Saturday, August 31, 2013

Canned Hunting - Warning: Offensive to Humane Beings

On the news today, this woman in Montreal who paid $15,000 to volunteer at a supposed sanctuary, later found out the baby lion she had bottle-fed was slated to be killed in what turned out to be a canned hunting compound. She is raising money to return to Africa, buy the lion and take it to a real sanctuary.

"Hunters" pay big bucks to shoot a lion raised in captivity, who is trapped in a compound with no chance of escape. I have come across varying figures these great white hunters happily pay for the privilege of murdering these beautiful and endangered creatures: 3,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds, $40,000........I dont understand it. I could not do such a thing if someone paid me a million dollars.

I discovered online there are now more captive lions in South Africa than in the wild.  The lucky ones are rescued from canned hunting by REAL sanctuaries, which are always desperately under-funded and doing heroic work. 

Researching this, I found out more horrible facts than I wanted to know: how the breeders of captive lions, remove the cubs from the mother early, so she will become fertile again and breed quickly. 

I saw an image, on another film, of a cornered lion being shot by hunters. He knew he could not escape, and courageously lunged forward, meeting the bullets head-on. I will never forget the look in his eyes. 

No words, kids. One more instance of brutal inhumanity and unfathomable horror.

Buddha Land

 Walks Far Woman

Plant your bare feet upon the earth
and take one step,
peaceful, smiling,
 your roots sending tentacles
into the earth.
Find stability, and balance,
knowing your every step,
your every breath,
connects you to the All-That-Is,
as above, so below.

Remember the wholeness 
with which you began 
this journey.
Shape your brokenness
into a sturdy vessel
once again,
for all will be well,
   all will be well,
       all will be exceedingly well.

Feel the wind and the warm summer  rain
on your face,
hear the birdsong in your heart.
Earth and sky,
wind and water,
all belong
to you.

Experience the peace of this one step,
this single moment.
Then, take another,
each step a gift received,
each moment an opportunity
to give.

Walk with joy upon the earth,
pilgrims of a planetary miracle.

It is all
a gift from God,
this world we walk through.
It is all Buddha Land.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Council for All Beings

Roll Call

Red wolf came, and passenger Pigeon,
and Dodo Bird, all the gone or endangered
came and crowded around in a circle,
the Bison, the Irish Elk waited
silent, the Great White Bear fluid and strong,
sliding from the sea, streaming and creeping
into the gathering darkness, nose down
bowing to earth its tapered head,
where the Black-footed Ferret, paws folded,
stood in the center surveying the multitude
and spoke for us all:  “Dearly beloved,” it said.

              William Stafford

This came to my inbox this morning and is too beautiful not to share. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The "Be Careful" Light

google image

With regards to Syria,
the international community
has gone past red,
but has not yet reached green.

We are at what four year old
Sebastian calls
the "Be Careful" light.

We must take care
not to take a step
from which there is 
no turning back,
which would set
the tinderbox of 
the Middle East

I think Sebastian
has the right idea.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


After watching the movie
where you could not walk,
could not talk,
lay still within your iron lung,
able to blink only one eyelid,
with which you communicated
your thoughts to the world,
what a miracle it seemed,
getting up, dazed, in the dark theatre,
taking step after step up the aisle, 
out into the falling dusk,
seeing and hearing the aliveness of the city,
legs, arms, breath, eyes, ears,
all working.

You turned my simple footsteps
into a miracle.

Poetry Jam's prompt today is Steps, which made me remember reading, and then seeing the movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about France's Jean-Dominique Bauby. After his stroke at age 42,  Bauby dictated his incredible memoir by blinking his left eyelid, his only working muscle,  for each letter of the alphabet, to an assistant, to spell out his thoughts. He died soon after his book was published.

It definitely put complaining about obstacles to writing in perspective for me.

Orca Beauty ~ Why I love Vancouver Island

Talk about sheer magnificent beauty, hey, kids?

Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Presence of the Sacred

This was written in 1999 as a Tofino writers' group exercise: what kind of tree would you be, if you were a tree? I chose the Hanging Garden Tree, on the Tall Tree Trail on Meares Island. Many life forms grow upon its branches. As a single mother of four, grandmother of four, I could relate to this tree:) The title could also be a response to Jerry Mander's In the Absence of the Sacred. The air in that forest was more holy than any cathedral.

Some of you have read this before, but it popped into my head this morning and I decided to give it another shot........posted for open link at Real Toads

I am Hanging Garden Tree,
my thick trunk hosting
an abundance of life forms,
diverse and vital;
garlanded with root and vine,
with fern and flower,
a universe
within my leafy bower.

