Monday, December 31, 2018

White Wolf


I met a white wolf-dog
with blue eyes
at the beach today.
He let me pat him and tell him
how beautiful he is.

He took a cookie
gently from me.
"He has a kind heart,"
his person said,
and, yes, I could see
that he had a kind heart,
as do all animals
who have not been abused
and made fearful
by humans.

What a gift it is
when an animal gives you
his heart,
his trust,
his paw.

We should never
take it for granted.

I met a white wolf-dog
with blue eyes
on the beach today.
He took a little of my heart
with him
when he walked away.



Thursday, December 27, 2018

Small Child



Small child,
in your world-weary stare,
a thousand ancient lives have passed,
no dawn breaking 
on the horizon.

You walked so far,
thirsty, hungry,
footsore.
Your Papa told you
when you reached us,
life would get better.
There would be food, a bed,
and more.

Though you walked
with all your heart
and all your hope,
trusting your Papa 
would keep you safe,
your small body
could take no more.
You found your relief
in heaven,
not on our shore
and, because of that,
your father's tears
will never cease.

Fly, little bird,
fly free.
Find a more peaceful sky
in which 
to be.


Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, age seven, died on December 15, in custody of U.S. Border Patrol, after a long journey from Guatemala, where she and her father were fleeing violence and poverty, in hopes of finding a better life. US government sources blame the victims, rather than those following inhumane orders, for this tragic death.

No child of seven should have lived the pain reflected in Jakelin's weary, hopeless eyes. And now there is also Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, age eight, who also died in the custody of custom officials. (How do they sleep at night?)

I don't know how much more of this heartless regime I can take. When will people take to the streets and demand that it ends? I am hoping the Women's March on January 17 will have impact. Spokeswomen for the march say they are marching for this little girl, and for Felipe. They are marching for a saner world for children to grow up in.

There is so much that needs saving. Pick what matters most to you and write to your elected officials. It does have impact. March if you are able to.

Another help for Mother Earth: plant food and trees.



This Poem is an Elf, a Grandma and a Cup of Tea



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, written in 2015, is (mostly) patterned after Hannah Gosselin's wonderful Boomerang Poem form, introduced at Real Toads in 2014. One of my favourite forms.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

SAMHAIN

collage created by Steve Sullivan, the Unknown Gnome

They say the dead are among us,
we just can't see them.
On Samhain,
when the veils between the worlds
are thin,
are your paws padding softly beside me,
as they did for so long?

I keep waiting,
for the weight of your snout
on the side of my bed,
to wake me
each morning,
as it did the morning after you died,
then never again.

Perhaps you are 
just the hint
of a cold breeze on my cheek,
an ache, some tears,
a sigh.

Where have you gone,
my big, noisy boy,
when I can no longer feel you,
other than a missing
that goes on forever,
in my heart?


It is a bit late for a poem about samhain (halfway between halloween and solstice). But I am reading about dogs right now, which makes me miss Pup even more. Today I felt like sharing this poem from  2016 with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Old Maid



In the sunporch at the back of Grandma's cottage, we spent many happy hours: listening to thunderstorms, chatting, playing Old Maid. Grandma would stick one of the cards up above the others, tempting me to take it. The trick was, sometimes it would be the Old Maid sticking up, and you'd think, no, it can't be the Old Maid, too obvious. So you'd take it, and Grandma would chortle with glee. Another time, she'd stick a card up, and you wouldn't take it, remembering the last time. A torturous decision. This time it would be an innocent card, and the one you chose, just to the left of it, would be the Old Maid. Cackles. When I was a Grandma, I tried the same tricks, but my grandkids were smarter and less gullible  than I was as a child, so they soon figured it out; my tricks didn't work for long. Self-fulfilling prophecy, as a child and again as a Grandma, I was - and am - always the Old Maid.


Smiles. A fun memory from childhood for  Magaly's prompt at Real Toads: to write a prose poem.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Song You Sang When You Were Young

This was taken days before his death.
He already knew he was leaving.
This photo haunts me.


You had a song you sang
when you were young;
who you were
you already knew,
long before the laughing buffoons
who tormented you
had a clue.

You were my friend,
always waiting for me
at the corner of Richter and Elliott
in the snow.
We’d crunch across the field
to the lighted school,
where you would play my champion
and I would play the fool.

