Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Standing Alone

photo by Lisa Barnes

He was crying in his hospital bed.
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"I'm cold. I have AIDS,
and the nurse won't come into my room."
"I'll get you a blanket,"
I said gently.
I brought him two and tucked him in.
Later, I was pleased to see the other nurse,
sitting by his bed, holding his hand,
laughing with him,
restoring my faith in human nature.


She left her marriage
because she was being abused,
but she was not believed.
Her church community went silent,
withdrew their support.
Pale and distraught,
she walked through her days alone,
being stalked and tormented,
and shunned by her community
at the same time.


She brought sexual assault charges
to protect other women
from what she had gone through.
But it was she
who went on trial.
It was she whose past was shredded,
whose integrity was attacked.
whose testimony was questioned.
In the end, he walked free.


Well, one doesn't have to look far when it comes to incidents of social stigma. Posted for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Social Stigma.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I Will Stand For the Wildlands

What will I defend,
in this topsy-turvy world,
setting off in a direction
we never expected?
I will stand for the wildlands
and its creatures, who are 
fast disappearing.
I will stand for their habitat,
being laid waste for dollars,
and for the dying whales
in the warming sea.
I will speak for the polar bears, 
swimming ten miles for a meal 
where the ice used to be.

I will wield my pen till my last breath
saying: "Please! Stop!
Take measure of what we are doing
to Mother Earth,
who is patient,
but who can't withstand, forever,
all the good we are taking from her,
all the bad we are dumping into her waters,
and expelling into her air."

I will defend the indigenous peoples' right
to exist, free from oppression, 
and corporate takeovers
of their sacred lands,
for they love and understand the land,
and we should be listening to them.

I will defend Mother Wolf
and her babies from harm,
as the helicopters hover,
and the men raise their guns.

I will stand for the wildlands,
the trees and the birds.
I will stand for the last of the last
wild creatures,
lion and elephant,
tiger and bear. 
As they pace their slow way
into history, I will sadly
and tearfully
wave them goodbye.

for Elizabeth Crawford's Creativity Challenge at 1sojournal: Defend: what will you defend in this current political climate?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

I Oppose

You say build a wall,
and I oppose.

You say women
belong in the kitchen
and I oppose.

You say entire races of people
are bad and to be banished.
I oppose.

You say global warming
is a myth
and I most strenuously oppose.
(Do you know the first few floors
of trump towers
will be underwater
when the ocean rises?
The gold-plated ceilings
won't help you then.)

You say lies are truth
and some believe,
but I oppose.

You said the votes were rigged,
and I say maybe you
are the one who rigged them.

You say drain the swamp,
then you set loose the alligators.
Don't think I don't see them,
slithering through
the halls of power.
Don't think I am so ignorant
I don't understand it is
corporations and big money
that are running the world
into the ditch
for their own obscene wealth.
I recognize that now the system
will be even more heavily skewed
to benefit the rich,
especially you.

The working class wanted change
then elected a billionaire
who pays no taxes.
The people of Standing Rock
have little chance
when the president-elect owns interests
in the pipeline.
(Sorry, you will never earn
a capital P
from me.)

I try not to despair,
yet  feel we're screwed.
But with every fibre of my being,
every beat of my heart,
with everything in my soul:
I oppose.

For Elizabeth Crawford's creativity challenge: Opposition, a word I can definitely wrap my pen around.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

This Poem

This poem is a soft thought in a hard week.
This poem is love for a struggling planet 
and all its beings.
This poem is a breathing space, 
to inspire our best hopes,
our deepest  dreams and aspirations.

This poem looks at the news and its heart hurts,
its stomach knots.
This poem knows this turning is going 
the wrong way.
This poem stands with 
the people of Standing Rock
whose voices will not be heard, 
will not be heard,
will not be heard.
This poem knows that none of our voices
are being heard.

This poem sees a magical planet
of beauty and abundance
being willfully destroyed by greedy corporations
who do not care.
This poem sees icebergs melting,
and whole species becoming extinct.
The ocean is dying, sending up last gasps,
in hope we humans might hear its distress in time.
This poem knows it may already be too late.
Yet, still, we must try.
For this poem loves every wave, every ancient tree, 
every bird and beast too much to give up.
This poem's heart hurts for every suffering being
struggling to survive on Mother Earth.

This poem takes a deep breath for it has a job to do.
Against all odds, it needs to inspire hope,
add something positive, something peaceful,
not add more distress to a heartbreaking mess.
So it closes with hope for humankind,
whose consciousness is awakening,
whose spirit is arising,
who is beginning to stand
against corporate greed,
against ignorant governance,
who is saying "This is wrong,
and I am standing for what is right and just."

