Sunday, October 20, 2019

STALKING THE SUNSET




We walk the fine edge,
between this world and the next,
trying to heal our pain,
recover from our illnesses,
adjusting to the decline of the body
that has transported us so far.

You have fought a long battle,
old pal of mine.
I am sensing your grasp on life
slowly slipping away.
Your eyes are on the eagle,
flying free of his fetters.
You are communing with deer
in your garden.
The orcas pass by,
your mind engraving
the vision and the joy.
Your heart is loving and mourning
this beautiful earth
you are slowly leaving.
We are never ready to let go
of the beauty we have loved so well.

For 37 years, you have always been there:
at the other end of the telephone,
through my joys and sorrows,
on the other side of my screen,
sharing all I was learning.
We have witnessed,
encouraged and supported
each other's journey,
collaborated on songs,
shared our love of the wild,
and music,
and sunsets.

You have been my friend, my mentor,
my guide, my guru.
You have shown me the way,
walking your pilgrim's path of the soul,
listening to your inner guides.

You can never really be gone from me.

On the other side, for you,
there will be a radiance:
your face shining as it did
in coffeehouse days,
when candles flickered on you,
smiling in the glow,
singing Gentle Jonathan
and Forever Young.

I will see you forever
strumming your guitar,
singing your songs
of trees and rivers
and eagles in flight.

On the other side:
Manders, curled,
purring on your chest -
and no more tumors,
shortness of breath,
fatigue and diminishing health.
Just an expansion of the soul
which has grown too large
for your chest to contain,
and needs more room
in which to grow.

In memory, you will always be
on stage at Brock and Friends,
or, later, stalking the sunset,
camera in hand,
at Chestermans Beach.

It is in sunsets I will
forever see you,
old friend of mine.

Always remember,
on the other side of sunset
comes the dawn.
That is where I'll find you,
once you're gone.


                               


A poem from 2015, written for a close friend and mentor, Matthew from coffeehouse days. I wrote it when his health began to fail, and I sent it to him in his last month of life, in 2017, because I wanted him to know, while he was still alive, how much he meant to me. This poem was read at his celebration of life.

He was always attuned to Spirit. He did walking meditations, where he projected  a silent  "I love you" to every rock, and dog, and tree he passed. He told me that after a few minutes everything started loving him back. He was always Spirit-led and so I know he trustingly followed into the spirit world. They played the songs he had composed, as he was dying, and his wife said it seemed the sdongs had been created for those very moments, so peaceful and beautiful was his passing.

He was my friend, mentor, guru, supporter and guide. He knew me when, when I was just awakening, recovering from trauma. The coffeehouse in 1980 was filled with souls living gently on the earth. I walked in the door and I was home. They watered my parched roots, gave me space and acceptance, till my petals slowly unfurled. I have such gratitude for the gift the coffeehouse, and those gentle people, were for me. Matthew was one of the special people in my life. 

I will be forever grateful for having had such a friend.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Architect of My Dreams


THE ARCHITECT
by ERIK JOHANSSON.


The architect of my dreams
built a small cabin
for me
and set it to perfection
at the edge of the western sea.

But he gave me no roadmap
and threw away the key.

It took me forty years
to find its path and door
and, when I had to go away,
it took me twenty more

to climb, once more, the mountain
that led me to its shore.
And here I will stay, now,
forever, evermore.


a little ditty for Shay's Sunday Muse. #78 already. How time flies!


Friday, October 18, 2019

SEEKING SOLACE AT LOON LAKE

















If there be loons here,
then, they are hiding,
perhaps in the tall fronds along the shore
where I walk no more
with you beside me.
Once we heard a beaver slap his tail
like cannon-shot,
the birds startling from the trees,
your ears perking up,
wolfish and knowing.

It is lonesome here,
without you,
my old pal.
Yet yesterday, I breathed in 
a deep draught of dry, crackly leaves
and, in that moment,
was purely happy.

Life goes on.
We were two souls, travelling.
We are still two souls, travelling,
just on different planes,
and I can't find a loon anywhere,
for solace at Loon Lake.


A poem from 2015, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United as this October drops its leaves. That lagoon in Port Alberni is alongside a forest trail Pup and I walked so often through October afternoons.


Marbled Murrelet

Marbled Murrelet egg


She tends her nest well,
small brown mother,
laying her single tiny egg
on a mossy nest
perched on a  limb
of  Sitka Spruce.
To support the nest,
it must be old growth,
now endangered, like the murrelet herself,
like the polar bears, the whales, the salmon.
Like us.

