Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Earth From Sky II

saw the earth
from the back of
a silver eagle,
looking down
on water
dotted with
blue and green,
tall mountain peaks
like a seer's
 most majestic dream.

From above,
she could see
almost as
far as God,
puffy perfect clouds 
in an infinity of sky,
a limitless horizon
utterly unflawed,
for man to
set his 
fondest aspirations by.

She flew so far
tall coastal mountains
changed to
desert hills,
brown and rounded,
dots of
tumbleweed and sage,
tall sandstone cliffs
lining the arroyo
which have
stood sentinel
for an age,
since a time,
she had
been told,
when this valley
was once
an ancient riverbed,
rushing waters
roaring through here
in bygone days of old.

between the earth and sky,
celestial sphere above,
patient, steadfast, enduring
earth below,
knows herself a
citizen who can
choose to
walk or fly,
denizen of
no place/every place
she has
as well as 
of the
spirit world,
all that remains

In the desert,
she sought the memory
of the young girl
she once had
in this
now so strangely
unfamiliar land
she was
nowhere to
be seen.
That girl  
now  lives
a world away,
and free,
within the
siren call
of the wild and
western sea.

When she
returned to earth,
long would she
the sight of earth
from sky,
distant and flawless
as an
untouched dream,
as if
nothing bad
could mar
a vision
of perfection
so beautiful
that so far
only God
has seen.

Spirit Bear of the Great Bear Rainforest

Hi kids,
The Spirit Bear or Kermode or moskgm'ol white bear lives in the spectacularly beautiful and wild northern coastal regions of B.C. Recently, the Nature Conservancy campaigned to protect this area. They succeeded in having five million acres of the Great Bear Rain Forest protected from logging. 19 million more are under strict land management guidelines, called ecosystem based management. (I wish EVERY place was under ecosystem based management.)

Aboriginal peoples attach great significance to the appearance of these white creatures, whether bears, buffalo calves, lions and others, believing they appear as a spiritual message to humankind to protect what is being destroyed. They believe  these creatures carry mystical, prophesied and vitally important messages, in an effort to wake us from our lethargy in the face of the destruction of the natural world.

We are living with the results of this lethargy now, and continue sleeping at our peril.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The White Lions of Timbavati

[photo by D Byrd, google images]

The white lions
of Timbavati
are wandering
through my dreams.

Sent by the Sun God,
their appearance prophesied
by shamans of old,
they are considered sacred,
the embodiment
of the link
between lion and man
from the days when
they shared caves,
and lion offered itself
to man to eat,
as a gift,
when otherwise
he would have

Murdering such
sacred beings is,
of course,
but when they appeared,
according to prophecy,
in the 1970's,
being rare,
they were hunted
almost to extinction.

In this way did
man repay
for the gift of
his survival,
so disconnected
have we become
from the deep
of man, beast and planet.

We turn from this
vital symbiosis
at our peril.

the white lions
of Timbavati
are all gone
and our souls,
even if we don't know it,
weep for their loss.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Earth from Sky

[image from flickr.com]

Hi Kids,
The flight was quite wonderful yesterday, the first leg taking only ten minutes to hop across Georgia Strait to Vancouver, the second leg taking about 45 minutes, down into the Okanagan with its brown hills and desert-like scenery.

From above, I looked down into the heart of a mountain range, tall snow-capped peaks, crevasses, canyons under the layer of clouds we were flying through. As we neared Penticton, I was happy to see bowls of rain water nestled in the crooks and crannies at the tops  of the rounded hills. It was reassuring to know that, at least at this time of year, the wildlife in the high mountains will have water to drink.

There are wild horses here, lots of deer, rabbits, mountain goats. And yesterday we actually saw a man walking his llama along the side of the road, like a giant dog.

Having a lovely relaxed visit with Jon and Zenny, who are treating me like royalty. I will post photos of my trip on return home. And hopefully come up with some new poems.

Tomorrow we will go visit my last remaining aunt and uncle, their grandchild and her new baby.

When I get home, the push will be on to accomplish my move at the end of June. Down sizing is the operative word and that will be a good divesting of Stuff I no longer need (if, in fact, I ever did).

Thanks for hanging in. Will be home Monday and back in the saddle again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wisdom Keepers

[image from groundframe.com]

The Wisdom Keepers
are guardians
of The Wild,
their ancient knowledge
passed on orally
since ever there was
man, woman 
and shaman.

Because mankind
has departed
so far from
The Way,
some of them
are now revealing
the truth
of what they know,
to lead us back
to the path
from which
we've strayed,
a better world
than the one
we've made.