This poem is a soft thought.
It is love.
It is hope
for a suffering world.

An adapted Boomerang Form, one of my favourite forms, created by Hannah Gosselin at Metaphors and Smiles. Posted for Elizabeth Crawford's Creative Challenge:   Inspiration, to write something that brings some light to these troubled times. Which I have always tried to do, but it is getting much harder these days. It is hard to be hopeful when species and oceans are dying, when the ice is melting, when time is running out,  and a racist narcissist who doesn't believe in global warming and species extinction is taking power. Sigh.


This poem is a conclave of elves
This poem is a fairy tale,
told to a small child by her grandmother
This poem is a cup of my Grandma's tea

This poem is chock full of elves
clustered under a speckled toadstool in the forest.
They are hiding from a small girl-child,
peeping out from under the toadstool's rim
with eyes that winkle and shine.
This poem is a conclave of elves.

This poem is a small girl sitting in front of the fire
listening to stories, on long, quiet 
winter afternoons.
"Watch the blue fairies, dancing in the flames,"
her grandma says, and she looks,
and sees the fairies.
This story has no beginning, and no end.

This poem is a song sung by druids
in the springs and groves of a woodland dell,
as violet shadows lengthen at close of day.
This poem has standing stones in it, and ghosts,
myth and blarney from County Cork,
laced with a spoon of golden honey
in a shamrock teacup of amber verbena,
a cup of my grandmother's tea.

This poem is a conclave of elves,
winkling and shining in stories of long ago.
This poem is a fairy tale told to a small child
by a Grandmother who knew
small children need mothering.
This poem is a cup of my Grandma's tea,
in a time whose memory shines more brightly 
than today

* Celtic and Welsh meanings for the word druid are seers, and sorcerers. Poets may be numbered among this group. Smiles. They played an important part in ancient pagan Celtic society according to Wikipedia.

This poem from 2015 is (mostly) patterned after Hannah Gosselin's wonderful Boomerang Poem form, whose instructions can be found on Hannah's site at this link. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at 

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Hearts of Its Women

"A nation is not defeated 
until the hearts of its women 
are on the ground."
Cheyenne proverb

My heart is with the women of Standing Rock these days, as the people make their stand against a billion dollar corporation, that places no value on human rights, sacred burial sites, or the drinking water of millions of people. All it sees is oil and dollar signs. The ancestors prophesied this Black Snake would come, and here it is, threatening the survival of every living thing in its path.

The heavily militarized police are defending the corporate criminals, who have not complied with the law requiring a complete environmental study, (because they know the project would not pass the criteria). And, once the oil is flowing, it will be shipped to China, benefiting not one North American, at the possible cost of the water which now serves millions. It boggles the mind. But it will fatten the purses of a few billionaires. The police are backing the wrong group.

The women - mothers, grandmothers, daughters - are rising, saying "Enough is enough." The fight between money/greed and those who wish the planet to survive has reached the point of no return. There is no giving up or giving in, when it comes to the survival of Mother Earth in a livable state. And so they brave the cold, the water attacks, the tear gas, the rubber bullets. They are not standing only for themselves. They are standing for us all. They know that water is life, that oil brings death, that we are connected, on this planet, with every other living thing, and what happens to one happens to us all.

They are standing for us all at Standing Rock, true hearts that know money is not the only thing that matters, at any cost. And my heart is standing with them.

I have been unable to upload this short video about the women of Standing Rock, but this is the link, and it is so worth watching.

I am posting this for Elizabeth  Crawford's challenge at 1sojournal: Meaning. There is so much meaning in the stand the people of Standing Rock are taking. If I had health and money for gas, I would be right there standing with them, for they know the meaning of life, and how to live on Mother Earth with respect. All My Relations.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Friend of Crows and Ravens

Julie Draper at the blockades

She was sister of crows and ravens.
Their black bodies, her love of earth,
their wings, her love of flight.

On her birthday, she entered
her darkened cabin, lit with candles.
In the glow, were all her friends,
on their knees, dressed as crows.
In the soft glow of dripping wax
they gathered around her,
her flock, cawing upwards.
into her radiant, laughing face.

She was a light, a lover of life,
who put her body on the line
for the trees, for Mother Earth.
She loved animals,
and her love suffused the art she made
of bear and wolf, raven and eagle.

