Saturday, July 30, 2016

Song for Jesse

From the dock to the cabin took seven minutes.
The little boy ran ahead,
his father following more slowly.
Somewhere along the way, 
he hung his jacket on a bush.
Good boy, Jesse, only seven years old.
When his dad got to the cabin, 
Jesse wasn't there.

Calling, searching, not finding. 
Alerting the neighbors, 
all searching and calling.

In a while, a shout came from the beach:
his father walked the worst 
hundred yards of his life.
Bloody jogging pants is all
the cougar left behind.

In the old theatre, two years later,
Jesse's friends sang a song for him,
in memory,
voices high and sweet,
their father's sobs
in counterpoint.

A sad song for Jesse,
only seven years old.

True story. This happened to a friend of mine, years ago. He lived in a cabin on an island across from Tofino. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Life's Gifts

Accept my gift of air,
says Tree -
a free exchange.
Sit upon my softness and rest,
invite the mossy roots.
Feast your eyes!
brags the fiddlehead fern,
unfurling itself like
a trapeze artist
in mid-flight.

Around us,
Mother Earth is showering
her love upon us:
rock and river,
flower and tree,
teaching us there is great peace
in simply being
who we're meant
to be.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Distraught Sister Moon


Distraught Sister Moon,
I see you up there, pacing around,
wringing your hands,
"what to do, what to do, what to do?"

Down below, all hell is breaking loose:
bombings, shootings, drought,
famines, floods, melting icebergs,
forest fires,
wildlife fleeing in terror,
with no where to hide,
dangerous people with bad hair
behaving badly.

I see you trying to efface your fullness
quickly, perhaps thinking
if you lessen your roundness
the populace can return to calm
under a slice of moon.
But when were we last calm?
Between the dinosaur era 
and Cro-Magnon,
was there once an age 
of hunting and gathering,
feasting and rejoicing,
before My Cave and Your Cave 
became issues and clubs started swinging?

By your light, madmen and prophets collide.
By your light, poets seek truth and beauty.
By your light, we dream of a better world.

You have stopped pacing.
You like where this is going.
Okay, hear this:
By the Light of Your Silvery Moon,
on earth we dream, we dream,
we dream of peace.

Inspired by my offhand remark in an email....LOL.

Postcard From the Edge of Summer

WWI postcard

Just a line to tell you so,
for I am sadder than you know,
that off to war you had to go,
beautiful beau.

The summer heat
is not discreet.
I can feel the pulsing beat
of tribal rhythms
in my feet,
much too happy
for a heart
so full of woe.

And after ten a.m.
it's just too hot.
Limply languid on the couch,
totes up the gains and losses,
dot by dot.
I am forsaken, all bereft.
My poor heart has
a leaden heft.
I was a happy girl
but then you left.

Watch the farthest distant shore,
where I am waving, ("Je t'adore!"),
hoping we will meet once more,
after the war.

for Kerry's postcard challenge at Real Toads.

A Simple Transformative Dream

Ryerson University students Ilya Zatolokin, Sonya Noronha, 
Stefany Nieto and Ben Canning. 
Enactus Ryerson photo via Canadian Press

He did not accept that
the prohibitive cost of
imported fruits and vegetables
in the frozen North
was "just the way it is".

He dreamed a dream,
found funding,
built an igloo-shaped greenhouse,
and began.

He is teaching local youth
how to grow kale, and potatoes,
tomatoes,  cucumbers,
and hope.

Nothing is impossible,
given vision, and will,
and a collection of energetic hands
working together.

On the news last night I saw a cheering news clip about a young man with a dream.  Ben Canning, a student of Ryerson University in Toronto,  Canada, made a series of trips to Nunavut in the frozen North this spring, with three fellow students, to build an igloo-shaped greenhouse with a hydroponic system,  to grow fresh vegetables for the community. The locals call it the "Green Igloo," and the community has been involved in the work.

In Nunavut, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, which arrive by boat and plane, is exorbitant and beyond the reach of most locals. Ben said four apples cost him $13. A jug of orange juice costs $26.29. Impossible.

The students made several trips in, first to build the structure, and again to involve local youth in planting the crops, teaching them how to continue the work once the students have left. Last night's newscast showed the locals tasting fresh kale and celebrating the accomplishments of the young people involved.

The project is part of Enactus, an international organization that connects students and business experts, with a goal of using entrepreneurial action to raise living standards.The Green Igloo project is known as Growing North, a non-profit organization. They hope to expand it to neighboring communities.

How I love to see good news, and practical needs being addressed in such a positive way, on the evening news. We have long heard about the prohibitive price of groceries in the north. It is heartening to see students step up and address this, involving the community,  in a solution-oriented way that brings tangible results. So much more effective than endless talking and high-priced "studies" which are exercises in futility.

