Friday, January 30, 2015

TOFINO BOUND!

tofinoaccommodation.com

tourismtofino.com

Wild Woman is hopping a bus today, kids. I'm off to Tofino for a couple of days, to attend a wonderful event. CBC Radio's beloved Stuart Mclean of Vinyl Cafe is performing live in the little old Clayoquot Theatre, where I saw some of the best theatre of my life, written and produced by locals, in the years when I lived there. I am so excited. I have seen him live one other time, in a larger venue. But to see it at home, in such a small cozy setting, is going to be very special. 


If anyone would like to listen to one of the humorous and heartwarming stories he is noted for, here is the link. While I'm there, I wont make it to the beach as I wont have wheels. But there is the beautiful harbor, Meares Island, and my beloved little village centre, where I can wander happily and feast my eyes.

See you Sunday afternoon, when I get back. Have a great weekend!

This is what I feel like right now:

google image, photographer unknown


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Off the Deep End




There goes Wild Woman,
off the deep end again,
muttering to herself,
slapping herself upside the head,
clucking at the imperturbable sky,
hands to brow, distressed,
moaning "why, oh why, oh why, 
dear God, oh why?"

Another Mountie gunned down,
another dog chained outdoors at 36 below,
his beseeching face, no rescue at hand,
so much injustice -
so painful, knowing what I know.

They're shooting wolves from helicopters
to "save the caribou", who are dying 
through loss of habitat
because of us. 
The vicious cycle goes on and on,
because it always has been thus:
raping and pillaging, greed and power,
smug rationalizing, politics-speak,
a civilization in denial
while the world implodes,
hour by hour.

Wild Woman's brain goes weak
at the knees
and that's before we even talk about
the bees.
There are solutions,
that the powers that be 
refuse to seek.
The situation need not
be so impossibly bleak.
How hang onto hope,
when the  planet itself
is at the end of its rope?
The coasts will one day soon 
be washed away,
but no one acts because 
it's not happening today.

After the tears, there is nothing 
left to do
but find something to cackle about 
- or, even better, two.


for Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: the place humor has in my life. It is what saves me, kids.I resonate with one of the quotes accompanying this prompt: "If we couldnt laugh, we'd all go insane" by Robert Frost.

Truly, I am not as desperate as this poem indicates - my sense of humor does keep me afloat - sometimes just barely!



Saturday, January 24, 2015

OF SHAMANS AND HOOTY-OWLS



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.

One from 2013, my friends, posted here for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Grey





Greyness seeps from winter sky in rivulets
that slide off the rooftops, down the windowpane,
puddle in the sodden fields,
become small fast-moving creeks 
in the roadside ditches. 

The landscape is fog-shrouded, opaque,
a study in grisaille.*
Silvery sleek shapes are slipping in and out
at the edge of the forest,
elusive as  love among the lonely-hearted:             
wet winter wolves  among the misty trees.



Clouds hang wetly
half-way down the mountain,
as if they have forgotten how to climb.
Grey landscape, grey skies, grey world.
I'd walk underneath those dripping trees,
turn my face up to the sky,
but you're not here.


*grisaille - a painting executed entirely in grey scale values.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Attire

pinterest.com


My sense of fashion has been, at best, mixed,
jeans and wolf t-shirts, running shoes, frizzy hair.
Looks I admire tend to the wild side:
dreads, long gray pony tails and beards on men, 
on aging women that certain look that sets us apart 
from the sweater-set crowd with their blue tidy hair:
kinda hippy and free, unconventional,
still Being Who We Are.
As we pass, we exchange smiles,
and toss our manes.

I met an old hippy over in Coombs.
We recognized each other by our hair,
both long and frizzy. He told me
in Haight-Ashbury, back in the day,
he wore Puss In Boots leather boots, 
with buckles, right up to his thighs.
Those were the good old days.