I am home to Sky Creatures,
all the winged ones,
Owl and skyhawk,
Murrulet and swallow;
small furry-pawed ones
dart among my branches
and nestle soft within my sleepy hollows.

A thousand fern fronds
drape fringed shawls
along my shoulders,
soft moss, green lichen
and fat mushroom clinging,
climbing vine that wraps itself around me
and, in my hair,
a hundred sparrows, singing.

Myriad insect worlds
I tend and harbor.
I shelter bear and wolf,
am food for deer.
To all Two-Leggeds
who come before me, seeking,
I offer peace
within my
silent arbor.

Young Standing People
upon my branches grow.
They came through me,
nurtured the best I know.
Roots fattened
with the seasons
of my living,
they stretch beyond my reach now,
one by one,
as I support
their separate struggle
towards the sun.

In this the season
of my deep reflection
I'm tired now;
I have endured an age.
At dusk,
Sky Woman comes
serene and sage
to scatter stars
about my weary head,
while Sister Moon
sends me
such perfect dreams
I'm spirit-fed
and morning comes
too soon.

In this grove
we're in
the presence of the sacred:
feeling our shared breath,
tenancy of earth and sky,
to all the Four Directions
by the Love
to which we all belong,
under the grace
of a Celestial Eye,
all singers
of a universal song.

Have a great day, kids. Remember to Keep Looking Up!

Friday, August 23, 2013


[My Grandpa and me in front of the little cottage at 364 Christleton that I think of every time I think about my childhood, where I learned everything I know about safety, refuge and peace. He is holding up a small fish. I am holding up The One That Got Away!]

My grandmother's cottage was so still,
the ticking of the metal wind-up clock 
on the kitchen windowsill 
cleaved the silence, 
and could be heard in every room.
In my life, I have borrowed 
the peace and safety I knew
in that little house,
planted it in my heart,
watered it with tears and with hope,
and carry it with me, now,
like my grandmother's sheltering arms
around me.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads: to write a poem about stillness and silence without overusing the words. Hard to do,  I discovered.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon

You glide past my window 
serene and purposeful 
as a schooner  
in full billowing sail
upon a celestial sea

For Izy's prompt at Real Toads, in which we must write about the moon without using the words night or sky. Not sure if I got this right. Likely too obvious. 

For Verse First

Through morning fog I search,
wings heavy with dampness,
thwack thwack thwacking
as I skim the mudflats,
heron looking up as she picky-toes 
along the shore,
a sudden rustle in the grasslands:
small fur creature scurrying to hide,
Raven racing me to breakfast,
cawing, raucous.
I swoop, I miss,
Raven, too,
flurry of wings brown and black,
small creature in its hole.
I retreat to the topmost scrag,
feathers and spirit ruffled,
and I cry out.

Imagined for Kim's prompt at Verse First: I Cried Out.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gallery of Heartbreak, On-Going

The sad thing about this Gallery of Heartbreak series is there is no shortage of heartbreaking news items to include in it. Above is Maxwell Begley, age thirteen, who lives in Ontario. He  is challenged by being autistic. Look at his face: innocent and happy. He has hit the news and his community is rallying around him and his family. He innocently thinks he is famous. I hope he never finds out the reason why.

His grandma recently received an appalling hate letter which I will not quote here, other than to say the sentiments expressed would have found a home in Nazi circles in the 40's, and included the suggestion this precious child be euthanized.

This affronts any person with a shred of humanity beyond measure. It hits close to home for me. I have cared for more than one autistic child. Mental illness is in my family as well : schizophrenia, bi-polar, autism spectrum, oppositional defiance disorder, you name it. What I know BEYOND DOUBT is that each of these souls, on their bumpy journeys, is precious beyond measure. They offer special gifts - they are brilliant, loving, hilarious, march to the beat of their own drum. 

They are gifted. And they are GIFTS to their loved ones, teaching us unconditional love, acceptance of each other, and open-mindedness in ways we might never have learned without their presence in our lives. They teach us that each person is special just by Being. That Being is Enough.

Maxwell's family already struggles. His mom has multiple sclerosis. I am happy their community is supporting them, and that some positives are coming out of an appalling attack. But I so wish it had never happened. And I hope Maxwell never finds out why he suddenly is famous. Let him think it is because he is incredibly precious and special. Because he is.

May Maxwell know deep in his heart, always, that he is loved.


