Friday, July 13, 2018

MOON RAVEN


Artist Les Herman


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.

A poem from 2014, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is fine reading every Sunday morning.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Into Space and Sky




He lived in the city,
but longed for the wilderness;
captive in his condo,
his soul hemmed in
on every side.

One day,
looking up,
he saw an eagle 
soaring
between two skyscrapers,
and felt his heart explode
with the longing
to fly free.

Within two months,
he was living
on a small island,
his sweet cabin
looking out
across forest and ocean.
Content.

A year ago,
he passed away
in that small cabin,
once more
soaring 
free of his fetters,
into space and sky.


True story. My friend Matthew and I shared a love of and longing for the wilderness. He made many trips to visit me in Tofino in the 90's, where we stalked the sunset and communed with old growth.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: City

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A WOLF FOUND ME




I did not find wolves.
A wolf found me.
On the island,
a small wolf-pup, 
was found alone, half-dead
in the March rains,
where he had been living
at the dump.
I took him home
and our wild journey began.

We saved each other.

Oh, he was wild!
Hilarious and cunning,
he made me laugh every day
for fourteen years.
I was never alone
when he was with me.
He opened my heart,
which had been so disappointed.
He filled it with his presence,
and the only unconditional love
I had ever known.
Devoted, his eyes never left me.

Ow-wooooooooooooo,
he cried, each time I drove away,
as mournful as if the parting was
forever.
Ecstatic noisy barks, on my return.
He would stand and try to hug me,
convinced he was a person.
And, in his gaze, I saw such knowing,
such intelligence, such intuition,
it was like a human in a former life
had found me again, this lifetime,
in the form of a wolf.
I recognized those eyes.
They saw through to my soul.

It was for him,
I sought the wild places every day,
for we both needed them
to survive.
It was for him,
(and me)
we always had to live
with space and greenness around us.
Our spirits resisted
confinement, longed for
forest, river, shore.

The saddest thing about wolves
is that they die.
Once a wolf has been your soulmate,
you are forever bereft,
once they are gone.
But, once, I loved a wild thing,
and his memory is what helps me
to go on.



Saturday, July 7, 2018

NEVER ALONE

Picture created for me by The Unknown Gnome


Traveler has been traveling alone
for most of the journey.
Times, she sought a companion
to help ease the passage through difficult terrain.
But none could stay the course.
Each turned off at the nearest byway.

Traveler grew accustomed
to making her way alone.
A wolf companion stayed by her side
for fourteen years, the truest companionship
she had ever known.
His turning was involuntary;
they both mourned greatly.

Solitude was emptier once he had gone.
But in time, traveler began to realize
she was never truly alone.
All around her was the ghost of a big black wolf;
he walked invisibly by her side.

There were trees breathing peace to her,
birds on the wing who companioned her eyes
through the heavens,
reminding her to keep Looking Up;
the moon bathed her in silver
and spread its canopy of stars for her alone;
there were wind-voices singing secret love-songs
just for her, and wave-tops lapping shores
of forever beaches,
where each one knew her name.

Alone is never lonely, as long as you love the wind,
Traveler says now, reflecting.
When you stand in an old-growth forest,
when you watch the butterflies flutter by,
when you look into the knowing eyes
of a small red filly,
you are surrounded
by loving friends.


A poem from 2014. Revisited. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, hosted by Mary, where there is good reading every Sunday morning.



Thursday, July 5, 2018

Of Hummingbirds and Blades of Grass


"Every blade of grass has its Angel
that bends over it and whispers.....
'Grow. Grow!'"
The Talmud

"Peace is every step."
Thich Nhat Hanh

The ringing phone
brings stress
and lamentations,
situations even a mother's heart
can't fix.
The pressure in my head
reaches critical mass,
as I steady the firm trunk of me
to withstand
the pitch and toss
of shifting earth.

I place my feet carefully,
for peace is every step,*
and I must not fall.

In those moments,
I listen to the sweet chirp
of hummingbirds at the feeder,
gratefully drinking
the day's sustenance,
blissfully living
the present moment,
unaware
of the tumult
humans create
for ourselves
everywhere.

Perhaps our fear and worry
about tomorrow
is our greatest obstacle
to peace.

I walk along the beach,
witnessing the waves' 
eternal journey to the shore.
Sky and clouds lift my eyes,
reminding me to
Keep Looking Up.