Wherever they have been,
they have left behind
a trail of song,
and knowledge
of this ancient world
to which we all

I am off this morning, kids, to see the view from the top of the world. Like an astronaut I will look down on ocean, lakes and rivers, tall steepled mountains changing to round desert hills as the plane heads inland. My heart is full of wonder already, at the very thought of seeing this beauty from above. The earth's beauty always blisses me out, at the same time breaking my heart, at the thought of how Mother Nature is struggling because of the excesses of this last hundred years. However, today I will try to focus on the beauty -- remembering that the planet itself will endure, no matter what. It is mankind's future that remains in question.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I will report back on Monday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Box of Chocolates

They were married
over sixty years,
and she was in her nineties
when she told me,
"I always thought
he was in love
with his secretary."

I protested,
"But your marriage
was so wonderful!"

I didn't want it
to be true,
was fairly certain
it wasn't true.

But she
shook her head,
and continued.
"I looked in
his desk drawer
one Christmas.
It was the 30's
and we had
no money.
And there was
a box of chocolates
in the drawer.
They were for her.
I know he admired her.
She was
calm and professional,
well-dressed and
and at home
I was often angry,
struggling to manage
all those kids
and put food on the table."

They stayed together
to the end.
We looked to them
as a model
of what marriage
could be.
They were both
the very soul
of propriety.

But was he happy?
She made me
that day,
talking about
that box of chocolates.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


[image from google]

is packing
her kit bag
with gifts and necessities.
She is readying
her walking stick,
and calculating
how many
to carry along.

She has been
putting off
this trip
for too long:
too busy,
too many crises,
too tired.
But now
it is Time.

The plane
is on
the tarmac.
It is revving
its engines.
The windows
are ready
for cloud-gazing,
and for seeing
mountain ranges
from above,
and little tiny towns
small as a
 children's game.

Her eyes
are lifting up,
from the minutiae
of daily existence
to beyond
the horizon,
where vision
to the infinity
of possibilities
one life
can hold,
if we only
knew it
soon enough.

very soon,
she will be

Notes: I actually am making a quick trip by plane this coming weekend to see my son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Zenny, as well as my aunt and uncle. I havent flown since 1998 and, when I did, was transfixed by the sight of huge mountain ranges below, as beautiful as the Himalayas. I couldnt believe my fellow passengers were reading their newspapers, ho-hum. I could not take my eyes from the window.

So I am looking forward to that trip. But the words hold a double meaning, as my life is currently rearranging itself and creating change, as it seems to do every decade. I have felt the change coming, and have been readying myself for it. Change should bring more ease of spirit, as well as more time to write, and so I mean the flying analogy metaphorically, as well.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chloe ~ Baby Album

Here is my youngest, Stephanie, with her boy, Chase


and my newest grandbaby, Chloe.

This is The Middle Child, Sanchez, looking bummed because Chloe
has commandeered his bed and his stuffies. Not impressed:)

But he lets her use him for a pillow, anyway.

He's my brudda!

First time out in the big wide world.

First Sunday hike in the woods. Gord is bringing up the rear.

Legs are too little to keep up with the Big Guys.

Chloe's First Stick!

She appears to love dandelions!

I'm TIRED, Mom! Can we go home now?

The adorable Little Man Chase

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If God Was One of Us

[Downtown Vancouver's East Side
image from Google]

I saw this Carry On Tuesday prompt: If God were one of us, taken from Joan Osborne's song "One of Us", on a friend's site, and the words began to play in my mind.

If God was
one of us,
He would be walking
among the homeless
in Downtown's East Side,
handing out sandwiches
and blankets.

If He were
one of us,
he would be
ladling soup
into bowls
from gigantic pots
at the soup kitchen,
and when His shift
was finished,
he would take
leftovers to
men wasting away
from AIDS,
on single cots
in dingy, depressing
cheap hotel rooms
along East Hastings.

If God
were among us,
He would
visit the women's
transition house,
and tell
the young mothers
they deserve
a life of
not being beaten.
And He would tell
their children
that mommy
was going to be
all right and everything, now,
was going to be okay.

He would stop by
the children's ward
in the hospital
and rock the babies
born on crack
and make the pain
go away.
And He'd share
smiles and stories
with the children
battling cancer,
and He'd tell them
they were beautiful
even without their hair.

If God
were among us,
He would sing sweetly
into the ears of
the passed out addicts,
and remind them
life can have beauty,
song and worth,
if they want it
more than
the drugs,
and that He'll
help them
find the strength.

And He would
visit the schools
in the poorest
part of town
and tell the children
that any dream
they dream,
they can achieve,
if they work hard
and believe.
And he'd tell them
a little  boy
called Obama
did it
and they can
do it, too.

At the end
of His busy day,
He would sit
on a bench
in the sun, smiling
at all the people
passing by,
listening to
street musicians
share their gifts.
He'd throw a toonie
in their guitar case,
and then
amble on.

