Friday, November 27, 2015


Coyote -

The sunny blue sky
and the forest trails beckon
but hush!
there are creatures in the bush.

Raven's on the wing
and Coyote softly sings
so hush!
what message do they bring?

Pheasant's overhead
and there's frost on the mead-
ow, hush!
there are footprints in the snow.

We pause to listen well,
ancient voices cast their spell
we hush,
to hear the Old Ones whisper low.

Driving through brilliant sunlight yesterday, these lines came to me, as Raven and Pheasant in turn crossed my windshield, Small Squirrel skittered away, and  thick frost glittered in the meadow. A light dusting of snow has made Mount Arrowsmith beautiful. Everyone in town was full of smiles, in the most welcome sunshine.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I'm gonna rap until I'm dead,
all the words inside my head,
till the last rhythmic word is said,
hoping I can keep the thread.
Losing words is what I dread.

Gonna line the words up neat,
to the old familiar beat,
count the toes upon my feet,
then apply a little heat,
to make the endings sound real sweet.

But I wonder, when I'm old-
-er - if I may be so bold,
if my poems are crap,
and you see my brain is zapped,
will you tell me truly,
not  embarrass me unduly?
Ask me for a little rap.
I'll try to keep some words on tap.

LOL. For Fireblossom Friday's prompt at Real Toads: Dread. I tried to go for lightness, there being more than enough of the other kind. Thanks to Shay for the improved title.

I Look For You

photo by Lisa Melanie

Fog drifts across the forest,
shrouding the world in winter freeze.
I look for you,
shape-shifting among the trees.

A bear came to the back fence,
seeking apples this wintry morn.
The tree had none to give,
and he wandered off, forlorn.

A lone rabbit huddles 
where once summer seeds were sown.
Her mate has disappeared;
  winter she will pass alone. 

Three fat dogs lie on the frosty lawn.
My heart is always keening
for the one that's gone.
The fog and missing you
an ache that can't be eased,
I look for you,
shape-shifting among the trees.

for Pup, ever and always

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


UN Relief Agency for Palestine photo

Can you imagine fleeing your home
with the clothes on your back, 
carrying your baby, toddlers clinging to your skirt,
all of you crying, terrified, desperate?

Can you imagine boarding 
an overloaded boat full of desperate people
setting forth on the ocean, seeking refuge,
and by some miracle, arriving on land alive?

Can you imagine your new home is a tent,
with winter coming,
and wondering how you will keep your children
warm and fed and alive?

If you can, as I can,
let us open the doors of our hearts,
let us open our wallets,
donate to help those not yet safe,
welcome those who will soon newly arrive,
help them finally feel the time of survival has passed.
The time for living is now.

There are now 60 million refugees world wide. Half of them are children.

Since war began in Syria in 2011, more than 11 million have died or been forced from their homes. That is half the population.

3.1 million Iraquis have been displaced.

In the Congo, 6 million have been killed, 4 million displaced.

In Gaza, 100,000 have been displaced, and 80% of the population needs external assistance.

In South Sudan,  1.6 million have been displaced, 755,000 have left the country.

The list goes on. But it is in one terrified, desperate face, that we see the whole story.

Thankfully, midst the terror and devastation, there are many stories of people rising in response ~ to help, to rescue, to reassure, to welcome the suffering. This keeps me going. In the worst of times, the best of what it is to be human shines forth to illuminate the darkness and keep us from despair. Here is one video I saw on facebook that moved me greatly.  One small group of smiling humans. Bless them.

source of statistics:

for Susan's Midweek Motif at Poets United on Wednesday: Survival

Monday, November 23, 2015

We Still Dream of Peace

I remember a time when we thought
we would change the world,
and we almost did:
the civil rights movement,
the women's movement,
Kent State,
Viet Nam:
"Hell no, we wont go",
flowers in gun barrels,
Make Love, Not War,
Give Peace a Chance.

were in the air.

Hippies ambled, smiling,
up and down Fourth Avenue.
Haight-Ashbury was where it was at;
hair, beards, dresses all were long
and almost......almost
came the revolution.

Until they began
silencing the world-changers,
the visionaries, with bullets:
Martin Luther King,
 young civil rights activists,
Bobby Kennedy,
John Lennon.