Silence fills up 
all the space inside.
I wrap it around me
like a healing cloak. 
We need only live 
this single hour,
take the next step,
do the 
next right thing.

There is a larger landscape
than the one we see*,
a soul journey
each of us
must make alone.
With every step, 
we choose:
angst, fear, turmoil
or
peace, trust, hope.

Love, and let go.
Love, and let go.

In those times
when you are walking
through a barren wasteland,
filled with fear,
feeling so alone,
let me be
your Talmud Angel,
leaning over
the solitary blade of grass
that is your life,
and breathing: 
"Grow. Grow!"


for Paul's prompt at Real Toads: Peace Is Every Step.  How do we maintain our peacefulness when our world, or that of someone close,  turns upside down?  A timely prompt for me right now, as I try not to be toppled by a loved one's distress. (My doctor is doubling my blood pressure medication by the week, lol.) I am grateful for the waves, and their eternal journey to the shore. Their song soothes my tattered and weary soul. The Talmud Angel closing I borrowed from a poem in 2010.

* I am trying to find who said the landscape quote, as I have forgotten - Camus? I will keep looking.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Lady Liberty


CNN /  John Moore / Getty Images



I  cannot enjoy my liberty
with you at the border,
incarcerated,
your children removed,
because you fled
danger and death
seeking a better life.

The cries of your children
haunt my dreams.
Their terror hurts my heart.
What we do to one,
we do to all:
other humans,
other species,
the earth:
ourselves.

The day of political
and climate refugees*
has arrived.
But, until rich white men
are the ones who
march across deserts,
famished, thirsty,
homeless, desperate,
I fear humankind
will not change course
in time.



“Bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yearning to break free” – and we will take away your children, put them in cages, and detain or expel you. Never did I think such things could happen in North America, “the land of the free”. Yet here we are. 

* Climate change could create 150 million climate refugees by 2050.
(source: The Guardian)

For Susan’s Midweek Motif prompt at Poets United: Lady Liberty


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Forest's Song

I am fortunate to have this forest
within walking distance


If one were to join in
the forest's song,
one would need to attune
to the heartbeat of trees,
thrum the roots and connections
across the forest floor,
decipher the patter
of raindrops on lichen,
of sunlight on salal,
find the key that opens
the ancients' door.

One would learn to echo
the osprey's call,
the cry of the tern,
the seabirds, all.

One would sing down the sun
at the close of day,
blissed in a world
where we all belong,
if one were to join in
the forest's song,
and stop singing the song
we have gotten
so wrong.


Found in drafts and shared with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Everything Is Alive, and Listening




The stone in your hand, warm from the sun,
is alive, having traveled such a long journey
to fit into your palm.

Everything under the sun 
is as happy to be alive as we,
dolphins, leaping with joy in the silver sea,
whose squeals turn to pain and terror
when the death boats come hunting,
and the seas turn red.

Trees talk to each other, hold rooted hands
under the soil, all across the forest floor.
They whisper to those of us Two-Leggeds
who listen.
The mighty beings  quake
at the screech of the saws,
roots parting reluctantly from the soil
as their majestic bodies topple.

Everything in the world is alive,
and listening.

Water, too, is alive,
its molecular structure changing
in response to the love,
hatred, peace or discord
we beam at it.

If a drop of water changes structure
from dark to light,
in response to love,
should not the dark hearts of men
respond in kind?

The wild creatures feel all that we feel,
joy at being alive,
building their nests,
raising their young, but they also
feel fear and pain, the struggle to survive,
grief when they lose their kin,
gratitude when, tummies full, night falling,
they have survived another day.

That rock in your hand, warm from the sun,
having made its long journey
to this resting place:
place it back on earth, in testimony
to all that passes, all that will remain.


Found this in my drafts folder, written some time ago.........My heart is listening, these days, to the cries of mothers and children, ripped from each other's arms.


Friday, June 29, 2018

No Easy Answers



I heard an owl this morning
just before dawn,
and I thought of you,
all these decades gone:
waking to the doves' gentle coo,
me amazed at waking next to you,
with your dark blackbird heart,
so lovely in my eyes,
soaring / captive Brother eagle,
both longing for
and fearful of
the skies.

Your beauty and your pain
held my heart fast,
fire and rain, I thought would 
for forever last,
a fire of passion
felt for no one other,
a rain of tears
when you could not tell me: "Stay,"
and so I 
slowly turned
and walked away.