I lost you for a time;
recall your gaze at me,
so wondering and sad,
as you left my house that day,
my ignorant ex,
beard all a-bristle,
obviously mad,
your eyes speaking
what you were much too kind
to say.

I found you years later,
when I was free,
so glad to finally be
that friend to you
that you’d always been
to me.

But you were tired, by then:
gay-bashed, dismissed
by the system
as a being of little worth,
definitively, by your own hand,
you left this earth.
Your note to me said
you hoped I'd understand.
You were glad I found you,
and your love was true,
but you couldn’t take
how hard life was
just trying to be you.

You had a song you sang
when you were young.
When it stopped, I lost you
for the second time;
the rest of your beautiful song
will forever be unsung.




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A SONG FOR SOLSTICE



With all of the things you have learned
from your long journeying,
with all of your heartache
that taught you to love and to cry,
and with all of your dreaming
that helped you to live,
with that same loving heart and merry laugh
that has brought you to the ocean's shore,

come out at dusk and celebrate 
the full cold moon
at the place where the tide 
kisses the tombolo,
then runs away, laughing.

Yesterday morning's dawn
approached as pink and fresh 
as a young maiden
singing the new day in.
Tonight shows itself 
as a wise old woman
with knowing smile,
tapping her cane and hobbling.
But she still remembers 
her dancing feet,
she remembers,
and, in her heart,
she is still dancing
across the beloved landscape
with joy.

You grew your soul
all green with wilderness
and wild with wolf-breath,
in a forest of great and ancient
tree beings
breathing peace.
You owe them
your every breath,
each one their gift
to us.
The journey has been astonishing,
magical; 
it has brought you
here,
to the edge
of the sea.

And now you are looking at
those far, snow-capped mountains.
The echo of the heron's call
and wild wolfsong at midnight
will keep you here a while.
The tree trunks you hug
breathe their smiles at you;
they whisper,
"we waited for you, friend,
for all these many years."

The sea sings your soul-song,
the only song you ever knew.
It sang you out of the desert
and over the mountain pass
to the wild shores
of Clayoquot Sound.
It has carried you so far,
and it is singing, still.

Come out at dusk
to meet me
on the shortest day,
in the place where
 the tide 
kisses the tombolo,
then runs away, laughing.

Let earth and sky
inform your grateful heart
that, finally and forever,
you are Home.


A poem that came to me in a rush, as I contemplated this year's winter Solstice on December 21st, the actual moment being 2:23 p.m. Pacific time. There will be a Full Cold Moon that night, and the next, as we enter winter's dark, restful time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Distraught Sister Moon



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

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

I see you trying to efface your fullness
quickly, perhaps thinking
if you lessen your roundness
the populace can return to calm
under a slice of moon.

But when were we last calm?

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

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



I reworked a poem from 2017 for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United: Peace on Earth. Which feels far away in these troubled times. We need to elect a world of grandmothers and pacifists, who will use intelligence, earth wisdom and diplomacy to govern, rather than greed, and "might" and "right". Sigh. I referenced the old tune in my closing lines. We dream indeed.

Also sharing with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Memories Elusive


there came a time
when memories flew
like leaves upon the wind
falling upon her quiet hours

~she plucked them, one by one ~

as over time they slowed, fading, almost gone,
she reaching for the last few
(ephemeral, drifting, elusive)
until they fell no more.


I tried my first puente for Marian's prompt at Real Toads - the middle line being a bridging thought for the two stanzas. Marian's example puente at Toads is spectacular! Ouch. I hope this poem is not prophetic. But my Grandma lived to be almost a hundred, with memories intact. We live in hope (not to live to a hundred, but to keep the memories.)




Thursday, December 6, 2018

HOMECOMING



The film is grainy. It is Christmas, 1950, and, one by one, the beloved faces come out the door at 364 Christleton, my Grandma’s house. Smiling into the camera, our grandparents, beaming with their children around them, come from afar, my favourite uncle, his wife and daughter; my mom and dad; my mom’s younger sister, with her piquant smile, tip-toeing down the stairs. My younger uncle with his shock of wheat-coloured hair, and his wife, only she left alive, now as curled and frail as an autumn leaf. They were so beautiful, impossibly sophisticated, I thought then, with their then-considered-cool cigarettes, and their laughing chatter. My aunt would take out a cigarette and tap it on the package, my courtly uncle swooping across the room to gallantly light it. “Time to go, Mother Bear?” he’d ask, as the evening lengthened, and she would smile, theirs the love story that fed my dreams, until it all fell apart and his eyes took on the hurt look of one betrayed. 

