Monday, February 28, 2011

Forever Responsible

[image from]

[written for a prompt from Real Toads :
a quote from The Little Prince, as quoted below]

In the Old Ways,
they believed
that every choice,
every decision,
every taking of
the earth's resources,
or reverent consumption
of a wild animal,
had to be
for each decision
their children
and their children's children,
unto the seventh

talking heads,
suits in executive boardrooms
across the planet,
fat cats,
and slimy
make decisions
based on
their Bottom Line
(which is money,
always and only
"As long as
I get mine, Jack,
I don't really care
about you."

The multinationals 
are raping and pillaging
the planet
as fast as
is humanly possible.
As fast as
the gaping maws
of monster-machines
can grapple
the living trees
off the sides
of mountains,
and truck them
Somewhere Else,
as fast as
driftnets can
stuff themselves
with a mile or so
at a time 
of the ocean's store,
like giant vacuums
across the
ocean's floor,
as fast as
huge tracts
of wilderness
can be burned,
the machines,
the trucks,
the boats,
keep on coming,
and taking away
that humans
most dear.

Wave goodbye:
to every good
and beautiful thing
this earth gave us.
To such

They are
trying to
Get Theirs
global consciousness
- or Mother Earth
Herself -
the breaking point,
and rises up
to stop
the slaughter
of the earth's resources,
its wild places,
its wildlife,
its very lungs
(the vanishing forests
the air we breathe).

the surface
of the earth
is heating up.
the polar ice caps
swiftly melting.
whales are dying
along the coast;
in the forests
and jungles
this ravaged
species are disappearing
faster in
the last fifty years
than has ever
happened before
in recorded history.

The CEO's
may be in denial
this will ever
affect them.

And maybe
it won't.

But it will
their great-grandchildren,
and those children's

it will also
yours and mine,
and every feathered
and furry beast
that shares
this planet
with us
and our
exponential greed.

"You become
responsible, forever,
for what you have tamed*."

*quote from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding Home

[image from]

Are you out
in the forest
for a path,
high and low
the trees ?
Are you frightened
by the wild wind
howling through
the branches,
and the low moan
it makes
just before
a tall pine
crashes to
the forest floor?

Are you wondering
if you'll
lose your way
when darkness

Come home.
Come home.
I'll leave
a lighted candle
in the window,
to guide your way.
Watch for
its glow
and, by its radiance,
make your
slow way
to yourself,
once again.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peace Within

[image from]

In the middle
worldly warfare,
in the middle
created and imagined
in the middle
other peoples'
in the middle
temporary strife,
in the middle
all the noise,
all the jangle,
all the dis-ease,
all the
in the middle
it all:
Deep breath.
Just breathe.

In the middle
it all:
Peace within.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lemonade, Anyone?


For the Poets United prompt: lemons

Life has been
at bringing me
(I've driven
a few of them;
I divorced
 I have
very darned good
at making

photo by Stephanie M.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Winter Beach

When you are
in love with place,
the winds
blow love your way.
Every day
begins and ends
with pure
The white, soft sand
the bottoms
of your feet,
and the dune grass
burns golden
in the amber light
just before dark,
when the sun
goes down.
Your heart
takes flight
on every
eagle's wing,
when you are
in love with place,
and it knows
your name.

My first wordle - 15 words used out of 30.

Another Day on Planet Earth

[Daughter-in-law Zenny, Jon's wife,  with my son Jeff
in Cathedral Grove outside of Port. Photo by Jon Merk]

Hi kids,
Walking Miss Jasmine this morning, I could hear:
a sleepy rooster,
the gobble-cry of a raven,
junkos at the feeder,
the piercing scold of a bluejay,
a flock of Canada geese
honking their way past.

The horse whickered as I went by - wondering if I might have a stray carrot or two.

The few houses on the street were all quiet and sleepy, people just stirring about getting their morning tea. I headed straight for the kettle when we got back in. Iso love mornings.

