Saturday, April 30, 2016


Braid the cattles' horns with daisies
now the winter's finally passed.
The pretty maidens all come lilting
one by one across the grass.
flowers in their hair, and singing,
dresses glimmering soft and sweet,
and they dance around the maypole,
tripping softly on light feet.

The Beltane fire is burning,
casting embers on the lawn.
Make your wish, set your intention
before the spring has come and gone.

Gather 'round the fire, my sisters.
Lift your pretty skirts up high.
One great leap, your curls a-flying,
as the lads all pine and sigh.

You're a mix of strong emotions,
half-demure, yet mostly wild.
Ride your wild-horse heart with caution,
half-woman, still mostly child.

Dance around the pretty maypole.
One by one, you claim your power.
From girl to woman you are changing,
like the springtime claims its hour.

for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads : maypoles, which made me remember another tradition, that of leaping over the fire, at solstice. Day 30!!

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Window on the World

My treasures are
all lined up in a row:
wolves, feathers, abalone shell and sage,
candles, prisms:
things that glitter in the sunshine,
and glint in the evening's candlelight.
In the centre are Pup's ashes,
his leash wrapped around the urn,
the leash that will never be used
for any other creature,
his place forever unequaled
in my heart.

for Bjorn's  prompt at Real Toads for Day 29: to describe one of our windows in a hundred words or less. I used 59. My windowsill holds all my treasures, and delights me every time I look at it. The cloth everything is sitting on came from the Himalayas. It is hard to see in the shadows, but on the left is a circle of wolves sitting around a candle. On the right are a monk and a couple of inuukshuks. In the centre is a photo of the beach with the words "I will walk there again." And I will!

Hint - if you click for a larger view, everything shows up more clearly.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Which Witch Are You?

Disoriented, dizzy, sight-impaired,
Ms Magoo Witch zooms
through the window,
into the room
and crashes her broom
- splat! -
against the wall.
In a heap, cackling,
she rights herself,
straightens her tilted hat,
and announces, cheerily,
"I'm here!"

for Words Count with Mama Zen, , to provide a bio of who we really are, in 50 words or less, to fulfill Day 28. I used 38.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Open the Door, and the Bats Will Fly Out

We are a family of quirky, open-minded people.
We flee narrowness of vision,
fences, ideologies that confine or prescribe.
We seek open pastures to romp in
(and we want the cows to romp, too,
and not be eaten.
We are equal-opportunity dreamers).

We have among us vegans and raw vegans
and even a raw vegan baby
who attacks her fruits and greens with hilarious gusto.
We have minimalists and the other end of the spectrum,
It's all good.
To each his own.
Just don't hurt the planet, or each other.

We have someone who has gone off plastic 
in a big way
because she knows the harm it has done to our world.
She lives in a tiny house, and is teaching us a lot.
We have people who have escaped from cults.
We know whereof we speak.
We have one who escapes the planet regularly 
in nightly interplanetary travels,
when the fetters of gravity prove too confining.

In other words, we cannot be convinced that
control, rigidity, narrowness and the Thought Police
will do the world any good.
A wall between countries
will never get our votes,
no matter how outlandish the toupee.

Bring on your spacious skies,
inclusiveness, love and peace,
and  kindness-revolution-dreaming.
"A better world is not only possible,
she is on her way.
On a good day, 
I can hear her breathing." *

*quote by Arundhati Roy

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Openness. I didn't have to look far for inspiration. Meet our family, LOL.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


my grand-dog Sanchez, age 15

Little one,
ride like the wind,
across the rainbow bridge
to join your brothers.
May there be squeaky balls aplenty,
beaches to run on
and grass and playtime without end.

You gave us nothing but love
for fifteen years.
Even faltering, even blind,
you barked at the geese on your last morning
at the edge of the lake.
You so loved your life,
and your people.

