Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Poet In Search of a Poem

When life has worn you into
an unthinking shell
without words
and you sit, blinking into space,
in a place of No Thought,
tap the lifeline
of poetry
that lifts your heart
out of its everyday concerns,
into the realm
of midnight moons
and hungry ghosts.

Look up into the raven sky
and chart the silver moon goddess
as she trails mystery
like a gossamer cloak
across the heavens.

remembers that life
is more than bread and worry,
that it is beauty and aliveness
and gilt-edged miracle.
It is the suspension of disbelief
and the fastening of one's heart
on Possibility
and Promise.

It is the lifting of one's eyes
above the "raveled sleeve of care"
to remember music,
the dance of language,
and the silver shining sea,
forever ebbing and flowing
upon a shore lined
with old growth,
and then fastening
one's heart
and vision
and belief
upon that.

For Susan's prompt at What's Going On - What IS it about poetry?  The quote is from Macbeth.

No Solace at Lost Shoe Lake


I looked for solace at Lost Shoe Lake,
vividly picturing that long-ago settler,
desperately slogging the muddy slough -
bitter as his shoe was suctioned
off his foot, and gone,
a catastrophe unlikely
but, alas for him,
too true.

I imagine his chagrin, thoughts
of the rocky miles ahead 
circling his brain like blackflies,
his journey
caught between disbelief
and dread.

No solace for him
for a hundred miles
at least.
No solace for me
as I walked the lonely shore,
without my beloved
big black beast.

Sunday, April 14, 2024



I imagined a gathering of magpies
in the tops of the alder grove,
as I sat in the sun,
breathing in the scent
of white cherry blossoms.

There was an outbreak of loud chattering, 
all bird voices speaking at once.
What manner of bird was this?
What new song were they
trying to sing? What alarm
sent their chatter into
such brief furore?

I imagined a murmuration,
a stupefaction, of small noisy birds.
As their voices crescendoed,
then subsided and grew still, I pondered
the brief raucous uproar. Perhaps
the loudest among them had won
the fattest worm. Perhaps an elder bird,
dignified in tophat and cane,
had fallen asleep
and toppled off his perch.

Hopefully, his bird-folk had caught 
and steadied him firmly
on the branch
just in time.

While there are magpies elsewhere in BC, they are not in evidence in Clayoquot Sound. But as this was all imaginary, as I rocked in the sun, I had a bit of fun contemplating what might have caused all the ruckus. I identified strongly with the senior bird, needless to say. Smiles.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Seeing Double


Brave Little Hunter
Photo by Zeballos Inn

How to hold this April morning,
on the West Coast of Canada
in my one human
overloaded brain?

The cherry trees in bloom,
rhododendrons opening their pink buds,
blue sky, the eternal waves,
beauty as far as I can see

while, elsewhere on the planet,
bombs fall, children hide among
the rubble. I fill my porridge bowl
while innocents starve

and the disconnect,
among those who govern
with power instead of humanity,
between their agendas and
the horrors of reality,

creates a two-level existence:
the one I am living
and the one I am all too aware of
across the globe.

one small orphaned whale
circles the lagoon in which
she is trapped
while humans take too long
to set her free.

Everywhere, the innocent are suffering,
our hearts too full of grief
to bear the pain.

for Sumana's prompt: April. 

It is a schizophrenic existence these days. April out my window is beautiful and blooming. On this side of the window is the daily news, horror upon horror, no enlightenment, no relief anywhere. And the small whale is still alive, but tenuously so, while rescuers contemplate their response. They are doing their best, but time is of the essence, as they know. The most hopeful plan is helicoptering her out into open ocean, and containing her in a net until her pod - hopefully - swims by, then releasing her. I would prefer them lifting her close by her pod and releasing her, but this has been ruled out. It will be traumatic for her, there is little doubt.

It has now been seventeen days since her mother died. She is diving for longer periods and still calls for her mother every fifteen minutes. We don't know if she is eating.

I am trying, with my entire will, to keep her alive until  rescuers can get her out of the lagoon and set her free. Surely we can get ONE thing right in a world that has apparently lost its collective mind. One small whale, alive, is not too much to ask.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Traveling Through Time


An armchair traveler she is now,
all the way back
to those soft sweet summers
at the very beginning
of time.

These days
all her running is done in reverse,
spooling backwards through 
the Land of Memory
to that wartime cottage,
seventy-three years gone,
flowerboxes at the windows,
wildflowers and weeping willow,
pinks, sweet peas
and hollyhocks
out back.
And roses twined over the arched trellis
out front, where she'd swing
on the gate, late afternoons,
waiting for her parents
to come.

One did not need valerian then;
the silence and peace indoors,
and the loud, ticking clock,
put that small child to sleep
through long hot midday hours.
She remembers well
how safe she felt,
and cherished, the comfort of
her grandma's big, womanly body
next to her in the bottom bunk
as she drifted off
to dreamland
in the one place on earth
where she was never afraid.

for Shay's Word List: Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Friday, April 5, 2024



The medicine of surrender is
giving up the idea of what might have been
and accepting what was, what is,
while leaving the door of the heart open,
with acceptance, for what might yet be.

It means recognizing,
possibly a little too late,
that while we thought
we were driving the boat,
instead, it was taking us on
a most unexpected journey,
one of surprise and amazement
at where we landed up,
yet knowing,
in the end, it is exactly where
we are meant to be.

The medicine of surrender
means weeding out what does not
serve our souls
and following our heart's true instinct,
which will inevitably return us
to our authentic selves,
and take us home.

Inspired by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer's The Medicine of Surrender.

To Be Dazzled

Deer at my sister's farm,
nibbling birdseed under the feeder

To be dazzled, said the old woman,
just look up at the sky, and watch it change,
hour by hour. Or gaze at the sea, dark blue-green
with white-foam caps 
on every wave.

To be dazzled, said the crow,
look in the dump for a toss-up of silvery,
shiny objects, too much wealth
for one small beak. Then choose,
and go home feeling rich and happy.

To be dazzled, said the fawn,
look into my mother's soft doe eyes,
so tender, as she bends her head low
to nibble new spring grass, and I bend mine up
to drink her warm, rich milk.

I happened on the prompt  from NaPoWriMo  at  Kim Russell's blog : how a trio of things would observe the same emotion. It was a fun exercise and I loved the prompt poem, The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip and the Dog, by Alicia Ostriker, as well as Kim's wonderful response.