Sunday, August 31, 2014


Over the years we've always gathered,
kids and dogs and cackling
as food gets from stove to table.
We are an odd bunch, 
a gathering of differences with a common history,
and I always enjoyed the variety
of the bloomings.
The over-arching umbrella of Family
should be wide enough
to accommodate all.
The good will should always be
a given.

This year we'll do it again,
but the older I get, the more bittersweet 
the gathering,
some new faces added,
some old faces absent 
from around the table,
some by death,
some by choice,
which makes the empty spaces 
painful to a mother's heart,
wondering how many
more homecomings
will there be,
and will the next time
we're all together
be at my funeral?

Friday, August 29, 2014

No Other Way to Get There

Middle of the Rocky Mountains, Western Canada
photo by Jon Merk

The eyes rise up to see the beauty,
bathe the soul in wonder, but the feet -
the feet know what to do.
They just keep walking:
one step, another step,
the cliff-side steep, 
the trail roughshod,
chest tight from not enough air,
feet slip-sliding on the stones,
pain, agony, wonder,
no other way to get there -
no easy path.
Occasionally there will be
a jutting branch to grasp
to stop from sliding back,
 plunging over.
Catch your breath -
that was close!
Whew! Still alive.

The mountains call.
We answer.

Resting on the precipice,
shoes off to ease the pain,
the unthinkable:
one boot topples over, end over end,
into the forest far below.
The other may as well go too.
Barefoot, we rise and walk again.
There is no other way to get there,
one footstep at a time,
eyes raised in wonder
to the peaks.

for Hannah's Transforming Friday with nature's wonders prompt at Real Toads: to write about a mountain. Do check the other links, there are some fantastic responses to this prompt, as there always are, at Toads!

Clayoquot Sound Haiku

Kids, last night I read This Dark, a small book of haiku about Clayoquot Sound, written by my friend Joanna Streetly. Joanna lives in a floathouse in Tofino harbor, the lucky girl.......and writes so beautifully. She used the teikei form of haiku, which uses the 5-7-5 syllablic count. After reading, my mind began writing some myself, so I offer them here, as this morning's exercise:

Wolf Spirit, your call
from your misty mountain lair
sends my soul keening

footprints in the sand
my heart follows where they lead
till I'm home again

bonsai in the bog
a little touch of Asia
in Clayoquot Sound

shore birds on the sand
lift and dart and land as one 
I watch in awe

in the following I tried 7-5-7

Luna leaves as Sol arrives
Sun and Moon - same sky
little boat chugs happily

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Soul Song

South Beach Wild

My soul sang a song in the deep of night.
It cried from the depths of me:
I need to feel the sand on my toes
and hear the song of the sea.

I long to breathe in the tangy air,
walk along the shore in the fog,
watch the raven fly, hear the eagle's cry,
watch the waves from a driftwood log.

I need to feel the west wind on my face,
in the place where my soul flies free,
for nothing and no where else can replace
the one port that says Home to me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wild Woman Goes Out

helpful sign found on google

Wild Woman ventures out at night.
It's getting kind of scary
is the world really ready
for an out-at-night Sherry?

She teeters on hilly edges,
others clutching at her cape
to keep her from falling over
as she stands with mouth agape.
"Look at all the pretty stars!"
as she slides down the cliff,
pretends she meant to go that way,
it's really fun. As if.

There's a sign on the balcony
but she's too blind to see.
The folks below just catch Wild Woman
finally flying free.

A Ms Magoo kinda heart,
in a benign world ever funny,
Wild Woman cannot see the gray.
She keeps her  blue skies  sunny. 

Now she's out in the orchard
dancing - skip skip skip -
there's many a sorry stumble twixt
the high-step  and the flip.

Follow fools into the meadow.
Let's all hoot at the owl,
dance with the chickens,
both fair-weather and fowl.

Smiling grimly 'top the steering wheel
and blinded by the light:
"Officer, I'm not impaired,
I just dont have any sight."
Wild Woman rarely drives at night,
because she knows she's blind.
Thank God the policeman
was Canadian, and kind.

Each little touch of pixie dust
gets followed by an "ouch!"
I think it's safer keeping
Wild Woman on the couch.

The policeman stanza is what happened LAST time I tried an evening out. Hee hee.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Happiest Day of Their Lives


It was wonderful, kids! A day full of love and laughter. This is my Sunshine Girl, Stephanie. All her life, she has been my sunshine.

With Gord, as the vows are read out :
"This hand you are holding today is the same hand that
you will reach for in good times and bad....."

