Friday, August 31, 2012

Trip to the Arctic

Kids, this is a total treat for your eyes and senses. It was sent to me some time ago by Bren (Daydreamertoo), and when Hannah over at Real Toads set us the challenge to speak from the point of view of a denizen of the northern tundra, as part of her Transforming Fridays series, this video popped up in my memory.

It is a few minutes long, but the photographs are among the most stunning I have ever seen, revealing the beauty of this distant land that most of us will never see. Pour a cup of tea, sit back and plunge for a few moments into another very beautiful world. There are shots of a polar bear befriending a chained up Husky (!!!), and the northern lights are astounding and mystical. A most fascinating video, just stunning. Enjoy. My words will be a far cry from what you will see on your screen - the photos are truly the best poem anyone could write about this part of the world. They are identified as being of Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

I spent one winter in the north, not quite the Arctic, but close. Pup loved it, old wolf that he was......he would bury himself in the snow, photo below, just his eyes peering out, and he never wanted to come inside. I had to force him in, I always worried he would be cold! We would go to bed at night and in the morning discover so much snow had fallen overnight that it came halfway up even the second-story doorway. We would literally have to dig our way out.

Farther north is the tundra :  beautiful and austere, where life is stripped down to the essentials.

Land of snow, ice
and pristine beauty,
life is about survival here,
battling the elements,
the bitter cold, 
the dangers
of crossing ice and
melting tundra.

Yet it is also a land
of awesome 
and untouched beauty,
primordial, pristine and predatory,
far from the world
of man-made chaos, 
politics, Talking Heads,
 and war.

Here, we live interdependently,
human and dog,
reindeer and fish
and bear,
under the same
big sky.
Here, our souls expand
under a limitless horizon.

Here, the mystical and the magical
are close and wondrous,
 where life and death
walk hand in hand,
through a white 
and untouched landscape,
colored by the Northern Lights,
silent and spectacularly
a land
carved in ice.

Pup, up north
this was taken  out of the second-story doorway-
one night's snowfall!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Recipe for Life

google image

Take one world.
Add a little warmth,
aerate well.
Mix in lots 
of trees and water.

Populate with kindness.
Knead with love.
Watch closely 
as it comes together.

Dissolve into the wonder.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wolf Howls In My Heart

image by

In the 
of my mind
is a wolf howl.
of my heart
the wolf.

Mama Zen has ably challenged us, with Words Count With Mama Zen over at Real Toads, to write in 25 words or less, a power image we seem to use repeatedly in our writing. Well, of course, there is only one response, for me, to no one's surprise. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alive on Planet Earth

 photo by

Dear Mother Earth,
when the Westerly blows
clouds scudding across the sky,
and the waves crash thunderously
upon the shore,
when the morning fog
blankets the sides of Mears,
jaggedy treetops poking through
to make me catch my breath
in wonder,
while the morning fishboats
putt-putt-putt across the harbor,
and the bell tinkles
over the door of the Common Loaf,
all the faces turning to see who just came in,
wet rain-gear sloughed off and steaming
in the warm, bread-scented air,
when the eagle cries atop
his favorite scrag,
and ravens pace around the picnic tables,
hoping for dropped scraps,
when dogs lollop in and out of the waves
with loopy grins,
and surfers stand to ride, and fall, and rise again,
when I turn in a circle
and see pristine and primordial beauty
for 360 degrees,

when the morning sun breaks
over Lemmens Inlet,
and the jellyfish wake in God's Pocket,
when the seabirds' cries are muted 
by the roar of the surf,
and they sit facing seaward in a huddle,
predicting storm,
when the young ones ride the stream-bed on the tide,
fly ahead, ride the current back again,
because birds just want to have fun,

when sunset paints the entire sky
with colors too fantastic to describe,
after the big fiery old orb has vanished 
behind the far horizon,
as little sanderlings weave and dart
along the shore as one body,
and the sonorous back and forth,
ebbing and flowing,
of the waves' ceaseless advancing  
and retreating
sings us home,

when the wind howls up a tempest
that batters every living thing,
and we hide indoors, 
awed by her strength and fury,
wood-stove crackling,
and snug and well-content,

when just being alive and breathing 
in this blessed sacred forever place
seems more bountiful
than a wagon-load of gold bouillon
and I more richly blessed,
there is no Thank You big enough
or sufficient words
to tell you
how dearly I cherish your beauty,
the sheer awesome 
interconnected wonder of you,
how grateful I am
to have walked this earth walk 
with you, your song in my heart,
and how incomparable a lover
you have always been to me.

