Tuesday, September 19, 2023


Cox Bay, Tofino
Warren Rudd photo

Take this beautiful morning,
this September sunshine,
this blue-sky day, with the song
of a thousand seabirds,
wheeling and circling
at the edge of the sea.

Take the eagle's cry,
from the top of the cedar,
as he surveys his kingdom.
Take the heron,
gliding past my window,
looking like a skinny matron,
purse clutched under
her wing.

Take the waves, rolling in like
white-maned horses, wave upon wave,
day after day - our own glimpse
of Eternity.

Take this moment, peaceful,
breathe deep the ordinary, when
so much in this world is no longer
routine. Feel the peace
of nothing-going-on.
Let your prayers be prayers
of gratitude. May your tears
bless those living through
apocalyptic times.
(Our turn will come.)

Take this poem which
I offer you with open hands.
Take its wish that you
and all you love 
be blessed. Take my dream
of a green and flourishing earth.
Maybe if we share it,
some green tendrils
will begin to grow.

Take a break from the terrible
and disheartening news.
Step out into your front yard.
Lift your arms to
the cloud-dotted blue above,
the trees breathing with us in tandem,
such generous and benevolent beings.
Take this ordinary morning
into your heart and let it live there
all day long.
Take this poem,
like a prayer,
into your very being.
Let it sing.

for Mary's prompt at What's Going On? - Take This Poem, inspired by the poem of that title by Elizabeth Willis.

Monday, September 18, 2023

A Perspicacious Quest

[image from google: QUIXOTE.tv.zazzle.com]

I mount my horse backward,
from the wrong side,
my cape tangling in the reins.
The horse is blind.
Desperate, but well-intentioned,
I slap its flank and wait
to see where we will go ~
who, up ahead, needs saving,
or who might just save me.

It appears the entire world has gone mad;
whole towns are drowning far from shore.
Super Heroes are in short supply, so
Ordinary Heroes are stepping up.

Turn around, turn around,
the horse whispers. 
An eye for an eye has made
the whole world blind.

Facing forward, now, we plod,
on our perspicacious quest:
for leaders who understand how to lead,
for those in power to wield it well,
for the common folk to raise their voices
to a shout, for us all to understand
Mother Earth is trying to teach a world
full of imbeciles how to live.

On my quest, I have seen wonders: swans
at the edge of a misty river, hills purpling
in the falling dusk, the sun rising over
a sleepy inlet - beauty enough
to break my heart for all 
we are losing.

I pen my desperate poem, my song
echoing across the dimensions 
seeking help.
Its beat is weakening, but persistent,
a note of hope, faint, yet refusing
to give up.
I fling off my cape; it lands
on a grinning, big black wolf, who says,
while fastening its button under
his whiskery chin:

"Follow me. The ride will be wild,
and it will bring you joy and pain.
The world 
will save itself or not."
Oh yes! In a heartbeat,
I would do it all

Well of course it is a wolf who arrives to rescue the rescuer. 

For Brendan's challenge at Desperate Poets: Super Heroes.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Writing It Real


"It doesn't have to be beautiful," she says.
"It just has to be real."
Our pens move across the page,
listing everything that is in our minds,
the pain that is in our hearts:
wildfires, hurricanes, storm surges
that wash six thousand people away,
earthquakes, floods, war, devastation
of every kind.

I can't hold the suffering 
of the non-human beings
of the world in my mind
for long. It hurts too much.

"It doesn't have to be beautiful," she says.
I nod. It won't be.
These days, life is as real
as it gets.

Day Five of Wild Writing.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Why We Tell Stories


We tell stories to re-visit the past,
that halcyon time in Grandma's cottage,
my safe place in the world,
yard full of hollyhocks, weeping willow,
and a routine I could depend on
in a world I did not understand.
In my heart, now, I drift in dream
under the Tree of Remembrance,
in a time long gone,
but always golden,
never forgotten.

Summing up, we recollect old loves, old mistakes;
(cringing, we brush them off, brush them off,
send them to live under the Tree of Forgetfulness.)
Only the one dark-eyed beauty remains,
his blackbird heart, his faltering flight,
like a bird with one wing, longing for,
yet fearing, too, the sky.

