Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mother Sky / Small Bird


Expansive Mother Sky,
in all your greys and blues,
your hazy autumn hues,
you hold my heart
the way the rugged maple
holds the twiggy nest
in which sits a little brown bird,
serene, and softly singing.


Small bird,
with your sweetness
you are
 the bodhisattva
of my morning.
you awaken me
to the plight of all beings.


who own only feathers,
are far happier 
than we.
Teach us your song.


posted for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Teachers or Learning. 

Happiness Elusive

Sproat Lake photo from 

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Kahlil Gibran

The past was built on dreams, a hoped-for future that would be everything the present was not. And then the future arrived, and it was so much less than she had dreamed. Heartache, and wondering: why was what everyone else found so easily denied to her? The lesson, she discovered at mid-life, was learning to be all right alone, to stop waiting, to make her own dream come true. And so she did. Then that dream, too, was withdrawn, and she was cast up once again on the shores of Not-Enough, expected to find a sufficiency there. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow merge in the fulfillment of a life that was only once, for ten golden years, truly fulfilled. 

where is the golden beauty I've been seeking?
happiness elusive,
all my dreams are sleeping.

for Bjorn's prompt at dVerse Poets Pub: to write a haibun from a Gibran quote. I chose the one above. The haiku are lines I wrote when I was very young, in my teens, and which I remembered as I read Gibran's words.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Wild Woman, Inexplicable

Wild Woman has inexplicably become
a tired old woman with a gimpy leg,
and a valiant hobble.

Because she has a Can Do attitude,
she still tries to Do,
when a more sensible option
would be lying down 
and elevating her appendage.

Days are slow, but still not long enough.
She taps and taps at the keys
like a telegraph operator,
listening for hidden messages.

In her world, sleeping is not a problem.
It is the waking up that is the tricky part.
First thing she does every morning, 
after testing her legs, 
to make sure they will hold her up,
is turn on the computer, 
whose comforting hum companions her 
through another day of living.

Sometimes she opens her mouth 
and emits  a weird cackle, 
that sends the ravens shooting out of the trees 
in an explosion skyward, flapping and cawing.
When they return, they land tentatively,
prepared to be infrequently alarmed.

This woman has lived long and is fierce.
She consorts with wolves and shamans
and hobbles to the beat of the drum.

This woman is tired and soft.
She lies on the couch and 
cries over sad movies.

Wild Woman has inexplicably become
a tired old woman with a gimpy leg,
but a valiant hobble.
She hunches over her keyboard
tapping out salutations to the outside world,
and listens for hidden messages.

[LOL. One can only laugh! ]

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Transforming Nature's Wonders

Maverick Rock, Wikipedia

As I walk along this ancient land,
shape-shifters transmogrify,
half-seen out of the corners of my eye.
Ahead, the midden rose,
flat-topped and far-seeing.
They say the tribe's wise ones
would gather there to discuss community affairs,
mete out restorative justice, talk strategy
for going forward.

I have reverently stood atop its plateau,
have handled the shards of old clay pots,
then set them gently back on the earth.
I have glanced up, walking down below,
to sudden glimpses of the people
of that long-gone world, going about 
the business of daily living,
until the land was suddenly green and brown 
and blue once more,
their alternate world disappeared 
in the mists of time.

I saw its form so clearly on that day,  
starkly outlined against an indigo sky.
I heard faint ululations on the wind.
But now I walk the land again, 
certain this was the spot
and it is no longer here.
Only once, did it reveal itself 
and those other living presences, to me,
and then no more,
transforming me forever
from who I was before.

for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads: Transforming Nature's Wonders. We are looking at Mount Roraima, and the landscape where Venezuala, Brazil and Guyana meet. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stalking the Sunset

We walk the fine edge, 
between this world and the next,
trying to heal our pain, recover from our illnesses,
adjusting to the decline of the body 
that has transported us so far.
You have fought a long battle, old pal of mine.
I am sensing your grasp on life slowly slipping away.
Your eyes are on the eagle, flying free of his fetters.
You are communing with deer in your garden.
The orcas pass by, your mind engraving 
the vision and the joy.
Your heart is loving and mourning this beautiful earth
you are slowly leaving.
We are never ready to let go 
of the beauty we have loved so well.

For 35 years, you have always been there:
at the other end of the telephone,
through my joys and sorrows,
on the other side of my screen,
sharing all I was learning.
We have witnessed, encouraged and supported 
each other's journey,
collaborated on songs,
shared our love of the wild,
and music,
and sunsets.

You have been my friend, my mentor,
my guide, my guru.
You have shown me the way,
walking your pilgrim's path of the soul,
listening to your inner guides.

You can never really be gone from me.

On the other side, for you,
there will be a radiance:
your face shining as it did in coffeehouse days,
when candles flickered on you smiling in the glow,
singing Gentle Jonathan and Forever Young.

I will see you forever
strumming your guitar, singing your songs
of trees and rivers and eagles in flight.

On the other side: Manders, curled,
purring on your chest -
and no more tumors, shortness of breath,
fatigue and diminishing health.
Just an expansion of the soul
which has grown too large
for your chest to contain,
and needs more room in which to grow.

In memory, you will always be 
on stage at Brock and Friends,
or, later, stalking the sunset, 
camera in hand, at Chestermans Beach.
It is in sunsets I will forever see you,
old friend of mine.
Always remember, on the other side of sunset
comes the dawn.
That is where I'll find you,
once you're gone.

- for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif, Healing/Recovery, which included the words "healing into death"........

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tiger, Who Once Was King

You pad with heavy paws through my dreams,
you beauty, who once owned the forest
where now the great trees fall.
Once hunter, you have become prey,
thin and hungry, hunted
for your parts, you tread fearfully
where you once were king.
My heart weeps for you,
and for us all, for this world
we are creating, which has no regard
for your majestic beauty. 

My poem was inspired by the following,
written by one of Kerry's students at
Ladysmith High School in South Africa.

Tiger ~ Mohammed Jamil

The striped feline
splashes through the water
freeing himself of all his impurities.

As his orange and black fur
glistens in the sun,
it catches the eye of the Hunter
and the unseen bullet
comes down and slays

the majestic beast.

© Mohammed Jamil

Kerry's prompt at Real Toads recently was
to peruse the students' poems and write a
poem inspired by one of theirs.
Their poems can be found at the blog
somewhere I have never travelled.


I read their fine body of work, and it was
this tiger who spoke to me, in Mohammed's
very powerful poem.

The World Wildlife Federation states the world
has lost 97% of its tigers in just one century.
There are only 3200 in the world today,
who are endangered. A major threat is poaching
to fuel the trade in tiger parts.

Tigers have lost 93% of their habitat.
They are being displaced, like so many other wild
creatures worldwide, by human encroachment and
development, forest decimation and climate change.
(Rising sea levels threaten to wipe out entire forests.)

WWF has managed to protect some areas for tigers,
in hopes we will not wake up in another fifty years
to a world without tigers. But as development
continues apace, tigers are in peril. As are we all.

Thursday, September 24, 2015



As the window to Life gently closes,
I catch one last glimpse
of my friend, the sky.


The candle warms but briefly,
too soon,
it flickers out.


After a long dark night,
my soul rises
to greet the rosy dawn.


At this moment,
to you, a final gift of words:
live every moment well.


for Bodhirose's prompt at dverse: Japanese death poems, or Jisei