Saturday, May 31, 2014

OF SHAMANS AND HOOTY-OWLS


A Port Alberni back yard owl


The shaman walks the medicine way
leaving no footprints.
The cry of the owl bids you follow.

Take up your staff, wrap up well in your cloak,
for the night is cold and the fog will poke 
its chilly fingers
into every exposed inch of human skin,
seeking to steal some warmth
for itself.

Hush! for there be spirits here.

If you listen, you will hear
the heartbeat of an ancient cedar.
In its bark is the memory
of who you were a thousand years ago,
when it and you and the land 
were young.

In the night sky
is written the promise
of who you are becoming
a thousand years from now.
Gaze well, and remember,
so when at last you meet, 
you will recognize yourself.

There are dreamers, and there are
the ones being dreamed.
Awaken!
The journey of transformation
is the shedding of the false self
- the one who meets the world -
and the stripping away of everything
that is not essence, joy, wonderment,
trust and awe.

Peace
is knowing
all is as it is meant to be.
All we need do
is Surrender.

The mystical hooting of the owl
bids us safe passage
through this eery midnight world.
Hasten, for the shaman guide's cloak
is already swirling 
with the swiftness
of his being gone.



Reposted from 2013, for dVerse's Open Link, where Mary is tending bar. Check out the links, folks! The reading is guaranteed to  be good!

Baby Wolf Rescue



Five wolf cubs were rescued from the Kenai wildfire Tuesday. Firefighters on the edge of the fire, near Anchorage, Alaska, heard yipping. They called wildlife officials. When they arrived, one baby wolf, very dehydrated, walked out of a den at the river's edge.


Baby with Alaska Zookeeper Jim Rutkowski
He looks just like Pup - same Attitude!

Five live cubs were extracted from the den, all dehydrated and with porcupine quills. A sixth pup was already dead, its face covered with quills. Officials think a porcupine wandered into the den to escape the fire. There was no sign of the parents, and as the pups were in distress, they were removed for veterinary care and placed temporarily at the Alaska Zoo.

As they have been handled by humans, they cannot be returned to the wild. The zoo already has a wolf pack, so a good home is being sought for the babies, who are all recovering well. I would take one in a heartbeat, if I could.

So precious!

photos and information taken from the Anchorage Daily News

Thursday, May 29, 2014

EARTH REVOLUTION


Earth Revolution ~ Caring for Creation from Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary on Vimeo.

One of my youngest heroes is Ta'Kaiya Blaney, of the Sliammon Band on the West Coast, whom I have written about before. She is now thirteen years old, and has been a singer and activist for Mother Earth since the age of ten. She very recently made an intervention at the United Nations itself, speaking on behalf of Indigenous children and youth. She blew them away!

This video is a visual delight for anyone who loves wild creatures and the natural world. But listen to the words of this girl's song : 

"Stop waiting for Tomorrow.
Stop living Yesterday.
Cause there wont be Tomorrow
If we dont change Today.
Generation Now
Children of the Future
Earth's Revolution...."

Ta'Kaiya writes her songs herself, in collaboration with a relative. The one she wrote and sang at age ten still brings me to tears. 

A small girl with a warrior's heart - a Rainbow Warrior. The Old Ones sent her here to give us this message. May it ring in every human heart. May we hear her in time.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Buddy


We were in tune.
We were both wild
under the moon.
I've been bereft
ever since you left,
and you left
too soon.


Sunset



Aging
assuaging
changing
courage-ing
blissfully derange-ing
constantly gauging
sometimes even Raging (Granny)
ever rearranging
occasionally sage-ing
ever so strange-ing
always waging peace
brokering negotiation,
yet wandering through wonder:

  Not Gracefully, but Gratefully Old Aging.

for Peggy's prompt at Poetry Jam: Aging

I should explain that Raging Grannies are a group of elderly B.C. activists who appear at protest gatherings and sing. They are rocking it, and I dont mean rocking chairs!!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

TURTLE WOMAN

Woman With Turtle
National Geographic altered art
by Mary MacGowan

In search of home,
Traveler carries a turtle shell
around her heart.

