Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tofino Bound!

Once again, I am heading over the mountain pass to my heart's home, and I am thrilled. I need an injection of Beach very badly. You can see from the photos why my heart clings to this place - one is surrounded by such natural beauty and wildness there, that no where else can compare.

I will be without computer access until my return on either Saturday or Sunday. When I am back, I will catch up with you all. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, happy hearts, and beauty out every window.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wild Woman Calls 9-1-1

Wild Woman is putting in a 9-1-1 call
to the universe.
It appears her vivacity has been
temporarily misplaced
under the grey-sky-fall/foul-weather-blahs.
She needs an injection of something vital
to re-animate her unwilling appendages.
She needs something to prop up her head,
for her neck is tired of bearing the weight
of All Her Thoughts.
She needs more time in bed.

But, lo! What is this?
There is a raven peering disapprovingly 
in the window, beak pursed thinly.
Wild Women, apparently, 
are expected to get wilder with age,
not increasingly tired.

Wild Women never get to retire,
as it is a self-imposed post.

Okay, wait a minute.
She has a handy cackle on tap,
and a weary but Can-Do heart. 
She can do this.

Her leg explores the floor speculatively;
she slowly rises. So far, so good.
A pratfall in this poem might  be entertaining,
but it would do Wild Woman little good.
Since we are the authors of this tale,
let's send in a darkly handsome man-servant 
with a cup of vanilla latte.
A team of prancing ponies?
A chariot of fire to lift her higher?

Things are definitely looking up!

Here's something even better:
let's send her to Tofino tomorrow 
for a Total Soul Re-Animation.
That'll do the trick!

Sorry, kids. I am in a Brain Warp at the moment, as the grey skies rolled in and all my energy seeped out. But I AM going to Tofino tomorrow, which will restore me to mySelf. The beach is lovely in any weather, as only a beach can be. This bit of silliness is posted, with my apologies,  for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motiff: Animation. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Seeking Solace at Loon Lake

If there be loons here,
then, they are hiding,
perhaps in the tall fronds along the shore
where I walk no more
with you beside me.
Once we heard a beaver slap his tail
like cannon-shot,
the birds startling from the trees,
your ears perking up,
wolfish and knowing.

There will be no end to my tears,
so lonely is life without you.
Yet yesterday, I breathed in 
a deep draught of dry, crackly leaves
and, in that moment,
was purely happy.

Life goes on.
We were two souls, traveling.
We are still two souls, traveling,
just on different planes,
and I cant find a loon anywhere,
for solace at Loon Lake.

Wild Woman Goes for Tea

There is a dangerous old woman
who lives in the forest.
Her house is whittled inside a tree trunk,
and her music is the rainfall on the leaves.

"Whu-hoo", says the owl 
on the cobbled doorstep,
blinking her yellow eyes
and rustling her feathers.

"To enter, you must have passed 
sixty years of seasons.
The map of your life
must be drawn upon your face,
and your eyes droop with 
sadness and the memory
of your journey.
Yes. You are
sad enough and wise enough
to pass."

I enter and, within, the fire is blazing.
A grizzled white-haired crone bends
to pour my tea.

"And what are you wondering?
What question brings you here?"
she asks,
dipping a dainty finger
in her teacup
and stirring.

"What do I have to do,
to have my dwelling in a tree?"

"Grow back your clipped wings,
and remember how to fly."

One from 2013, kids, posted at Real Toad's  Tuesday Platfom. Because I am in need of a cup of tea. And wings. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

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 is it we busy ourselves with technology
and forget it is our bare feet on 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,

One from 2014, re-posted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry. Do join us, and enjoy some fine poetry on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Feet planted in earth, eyes on the sky,
we live, millions of rooted feet
on a curved ball floating through space.
How do the penguins on the South Pole
stay fastened to the ground?

The earth holds our hearts with its beauty.
Our souls strive higher.
One day, the axis shrugged her shoulders,
just a little,
and you fell off.
I wander the leylines, bereft,
searching for you.

A questionable response to  Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Gravity

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Language of Clouds

Looking at the sky, we long to learn
the language of clouds, of mountaintops.
Mother Sky, teach me
how to sing like small bird, like raven,
like Owl.
Quiet my heart, so I may listen
to the breath of Grandfather Cedar,
and learn to speak tree,
to speak river,
to speak wind.

Transform my soul
to make me worthy of
learning to sing
in whalesong.
Lead me along the shore,
to count the waves,
my heart singing 
joyously and forever
the song of Ocean.

posting for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there are wonderful poems to read every Sunday morning. Do join us.

Friday, October 16, 2015

"Number, Plee-Yuz"

wikipedia photo

Wild Woman's technical prowess
stalled around 1989.
She came from the land of rotary dial phones,
and, before that, a phone on the wall,
where you picked up the receiver
and a nasal voice intoned
"Number, plee-yuz."
She came from party lines
and being busted at thirteen
for listening in on the next door neighbor's
conversation with her new love interest.