What's that quote?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, 
committed citizens can change the world; 
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. 

Margaret Mead

Sources:  Huffington Post , CTV News

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Acceptance

Monday, July 25, 2016


The half-moon and I
greeted each other this morning.
We both were waning.
Consulting my oracles
on facebook,
I learned this is the time for
going rogue,
for bringing forth 
our Inner Roar,
for singing
"I've Gotta Be Me."


I have never been much
for roaring and chest-thumping.
But I have observed,
it can be somewhat effective.

The moon has no answers.
She has her own stuff
to do,
filling in her other half,
inch by inch,
between now
and the next full moon.

I need to set to as well,
in the other direction,
honing my round, blurry shape
-and my round, blurry life-
into something
more definitive.

Going rogue?
Wild Woman may not roar,
but she has been known to be 
quietly subversive.

LOL.....I gazed at the moon, and she gazed at me.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Half the Sky

In Buddhism, satyagraha is the enacting of truth, as the Dalai Lama, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.......and especially the heroic women of our world  so powerfully exemplify.
Robert Thurman, in his foreword to the Dalai Lama's book, My Appeal To The World.

Women Hold Up Half the Sky
Chinese proverb

In the footsteps of our 
mothers and grandmothers,
we walk,
doing the work of nesting, nurturing,
chopping wood, carrying water,
children on our backs,
their future in our eyes and hearts.

There is work to be done,
and the children must be fed,
so we roll up our sleeves.
We do less talking about truth
than living it.
We suffer under oppression
until we grow strong enough to fly,
and then
live free under the limitless sky.

We do the work of the world, unseen,
and largely unappreciated.
In poverty,
we find a way to feed our children.
In wartime and famine,
we bundle our rags and our children
and walk a thousand miles 
seeking refuge.

As grandmothers,
we look at the world 
with wise eyes,
seeing clearly
what it took a lifetime to learn,
that the young are too youthful to hear. 
Enacting truth and loving beauty
is what we offer to our villages,
for the women of the world
hold up half the sky.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wolf Spirit

Wolf Spirit,
you came me me in dreams,
with three white sisters.
They held back,
while you came forward,
nudged your nose against my knee,
in trust, in respect,
as my wolf-pup used to do.

I offered you a bowl of milk,
which you accepted,
dipping your head to drink,
and then you left,
back into the greenwoods.

I woke, knowing you will
travel with me now, 
forever, in my heart,
along with my black wolf,
who perhaps sent you
to tell of his transformation
into spirit,
perhaps to say goodbye.

for Hannahs prompt at Real Toads: Totem Animals

Wolf Spirit

google image, artist unknown
no copyright infringement intended

Wolf Spirit,
you came to me in dreams,
with three white sisters.
They held back,
while you came forward,
nudged your nose against my knee,
in trust, in respect,
as my wolf-pup used to do.

I offered you a bowl of milk,
which you accepted,
dipping your head to drink,
and then you left,
back into the greenwoods.

I woke, knowing you will
travel with me now, 
forever, in my heart,
along with my black wolf,
who perhaps sent you
to tell of his transformation
into spirit,
perhaps to say goodbye.

for Hannahs prompt at Real Toads: Totem Animals

The Right To Vote

Between 1916 to 1919,
Canadian women slowly gained

the right to vote,
emerging from their farm kitchens
and heading into town
with horse and buggy
to cast their ballots.

In 1929, after careful deliberations,
the Canadian courts officially recognized 
women as Persons.

In 1971, he said to me,
We were doing okay
till you started thinking
you were a person.

The walk to freedom is long.
One carries bruises,
and must evince perseverance.
When it is time to vote,
we remember the women
who fought so hard
to win us a voice,
as we cast our 
carefully considered votes.

For Susans prompt at Midweek Motiff: the right to vote.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Buddha Land

copyright  Matthieu Ricard

She tosses the rice
to the left, to the right.
There must always be rice
for the blessing.

The Lama walks,
blessing the land.
A rainbow appears on the right.
It is said that this Lama
manifests a rainbow
wherever he goes.

A whale is swimming by, 
down below, in the bay.
The eagle, watching from the topmost scrag,
gives one piercing, joyous cry,
then resettles his feathers.
He does not fly away.

Joy beyond joy,
tears on her face,
a Lama is blessing her homestead.
The whale! The eagle!
The rainbow!
Miracles, all.
When the blessing is over,
the Lama smiles.

"This is Buddha Land,"
he says.

In truth,
it is all Buddha land,
full of miracles and wonders,
for those who have eyes to see,
and hearts to understand.