Listening with her heart......

A forever vow..........

Mr. and Mrs.

My fave photo from that day
See the beautiful woods all around their house?
Deer showed up at the wedding,
and eagles circled, a very promising sign.

Stephanie and her wild mother,
who refuses to be tamed

Cutting the cake

The Dance

So much love

And let us not forget the doggies
who were part of the ceremony
and the entire celebration.
They got pretty tired, but didnt want to miss a thing.
This is Sanchez.

Here is Chloe, as regal as any dowager,
already tired but refusing to buckle.

All good things must come to an end. So sad!
Stephanie sent me this photo of Sanchez, 
who loves me a lot, and who was sad when I left,
looking balefully through the gate.
This shot almost made me cry!

It was a day full of love and laughter, it rejuvenated my heart, and made me deeply happy.

Steph and Gord live outside the city surrounded by forest, and near a small lake. It is a heavenly spot, a perfect location for a small wedding, and gave me a dose of the forest, which I have been missing. That night, I dreamed of the sea, with such longing. I woke up knowing I must get there soon for an injection of the Wild.

Steph and Gord, I wish you every good thing. May the happiness you feel today be yours for many decades to come. 

Sky Dreaming

you adorn yourself this morning
with picture-perfect puffy cloud-babies,
as if you are off to
a summer lawn party
in your best blue billowy dress. 
In this on-going celebration
of nature's beauty,
you take pride of place.
Thank you for keeping me
Always Looking Up!

I am back, kids, and the wedding was perfect and  glorious! I will blog it once my daughter okays some photos. I have some puppy shots I will blog later today. I am of course so Behind online I am stressed, but the Life-Swallower pounced the minute I returned. Babysat yesterday, babysitting today. Sigh. It will take me the rest of this week, I think, to do all that needs doing, so please bear with me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Road Trip!

Sproat Lake from Heart of Vancouver Island

Hi kids! I am off on a short  road trip down-Island, to witness the small lakeside wedding of my youngest daughter, Stephanie, to her fiance Gord. Their two puppies will be decked out in wedding finery. I expect to have some cute photos come Monday.

I'll be back online Monday. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Arial view of my area from Heart of Vancouver Island

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In Holy Tongues

"There can be no peace without social justice."
Benjamin Creme

Under corporate rule,
only the rich are well fed,
for corporations have no conscience
and only one motivation: profit.

When anger rules the streets,
hearts are broken and hopelessness is born
as the same old cycle
follows its same old futile path.

Time for one million Gandhi-jis to arise.
Time for the trees to preach interconnectedness.
Time for the refugee's bowl to be filled.
Time for the lion to lie down with the lamb.

Time for humanity to raise its vision
from survival to transcendence.
Time for the meek to veer off the path of submission
and begin to speak in holy tongues.

for Susan's Mid Week Motif prompt at Poets United: exploring our own idea of social good in 160 words or less. Mine is 103. Ha.

We Come From Starlight

Sister Tree, breathe me your peace.
When you breathe out, I breathe in.
We are connected.
The genetic code, in trees and humans,
is the same.
In Woman, 
the design of membranes in the placenta, 
nurturer of human life,
is the same as the Tree of Life. 

This fills me with awe.

How can we be so busy, so distracted, 
so disconnected,
so claimed by the worldly,
that we forget
we come from starlight? 
How can we busy ourselves with technology
and forget it is our bare feet upon the ground,
our eyes raised to the sky,
the image of sunset imprinted on our soul
that gives life meaning?

I turn off the tv, the computer, the phone.
I turn on birdsong, daybreak, Cloud Art
and stardreaming.

I place my hand upon your trunk.
My Sister.
In this moment,
it is only you and I,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

House of Sand

I spun my house from sea sand 
and early morning mist,
wrapped it around me  like a foggy cloak 
to the joyous sussuration of the waves,
filled it with daybreak and evensong,
used beach glass for all the windows.

And there I lived, driftwood walls
open to the sky, a ceiling full 
of  stars and windsong,
 seabirds on the wing,
ever-changing clouds 
  and refracted  light.

Like the sand dollar, I wove my home
from the sand around me, used its grit
to polish the bones of my dwelling,
carried it with me when I left,
sea song swelling,
ebbing, flowing, 
ceaselessly and forever,
in my heart.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


The Black Dog of Joy

After the thunderstorm,
the welcome rain.
The parched purple peonies
revive gratefully
in their pot.