This shield protects vital organs,
lends strength,
consists of skeletal and dermal bone,
remains when everything has gone,
endures.

Turtle Woman
pokes her head out,
surveys the cloudscape,
retreats within
in response to any threat.

Traveler carries a turtle shell
around her heart.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SMOKEY


My gorgeous newest granddog, Smokey, has gotten so big so fast, just the way Pup did - it is like they are being inflated! He reminds me of Pup, as he has wolf in him, has that intelligent look in his eyes, and has a considerable amount of energy and mischief!

Check this out. He is such a happy boy and is the perfect camping dog for my son and daughter (in-law, but she's my daughter!) who go camping most weekends that the weather is even remotely camp-worthy. 
                                 


video
                                                                    

This photo of Zenny and her boy really touches my heart. A woman and her dog and the wild..........so lovely.


 


And here Smokey proves indisputably who is in charge around here. Hee hee. I so love this dog. I cant wait to meet him in person in September!


video

My son Jon, Smokey and
eighteen year old Yogi, the cat

Jon and Zenny live in Saskatchewan where they have emerged from a winter colder than Siberia (no exaggeration). It is still cold there, just a bit above zero, so am amused to see Jon in bare feet and shirtsleeves in the yard - I guess it feels warm now that it is no longer fifty below. 

Mind you, B.C. had snow on the Coquihalla Highway today. Odd weather.



Sometimes The Feelings Go Too Deep



Sometimes the feelings go too deep
to find the words.

You were so much mine
for so long,
that your withdrawal
is like the skin
parting from my bones,
the song
parting from my heart,
the blue
fading from my sky.

How does one say
come back,
when the leaving is internal,
but the distance like
another galaxy,
a place where another language
is being spoken,
and I have
no translator?

Sometimes the feelings go too deep
to find the words.

for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: So Much Mine, (the song by Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball, mothers and daughters, the 80's, whatever the song inspires. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Owl Dreaming

hifipapers.com

Darkling the night spins its web of stars,
Hazy the moon in its tangerine shroud.
Owl Woman calls out from the forest deep:
Waken, all dreamers, from your sleep.

I rise, all unwilling, from my wildish dreams.
The midnight is peopled with wild creatures' screams.
The trees lie in wait with their strangling roots,
ready to trip my scruffy boot.

The forest moans low as the fog moves in.
When I look up,  the starry heavens spin.
Dark and drear, the ground I tread upon;
When I turn to go back, the path is gone.


The opening phrase has been nibbling at my mind for a few days. And the moon, last week, did have an ominous orangey shroud. So when Kerry set us the challenge at Toads to use pathetic fallacy, and I saw the opening lines in draft, a light bulb slowly flickered on above my head. (Trust me, the phrase pathetic fallacy has great subtext for me these days!) 

GREEN



I.

Green and verdant is the colour
of my Mother Earth: lush, sloping valleys,
treed mountainsides, forests stretching to forever
in the places where man has not yet been,
brown the human footprint upon the planetary garden.

Green is the color of life, of growth:
from seed to sprout to tendril, root to stem, branch to flower,
life follows its predestined path from birth to death,
at every level of existence.

Our DNA is programmed to be awed by green,
as we watch the weeping willow's yellow winter branches
begin to sprout, until they surround us like a verdant cloak,
us hidden sweetly inside,
the scent of summer deep within its leafy bower.

II.
******

Humankind took this verdant, luscious Eden
and had but one desire:
to gobble all the green
until only brown bare dry scorched earth
remained.

III.
******

I believe trees  scream in green
when they see the
grappleyarders coming.


for Susan's Mid Week Motiff prompt: GREEN in fourteen lines or less. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BLACK WOLF OF MY HEART




Black wolf of my heart,
your intelligent eyes look out
on a world
full of unexpected peril.
You have to struggle
to survive, to find food,
to find shelter,
to make it through
hungry winters,
to raise your young,
to not be killed
before they are able to
make their own way.

