Monday, October 31, 2016

WITCH'S SONG



Pass me the stir-spoon, Sister, quick!
This stew's getting a little thick.
Push down the devil's claw. Mix in some thyme.
The brew must be ready by dinner-time.

A pinch of this and a pinch of that,
and dont forget to spell the Cat.
Owl sits in the corner with beady eye.
Toss him a mouse as you go by.

While it is brewing we'll sip on some gin,
and call the witches-in-training in.
Thrice 'round the cauldron, add some eye of newt,
and mind how you circle, or you'll tread on my boot.

Toss in two warty toads and the leg of a frog.
Let's fly round the meadow, skinny-dip in the bog,
count all our warts, multiply by two,
and I will teach a new spell to you.

To draw love, catnip, valerian for sleep.
Drop a marigold bloom in your tea; let it steep.
Calamus root and the knuckle of a frog.
We'll sing in the kitchen and dance with the dog.

Snakes go hiss and flames they crackle.
Potions bubble and pop to the witches' cackle.
Bats are singing love songs as they swoop and zoom.
They're chasing shrieking witches right out of the room.

Come out, my pretties, to the meadow in the hollow.
Skinny witches first, and the fat ones follow.
We will chant incantations,
swoop around on our brooms,
and watch that black cloud cover the moon.

                                           ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

One from 2012, my friends, just for fun, first written for a challenge at Real Toads, to wish you a wonderfully witchy day, however you may spend it. And check out Poets United - there are more shenanigans going on over there!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Heartfull of Love



Spirit-dog,
your soul and mine
 are forever entwined
in the song
of the waves,
inseparable as
salt and sea,
you and me,
as we used to be,
happy and free.

I throw
a heartfull of love
to you, from me,
into the sea,
so it may keep on returning
wave after wave,
for all
eternity.

for my beloved Pup.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Red Nation, Rising




(1) bisons from videobuzz on Vimeo.


Tatanka Oyate,
Buffalo Nation,
you came to stand with your warrior
brothers and sisters at Standing Rock.
You felt the energy of the braves
blowing across the land,
calling for help from all that lives,
as they stand to protect
the land and living water,
the spirit land of their ancestors.
But the land of the Lakota, the treaties,
are as nothing, when it comes to oil;
only the black god matters.

The living water waits,
the line of protectors standing
between it and the guns and tanks,
the hit-men of corporate interests,
puppets pulled by invisible strings
that lead to the death
of everything.
Corporations neither know nor care
about land and water,
or future generations.
It has but one creed: money.

The tanks roll in;
the line of intimidation
stands firm.

But then the buffalo come,
in their hundreds,
in their power,
galloping across the horizon
in response to the call of the people,
who care for the living land we all share.
This power can never be equaled,
or extinguished.
It is a power of the heart,
of justice,
of the way humans are meant
to live on this land,
as guests,
not plunderers.

The Red Nation is rising
under the tree of life
at the edge of the living waters,
saluting the "light within (each other's) eyes
where the whole universe dwells."*

Brown Buffalo,
your beauty moves me, as I stand
with the warriors of Standing Rock.
My heart lifts at the sight of you.
Ah, ho.


* spoken to Sitting Bull by Oglala Lakota Sioux Crazy Horse four days before he was killed by US soldiers who were trying to imprison him. You might have to watch the buffalo  over at Vimeo, as I dont know how to make the video smaller. This stand is a definitive one. It is time for all peoples to rise against corporate destruction, to protect the land and waters that are left.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

SAMHAIN



They say the dead are among us,
we just can't see them.
On Samhain,
when the veils between the worlds
are thin,
are your paws padding softly beside me,
as they for so long did?

I keep waiting,
for the weight of your snout
on the side of my bed,
but it does not come.
Perhaps just a hint
of a cold breeze on my cheek,
an ache, some tears,
a sigh.

Where have you gone,
my big, noisy boy,
when I can no longer feel you,
other than a missing
that goes on forever,
in my heart?


Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Plum



If i am  plum
and you're a peach,
from my tree to yours
is quite the reach,
the distance feels too far
to breach.

Extend a branch,
or refuse to dip?
This is the way
foundations slip,
when no true words
escape the lip.

Lofty branches
up so high
have conversations
with the sky,
but when it comes
to peach and plum,
it seems all converse
is struck dumb.
If  Difference
we cannot overcome,
you stay peach
and I stay plum.
But the Garden
is meant for
Everyone.


for Susan's Midweek Motif prompt at Poets United: Conversation - this ditty could be applied to  personal situations, or political differences. I have never heard so much divisiveness being spouted in my life than what is happening right now. Time to try walking in another's shoes. Time to try being kind.




Sunday, October 16, 2016

October


Michael Richmond photo
Heart of Vancouver Island

October
is a sun-struck tree
blazing proudly, briefly,
orange and crimson,
whipped by wind,
buffeted by rain,
till she is
left naked,
unmasked,
except for one last, curling,
dead-brown leaf,
that clings tenaciously,
till it slowly, painfully,
loses its grip,
and lets go
into the cold, unforgiving greys 
of November.


For Magaly's prompt at Real Toads: turn October into a poem.

Friday, October 14, 2016

THE LANGUAGE OF CLOUDS




Looking at the sky, we long to learn
the language of clouds, of mountaintops.
Mother Sky, teach me
how to sing like small bird, like raven,
like Owl.
Quiet my heart, so I may listen
to the breath of Grandfather Cedar,
and learn to speak tree,
to speak river,
to speak wind.

Transform my soul
to make me worthy of
learning to sing
in whalesong.
Lead me along the shore,
to count the waves,
my heart singing 
joyously and forever
the song of Ocean.


One from 2015, my friends, which I will be sharing with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is always good reading on a Sunday morning. I am posting early, as a huge storm is expected and am not sure I will have computer access tomorrow...............


Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Blowin' in the Wind"

1980 in Kelowna


His nasal voice
was exactly like Bob Dylan's;
as he sang to us in the candlelight,
we were so very willing,
to live in a world of peace and love
and no more war,
that world we'd sung and marched for
in the heady days of yore:
"Hell, no, we won't go!"
But peace comes infinitely slow.

My heart mourns, now,
when I hear him singing
"Blowin' In the Wind",
for we still are seeking peace
more than we ever were before.
The answers just aren't blowin'
in the wind any more,
and there's a holocaust
about to come a-knockin'
on our door.


for Bjorn's prompt at dVerse: Bob Dylan, or whatever he brings to mind.

SEEING SOULS



All the little mist-genies
are rising from the river,
on this apple-crisp, pumpkin spice
autumn morning of my life.
The trees are calling to each other,
as excited as school girls 
sporting their new clothes:
"Look at me! I'm so burnt-orange!"
"Ah, but I'm blaze-scarlet,
redder than red."

Surely, they must know
they are all equally beautiful,
in their uniquely different shades and hues,
together a symphony of colour
for the eyes,
a feast for the heart to store away
and nibble at
all winter long,
like a December squirrel.



The Somass River



If only we remembered to see souls instead of bodies, each as unique and beautiful as an autumn leaf.................Shared with Real Toads in response to Hannah's prompt at Transforming With Nature's Wonders, to take inspiration from a quote.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wealth, an Inside Job

With my great-grandson, Damian, 
when he was small

There were years when I thought
I would be happy if, for once,
I had a new couch,
instead of the used ones I had
made do with all my life.
When I finally got one -
it was just a couch.
It came, it went,
like all the others.

I spent many years
collecting shelves of books,
a whole wall full.
Now that I live in one room,
I am constantly purging
both shelves and closet,
getting rid of all
I once had gathered,
to create space.

Doing hospice work,
I saw what life boils down to.
In the end, one needs only
toothbrush and comb,
set on the small cabinet
beside one's hospital bed.
I gazed at the photos
beside the beds in palliative care,
showing the full lives
the people had lived,
the houses, dining room sets, good china,
knick-knacks they had treasured,
all long gone,
or soon to be givern away,
or taken to the dump.
Their real wealth, the smiling faces
in the photos of the families
they had cherished.