photo by Garth Lenz at

Mary's prompt at Poetry Jam today is to write a letter, a fading art, now that we are all so computerized. I wrote thousands of letters during my lifetime, most of them tapped out at great speed on an old Underwood, with much use of correcting tape and liquid paper......even after I lost two keys and had to go back and insert the missing letters by hand, still daily I sent letters off in every direction. Would be great to read some of them now.

I remember my Grandma's letters, also typed, and hilarious - she ran her sentences into one another, each letter one long ongoing sentence, pure stream of consciousness, leaving off in the middle of a random thought that ran off the bottom of the page.....I would LOVE to have some of those right now. In fact somewhere in the basement Lori has a couple of those precious letters. We must dig them out and I'll share. They are priceless.

I remember a letter from Ireland that Grandma got a huge kick out of...possibly in the scrapbook........I'll take a look for it.

Anyway, I decided to write to my life-long lover, Mother Earth. She has lifted my heart and my eyes to the skies all my life, given me succor and many millions of moments of incredibly spectacular beauty. The best of those during my years in Clayoquot Sound.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Live Your Dream

A pond past the Summit on the way to Tofino

there is a still pool
full of wisdom.
Sit by it,
and listen.

Drink from it,
to water all your 
hopes and longings.

Breathe the 
gift of air
blessing you
from the trees.

Feel all
that you have 
always known
without knowing,
coming ever closer,
the connection to
all of life,
growing ever deeper.

Live the dream
that you were born
to dream.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness

The other night I watched this documentary "about human beings at their best". It begins with the following quote , and documents travel around the world to find the earth's happiest people. Not surprisingly, the happiest people are indigenous folks, living at a level of sheer survival,  but with close ties to family and community. The unhappiest? The developed nations, with their excess, who never seem to have "Enough" to satisfy their cravings.

The Constitution guarantees the American people 
the right to pursue happiness. 
You have to catch it yourself.

Benjamin Franklin

The documentary suggests committing acts of kindness 
has proven to raise one's happiness quotient exponentially, 
and advises: 
Spend time with friends and family. 
Connect to your community. 
Be Happy.

Good advice.

image from google, photobucket, various sources

Monks definitely know how to be happy!!!!!!!!!
Happy Sunday, kids!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Messages from Water

Beautiful photo by Jaime Clark

Kerry at Real Toads has set us a mini-challenge this weekend, to use one of her daughter Jaime's beautiful macro-photos as inspiration for a shadorma : 
six lines with syllable counts of  3-5-3-3-7-5.

I have long been interested in the books and experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto, explained in his book Hidden Messages In Water. His hypothesis is that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water crystals. His photographs show the changing structure of the crystals, when various types of moods, words, pictures or music are intentionally directed at them. Fascinating, and rather mind-blowing. (Example below.)

The tale of
the world, of all life,
is contained
in this drop.
In messages from water
lie stories of man.

White Knights, Blue Skies and Questing Hearts: the sequel

Don Quixote by Farbricio Moraes at

Fireblossom Friday's prompt at Real Toads is to write a love story. Pardon me while I cackle. It is the only appropriate response, when I look back  at the dismal history of Love Stories in my past. 

She had a Mr Magoo kind of heart,
perched unknowingly on treacherous ledges,
about to leap off into the unknown
without a net,
her heart all hopeful and trusting.

She had her eyes wide shut
to the hidden dangers
lurking behind those 
shark-toothed smiles,
that soon  turned into
bored, dismissive faces
once the quest was won.

He was addicted to beginnings,
the thrill of the chase,
wooing words and promises,
and all manner of practiced fol-de-rol,
while, in the background, he
"kept his options open,"
wooing  two other girls
at the same time.

She wanted to believe the words,
but her gut told her
she had stepped off solid ground.
Floundering and confused,
she tried to make sense
of the nonsense, took too long
to walk away,
which she should have done,
about five minutes after "Hello".

living in his own B-grade movie,
a flustered Don Quixote
hoist by his own petard,
he parried,
trying to appear as high-minded
as his foundation-less self-image:

"I'm confused.
I just need time.
I have to Be True to my Self.
I'm going to see Her,
but I think of you
with every breath,
see your face
with every prayer."