I used Zoom - wow!

Fat and round and placid
as bellies after harvest,
a smile that harbors secrets
you will never tell,
purveyor of myth and portal of mystery,
you sail across my evening sky
serene as a ghost ship
easing into port.

Buddha Smile Moon.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dear Beach

Chestermans in Snow
photo by Christine Lowther

Dear Winter Beach,
Your siren song has called to me
for decades,
your ley lines drawing me to you
as surely as a murrulet to her nest,
a migrant whale to its feeding ground.
And now another winter
is on its way.
Dare I dream that,
as your waves go wild with joy and fury
in storm,
I will walk your shoreline,
once again?

I'll meet you
at the foreshore.
I'll be the one in the rain gear
walking a walrus-sized golden retriever.

your biggest fan

Posted for Mary's prompt at dVerse Poets Pub, to write a letter (sadly now a lost art that should be revived) The responses at dVerse are a great start!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saying the Names With Love

I stumbled upon this in the archives yesterday, kids, and decided to post it for another look-see. It was written for a prompt in 2012, where we were to use the first two lines of a poem we loved and write our own poem. I chose Canada's unofficial poet laureate Al Purdy's Say the Names, which he wrote shortly before his death - an elegy to all the beloved place-names of his life. The beloved place-names of my life are those of Clayoquot Sound, so this poem rose up singing in my heart, in response to Al's poem, which you can find below. I am re-posting this for Kim's prompt at Verse First : Say the Names of a place you love.

***** ***** ***** *****
My version:

Say the names say the names
and listen .........
these names that forever
sing through my soul,
that came alive for me
in the forests
and along the wild shores
of Clayoquot Sound.

Bedwell Sound and Lemmens Inlet
Fortune Channel and Sulphur Passage
those names ring through my heart
in kinship with those who put
their bodies on the line
- and still do -
-No Pasaran!-
to protect this endangered ecosystem.

Drumbeats in the early morning
along the Kennedy River bridge
still tap tap tap in my heart
along with my passion
for the trees, for the wild shores,
for the curving slopes
of my wild spirit's home.

Hesquiaht, Ahousat,
Kakawis, Bay of Berries,
sound and resound
in my heart,
like the marine radio
my heart was once attuned to,
fishermen repeating the beloved names
above the static,
laughter and messages
and "Choo!"
the Tla-o-qui-aht goodbye.

Wickaninnish and Rosie Bay
and Combers,
Ahous Bay
where the gray whales
stop to feed....
riding out in a zodiac,
the seaspray in my face,
the eagle's cry in my heart,
blue herons on the rocks,
little puffins bobbing on the waves -
every inch of land and sea and sky

Rain slickers and rubber boots,
the endless winter rain, and gusts of wind
that bent us over as we struggled
across the streets in winter gales
and the wild wild roar of the waves
crashing on the shore,
while the foghorn mooed
at Lennards Light
and all the seabirds hid themselves
to ride out the storm.

Lone Cone standing tall,
and Catface Mountain,
peeping across at the
womanly slopes
of Meares,
the sentinels and guardians
of our village,
orcas breeching in the channel
to our joyous shouted "thank you!"
and, across the bay,
the twinkling lights of Opitsaht,
little boats chugging back and forth
across the harbor,
heading for home at twilight.
Say the names of the wild Megin River,
carving itself through root-packed shores
of cedar and salal,
and watch the wild wolves
pacing down to drink,
a black bear ambling along the shore
looking for wild salmon.

Hear the eagle's call,
hear the waterfall singing
at Tofino Creek,
or point the bow of your canoe
up the Cypre River.
Paddle hard for Browning Passage,
beat the tide,
or turn off along Tofino inlet,
when the tide returns
to cover the mudflats.
Pull into the cove at Windy Bay.

Say the names say the names
and my heart weeps with love
for the otherworldly beauty
and the kinship with the wild
that lived inside my soul
when I lived there

My heart will say
these names
for as long as I live
and, when I die,
say these names over me
and bury me on a windswept dune
beside the sea,
so it can forever sing
me to sleep
in my heart's home.

Say the names say the names
cherish these wild and pristine places
Stand against the mining companies,
and those who would clearcut and strip
these beloved and necessary slopes.

Say the names, my friends,
before they all
are gone.