I once placed my requests
in the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders.
They came back very different from
what I longed for, and yet, they turned out
to be exactly what I had not known I needed,
pointing me down a path I didn't think
I had the courage to follow, towards more
than I had ever dared to dream.

We tell stories, we write poems:

     to remember
           to remember
                 to remember

Day Four of Wild Writing. Inspired by the poem "Why We Tell Stories" by Lisel Mueller, and by the fact that there is actually a restaurant in Japan called The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, where all the staff has dementia, and the orders get garbled, but always turn out to be wonderful. I love that!

Thursday, September 14, 2023



It's Thursday. This is what I know:
the sun is shining down on a perfect
West Coast September morning.
I raise my face and my smile to greet it,
and totter into town at a snail's pace.
Each time I make this walk, it feels like
I go more slowly. And yet
happiness curls in my heart like a swirl of cream
into coffee. How I love this village,
the people, the beauty, my life here!

This morning at the CoOp my bill came to 1955 -
"A good year" I joked to the man at the till.
"It was before my time," he smiled back.
It got me remembering.

My sister was born that year, and I was nine.
Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus
and Martin Luther King Jr. started a movement.
Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden were playing
at the Paramount, but I was too young to go.
Eisenhower was President of the USA. He suffered a coronary
that year. Being President is a hard job.
It is much harder now that
the opposition is a cult,
enamored of a gangster oligarch
who holds them all in thrall.

In 1955, my uncle drove a two-tone cream
and salmon coloured convertible, with fins.
Kelowna was a sleepy little town then,
full of apple orchards. Grandma fixed my hair in a pony tail
to "expose your noble brow".
I clawed my bangs back down
as soon as she was out of sight.
In my t-shirt and pedal pushers
I spent summer afternoons
reading in my grandma's hammock
under the weeping willow.
I could smell the pinks.
All my life I have searched for pinks
and never found them.

In 1955, I never would have dreamed I'd see
the world in the shape it is now.
The bill for capitalism is coming due
and the poor are paying the price.

But 1955 was a very good year.
There was an innocence then
that is sheer nostalgia now.
It was a time of dreams and hope.
I wish those for the children of today
who are viewng a topsy turvy world
on their little screens.

Wild Writing Day Three

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Because It Was Summer


Christine Lowther photo

The poems didnt get written
because it was summer,
and the beach beckoned,
the waves singing their siren song.

The poems didnt get written
because I sat out front in the sun,
sipping coffee, chatting with neighbours
and counting clouds,
because I spent a week at the farm,
communing with flowers
and horses and dogs.

The poems didnt get written
because my daughter was in crisis,
and I needed to be near the phone
till she got back on her feet;
...because my soul was weary
and it needed rest, to carry
the weight of the wildfires burning,
the floods and hurricanes happening
everywhere, the holding in my heart
of all that suffering, and I had to
stand on guard for Mother Earth.

Now it is autumn. The rains
are finally here, blessing the parched earth,
and winter is on its way.
The poems will get written now.

Day Two of Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Kelowna wildfire 2023

It is a sad story.

They clearcut the forests that cool the planet. This summer, in drought, wildfires raged everywhere, burning what was left. Only mature trees store carbon. This means the world will get hotter, burn longer. 

Our leaders are addicted to capitalism. No one dares talk about lowering emissions now, and 2035 and 2050 are too far away.

They are still logging. The fires are still burning. We are running out of water.

Mother Earth is struggling. Yet she still graces us with sunrises, sunsets, puppies, beauty enough to break our hearts, knowing how badly we have treated her.

She says, “To be pretty for you I have dropped two seeds of turnsole in the dark of both eyes.” 

So pretty! Like weary sunflowers, turning our faces to the sky, we send out a plea to Whoever Is Listening:

Please send help.


for Sanaa at dVerse:  a story in 144 words including the italicized line.

Italicized line is from the poem “Garden.” by Isabel Duarte Gray.