No worries.
When at last she pierced 
the web of lies,
jerking her head away
from his attempted kiss,
("Who are you?" she asked,
in disgust,
just before she drove away),
he paid for his deceit
by having to remain himself
for the rest of his life.

She won out.
She got to carry with her 
her own true honest heart,
and she lived very well
forever after,
with that.

Sorry, kids, it's the best I could come up with, wry and jaded as it is :-) I tried for humorous, though, God knows I tried!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We'll Meet Again

We'll meet again, one day, I know,
at the edge of the cosmic sea.
Those eyes that watched my every move
will shine once more on me.

You will run to me, for I cannot;
your joy will fill my heart
that has missed you all of every day
that we have been apart.

I knew the parting would be hard,
and oh, how much I've cried
over walking through this world 
without you by my side.

Fourteen years with you
and perhaps some fourteen more,
before we meet again
on some far distant shore.

But then we will be joyous
and our two hearts will set sail,
share sunsets by the sea again,
we'll wander every trail.

I see you far off in the distance,
see you waiting there for me.
As I keep moving through this world,
stay waiting. Blessed Be.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wild Woman Grabs a Brain

Ella of Ella's Edge, has posted a prompt about Salvador Dali at Poets United's Thursday Think Tank. We can write to any of his images, but what jumped out at me was the description of Dali's paranoic-critical method, "a surrealistic technique which involves optical illusions and multiple images". That sounds like the inside of my brain, most days, so I decided to have a little fun with it. * photo from Wikipedia*

There is a little man 
with a black moustache 
sitting on
Wild Woman's shoulder.
He mutters critical messages
in unceasing stream-of-consciousness,
as she totters gamely about,
swatting at him 
as if he were an annoying fly.

You're STOO-pid, stupid, stupid!"
he mutters, as he slaps his forehead.
"Remember the time you....?
Where was your BRAIN??!!"

Wild Woman feels
the remembered embarrassment,
the sting of the moment,
all over again,
before she pulls herself together
and Moves On.
She  is smiling
but, at times, rather grimly,
in the face of this
constant barrage of memory.
Why must a life review hit upon 
all the embarrassing moments,
and skim over all the Relatively Okay
or even Resplendent ones?

She moves him over
to her other shoulder,
beside the deaf ear.
She can still hear him,
but softer.
If she gets very busy,
she can pretend he is whispering
sweet nothings into her ear,
but when things quiet,
there he is again,
sybillant, persistent, unforgiving.
"And then you.......OH! MY! GOD!...."
and she feels the chagrin again,
at having been such
a lacking individual for so long.

But then she remembers.
She was once married 
to someone like this,
and she showed him the door.
She straightens her shoulders.
"Look, kiddo, I've done the crime, yes, 
but I've also done the time,
and it is Over."
She boots him out on his ear, 
still muttering feverishly,
and readies her shoulder.
She is putting out tenders
to fill the position
with a kind, wise crone,
who will never use
the word Stupid,
who understands about Evolution,
and who will filter out the self-talk
with lovely floating images of
bunnies and deer frolicking in the forest.

Problem Solved.

The End.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blue Sky Journey

Big Sky Road by Ella 

At Real Toads, today,   the prompt by Ella of Ella's Edge is multi-faceted. Ella describes an art process, using a product called CitraSolv,  that results in some stunning images, like the one above. We are to pick one and write to it. Ella also talks about  Indian  Spiritwalkers, those who walk with spirits to receive wisdom and guidance to take back and share with their people. This appealed to me very much, as did Ella's painting, entitled  Big Sky Road.

There goes Wild Woman,
head tilted back, and grinning
at the sky.
She's listening
as the windward voices cry.
She's trying to decode
messages in the clouds.
She knows
that there are spirits
passing by.

She hears Wind Woman singing
from the hills.
At summer's end,
the Westerly blows chill.
She packs her heart
with memories
and friends,
writes love letters 
to the world
she'll never need to send.

It has been a Blue Sky Journey
home, my friends.
Sun and trees and sky-
their beauty never ends.
Spirit whispers to us
in our sleep,
makes promises
we travel far to keep.

