Monday, July 31, 2017

Cougar Annie

The poem was inspired by a quotation by David Whyte:

"I pull the bow out into the wide sea,
paddle dripping towards darkness,
and enter again
the quiet."

In the fading light,
I can just make out black shapes of trees,
tall sentinels that darkly watch me pass,
roots tangled thickly down the ancient banks
right to the water's edge,  the shore held fast.
Dip and lift,
the only sound the water's lick,
paddle moving cleanly
through the spreading flow,
the low call of a sleepy owl,
Earth falls away,
above all a starshine glow,
inverted bowl of sky at night
protects me as I go.

Around the point, I drift into Cow Bay
where the big greys are feeding
in a pod.
A whoosh, a whoosh, a whoosh,
a vast arched back, a fluke,
and then the mystical descent:
their breath sounds like
the hidden voice
of God.

Dip of oar,
scattered droplets silvered by the moon,
to the head of Hesquiat Harbour,
home so soon,
to farm and garden
mine now, only mine:
husbands and children
spilled like the sands of time,
homestead clawed from tangled bush,
hardscrabble years
in which I tamed this once wild patch
of ancient pine.

Now no one here but me,
no one to see:
an unexpected life of endless toil,
I now reflect upon.
I planted flowers and blooming bushes
all those years,
nourished with laughter,
watered well with tears,
they flourished longer
than leggy children,
grown and so swiftly gone.

Seventy years upon this place,
from young bride
to homesteader / hermit
no man stayed long beside.

At ninety
still a hard glint in my eyes
my face bird-like, alert,
intent and listening,
hands cradling the rifle,
head cocked - hush!-
ears tuned for the sound
of cougar in the bush.

72 cougar I killed over the years,
mice and chickens' necks I snapped
without a thought.
Four husbands lived beside me,
died / moved on;
eleven children brought
into the world,
eleven grown and gone.
What mattered most
this place, the life
that living in it wrought.
All gone now,
but this place meant for no other.
The blooms turn
their sweet faces up to meet me
like a lover.
The fog parts;
my canoe slips in between
the veil that hides
from this world the unseen.
These ghostly shores
I shall forever roam.
I'm Cougar Annie and I'm
heading Home.

for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: a narrative poem

I adapted this poem from  one I wrote in 2001. It is about Ada Annie-Rae Arthur, who came to Clayoquot Sound in the early 1900's, settling on rough land near Hesquiat Harbour, which she worked her entire life to tame and cultivate. She is one of the notable characters of the area, surviving four husbands,  killing 72 cougar, and raising and home schooling eleven children in the small shack seen above. Cougar Annie also operated a thriving seed mail order business, and ran a post office for those on neighboring islands. The garden is now maintained and held in trust as a heritage property.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Moon Raven

Moon Raven,
Lift me up on your bent wing.
Swoop me away, through the misty night
Into the forest.

There we will commune
With wolf-ghosts and ancient trees.
We will sing with the spirits,
Ululate with owls,
Keen with all beings over our losses,
And send out blessings and gratitude
For All That Remains.

Towards dawn,
Having divested myself of my tears,
And having rekindled my hope,
Let me curl up in the roots
Of Grandfather Cedar,
Pillow my head with moss,
Pull pine boughs over my shoulders
And escape to my haven of forgetfulness:
A dream.

One from 2014, my friends, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Forever Wild

Wild Woman

In this, the Season of Lasts,
how to pluck a First out of the pot,
all new and shining?

The first time Wild Woman woke up,
after years of tapping on the inner bars,
there was a reckoning.

Her hair grew two feet overnight,
her eyes opened, astonished and amazed,
upon a whole new world:
The first of a thousand cackles
filled the air.

A Wild Woman needs a familiar,
and he appeared:
black wolf, hilarious, untamed,
he romped with her joyously
through the landscape of the wild.

Those firsts shine golden
in her memory.
Wild Women grow old.
They get tired.
But they always
remain wild.

for Paul's prompt at Real Toads: Firsts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


is a place within.
Like a seashell,
I took sand, made it spin,
fashioned my home
on an inner sea,
and carried it
along with me.

It is a calm shore,
a gentle sea,
whose waves bring
back to me.

It's a key in the door
of a place called home,
where peace resides;
it's a brand new poem
that lifts the heart,
flies it away;
it's a morning song
of a brand new day.

It's a forest cathedral,
the song of the sea,
the hope that one day
you'll return to me.