                            *****                  *****                     ****
Here is Al Purdy's memorable song to the places he loved:

by Al Purdy

say the names say the names
and listen to yourself
an echo in the mountains
Tulameen Tulameen
say them like your soul 
was listening and overhearing
and you dreamed you dreamed
you were a river
Tulameen Tulameen
--not the flat borrowed imitations
of foreign names
not Briton Windsor Trenton
but names that ride the wind
Spillimacheen and Nahanni
Kleena Kleene and Horsefly
Illecillewaet and Whachamacallit
Lillooet and Kluane
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
and the whole sky falling
when the buffalo went down
say them say them remember
if you ever wander elsewhere
"the North as a deed and forever"
Kleena Kleene Nahanni
Osoyoos and Similkameen
say the names
as if they were your soul
lost among the mountains
a soul you mislaid
and found again rejoicing
Tulameen Tulameen

till the heart stops beating
say the names

Friday, August 16, 2013



She thought that love would set her free
That then she’d be all she could be
But locked within the open gate
She found herself entrapped too late

She thought alone she would be free
Walking beside the silver sea
But loneliness  stalked the empty beach
Love always  just out of reach

Years spent outside looking in
Waiting for love to begin
Then inside, and looking out
First the flood, and then the drought

Love versus freedom is the crux
bewildered hearts  in constant flux
One can only wonder   whether
ever the two arrive  together

Maid Marian set us an Oscar Wilde prompt over at Real Toads : to write something inspired by Oscar Wilde. But what spoke to me in her post were the words "a literary genius who sacrificed freedom for love."  Intriguing words. In younger years, I longed for love, a partner with whom I thought I would be all I can be. Yet when love came, along came pain, disillusionment and definite feelings of entrapment. Years alone, I felt the peacefulness of solitude, but still felt something missing, and wondered why what comes so easily to most, eluded me.

Finally I had to stop waiting and be all I can be on my own. I do believe that more often than one might imagine, both love and freedom arrive together, or we wouldnt have so many happy couples. So I didnt write about Oscar, but followed the  conundrum of love versus freedom.

Do check out the other responses to the prompt - there are sure to be some great reads.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
Aldous Huxley

Silence, from which all music comes,
her dearest friend,  lives in her heart.
While others mark their hours with sound,
an inner  music  she has found.

In that vast silence, held within,
are stems and leaves of who she is,
tendrils through the years  unfurled,
at home within the bigger world.

Counterpoint to the full brass band
of daily existence's loud roar,
is the Listener Within, content to Be,
who hears a cosmic symphony

The music of life plays through her soul
like a mellow clarinet weaving its notes
through golden summer afternoons
that will be  silenced all too soon.

Posted for Mary's prompt at Poetry Jam : The Sounds of Silence, a song by Simon and Garfunkle that I loved back in the day, and love still.

Oh Ye of Little Brain

Stirring the pudding pot
otherwise known as Brain,
I fish out a lump:
brown and - lumpish - and plain.

No matter how often I edit it,
over and over  again,
it remains stubbornly lumpy,
refusing to sing any sweeter refrain.

Sorry, kids, it is hard to elevate this lump, a response to Kim's prompt at Verse First to take a simple object, write, edit, and elevate it. The only thing I am elevating, these days, is my feet as I lift them up onto the couch. Am totally zapped. But hoping for a miraculous resuscitation of my Muse at some point, hopefully before all of you give up on me. 

Did you know you can type in "pudding pot of brain" at google images and thousands of images come up? That is rather frightening.

I will not open this one up to suggestions as to how to improve it. By hitting the Delete button? hee hee

Of brains and trains
I'm missing track
I live in hope
that I'll be back

Gallery of Heartbreak, continued

Another chapter in the Gallery of Heartbreak, kids. Last night a young woman, about 20 years old, came to look at my sister's horse trailer, up for sale. As they talked, it turns out this girl goes to horse auctions, to rescue babies.

Babies? In our blissful ignorance we think: horse auction = people purchasing a nice new horse, right? Not so. This girl told us horse breeders breed a hundred mares, to get the top ten best babies. (Old mares are continually bred long past when it is even humane to do so.) The rest (the other 90) go to auction, most to be turned into horsemeat, as are most of the horses at the auction.  Apparently this "industry" is struggling; prices have dropped per pound to the point where some ranchers simply abandon their herds to starve, rather than feed them when it isn't "profitable".

She described the scene at the auctions: terrified mares and frantic babies TWO AND THREE DAYS OLD, the babies ripped away, calling for their mothers. Some get rescued. ("I can fit five babies in this trailer," she said.) Most get "processed" for horsemeat. Canada, to my surprise, is third highest in the world in the"global horsemeat trade".