Happiness is.....

no bombs dropping

cool water coming from the tap
a deep green river, dappled with sunshine
a big black laughing dog, running in and out of the surf

memories of other times, other years
gratitude for blessings
sunsets and early morning skies
the trusting brown eyes of horses and dogs

a five year old with a dripping ice cream cone
a new spin-mop for getting into corners
an elephant picture on the wall , making me smile
every time I walk past

the beauty of the world,
in every possible instance
and circumstance,
and the spirit in humanity,
which may live in discord,
but which longs for peace

two snippets for Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Happiness - there are some wonderful offerings there this week. Do check them out.

Monday, August 11, 2014

In the Dreamtime

Beautiful photo art by Steve, The Unknown Gnome

Swimming in dreamtime,
she follows the songlines of the ancestors
across the bare brown desert of the heart
towards the mountains.

On the other side, where the ley lines meet,
all green and golden,
a power place,
lies the great sea, silver and shimmering,
and singing with ten thousand voices
of the ten thousand things
that comprise the dharma path.

In this dream,
there are the haunted cries of wolves, of owls,
of ancient spirits,
and the deep green forest is alive, awake, 
and talking in tongues.
It whispers to her soul
where are you?
why are you not here?
Trees reach out their arms for her,
and she is drawn there
as surely as a murrelet is drawn back to its nest
from across the shining water.

Wild Woman rides the winds of hope
in this dream,
looking down on all that she loves:
 green bearded old Grandfather Cedar,
the roar of the waves,
the caw of the raven,
imperious piercing eagle-cry,
the long white beaches
stretching to Forever,
and her, above, exulting,
in the tangy salt sea air
flying along the shore.

So many impediments between her 
and her heart's home,
in the real time. 
But in the dreamtime, one is always There,
cradled by the sleepy forest,
curled in the rootbed of an ancient cedar,
beside a small tender wolf-pup
with shining eyes
and joyous yipping heart,
mist wrapping softly around them
in the fresh new morning,
and the sound of the soft waves, 
lapping, forever,
endless and eternal,
in her heart.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pain Body

The skeleton stiffens and teeters with age,
becomes tentative, 
unlike youth's carefree, unthinking steps,
learns to place its feet carefully,
feels the ache and snap of over-stepping,
houses the heart in its rib cage protectively,
holds the head precariously 
on its fragile, so breakable stem,
head spinning precariously, 
bones helpless to stabilize
the swirling mass of neurons.

Slowly, I have become aware of my bones,
clinking and clanking ponderously
within my sagging skin.
I transport my bulk across streets 
filled with impatient, idling cars,
drivers revving their engines,
glaring at my portentous, impeding passage.

I picture this same body, these same bones,
years back, standing on a beach at sunset,
arms raised,  exulting,
corporal outline in shadow, edged with amber light,
never dreaming of a time
when I'd be living in a pain body,
the beaches and the sunset and the exultation
shining golden
only in memory.

for Margaret's prompt at Real Toads: Skeleton Poetry

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Owl Woman

Owl Woman has soft gray chicks
nestled at her breast.
In her brain lives the spacious sky,
dappled silver, shining.

Through her feathers, 
Sister Wind woos her towards flight,
beckoning from
the Four Directions,
for when she soars, she is free, joyous,
safe from harm.

She will teach these chicks
to fly.

Down her throat runs clear river water,
life-giving, replenishing.
The forest lives in her eyes,
green and golden,
and full of talking trees.

Her journeys 
are the flight-paths of the ancestors,
imprinted within her being.
The spirits fly with her
and whisper to her
the way that she must go.

Owl Woman is earth-bound,
for a time,
but dreaming of
the sky.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Flowers of Hiroshima

In the midst of devastation,
on hillsides surrounding the rubble,
flowers began to bloom,
to give hope,
to encourage healing,
life, beginning again.

This is how much the earth
wants to live.

May the bombs cease.
May the earth mend.
May the human psyche heal.

May humanity's heart
regain the freshness
and the innocence
of new beginnings.
May our hearts open
to our fellow humans
like the first blossom
upon parched earth.

for Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Hiroshima, to mark the anniversary.

Note: today's nuclear weapons are ONE THOUSAND TIMES more powerful than the ones dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Which means if even one was detonated anywhere in the world, it would be unmitigated disaster. 

I had written a much darker one for this prompt. Then I read about the flowers.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

GRATITUDE for the beauty of the earth

This morning on OWN, Oprah interviewed Louie Shwartzberg, master of time lapse photography. Here is his film, Gratitude - a gift for you, to remind us all of the beauty of this world.