I so admired them, back then,
those paisley/patchouli hippies on Fourth Avenue,
so serenely living outside all the rules,
while I lived my cramped, married-woman existence
just one block down. 
But soon enough, I was free,
chewed my leg off to escape the trap,
bought my first pair of jeans,
grew my hair long,
began to live.

My running shoes carried me far,
through ten years in Tofino,
among other refugees from the 60's,
heart and hair equally wild,
completely whole,
drenched in joy and sea-spray.

Now I consort with trees, wolves,  
druids and dying things.
I drape myself in old man's beard,
wear moss slippers and clothing made of bark.
As Old Woman of the Woods, I come into my own,
talk to owls and decorate my hair 
only with feathers.


For Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Fashion
I poached the old hippy in Coombs from a much earlier poem. He still looks way cool!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To My Fellow Dreamer


Who are you, fellow dreamer,
whose windows I watch 
wink on and off each day?
How is life for you, on the sixth floor, 
Apartment 601-A ?

Behind every window lies a story,
yours as wondrous as the next.
I'm watching life pass by below,
gaze across at all the lives I imagine
but can never know.

In one square, I see a young man, 
gaunt and ill,
who seems to be saying goodbye
while living still.
A child's head peers out
at strange hours, in another.
I fret, wondering why
I never see her mother.

I dream romance in a young girl's rooms, 
before the hurting starts.
In another, a mid-life woman
explores the broken edges
of her heart.

Each of us, in our small rooms,
is ever drawn towards the light:
watch morning tiptoe across the sky,
dusk draw back its skirts
at night.

We watch it all, with fascination 
and not a little wonder.
I imagine, behind each golden square,
a rich story to plunder!


Mary's prompt at dVerse is to write to the photos of Totomai Martinez, a wildly talented photographer, presently living in Japan.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Art of Dreaming Tigers

image from the Tigers in Crisis website


for Kerry's prompt at Toads : In Other Words - to substitute key words in a title. I chose The ____ of Dreaming________ and tigers popped into my head. 


Place your tiger peacefully
at the edge of a pond,
so he can drink easily.
Let his stomach be full from whatever small creature
became his supper.
This will help him relax.
Let there be no roadways or poachers
within a thousand miles.
Bring his mate close by; let them watch
their cubs leaping and tussling in the grass.
Let him lay his head down, close his eyes,
and sleep without fear.
Let his dreams be all of sunny days 
and no humans, anywhere.
As this is a dream,
may his family thrive and multiply.
All tigers will birth and raise their families.
They will never be shot, starved
or driven from their lands.
We will dream us a world
where there are four thousand tigers, 
instead of four hundred.
Since this is a dream,
let's put intelligent people 
in charge of the world,
who will protect all wildlife 
and the earth's fragile eco-system
of which, we are only so slowly beginning 
to understand,
we are a part.

At some point, you may lose track of
whether you are dreaming this tiger,
or the tiger is dreaming you.
He is beautiful.
It works out,
either way.


Notes: from Tigers In Crisis

almost all Siberian tigers (350 - 450 in total) live in southeastern Russia
- former range included China, Korea and Mongolia

13 feet long, up to  700 pounds

an endangered species (like just about every other wild creature)

poached for fur and body parts, to be used in Chinese medicine
(even though this is now unlawful in China)

because a single tiger can bring up to $50,000 on the international market, the practice continues

for the ones who escape the hunters, habitat loss accounts for further decimation of their numbers, like other endangered species

logging - both legal and illegal - encroaches and divides their habitat, separating them from each other, and making it easier for poachers to access them


Who the Predator, Who the Prey?

AP photo

Who the predator, who the prey?
Sister Wolf, run fast away.
Hide your babies, the long guns come.
Run, Brother Wolf, I beg you,
Run!

You must think  we all are blind,
we humans who are so unkind.
I cannot bear the thought of you,
in shock, at what we humans do.

My tears dont help. My love cant reach.
Earth's lessons it's too late to teach
us how to live upon the land, 
guns all that some can understand.