We take with us
only what we accumulate
in spirit, our soul's growth,
the stories and memories we have made,
and the legacy we leave behind us:
our children, grandchildren,
great-grandchildren,
our true wealth on this earth.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Wealth


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

When Reality is Too Frightening, Call it a Myth


Sea of Plastic Bags

The newscaster says - surprise! -
that sea of plastic garbage
 - 100 million tons and growing - 
floating in the Pacific
is a Myth!
(Just like global warming?)
So much easier to believe,
than having to figure out how
to clean up this mess
we've made.


Albatross carcass found in central Pacific
on Midway Island
Britta Denise Hardesty photo
CBC News

Ocean's plastic  is the new DDT, Canadian scientist warns: source

21 year old builds prototype designed to rid the ocean of plastic: source



Saturday, October 8, 2016

IN THE BRACKEN

photo from conservationalliance.com


If ever you would speak with any tree,
come walking in the forest here with me.
I'll show you the wild mushroom and the root,
but where the ancients gather, set no boot.

If you would speak with nature spirits wild,
you must maintain the heartbeat of a child,
learn riversong and mountain chasm deep.
You must commune with angels in your sleep.

As you step lightly on the pungent moss,
and feel the leaves the winter wind doth toss,
let your spirit fly away among the trees.
It will return upon the morrow's  breeze.

I go into the forest dark and deep,
every night after I fall asleep,
become a woodland guardian, reborn
I do not want to leave when it is morn.

Last night my spirit fought as a black wolf,
against four brown wolves on the forest floor,
This told me that a battle lies before,
my spirit having  recognized its door.

Come with me. I will show you secret groves,
moss-hung and ancient in this stand of pine.
Deep in the bracken, where the  hoarfrost glows,
the Old Ones are singing Home this heart of mine.



One from 2012, my friends, shared with the Poetry Pantry. Hope you are all enjoying a restful weekend.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

TOFINO TIME

Wickaninnish Waves


The wild shores of Clayoquot Sound
sang a siren song to me,
for years before I journeyed there,
before I ever saw the perfection
of its beauty.
It called me out of the desert
into the rainforest, thick and lush,
whose ancient spirits
already knew my name.
It took a mighty leap of trust
to answer that call
and I was fearful, though
I had no idea just how brave a leap that was,
until I found how difficult it was to hold onto
my precarious perch
once I was there.

But I had to answer that call, or give up my dream
and I knew I couldn’t live without a dream.
I took the leap
and was rewarded with
the ten most joyous years of my life.
It calls to me still,
stuck in another desert of the heart.
From this grey little valley,
it calls me home as surely
as the marbled murelet
makes its way back home
from many miles away.

Its wave-song echoes forever through my heart,
and I am remembering, remembering again.
It’s a song of the clean and pungent air,
the salt spray,
white caps lined up and galloping in to shore
like white-maned horses,
the song of the wild waves, rolling and crashing
over black volcanic rock on Frank’s Island,
and the roiling churn of The Cauldron
at the foot of its cliffs,
I, atop and peering down. The wonder!

In my mind, Meares Island is rising up,
full-bosomed and blushing rose in late afternoon,
maternal protection for a village full of conscious souls,
who live on the edge of the edge of the world,
by choice, in love with place.
My eyes, my soul, sang a love song to that place
that sings inside me still.
It always will.
When I had to leave, I took Home with me,
wrapped the memory of that place around me,
the way a sand dollar makes its home
from the sand and grit around it,
and carries it along.

I miss it daily,
those waves undulating in and out
as steadily as Time,
those months and years that kaleidoscope
on fast forward,
until Joy is sixteen years past.
Tofino Time expands, and slows,
the Moment in clear focus, breath caught
in astonishment at its beauty.
Away, time rushes me along
like a whipped donkey,
yielding to the lash,
and dreaming of better days.
I recall the seabird’s cry, the roar of the surf,
the ancient melody of the great old trees,
in whose presence I felt at prayer.