It's an ancient pine
full of hummingbirds.
It's the feeling of home
too deep for words.

for Sumana's  prompt at Midweek Motif: Sanctuary. Wherever I live has always been my sanctuary - whichever modest dwelling I call home is always my safe place. Plus I have an inner refuge as well. In times when I have been without secure housing,  I carried home along with me till I could build a new nest. In all the years I lived away from this place I loved so much, inside my heart were the waves, endlessly advancing and retreating. In my heart, I was always walking those far beaches.

I am grateful for my present sanctuary, as I waited so long to return to this home of my heart and soul.  I am also mindful of the millions of people who are displaced and on the move all across the globe. We are blessed beyond imagining by those who struggle each day to survive.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The White Lions of Timbavati

The white lions of Timbavati
are wandering through my dreams:
star lions, sent to earth on long ago moonbeams.

Hunted to near extinction by humankind,
who know not that our fates are intertwined
with the white lions of Timbavati. 
Humanity, so blind.

These beautiful creatures commune with the aware.
They carry their message of life with us to share,
as they wander, white and luminous, 
through my dreams.

They came to earth for us and now, 
because of us, they leave.
 Their fate is linked to ours;
how unimaginably I grieve
 for those star lions, sent to earth, in trust, 
on long ago moonbeams.

I have been reading about the white lions, some of whom were rescued by Linda Tucker of the Global White Lion Trust and who live in their homelands of Timbavati, in the middle of a clutch of canned "hunting" compounds. Shamanic wisdom declares the fate of humankind is linked to that of the white lions. It is said if they disappear from the earth so will humankind. 

There are hundreds held captive in canned hunting compounds in Africa, to be shot by "hunters" in a closed area with no escape for the sum of $35,000 and a piece of their souls. There are thirteen living in the wilds of their natural habitat, protected by the Global White Lion Trust. Linda has devoted her life to protecting the white lions.

It isn't looking good, folks, for the lions or for us. But we live in hope that the global consciousness will awaken before the 11th hour. Actually it feels more like ten minutes to midnight at the moment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Not So Far To Fall

He said make-up was one thing, 
worn to a party,
but he didn't see the point, 
first thing in the morning
at breakfast.

He couldn't see that 
that pink mask I hid behind
covered my feelings of 
unworthiness, unlovableness,
It was those feelings
that made me leave,
in fear he would leave me first.

Soon after, I stopped
with the make-up.
I worked on coming home to myself,
knowing being all right within
was the most important thing.
That anyone to whom I wasn't good enough
-or enough-enough -
was not the right one for me.

A big black wolf
was the one to show me 
what unconditional love
truly was.
And no masks are possible,
when you love the wild.

At seventy,
when one might soften
the mask of aging with artifice,
I no longer care.
I face the world, 
clear and honest,
bad hair, wrinkles, and all.

From masks to authenticity
is not so far
to fall.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motiff: Masks

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Through My Window

Through my window,
I can see my new outlook on the world:
a wall of green cedar that hides,
a short block away, the sea:
which I smelled this morning
when I slid the sliding door open: 
salty, pungent. I breathed it in,
as I heard the foghorn blow,
sounding like a feral cow,
lost on a lonely shore.
On the deck, beyond the glass,
sweet peas reach towards the sun, 
small flowers blooming, newly-planted,
which means: I am home.
Hummers buzz-storm the feeders,
a dozen at a time,
whirr of wings, darting small brown Rufus bodies,
alive with a hunger
it is my privilege to feed.
One lone bee has been sipping as well,
bereft of honey and a hive,
he makes do. We all make do.
It all spells out that wondrous gift: a Life.

Through my window I watched spring arrive,
then fulsome summer.
Soon I will watch fall segue to winter storms,
and rain will be the entire story, rain lashing, 
wild waves crashing, foghorn mooing,
months when everything that goes outside
must be swathed in rubber.

Through my window,
with delight, I watch 
the ever-glorious seasons pass.

for dVerse:  Looking Out, Looking In

Monday, July 17, 2017

Imagining Backwards

I imagine a changing earth
had governments and populations
begun to address climate change
in 1970, in 1980,
or had we always lived sustainably,
with concern for future generations.