"No easy answers,"
was what you always said,
with your so-easy smile,
and those compelling eyes.
There was an easy answer,
but you could not say the words.
You could not choose just one sparrow,
with the sky so full of birds.

We set the doves free when I left.
Blackbird was playing on the stereo.
I loved you then,
and love you still,
though you may 
never know.

I have remained, this lifetime,
a solitary dove.
The answer was, 
Brother Dreamer,
then and always,
only ever Love.


an old one from 2013 some of you will have seen before, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United Sunday morning. Do come and join us.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Old Tree



Like an old tree,
I survived storm and drought,
the clipping and bending
and breaking
of my boughs.
I learned to stand steady
as winds of change
howled through my limbs;
thrust my roots down deep,
braced myself against
the slipping sands
under my feet.

Like an old tree,
I have endured,
weary of my labours,
branches drooping,
bark chipped and pocked,
the foreboding 
of an early frost
nipping at my toes.

I send messages
of encouragement
to young sprouts

popping up,
jostling me,
their growth encroaching
on my space,
as has been the grand design
through all of time.

They will carry my legacy,
my teachings, my dreams,
into tomorrow,
replacing my songs
with their own,
spreading their arms wide,
expanding in the sun,
all the while 
time
is bending me
slowly
into the earth.



For Sumana’s prompt at Midweek Motif, Poets United: What do I think of myself? I think: I am a tired old tree. I think: I have risen above my raising, yet been less than what I might have been.

And shared with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Better Than We Are




What do I think of myself
as a human being
when icebergs are melting,
wild animals becoming extinct,
whales and salmon
and every living thing
struggling to survive,
while babies wail hopelessly
in cages, uncomforted,
people bomb, and kill
and oppress other people,
when money is all that matters
to rich greedy corporate criminals,
who smile like gloating crocodiles,
as they lay waste the earth?

I think:
this earth was
meant to be a garden,
and we were born for bliss.
Instead we have caused
devastation and destruction.
Like humankind, as a whole,


I think:
I have risen above my raising
yet been less than
I might have been.
Separately and together,
we were meant to be
so much better than
we are.


For Sumana’s prompt at Midweek Motif, at Poets United: What do I think about myself?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Note Into the Silence



It doesn't matter that the phone has gone silent,
that you are angry, not speaking,
believing I don't understand the extent
of your suffering, as, indeed,
my mother's heart understands
only too well.
I am still here, waiting,
as I have always been, will always be:
for your sun to shine once more,
for the day when you need to speak,
for the phone to ring,
for our conversation to resume.


for Kerry's Micro Poetry prompt at Real Toads:  to write a micro poem whose point of departure is "It doesn't matter", from the poem by Rumi.

You, the Seeker, My Lamp, the Moon



Little hummer,
irridescent rainbow in constant flight,
you whirred into the room at dusk,
thinking my lamp was the moon.
I swiftly clicked off the light,
to guide you to the window
where you beat frantically for a moment,
till you crouched in its corner,
terrified of the giant
whose hands were slowly lowering
to cup you gently.

You stilled, as I carried
your feathered lightness outside
and, when I opened my palms to set you free,
lay for a moment on your back,
surrendered to your fate.
Suddenly recognizing you had survived,
could once more see the sky,
in that same instant,
you were halfway 'cross the meadow.

Just so, do our hearts encounter
their similar terrors,
bring them down to size,
recognize the open door of freedom,
and, each in turn, take flight.


One from 2015 for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. At the farm, given I keep doors and windows open during all the warm weather, sometimes a small hummer would find its  way inside, and lodge itself in a corner of the windowsill. In my cupped hands, they felt lighter than a feather, flight itself, suspended for that one moment. I have hummers here, too, but they stay outdoors. At least so far.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Solstice



He came walking across the sand
carrying a paper torch
in the early dawn,
sleepy little boy
with his smiling mom,
who is no longer
in this world.
We walked a labyrinth
drawn in sand,
between opposing tides.
As the waves met,
covering our feet,
laughing,
we outraced
the sea.

It was Solstice,
and the world and I
were young.
Life was unfolding
on a golden beach,
and every beautiful,
longed-for thing
was there,
within my reach.

And now 
I am back at the shore,
no longer young.
And at last my longings
and my home
are one.


Happy Solstice!

*for Gael and Clay


An Unhappy Refrain




The news is an unhappy refrain,
the background of my days.
Babies scream in terror,
in the corners of my mind,
and there is no rescue,
no comfort being given.
Bad men with dead eyes
explain and blame,
the biggest con
we have ever witnessed.

