Monday, December 4, 2023

What Life Does


This is what life does....
it takes your lumpy, earthy bunion of a life
and polishes it, for decades, until most of
the dross falls away and, slowly, the gem that's left
begins to shine.

It sends you seeking, when you're young.
You run all over trying to find Out There
what you can only find within. So then
it sends you back (and, trust me,
the inner journey is the hardest.)

This is what life does...
it brings you gifts, showers you
with blessings, allows serendipitous happenings
that you know you were helped to find.
And then it assigns you the work
of giving back.

Life takes you to the forest, and the shore,
and teaches you to cease all thought and simply listen
to the song of Mother Earth, in her many voices.
It is your Coming Home.

This is what life does...
it starts you off as a silly girl
who doesn't know a thing,
wallops you upside the head
as many times as it takes,
sends you through the Valley of Tears
then brings you out, laughing and astonished,
full of wonder, grateful to be alive,
on the other side.

Inspired by the wonderful poem Starfish by Eleanor Lerman. The italicized lines are hers.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Not Alone


Because of how dogs pull on their leashes
to come to me for a treat,
and look at me with happy eyes...

because of how people smile at me on the street
- so kindly! -
because I am old, and hobbling...

because the house across the street
put up their Christmas lights,
and I hung mine in response...

because of how the small children
from the daycare walk past my window
at eleven o'clock every morning...

because when I enter the forest,
the tree beings turn their faces towards me,
welcoming me in to their green
and mystical world,
to tranquility,
to sanctuary...

because of how I stand under a sky full of stars,
feeling my solitude, and,
at the same time,
my being one of eight billion humans
also looking up, pondering the mystery...

because the waves sing their eternal song,
whooshing in to shore, and then
receding, me feeling the reverberations
in my chest, as millions of souls
have stood before, seeking solace,
seeking peace, feeling the depth
and vibrancy of life
lived at the edge of the world...

I know I'm not alone.

Inspired by How We Are Not Alone by Maya Stein.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


What does a Wild Woman do
when the news continues to astound,
humans committing atrocities
on other humans, bombs dropping
all around,
all manner of suffering and trouble,
women and children starving
in the rubble?

We need a Kindness Revolution, she sighs,
pouring a second glass of wine,
because one doesn't do it any more.
(She knows that is a very
slippery slope. Don't worry.
She is wise.)

She turns off the news.
She would like to write a poem
that inspires hope, lifts hearts.
But she is so freaking tired.
She is old.
She has lived several ages,
truth be told,
but never one so toxic
and so cold.

It's the opposite of
 a Kindness Revolution.
But she has always
Lived In Hope,
so that stubborn flame is
flickering still.
Wild Woman believes
in evolution/revolution;
 always will.
(Give peace a chance.
War is over
if you want it.

Let's keep singing it

What we have is today:
brilliant November sunshine,
wild waves and Stellar jays,
hope and grief all mixed together,
because this is where we're at:
inclement weather.

Wild Woman is grateful:
for another generation rising -
(May they be brave!) - for dogs
with wagging tails and smiling eyes.
For Mother Earth, with her trees,
and clouds, her ever-changing skies,
struggling so valiantly to survive,
on which we're blessed
to still be here,
still dreaming,
still alive!

In all the discord,
what does a Wild Woman do?
She prays, she hopes, she dreams.
 Sometimes she cries.
She writes poems of peace
and struggles to be wise,
stretches her rubber soul
to hold both hope and sorrow,
goes to bed and
prays for a Revolution
of Human Consciousness
on the morrow.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Letting Go

I save my love for what stays:
what is close at hand - the ancient forest,
birdsong, the roar of the sea -

and dogs, looking at me with
their doggy smiles, eyes full of love
for the simplest thing: a pat,
a biscuit, some loving words. 

I let go of what wants to leave:
who turns away, becoming mist;
so many leavings along
one's path, no words of farewell,
just sudden absence; I bless them
with the gift of grace
as they go on their way.

I save my love for what stays.

