Thursday, August 18, 2022

At the End, Only Earth and Sky


We are born in a whoosh of water,
gasp in our first breath, then we cry:
water, essential, from our very first day.

Through the Sacred Medicine Wheel
I journeyed,
dipped my toes in a magical sea,
soul thrumming with the song of the waves.
My sign, my element, my spirit's home:
Mother Ocean.

Above, the sky, the vast expanse,
curving over all -
the great blue bowl of ether.
Underfoot, the earth, brown and humble
and mothering.

I bow to you, Sky, I sing with you, Wind,
I dance in the rain, laughing,
the rush of raindrops on my face
cleansing my spirit,
washing all negative energy away.

When I am clean,
when the Great Bowl Above grows dark,
I creep homeward,
settle beside the fire,
remember the winking stars,
the wheeling seabirds,
the many rivers and beaches
I have loved,
all the beauty gracing
this span of time
that is still mine.

In memory,
my grandmother's long, white finger
points at the glass of water
on her bedside table
as she lay dying.
"The dying always ask for water,"
she had told me, and it is true.
Water: a single tear rolling down her cheek
as we said goodbye.

To the earth I bow, in gratitude,
in homecoming.
It waits to receive me, in turn,
when that final moment comes,
when I will become one
with All That Is.

First, there is water,
at the end
only earth and sky.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Things To Do on an Afternoon in August


Go through old letters and smile, remembering.
Send loving messages to friends still alive to
let them know you remember those golden days
in the sun when you, and they, and the world
were young. Play the music that was the sound track
of your life back then; remember wailing away
all afternoon with Connie Francis and Brenda Lee,
dreaming of the love story that was waiting for you
up ahead, how it would turn your life from painful
to happy. Don't spend too much time thinking about
what happened instead. 

Stay indoors out of the heat, and drink iced tea,
cold from the fridge. Watch an eagle fly over,
in the cloudless blue, as the fog slowly rolls in,
knowing it will swallow the beach
where hundreds of tourists are fitting 
a year's worth of fun into three too-short days.

Remember the town as it was thirty years ago.
Write the Village Council asking them to save
what's left of our local forest, threatened by
that onerous word: Development, a monster
with an insatiable appetite who can't be stopped.

Spend the rest of the day
the golden years of laughter and dreams
that shine so, now, in reverie.

Sunday, August 14, 2022



A wolf in Chernobyl
photo: Sergiy Gaschak

Thirty-six  years after
the humans left this place,
thriving wildlife have reclaimed
the site as sanctuary,
a green and verdant forest
covering the land,
now one of the rare places
on the planet
where wild creatures
live undisturbed.

How sad,
that it takes a nuclear event
to provide safe haven
for wild creatures,
that it takes our absence
to make their lives
more possible.

After cataclysm,
after the ocean
covers coastal shores,
after flood, wildfire,
drought and famine,
after climate refugees
have walked a thousand miles
and fallen
off the edge of the world,

it gives me comfort
to imagine
- slowly, in barely perceptible
increments of time -
greenness unfolding
across the land once more,
wolf and bear and deer
creeping back,
finding no trace of us,
making their way,
hesitant yet unhindered,
as in the earliest days
of our collective memory -
the garden unfolding
all its beauty
under friendly
benign skies
once more.

Thirty-six years later, because humans left the area, it is now thriving as a wildlife sanctuary, one place on the planet where wild creatures get to live undisturbed.

An article at Blue Dot Magazine in 2016 stated, "Humans, it seems, are worse than a nuclear disaster. A long-term study of animal populations around Chernobyl has found wildlife to be flourishing in the absence of human activity. A team of scientists surveyed the human exclusion zone surrounding the site, observing large animals like deer and elk to be in abundance despite lingering radiation."

credit: Valeriy Yurko

For my prompt at earthweal : Re-wilding

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Not Haiku


Life and I gave you feathers,
but you have to
grow your  own wings.


You thought life came with
flying lessons,
and that I should have taught you,
but when it comes to
leaping off treetops,
that can only be decided
by the courage of
the bird.


My hollow bird-bones are now
too tired for long flights.
I am happy to sit
on a mossy limb
and watch the young ones


Owls speak to me in the night.
I listen closely,
and so far
they have not yet
called my name.


for Carrie at The Sunday Muse

Friday, August 12, 2022

Life's Golden Beauty All I Know


Chestermans Beach, Tofino

I try to hold the flickering flame
fast faltering my eyes before,
to clasp it for some moments more,
its magic mine to keep and tame.
It flickers out, no one to blame.

I try to slow the speeding days,
delay them as they canter past.
I want them to forever last;
they rush towards sunset's golden haze,
extinguish in a fiery blaze.

One does not ask the question "Why?"
We live our lives, hoping the end
will answer like a loving friend.
Our choices, as the days go by,
have cast our fate. We live. We die.

Sunset too close, lit by its glow,
I want this life to never end,
as day by day my last ones spend,
bedazzled by its fiery show ~
life's golden beauty, all I know.

An oldie to share with earthweal's open link

Monday, August 8, 2022

Kelowna Thunderstorm

Global News photo

Gun metal lake and gun metal bowl
of lowering, ominous sky, I swam 
on the edge of storm
that summer afternoon, back when
adults didn't worry much about
kid safety - sink or swim.

Alone in the lake, alone in my
twelve years of living, the scent
of danger near and familiar,
I floated my log on the waves,
gazed up at the sky so changed
from its normal friendly blue.
Thunder rumbled and roared
above my head
like the sky was about to fall.
I didn't know that water
attracts lightning. No one gave me
any guidelines on how to survive
in this world. It took me some years
and my own children's lives to learn
just how vulnerable to danger
children are,
how much they're in need
of protection.

There was a metallic smell in the air
I could almost taste. Just before
the lightning flashed,
some instinct for self-preservation
sent me back to my grandmother's cottage
where we'd sit in the back room,
as on so many summer afternoons
of my childhood,
listening to the thunderstorms
she loved so much.
I loved them, too,
once I was safe inside.

All my life, when I smell that
particular smell in the air,
listen for its roll and clap,
thunder takes me back
to summer afternoons
with my Grandma,
listening to the sky
sing in rumbling voice,
in that small cottage
that offered me
the only safety that,
back then,
I knew.

for earthweal: LIGHTNING FALLS. Right now, in the Okanagan, several serious wildfires are burning, threatening towns and reservations. People are being evacuated, or put on alert. Weather experts say all the fires burning throughout the province were sparked by lightning strikes.

Keremeos Creek wildfire
B.C. Wildfire photo

Sunday, August 7, 2022



She tosses the rice
to the left, to the right.
There must always be rice
for the blessing.

The Lama walks,
blessing the land.
A rainbow appears on the right.
It is said that this Lama
manifests rainbows
wherever he goes.

A whale is swimming by,
down below, in the bay.
The eagle, watching from the topmost scrag,
gives one piercing, joyous cry,
then resettles his feathers.
He does not fly away.

Joy beyond joy,
tears on her face,
a Lama is blessing her homestead.
The whale! The eagle!
The rainbow!
Miracles, all.
When the blessing is over,
the Lama smiles.

"This is Buddha Land,"
he says.

In truth,
it is all Buddha land,
full of miracles and wonders,
for those who have eyes to see,
and hearts to understand.

One from 2012, my friends, because we need to remember beauty, and joy, and hope, especially in dark times.