I cannot bear the thought of you,
crazed with fear below the planes.
Run fast, my beauties. Flee the pain.
I pray that some of you remain
to start your families once again.


The B.C. government, with its consistent lack of wisdom, has given away vast tracts of the people's land to corporate interests over the decades, thus severely decimating wildlife habitat. In a typical knee-jerk reaction, it has decided the way to prevent dwindling caribou herds from extinction, at this late date, is to send sharp-shooters in helicopters to "cull" up to 184 wolves in the South Peace  and South Selkirk regions.

Given the mindset of anyone involved in the decimation of B.C. forests, I am not surprised that Assistant Deputy Minister Tom Ethier, Ministry of Forests, deems the shooting of wolves from helicopters "the most humane way to  remove  wolves."

This  typically short-sighted "solution" demonstrates this government's chronic inability to grasp long-term and nature-based sustainable stewardship of the land.

"B.C.'s plan faced immediate resistance from environmentalists, who condemned such mass culls as inhumane and ineffective, while accusing the government of ignoring the habitat degradation at the heart of the caribou's plight," stated Global News.

"The B.C. government has declared war on wolves", says Ian McAllister, conservation director of Pacific Wild. "The government has not moved to protect adequate habitat." On CBC Radio yesterday, he said "What is happening here is not the shooting of herds. We are killing families, of this highly intelligent and iconic animal."

"Habitat loss, not wolves, is driving the caribou decline," agrees Paul Paquette, of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. "Caribou are on a long-term slide to extinction because of what humans have done.

A similar program has been in place in Alberta since 2006, with a thousand wolves being shot from helicopters or poisoned.

I have to ask: who is the predator and who the prey? Who is the more intelligent species? Sadly, I know the answer only too well. Goddess help us, for we clearly know not what we are doing.

To sign the petition to stop the killing of B.C. Wolves  click here to go to Pacific Wild.



http://globalnews.ca/news/1775813/b-c-hunting-wolves-by-helicopter-to-save-endangered-caribou/


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter


Around the grey lagoon they paced,
he smug with conquest,
which had felt, to her,
more like assault than love.
This would be the pattern
until she was done.

Grey skies, grey water,
thick snow muffling the world
the way her numbness
muffled what otherwise
would have been impossible to face:
a grey, endless winter of the heart,
with spring eight long years away.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Wonder

searchpp.com


If you're in need of miracles and wonder,
contemplate this:
somewhere in the world,
 in deep greeny-blue mysterious Mother Ocean,
a baby seahorse is being
born
right this minute,
from his father's pouch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four Years Gone

google image

for Pup


I feel it coming,
this poem I will birth
on the fourth year of your passing
from this earth.
So close to tears, I realized, 
of course, it is you.
Just how much and how long
I would miss you,
back then I never knew.

Like a burrowing owl, 
you have lodged in my heart
like a prickle-burr that hurts
from which I do not want to part.
You live there, night and day,
in a corner labeled Grief.
From the missing 
and your-being-gone
there is no relief.

Ghost voices
whispering on the wind,
and wolf howls in my dreams,
you look right into my sad heart;
your wolf-eyes gleam.

The barn owl says to light the lamp
on the windowsill for you.
But how can you find me
when where I live 
was never home to you?

I'm homeless in the universe,
alone, without you
and I fear you're out there somewhere,
feeling homeless too.
Lead me back, wolf-spirit,
to the land we loved together.
I will walk there again
as we did in any weather.

When I can hear  the rhythm of 
the turning of the tides,
my spirit may still find a home
once more, where peace abides.
Maybe your ghost shadow
will accompany the hours
as I walk along forever beaches that,
for a time, were ours.


***

I went to bed and slept,
and then they came:
four beautiful, snowy white wolves
who already knew my name.
The first one came close,
oh! the beauty of her face!
pushed a friendly nose towards me,
as I stood still, accepting, 
but respectful of her space.

We were at the beach,
the wolves and I.
A visitation 
from the spirit-world of the not-alive,
and from deep in my spirit,
which needs both wolves
and ocean waves
to thrive,
because it has never been enough 
just to survive.