The cars, of course, were zooming along Beaver Creek, in a big rush to grab coffee on the way to work.

I am going to Faiza's this morning. Her support hours have been cut, due to government assessment of what this 80 year old, exhausted, sole caregiver (who has mobility issues of her own) for her barely-mobile husband requires in the way of help. So frustrating. I likely will wind up doing the same amount, because she requires it, but for half the pay. Meanwhile the "Home Support" people come three times daily, for a very much higher hourly rate, to take a prepared bowl of soup out of the fridge, nuke it, and give it to Bill. They are "not allowed" to clean anything - that's what I'm for.

Bureaucracy is as unhelpful and as far removed from the problems on the ground as ever.

Jasmine slipped and went down on her injured leg a week ago and did some damage. The vet thinks it is just severe inflammation, but I suspect perhaps she may stay lame, as this time it isnt responding to rest and anti-inflammatories. Poor girl has been so patient through her boring recovery. Surgery was in November and we are still in early stage recovery. (Hey, I sound like AA!)

I am doing better in my grieving over Pup. His death really shook me. But I suspect it was more than his death. He was so tied into my wilderness heart and our years in Tofino, that it reawakened my grief over losing that place. I never really allowed myself to grieve it at the time. Grief has a way of catching up with us. And there have been a lot of losses in my life, as in most peoples' lives.

I still have my moments, and sometimes get blind-sided for an hour or an afternoon. But I am  feeling stronger. It is all part of the deal - love hurts, but we cant say no to it when it comes. Especially when it comes in the form of a wild little wolf puppy with a very huge spirit!

[Zenny at Lake Louise outside of Banff. Photo by Jon Merk]

My adorable daughter-in-law Zenny is arriving tonight for a visit. I am excited! We are going to have some serious Chick time. And we will go to the beach. She lives inland now and longs for the ocean as I do. One beach walk in the near future will do a lot to set my soul right.

One more day alive on planet earth - each day a gift, whatever it brings. Now that time is more finite, I know just how precious each day is.

Enjoy this Wednesday, my friends!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


[image from]

Night sky
celestial firmament
a million
through millennia
like me,
each of us
looking up
your mystery,
your beauty,
the everness
of time.....

Recalled to Life

[image from]

Written for the prompt: Recalled to Life

In childhood,
gentle heart
shattered by violence
and drunkeness,
into numbness,
making my way

certainly at risk
of making
a too-soon marriage
to escape,
to create
a home.

was a cage
so small,
it took
a jackhammer
and sheer
to blow
my way out.

my spirit
had time to rise,
a vulture arrived,
and I was
his prey.

This time,
my heart
into the
frozen wasteland
of a Siberian
No one
 - but no one -
other than
my kids
was going to
get back in.

Then, one day
in summer,
I walked in the door
of a coffeehouse
full of gentle folk,
beings who
on the earth,
whom I had known
were out there
for whom
I had been
for so long.

I knew
right away
that I was home.
But it took some time
to relearn trust.

I read The Desiderata,
as I read the words:
"You are a child
of the universe.
No less than the moon
and the stars,
you have
a right
to be here."
I had not
known that.

The gentle, loving people
 accepted me.
They gave me space
just to be.
They did not
They let me
feel safe.
In the warmth
of their sunlight,
the wasteland
began to melt.
My petals
rather painfully,
to unfurl.
I began
to grow,
and then,
in time,
to glow.
My life-song
to sing
had arrived,
and dreams,
and so much

From the sad
painful past,
from abuse,
and betrayal,
from the imprisonment
of my spirit
to full and
glorious flight,
I was,
from that time forward,
recalled to life.

In some other life.......

[image from]

In some other life,
I've been a Buddhist,
meditating in a stone shelter
high on the
sheer rock face
of the Himalayas.
I know this,
my heart is pulled

I feel
I must
 have lived
in an ashram
in India,
all the colors
of the market,
and the joy
in peoples' eyes,
my face
in the Ganges,
my loved one
at the water's edge.