One from 2012, my friends, because we need to remember beauty, and joy, and hope, especially in dark times. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Come join us Sunday morning, for some uplifting reading!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Dawn over Tofino Inlet

Perhaps this is Armageddon,
not fire and wrath rained down
on us by heavenly forces,
but bombs and bullets, 
hatred and death,
we turn upon one another,
mankind creating his own hell
in what was meant to be an Eden.

I have to believe that,
for every dark and bitter heart,
there stand ten thousand bright ones
who believe in peace and justice.
The carnage wrought by a single madman
is immense, the horror heartbreaking,
yet, we still must believe in
tomorrow's dawn new-breaking,
humankind's heart awaking
to another day of loving,
in spite of - in defiance of -
 the darkness,
our hearts turning like sunflowers
towards the morning sun,
as hopeful and innocent as birdsong,
the new day just begun.

Our hearts are heavy as, day after day, the news is worse and worse. The bad guys are getting a lot of press. We have to remember the seven billion souls who, mostly, long for peace, for justice, for shelter, and safety and hope. That is a lot of energy-power, to counter and defeat the dark of heart, the misguided and deranged. We must hold onto hope and our belief in our fellow man, that, in the end, light will eradicate the darkness, and usher in a thousand years of peace. 

Willow Weep

I once was Hanging Garden Tree,
various life forms hanging off of me,
trunk strong and sturdy, 
able to bear it all :
the gains, the losses, 
the support of others 
that bowed my branches low.

Those years, the forest was my home.
Grandmother Cedar was kin,
and Sky Woman blessed my weary head 
with stars. We shared
tenancy of earth and sky,
communion, the cycle of life
so strong and sure,
so joyous, I.

I have become a Weeping Willow
as I aged: tree of my childhood,
under which I spent so many bemused hours.
Willow, the scent of summer,
along with bullrushes and lakeshore breezes,
its curving branches sheltering and protective,
I in the hammock underneath,
my ship of dreams just starting out,
alive with hope, and shining.

And now it is the tree of my old age,
as Memory wanders through my mind and heart,
tears for the many losses and their pain,
tears for the golden times
that will not come again,
tears for the long farewell of every dog and tree,
tears for this wonderful life,
slowly pulling away from the shore
with me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



You have faded
from sight and from sound.
But your wolf howl
has come to live
in my heart.

A warrior woman
is stirring there,
for something is wrong.
Something is wrong
in the land,
that we are trying
to understand.

I bid her:
for Mother Earth
is dying.
for all the whales
are crying.
for ravaged hillsides
which can
no longer grow.
to save
the earth.
It is
the only world
we know.

She tells me
warrior hearts are on the rise.
She says beyond the blood
and grief and guns,
we must be calm, and just,
and wise.

Since you're gone,
wolf howls have come
to live in my heart,
and a warrior woman
is stirring there,
for something is wrong.
Something is wrong,
ever since you've been


Shetamia Taylor thanked the police officers
who protected her during the shooting
at the protest in Dallas

There can be no peace without social justice.
Benjamin Creme

Is it that we are a young country,
absent life experience that brings soul wisdom?
Is this why, while we know
the kind of world we want,
we live in one of our making
that is still so far from our dreams?

Absence of trust builds fear.
Fear's fires fanned builds to an eruption.
Violence is a two-edged sword.
It cuts both ways.
Where does the cycle end?
When does retaliation stop?

A black woman thanks
the white policeman who protected her
for saving her life.
It takes just one small step,
one hand reaching out,
to change the energy,
and move us forward
into Possibility.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Absence

Monday, July 11, 2016


photo from the Global White Lion Protection Trust website

The White Lions of Timbavati
are wandering through my dreams.
Enlightenment bearers,
beings as old as time's moonbeams,
born under an ancient star that fell to earth,
they carry a message:
Choose eternal darkness or rebirth.

The shaman says:
"At the end of the world, a white lion
will roar for the last time.
The sun will disappear forever from the sky.
If white lions vanish from the land,
we all will cease to be,"
too late, by then, to begin to wonder why.

Ingwavuma, Sun God, captive,
backed against the rock,
trapped, he turned and stared his hunters down.
He offered humankind a choice:
the Light, or stay forever in the dark,
our fate determined by the bullets' arc.

He walked towards them proudly, unafraid.
They chose, for they had paid.
They raised their guns.
He walked to meet his fate, his eyes old fire,
and, as he fell, his last roar dimmed the sun.

Ingwavuma died aligned with his heart star,
in the Leo constellation from which he came,
marking the proud death of a Lion King -
(they tell me Ingwavuma was his name.)
The human psyche will forever
bear the scar.

Their shots rang out.
Ingwavuma, spirit undefeated, fell.
The hunters chose our fate.
There is little more to tell.