The barn owl called sleepily
in the early light to wake me.
Four white wolves live within me now,
never to forsake me.
And you?
big, black, laughing, hilarious
creature of the dawn? 
You live in my heart 
forever, now.
You are never 
fully gone.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Unity

businessinsider.com

Three million gather,
 in solidarity,
determined to uphold the light,
abhor the darkness.

Hearts rise as the message is shared,
Muslims with signs that say "I am Jewish",
Jewish holding signs that say "I am Muslim."

All hearts proclaiming:
"Je suis humaine".
The truth we need to see:
we are a world of human beings.

I so admire the spirit of the people of France, returning light for darkness. This is a very civilized people. May the spirit of unity continue. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

We Are Speaking


forusa.org

[In 2013, the Fellowship for Reconciliation 
presented the International Peace Award 
to the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers 
for their work to promote peace 
through preservation of cultures.]


When the grandmothers
from the Four Directions
speak,
a new time
is coming,
says ancient prophecy.

Ah, ho,
reply the grandmothers.
And now
we are speaking.

Listening to the Song of the Sea



I listen
to the calling of the waves,
their endless voice,
hypnotic,
calling me home,
with a magnetic pull
as persistent as
the susurration of the waves
upon the shore.

I listen
to the voice within
telling me I have been away
from the song of the sea
for too long.

I listen,
with lifted heart,
to the dawn of a new year
which tells me
this is the year
of my returning.

For Poetry Jam's prompt: to listen, or to find one word for this year. I really needed an action word, for what it will take to go from listening to actually getting myself up and over the mountains. But I decided Listen was easier to write to.

Unto the 7th Generation



The First Earth Day
with the Iroquois, 1914
americaslibrary.gov

Many many years ago, 
when buffalo, trees, antelope and bear
were plentiful upon the land,
when the waters ran free and clear,
and the fish multiplied
by the millions,
the First Peoples' chiefs and elders taught:
"In all of your dealings, in every decision,
personal and communal,
consider the impact 
of what you do and how much you take
upon the 7th generation to come.

"Let self-interest have no part 
in what we take from Mother Earth,
in order that our great-great-great grandchildren,
unto the 7th generation,
140 years from today,
will have enough to sustain life."

This same message is passed, in oral tradition,
among the aboriginal peoples of the earth,
who have lived for thousands of years 
connected to and in harmony with 
Mother Nature.

Those chiefs and elders from long ago
must lie 
uneasily in their shallow graves,
if their spirits can still witness
the excesses and greed,
the  corporate decimation
- and domination -
of the planet
that oppresses
their descendants today.

May the young people 
- and all the dispossessed of the world -
soon rise up in a mighty wave
to Re-Occupy Earth
as their ancestors occupied it,
when all the world was young.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_generation_sustainability

Thankfully, First Nation voices are sounding the alarm and are rising up,  in such movements as Idle No More and the Occupy movement, to resist and expose the corporate stranglehold on the throat of the planet. May all who are moved to do so make personal choices which will directly impact the corporate bottom line. Our pocketbooks can make our voices heard.

Posted for Mid Week Motif at Poets United: to write about any 7th at all. This is the 7th that Occupies my mind.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Biker Chick

I found this on google and do not know who to credit
but it so goes with the topic, LOL


Gotta go.
 Get me out of this one-horse town.
It's too straight and narrow
for a tear-streaked clown.

Headin' 'cross the bridge
with my haversack.
My duffel bag's stuffed,
and I'm not ever lookin' back.

Gonna head to the city.
Gonna merge with the crowd.
Gonna ride all the busses.
Gonna live my life loud.

55 words in honor of the G-man, for Real Toads. This month, we are to evoke the biker sub-culture of the 50's, the disenchanted young people who spurned the establishment, and sought their own way. For some of us, this has lasted all our lives. 