The italicized lines are from the poem "I Save My Love" by Marjorie Saiser, of Wild Writing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Days That Will Not Come Again


Where there was something and suddenly isn't
- a beach, a forest, the song of the surf,
the crash of waves on shore,
sunset sinking below the horizon,
running through the wild world 
with a big black laughing dog -
absence becomes a presence
that fits into a corner of our hearts.
Heart walls expand to make room
for the memories, watered with tears,
that come, unbidden, at random moments.
There is an ache, a missing, that feels 
almost as strong as the presence did,
for we are remembering Joy
from a place of less-than-joy.
We are remembering love
from a place of loss-of-the-beloved.
We are remembering companionship
and feeling the pining of our solitary soul.

Where there was something and suddenly isn't
we have to work hard to
remember gratitude, recognize enough-ness,
look up at the sky and trail
the eagle's flight with our eyes,
seek out riversong or a place of salt and sea.
We somehow learn to make a space for sorrow
inside our aching chests,
and place our love and remembering there,
glad that we recognized joy
and fullness of soul when we had it,
though everything after has been muted,
tinted grey and sepia,
compared to those golden,
radiant, long-gone wild
wilderness days
that will never,
     will not ever
         come again.

The two italicized lines are from Naomi Shihab Nye's poem Burning the Old Year .

Sharing this at  What's Going On,  where Sumana's prompt on Wednesday is Memory / Remembering.



The small things I do to help the earth
feel so insignificant, compared to
what needs to be done - especially
when the worst corporate offenders
are doing nothing.

The poems I write - pleas sent out
into the universe (which hears them) -
do little good, when world leaders,
corporations, the offensively wealthy,
cling to capitalism, even at the price
of every other living being's survival.

And yet we keep on keeping on
because giving up is not an option,
even when
scientific voices grow more urgent,
because we love the earth, and
what we love we try to save.
And because what we save
saves us.

For  Rajani's climate series. 

A message I have written about before but it doesn't hurt to repeat it.

Monday, November 20, 2023



Chris Lowther photo

Wind whispers
through the canopy
like lake ripples
through the trees

Small leaves spiral
thick as raindrops,
pixies dancing
on the breeze

Sunlight consecrating trees -
almost I hear an organ sound:
I, pilgrim and acolyte,
the golden forest
hallowed ground

Birch bark like ancient manuscript
writ by a gnarled and pointy hand
tells tales of olden times long-gone,
bygone days upon the land

Once again, the breeze-song swells,
upon the wind a hymn of praise:
to these blessed simple days,
these days we have,
a hymn of praise.


Praise the amber sunlight in late afternoon,
burnishing the forest golden.
Praise the eagle,
swooping twice overhead.
When I called out to her, "Beautiful!"
she fluttered her wingtips at me
in response.

Praise the stately cherry trees out front,
who have shed their leaves,
going into their winter sleep,
who will burst forth
in white and tender blossoms
next spring.

Praise Brother Bear, his big paw
reaching into the river
in search of one last salmon
before his winter nap.
And praise Sister Wolf,
who is teaching her cubs
the forest trails
and how to find their hidden den.

Praise those who are caring for
the suffering, in impossible situations,
under a bomb-filled sky,
and praise those who are trying
to find a way to bring this horror
to a merciful end.
(May all killing stop. Praise be.)

Praise our peaceful day
on this side of the world,
with which we mend our tattered hearts,
so we can hold this aching world
and bear what is too heavy to lift,
because what we care about,
we try to save,
and what we save
saves us.

Praise what we can,
in this world so full of pain
and heartbreaking beauty.
May Mother Earth receive our love
and carry it on winds of change
across the sky
to silence and still
the guns and bombs,
the inhumanity
of war.


"In certain ways, writing is a form of prayer." Denise Levertov. The first poem came to me as I was walking a forest trail. I sped up, to get to my car and paper and pen before I forgot the words. The second is a praise poem, inspired by "Praise Song" by Barbara Crooker.