On our last Christmas with our mother, (though we didn’t know that then), we played this film of her glory years, and she cried and cried, for all those missing faces, all that was gone. And now I am almost the age that she was then, and more faces are missing. But I remember, I remember, the small cottage on Christleton Avenue, when I was young, and all those shining, smiling, beautiful faces, coming out the door, one by one. All but my last frail aunt now gathered Home.

Aunts and uncles smile
Christmases of bygone years
Tears for dear ones gone


for my prompt at Real Toads: Homecoming. What are the places that gather you in, that say "Home" to you? Is there someone of whom you can say "I loved you more"? Also shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, fine reading every Sunday morning.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Where (Hu)Man is Not



I found a place on the planet
where wildlife is safe and flourishing,
where trees and vegetation have taken over,
where there is peace
for forests and wild animals.
There, happiness and harmony abide.

Its name is
Chernobyl.



for Susan's  prompt at Midweek Motif: to write a poem with a surprise in it. The animals of Chernobyl are benefitting from the nuclear accident. Their lives have improved. This says a lot about the heavy footprint humans have on the planet. When you remove us from an area, it flourishes. 



Friday, November 30, 2018

In Remembrance of Lost Species


Joanna, Chris, me and Elisabeth
                                                  walking for the wild things


photos by Joanna's talented daughter, Toby


We walked,
people of all ages
and a dozen big goofy, happy dogs,
from the fire, 

across the tombolo
to Ts'ix-wat-sats,
just before sunset.
“Despair is an indulgence,” 
Joanna quoted.
“Let’s set our minds towards hope.”
We walked, mindfully,
single file,
and I pondered.
I have been discouraged.
What could I bring back 
to the communal fire
that was about hope?
It came to me,
like the silver gleam
on the shining sea.
The shamans say
we are at a critical moment
in the evolution of the soul
of this planet.
As awareness of climate change
increases, we begin,
of necessity, to evolve,
(those of us who are aware 
and awake.)

This is, if we will it,
a transformative moment.
The people – we, ourselves -
can make the evolutionary leap
beyond those who are fixated on money.
It is within our power – our possibility –
to move with the winds of change
and create other ways of being
with the earth
than the old, tired ways of fossil fuels,
rich billionaires, despairing others.
The soul of our planet is on the cusp
of a Great Awakening.

The bad news:
Nothing will ever be the same again.

The good news:
Nothing will ever be the same again.


Our wonderful Poet Laureate, Joanna Streetly, organized a gathering at Chestermans Beach late this afternoon, to pay homage to the many species we have lost, and are still losing. We all carry grief over this, but Joanna urged us to hold onto hope. I do think Mother Earth needs our hope - and our action - as never before. I will post photos of our gathering as they become available. Meanwhile, here is what I wrote down when I got home.

P.S. I wrote "Pup" in the sand and drew a heart around it. In Memoriam.

Sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United - fine reading every Sunday morning. With thanks to Joanna, who inspires me.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

In Memoriam



Development is slowly eating the village. Every project begins with razing a small forest to the ground, leaving a scraped moonscape. Big machines rumble across the land, chewing the earth. "Progress" is even making its way into Tonquin park, with its forested trails. We untie surveyor tags on the branches to slow it down. Our lovely maple was murdered last week because the building manager hates trees. "They've all got to go!" he roars. My friend lays flowers on the bleeding stump, with tears, In Memoriam.

In fall,  they hasten
to fell trees. The rain will weep
for them all winter.


For Toni's prompt at Real Toads: Mono no Aware : the sadness of things passing.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

MORNING / MOURNING




Dawn infuses the morning sky,
painting the calm sea
silver.
All is hushed.
A song trills
from a sleepy bird  
waking
in the hedgerow.
As far as I can see:
peacefulness and beauty.