She was a sister of crows and ravens,
who flew away too soon.

for Julie Draper, who recently left us much too soon, and who will be forever remembered, forever missed.

posted for Artistic Interpretations with Margaret at Real Toads, inspired by the art piece "Crows Alone", by Carol Law Conklin.


what to be grateful for,
when the world is in such a state?
when racism and fascism
raise their ugly heads,
when mosques are desecrated and
swastikas are scrawled 
on Jewish temples,
when a woman is attacked 
for wearing the burka of her beliefs?

what to be grateful for
when hateful words and acts
are flung,
when justice is not served,
when corporate power and 
capitalism run amok,
ravaging the planet?

it gets pretty basic:
eyesight, mobility (of sorts),
poetry, friends,
the fact that there are still
good-hearted people
all over the world 
who will always stand up 
for what is right.

I am grateful for  
the natural world,
and animals,
and their true hearts.

I am grateful for
child of joy.

Today, I am grateful for the wind,
making the trees dance 
outside my window,
and for the fresh wintery smell outdoors -
the first dusting of snow
on the mountains.
It is Enough.
It is more than
enough -
the gift of Life.

And I am grateful for you, my friends. This community of poets is what keeps me going. I am thinking very much of the events at Standing Rock these days, of the first Thanksgiving, and of how First Nations have suffered ever since. On facebook I have watched some beautiful videos, especially of the women of Standing Rock, who are protecting the water, in prayer, opposing the might of a billion dollar corporation and militarized police, so that life can be better for their grandchildren.

for Elizabeth Crawford's challenge at 1sojournal : What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


mr. t's gold-plated penthouse -
what does he know about the 98%?

He came out, face flushed,
full of swagger,
and laid it on thick:
and outright untruths.
Not enough people
fact-checked the "facts".
They believed,
because they were angry
and disgruntled
and they wanted to believe.

He slid the minds
salivating over the word "change"
into the hyperbolic chamber*
and gave it a spin,
the conman's spin,
gilded with a lavish patina
of narcissism,
and they bought it.

If the 98% is tired of struggle
at the hands of corporate control
of government and finance,
why hire a corporate billionaire
already familiar with 
how to work the system
to his own ends?
Fox in the henhouse.

The changes that are coming
will not be good ones.
The hens are already
warbling their distress.

I may accept (be resigned to)
the fact that we are going to
live through a colossal mistake
(if we survive it).
But I will never accept injustice,
racism, extremism, prejudice
or ugly behaviour. 

The struggle of Darkness and Light
has intensified.
Buckle up, my friends.
And hold those candles high.

*I borrowed the word hyperbaric and changed it up to suit my purposes, LOL. This poem is what happens after I scroll through facebook for a while, reading the latest outrages. Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif is Hyperbole, and Elizabeth Crawford's word for Day 3 of her Writing the Light challenge at 1sojournal is Acceptance. How much are we willing to accept and where do we draw the line? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Let's have a
Kindness Revolution,
teach, encourage and learn from
children's compassion
for babies and animals,
for the disabled and vulnerable,
for other children,
and for themselves.

Let's hold workshops in every school
where kids share who they are
and the pain they carry,
so all may see
that each of us has 
our challenges, our fears,
our own burdens and heartaches.
Let's teach them to look each other in the eye,
human to human,
to reach across the divide 
of perceived differences,
to honor the samenesses 
of being human
in this world.
Let's teach them to say, 
"I see you, friend,
and I'm here for you."

Let's take our Revolution to the streets,
march, singing, holding placards that say
"Occupy Kindness",
through the main street of town, 
drums beating, smiling, singing,
inviting the homeless, the elderly,
the abandoned and unwanted animals
to join our parade.

Let's make a place at our table,
in our worlds,
in our hearts,
for Hope, and then
serve it up in heaping spoonfuls
to every child who needs a hug,
every oldster who needs a smile,
every homeless dog who needs a friend.

If we hold a Kindness Revolution,
and everybody comes,
the bullies will all be transformed
into children in pain,
who have lost their way,
to whom we'll hold out our hands,
say, "This way, Friend.
This way to the party
of Love."