We gave up then,
retreating, shell-shocked,
into our solitary caves,
to mourn our young slain heroes.

The Establishment was
-and still is-
loathe to give up
its rapacious way of being.
The Military-Industrial Complex
won that round.

We Baby Boomers
felt our hope leap up again
when Barak Obama reminded us
what it is to dream,
just how badly
we all wanted change,
and, once again,
 what it is to have a leader
you can believe in.

One still has to hope
that if seven billion consciousnesses
could somehow unite
at the same moment in time,
that better world we long for
might yet arrive.

All these years and
so many heartbreaks later,
we still tear up
when we hear Imagine.
We still all dream
of peace.

I read a wonderful poem at ManicDDaily about the November 22 anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, which I remember well. I remember sitting, a few days later, in my classroom, watching the funeral on television and how John-John broke all our hearts with his three-year-old salute to his father. I dug around in drafts and found this, written likely on the anniversary a couple of years back, and dusted it off.

I am happy to see, especially with Craig and Mark Kielburger's We Day and Free the Children movement, that there are many young people still dreaming of changing the world - and working hard towards that end.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mu Shu Duck

Mandarin Ducks
by Margaret Bedford

The cherry blossoms have long since fallen and faded,
as have I,
yet still I remember a meal of
Mandarin Mu Shu Duck
with the young Canadian soldier,
who made me blush with his every glance.

He makes me blush, still,
each time I eat Mu Shu,
remembering those moon-drenched evenings
under the pink blossoms,
their fragrance, so perfect, so fleeting,
as short as a duck's life
in a land of hungry people.

for Margaret's prompt at Real Toads : I took my inspiration from her wonderful photo of the Mandarin Ducks , photographed at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn. The story, needless to say, is fictional. Don't I wish it weren't, LOL.


Wild Woman
of the Western Sea,
send me some wisdom.

Send me some strength.
Send me some inspiration.

How do I turn this
hard old crusty bunion
of a life
into a pearl?

A small offering from 2011, re-posted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry. Do come join us for some good reading, to go with your coffee on Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Wish

beautiful art by James Browne 

Raven points into the forest
with a feathery wing.
Wild Woman walks
along the-path-that-is-no-path,
arriving at a faery cottage
on whose doorstep sits an owl,
blinking her yellow owl eyes.

What place is this? asks Wild Woman,
wanting and fearing the answer.

It is the place where one wish is granted,
and one only.
Not the wish you always wish,
but a bigger wish,
spoken by the soul of you.

That's easy, replies Wild Woman.
I wish I could go back
and do it better.

for Corey's prompt at Real Toads: The Heart's Desire: write about being granted one wish

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


google image

Mercy falls on the spirit
as benevolent 
as water on the tongue
of the fevered and thirsting;
as precious drops on the roots of a seedling,
struggling for purchase in cracked, parched earth;
as loving words exchanged among the dying
on the floor of the Bataclan,
humanity midst the horror,
proving honor and grace transcend,
light and love shining
in the darkest of hours,
so that, when dawn comes,
it is only the brightness of their spirits
that we remember.

I was most moved by 22 year old Isobel Bowderey's statement about the loving words exchanged by the dying all around her at the Bataclan in Paris, that told her people are good, and love is all that matters. As she lay there, thinking she was dying, it was only love that she was feeling and hearing expressed all around her. In the darkest hours, the finest in what it is to be human is displayed. 

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Mercy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Will Walk There Again

created for me by my friend,

I will walk there again,
on those wild shores of my heart's home
and, when I do,
I will carry you there in my heart,
carry you back to where you ran and leaped 
among the waves in joy.
Then, finally,
we will both be 

for Mary's Tuesday prompt at dVerse: write about something you miss. The beach and Pup are the two things I miss, every minute of every day of my life.


image -

I might have told you, had I been less shy,
how I'd adore you till the end of time,
but words caught in my throat, and voiceless, I.

I needed words from you to get us by,
but you could promise naught, in prose or rhyme.
I might have told you, had I been less shy.

We loved in silence, my heart hid its cry.
Without the words, I acted out in mime.
The words caught in my throat, and voiceless, I.

