Thursday, March 28, 2013

More From My Hero, Betty Krawczyk

Kids, right now I am reading a book written by one of my friends from Tofino days, Betty Krawczyk, a well-known personage throughout B.C., having been before the courts several times for passionately trying to protect the last of the old growth on Vancouver Island, as well as ecologically sensitive areas on the mainland. 

The book is called This Dangerous Place: My Journey Between the Passions of the Living and the Dead.  It alternates locales between Betty's incarceration in jail, for participating in blockades to protect the old growth (and her courageous refusal to sign an undertaking agreeing to desist), and memories of her childhood in Mississippi. Betty seems to produce a book every time she is in jail, and jokingly has referred to it as a governmental writing grant.

Some of you may recall I wrote about her earlier, during one of her court battles, in a post entitled Are You Freaking KIDDING Me?  You can check there for more info about Betty, who is the activists' secret weapon, our very favourite thorn in the side of BC logging companies, among other rapers and pillagers of the planet. Betty and I (and our poet friend Christine Lowther) were among the original Writers of Clayoquot - a writing group likely to be unparalleled in my lifetime. 

Betty has several other books out, each one wonderful, including Clayoquot: The Sound Of My  Heart, Lock Me Up Or Let Me Go, and Open Living Confidential (from inside the joint).

Last night, while reading, I came upon this wonderful poem by Betty, and emailed her to ask if I might share it with you.  Betty wrote it in prison, while she was trying to compose her statement to the judge, during that particular year's court battle, having been before six other Justices already.  (Why are they called Justices, when logging companies can rape and pillage and even get government subsidies to do so, and citizens concerned about the future of the planet get sent to jail for voicing their protests?) Here is Betty (who can STILL do the best tap-dance boogy-shuffle I have ever seen!) 


Bestow upon us, upon the forests and streams,
the lowly mosses and ferns,
The little scurrying furry animals that make their way through the
dense undergrowth, the mice, chipmunks, martens, raccoons, and
the large ones who take up more room on the forest paths,
The bears, richly brown, with a rolling gait, yes,
come bears, bring your cubs forth,
And the wolves, who send their yowling cries out upon
the night air while they hide themselves in the bush,
And the most unseen of all, the secretive cougar,
who watches from the treetops, waiting,
And all, all, that are seen from the sky by the seagulls, blue herons,
ducks, eagles, and even the smaller birds who head for the sky, the
crows, Stellar jays, robins, starlings, yes, even the tiny flashy
hummingbirds that can hang in the air above the mountain streams,
The waters gurgling down to meet the mother,
the mother of all things, the sea,
The sea, who gave up many of her creatures to the land,
but still holds tightly to the most treasured, refusing to
give up the whales and dolphins and sharks
Along with all of the little crusty creatures that line the shores,
flashing brilliant colours under the sun or digging down into the
wet sand and who feed from the sea water and are fed upon by other
little water beings that in turn nourish the luscious fish that live
in the top waters of the mother sea and the others who are
irredescent and show their wonderful light only to each other down,
down, down in the bottom of the sea.....Oh, yes, Judge of the 
Moment, bestow upon us all your blessings and your mercy.......

I love this poem full of creatures.............Thank you, Betty, for speaking for the trees and all creatures.  And thanks for allowing me to share your wonderful poem. Sigh. I have the most amazing friends in this world!

Check out Betty's website, Betty's Early Edition, for her frequent writings on current topics. Betty has followed a regimen of writing four hours a day for most of her life, and has supported herself and her family with her writing. Not many writers can say that! 


  1. Thank you Koko for sharing the courageous story of Betty. She inspires me. I also love her poem. It is encouraging to know that such gallant souls dwell among us.

    Betty, you are my heroine!

  2. Betty, you're fearless, talented and a big source of inspiration for many of us here.
    Great piece of poetry...speaks so much about your compassion and concern for every creature on this earth. Beautiful!
    Thanks Sherry for sharing this priceless piece...:)

  3. Gracias mi amiga, Sherry, for sharing such a hero like Betty. This story of Betty should be disseminated on all media mediums.

    This also speaks to the uncaring mitivvations of the Canadian company along with the money hungry political figures in the US congress wanting to push the pipe line through the central states in spite of its potential for disrupting the eco system. None of this oil will go toward our domestic needs but toward international sales and filling the money grubbing pockets of only the 1 percent.

    Need to write our congresss!

    Gracias, Sherry and a million Gracias to Betty Krawczyk a true hero.

  4. What a dedicated, determined fighter Betty is. I admire her zeal; and her poem is inspiring indeed. A valuable share, Sherry.

  5. Thank you Sherry for introducing Betty to us. I am so grateful to people like her who have so much courage to devote their lives to conservation.


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!