A poem from 2013, in response to Elizabeth Crawford's challenge at 1sojournal : Love: to write a poem that sheds some light on the dark days we are living through, when it takes determination to hold onto hope. It is a huge stretch to envision certain dark hearts being transformed right now. But we can look to the younger generation - they have a good grasp of what's needed and are on the front lines, now, in many places, trying to effect change against an obdurate system that refuses to mend its ways.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fear Into Light

When one's world-view is over-turned,
all decency is stood on its head,
and the swamp creatures are infiltrating
the halls of power,
with their cold, gimlet eyes,
and hard calculating hearts,
when one sees the darkness descending,
when the vulnerable are living in fear,

I lift up,
visualizing the earth as a whole,
its calm imperturbable waves
rolling out, rolling in.
I see daybreak, rosy hues
fingering the clouds,
the air fresh with new beginnings.

I remember,
whichever small men may rule
- or think they rule -
they cannot change our hearts.
The planet spins.
Year will follow year.
We breathe out. We breathe in.
We do what we can.

We will clean up the mess,
one day, one mishap,
one outrage at a time.
We will smile at those we meet,
especially those who
need our friendship most,
hold out a helping hand,
say "I am standing with you
against all wrong-doing.
Beside me, you are safe."

for Elizabeth Crawford's challenge at 1sojournal : to write about fear, and try to find some light for these dark times. My best hope for the next four years is that the planet will survive mr. t. If it does, eventually we will be okay again, having learned some hard lessons about who we truly are as  a society. I have to believe there is more love than hate, more light than darkness. We are being called, on a global scale, to choose light.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Stamp Falls

Water comes first, then we follow,
gasp in a big breath of air, and then we cry.
Thus we are introduced to the world
as it always was and always will be.
Water: essential, blessed,
part of our beings from our very first day.

Through the Sacred Medicine Wheel 
I journeyed,
dipped my toes in a magical sea,
soul thrumming with the song of the waves.
My sign, my element, my spirit's home:
Mother Ocean.

Above, the sky, the air, the vast expanse,
curving over all
the great blue bowl of ether,
underfoot, the earth, brown and humble
and mothering.

I bow to you, Sky, I sing with you, Wind,
I dance in the rain, laughing
at the great clap of thunder,
feel the rushing whoosh of wind on my face,
raindrops falling on my spirit,
cleansing me anew,
healing the riven places, washing
all negative energy away.

When I am clean, 
when the Great Bowl Above grows dark,
I creep homeward, 
settle beside a crackling fire,
remember the winking stars, 
the great wheeling seabirds,
wonder at the beauty gracing this span of time 
that is still mine.

To the earth I bow, in gratitude, 
in homecoming. 
It waits to receive me
when that final moment comes,
when I will become one
with All That Is.

First, there was water,
at the end
only earth and sky.

One from winter, 2015, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Join us for some good reading on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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 wee 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.


One from 2015, my friends. Trying to focus on the positives at the moment which, for me, is always found in nature. For the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Still Points


In the frozen heart of winter,
stark, straight, tall, enduring,
bare branches reach in supplication
towards the sky.
The Standing People
are showing us
how to pray.


Heron by Tofino artist


hunch-shouldered in the mist,
picky-toeing among the pebbles
at the water's edge,
you search the shore with lidded eyes,
your every curving line
teaching me:



For  Brendan's prompt at Real Toads: Still Points. I chose two such moments of stillness from 2014.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Being a Tree

When the earth buckles and heaves
under my feet,
when I feel everything go topsy-turvy
and slipping away,
I settle my roots in
for the long haul
and practice
Being A Tree.

When all around me are losing their centres,
needing some strength to lean on,
I reach out a limb,
however tired and weakened by age
and dimmed by thwarted hope,
breathe in, breathe out,
Breathing Peace,
though the maelstrom roars
ever closer.

If the waters close over my head,
so be it.
I have done my best.
I can do no more.
One day at a time,
holding steady,
breathing peace, 
hanging on,
settling in
for the long haul -
Being A Tree.

For Shay's prompt at Real Toads: I Feel the Earth Move. In this dark week when the impossible has happened to the Big Picture, I also have  ones close by walking through their own wastelands. Trees do get tired as they age. But we endure.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"We must be the wind."

Gloria Steinem, at The Guardian

"The President can only hold a finger to the wind.
We must be the wind......
Real change, like a tree,
grows from the bottom up, not the top down."

Gloria Steinem, in The Guardian, after the election.
Words of strength and hope.

     *****     *****     *****

My response:

We must be the wind,
insisting upon the switch to wind and solar energy,
harnessing the clean sources of power
that will return our planet to health.

We must be the fire:
the fire of activism in hearts
that burn for freedom,
for justice, for racial equality.
We must burn down those walls of division and hatred,
reach out a hand and say: Welcome. You are Home.