It was your time to leave us.
We will always miss you,
your brother Chase,
and all the other beloved creatures
who so blessed our lives.
We will for all time remember.
We will speak of you always.
Your pawprints will run forever
through our hearts.

love, Gramma

My youngest daughter, Stephanie's, fifteen year old Sanchie passed away peacefully in her arms last night at the vet's. He had been failing for some weeks. Sanchez was a total character. He loved squeaky balls to the point of obsession, and always got so excited when Grandma came to visit, because I always brought toys and many squeaky balls. He had the most wonderful life with Steph and Gord, and his little pug sister, Chloe. He joins big brother Chase in doggy heaven, where I hope there are many squeaky balls just for him. We will miss him so much, along with all of the beloved dogs who have blessed our lives.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 25: a poem

Okanagan Lake

I come from a line of strong women
with hard lives,
from a house stale with cigarette smoke 
and booze in the bottom of the glasses.
I come from poverty and longing
for an ordered existence, 
for fresh frilly curtains,
for Normal,
from milk bottles on other peoples' doorsteps
that brought me to tears
on the way to school in the mornings,
a desire for Home bred bone-deep,
that has lasted all my life,
experienced but thrice.

I come from apple blossoms 
and weeping willow,
lake whisperings and 
peony-scented summer evenings,
music and dreams and a hope so bright
it kept me moving forward 
through the pain
of outgrowing my beginnings
into that shining Tomorrow
that was
the carrot of my youth.

for Susie's prompt at Real Toads: Where Do I Come From? Day 25

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rising Up

Nahmint Valley

Everything on earth is reaching up:
small seedlings poke their way up towards the sun,
become tall trees whose branches kiss the sky,
fiddlehead ferns unfurl their tendrils one by one -
everything that grows is aiming high.

Babies crawl, then stand, then grow to six feet tall,
just so, our hopes ascend more than they fall.
Our eyes look upwards fifty times a day,
watching the light, the puffy clouds at play.

Water rises to heaven and falls as rain,
the cycle repeating, time and time again.
From birth to death, we're striving to grow wise,
and at the very end - our spirits rise.

for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Day 24


Summer's eye trolls the heavens like a cyclops,
merciless, singeing everything in sight.
The grass is yellow, brown, and dead
at half-past June.
The water tower is dangerously low,
and the firefighters have already exhausted 
their seasonal budget.

The adults wear grave faces.
The farmers worry about the hay.
But the berries are ripening early,
the tomatoes are delicious and the corn is sweet.

The horses in the pasture nibble
at dried up clumps of weed,
and seek shade at midday.

But the children laugh and play
in the yard in their plastic pools
as children have through all the summers
of my life.
And sometimes, early mornings,
the air smells as it did when I was a child,
and I am taken back
through all the years
to lake-scent and weeping willow,
sweet pea and mimosa,
me sunk in a book
in my Grandma's Big Brown Chair,
with every passing adult saying:
"What are you doing with your nose in a book
on a day like this? Get out in the sun!"
That sun I hide from now,
that sun that burns.


I have come to understand
there is a grand design to life,
crossroads and turning points,
choices, for good or ill,
which teach us something
we needed to know, intersections
which gently lead us where we are meant to go.

Sometimes the universe speaks loud and clear
yet we dont heed the call,
turn aside, go down a detour that
brings us right back where we started.
Hopefully, this time, we will listen.

I look back at what looks so random
and see it was not random at all:
certain people came, as human angels,
to guide my way.
Certain dreams lodged in my heart,
inspiring  faith and a great leap
into the unknown
an odyssey that took   years to realize

The path is shorter now.
I am listening for that voice,
waiting for one last door to open,
one last dream still alive
to bring me safely home.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Solar Impulse 2 over the Golden Gate
in San Francisco
source: CNN

Like a beautiful dream,
soaring blue on blue,
a clean energy breakthrough,
history being made.

Excitement, as Solar Impulse 2, flying without fuel, solar-powered, successfully landed in San Francisco today after flying across the Pacific. There are no end to the possibilities, in switching to clean energy. It would be better for the planet, and millions of jobs could be generated by switching to planet-friendly technologies. Pilot of Solar Impulse 2, Bertrand Piccard, told the Secretary-General of the UN that the signing of the Paris climate agreement is "the launch of the clean technology revolution." May it be so.

source: CNN

Day 23

Friday, April 22, 2016

Plant A Tree

Walbran Valley

I hear the ghost of Sister Forest
when the moon is full, 
when the moon is full,
on the denuded slopes.