We are apparently one of the largest consumers of horsemeat as well. (What are we eating, kids? Do we even know any more?) 

This girl works a regular job as a vet tech. She attends auctions - she says they are everywhere - and rescues as many babies as she can, bottle feeds them, and tries to find them good homes when they are ready. She is my new hero.

(In no way does this post reflect on horse breeders and owners who take good care of their animals. My heart breaks, though, for all the horses channeled into this cycle of brutal and inhumane treatment, once again an "industry" where the bottom line is profit.) 

They say you can judge a society on the way it treats its animals. Looks like Canada's record is not too great.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


call forth
inner song
footsteps follow
ancient pathway to
where the soul can be healed

- the shore -

where the soul can be healed
an ancient pathway 
footsteps follow
inner song
sung to

Made a stab at a mirrored palindrome, the mini challenge set by Grace at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads this weekend.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Floor of Heaven

Perhaps earth has turned itself inside out,
or the sky has flipped over to show
the floor of Heaven.
I do not know if my feet 
are touching earth or sky -
just that I am walking through
a celestial landscape,
and I never want the sight
to leave my eyes.

written for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads: the Bolivian salt flats of Salar de Uyuni The landscape is so beautiful, I had a hard time finding a youtube video I could tolerate, because I so prefer my scenery without humans and vehicles in them. Picked this one finally because at least the rider seems a solitary part of the dreamscape. Some videos show so many humans and vehicles it is dismaying. 

Also dismaying was my discovery, during the search, that "they" whoever they are, are wanting to mine for lithium in the salt flats. If this spot is on your Bucket List, kids, better get there fast!

The Song of the Sea

If you are one to whom the sea has called
in her insistent voice upon the shore,
you with the song of the sea in your very blood
and the memory of those wild beaches all before,

you may try to resist the longing in your soul,
the remembered taste of salt upon your tongue,
but she will set up such a clamor deep within,
you must surrender to all you have begun.

Her call as persistent as the waves upon the shore,
her beauty as a beacon to my soul,
I am returning home, to love her even more,
and live more years with mind and spirit whole.

The below poem is the free verse snippet I used to create the above version, posted for Gay's prompt at  dVerse Poets Pub: Form For All :  to take a free verse poem of one's own and re-write it in rhyme and meter. 

When the sea calls, 
you must answer,
if you are an ocean person,
with the song of the sea
in your blood
and the memory of salt-air
on your tongue.

You may try to resist,
for fear of uprooting
your comfortable existence,
but she will then set up
a clamor in your soul
until you heed her call.

She has called.
I am ready, now,
to answer.

Well. Given my mind-numbing fatigue these days, this is the best I can do. A cool exercise, though. Do check out the responses to the prompt over at dVerse, some great poems are being written over there.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

After Friday Night Comes the Morning

A family gathers Saturday morning
in the park: the mother, lean from her addiction to crack,
father with a simmering rage, barely suppressed,
deep in his ipod,
disconnected from the family,
older child bright-eyed and wary,
younger child, dull-eyed, uncoordinated 
and nonverbal with FAS.

Last night started out in party mode, 
adults laughing, chatting,
older daughter watchful,
protective of her sister,
finding something for them to eat
as their parents have little interest in dinner.
But all too soon the voices rise,
the rage is loosed,
the mother yells and weeps.
Terror, among the quaking children,
hiding in the dark.

Today is a new day: the morning after,
a sunny Saturday,
and the mother smiles her way to the swings 
with her older daughter, and they have a race
to see who can swing the highest.
Younger sister, at three still not walking, 
flops on her knees 
across the slide platform,
unaware she could fall through the hole in its side.
Finally, her father hollers at her gruffly,
grabs her foot and hauls her back.

The world of addiction means a party
every Friday night,
disintegrating into mayhem before midnight.

Its effects will live on
in the children: both the bright-eyed one,
so painfully aware,
and the dull-eyed one,
who may never fashion speech
or solve an equation
because of the legacy
of all those  Friday nights.

But as I watch the mother and daughter 
pump their legs, and smile,
swinging back and forth in sweeping arcs,
hair flying loose and blowing in the wind,
my heart is uplifted that, 
for these few moments in time,
they  are both experiencing
what it is 
to feel joy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For Verse First

There may be fear.
There may be hesitation,
and a host of reasons why
one should stay put,
with the illusion 
of a safety net beneath us.

But it is an illusion
which may also be a trap
that eventually
will box your spirit in.