In this same sea,
salmon are diseased,
whales are starving,
and choking on plastic.
Plankton is dying.
On land, animals with burned paws
limp across a charred landscape.
Dark energies swirl;
it is hard, these days,
to know what I know.


I gaze at the horizon:
next stop Japan.
All is beauty;
all is perishing.
Everything is trying
so desperately
to live
while it is dying.
Half my heart is breaking;
half lifts in gratitude
for the beauty and the wonder
that is here, and shining.


In my old age, I am learning
new lessons:
how to love and grieve
this planet that I adore
with the same broken heart,
how to hold onto fading hope
like birdsong
in the morning (mourning.)


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United: Morning Song

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Life, Like a Loping Camel



The days sift by dreamily,
but the weeks snap past like a zipline,
me upside-down and pulled along
too swiftly
into my old age.

My steps are slow and hobbling,
yet somehow
it is always Another Friday,
and another week
has passed.

Not like a field mouse,
hidden in the grass,
but rather a loping camel,
life gallops on:

too fast, too fast, too fast.


For Kim's prompt at Real Toads: And the days are not full enough.

My original last line was: "whipping my sorry ass", which I changed in the interests of poetic sensibilities. LOL. The field mouse is from Ezra Pound's poem, quoted in the prompt.

PAVING PARADISE



In the park,
a flock of geese
peck at the wet grass,
tranquil
in the amber morning sun.
Across the street,
a bulldozer is moving bare earth,
where a row of alders stood
only the day before.
To the right, behind the trees,
heavy equipment grumbles
and stutters, heaves and groans,
clearing the site of
the helicopter pad.

A large white truck is idling
at Tonquin apartments,
Arbor Services lettered
on its side.
Then the chain saw fires up.
All day long, its hungry roar
rends the air -
a scream that bites,
as the trees tremble.
By late afternoon,
a lovely maple
and three alders
have become stumps.

The geese have moved on,
hoping to find a quieter place.
A young woman tenderly
places flowers
on a bleeding stump,
In Memoriam.



The soundscape at Tonquin apartments one day  in late November, 2018.
Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is great reading every Sunday morning.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Blackbird

Kelowna willows


I wonder if you ever
think of me.
Through all the years,
I saw your beauty plain,
from time to time
remembering,
      remembering
             again.

We had a love
that could not
fate withstand,
could not hold fast,
untrusting  roots in
      shifting sand.

And yet
you are the one,

of all the rest,
through all the years

who stood, of time,
the test,
the one I truly loved,
with whom I
     once
         was blessed.


So I thank you in 
the only way I know:
I continued loving you
      after I let you go.


for Karin's  prompt at Real Toads: to write a poem of loving gratitude. So many directions to go with this: the earth, trees, the sea, my wolf-dog. I chose a dark blackbird heart from 1980's Kelowna.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Prayer



When my heart has no words
when there is too much to pray for
and not enough hope
in the world
to right all the wrongs

When California is burning
as the climate naysayers say nay
I walk my speechless heart
into the forest

to try to find my way

Each tree
a living prayer
offering balm and breath
to the soul-weary
Each birdcall a note of hope
in the planetary song

humankind has
gotten wrong

When my heart has
only tears,
and there is too much to pray for
and not enough hope
to find my way
I let the trees pray for me
Breathe their peacefulness
into my being
Listen to all 

they have to say

Each tree
a living prayer,

each human adding either
dark or light
to the planetary plight





for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Prayer, and shared with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

I Go To The Shore



When the world weighs heavily
upon my shoulders,
I go to the shore.
As the sea breeze blows
through my being,
thoughts grow still.
My heart takes comfort
in the sound
of the eternal breakers rolling in,
wave on endless wave,
upon the sand.

The beauty of the sea
strengthens my spirit,
its ever-breathing roar
replenishing my stores of peace.
The susurration of its
eternal song
washes through me,
through my eyes, my ears, my being
until I am as calm
as the lull between waves,
as strong and silent
as the smooth stones
scattered by the tide,
as patient as the sand dollar
that spins its house
from the sand and grit around it
and carries it along.