Friday, August 1, 2014

True Believer

We once dreamed we could change the world,
and God knows that we tried,
but the visionaries and the dreamers
some dark souls could not abide.

They killed our fallen heroes
and our souls went into shock,
sold our dreams out to the Man,
kept the key but lost the lock.

But I'll never stop believing.
I cant live without a dream.
I have to hope that peace will come,
that Love will reign supreme.

If we can change only ourselves, 
one true heart at a time,
we still might turn this thing around,
the bells of peace still chime.

Lamb's love will quell the lion's roar,
all weapons put away,
the children inherit a better world
than they live in today.

I live in hope until the last.
I will not give it up.
I can not live another way
than drinking from Love's cup.

written for Marian's wonderful prompt at Real Toads: to write a poem based on our response to  Steve Earl's heart-stirring song, Jerusalem. Check out the song over at Toads. It went straight to my heart. 


February 14, 1998

I wear my grandmother's ring for medicine.
Rubbing my fingers over it,
I feel my connection to her,
and to the long line of old, wise women
who came before her,
who walked the grandmother path 
before she
who walked here
before me.

One of them was a healer;
one of them spoke with ghosts.
In my past are Celtic crones
and warrior women,
mystics and dream weavers.
In my past, women galloped 
on horseback across the plains,
gave birth in tents, in covered wagons 
and in captivity.
A medicine woman is back there,
and an Untouchable,
a witch and a nun.
In my past are bent, exhausted 
and determined women,
digging in the unyielding earth
trying to feed their children
during the potato famine.

Once in vision,
row upon row of silent, 
dead-eyed women
wrapped in blankets,
I saw, weaving their way
through the frozen blackness 
of a winter morning in the Gulag
and, with a chill, I knew them,
and knew I had been there.

Somewhere back there
there was a woman of vision
and a fool.
Somewhere back there, 
wise women sat around a fire
in Council,
speaking truth and governing.

Somewhere back there,
women were burned at the stake.
Some raised swords 
and led armies on horseback.
Some were shackled together 
in a ship's hold, to be sold as slaves.
Some lived in castles 
and some in caves.

Somewhere back there,
once women's spirits flew;
somewhere back there
our souls were kept in bondage.
Somewhere back there
our feet were cruelly bound.
Somewhere back there 
we threw off all the bindings 
and stood tall.

And now I am watching 
my grandmother's face
emerging before me daily 
in the mirror.
My grandmother's eyes 
are looking out of my face.
They know me.

Somewhere from within
my grandmother has told me
to put on the ring, for now I am worthy.
I, the baby grandmother,
just coming into my power.
No longer a granddaughter,
now an elfin granddaughter 
walks beside me, looking up,
and the vast peaceful knowing
that lived in my grandmother's heart
has come to reside within me.

I wear my grandmother's ring
for love, for memory, for connection
to the line of strong women 
who came here before me
and for the line of strong women
who will walk here behind me,
for the passage of time that is timeless,
for the circle of love that is endless,
for the circle of life 
that keeps turning and turning:
one grandmother out,
one granddaughter in,
footsteps walking in footsteps,
heart upon heart,
all the way Home.

Dusted off and posted for Susan's Mid Week Motif prompt: Heritage Day, since I doubt I could write another that said it better. I am thinking of Maya Angelou's quote: I come as one, but stand for ten thousand. In my family, our matriarchal line is full of very strong women. My grandma, born in the late 1800's, who lived to be a few weeks short of one hundred, was the first woman to ride horseback for pleasure in her area. She caught the eye of the young handsome bank manager and the rest is (my/our family's) history. She had limited education but was self-taught, a voracious reader, and she campaigned to help W.A.C.Bennett get elected, in Kelowna, back in the day. She was sharp as a tack till her very last years. A character, and my lifelong inspiration.

White Knights, Blue Skies and Questing Hearts

image from

He arrived on his brown steed, dazzling,
with flowery words and promises
beyond her wildest dreams,
but before long, she began to intuit
that nothing was as it seems.

He promised forever and tried to hide
the two other women he was  secretly meeting.
He called it keeping his options open.
She just called it cheating.

The world tilted under her feet,
she scrabbling in blind terror
that she must one more time repeat
having entrusted her heart
to a noodnik. But she recovered tout suite.

He fell off his horse with a resounding thump,
yet he still tried to kiss her,after all was revealed.
"Who are you?" she asked. He was totally stumped,
playing in his own  movie, his Self well concealed.