We must be the voices
of the disenfranchised, the working poor,
the discouraged, those upon whose backs
the fat grow rich.
We, the people, can march, can raise our voices high,
to say corporate rule is killing us all,
and there is a better way.

We must speak for the animals,
who are  being abused and killed,
to fatten our waistlines.
We must speak for the oppressed,
that they may be freed,
vote with our pocketbooks,
shop local, and not fatten the coffers
of corporate power.

When will the rich
pay their fair share?
When will corporations clean up their mess,
and pay a carbon tax to offset their pollution?

If the President or Prime Minister holds up a finger
to gauge the direction of the wind,
let the wind of our many voices show him
the way we want to go.
And let us go there together for,
left or right,
we are more alike than we are different
and, left or right,
we all just want to live
as best we can.

It has been astonishing to me witnessing the hatred, racism, and virulence of this election. US people have asked me why I dare express my opinion. It's because what happens in the US directly impacts us in Canada and, in fact, countries around the world. If the US goes down, Canada goes down. (The same person considers Canada a Communist country, and asks if we want Sharia law; perhaps just a tad misinformed.)

I thought we lived in a democracy, where people are allowed to express an opinion and, while I may hold opposing views, out of respect I have remained fairly silent, other than to those I knew agreed with me.  There is little point engaging those whose ideology is so ingrained and fiercely held, they are unable to tolerate a differing view. I posted a PHOTOGRAPH of the Obamas, which incensed someone so intensely, she severed relations with our family. I observe. She has the right to her views, though she is misinformed on many counts, and accuses the Left of the exact same things we fear in the Right.

These words by Gloria Steinem offered a ray of hope today, and a way forward. What we are working for, so many of us, is far bigger than the Left or the Right - it is the survival of the Planet and all beings who live upon it. We must persevere, along with the brave people of Standing Rock, opposing that which does harm to the planet, opposing corporate interests which are responsible for so much of its wanton destruction and suffering.

Keep the faith, fellow pilgrims, as we soldier on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


When the outer path
leads to devastation, division,
and a blow to hope
for one's fellow man,
when the way forward
branches into
a myriad of possibilities,
smokey and undefined,
when the waystations are named
Unacceptable and Deplorable,
when all the questions have no good answers,                                      
I pull back into myself
like a turtle into its shell.
Resignation settles like dust in my soul;
we hunker down.
Life wisdom reminds me that,
in the fullness of time,
the great wheel turns and turns;
justice will ultimately prevail
and all will be revealed.
I tuck hope away for safekeeping,
and just plod on,
vowing to do the best I can
in the place where I am.
Accustomed to thinking Big Picture,
it is time, now,
to scale down to Small Picture,
in order not
to lose my mind.

When the path is unclear,
and leads in directions
we do not want to go,
yet must go,
all one can do is
take the next step.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Path

Monday, November 7, 2016


source: Native American Indian

Wood nymph, sylvan, she slips
through the trees,
fog rising around her ankles
from the forest floor.

Behind a fat cedar, she peeks
at those gathered in Circle.

Draped in antelope hide,
white feathers in his long dark hair,
Wise Shaman speaks with
Bear and Wolf and Deer,
truth warriors,
consulting together
about the sadness
of the trees.

One from October 2013, my friends. Corporate rule is killing the planet and it is much on my mind these days. There are solutions, but we the people need to force the political will to make the changes.

Sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, my friends, where there is always good reading on Sunday morning.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It's a Beautiful World

It's a beautiful world

blue-white glaciers melting into the sea

it's a beautiful world

smokestacks pumping carbon into the air

it's a beautiful world

sea levels rising, washing away small islands and shorelines

it's a beautiful world

whales and birds washing up on shore with stomachs full of plastic

it's a beautiful world

freeways full of cars guzzling oil, oil, oil
methane from cows produced to fill our plates

it's a beautiful world

green forests burning, wildlife going extinct

it's a beautiful world

the ocean dying, corporate greed strangling the oxygen out of the air,
and fracking the lifeblood out of the earth


it's a beautiful world

countries turning to wind and solar energy
(100 clean energy complexes would be enough to provide energy to the entire planet*)

human hearts that long for peace and social justice

the hope in a baby's eyes

the beauty of the landscape and the wild creatures that live here

the over-arching sky

We cannot stop believing in and striving for
our beautiful world.

* I watched di Caprio's Before the Flood and its images kept me awake half the night. The beauty of this planet, the folly of corporations being allowed to profit at the expense of every living being and system. But there is hope, too. Scientists explain we have clean energy technology that could power the entire planet. Also a switch to clean energy of all types would provide millions of jobs worldwide.