When the world weighs heavily
upon my shoulders,
when wildfires burn towns
to apocalyptic landscapes,
as people and wild creatures perish,
and whales are slowly starving
out at sea,
when chain saws bite and
trees are slaughtered
right outside my window,
when the phone brings bad news.....

I go to the shore,
let the sea breeze blow
through my being,
am soothed by the susurration
of the sea's eternal song.
My thoughts grow still
as starfish in the tidepools,
as a moonsnail shining
at the edge of the surf.
And when I turn away,
walk the path back to my car,
I am restored,
like the sand dollar,
carrying my home
- and my peace -
along with me,
ready to protect
each whale, re-plant each tree,
repay Mother Earth
for all she gives
to me.



for my prompt at Real Toads on Saturday: The Places That Heal Us. And shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United on Sunday.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Miracles and Wonder*




The older I get,
the more amazed I become
at the way every life form
is designed to be interconnected
with every other.
We live surrounded by
miracles and wonder*.
Now I'm waiting
for the greatest miracle of all -
the transformation of consciousness
on the planet,
so we can all set to work
healing Mother Earth,
saving all the trees,
and planting more,
freeing all animals from abuse and torture,
cleansing all the life-giving water,
living in gratitude and awe,
the way we are meant to live
in this earthly garden.
The way we were always
meant to live
with other living beings
and with each other.


* Miracles and Wonder from the Paul Simon song on his album Graceland.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Ode to Age. Note to self: rather than waiting for everyone to awaken, I'll just start planting trees, shunning plastic, picking up litter, and signing petitions right where I am. I am thinking of the man who began years ago planting a few trees at a time, who  created an entire forest.

Even LADYBUGS work together to help each other out. Oh my goodness.

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Thousand Years of Living



When we walk through speckled landscapes
where the shape-shifters dance,
we are walking in the footsteps of the ones
who came before.
There are signposts they have left us
all across the forest floor.
A thousand years of living -
we don't set our sail  by chance.

We are walking in the footsteps of the ones
who came before.
The Old Ones' songs I hear upon the breeze.
A thousand years of living -
we don't set our sail by chance.
I sing wolfsong to the mountains and
knock on midnight's door.

The Old Ones' songs I hear upon the breeze,
under my feet the brittle leaves of summer past.
I sing wolfsong to the mountains and
knock on midnight's door.
The night air whispers: here you are,
here you are at last!

Under my feet the brittle leaves of summer past.
There are signposts they have left us
all across the forest floor.
The night air whispers: here you are,
here you are at last!
Walking through a speckled landscape
where the shape-shifters dance.


One from the fall of 2013, kids, hauled out again to share with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Just An Ordinary Morning



Just an ordinary morning, fingers of light
filtering softly through the trees,
a sleepy chirp from a waking sparrow.
I plug in the kettle for tea,
turn on the tv.
Breaking news:
another shooting.
More young people killed,
a fallen officer,
who died protecting lives.
More parents grieving.

What fuels this shooter-rage?
How do we heal it?
When will there be
ordinary mornings again,
that don't report
a shooting?


for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads:  How does the story end? I wish I knew.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Truth Is Stranger Than......



I used to read fiction,
when I was young,
dreaming away the days
imagining the fine romance
that would, one day, be mine.
The plot didn’t work out that way.
I set forth, starry-eyed,
without a clue,
not knowing that
what happened to me -
the not-choosing -
was, itself, a choice.

Heartache ensued,
as it always does
for starry-eyed fools,
who mistake Heathcliff’s surliness
for high romance and undying love,
instead of sensibly fleeing.

Next, to heal
my shattered illusions,
I chose novels
written by liberated women,
trying to find a roadmap
out of Clueless,
onto a road
with some sort of
reasonable destination.

Living in a shoe,
surrounded by children,
after the leading (con)man left
and we started over with nothing,
it occurred to me
that I was living
a more complicated
and messy plot
than any of the fiction
on my shelves.
In fact, had I sent in the synopsis,
any editor would have said,
“None of this is believable”.
It was just that weird.

Thankfully, the universe sent in
some gentle people,
midway through,
to heal my heart
and turn my life
back into blue skies
and sunny days.