But most of all
you must be wary
of the Two-Leggeds,
who drive their noisy machines
through your wilderness,
tossing beer cans left and right,
raising their guns,
their crossbows, their arrows
at anything that moves,
back-slapping, raucous,
completely disconnected
from the land
they tromp through
so heedlessly.

God and Goddess
of the All That Is,
protect these creatures
that live more intelligently
than we do.
Guide them to
secret and sacred
pathways,
that they may survive
our thoughtless
and predatory ways.

For a world without wolves
is a world I cannot
contemplate.

This poem was inspired by a quote by Paul Watson of Greenpeace: "You cant love nature with a gun." My heart is hurt by continued reports of wolves and other wildlife, having been stripped of their habitat, being driven ever closer to "civilization" (??), and thereby coming to harm. Not their fault.

Posted for Mary's prompt at dVerse: write a poem inspired by a quote.

Pretty Bird


googlebird

"Pretty Bird, Pretty Bird,
what do you say?
Something chirpy
and cheerful
to brighten my day?"

Pretty Bird sits 
on her feathery butt,
with nothing to say
and her beak snapped shut.

My Muse is stubbornly silent at the moment, all unwilling. But thankfully her alter ego has a sense of humor:)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Night in the Black Forest

photo: Google images : myswiess.wordpress.com

Night is falling fast within the forest deep.
My pace quickens. I  feel the dark trees breathe.
Paws pad beside me, faithful, guardian.
We must find shelter, somewhere safe to sleep.

My pace quickens. I  feel the dark trees breathe.
Tall, dark, foreboding, branches lean above my head.
We must find shelter, somewhere safe to sleep.
The night draws close. The forest fills with dread.

Tall, dark, foreboding, branches lean above my head.
My wolf companion whines deep in his throat.
The night draws close. The forest fills with dread.
I lean to pat his ruffled, glistening coat.

The night draws close. The forest fills with dread.
Paws pad beside me, faithful,  guardian.
I lean to pat his ruffled glistening coat.
Night is falling fast within the forest deep.

a pantoum, for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads: Transforming Friday: the Black Forest



Skybird


Is there a longing in your heart,
a dream of freedom?
 An ache, a vision,
longing to break free?

Watch Skybird
as she swoops and soars the heavens.
She is showing us how
life is meant to be.

If the room you're in feels small
and too confining,
come out into the day
and lift your eyes.
Loose the longings in your chest
and watch them rise.
Pursue those dreams.
Join Skybird as she flies.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pelicans!

photo by Jon Merk

Riiiiing!
It's Life calling.
What is it saying?
"Expect the Unexpected."


In the middle of that opening through the brush, out in the river, you can just make out a........pelican! My son took the photo yesterday at Montreal River, in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, where winter is trying hard to be over. I was astonished. Unless this fellow was following one of those GPS directions that says "Take a U-turn. Now take another U-turn. Now go endlessly along the wrong back road till you are lost," (I've been in the car. I heard her!), there seem to be pelicans in the prairies. I thought they lived in warm climates, which Saskatchewan, decidedly, is not. Who knew?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FRIENDS WITH THE SKY

gotofino.com

A solitary Traveler
is wise to make acquaintance
with the sky.
It accompanies her
on every step of the journey.
It raises her up in the morning
with its radiance,
fills her soul at eventide
with its purple passion.

Look up! It's a Sky-show
going on this very second - 
always changing,
clouds ever rearranging.
If you feel moved to do so,
utter your encouragement
and appreciation.
It will whirl its clouds for you
and, after dark, will scatter stars across the heavens -
just for you.
By way of introduction,
you might scale the nearest peak,
and befriend a forest
on the way up.
The creatures on your path
will bid you welcome,
for they will know you come in peace.

A Traveler is never lonely
when she makes friends
with the sky.

Kids, I wrote this sitting at a table in the heart of the village of Tofino, with all of that good energy swirling around me. Today I saw: a small beach, an old friend, a half dozen eagles swooping and swirling above the harbor, and a barking old sea lion, who put on quite a water display, and then flipped and caught a fish in his mouth, just to show off. Sigh. It restored my soul. I am back in the land of the living and out of my Funk. Yippee!