Corporations, of course, will not willingly surrender profit and they seem to be running everything. But they should pay for clean-up and pay a carbon tax that is proportionate to their profit. Their outsourcing of jobs is what is creating job loss.

The message: the peoples' voices must rise in sufficient numbers world-wide. And we must vote for leaders who believe climate change exists. We can also vote with our pocketbooks by changing our lifestyles in terms of consumption,  and by not buying from the worst offending corporations.

You can watch the film for free this weekend before it goes into the theatres and it is a must-see. Time is urgent.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Lunabella, a vegan baby,
knows only love.
Her mother 
dreams of peace
for every living being,
a sustainable world
her child can grow up in.

Peace....we need it now
like never before.
Benjamin Creme said
"There can be no peace
without social justice."

It is time, my friends,
to come from our hearts,
and speak our deepest wisdom.
Every corner of our planet
is in need of love
and care.

The planet needs us to awaken,
to make the switch 
to clean energy,
which will provide jobs 
for hundreds of thousands
and clean the air and ocean.

It is time
for the 99% to raise our voices high,
time for Grandmother Wisdom
to be heard across the land.
Ah, ho,
the Grandmothers are 
Speaking Truth,
for time is short.

Let us shift
the collective consciousness
to a more peaceful paradigm.
There is still time
to join together
all our human hearts
- the only place where
peace can truly flower.

Posted for Mimi Lennox's annual Blogblast for Peace, November 4. Do stop by and see the many beautiful expressions of peace. Our souls are thirsty for hope. And millions hunger for food, shelter, and an end to war.

Wild Woman Attempts to be Understated and Fails Miserably

During the election from hell,
Wild Woman finds herself in her  room,
looking in disbelief at the TV,
jaw dropped, horrified
at what she is hearing.

People are clapping and cheering.
Where did they all come from?
Can they hear what is being said?
Do that many people feel the same way?
How is it possible
the American Dream is turning into
the American nightmare
before our very eyes,
an ugly America
we had not known was there?

The dilemma for many: casting a vote
between a cock and a hard face,
(oops, did I say that out loud?)
or not casting a vote at all.
The rest of the world begs you:
Please vote!
Cast your vote against
racism, bigotry, divisiveness,
danger and darkness.
Let your vote be
one small candle
towards shining
a brighter light.

Well, Michael asked, in his prompt over at Real Toads: The Election: What Fresh Hell Is This?  I can't pretend to be dispassionate about what is happening down south, which impacts Canada as well. And it's not just the election; the racial tensions, the huge divide, the hatred and violence, the treatment of the water protectors at Standing Rock, the environment's desperate struggle, animal abuse - so many things -  hurt my soul. These are critical times. What has been unleashed will not just fade away, no matter who is elected. It feels like we are perched on the lip of planetary peril. Good luck to us all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Eagle Feather

I love hearing about cultures
that tend the graves of their beloved dead,
gathering there to feast and picnic
on the day of remembering,
telling stories with tears and laughter,
leaving small stones and gifts on the graves,
drinks of water, messages that say:
you are dearly loved and remembered.

In our culture, we are uptight about death,
pretend it doesn't exist,
until it arrives at our door.
We stand, stoic,  at funerals, 
holding back tears
to be shed privately, later.

At First Nations funerals,
there is open mourning,
keening, wailing.
And there is honouring:
the young brave in his casket, 
an eagle feather in his hair,
and all the young men of his tribe
squatting, knees bent, 
walking this way up the aisle, 
circling his casket,
and back down. 
The pain must have been immense,
but was ignored,
in the honouring of their brother.

I like their ways best.

       ~~~   ~~~   ~~~

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: the Day of the Dead

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dream Fairies

Waft me gently along the ceiling, dream fairies, as I seek the entrance to another world, where the mist dews freshly on my face, as I soar through the fissure into a true blue dream of sky. Below, the silver sea, a limitless horizon. Brother Eagle on my left, Blue Heron on my right, we fly through clouds and out the other side and now it is the real world, and below there is an oil slick, and we cannot land. Our wings are tired and there is no where safe. Forest fires, floods, an oil-slick sea, and we are laboring now to stay aloft. Just when I think my wings can beat no more, I touch down into my earth-bound bed and surface into morning. I catch only a glimpse of a friendly female ghost, crouching in the corner of my room, smiling at me with wise eyes, just before she fades.

When a friendly female ghost
lurks in your corners
seek the message in her smile.