Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I Choose Peace

In the clamour and the drama
the cacophony, the turmoil,
in the unrest and the anger

I choose peace.

The talking heads are in consternation
with each day's new calamity.
I can control only myself.

I choose peace.

I am watching a train
speeding to destruction,
no one at the wheel. 
I cannot make it stop.
I get out of the way.

I choose peace. 

There are those demanding
that I give what 
I do not have to give:
solutions and peace 
they can only find within.
Helplessly, I watch their 
flailing, angry choices.

For myself, there is 
only one choice,
and it has been hard-won.

I choose peace.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Artist Les Herman

Moon Raven,
lift me up on your bent wing.
Swoop me away
through the misty night
into the forest.

There we will commune
with wolf-ghosts and ancient trees.
We will sing with the spirits
ululate with owls
keen with all beings 
over our Losses
and send out blessings
and gratitude
for All That Remains.

Towards dawn,
having divested myself 
of my tears,
and having rekindled my hope,
let me curl up in the roots
of Grandfather Cedar,
pillow my head with moss,
pull pine boughs over my shoulders,
and escape to my haven of forgetfulness:
a dream.

A poem from 2014, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is fine reading every Sunday morning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Into Space and Sky

He lived in the city,
but longed for the wilderness;
captive in his condo,
his soul hemmed in
on every side.

One day,
looking up,
he saw an eagle 
between two skyscrapers,
and felt his heart explode
with the longing
to fly free.

Within two months,
he was living
on a small island,
his sweet cabin
looking out
across forest and ocean.

A year ago,
he passed away
in that small cabin,
once more
free of his fetters,
into space and sky.

True story. My friend Matthew and I shared a love of and longing for the wilderness. He made many trips to visit me in Tofino in the 90's, where we stalked the sunset and communed with old growth.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: City

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


I did not find wolves.
A wolf found me.
On the island,
a small wolf-pup, 
was found alone, half-dead
in the March rains,
where he had been living
at the dump.
I took him home
and our wild journey began.

We saved each other.

Oh, he was wild!
Hilarious and cunning,
he made me laugh every day
for fourteen years.
I was never alone
when he was with me.
He opened my heart,
which had been so disappointed.
He filled it with his presence,
and the only unconditional love
I had ever known.
Devoted, his eyes never left me.

he cried, each time I drove away,
as mournful as if the parting was
Ecstatic noisy barks, on my return.
He would stand and try to hug me,
convinced he was a person.
And, in his gaze, I saw such knowing,
such intelligence, such intuition,
it was like a human in a former life
had found me again, this lifetime,
in the form of a wolf.
I recognized those eyes.
They saw through to my soul.

It was for him,
I sought the wild places every day,
for we both needed them
to survive.
It was for him,
(and me)
we always had to live
with space and greenness around us.
Our spirits resisted
confinement, longed for
forest, river, shore.

The saddest thing about wolves
is that they die.
Once a wolf has been your soulmate,
you are forever bereft,
once they are gone.
But, once, I loved a wild thing,
and his memory is what helps me
to go on.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


Picture created for me by The Unknown Gnome

Traveler has been traveling alone
for most of the journey.
Times, she sought a companion
to help ease the passage through difficult terrain.
But none could stay the course.
Each turned off at the nearest byway.

Traveler grew accustomed
to making her way alone.
A wolf companion stayed by her side
for fourteen years, the truest companionship
she had ever known.
His turning was involuntary;
they both mourned greatly.

Solitude was emptier once he had gone.
But in time, traveler began to realize
she was never truly alone.
All around her was the ghost of a big black wolf;
he walked invisibly by her side.

There were trees breathing peace to her,
birds on the wing who companioned her eyes
through the heavens,
reminding her to keep Looking Up;
the moon bathed her in silver
and spread its canopy of stars for her alone;
there were wind-voices singing secret love-songs
just for her, and wave-tops lapping shores
of forever beaches,
where each one knew her name.

Alone is never lonely, as long as you love the wind,
Traveler says now, reflecting.
When you stand in an old-growth forest,
when you watch the butterflies flutter by,
when you look into the knowing eyes
of a small red filly,
you are surrounded
by loving friends.

A poem from 2014. Revisited. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, hosted by Mary, where there is good reading every Sunday morning.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Of Hummingbirds and Blades of Grass

"Every blade of grass has its Angel
that bends over it and whispers.....
'Grow. Grow!'"
The Talmud

"Peace is every step."
Thich Nhat Hanh

The ringing phone
brings stress
and lamentations,
situations even a mother's heart
can't fix.
The pressure in my head
reaches critical mass,
as I steady the firm trunk of me
to withstand
the pitch and toss
of shifting earth.

I place my feet carefully,
for peace is every step,*
and I must not fall.

In those moments,
I listen to the sweet chirp
of hummingbirds at the feeder,
gratefully drinking
the day's sustenance,
blissfully living
the present moment,
of the tumult
humans create
for ourselves

Perhaps our fear and worry
about tomorrow
is our greatest obstacle
to peace.

I walk along the beach,
witnessing the waves' 
eternal journey to the shore.
Sky and clouds lift my eyes,
reminding me to
Keep Looking Up.

Silence fills up 
all the space inside.
I wrap it around me
like a healing cloak. 
We need only live 
this single hour,
take the next step,
do the 
next right thing.

There is a larger landscape
than the one we see*,
a soul journey
each of us
must make alone.
With every step, 
we choose:
angst, fear, turmoil
peace, trust, hope.

Love, and let go.
Love, and let go.

In those times
when you are walking
through a barren wasteland,
filled with fear,
feeling so alone,
let me be
your Talmud Angel,
leaning over
the solitary blade of grass
that is your life,
and breathing: 
"Grow. Grow!"

for Paul's prompt at Real Toads: Peace Is Every Step.  How do we maintain our peacefulness when our world, or that of someone close,  turns upside down?  A timely prompt for me right now, as I try not to be toppled by a loved one's distress. (My doctor is doubling my blood pressure medication by the week, lol.) I am grateful for the waves, and their eternal journey to the shore. Their song soothes my tattered and weary soul. The Talmud Angel closing I borrowed from a poem in 2010.

* I am trying to find who said the landscape quote, as I have forgotten - Camus? I will keep looking.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Lady Liberty

CNN /  John Moore / Getty Images

I  cannot enjoy my liberty
with you at the border,
your children removed,
because you fled
danger and death
seeking a better life.

The cries of your children
haunt my dreams.
Their terror hurts my heart.
What we do to one,
we do to all:
other humans,
other species,
the earth:

The day of political
and climate refugees*
has arrived.
But, until rich white men
are the ones who
march across deserts,
famished, thirsty,
homeless, desperate,
I fear humankind
will not change course
in time.

“Bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to break free” – and we will take away your children, put them in cages, and detain or expel you. Never did I think such things could happen in North America, “the land of the free”. Yet here we are. 

* Climate change could create 150 million climate refugees by 2050.
(source: The Guardian)

For Susan’s Midweek Motif prompt at Poets United: Lady Liberty