Listen hard to 
that inner voice.
Align your energy
with the universe's road map
for your journey.
Step off the edge.
and remember......
you are meant
to soar.

Kim's prompt at Verse First is to write a poem without any show-offy difficult text. Well, that's easy. My brain is so slow and tired these days, I couldnt come up with a catchy line if it sat on my keyboard and waved its little furry paws in my face!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Granddogs

A grandma's job seems to be Taking Care Of a lot of small creatures.

Head count at our house this Sunday morning is:
three adults,
one small boy,
SIX dogs,
and a horse.
(The horse is the easy one!)

This is Chloe, whose mom will come to get her later today.

Life at the farm is definitely being lived in the Fast Lane these days,  as people come and go in pursuit of their summer vacations.

Slower traffic would be well advised to Keep Right.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Gift

Double Rainbow from

She lay in end-stage coma,
making her passage from this world.
I sat with her, in quietness, for a time,
and then began to look 
at the family photos on the wall:
of her, when she was young,
of her children and grandchildren
and great-grandchildren-
all the memories
down all the shambling years.

I reflected  she once had had a home 
full of things:
furniture, couches with doilies,
a heavy dining room table, assorted cutlery,
sets of matching china.
And now she had, on her nightstand,
a comb, a cardboard spittum cup, some moistened Q-tips:
the essentials. Not one thing more.

I wanted to give her something more
than just my presence so, after a time,
I opened The Leaf and the Cloud and read:

Think of me
when you see the evening star.
Think of me when you see the wren
   the flowing root of the creek beneath him,
   dark            silver         and cold

Remember me: I am the one who told you
that the grass is also alive, and listening.

As I read, the energy shifted 
in the listening room,
and I felt that my gift had been

Out I went, through the silent halls,
lined with people in beds,
making their final solitary passage,
out into the lowering dusk
and the aliveness of all the trees.
Out I went, on my own two feet,
breathing without a machine,
miracles, all.

On my right, arching above 
the flowering Japanese maples,
was a double rainbow,
symbol of beauty and of hope,
and I went forward into my evening,
and full of blessings.

The Leaf and the Cloud is, of course, by Mary Oliver, my favorite poet.
I wrote this - belatedly - in response to Shay's Poem Within a Poem prompt at Real Toads.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


When you stand in the middle 
of multiple branching paths,
knowing which one you take
will impact the next several 
finite and precious years,
when you are laden with the weight
of all that you carry,
and are called to
the steepest path
by oracles and owls,
never worry how your breath
will manage the altitude,
or whether your heart
is robust enough
to reach the mountaintop.

Travelling is managed
one footfall at a time.

Just take
the next step.

One from the fall of 2013, my friends. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. 

Waving at Heaven

She stood at the bus stop,
arm frozen straight up
by some horrible disease,
face impassive
but noticing when I looked at her:
angry, trapped, but still living
inside her hijacked body.
Waving at heaven.

Posted for Kim's intriguing prompt at Verse First : to write an enigmatic poem in the style of William Carlos Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow.


The Narrows, Stamp Falls

Song of the river wild,
Song of the rapids leaping
Through the chiseled rock-walled chasm
Green with weeping,
A plunging torrent
To the ocean seeping

Song of the sea-green foam
Song of the white froth dancing
Sun-dappled baby wave-tops prancing
In the sunshine, all my dreams

Song of the green rock wall,
A vessel for the river's journey,
Guiding the flow along the channel churning
To the ocean and as it's

Song of the tall green trees
Rootbound and stoic in the deep crevasses,
Rooted in bedrock holding up the mountain,
Sentinels for every year
that passes

Song of the laughing brook
Below the rapids green, swirling and babbling
Huge salmon leap,
Fall back in shallows dabbling,
Plunge forth to lunge again,
Leaping and scrabbling

Song of the river wild,
You sing my tattered soul a new song,
Bless the silver beauty of this new day,
Make me know the path I'm on
Is not wrong.

Song of the seasoned soul
That knows the underlying message
Of the river:
Flow with me,
Not against me as we journey;
Travel lightly,
Not a taker,
But a giver.

Kids, I am posting something from the archives this morning. I am still here, but so over loaded I havent been able to be online at all for days. You wouldnt even believe what a zoo it is at Dogs R Us. Suffice it to say, I feel horrible for not getting around to visit all of you - and for missing all the great poetry - but today is my last Overloaded day (I think), and I promise to get around to everyone through the weekend. Then life will hopefully resume at a relatively more normal pace. We live in hope.