Horrified, we watch
a country unraveling.
Humpty Dumpty is shattering
over a Wall.
How long will it take
to undo the damage done?

But, Dear Anne, stay hopeful,
and dream your dreams.
Before you are grown,
we will put this world
back together again,
having learned
just how much illness
and injustice
we need to heal.

We will resist, we will demand,
we will march and WE WILL VOTE!!!!!!
and we will undo the damage done.
We will reclaim
the country we know
still resides
under the abomination
of this present moment.


Marian's talented daughter, Anne, has given us the prompt: An Unhappy Refrain, which could not be more apt, in this particular week. Hatsune Miku invites us to tell her how we feel.  As we listen with horror to the uncomforted cries of terrified children, we wonder who is able to carry out these heartless, soul-less orders. I cant think of anything else. But Anne, rest easy. This will end and the world will return to the one we knew before a year ago. It wasnt always the greatest, but it sure was better than this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Disconnected Heart



Only a disconnected heart
that has forgotten its purpose,
that same heart that must have,
once, fallen in love,
 experienced the wonder
of its child being born,
could go to work
in a place where it is forbidden
to hold or comfort 
traumatized children
who are crying for their parents.

Ripping a baby
out of her mother's arms
as she screams in terror,
saying
"I'm just following orders,"
flies in the face
of all humanity,
convincing me that wolves
live more ethically
than some humans,
and we have lost our way.


I have had trouble putting words to the situation at the southern border. I never thought I would see such things in North America. Clearly, he thought this situation would force Democrats to let him build the wall he is so obsessed with. I think he miscalculated. There are a lot of CONNECTED and outraged hearts on this continent right now.

I really am at a loss for words, but am attempting to respond to Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Humans.

I read recently that wild animals come out at night now in order to avoid humans. They are wise.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

This Poem is a Broken Heart



This poem is a father, sitting in the sun and laughing.
This poem is a sunny summer's day,
the day before his world collapses.
This poem is a boat sinking,
along with  his brightest hopes.

This poem is a father, sitting in the sun,
laughing, on a day when all is well,
when life is as it should be.

This poem is a sunny summer's day,
just one day later,
the sound of helicopter blades whirring,
and many boats searching the shorelines
from dawn till dark.

This poem is cries for help in the night,
a boat sinking, one man plucked from the water,
one swimming to shore, three young men missing.
This poem is the village
collectively holding its breath,
waiting for word,
keeping hope alive.

This poem is the family,
grouped on the dock,
waiting for their young men
to come home.

This poem is 24 hours later,
still searching, still waiting,
the helicopters making fewer passes.
This poem is a father's aching heart,
praying for his sons' safe return.


At two in the morning on Friday, a small boat went down off Tofino with five young men on board. People on land heard cries for help and the Coast Guard was sent out. They plucked one man from the water. Another swam to shore. Three men are still missing. They searched with helicopters and many boats all day yesterday along all the shores, and a scaled back search is going on today. This father's two sons are among the missing. I dont yet know who the third man is, but in this close-knit community, this is heartbreak all around. It is beyond imagining, what this family is going through. In just an instant, everything can change. Appreciate the ordinary days, my friends. Life can change in an instant.

I adapted Hannah Gosselin's Boomerang Metaphor Form for this poem.

shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Come join us on Sunday. And for Brendan's prompt at Real Toads - fathers and sons.


My Heart, a Tiger's Nest



My heart yearns toward a monk's cell
perched on the edge of a mountain cliff,
halfway between here and heaven.

Yet here I am, in a grey little town
in the valley,
trying to fashion my unwieldy life
into something
that does not give offence.

My challenge, the cliff-walk
of understanding the distance
between where you are
and where I long to be.

My practice, the lighting of incense
and, sometimes, hearts,
with the weaving of words.

My sorrow, the mantra of my soul:
how to tame
the tiger's nest of
keening for all that was,
all that may never be again,
so it may bed down
in peace.


A poem from 2015, thatI will share with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MEET ME IN KATHMANDU


The Saffron Road - A Journey with Buddha's Daughters by Christine Toomey from Christine Toomey on Vimeo.



What is the magic
that picks me up by the scruff of the neck
when I open the pages of a book?