Wild Woman, growing dim of eye,
upgraded to a squat toad-like creature
perched on her window seat
with gigantic touch-tone numbers,
blinking lights,
and a mechanical voice
that says who is calling.
Which would be great, if she could hear.
Mostly, the Toad intones "Unknown Number",
which is why she rarely picks up.
Occasionally a grown child will call 
to ask if she is still alive.
Sometimes, she picks up, thinking it might be
one of her children, and finds
a telemarketer on the other end of the line.
Argh. Her chagrin is palpable,
and does not make the day of the unlucky caller.

There is no question that no one she is related to
will ever give her a cell phone.
When forced to use one, one offspring or another
will hand her a small biscuit-like Thing
that she looks at, nonplussed,
asking: "How do I talk?
Where is the hole?"
She talks to the air, disbelieving
this biscuit is an actual phone.
Her children roll their eyes.
"How do I turn it off?"
she asks, helplessly, thrusting it at
whoever is nearest.


She is okay - just barely -with an electric toothbrush.
But keep those little biscuits well away from her.
They do not compute.

for Shay's prompt at Real Toads: a poem with a rotary phone. Rotary phones - now THOSE were PHONES!!!!!!! LOL. She asked for magic. But I'm old and tired. Magic is those little cell phone thingies, and devices that do magical things far beyond my comprehension.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On Eagle's Wings

aerial photo of the Taylor River, 
Sproat Lake in the distance

Hobbling Woman is gazing at the sky:
up there, the earth is a true-blue dream,
of rivers and lakes and forests,
graced by clouds.

Out where the river bends,
a hooty-owl calls sleepily
from a time-bent bough.
Hobbling Woman hears it
from fifty miles away.

"I send you my heart, on eagle's wings.
Send it back to me, please,
filled with a true-blue dream
of earth and sky."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Poison Fire

In cave man days, the discovery of fire 
was a wonder.
Flickering shadows on cave walls, 
fire made survival possible,
turned mealtimes into joy, 
warmed frigid winter nights.
Fire was magic.

As a species, we have evolved 
past the point of wonder, into fear:
fear of what the poison fire 
can do, has done, is doing,
to the planet that is our home.

Now, fire-bombs incinerate towns and villagers.
Nuclear reactors melt down, 
leach poison into the earth,
contaminate the land,
the growing crops, the forage for animals,
the rivers and lakes.
A nuclear accident could set off 
a chain reaction
to annihilate the earth.

Chimps and aliens alike must watch
 the behavior of our species, 
so disconnected from our world
that we bomb the land and poison 
its clear waters,
so arrogant we think we can control 
poison fire.

The earth's heart bleeds leaked radioactive waste,
its rivers cry irradiated tears.
Air carries emissions from the poison fire
on the wind.
All in its sphere slowly succumb to cancer.
People, plants, trees, lakes, rivers,
animals suffer the effects,
while governments turn their eyes away,
touting the benefits of nuclear power.

Who holds the power, truly,
when the reactors melt down?

Centuries hence, whatever mutated, 
primitive life form might be left alive,
or is born again after a millennium of deadness,
will  be transformed
by poison fire. 

Aeons later, mankind may rediscover fire.
May he use it more wisely 
and respectfully
than we.

I have been impacted by re-reading Joanna Macy's Widening Circles, her journey into understanding the danger of nuclear reactors, even in their dormant state, to the fate of the earth. 

Greenpeace points out that one radioactive waste storage site in Nevada is located on  a volcanically and seismically active site. Oh my goodness.

posted for Sumana's Midweek Motif prompt: Fire

I have finished the book now, and promise to write something more positive next!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Sad Trees of Chernobyl

The sad trees of Chernobyl
are talking to the forests of Fukushima.
They are weighted with the grief
of being life-givers
who now bear radioactivity,
illness and death.
The wind blows through their branches,
wafting cancer towards the villages
where people are suffering and dying,
or being born already encumbered
by cells of death.*

"We are sad," say the trees,
"and we are lonely.
Because we carry the poison germs,
the people no longer come
to walk under our branches.
The children may not play and climb
and laugh along our limbs.
We have always been bearers of life
and now we are bearers of disease."

They wave their arms and weep,
these gentle tree-beings,
but, sadly,
even their tears
are filled with

* trees hold radioactivity for a very long time. People within the vicinity of a radioactive "accident" are forbidden to go into the surrounding forests.

I have been profoundly impacted by re-reading Joanna Macy's  Widening Circles, which charts her journey through understanding the dangers of nuclear reactors, even in their dormant state, to the fate of the earth. Joanna, in her workshops all over the world, always begins with an Elm Dance, the people standing, becoming trees, and dancing together, arms waving like branches. 

The dance is for the healing of the trees, the planet, and all of its life forms - and to renew one's purpose of intention : to work towards a better and safer world for all beings. (Remembering that trees are beings, as are all life forms, and worthy of our care and concern.) As one of the women at the workshops said, "We are all branches of the same tree." That we are.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mother Ocean / Small Stream

[Rogers Creek trail by Kristina Kemps 
of Heart of Vancouver Island

Small stream, as you gambol down rocky cliffs,
burble and babble in swirling pools,
chuckle in the afternoon sunlight,
you meet obstacles
on your journey to the sea.