Far back,
my wolf woman wisdom
tells me,
I was
burned at the stake
as a witch,
for my woman's
and men's fear
of my powers.

In a thatched hut
on the African velde,
I raised
dark-eyed children,
and communed
with a wise old
who kept
my secrets.

in waking dream,
I had a vision
row upon row
of blanket-wrapped
dead-eyed women,
weaving through
the bitter cold
of a Gulag
I can still
see them,
in my mind's eye,
and remember the chill
with which
I knew
I had been there.

If we believe
we might sometime
have been
both the abused animal
and the abuser,
the beaten child
and the batterer,
the mother,
the daughter,
the father,
the son,
then our hearts
can begin
to understand
we all are capable
of loving,
of harming,
of being
both oppressor

this way,
we can
with compassion,
with brotherhood,
with sisterhood.
Maybe then
we'll understand,
on this planetary home,
we're all
under the skin.
We are
all kin.

Who's Awesome?? YOU are!

[image from the internet]

When I started this blog, at the encouragement of a friend and fellow poet,
I had four followers: my friend, and a couple of family members.
To my amazement, I now see I have 94 followers.
It absolutely knocks me out that
people all over this old planet are reading my words,
and leaving me lovely heartwarming comments.
I just wanted to say:
you make me happy!
Thank you so much!
You are awesome,
and I appreciate
each and every one of you.

In Some Parallel Universe.........

[photo by Stephanie M.]

In some parallel universe,
I am living in
a small one-room
rough cedar cabin
at the edge of the sea,
sitting blissfully
on the porch
in the sun,
drinking tea,
and being lulled
by the lovely
of the waves
and the call of the gulls

instead of...........
what I'm doing

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dreaming of the Himalayas

[images from]

Last night I watched the most remarkable documentary, about a team of people with serious disabilities - five in wheelchairs, other challenges, including a man a prosthetic leg - who, with a team of  Sherpas and support people, trekked for 21 days through the Himalayas. It is called Team Everest, A Himalayan Journey. There is spectacular footage of the beauty of that harsh and rugged landscape. It was wonderful to watch, as a part of my heart belongs in the Himalayas. (With my karma, I expect I'd be one of the Sherpas, carrying a body larger than my own up a steep cliff, hee hee! I so relate!)


The people with disabilities made the trek to fulfil their dreams, and to prove that their disabilities could not prevent them from reaching the heights: "No limits!" I was amazed as I watched their journey. They endured  the most difficult circumstances any human being can encounter, life-threatening for trekkers in sound physical condition. And they achieved their goal, being the largest group of people with disabilities to reach Mount Everest Base Camp.

But it was the Sherpas whom I saw to be the real heroes, for they pushed, pulled and dragged the trekkers, and often carried them on their backs, for the entire expedition. I watched in astonishment as a small Sherpa bent his back, while on the woven basket  attached to his forehead, a heavy North American body, sometimes still in his wheelchair, was loaded onto him. He would carry the person for about twenty minutes, and then another Sherpa would take his place.

The terrain was rough, rocky and difficult, even in the villages they passed through. Not one inch of the journey was easy. Often there was slippery oozing mud, sometimes ice. And, always, the next footstep was onto rough, unstable and shifting terrain where at any moment any one of them might fall onto hard rock or even over the edge of a precipice, and vanish forever.

It is one of the most incredible journeys I have ever witnessed. I cannot imagine it. My favorite scene is at the end, when the group reaches base camp, against all odds, and the Sherpas joyously break into song and dance inside the communal tent.