Meet me in Kathmandu.
I will arrive leading an elephant
I have liberated from her chains.
Twenty-six years, she lay on the pavement,
without hope.
Her eyes now gleam:
with relief, with awakening trust, with
-amazingly – kindness.
Although I am human,
like the beings who chained her,
she is willing to believe that
I mean her no harm.
Elephants forgive.

On a rooftop, above a monastery,
at three a.m.,
nuns are practicing kung fu.
Even the birds are not awake.
It is four hours until morning tea.
Below, monks’ rumbling mantras
grumble sonorously.
All is peaceful, conscious, awakened.

I have arrived along the Saffron Road
in the pages of a book,
where I live with delight

as the slow hours pass.

At the monastery,
the youngest nun is six years old.
Her parents brought her to the nuns
to gain good karma,
and also because
there is no money to feed
so many children.

She is nervous, watching the other nuns
to see what she is supposed to be doing.
In her bed at night,
I wonder if she remembers home,
cries silent tears,
feels unmoored,
unmothered.

I turn the page,
and now, so soon, it will be eventide
in the purple mountains,
smoke rising from the chimneys
and the cooking fires,
as amber light falls on stone walls,
and pilgrims make their weary way
homeward.

I must make my own way home.

Meet me in Kathmandu.
We will speak of the magic
of books that lift us up and away,
taking us on magic carpets
to the land of our dreams.


Today the power was out from the minute I got out of bed until almost suppertime. I recognized my dependence on technology. I began reading The Saffron Road, A Journey With Buddha’s Daughters, by Christine Toomey, who travelled the globe  to tell the stories of Buddhist nuns. The book took me right into its pages.

For Karin’s prompt at Real Toads: to use the phrase “What is the –" as a starting point for our poem. I dont know how to make the film go on top of the doggy faces. But it is a beautiful glimpse of a mysterious way of life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Contemplating the Prompt of the Day



Wild Woman contemplates
the prompt of the day: lust

defined as
a passionate desire for ________

She cogitates.
Wolves?
Wilderness?
Kindness to animals?
More years on the planet?
Books?
A dog?
All of the above.

Carnality has never been
her strong suit.

She shrugs,
cackles,
remembers a blackbird heart
she truly loved and swiftly lost,
proclaims her kinship with the wild,
her unwavering companionship
of wave and shore.
Too late for lust,
she does not wish for
more.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Lust

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Recipe Has Always Included Sorrow





What I Know For Sure:

that even the worst times were necessary
to teach me the lessons 
my soul needed to learn

that it doesn't matter 
how much or little you gather,
in life, only what you give

that each cell, particle, tree, rock, 
each being, in the world
is connected to every other, and to me

that even in times 
when we feel most alone,
we are being guided and helped

that, in order to be truly  
happy and at peace,
we must follow our hearts, 
even when it scares us ~
especially if it scares us!

My Memory Bowl, this lifetime,
got filled to the brim
with laughter, with song,
with wonder, with broken hearts,
with lessons learned, and taught,
with miracles and serendipities,
with golden friends,
with broken trust which taught me
to trust myself,
with a dream in my heart
that forced me to take risks,
with a search for love
that taught me to love all people,
with a journey made
and the price I was glad to pay.

I sift through the bowl
like a goblet of grapes, plucking one
and then another:
those long-gone people,
from a gentler time, which was,
in fact, the harshest of times,
reviewing my heart’s perilous
yet joyous passage
from yesterday
into tomorrow.

The recipe, my friends,
has always included
Sorrow.




Never Fully Gone

Collage created for me by my friend,


I feel it coming, this poem I will birth
on the seventh year of your passing
from this earth.
So close to tears, I realized, of course, it is you.
Just how much and how long I would miss you,
back then I never knew.
Like a burrowing owl, you have lodged in my heart,
like a prickle-burr that hurts, from which 
I do not want to part.
You live there, night and day, in a corner labeled Grief.
From the missing and your-being-gone
there is no relief.

Ghost voices whispering on the wind,
and wolf howls in my dreams,
you look right into my sad heart;
your wolf-eyes gleam.

The barn owl says to light the lamp
on the windowsill for you.
But how can you find me in this place
that was never home to you?

I'm homeless in the universe, alone, without you
and I fear you're out there somewhere,
feeling homeless too.
Lead me back, wolf-spirit,
to the land we loved together.
I will walk there again
as we did in any weather.

When I can hear the rhythm of
the turning of the tides,
my spirit may still find a home
once more, where peace abides.
Maybe your ghost shadow
will accompany the hours
as I walk forever beaches that,
for a time, were ours.