I imagine no holes in the ozone,
no HAARP, no fracking,
no nuclear reactors, no radioactive waste,
no addiction to oil,  to bigger and bigger cars,
to the Myth of More.
I imagine sustainable forestry,
preservation of and reverence for 
the trees we need to breathe.
I imagine no pesticides, no hormones, no chemicals
in domestic food sources.
I imagine a world friendly to bees.
Humane treatment of animals, 
both domestic and wild.
Humane treatment of people
no Other, just Us.
No wars, just social justice, 
respect and care for all.

I imagine a world of small, local businesses,
no corporations allowed to swallow up
our resources and dictate methods and price.
Give me a government who works for the people,
not the corporate bottom line.

I imagine a world of wind and water 
and solar energy -
clean, sufficient, abundant, affordable.
Much cheaper to switch to clean energy
than clean up after climate catastrophe.
I imagine no melting polar icecaps.
I imagine a living ocean.

I imagine a planet
that survives.

We have already changed the world.
We know what we need to do 
to change it back.
Tell your congressmen: he works for you.
We are many; government is few.

For Brendan's Imagining a Changing Earth at Real Toads. I don't have to imagine. I have watched it happening, with enormous angst at the slowness with which governments respond to the increasing threat. Power means more to them than the survival of the planet. This is criminal abuse of power, in my opinion.

The other day on facebook I saw a video of two horses, walking across a burned landscape - with burned hooves - fleeing the forest fires in the Interior. That charred, blackened landscape, dead and smoldering, the horses, heads down, having lived through such terror, plodding across it because they must, replays, over and over, in my mind. The earth has already changed. We know what must be done to change it back. There is  corporate and governmental unwillingness to do what it is imperative to do, and a very small window of time remaining. This is when the people must rise. Our survival is at stake.

Friday, July 14, 2017

INGWAVUMA ~ the Lion King

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 for humankind:
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.

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 $25,000, 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.

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. I am now reading her second book, Saving the White Lions, which tells the story of her life's mission to save the white lions, the weight of this on her shoulders, and the heartbreaking losses along the way. 

I am sharing this poem, written in 2014,  with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Do join us for some fine poetry with your Sunday morning coffee.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Zoom Zoom

I feel an unearthly chill, wtf?
I crank one eyeball, checkin' it out, and
Someone put me in a flouncy DRESS
while i was out cold.
I wore my last dress in 1966.
It was a very bad year.
The music choice is gruesome.
They obviously didnt find
my list of requests,
which includes "Everything Reminds Me of My Dog".
Waste of time, playing hymns for me.

Words, words, words,
she was this, she was that.
Hey, i'm still here.
Interestingly, i can also swoop around the room,
peer over peoples' shoulders,
observe uncle pete the predator
leaning too close to this year's pre-pubescents.
Cool! I freaked him out,
blowing an icy breath
on his smarmy intentions.

This part is about Done,
and i see some interesting moving lights
up near the ceiling.
Let's check out the Great Beyond.
I'll let you know
what i find out.
Watch for weird coincidences,
wolf howls at midnight,
and icy fingers on your extremities
at random moments.
That'll be me.

For Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads, where the prompt is to speak from a place of being dead.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wildfires Burn Across the Land

they move across the land,
hooves burned
by the wildfires.
They are the last two of their herd,
crossing a post-apocalyptic landscape.

They suffer,
because humankind
has not lived well
upon the land.
They suffer, 
because of us.

188 wildfires burn,
more each newscast,
gobbling forests, homesteads,
Towns evacuated, 
Thousands fleeing.
Populations on the move.
Wildlife with no home.

Wildfires roaring their anger
at a planet
that is burning, flooding, storming
its distress.

We suffer, and we understand.
The animals suffer,
and they have no voice but ours,
to speak for them,
no future, for them, for us,
unless humanity wakes up.
And we have remained asleep 
40 years too long.

Horse bones

My heart is breaking for animals, domestic and wild, caught in the wildfires. Humans suffer, and we understand. We have resources, cars in which to flee, we have a voice, we can get help. The animals only know suffering, terror, pain, a fiery death. Because of us. Most of these wildfires were started by human carelessness. Unbelievably, the woman who took these photos and the video linked below was behind a car where a woman TOSSED A CIGARETTE BUTT out of the window. Right in the middle of the wildfires. There is truly no excuse for this kind of  stupidity. Vikki was in Ashcroft, rescuing horses.