This story is told in The Mystery of the White Lions, Children of the Sun God, by Linda Tucker, who is in love with the white lions. She formed the Global White Lion Protection Trust, and protects the lions she has been able to rescue in a wild sanctuary in their ancestral home of Timbavati, in an effort to keep them from being hunted to extinction. There they roam free, hunt and raise their cubs wild, but in protected territory. 

The only other known white lions are kept in captivity, some in a compound in the USA, the others in a compound in Africa for Great White Hunters to shoot, in an enclosure where there is no escape, for a fee of $35,000, and a piece of their souls.

The courageous Ingwavuma, whom Linda knew and loved, was not himself a white lion but was believed to carry the gene, so he would have sired white lion cubs. He was cornered in a "hunting" enclosure. When he saw there was no escape, he did not cower. He met his fate bravely and, thereby, those hunters perhaps cursed mankind to eternal darkness. Certainly their hearts were dark.

Shaman Credo Mutwa told Linda that, long ago, a star fell to earth, after which all animals in the area where it fell bore white offspring, the few remaining white lions descending from that time. The shaman says the white lions, who have blue eyes, guard a secret that can save humankind: to turn towards enlightenment, or remain forever in darkness. He says when the last white lion is gone, the sun will disappear. It is, perhaps, the most fascinating and stirring book I have ever read.

photo from the Global White Lion Protection Trust site

The exact time and date that Ingwavuma was murdered is the only time the setting sun was aligned with Regulus, the heart star in the Leo constellation, symbolizing the birth or death of a Lion King and, consequently, the birth or death of life on earth.

I posted the story of Linda Tucker and the white lions here, should you care to read more. I recommend the book highly.

This was first posted at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads in June of 2014, in response to a challenge by Fireblossom. I seem not to have posted it on my site, and will post it now, during another week of darkness and guns. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

No Words

My spirit stands, mute and still,
in the face of the nightly news,
as if we are at the very lip
of the precipice.
As, indeed, we are.

Which way will we topple?
I pray, towards peace.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Love Into Art

As fish long to walk on the shore,
and men yearn to take to the sky,
so has your radiant glow
always captured
my eye.

So far out of reach as you are,
I have long hid my love from afar,
as the day turns away from the moon,
and the sun from
a star.

All these years I have loved your bright heart,
though we've lived worlds and lifetimes apart.
Though you might never know
love that I'll never show,
I have turned loving you
into art.

A little ditty for Shay's prompt at Fireblossom Friday: Secret Love, and shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nobody Wins

Between planetary survival
and Economic Growth,
the "compromise" is always
that money is the bottom line.

We are banking today
the dollars borrowed
from our grandchildren.

Meanwhile, the Arctic melts,
the planet gasps and shudders,
and wobbles as it spins.
In a money-based society,
nobody wins.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Compromise

Saturday, July 2, 2016


LaVergne in France during WWII

He was a gentle man
with a poet's heart.
His eyes held memories
of what he had seen Over There.
His deafness remembered
the detonation of bombs.
But he never spoke
of those things he deemed too dark.
He just grew gentler,
and more loving,
through having survived
the horror.

for Kerry's  prompt at Flash 55 - I used 50. My uncle was my role model for the Perfect Man. He was so gallant. All his wife had to do was take out a cigarette and tap it on the case, and he would SWOOP across the room to light it. 


As the planets shift their orbits
in the heavens,

a time of change on earth arrives.

what would happen if we
expanded our perspective
wide enough to change,
not just a relationship,
a circumstance, a limitation,
but the entire paradigm -
if we breathed an evolution, a revolution,
an expansive flowering
of every good intention,
transforming them to action,
a New Way a-borning?

What would happen if we:
bought no plastic,
watched and participated in no violence,
ate no trauma from factory farms,
nurtured our children well,
believed - truly believed - in Joy?
recycled, reused, reduced,
rejected excess, embraced simplicity,
and loved ourselves and our neighbours?

Solstice wish:
May we trip the light fantastic,
prancing and cavorting
like giddy reindeer
under a waxing summer moon,
conga through the long hot evenings

with hopeful feathers
all aloft and glistening,
caper into the dawn, vibrant and smiling
and never so alive!

Come morning, I shall pull on the moss
like fuzzy socks,
and tiptoe through the forest
like a sprite.
I will dip a tip-toe
into the Pond of Peace,
and set my dreams alight
with the shine of sunrise
beside the western sea.

Never before,
has there been
such a summertime of Possibility
as now I see.

adapted from spring, 2014, (which seems to have been high energy, LOL), shared with the Poetry Pantry where it is Possible to find some very fine reading with your coffee on a Sunday morning. Smiles. Come join us!