Cycle of Life



On the great cycle of life,
I've pedaled hard,
up many a hill,
gasping for breath, skidding down the other side,
grateful for the ease, but
trying not to go off into the ditch.

I spent some time getting bugs in my teeth,
grinning over some doofus man,
but that got.....buggy......
so I settled in for a solo ride. 

The scenery has been spectacular,
my stretch of the highway.
I cant get enough of it,
always one more mile to gaze upon,
one more cloud or tree
to make me catch my breath
in wonder.

I'm tiring now as the road yawns ahead,
other cyclists whizzing by.
I leave them to it.
These days, I like to stop and stare,
just be with the clouds and the earth and the sky.

I'm getting into the sidecar now,
for a slower, gentler ride.
I'm going to let God
do the pedaling, now,
to get me to the other side.

For Susan's prompt at Mid-Week Motif: Bicycling. I used to cycle daily in my 40's - I'd head out of town and make an hour and a half round trip, just to find some countryside.......now I have a three wheel cycle, which is precarious enough on these bumpy country roads.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Turning Towards Home


I am Traveler,
who spends a decade at a time
poised to move on,
yet marching in place because,
sometime, 
I just might be needed.
I have been a mother
since I was still a child.
What to do with my mothering,
when my whole life's work
has been weighed 
and found wanting?

I am the quiet heart waiting
and waiting 
for someone to give something back.
I am loneliness,
surrounded by busy, distracted people.


What is left when all is said and done?
My dog's anxious head,
thrusting itself under my hand, to say
"I'm here, I'm here."

A heart bruised and battered, 
and filled with chagrin,
for the choices made,
that could have been other,
and for all the years gone.


This morning I woke without fear.

But it is even more frightening
to wake without joy.
The sad gilt edges of the day
nibble at my toes
that dont want to go out,
though the sun is broad-beckoning.
In my soul is a great turning,
like a sonar,
towards the western shore,
alive with seabirds,
ablaze with sunrises and sunsets,
where every morning I once woke with joy,
- alive! alive! -
in a life that was wholly,
and completely
mine.
And with everything that's in me,
I am turning,
one last time,
towards home.

[I have been in a funk, without one idea of anything to write, till I read Marina's intriguing prompt at dVerse: to answer the following four questions, based on Banhu Kapil's Vertical Interrogation of Strangers. 

1) Who are you and whom do you love?
2) What else are you, that no one has seen before?
3) Describe a morning you woke without fear.
4) What lingers when all is said and done?]

Cloaked Hearts


foxnews.com


I wear the cloak they have draped me in.
I bow my head under their darkness
and mouth the words they make me say.
I do as I am told. I act compliant.
But in my soul is only
the hope of
freedom.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day



In her day, Traveler was
as fertile
as Mother Earth,
giving life to
four small voyagers,
who grew like saplings
off her sturdy trunk.

She fed them with laughter
and snippets of moon,
(for wonder),
and soon
they grew beyond her,
reaching for
an infinity of sky.

Now, Traveler
reflects and remembers,
basking in the glory
of their
exuberant
flowering.



Happy Mother's Day,
to the four special beings who
made me 
a Mother

originally written in April 2011, and reposted here for Mother's Day in the Poetry Pantry

Friday, May 9, 2014

Walking the Fine Line

the art of Seraphine de Senlis

Up the gray stairs, 
chipped and drab, 
I smell the smell of Institution.
At the nurses' station, 
they size me up and find me lacking:
a mother whose son has fallen apart-
(what has she done
to fail him?)

Down the hall to his bare, gray room......
His head emerges from the bedclothes.
We hug. He is trembling.
He smiles at me:
his same big smile, 
he looks at me,
his same blue eyes.

I am relieved.
This is still my son.
I will tether him to earth
with all of my mother's love.
I will never let go.