The cost of cleaning up after climate change incidents will be so much greater than switching to clean energy would be. But political will seems oddly lacking. Holding onto power seems to be more important than survival of the planet. Capitalism is accustomed to one way of doing business and appears utterly unwilling to even think about changing. Our proverbial goose is cooked unless serious change happens immediately. A huge iceberg in Antarctica just broke off. We are watching history, folks. I pray it isn't our last chapter. But if it is, Mother Earth will live on, and wild creatures will thrive once again. Faint comfort for all those suffering now across the globe. If civilization survives, future generations will look back at us and consider us insane and/or woefully ignorant.

Here is a link to a short video about the horses in the above photo. It wouldn't upload for me. LINK

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Evening Beach Walk

The plan was for an evening beach walk and a sunset. We have been having some spectacular ones lately.

But the weather changed, and there was cloud cover. 

The colours were pretty and it was pleasant watching them slowly change.

I took a lot of photos.

Everything turned beautifully blue.

Then a warning came up: "Batteries exhausted!"

And THEN..........the MOON came up. We watched it emerge from the clouds: huge, round, full, golden, unlike any moon I have seen for a very long time (me being given to early hours). And......I couldn't take a picture to capture it! Argh.

A friend said, "You don't need a photo to make it real."

No, but I would like to have captured it and shared it with you. Next time. I will get to more sunsets and moon-rises, after last night.

Fragile, Natural, Wild

We all start out as fragile things.
Slowly our leggy roots take hold;
we turn our faces to the sun.
Under cerulean skies, we grow.

Natural hungers lead us along
the pathway towards
the person 
we were always meant to be.
We taste, get burned,
learn how more carefully 
to choose, 
and, through our choices,
we become.

Somewhere along the way,
if we are lucky,
we encounter the wild:
plunge in, a voyage of discovery
and recovery, a mending,
a gradual growing whole. 
The wildness takes us far. 
And when we reach
the limits of the farthest we can go
along its path,
we emerge from it 

Traveler, experience
its mystery and magic,
but remember:
Once one has known the wild,
there is no going back.
Say goodbye to the past,
for you will never be
who once you were 

for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads: Fragile, Natural, Wild

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When You Love a Wild Thing

" can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, ...[i]f you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky."

— Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories)

When you love  a wild thing, 
you're rekindling your kinship 
with the wild. 

Every cell in your body 
when you once lived free 
upon the land, 
when you lived the Old Ways 
we once used to 

Part of you remembers 
when you hunted the deer, 
and part remembers 
when you were 
the deer being hunted. 
Both sides know fear. 

The part of you 
that catches your breath 
while your heart quickens, 
when that old gray whale 
turns her ancient eye on you, 
is the part that recognizes, 
but can't put words to, 
the message in her 
mournful song, 
about this planetary home 
where we all 

I gave my heart to a wolf-pup, 
his eyes intelligent 
and true. 
He loved me more 
than anyone 
I ever knew. 

He remained wild, 
but left both
wilderness and sea.
In order to be with me 
he relinquished 
being free. 

And when it came 
his time to leave, 
he tried so hard 
to stay. 
Since he's been gone, 
it's like the wilderness 
has gone away. 

Now, when I walk, 
yes, I'm looking 
at the sky. 
I'm listening 
at each full moon 
for his lonely 

I walk the length 
of his favorite river 
with tears 
that we're apart. 
But I'm glad 
I loved a wild thing 
because he 
my heart.

One from 2011, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, as well as the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads. I miss my boy, still.


Global BC tv camera operator Pat Bell shot this film of horses fleeing wildfires near Ashcroft, B.C.

The wildfires burn
while the wild things flee.
Their plight will be
our destiny.

We have heated this planet
beyond repair,
their home and ours,
without much care.

The sun sets red
with the forest's blood.
Wildlife flees,
wild hoofbeats thud.

Who will answer
the wild ones' "Why?"'s?
Who will hear
their mournful cries?

We destroyed their home
as well as our own.
Now we'll play the hand
as the dice was thrown.

My heart is heavy with the wildfires burning all over the province, thoughts of the wolves and bears and deer fleeing in terror, hillsides burning to the ground. Each summer hotter than the last and government legislation far too slow in response - two or three decades too slow. Wildfires, floods, earthquakes, extreme temperatures.............if we survive, future generations will wonder at our apathy and slowness to understand our situation.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


In childhood,
it was always summer:
the slap of the hose on the side of the house
waking me as Grandma 
hosed down the garden
against the heat of the day.