"Our roots, our hearts are here,
though our bodies are all gone.
Our bodies are all gone,
our souls have nowhere
to belong.

"When you see what you have sown
on the mountains no one owns,
plant a tree, plant a tree,
in memory of me."

For Gillena's prompt at Real Toads: 100 words or less, for Mother Earth. For Earth Day. Day 22. 72 words, including the title.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


50 years in chains, Raju, 50 years,
stolen from your mother as a baby,
her cries screaming across the desert
as the truck sped you away,
long years you endured being a street elephant,
made to "perform" day after day.

Your back legs were chained with spikes
that cut into your flesh.
Fifty years of unendurable pain.
Yet you endured;
you had no choice.
You lay on concrete, in despair,
in hopelessness, in unending misery,
no grass to walk on,
no tree boughs to reach,
no other elephants with whom to speak,
so hungry, you ate paper and plastic.

You had 27 owners, and none were kind,
were poked and prodded  to wag your trunk,
and beg for coins to feed your keeper.

(How can my heart hold so much grief and despair
at how far we humans are from understanding
how to care?)

When your rescuers came by night,
your "owner" argued.
While they fought to free you,
they say tears rolled down your face,
as you realized the impossible had happened,
and your rescue was at hand.
You walked painfully onto the truck without hesitation,
not knowing if this 28th life would be better or worse,
just knowing anywhere would be better than this.
For you, the miracle: a sanctuary,
where you were fed and bathed
and your painful chains removed.

Raju, you will never
be chained again.

(I apologize for the ignorance of my species,
that you and so many others
endure such lives.
How can they not know how deeply you feel?
How can they not care?)

You had lost your faith in humankind
and it took time to learn that some of us are kind.
Your minders are patient and gentle
and love you well, so now you have no tears.

At last, you know the freedom
of walking grassy trails,
eating grass, lying in your bathing pool.
You love sweet things and apples,
and can have your fill.
Other elephants walk with you,
your low rumbles to each other
expressing contentment at the change
that has come into your life.

(Now our tears are for the others,
still in chains.)

In the world of my imagination,
(something that will never happen
since humans are such a sorry lot),
not one animal is chained,
each one  free to be who he or she  is meant to be.
This world will not evolve until
each human understands
animals feel exactly the same emotions:
joy and pain and sorrow, hope and despair,
love, devotion, grief, loyalty and fear,
as we.

source: Wildlife SOS film

Daily Mail news article

You may donate to Wildlife SOS, who have rescued many abused elephants, and are working tirelessly to rescue many more.

for Fireblossom's prompt at Real Toads: a poem with an elephant in it.

Day 21

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Inch by Inch and Row by Row........"

The seeds themselves taught me how to garden.
The weeds showed me that roots need soft, loose soil.
The little nature spirits smiled upon my garden
and it grew.

I loved the shush-shush-shush of the sprinkler
in the early morning,
loved weeding in the cool of the evening,
as the skies turned softly azure,
till there was not a weed left,
the fat pet rabbit munching up and down the rows,
then settling beside me to doze, well-fed, content.

I remember Stephanie, age two, plunked down
beside the pea vines, shelling and eating peas,
the older kids in straw hats helping me weed,
complaining about the heat,
my Grandma, sitting underneath the grape arbor,
chatting as I weeded.
I remember bringing home small trees and bushes
from the nursery on my bike,
teetery fronds wavering in front and rear baskets,
me peering through the branches,
trying not to topple,
people in cars smiling at me as they passed.

How we all loved the garden's bounty:
canteloupes, watermelons, honeydews,
veggies bursting with health and vitality,
organic, fresh from garden to plate.
The grape arbor and several fruit trees
meant all summer was a banquet,
satisfying to a single mom trying to feed
her hungry children.

And, just like the garden,
inch by inch, and year by year,
I and my children grew.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Organic

My title is taken from a song we used to sing in coffeehouse days.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tramping a Windy Shore

This beautiful image was created for me by

Lightness of spirit comes with morning sun:
horses grazing new spring grass,
dogs lolling on the lawn.
Incense wafts magic and mystery through the room,
a wand to spirit me over the mountains,
away to the silver sea.

