Saturday, December 9, 2017

Distressing to Animal Lovers: the Death March of a Starving Polar Bear

I bear witness
to your suffering.
I do not turn away,
though your dying
breaks my heart.

You are living
what humankind 
has wrought,
and we are not acting
fast enough
to make things right.

So I accompany you
on your slow death march.
I bear witness
to your suffering.
I do not turn away,
though your dying
breaks my heart.

The film crew said they filmed with tears rolling down their faces. There was nothing they could do to intervene. But they filmed in order to bear witness to the catastrophic effects of climate change on wild creatures. It is painful, uncomfortable. We wish we had not seen it. What we can do: 

*bear witness
*raise awareness
*reduce, re-use, recycle
*lower own own emissions
* contact our local, regional and 
national officials insisting  that laws 
need to be enacted NOW to 
address climate change.

It is the least we can do.


photographer Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Cheer

The stockings aren't hung.
It should be no surprise.
In today's economy,
Santa has to down-size.

The Walmart shoppers
have slowed to a trickle.
If you're not done by now,
you're in a real pickle.

Jeff slams in and out

to the front porch to smoke.
Jon groans: "Trying to sleep
in this house is a joke!"

In the living room, Steph and Gord,

tucked in their beds,
watch their dreams of a night's sleep
die in their heads.

Jeff's back! reaching for

the doorknob with glee.
Five dogs raise their heads:
"Oh, it's time to go pee!"

Walking dogs in the dark,

I fall in the ditch.
Sometimes this Christmas gig
can be a real b*tch!

Mother Hubbard arrives
to prepare the big feast.
How’ll she ever turn 
lentils and beans
to Roast Beast?

Old Dog thinks he’s died
and gone straight to Dog Hell,
and his owner suspects
she has gone there as well,

For sixteen humans 
are coming for dinner
and bringing eight dogs.
Someone’s a real winner!

I’m the old woman 
who lives in a shoe.
We’ll have to hang ‘em on pegs
or else go somewhere new.

Two hundred inches 
of rain falling down:
Here’s hoping Santa 
and his reindeer don’t drown.

I can make it 'til Christmas 
is over, I think,
especially if you pour me 
one more little drink ;)

LOL. This is a tongue-in-cheek look at coping with the holidays. 

It is based on an actual Christmas our family had some years back, when there were half as many dogs as people, and I still lived in my sweet little trailer in the country. It was the best Christmas ever!

I don't actually advocate alcohol as a coping mechanism. But one little glass to soften the edges can definitely help. Smiles.

Am sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United on Sunday. Do come and join us.

Me, Too

Noor Fadel with Jake Taylor,
who intervened in a Skytrain attack in Vancouver

He said,
"Go home to your country",
but this is my country.
He yelled, threatened me,
struck me,
tried to shove my head
in his crotch.
He tried to remove my hijab.
The other passengers
sat in silence.
No one helped
except one young man,
who stood between me 
and the attacker
and told him to leave.
My protector."

"What does it mean 
to be a Canadian?
It's not just by
how you look."

On December 6, on a Skytrain in Vancouver, B.C., an eighteen year old girl was threatened, struck and sexually assaulted by a 46 year old man, while a car full of passengers sat in silence. Only one young man came to stand between her and the assailant, after she was struck, telling him to "get the f off". Thankfully, Noor was able to take photos with her phone and the man was apprehended, arrested and charged. As appalling to me as the assault is the car full of people sitting in silence. "It is a dangerous world for a girl child in a world of men," says Alice Walker in The Color Purple. I am proud of the young man who intervened. Good for him.

for my prompt at Real Toads: Me, too, the Silence Breakers. So many stories. So much darkness. But thankfully, also a lot of light.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Message to a Young Warrior Woman

I know the journey
you are making, 
my young friend,
for I, too, have walked
pain's pathway.
Know this: the route
will make you strong.
As you grow, 
your warrior woman
will arise.
(She is waking now.)
Your inner fire 
has been dampened,
but not extinguished,
by those unable to see
who you are.
One day, little bird,
you will fly.

Right now you are at 
the end of the branch,
contemplating the sky,
wondering what soaring 
might feel like.

Gather the air 
under your wings, 
little bird,
and, when you feel ready, 
lift off,
trusting the sky
to carry you.

But always remember:
the longest journey that
we ever make
is the one between
our heads
and our hearts.

***   ***   ***

"Me, too," I wrote on facebook,
recalling a cold and painful past.
"Me, too," wrote both my daughters,
able to speak of it at last.
"Me, too,"  added my granddaughter,
girl of fire and storm.
"Me, too," is now a sisterhood,
a planet to transform.

***   ***   ***

A wise medicine man once said to me: "Your greatest pain is your strongest medicine". And he was right. For my prompt at Real Toads: to write about women, in response to the "Me, too" movement.

In the Land of Delusion, the Narcissist is King

The narcissus turn brown
and fall off their stalks
when he enters the room,
for he takes up all the air.
His pronouncements waft forth
with no reasoning, affecting nations.
He doesn't bother his head
with the fallout.

He would scrape the faces 
off monuments,
replacing them with his own.
There is no soul in his eyes,
only Self,
and delusion.

How much longer must 
a country bear
a demented emperor?

Where is the child
- or legislator,
or Congressman -
who will say:
He has no clothes?
no substance?
no heart?

Ha. Didnt have to look far for a narcissist, sadly. For Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Narcissus / Narcissism. Gah!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunsets of December

All summer I bemoaned not getting to sunsets because I went to bed earlier than the sun did. Now that it is conveniently setting at 4:30, I managed to get there last night, and this is the result........we are having a week of sun, so there will be one every night this week. I wont get to all of them, but definitely will see one or two. Yippee!

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Expansive Mother Sky,
in all your greys and blues,
your hazy autumn hues,
you hold my heart
the way the rugged maple
holds the twiggy nest
in which sits a wee brown bird,
serene, and softly singing.


Small bird,
with your sweetness
you are
the bodhisattva
of my morning.
you awaken me
to the plight of all beings.


who own only feathers,
are far happier 
than we.
Teach us your song.


One from 2015, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at  Poets  United,  where you will find fine reading every Sunday morning.