,
add our voices to hers, 
and heal this world
back together again.

I wrote this in a more hopeful moment, to share with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United on Sunday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


She was  humble, shy, eyes downcast.
In our group of mostly white people,
she deferred, listened,
as we talked, talked, talked.
We had so much to say.

She was easy to overlook.
We were so full of ourselves.

Then they called her name.
She stepped to the middle of the room,
brown dress, moccasins,
feathers in her long black hair, 
in the middle of her life
of many losses.
Suddenly, arching herself, 
one arm up, one down,
like wings,
she wailed a powerful, keening cry
that rattled the rafters,
and circled, singing.
All eyes were on her. 
We were holding our breath
in the face of such pure power,
such unmistakable grief.

I saw her, suddenly,
as a dragonfly,
symbol of metamorphosis.
She was beauty, change, light,
a shape-shifter,
who rearranged 
the cells in my body
with her cry,
leaving me

for Susie's prompt at Real Toads: Dragonfly

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The White Lions of Timbavati

The white lions of Timbavati
came here from the stars.
The shaman says the lions' fate
is intertwined with ours.
Long ago, they shared our caves.
When earth was bathed in ice,
one looked into a human's eyes,
offered himself in sacrifice.
They offered themselves to us to eat,
so humankind could survive.
In return, we have hunted them
to extinction -
just thirteen wild ones
left alive.

The legend of the white lions, many of whom have blue eyes,  is that they came to earth from a star that is aligned with Timbavati, in Africa, where they originated. The people of those lands believe white lions are messengers of the gods.  The shaman, Credo Mutwa, explains their fate is intertwined with ours and when the last white lion leaves the earth, humankind will disappear.

They have been hunted to the edge of extinction. There are now only hundreds, in captivity, mostly in canned hunting compounds, where they are being raised to be shot. There are thirteen wild ones left alive.

The Global  White Lion Protection Trust, founded by Linda Tucker, is devoted to keeping three prides of white lions alive in a 4400 acre refuge in the bushveld in Africa. Linda has written books about the white lions and her heartbreaking efforts to keep safe those few who are left. It was to Linda that Credo Mutwa told the legend of the white lions, and their link with humankind. Her book, above, is one of the best I have ever read.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Meteor showers. I imagine a meteor  shower depositing some star lions many eons ago, in the heartlands of Africa. These lions wander through my dreams..........

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Belated Transformation

I sat beside my mother's bed as she lay dying. Our eyes met: all the words we could not say. All the missed connections, missed perceptions: in our lifetime, it had always been that way. I released the ways we never got it right; forgave, no need to hold the anger tight. Just "I love you", and her spirit flew away, out of the room, into the starry night.

Weeks later, I was driving towards her home when, in slow motion, across my windshield flew a grey owl,  feathered being, infinitely wise, as she passed me, looking deep into my eyes. Time was suspended, on this point of traveling. Somehow I felt a message had been received and, somewhere in my spirit sore, unraveling, I knew all was understood, and I believed. "Owl, swooping sideways into the forest green, bird between two worlds, all that we know and the unseen, wise watcher in the night, friend of the moon, fly after she who left my world too soon."

Fly, messenger of
my tardy transformation
into winter's sky.

Adapted from a very old poem for Victoria's prompt at dVerse : to write a nonfiction haibun that includes an owl.

I'll Paint You a Poem

With this keyboard, I will paint you
a honeydew melon patch at the far side of summer,
draped in dew-kissed webs, the spidery artist 
long-gone on its trembling legs.
I will sketch for you a patch of shy fiddlehead ferns,
unfurling delicately, blushing green, 
to the tender song of the brook.
I will paint you a sky-high sun over the mountains,
so you may clearly see the path of the waterfall 
down its slopes,
and I will colour in perfect puffy storybook clouds,
birds of many colours,
a rock covered with growling, barking sea lions,
and a gray whale, leaping, far out at sea.

If you are still not sated, wait one instant more,
and I will, with a flourish, 
create for you a star-flung sky
just before midnight, frost crackling underfoot,
scent of wood-smoke on the almost-winter air,
and I will pencil in the faint sleepy cry 
of an owl going into its burrow,
just before dawn.

An oldie from 2014, which I will share with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

I Never Dreamed - a rondelet

collage by The Unknown Gnome

I never dreamed
missing you would last forever.
I never dreamed
your spirit would remain so large,
your absence would walk beside me
for the rest of my earthly life.
I never dreamed.

for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: to compose a rondelet.