He has walked the fine line
between daybreak and hell-fire,
and has fallen.
Where will his beauty find a place to land
in halls so bleak and bare?
How will his life go on,
his hours measured out in hospital trays 
and paper pill cups?

We talk.
"I want them to make it stop:
this bad trip that never ends."
I tell him I am proud of him
for going for help.

I look at the faces, the eyes, of the other people
in these rooms, these hallways,
whose common denominator
is pain.
One of them chases the doctor - coat-tails flying - 
down the hallway, entreating
"Please, Doctor, Please!" 
to his retreating, harried back.

Looking out at the gray rain 
trickling down the speckled windows,
I recognize what a fine, thin line exists
between coping
and suffering that is too great 
for the mind to endure,
how, at any moment, 
under enough pain and provocation, 
any one of us 
might find ourselves here,
in this place of desolation, pain 
and no more hope.

He goes back to bed.
Living is too tiring right now.
On his bedside table, I see a little note
he has written in his spikey script:
"I am Cloud. 
Someone blow me away."

My heart stops, then begins again.
I go back along the gray corridor 
full of shuffling, suffering souls,
down the drab, chipped stairs,
out the heavy doors into the light of what is
- for others - an ordinary day.

Behind me, up two flights,
my son is sleeping.
Beside him sits a little
note to the world
he finds so painful.
I think upon those words,
with all of a mother's love, and pain, and fear:

"I am Cloud.
Someone blow me away."

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads: write about the "fine line" (as described at Real Toads), a topic with which I have had some experience.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lace

wikipedia.org


The grand ladies wore bustles and lace,
white gloves and hats with draping veils.
And nobody thought of the small, strained eyes,
nimble fingers that made them. Lace tells no tales.

The drawing room tables are draped in lace,
gleaming with polish to a high shine,
by servants, all creeping about the place
with averted eyes, in the mansion so fine.

Behind lace curtains high society postures.
Only the staff know what really goes on.
Twitch the bed curtains and what a surprise!
The master and maid dont have a thread on!

This started off serious but in the last stanza, Kay took over my brain and I couldn't stop her. Hee hee. Posted for Susie's prompt at Real Toads: Lace.

meditation on green


the color of life, of growth,
tall, spindly pine
draped in old man's beard
a thousand fern fronds
under whose umbrella
twin blooms
small as a baby's tears
peek pertly
jagged stump
covered in soft thick moss
framed by tall cedars
among whose lofty branches
songbirds flit
their trill echoing
across the sleepy forest
winding trails
through the silence
paths springy, living
underfoot
where we walk
heads thrown back
-alive!-
one with the ferns the fronds the trees
their height that teaches us to strive
the sky
a compass for
all our flighty dreams
clouds drifting by
one breath two breaths
leafy breath
and human sigh
birdsong
ringing through
the silent canopy
piercing me through
with each piercing
I'm made new
becoming
becalming
forest floor alive
under our
live feet
step so lightly
don't crush the mosses!
fairies drinking dewdrops
from the white bell-shaped blossoms
frogs in the skunk cabbage
yellow jonquils
line the deadened pond
the forest holds its breath
and waits
it waits
till we are gone

One from the archives this morning, kids, as I am in need of some meditation on green.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hunger

colourbox.com

In the forest, dark and deep,
white spirit bear is fast asleep.
The cougar stalks the winding trail,
nose to the ground for rabbit or quail.

Out of the sea comes polar bear,
seaweed tangled in her hair,
her babies waiting on the shore
for food she could not find to store.

Hunger stalks the forest floor,
where life was  balanced and rich before
the trees came down, the plankton died,
too warm on the incoming tide.

Gray wolf howls to the midnight moon,
his babies left his care too soon
in search of food outside the den,
and they will not come back again.

Soon will tankers  ply the coast.
"Jobs for humans," the P.R.'s boast.
Life will get harder as all life must
for the natural world, which has lost all trust.

Gather just off-shore with me,
denizens of the salty sea.
We'll say a prayer for the crumbling earth
and those who've forgotten what most has worth.