Human beings are amazing creatures. This journey certainly made walking through a Canadian winter, in my comfy trailer, with heat, running water, and comfort at every turn, feel like a walk in the park:)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blast from the Past

[One Stop Poetry has posted a fun prompt: to go back to the beginning and post our earliest poems.
I started writing poetry in 1960, at age 14. The words poured through me like I was doing automatic writing. I have no idea where they came from, but they poured forth like a fountain, and were as angst-ridden as most teen poetry is. I often wrote feverishly through class, and the teachers overlooked my inattention, since I seemed unable to stop. Here are two poems from 1961, when I was 15.]

We walk in half-steps.
Let my kindred spirit
(submerged within
the masked
and groping present)
Grasp hands; as giants fleeing
before the wind,
Let us find Truth:
the depth of life's
real beauty;
Or wander into spring
on trembling willow-whispers;
Or waft with summer's
mellow tranquillity.
Let us claim stark beauty
unadorned: a naked tree
Pointing a time-bent bough,
a rain-wet street and,
After dark, a haunting melody
that softly fades
And dies away.

***      ****       ***      ****     ***
The dusk offers its sacrifice
to the gods
of the turbulent fountains.
A faint star gleams.
A token dream
sings through
the misty mountains.
The clouds part:
Dusk presents its face-
day's grim reward for dying.
A whisper echoes
o'er green meadows:
tear-stained peace
which follows crying.
The melancholy theme
of night begins
its song of sadness.
A memory rides
on wings of might
in a breeze's burlesque;
the madness
of untended,
searing pain
a yearning
in the breast,
and the heart requites
love's bitt'rest thoughts
in wild unrest.
A shadow falls.
Dusk's gray defeat
of day deserts
to Night
with its parade
of haunted dreams,
before the sight.



One needs
the inspiration
the transcendant
of flight,
to elevate
the spirit
on this old

Friday, February 18, 2011

Consider the lily

[image from google - the lily-of-the-valley is the kind of lily I see most often in my part of the world]
The prompt at Poets United Thursday Think Tank yesterday was "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow". Yesterday we had a snowstorm, and today the earth is encrusted in ice. So this is what came through :

I consider the lily:
deep underground,
with a small pick-axe,
She is 
trying to
chip away at
the frozen hardpan
grumbling about 
the sheer impossibility
of ever emerging
from this
icy tunnel,
where the ground
will not yield,
where nothing
her passage
into the sun.

I identify.
Late winter
can feel like this,
to a lily,
to a hungry crow,
to a tired human
afraid to open
the oil bill.

Like the lily,
we all await
just a little
"give" in the earth,
so we can
get some purchase on
our passage,
one more time
the frozen hardpan
and into
the light and warmth
of one more spring.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yard Dog

You were a wild
wolf puppy,
gamboling along
the beach
in your early years,
free and joyous,
a wild creature
under the sun.

in your middle years,
away from
the wild places
we loved,
we daily sought
the river
and the tamer
forest trails,
your ears and nose
for critters
in the bush.

Every afternoon,
your nose
would follow
the rich smells
of the forest floor,
and you would bathe
in river, creek or lake,
one with the wild
in shorter increments,
that allowed us
to survive
our incarceration.

In your elder years,
as your legs
and back gave out,
our walks
were fewer
and shorter
but you lived for
those times,
at lake and river,
times when
the old wild light
came back into
your eyes.

In your huge
wild yard,
you reigned
You ruled
the street,
lying up
by the fence,
where you
could mark
all passings
of car, or dog,
or horse
with your
loud imperious
Who passes
my territory?

Your yard
has been
so empty
without you.
I look at it,
and am bereft.

But just lately,
has been
acting excited,
all along
the fence,
poking her nose
through the slats,
wagging her tail,
as she did
when you
touched noses
in the final days
before your death.

And I am
are you back?
Did your spirit
come home
to the only home
you knew?

I had pictured you
free and joyous
once again
along the beach.
But your spirit
and mine
were so
strongly linked,
it makes sense
that you'd
come home
to be
with me,
in your yard,
where you
reigned supreme
and were
king of the street,
Spirit Dog,
my defender,
Wolf Pup,
in my heart.