Then she pulled down the canvas awnings
like sleepy eyelids
over the two front windows,
the cottage a bright bird,
settling down for a mid-morning snooze.

season of lake-scent and weeping willow,
sweet pea and pinks in my grandmother's garden,
pungent in the falling dusk.
sleepy hours reading in a canvas hammock,
and wet bathing suits on the line.
Once I swam alone during an afternoon storm,
grey lowering clouds, thunder rumbling,
a metallic odor, danger-edged,
the waves, the lake, the hills,  
all mine.

I remember it, still, the gunmetal grey
of that long-gone summer afternoon,
in the years when summer was
my grandma's house:
her steady, serene, domestic presence,
her company, her chortling,
the comfort of the bulk of her
as she showed me,
day by slow-paced summer day,
how to live.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Independence Is Sometimes an Illusion

When our independence rests
on the backs of others,
we can know no lasting peace.

Their lands taken,
forced onto small reserves
where poverty and hopelessness 
dim the horizon,
the First Nations of this land 
ask for nothing more
than to be equal
in our society.

They have suffered too long.
There have been too many words,
too many broken promises.
Now it is time
for action.

Canada 15,000

I had mixed feelings this Canada Day. The celebrations on Parliament Hill were inclusive and celebratory, and paid lip service to inclusion, betterment, reconciliation. But as indigenous activists made clear, there are unaddressed problems in this land, an apartheid system that has lasted too long.

Activists set up a tent on Parliament Hill to raise awareness that the First Peoples of this land have been marginalized, their territories appropriated, and they are still waiting for a place at the table. It is long past time.  Today much was said about celebrating  new immigrants to Canada. We do welcome them sincerely. But there are people who lived here for thousands of years before our ancestors came here as Canada's first immigrants. 15,000 years for certain, possibly far longer. We need to never lose sight of this fact.

Yes, we live in a beautiful, kind, peaceful country. People are generally pleasant to each other. Life is good for so many of us, even we who don't have much materially. Still, we have shelter, food, no bombs dropping. Possibilities.

But this country has its shadow side. Many of those on reservations in Canada live in Third World conditions, in abject poverty, an apartheid society, separate and not equal.   Many reserves in the north don't even have clean drinking water. In Canada, Land of Many Waters. After this many years, this should have been rectified. They are still waiting.

It is the aboriginal people of the world who have known for millennia how to live in harmony with Mother Earth. We can learn much from them. 

The government acknowledges climate change, yet approves pipelines and still thinks economic and environmental agendas can be furthered concurrently,  in the same old way, when clearly we need a whole new paradigm, based on a switch to clean energy.

So the two things that stood out for me this Canada Day were:

* The teepee set up on Parliament Hill to raise awareness that First Nations people across this land are still waiting - to be heard, to be recognized, to reclaim their land, to live their own way, a way friendlier to the planet than ours.

* Buffy Sainte-Marie's stirring song at the celebrations in Ottawa: Carry It On. She sang that we, people and politicians alike - and Mother Nature herself - are all hanging on "by the skin of our teeth". So we are. I love her lines "It ain't governments that make the people strong / it's the opposite illusion".

It was good to see First Nations dancing and speaking on Parliament Hill. I hope to hear more of them speaking INSIDE it in the days to come.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Independence

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Wild Pacific Trail

Yesterday, my camera and I walked 
the Wild Pacific Trail,
near the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet,
Tofino's sister village.

Right now these waters are a whale highway,
as the greys make their migration up the coast.

A lot of people clambered over the rocks,
finding a perch on which to sit and watch for the greys.

Those with hardy stomachs can hop boats of varying sizes in which to venture out to see the whales.
On the news last night, a man in a zodiac down-Island encountered a black BEAR swimming close by his boat. The bear was using his rear leg as a rudder!

I love it when the sea is so blue.

This is the Broken Group Islands,
a popular spot for wilderness campers 
and kayakers.

All in all,
another lovely day.

Monday, July 3, 2017


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

A poem from 2016, my friends. This morning on the news, scientists are concerned that on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, there are now only 78 orcas, not enough to sustain the population. Warming seas, loss of habitat and reduced salmon stocks are listed as the main problems. Salmon comprises most of the orca diet, and fish stocks have been reduced in recent years from over-fishing, and pollution, especially from fish farms.

Forest fires are burning, whales and wolves are hungry, all is not well in the land. What will it take for us to learn to live with respect for other species - and each other?