She and her mate take turns
sitting on the egg; they change places
every 24 hours at dawn.

Then she zooms across the forest
out to sea,
to eat plankton.

Because we are alive,
we mothers continue to tend,
to nurture life,
to protect.
We know no other way.

Midst all the warring horror,
on a heating planet,
among the dying species,
small brown mothers everywhere
cling precariously to life
on the edge.

It is so courageous,
it stops my breath.


Murrelet chick


These tiny birds feed in the ocean, and fly up to 55 miles inland back to their nests.  They feed their chicks eight times a day. Their wings must get so tired! (I know mine are!) They are on the brink of extinction, with the disappearance of old growth. Only 7500 remain, according to Audubon.

for my prompt at Toads: On Wonder


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Hungry Dreams



1.
We gather round the table
to eat our rice and beans
while, in their caves, the wild brown bears
dream their hungry dreams.

The salmon all did not come home.
There's naught for bears and whales
and, all this winter, I am sure
we'll hear their hungry wails.

Some eat too much; others have none,
depending where you live.
But there's enough for every child
if richer countries give.

Mother Nature shakes her head,
sending typhoons and gales.
When will humans ever learn
survival's not for sale?

           *****



2.
My mother cooked everything
on the same black skillet for years.
It grew crusty, greasy and lumpy,
but in that pan she cooked up wonders:
French toast for my sister and me,
sometimes a steak for my father.
Bits of black sometimes
would be among the eggs;
we picked them out.

I remember that frypan
in the small hovel where we lived
the summer my father died:
food cooked on the oilstove
which was also our source of heat,
the silent meals around the table,
never being allowed
to speak the unspeakable,
the fights and beatings
that went on at night,
as I lay shivering in bed,
dreaming of peace.

I remember my mother, that summer,
never smiling, and then, her heartbreak
after my father died.
She took his fedora, clutched it to her chest,
and walked up and down the creek,
wailing.
She loved him.

Now I live alone in small rooms,
eating my rice and beans
in a peace that wraps around me,
like a cloak of Enough,
colouring all my memories
with gratitude and love
for the journey made.



For Susan's prompt at Midweek Motiff: The Food We Eat

The hungry bears are on my mind, as they enter winter without any fat on their bodies. And that black skillet brought back memories, too.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

STORM BOY





I have fallen in love with this movie, which so beautifully tells the story of a young boy who raises three orphaned pelicans in Australia..........I cried through the last half of the movie, because this is real life, and there are humans, and, where there are humans, there are hunters and heartbreak.

But there is also love and so much beauty. The pelicans and the young boy are all amazing. 

People I tell about it say they can't watch, because of the pain of a creature dying. It is hard on my heart to watch, too, as the suffering of animals bothers me more than anything else on earth. And the loss of a beloved animal companion triggers my own grief at being without my black wolf, also a wild creature who chose to stay with me rather than run free.

But the creatures have so much to teach us about living in the now and being grateful for the present moment. They do not live in fear. They live fully while they are here. And I tell myself, if they can live it, I can bear witness to the courage of their journey. And speak out when I am aware of their suffering.

There is a good environmental message in this film too, with a very positive ending. Because of the boy's friendship with the pelicans and a wonderful Aborigine, a bird sanctuary is proclaimed and millions of pelicans are allowed to live in peace. And, much later, his granddaughter will carry on the fight to preserve it. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

IN LOVE WITH WILD THINGS

Wild Wolf Woman 



I tried to hitch a ride on a silver shooting star
but I wasnt fast enough. I just couldn’t reach that far.
I’ve a heart that rides the seas and hikes across the forest floor.
My soul drinks in the peacefulness and asks for more and more.

I am in love with wild things, every critter, every bird.
There’s too much love to say it all. I just can’t find the words.
So I wrap my heart in wild grasses, and tie it with a bow.
I share it with the creatures I encounter as I go.

On Cloud Horses I gallop across the blue, blue sky,
my eyes all round with wonder at the beauty flying by.
My kitbag full of memories is packed right to the brim
with sunrises and sunsets, even though my eyes grow dim.

I time travel with shamans. With a wolfish friend I roam.
Here the wild things know my name, so my heart knows I am home.


for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: to write inspired by "Prairie In the Sky", by Mary McAslin. I love her poem, and tried to match the rhythm and meter as best I could.