Drought dries up your stream bed for a time,
or logs crash down and clog your passage 
with mud and debris
it might take aeons to dislodge,
before you can flow freely
once again.

And yet you persevere,
with confidence,
with courage, with determination,
with gaiety,
because forward is the only direction you know,
and your life's work is 
to finally reach the sea.

You stay serene and focused,
because you know that,
whatever may befall you as you travel,
still, you are water,
each drop of you as necessary
to the cycle of life as the next.
You know, one day you will merge
with Mother Ocean,
will become one with her,
will immerse yourself in her immensity
for all time.
Already, even at such a distance,
you are one,
for, still and always, 
you are water.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


My beautiful great-granddaughter, Lunabella,
for whom we are most thankful
this Thanksgiving weekend.
[photo by her mom and my granddaughter, Ali]

The young and the old
share a way of
looking at the world ~
in awe, amazed ~
the young, because it is so new
and wonder-filled,
the elderly because,
the older we get,
the more every single thing
looks and feels
like a miracle.

Up here in Canada, it is our Thanksgiving weekend. There is always so much to be thankful for: eyesight, mobility, roofs under which to shelter from the rain, rivers, clouds, nature's beauty ~ and, this fall, a brand new baby great-granddaughter, through whose wondering eyes we will rediscover the world, brand new all over again.

Posted for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is always fine reading of a Sunday morning. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mother Sky / Small Bird

Expansive Mother Sky,
in all your greys and blues,
your hazy autumn hues,
you hold my heart
the way the rugged maple
holds the twiggy nest
in which sits a little brown bird,
serene, and softly singing.


Small bird,
with your sweetness
you are
 the bodhisattva
of my morning.
you awaken me
to the plight of all beings.


who own only feathers,
are far happier 
than we.
Teach us your song.


posted for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Teachers or Learning. 

Happiness Elusive

Sproat Lake photo from 

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Kahlil Gibran

The past was built on dreams, a hoped-for future that would be everything the present was not. And then the future arrived, and it was so much less than she had dreamed. Heartache, and wondering: why was what everyone else found so easily denied to her? The lesson, she discovered at mid-life, was learning to be all right alone, to stop waiting, to make her own dream come true. And so she did. Then that dream, too, was withdrawn, and she was cast up once again on the shores of Not-Enough, expected to find a sufficiency there. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow merge in the fulfillment of a life that was only once, for ten golden years, truly fulfilled. 

where is the golden beauty I've been seeking?
happiness elusive,
all my dreams are sleeping.

for Bjorn's prompt at dVerse Poets Pub: to write a haibun from a Gibran quote. I chose the one above. The haiku are lines I wrote when I was very young, in my teens, and which I remembered as I read Gibran's words.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Wild Woman, Inexplicable

Wild Woman has inexplicably become
a tired old woman with a gimpy leg,
and a valiant hobble.

Because she has a Can Do attitude,
she still tries to Do,
when a more sensible option
would be lying down 
and elevating her appendage.

Days are slow, but still not long enough.
She taps and taps at the keys
like a telegraph operator,
listening for hidden messages.

In her world, sleeping is not a problem.
It is the waking up that is the tricky part.
First thing she does every morning, 
after testing her legs, 
to make sure they will hold her up,
is turn on the computer, 
whose comforting hum companions her 
through another day of living.

Sometimes she opens her mouth 
and emits  a weird cackle, 
that sends the ravens shooting out of the trees 
in an explosion skyward, flapping and cawing.
When they return, they land tentatively,
prepared to be infrequently alarmed.

This woman has lived long and is fierce.
She consorts with wolves and shamans
and hobbles to the beat of the drum.

This woman is tired and soft.
She lies on the couch and 
cries over sad movies.

Wild Woman has inexplicably become
a tired old woman with a gimpy leg,
but a valiant hobble.
She hunches over her keyboard
tapping out salutations to the outside world,
and listens for hidden messages.

[LOL. One can only laugh! ]

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Transforming Nature's Wonders

Maverick Rock, Wikipedia

As I walk along this ancient land,
shape-shifters transmogrify,
half-seen out of the corners of my eye.
Ahead, the midden rose,
flat-topped and far-seeing.
They say the tribe's wise ones
would gather there to discuss community affairs,
mete out restorative justice, talk strategy
for going forward.

I have reverently stood atop its plateau,
have handled the shards of old clay pots,
then set them gently back on the earth.
I have glanced up, walking down below,
to sudden glimpses of the people
of that long-gone world, going about 
the business of daily living,
until the land was suddenly green and brown 
and blue once more,
their alternate world disappeared 
in the mists of time.

I saw its form so clearly on that day,  
starkly outlined against an indigo sky.
I heard faint ululations on the wind.
But now I walk the land again, 
certain this was the spot
and it is no longer here.
Only once, did it reveal itself 
and those other living presences, to me,
and then no more,
transforming me forever
from who I was before.

for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads: Transforming Nature's Wonders. We are looking at Mount Roraima, and the landscape where Venezuala, Brazil and Guyana meet.