*** *** ***


I went to bed and slept, and then they came:
four beautiful, snowy white wolves
who already knew my name.
The first one came close,
oh! the beauty of her face!
pushed a friendly nose towards me,
as I stood still, accepting,
but respectful of her space.
We were at the beach, the wolves and I.
A visitation from the spirit-world
of the not-alive,
and from deep in my spirit,
which needs both wolves and ocean waves
to thrive,
because it has never been enough
simply to survive.
The barn owl called sleepily
in the early light to wake me.
Four white wolves live within me now,
never to forsake me.

***   ***   ***

And you?
big, black, laughing, hilarious
creature of the dawn?
You live in my heart
forever, now.
You are never
fully gone.


This is not the anniversary of Pup's death on January 15, 2011. But somehow I feel like posting this poem of remembering.  When I first wrote it, I was still living at the farm, where Pup had never lived. I worried that his spirit had remained in our former yard, across the street, as I could not feel his presence. I hope he has followed me back to the beach that he loved so much, that his spirit rejoices once again in the song of the waves.

Shared with Real Toads in the Tuesday Platform

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Greenly Greens



When you enter the forest,
walk with an open heart,
with good intention.
Greet the tree beings,
and all who live there.

The forest knows
you are coming.

At the trailhead,
it sends messages about you
through its root system.
If we walk unthinkingly,
with heavy boots,
the ferns and bushes 
tremble.

So tread softly,
with kindness.
Let your good heart
bathe in green energy.
Breathe in peace.
Breathe out gratitude.

Thank all that is alive
in the greenest of greens,
from gigantic cedar
to lowly slug.

Remember 
you are walking
in their territory.




I was taught this by a young Nuu chah nulth woman, Gisele Martin, who gives workshops about the history and protocals of the first people to live on this land, who were and are its guardians for thousands of years.

I am fortunate to have this forest a short walk from my apartment. There is a long interconnected system of trails, so that many can enjoy the peace of the forest. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Do come and join us.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

ENU



not like a pounding rain
beating clamorously against
the side of the cabin.....

but like enu*:
a soothing morning mist,
is my heart,
gentled by storm
into stillness.

not like a wild horse
on the prairie,
feet galloping, heart pounding,
kicking up clods of dirt
as her mane
catches the wind.....

but like an old mare
in the pasture,
eating grass and daisies,
tail lazily switching flies,
is my heart,
tired from all the clamour,
seeking only peace.

not like a pack of wolves,
their howls keening
into the midnight hours,
wild and sorrowing......

but like the lone wolf,
silently leaving the pack
to find the pathway
to her solitary death,
is my heart,
reclusive and at peace,
following the gentle
downhill slope
of the months and years
I have left.

*enu: the Japanese word for a misty rain

for Bjorn's prompt at dVerse: Via Negative, using the negative in poetry to make a statement stronger. And for Toni's prompt at Real Toads: 50 Shades of Rain.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

RUN

Wolves at Long Beach - note how skinny
Parks Canada photo



Their forest is shrinking. They emerge, tentative, ghostly, in morning mist, seeking food, seeking shelter, seeking safe places that are no more. And they are chased, by men with guns, by helicopters with whirring blades, whole families fleeing in terror, falling, one by one, to lie bleeding in the snow.


Run, brother wolf, sister wolf.
Run like the wind.
Sing your wild song,
of forest den and your young.
Sing your plea
that your cubs will live.
Sing your elegy
for all we have lost,
all we are losing.
Sing our shared heartbreak
under the midnight moon.
My heart runs with you
as you flee for your life.
Run fast.
Run far.

May you find a place
untouched by man,
to live and dream
your wolfish dreams.
May you survive,
for in this sorrowing world
I need wild wolves
alive.


for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Running. The plight of animals, both domestic and wild, in today's world, keeps on breaking my tired old wolf-woman heart. 

Here on the Coast, wildlife officers try to avoid killing wolves. No helicopter shootings here - but in other places in B.C. and Alberta, it happens. And three cougar , a mother and two yearlings, were killed last week on the Lower Mainland. Loss of habitat drives them into developed areas in search of food - pretty much a death sentence for wildlife these days. 



Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Summer Wind

1950's Kelowna
photo by Don Collier


lake-scent and willow whispers
on the summer breeze,
young girl dreaming 
under apple blossoms,
lost in reverie

hot summer nights
in the city,
twinkling lights
and darkling hills,
I sealed my fate
with a promise,
made for good or ill

young mother pushing
baby buggies
through summer afternoons,
at the lake with leggy children
who grew and flew 
too soon

I blew home on the Westerly,
set up house
beside the sea,
felt El Nino's warming sigh,
so welcoming
to me

now I'm remembering
all my summers
lived,
while this old planet 
spinned.
I hear the song 
of all my yesterdays
upon the
summer wind.


for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where you will find good reading on a Sunday morning. Do come join us. Are you all finding it as inconvenient as I am, not having comments come to your email inbox? It makes it VERY hard to keep up and return visits. I used to respond to comments via email when possible. If I have missed you, I apologize. I checked with Blogger Forum. They are aware of the problem and say they will fix it and it will be working again soon. THAT is a relief!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Home

Stamp Falls, Port Alberni, B.C.


All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying 
to get back to where it was. - Toni Morrison


Like the river, 
I was always headed
to the sea,
my heart lulled only 
by the gentle lap
of waves upon the sand.

It took me ten years,
and then twenty more,
to reach its shores.

I travelled
by cellular memory
and inner compass.
Like a single drop of water,
the ocean filled
my DNA.

A homing pigeon
flew me over the mountain.
An orange ball of fire
setting behind the hills
welcomed me in.

One step upon the sand,
and the questing, seeking
voice in me was stilled,
and I was home.


for Sanaa's prompt at Real Toads: Water


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Truth: Warning: Distressing to animal lovers

Bear cub found clinging to dead mother bear
near Tofino
CBC News story / Jennifer Steven photo


Mother bear dead, lying on the shore,
whimpering cub still clinging to her teat,
growing weaker; he cannot comprehend
that the source of all nourishment,
comfort and protection is gone.


I grieve; I grieve
for all the wild ones
suffering at our hands
as we encroach upon the land


A family of wolves is
running for their lives;
the whirr of helicopter blades above
chasing them across the prairie.
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
And seven members of a family
that loved their lives
lie bleeding where they fall.

Do the men with guns have hearts?
How do they wrap this in their minds,
when everything alive
just wants to live?

The black cliffs above
have stood for a million years,
the dark green trees
rooted, silent sentinels,
saved from the saw
only by the steepness 
of their slopes,
as, below,  all the old growth 
falls.

The Old Ones say there was a time
when the salmon were so plentiful
The People could walk upon their backs,
and the prairie grasses were dotted
with buffalo as far as the eye could see.

Now the buffalo are gone,
and the salmon are dying:
riddled with disease, lesions, tumours,
full of contaminants, and radiation.
Whales wash up on shore
with stomachs full of plastic
from the ocean we have turned
into a garbage dump.

I do not have years long enough
for all this grieving.


In an eyeblink in the annals of time,
we took healthy abundance,
the interdependence of all living things,
and turned it into misery.

Now all the wild things
have questions in their eyes
and sorrow in their cries,
like the teardrops in my heart.

We took abundance
and turned it into misery
through greed and love of money.
A truth so hard to bear.

I grow old, I grow old,
and all my hopes
are slowly growing cold.



John Forde with cub / Jennifer Steven photo


A local man found  a dead mother bear, her cub still clinging to her teat, a few days ago on a small beach on one of the uninhabited islands. He took the cub to a wildlife rehabilitation centre and it will be released back into the wild once it is big enough to survive, in eighteen months. The caregivers distance themselves from the bear, to ensure it can be released into the wild when it is time.

Poor little bear. He didnt have much time left when he was found so I am thankful to our local hero, John Forde, for rescuing the little guy.

I read that humans evolved around 200,000 years ago, and “civilization”, as we know it, about 6000 years ago. The Industrial Revolution, where we took a departure from stewarding resources to ravaging them for profit, began in the 1800’s. In just two hundred years, a mere eye-blink, we have created this mess, through greed and love of money, on a planet that thrived for millions of years.

As we have all the information, and proof we have over-burdened this planet before our eyes, it boggles the mind to see corporations and legislators still putting profit before planetary survival.

One wants to think we will turn things around in time. But we are already so overdue, and things appear to be getting worse, at least in North America. The earth takes ten million years to recover from a mass extinction. Maybe next time around, humankind will get it right?


A depressing post. But, sadly, true. For Susan’sprompt at Midweek Motif: Truth


Source of facts here

News story about the baby bear cub here