I never was a biker chick, or had anything to do  with motorcycles. But I was a cyclist, and found a heady freedom soaring along the back roads. I remember how desperately I wanted out of my small town after high school. I  sought the anonymity of the city as fast as it was possible to get there.

Dreaming in First Nations Country

desktopnexus.com


I wake from a dream of First Nations country,
of a beautiful people who loved the land,
who lived in connection
with Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit,
and with all that is.

I was dreaming of the land as it once was,
lush and bountiful,
dotted with buffalo and bison,
running with clear river water.
I dreamed a sea untainted,
thriving with fish,
whales leaping and plentiful,
a life full and joyous under the sun.

Voices on the wind chanted prayers
to the ancestors,
braves galloped across the mesa on dappled horses,
while below teepees clustered peacefully,
children played and the women ground corn,
gathering wood and water 
for the communal meal.

The scene shifted, upon waking.
The land turned red with spilled blood, 
of buffalo and braves,
as soldiers appeared, with muskets raised.
and people marching, famished and tearful,
across a winter landscape,
herded by soldiers away from all they held dear
into a world of suffering and privation.
Then came old stone residential schools,
haunted by the cries of forlorn children,
whose cries reverberate still
through all the generations.

But then I heard, with hope and relief, 
the beat of the tom tom,
calling fancy dancers to the powwow,
calling men and women warriors to arise
across the land.

The First People's strong and beautiful spirit 
is rising again,
the braves dancing strong for their people,
the elders, bent with age,
passing on all that they know
of times long past,
when they lived on and with the land.
They are bent with sorrow at how wantonly
humankind has taken from Mother Earth
without giving back.
They can see, as we do not, 
the Long March ahead
for the seventh generation,
and their hearts cannot contain
their tears.

But my heart rises with hope
to the beat of the drum,
to the spreading of the message
to all corners of the earth
that we are one,
interconnected with the web of all life,
and that what we do to one
of earth's creatures,
we do to all.


I wrote this this morning, on waking. I am reading The Wolf at Twilight, by Kent Nerburn, about a Lakota elder's painful history. But I have just read Aaron Paquette's statement: Women are Warriors, posted on Kay Davies' site this morning. It is a strong and hopeful message about the need for women to rise, all over the planet. He says "We are in a battle for the soul of the planet. And you are that soul." I do hope you will read this statement, for it resonates, and gives me  hope.


Friday, January 2, 2015

The Song That Has No Words

hdwallpapercorner.com

All you have learned
is a book that nobody reads
because they are busy 
writing their own.
But in the moonlight,
at the edge of the pond,
still and silent,
the faintest of melodies
may stir in your heart,
that old familiar song, 
of mis-step and transformation,
that has accompanied you so far,
a song of burning, of being honed.

Like a butterfly encased in stone,
wounded, yet liberated 
by the mallet's touch,
you arise at last 
like a fluttering dream
on the edge of awakening,
and begin to dance
to the song that has no words.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

SNOW GOOSE

theguardian.com

On days when the weight of the lives around you
threatens to topple you, 
may there be a piece of earth,
soft and sweet with moss, 
to give your feet a gentle place to stand.


When your eyes look out on a gray winter vista
with no horizon, may a snow goose swoop,
steadfast and unwavering, across your vision,
to remind you there are days 
of color and warmth ahead,
and just one way to get there -
by moving your feet as diligently 
as she moves her wings.


When you are listening for a message in the wind,
may you find a grove of trees 
dancing with river-breezes,
to whisper in your ear:
"This is the way."


And when you most need to know 
that there has been 
some meaning to your years,
may there be friends, eyes shining,
to wrap you  in the warmth of fellowship,
and may you take
some comfort
in the glow.


My friends, I wrote these words on New Year's Day last year. I found it today, and thought it just as timely a blessing today as it was a year ago. Thank you, my friends, for coming to my site, for reading my words, and for blanketing me in your warmth and friendship. You  have been the best part of my 2014 and I look forward to sharing another year of poetry, the reading and the writing of it, with you.