I stood on the shore, waves singing,
skies a kaleidoscope of clouds,
watching a dog, not my dog, frisking on the shore,
remembering a big black wolf who lived 

for days like this.

I am forever tethered somewhere else,
and yet am always here.

Sunlight lends energy, welcome
after the endless winter grey.
I fold away depression with my winter sweaters,
bring out the lighter garments,
inner and outer, of spring.

Sitting on my porch swing,
I rock backwards into yesterday.

Terry Tempest Williams says to focus on
"the beauty of what remains".
It has always been about the beauty.
That blue sky has kept me looking up,
feet marching forward, all my life.

Rocking and rocking, I travel back
through all those tumbling years.
Who knew how precious each moment was
till it was gone?

Black wolves forever wander through my dreams.
I am always tramping a deserted, windy shore.
And forever I will, until I am no more.

for the prompt at isojournal for Day 19, which is included below. It looked daunting, if not impossible, at first, but then took me on a journey. Yay!

1. A feeling
2. Observe the scenery of your immediate surroundings
3. Personification of an inanimate object
4. Use a metaphor
5. Spend four lines recalling a prominent memory
6. Use symbolism in a statement
7. Associate some form of weather to the feeling in #1
8. Tell a lie, about anything
9. Make a reference to a holiday or season
10. State a fact about a favorite artist or poet
11. Compare yourself to a specific piece from the artist/poet you used in #10
12. Negate the lie you told in #8, or further support or restate it
13. Describe a daydream or parts of a dream you’ve had
14. For the last two lines, refer to a vacationing location

Monday, April 18, 2016

She Who Speaks With Ravens

This wonderful montage was created for me by TUG,
who has followed my long, slow pilgrimage back
to the sea for several years now. Thank you, my friend.

She who speaks with ravens
and with doves,
who sings with wolves
ki-yi-ing in the rain,
her soul's refrain
is steady as raindrops on salal,
salt air and sunrise
over a silver sea,
waves undulating 
to the rhythm of her heart,
her love as steadfast as the moon,
through all the heart-sore years
 they've spent apart.

The ocean is her mistress,
delicate lick of foam
along a sandy shore,
miles of untouched beauty
stretching all before,
wild as the eagle,
soft as the dove, her love;
her mantra,
to return and leave no more.

I had written this poem before reading  Brendan's  challenge at Real Toads for Day 18: to write on a familiar theme, but turn it on its head and write from another perspective. So I tried it, with some difficulty, with this result:

The ghost of the Westerly
has always called her name
but Raven cautions:
do not play
the waiting game.

If you never can return
to the home for which you yearn,
the time that there is left
must move ahead.
Before you, not too far,
awaits your final resting bed.

If Raven quoth : "Nevermore!", in exile lost,
and I must pay in full the karmic cost,
my heart, as wild and constant, will remain,
though the Westerly will forever 
call my name.
Like other refugees, I'll persevere,
although another pathway is unclear.
In exile, while I know where I belong,
I will continue  counting out the hours,
remembering when all the wild was ours.
I'll sing my familiar until-next-time song,
my heartbeat and my love
stay just as strong.

[Had I known TUG was going to create the wonderful picture above, I would have worn less bulky clothing. I look like a small army, LOL. But he well knows my heart. He has caught my two loves: Pup and the beach, and all my longing for the wild.] 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

When Sun Dogs Dance Across the Sky

Wickaninnish Beach Sun Dog
(the driftwood looks like a wolf to me)

When sun dogs dance across the sky,
the sacred prophecy is at hand,
as the Children of the Rainbow
begin to walk across the land.

Hush, now, and listen,
for the Grandmothers are speaking:

"Like a new-born, wobbly foal, 
you're trying to find your skittery legs,
in a time of great change
as land and waters re-arrange.
You'll feel the wobble in the earth
turmoil in the land and sea.
As our Mother Earth  gives birth,
we'll learn a balanced way to be."

The people of the Rainbow
were born seeing with new eyes.
May those ready to awaken
hear our Mother's painful cries.