Look up! Look up! 
Don't miss one moment more!
There's a Sky-Show
in the heavens passing by.
Keep looking up;
let's never cease
our striving
to keep our vision
bigger than the sky.

Thank You, My Friends


Like a parched blade 
of burnt summer grass
inhales the dew of
light morning rain,
so does my soul
tiptoe onto this page,
in gratitude,
to take replenishment
from the words
written here
by you,
my friends.

Thank you.

* image from google:

Kids, summer has been way too busy, and I am barely managing online, running along behind the pack, short of breath and stumbling.... I want to thank each one of you for your visits, your comments, your support and encouragement, not just this week, but every week. I so appreciate each of you, and bless you for keeping me writing, and wanting to write. That is a wonderful gift that your words give me: the motivation to Keep On Writing.

I will get around to you as best I can, and am hoping the pace slows in the fall. 
Thanks, kids, for your patience.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Heart Gently Weeps

image from

The images from those times
flicker across the screen:
evolution, liberation, 
we were all flinging off our chains.

The music of those days
sings through my wayfarer's soul,
takes me back,
with a lump in my throat,
and my heart gently weeps
for those long-gone hopeful days.

We came so close.
We thought we'd change the world.
The elders scoffed at our message
but our hearts were true.

Flower children,
daisies in gun barrels,
Peace and Love,
smiling hippies
in long flowing clothing,
bare feet on the pavement,
and the scent of patchouli
out the open windows.

The music of those days
sings through my wayfarer's soul,
takes me back,
with a lump in my throat,
and my heart gently weeps
for those long-gone hopeful days.

Kids, this afternoon I watched Part 1 of Living in the Material World, about George Harrison and the Beatles, and those fantastic days when some of us came of age, and turned Conservative on its ear. John Lennon was my special favorite, but I love what all the Beatles did for the music world. With their creativity, their amazing music, they shot the lid off the music scene, and showed  us how to shake ourselves loose from our neat little picket-fence lives, find out who we really were and be it. All set against their music, which serenaded us like a lover through the seventies. 

The night John Lennon was killed, I think I gave up hope for a time. We crawled back to our former lives and holed up, pulled our heads in. We had come so close to the dream, but too many of our leaders had been killed. 

Some of us stayed outside the  box. Some wound up working for The Man. Either way, we all were touched by the Beatles. Their songs will always make my heart weep for those long-gone days when I was just learning how to live, and  their music fired my dreams.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

When the World Shifts

The Beauty of Others - from 

Pray without ceasing,
-and especially-
if your prayer is
Thank You.

Kids, my thought in writing this was to be mindful about saying prayers of gratitude often, not just prayers of supplication. Because when life is ordinary and uneventful, we don't realize how absolutely blessed and fortunate we are....until something happens.

As I was ready to post we just received word that my sister's friend's   23 year old son  dove off a ledge yesterday into the river and didn't come back up. They didn't find his body till this morning. His mother is in shock, and her everyday world has  transformed to what will be a long journey of grief. My heart goes out to her.

Cherish your normal life with awareness. It all can - and often does - change so swiftly. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Planet Earth is My Home

Sagarmatha, southern face of Mt. Everest
photo by John McConnico, Associated Press

From the swirling mist clouding the peaks
at the Roof of the World,
where the snow leopard  stealthily pads
along the snowy cliffs,
to the monastery halls of Dharamsala
where the Ocean of Wisdom
prays for Tibet to be free,

to the monks, in prayerful meditation
at Plum Village,

My beloved Wickanninish Beach

to the shores of the Pacific Ocean,
wave upon wave
ceaselessly rolling in,
in endless cycle,
through all the days of Time,

from deep within the forested slopes 
of the Andes,
where the Enlightened Masters
hold the kundalini of the earth
in prayerful reverence,

to the frozen vistas of the Arctic,
where the Dene follow the Old Ways,
as the New Ways wreak havoc
with the permafrost,
tundra and icebergs melting faster than
starving polar bears can swim,
drowning in their ever more frantic
search for food,

to the forests of the Amazon,
laid waste for Profit,
as the forests fall
and the Earth
heats up year by year,

Sudan refugees by photographer Sebastio Salgrado

to the deserts of the Sudan,
where people die for lack of food and water,
while their brothers and sisters
around the world
turn their faces away,
feeling helpless,
and the governments bog down 
in allotment and distribution problems,

to the camps of the child soldiers,
who know only that life is hell
from which there is little hope
of deliverance,

to the "theaters" of war,
hatred and bombs, 
gunfire and peril,
in the streets where children used to play.........