I sought a promise. Your eyes sought the sky.
Our love was new, and needed much more time.
I might have told you, had I been less shy.

I hung on tight, you tried so hard to fly,
the mountain peaks we sought too hard a climb.
The words caught in my throat, and voiceless, I.

Blackbird, Beauty, soaring through the sky,
you live forever in this heart of mine.
I might have told you, had I been less shy,
but words caught in my throat, and voiceless, I.

A poem from last April, reposted for Real Toads' The Tuesday Platform

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wild Woman Weeps

Isobel Bowderey, 22

"Lying in strangers' blood, 
thinking my life of 22 years was over,
I thought of everyone I loved,
and said 'I love you' to each one. 

"The help I received from strangers,
the words of love I heard the dying exchange,
helped me to see the good in people,
to not let hatred win."

And, finally, 
Wild Woman weeps.

Isabel Bowderey, 22, a student from South Africa, played dead for 45 minutes to avoid being killed at the Bataclan. It was, finally, the televised news report about her belief in love  triumphing over evil, that finally reached my heart, reminding me that, at such times, the best of human nature always rises in response. Light will continue to banish darkness. We live in hope ~ because to live without it is unthinkable.

sources: CBC.CA and Daily Mail Online

Wild Woman's Dream of Peace

I don't remember when my unshakable conviction that the transformation of human consciousness would definitely happen In Time began to tremble on its foundation. Watching image after image on the daily/nightly news of people being mowed down, not on the battlefield, but in shopping malls, schools and the cinema, must  be when it started to become clear that, while most of us fervently long for a peaceful world in which to live, there are mad, deluded, hollow-souled people out there with crazed eyes, ideologies and kalashnikovs, whose consciousness is incapable of changing. I don't know when the latest Breaking News was met with a resigned weary sadness instead of shock and horror - it has been just too many times. Bombs fall on towns, buildings crumble, people die, people somewhere else die in retaliation, the world must escalate its Response To Terror. The ideology of Us and Them continues, against the very real fact that when we are shot or stabbed, our blood  runs the same colour.  What mother doesn't want a peaceful world for her child to grow up in? My response to terror is the crumbling of my formerly unwavering belief that peace will ever be possible on this planet. Will weary resignation replace Wild Woman's dream of peace?

The shouts and screams of the dying
the tears of those who gather to mourn ~ 
when will we ever learn 
peace will never be achieved with bombs and guns?

posted for Karin's prompt at Real Toads : to write a poem based on our free-write, whatever comes on the page after "I remember" or "I don't remember". Great prompt, Karin. Thanks, I needed that!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wild Heaven

Winter waves in storm, wind-whipped, white-topped,
thundering, crashing on black rock cliffs ~
Wild Heaven.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

River Run

Mighty river,
for millions of years,
you have roared
through this passage
of ancient rock-walled chasms,
green with weeping.

Salmon return each fall
to make their perilous passage,
in endless imprinted struggle
to survive, to overcome:
like us.

Again and again, 
the attempted impossible leap,
falling back to gather strength
to leap again:
like us.

River, roar
your message of endurance, 
power, survival:
mighty river, gateway,
challenge, pinnacle.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Rivers

Landing in Sicily

His folks saw him off on the train,
their eldest son,
with ten dollars in his pocket.
It was all they could manage.
He worked his way to England and joined the RAF,
once was honoured to hold the Canadian flag 
during a presentation 
to the Queen.

My Grandma's handwriting 
on the back of the photo informs
"LaVergne in France".
He wrote the family a letter, 
in late summer,
about landing in Sicily.
"We walked through the vineyards
in the afternoon sun,
picking grapes as we passed.
Dusty, but that can be washed off........."

He had a sensitive, honourable soul.
He never spoke of the war,
but his eyes hinted at memories ~
things he wished he had never seen.

He came home to his pretty wife, 
his baby daughter.
They were The Three Bears.
"Ready, Mama Bear?" he'd ask,
with a twinkle in his eye,
when it was time to go.

All Greta had to do was take a cigarette
out of her pack, tap it, 
and he'd swoop, her gallant knight,
across the room to light it
with a flourish.