"Getting More must now give way 
to the sharing of All with All.
We must return to the Old Ways,
let polluted systems fall.
There will be turmoil in the turning.
Trust those with  twinkles in their eyes.
They are cool water to ease the burning.
They are the Messengers, so wise." 

Mother Earth, I feel you quickening
as the new world is a-borning,
like a shape-shifter, transforming,
response to evolution's dawning.

"In the time of whirling rainbows, 
dance your prayers under the sky. 
Listen to the song of the wolves,
fate of the wild world in their cry.

"Sing songs of love and peace.
Watch for a rainbow 'round the sun.
When sun dogs dance across the sky,
the Fifth World of Peace will have begun.

Ah, ho. Now we have spoken."

Thank you, Grandmothers, 
for this hope and trust.
We will help the people change, 
because change we must.
We will sing with the wolves 
our song of tomorrow,
work to mend and heal the planet's people 
and the earth  its sorrow.

*To the Navajo and the Hopi, the Prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow speaks of Ancestors who will return in white bodies, but who are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again. The generation following the Flower Children are prophesied to be the ones who will see the dawning of the Fifth World of Peace.

How this poem came to be : In an email to my friend Truedessa, I wrote: "We will sing with the wolves our song of tomorrow," and recognized it had poem potential.  Truedessa suggested we each write a poem including that line, to be posted this Sunday. I am so looking forward to reading hers at True Wanderings.

posted for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

And Watch Them Fall

Oh, it's the might have beens that get you
when you're old,
when the weeks fly by so fast
and the story's mostly told.

On a good day? the sun shines
and the grey clouds roll away,
the words flow line by line,
and there's purpose in the day.

On a bad day, the memories roll past,
 the remembering of all that didn't last.
And you wish you could go back, re-live it all,
roll out all the pretty dreams, 
and watch them fall.

for Elizabeth's prompt at isojournal : the song by Simon and Garfunkle, Slip-Slidin' Away , and the question: what happens on a good day? a bad day? Day 16

And it might remotely fit for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: Remains. The remains of a life?

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Tree, Cackling

Chris's Flowers
photo by Christine Lowther

Wild Woman is feeling Zen-like and 
this morning.

She asks the empty air :
have you ever heard
a tree

What is the sound
of one pencil,

What happens on the middle day
of poetry month
when all the poets
start looking wild-eyed
and defeated?

Wild Woman says, wisely :
If you keep tapping,
words will come.

Day 15: Wild Woman is getting a little antsy because it is the middle of the month and the muse hasn't kicked into gear. Yikes. Then I visited Magaly's blog, where her witchy words and beautiful art were like drinking a cool cup of refreshment. We continue on.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wise Child

Little wise child,  under the silver moon.
your eyes know the Old Ones,
who knew you'd  soon
visit our realm and brighten our days.
As we walk with you, we change our ways.

Little laughing girl with the Old Soul eyes.
How did you get to be so wise?
Don't lose your wholeness as you grow.
Remember all you know.

Little laughing girl with the happy heart,
you brought joy and laughter
 from the start.
To our hearts you hold the golden key,
 and now we will forever be
captives of your
merry little heart.

This is my beautiful, funny, wise, and happy great-granddaughter, Lunabella. For Elizabeth's prompt at isojournal: to use the words child, walk, silver, cradle, keys and moon. Luna never needed a cradle, she has her mommy's arms. Day 14 kids. Is not this month going fast?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When Feeling Homeless, Read This Poem

do you feel like you've been 
searching for home
for a lifetime?

Are you out there in the dark
storm-tossed and weary,
buffeted by winds,
with still such a long way to go?

Come home.
I'll put a candle on the sill
to light your way. 
There's a fire in the hearth
and a soup-pot slow-simmering.
Comfort and kind words await.
You need only arrive.

Come home, weary traveler,
to the only home
there ever is ~
home to yourself
once again.

Day 13

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Once I was seven years old,
seven years old,
wide blue eyes full of questions.
Once I was seven years old,
all of life ahead,
confusing and exciting.

Soon I will be seventy years old,
seventy years old,
no more questions,
lots of knowing.
Soon I will be seventy years old,
looking back at all the turnings
in the highway.