Peace Planet Hands from

Because we are all connected,
and not one of us can exist
without all the others,
because when a tree falls here,
the earth heats there,
when an iceberg melts there,
sea life dies here,
when humankind hates humankind
and forgets our shared humanity,
my heart lifts and shatters 
ten million times a day:

lifts at the unutterable beauty of this world,
and breaks at how mankind lives
in our suffering Eden.

Because Planet Earth
is my neighborhood,
and I am a
a planetary pilgrim,
I love it
and ache for it,
every day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Storytime by Pajunen at Deviant Art

Catch me a wisp of dream
of all that is beautiful
star-speckled skies
and deep purple mountains,
souls flying across the heavens
and hearts believing
that only good things will come.

Let the dreamer still sleep 
in the rosy hues of dawn,
blissful in her forest,
draped with old man's beard.
Let her lullaby be the
unceasing song of the sea,
and grant her a mermaid's tail
for just this one night.

Allow no bad dreams 
or night terrors in,
so that bed is a boat 
sailing across starlit skies,
tinged silver by the moon,
bathed in stardust,
the sleeper smiling,
before she wakes.

Oh catch me a dream like that!


Ella's prompt at Poets United's Thursday Think Tank is: Dreamcatcher. She includes an interesting description of the Lakota legend of the dreamcatcher on site. I have, of course, dreamcatchers. But last night I dreamed one of my usual dreams: where I have a HUGE cluttered warehouse to clean, filled with stuff, and I am even lugging drywall around. The kind of dream you are relieved to wake up from, hee hee.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Playing the Game

google image

"You dont know how to play the game," she said.
"I dont play games," I replied.
"More's the pity," was her answer,
"your emotions you must hide."

I never learned to play the game
of How to Catch a Man.
My honest heart  
stood in one place,
race over before it began,
too easy a victory,
no thrill of the chase.

I still dont play games.
I dont know how to do that dance
of simulated advance-retreat,
arched eyebrows, pretty pout,
so at some point I decided,
when it comes to Romance,
I think 
I'll just sit
this one 

Poetry Jam's prompt is : Games, and their place in our lives.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In Praise of the Ordinary

My daughter's Yorkie: Penny Joy

High praise for the Ordinary Day:
days when the skies dont rain bombs,
when the tornado doesnt hit,
when you dont suddenly find yourself, 
near death and helpless, in the hospital.

Praise to the string of uneventful days
that follow each other like cheerful baby ducks:
nothing disastrous, nothing traumatic,
no unique pronouncements,
no confrontations or misunderstandings,
or worries:
just one's ordinary days,
full of the everyday goodness of porches and gardens,
of evening and birdsong,
of cooking and eating and clearing up,
of shaking the small carpet out the back door,
the aging old horse whuffing over the fence,
the elderly woman snipping the dead heads 
off of the geraniums.

Praise to the song of the sprinkler
as it shush-shush-shushes in the meadow.
Praise to puffy perfect clouds 
and wandering windsong,
to Day's End and Night's Rest
and, most miraculous of all,
praise to waking: eyes opening once again
on a brand new day.

Praise for it all, the uneventful days 
one doesnt remember, looking back,
unremembered because of no crisis, no trauma,
no illness, no death,
full of fat dogs on their backs, 
contented, waving their paws at the sky,
full of timorous little birds pecking at the feeder,
full of bemused wonder, 
gazing at the late summer sky.
Praise for days that one knows, by now, 
to cherish best
for their simple uneventfulness,
which we have come to recognize
as one of life's greatest blessings.

Praise for the ordinary extraordinary day,
because it is the most blessed
of them all.

Written for Mary's prompt at Poet's United's Vice/Versa this week :  
unique/ordinary, and condemn/praise

Yippee! An Idea popped into my head, which has been distracted trying to Catch Up OnLine (last time I did was spring of 2011 and I was still in my trailer! Sigh.) Summer has accelerated to a ridonkulous degree, me running along behind, mopping my brow and muttering to myself. Trying to visit you all, kids, have patience with me.