With His robes,
His sandals,
His long hair,
he'd draw glances:
complicity from
the "freaks" with their long hair,
"My brutha from anutha mutha"
they'd say
and they'd all put up
two fingers:
"Peace, brutha."

When He passed
the schizophrenic man
with filthy matted tangled hair,
horrible raggedy clothes
full of holes,
with his angry ranting-
the man people
cross the street
to avoid -
He would stop,
wait for him to
stop yelling,
then ask him what
he needs.
He might double back
to McDonald's
and bring him back
a Coke and fries.
A man can always use
a Coke and fries,
even if he's too angry
to know it.

It occurs to me
in all of these
that God actually IS
one of us -
any one of us -
who smiles
at someone who needs it,
or hands out sandwiches
and hope to the hopeless,
or shares a laugh
with a lonely dying man.
He is one of us
and in each of us,
any time we do
something kind
just for kindness' sake.

Free the Children

[image from freethechildren.com]

"If we are going to achieve true peace, it is going to have to begin with the children,"  says Craig Kielberger, co-founder, with his brother Marc, of Free the Children.

When Craig was twelve years old, he came across a newspaper article about a boy his age, a child labourer who had been murdered, and was profoundly impacted by the accident of birth which gave him a life of privilege and the other boy a life of hard labour and, ultimately, death.

Craig gathered together twelve of his friends and began the Free the Children movement. He started out by raising funds to build one well in a village in Africa. He traveled there to see the resulting well. That was just the beginning.

His movement soon went global and now does incredible work in the developing world, by empowering young people in North America to get involved, "be the change", and raise funds. Then it applies funds to the Adopt a Village movement, which empowers communities in the developing world to take part in breaking free of poverty. The results are tangible, on-the-ground change, with community members taking part in the transformation.

Craig Kielberger today
Marc Kielberger

Once a year Craig and Marc host a televised inspirational concert to fire up and inspire young people to believe they can make a difference. Craig has shown us, since age twelve,  what one person can do. He now co-directs a thriving international movement with weighty corporate sponsors. But it is to young people that he addresses his message: providing hope, inspiration and a concrete example of what can be achieved when people of good hearts care, and then put that caring into action on the ground.

Here is a quote from his book Free the Children, written when he was still a teenager:

Once past the gates and inside the high stone walls, it was as if the outside world had dropped away. Carved into a granite wall are Gandhi's words:

"Recall the face of the poorest and the most helpless man you have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he be able to gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj or self-rule for the hungry and also spiritually starved millions of our countrymen? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away."

With these words alone, (Craig writes), he had said so much. If the leaders of the world would only listen.

I walked slowly along one of the stone paths leading to the eternal flame that marked his cremation site. The black marble base was strewn with flowers, small tokens of the affection in which he is held. A true affection also lay in the hearts of people who could not afford flowers but who knew that the greatest leaders never forgot them - the poor and the helpless.

I remembered the flame later that day when at Kailash's house the family gathered around to offer their prayers.

Kailash put wood shavings and a scattering of herbs into a small metal bowl.

"It is not the fire we worship," he explained. "Fire is a symbol. All of us have a fire within us, but there is a need to ignite it. That fire will help to purify the mind, the heart, the soul."

He sprinkled water around the bowl. "Water is life; the earth is life. We must not waste water; we must not destroy the earth. The whole universe is one, and the creator of the universe is the one god who is almighty, who is merciful. We pray for wisdom and strength so that the entire world is like a family. And whatever we work through our hands should be sacred and good."

Then he struck a match to the contents of the bowl. The fire lit the darkness.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wild Woman on Karma

The Crone by Shadowolf

Wild Woman
began her life
with a small medicine bundle,
containing only
a feather and a pebble,
to ground her
somewhere between
the earth and sky.

As she lived her life,
this bundle grew heavy,
containing bits of
all of
the people
and the places
and the creatures
she had loved.

By now,
it is
stuffed to bursting
with Memory,
and Angst,
(angst for the
remembered moments,
amidst all the shining ones,
that mortify.)

she groans aloud
at those reflected
when she was
so much less
than what she
should have been.

Yet this is her bundle
to carry -
no way, now,
to toss
those pieces

She must carry it
with her
into the next world,
spend one more
burning off
her karmic debt
(as if this lifetime's
wasnt enough!)

She must live
enough times over
to reduce the debt
to that original feather
and pebble,
with which she
started out.

Weather Report

[image from google]

Icebergs are melting,
crumbling into the sea like
icecubes melting
in a simmering
pot of soup.

Polar bears
are swimming for
their supper
as the tundra steams.

Shores are flooding
as the rivers

Forest fires burn
whole towns
and cannot
be stopped.

Before summer
even begins,
crops dry up
where farms
have slowly turned
into deserts.

The planet is melting,
it's burning up,
and nothing changes.