I miss the sunsets, hidden behind the mountains
ringing this small lake valley.
Sometimes the evening sky is streaked with leftovers
from the beach, and I know what I’m missing:
sixteen years of sunsets missed. I yearn; I pine.
As those coloured remnants
streak the evening sky,
I look to the mountaintops.
Behind them, glorious West Coast sunsets
are unfolding.
On tiptoe, I can almost
see them shining.


The locals say, once in Tofino, you are on "Tofino time", when everything unfolds slowly, according to mood. I wrote this in response to a prompt to write about a "Call" answered. This was the biggest call of my life, requiring trust and courage. I was ecstatic once I responded, having made the one dream of my life come true. I have written about this mighty leap, and my time there, in prose in my "Love Song to Clayoquot Sound", and have borrowed some of the imagery from that piece, since I don't think I could express it in any other words. Some of my fave photos of the beach can be found in the prose piece, if you'd like to see the wonder of Clayoquot Sound - some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, in my opinion.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tree Talk





source: BBC

Trees have so much to teach us 
about family and community.
They suckle their young,
know their child from another,
send messages and alarms of threats
across the forest floor
through an underground network,
to warn, not just family members,
but their neighbours 
and community.

The lungs of the planet,
they breathe out.
We breathe in,
a symbiosis we rarely remember
to thank them for.
They watch us, listening, 
beaming their presence
attentively,
waiting for us
to truly see them.

Place your hand on 
a nearby friendly trunk.
Try to hear
what she is saying to you.
Breathe in peace.
Remember to say "Thank you"


Saturday, October 1, 2016

SONG OF THE LOTUS

Zenny and Smokey
photo by Jon Merk


In the silence of the heart
grows the tender white lotus blossom
that is your life.
Water it gently with your tears.
Bathe it in the sunlight of your hopes
and the soft moonlight of your dreams.

Listen! for the trees are sighing,
holding out their arms as you approach,
hoping you will truly see them
at least one time
before you die,
will let them hold you gently
as you cry.

Behind your sleeping eyes
lies the Watcher In the Woods,
the one who nudges you this way and that,
who sighs wearily, when you do not
heed her call,
this One who knows you best of all,
who has picked you up after every fall.

As we draw closer to the end of things,
our spirits slow, our voices gentle;
we are not nearly as certain as we once
so vociferously were.
It is time for silence now,
and reflection,
for looking back and for remembering,
with love.

We need much silence now,
a silence of the heart
weary from making its own way.
We speak more softly, and less often,
the young won't listen anyway.
They have to find
their own befuddled way,
their own steep price
in pain to pay.

Our song now is a murmuring brook
trickling over some knotted roots;
we are content to meander whimsically
through this golden autumn-before-winter,
letting go like the last withered leaf
on the gnarled old maple,
twirling dreamily down
to the mossy bank,
where we sit for a spell,
lulled by the water's flow.
So soft, its voice, as soft
as the somnolent song of our lives
the last notes sounding,
holding death at bay,
before they gently, softly, finally
fade away.


One from the autumn of 2015, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is always good reading on Sunday morning. Do join us there.

Waving Goodbye

longest recorded polar bear swim
426 miles


I am standing on shore,
horrified and grieving,
watching this big old
beautiful planet
going down.

Humans fight fires and floods,
but don't stop pumping carbon
into the sky, or fracking the earth.
Corporate greed takes more and more,
putting nothing back,
nor cleaning up their act.
We use dirty energy,
when a switch to clean energy
would create jobs
and be win/win.

The icebergs melt,
polar bears are drowning,
and what do we do?
Send cruise ships up,
crowing that now the ice is melting,
the north is now accessible
for tourism.
Yippee.

It is like playing violins
while the Titanic slowly sinks,
brave, perhaps,
but shouldn't we be doing more
than waving goodbye
to everything we love
from shore?


for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads: shipwrecks Sigh.