Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sky Woman's People



In the long ago,
when the world was young,
Sky Woman fell to earth,
landing on the back of a turtle,
clutching seeds and dreams.

Her (and our) instructions:
to use her gifts for good.

The animals helped her
to make a world.
Plants made food
from seeds and light and water,
and gave it all away
that all might live.

The hole in the sky
through which Sky Woman fell
is still sending beams of light,
bathing we wayward humans,
in an effort to awaken
our remembering.

The light is urging us
to transform this world
back to its beginnings,
when plants, animals and sky
breathed us into the world,
and everything was one.

We are being asked
to remember:
we are all
Sky Woman's people.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United: Light. And shared with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.  This poem was inspired by legends of the indigenous people, handed down in oral tradition. I especially love the legend of Skywoman, arriving on Turtle Island.


Monday, May 20, 2019

SHAMBHALA WARRIORS IN THE NUCLEAR AGE



When all of life is threatened,
and barbarians are strutting through
the halls of power,
when our future survival
hangs by a thread,
it is said that is when
the Shambhala warriors 
will arrive.

They are bodhisattvas,
beings of peace.
You may not recognize them -
(or you might: 
check out Joe Kennedy III,
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
Emma Gonzalez and Greta Thunberg).

Armed with weapons
of compassion and insight,
courage and integrity,
they will dismantle 
the ways of death,
and lead us on a new path,
for the time has come
for a great Turning.

When you feel this earth grief 
we carry
is too much to bear, 
take heart.
It is because you care
that you are alive 
at just this moment,
to assist the transformation
from the patriarchal 
to the divine feminine.
Women are rising up everywhere.
They are planting trees and gardens,
cleaning streams and beaches,
standing guard to protect 
the sacred waters.
They are protecting life,
gathering together
to oppose the ways of war.

Women are wise in the ways
of growing things: 
food, animals, children.
We reject the ways of death.
Women understand that all things 
are connected.
We are each a strand in
the web of life.

Mother Earth is speaking to us, now,
with all of her voices. 
Let us hear her,
add our voices to hers, 
love this world
back together again.


A poem from 2017 I feel like sharing today, when the news is so bad it is hard to hold onto hope, or to think the warriors will hasten fast enough. 


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Homage



On the last night
at the end of the world,
as the ocean obliterated
the entire coastline, 
east and west,
she raised a glass of House red
in homage
to all
we might have been.



for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads: to use irony in a poem based on one or all of the New Yorker cartoons. I picked the first one but really, it could have been all three.


Friday, May 17, 2019

DEEP CREEK BY PAM HOUSTON






[An excerpt from the book Deep Creek, Finding Hope in the High Country, by Pam Houston]

How do I feel hope on a dying planet, and if there is no hope to be found, how do I live in its absence? In what state of being? Respect? Tenderness? Unmitigated love? The rich and sometimes deeply clarifying dreamscape of vast inconsolable grief?

….Even now, evidence of the earth’s ability to heal herself is all around us, a daily astonishment……This book has been an effort to write my way to understanding of how to be alive in the meantime, in the final days, if not of the earth, then at least of the earth as I’ve known her. Because it  has only been in knowing her that I’ve come to know myself.

…..I want to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief without having to diminish one to accommodate the other. I want to be honest with myself about our condition, but also to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive.

……..I want to sit vigil with the earth……I want to write unironic odes to her beauty, which is still potent, if not completely intact. The language of wilderness is the most beautiful language we have and it is our job tossing it, until and even after it is gone, no matter how much it hurts………

….the earth doesn’t know how not to be beautiful.

-Pam Houston

*******************


The author has written my feelings exactly, loving earth’s beauty with all of my being, at the same time being fully aware of how she is struggling, along with all of her systems and creatures, to survive our wanton plundering of her bounty, leaving her wild creatures homeless, starving and dying.

The pain is unbearable, and just as strong as my love for and appreciation of her beauty – beauty enough to break my heart, now that I can no longer live in the erroneous belief that her bounty is infinite.

I do know that she can heal and that, one day, there will be far fewer of us, and then, finally, she will. I hope the creatures come back a-plenty, and that future humans will have learned how to share this earth with all of the wild, and with each other. As it was intended to be. As it has always been with the indigenous people of the earth.



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Harvesting Hope



I planted green bulbs
that turned purple,
magically,
week by week.
They taught me
we often find
much more
than we seek.

I planted children
who turned into wizards
and  shapeshifters,
flying free.
They were changelings, 
but who changed the most,
back then,
was me.

I planted my footsteps
on a path leading Away,
my heart on a quest
for the place that would
make me
stay.

I planted a broken heart
by the seaside,
in the dune's soft slope.
All my life,
I have planted sorrow
and harvested hope.


for Toni's prompt at The Wednesday Muse: Garden Spot. Also sharing with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United on Sunday.

After reading Shay's amazing poem: Portrait , which has the lines "she planted" repeated, the last two lines of this poem popped into my head, and I went from there, with a nod of thanks to Shay. I love how one poem can spark another - the wonder of online poetry.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Best Picnic Ever



My grandkids and their friend ~ 
Happy days at the beach when they were young


“Life’s no picnic!”
I heard all through my childhood.
“What do you want? Jam on it?”
(asked with a smile and laughing eyes).

The older generation,
born of the Depression,
tried to keep our expectations low.

Imagine my surprise
when life turned out
to be the best picnic ever,
full of apple orchards,
waterfalls and rivers,
green leafy paths 
that I walked down,
head tipped back
and grinning at the sky.

All I have ever needed
was a packed lunch,
a camera, and a winding trail.
No bee stings on my picnics,
no ants or sand in the sandwiches.
Dogs. Hopefully always dogs.
Children digging in the sand
with Tomorrow in their eyes.
A picnic that snuck into Real Life
and stole my heart away.




Saturday, May 11, 2019

Walking the Grandmother Path

My Grandma, Florence "Floss" Marr

My Mother, Renee Marr Baker


All the way back,
all the mothers and grandmothers
in my family had strong backs:
for bearing children
in tents and covered wagons,
for pushing back raw wilderness
to make a home,
for digging in unyielding soil
to feed their children,
some of whom survived.

Some of them were healers.
Some of them were Celtic crones,
who spoke with ghosts.
One of them fled the potato famine
and found herself in the deep freeze
of a prairie winter.
One of them rode across the prairie
on horseback
in hobbled skirts.
She caught
my grandfather's eye.

A long line of grandmothers
walked the grandmother path
before she
who walked here
before me.

In my past are warrior women,
mystics and dreamweavers,
witches and nuns,
women sitting in Council
and governing.

Somewhere back there,
once women's spirits flew.
Somewhere back there
our souls clawed their way
out of bondage
and raised awakened eyes 
to the sky.

Now I walk
the grandmother path
in memory of the long line 
of strong women
who walked here before me,
and in honour of the long line 
of strong women
who will walk here after me,
in a passage of time that is timeless,
in a circle of love that is endless:
grandmother after grandmother,
footsteps walking in footsteps,
heart upon heart.

Wherever you come from,
a long line of strong women
survived the impossible
so that you might live.

Never forget,
"you come from the love
of thousands."