We all dreamed of finding
a gallant knight like him.

One of the finest of men,
whom life disappointed
towards the end,
he set the standard high for me,
was the blueprint
for my dream man.
To him and to every other soldier,
who emerged from the trenches 
and walked the long hard miles of war,
we say:
We will never forget.
We will always remember.

My uncle, LaVergne Marr

I long for a time when it is peace we are remembering.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


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.

Originally posted in 2014 for a prompt at Real Toads, am re-posting  for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. I will be away babysitting all day, but will make the rounds to visit all of you when I get home later this afternoon. 

The Salt of the Earth

I just watched The Salt of the Earth, a documentary about the gifted photographer, Sebastiao Salgado. He is a highly respected social photographer, who has traveled extensively, taking stunning images of people all over the world. 

Later in his career, he traveled to document what was happening in Rwanda to the refugees of the massacre. What he saw there sickened his soul. He left Africa thinking humans did not deserve to live. 

Returning home to Bolivia, to his ancestors' homestead, he found it a barren desert; all of the forests he knew as a boy were gone. His wife suggested they replant it, and they began, slowly, over the years restoring the forest with the planting of some two million trees. The planting of the trees healed him, along with the formerly barren slopes of his homestead.

His last project was a book of stunning images, Genesis, documenting the beauty of the world's remaining wild places, which he describes as a love song to the earth. 

The documentary shows not only his breathtaking work, but travels to amazing places with he and his camera  as he works. He shares his wisdom and all he has learned with us in a commentary throughout the film. It closes with the photographer's message to us all:

"The destruction of nature can be reversed." 

A message I find very hopeful. Because of the grimness of the parts of the movie about refugees, especially those of Rwanda and the Congo, this film is not for everyone. But it documents the very interesting and productive life of a man who has seen amazing things through his lens, and shares them with us. In his lifetime, he not only documented major events, recorded the vagaries of humanity and the wonders of the earth, but also helped restore, full circle, the decimated forests of his childhood. A life well-spent, I'd say.

This film was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, and deservedly so. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Winter Woods

Grice Bay, Tofino

I walked once
in a white and wintery woods,
the branches arching o'er
as if in prayer,
as if a hidden sepulchre
we shared,
and I found a measure of peace
while I was there.

White Crow cawed once
as if in sad adieu,
looked long into my eyes
and then he flew.
I watched him go, a mix
of awe and rue.
What message he imparted,
I never knew.

It's to the trees I go
when I need rest.
My spirit sore,
make of their peace a nest;
tucked in my heart,
I go my way, thrice blessed.
It's to the trees I go,
when I need rest.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Kennedy Lake
Photo by Patrick Canning

There are days when Wild Woman
has to question:
Is this inner peace she feels,
or simply exhaustion?

LOL. Well, Susan said a short poem is okay. Posted for her Midweek Motif prompt: Tranquility. And a more serious one:

One can travel the world
in its pursuit,
but true tranquility
can only be found
in one's heart.


Wolves are being shot from helicopters
in this world where governments 
and corporations decide
one species is more important than another,
and that humans matter more than 
all other life forms -
except for those
having differing ideologies.


Wild Woman's time is growing short.
We are all connected, here.
Evolve, please, humankind,
so she doesn't have to come back 
and haunt you
from the Other Side.

Mother Wolf and Wild Woman
howl together for a peaceful world
in which to raise both children
and wolf-pups.

Mimi Lenox is blogging for peace for the 10th year in a row. This Blogblast for Peace is now worldwide. Do check out the Blogblast site on Facebook. There will be many beautiful peace globes flying all day November 4. I am thinking, this morning, of Benjamin Creme's quote: There can be no peace without social justice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Letting Go

Traveler looks at the last brittle leaf
clinging to a time-bent bough,
a blaze of colour,
in the moment before it curls up,
falls to the ground, blows away.

It whispers its message to her,
this just-before-winter of her life,
when she most wants to hold on
to all that has never been more dear:

"Yours has always been 
the Traveler's path ~
Let go.
Let go."

Posted for C.C.'s prompt at dVerse: a poem to do with traveling. Traveler has written many traveling poems - here is one more.