How can I be seventy years old,
seventy years old,
when my heart feels so much younger?
How can I be seventy years old?
So many stories
still waiting to be told,
and the past all tinged,
in memory,
with gold.

A rough stab at Kerry's prompt at Real Toads on Day 12: to take inspiration from the song Seven Years Old (which is so cool!) by Lukas Graham. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

State of Emergency in Attawapiskat
courtesy of Christopher Kataquapit

The news is alarming out of northern Canada this week. Acting Chief of the Cross Lake First Nations, Shirley Robinson, has declared a state of emergency after a rash of suicides and attempted suicides. The Globe and Mail reports there have been 140 suicide attempts in the last two weeks. Eleven people attempted suicide this past Saturday night, the oldest 71, and the youngest only 11.

The most urgent problems are reported to be poverty, over-crowded and inadequate housing (see above, where as many as fifteen people might be crammed into one house), and issues arising from past abuse. The community has an 80 percent unemployment rate.

Band councillor Donnie McKay reports the community of 8300 is traumatized and needs immediate help from provincial and federal governments. When the band asked the provincial Minister of Health for assistance last month, it resulted in one worker being sent in for one eight hour shift.

Chief Robinson is asking for a team of mental health workers, child psychologist, family counsellors and after-hours workers, to relieve the exhausted handful of staff on reserve. She says every day spent waiting for relief, more people are at risk. 

The article states, "Frustrated residents occupied the generating station in 2013. They said their traditional lands are regularly transformed into a floodway and none of the promised economic development and employment programs has materialized.

Premier Greg Selinger personally apologized a year ago for the damage caused by the hydro development to Cross Lake’s traditional land, way of life and cultural identity.

After that apology, Robinson said there was a sense of hope, but that quickly vanished.

“There is lots of despair.”"

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is expected to travel to Cross Creek in the next few days. 

One more example of the two-tiered system that exists in Canada. That such a substandard way of life, which cannot help but breed hopelessness and despair, still exists is simply unacceptable. 


CHINTA PUXLEY The Canadian Press
as seen in The Globe and Mail

Only a Dream?

It's not practical, it's not reasonable,
you're not being logical,
you are too old to be dreaming,
they say, and maybe they are right.
All I know is, my heart sinks 
at the thought of giving up on my dream,
and soars to life at the prospect of it coming true.
Therein lies my answer.

for Elizabeth's prompt at isojournal for Day 11: to write a poem in ten lines or less using some or all of the words: practical, reasonable, logical, absurd, liberal, radical. I have heard those words frequently of late. Smiles. But how, I ask, does one live without a dream?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

When Wild Ones Grow Weary

When you love a wild thing,
it is impossible to return to being tame,
once he has gone.
You can pretend you are civilized,
but the twitch of your whiskers will,
sooner or later, betray you.

Stalking the sunset,
sweet memories will accompany you.
The thought of that little wolf-pup,
gamboling along the beach,
and, when he was bigger,
plunging in and out of the surf with a loopy grin,
will bring a smile, and a tear.
Love is joy. And then pain.
But oh! the remembering!
so bittersweet.

Forever, now,
I will listen for his song.
I will live all the day long
a weary wolf woman
with wolf howls in my heart.

A poem using the titles of four of my poems, "When You Love a Wild Thing", "Stalking the Sunset", "Weary Wolf Woman", and "Wolf Howls In My Heart", for  Magaly's  prompt at Real Toads: A Poem Of Our Own, to write a poem using three poem titles. I seemed to need four to say it all.  Day 10, kids.


Last weekend I ecstatically walked three wild beaches in Tofino
with my dear friend, the well-known Canadian poet, Christine Lowther

We borrowed Chris's landlord's dog, Meneena,
who was very glad of the outings. 
There is nothing happier than 
a dog on a beach. 
Tofino dogs are all lucky dogs.

Me and my camera, enjoying the view

The waves are wonderful this time of year.

...and the skies and colours are ever-changing.

It is truly magical, a power place.

Driving home through the mountains, at the top of one of the passes is this lovely, still little pond. A quick look, then through the mountains and home, restored to myself in soul, mind and body.