I turned, then, to reading memoir,
lived experience,
tales of people who survived –
nay, transcended –
impossible situations.
I read of the Gulag,
concentration camps, women captives,
child soldiers, refugees,
people hanging onto life
by a shred,
breath and memory
and a soupcon of hope -
all that anchored them here.
They showed me how
our spirits rise.

I read a book dictated
after a stroke,
one eyeblink at a time,
one alphabet letter at a time,
and told myself to NEVER complain again
about how hard it was to write.

No, I don’t read fiction
any more.
Our lives are plots
to rival that of any novel.
My memoir will make
interesting reading,
if I ever have time
to write it.


LOL. For Susan’s  prompt at Midweek Motif: Reading fiction.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

BLOGBLAST FOR PEACE 2018




In 2006, Mimi Lenox, of Mimi Writes, began the annual Blogblast for Peace. Over the years people all over the globe have sent in their peace globes to post for peace. If you would like to join us, visit How to Blog For Peace, grab a globe template and link up.

Look at those eyes - innocent, hopeful, like every child's. Let's dream children a world where they can blossom in peace and harmony. Let's not forget to  dream a world for creatures, both wild and domestic, where they can live free from harm by humankind. While we're at it, Mother Earth needs our help, to demand that legislators draft the laws that will slow emissions, so she can begin to heal. It's a big job, but it is doable, if the global village works together, and all governments cooperate.

Beam Peace. Let's shift the consciousness on this planet - for Lunabella and all the beasts and children.

Join the Blogblast for Peace 2018.


My Inner Inukshuk



Towards the rising sun, I turn
my morning face, ever hopeful.
Vision obscured, I peer through cloudy glass,
towards the brighter sky.
Beyond the meadow, I can see
the ghostly shapes of ancient horses,
shape-shifting among the trees.

The shaman sits on a fencepost,
smiling, wise and kind,
with an owl perched on his shoulder.
He will not point the way,
for I must find it for myself.
But he gives me a blessing
for the journey,
as the road is steep,
rock-strewn,
and he knows there will be storms.

To the south lies treasure, precious stone,
inukshuks to point the way
for lonely travelers.
Their arms point west, always west,
where my spirit flies, up over the mountains,
along the familiar highway
that leads me forever home.
A row of prisms cast rainbows, for beauty,
refract the light, for brightness
and clear-seeing.

Towards sunset lies the illumined path,
following footsteps I trod before,
called ever forward
by the unceasing song of the sea,
siren, lover, clarion call,
to fly my spirit home.
I heft my kit bag full of memories,
tuck in a soupcon of wonder,
and a song to merry me along,
towards my nest at the edge of the world.

North is an inner compass, a knowing that,
whatever the direction I am headed,
however long or short the journey,
I am my own
True North.


This poem arrived in 2015, when I lived at the farm. It was created thanks to an exercise by Elizabeth, to turn in all the directions, make notes on what I saw and turn it into a poem. Thanks, Elizabeth! Sharing it with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Count My Wealth in Trees

Photographer unknown
No copyright infringement intended


I count my wealth in old growth trees,
trails meandering along the forest floor,
in cloud-draped slopes and rounded hills
and in shorebirds that swoop and soar,
in watching sunsets paint the sky,
in peaceful walks along the shore,
and, when I walk in my door,
in rooms where my spirit finds succor,
when my cup is full
and can hold not one drop
more.

For Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Money. Of which I have none, but likely am happier than the millionaires in their mansions at the beach. Smiles.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tofino Waves

















The waves are in full roar, these days, just the way I love them. This is the south end of Cox Bay. I will spend this winter in search of the elusive Ultimate Wave Photo. Smiles.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

My Musey Meez



I write surrounded by wolves
and nature: wolves and herons and elephants
gaze down on me, and a wall of trees,
green and alive, and full of birds,
thrives outside my window.
My wolf-pup's eyes gaze ever at me:
steadfast, patient, loyal, eternal.

Often, my  eyes go to the trees outside,
to watch them dance, to witness
my lone hummingbird coming to the feeder,
leftover from the summer past.

My meez offers keys or pen, in invitation.
The muse is balky; it starts and stalls,
then spits out a few words or lines.
I look into the eyes on the wall:
the eyes of the wild that I love
and celebrate in my work,
that companioned me throughout my life,
that I live and die for.
A wolf howl is lodged in my heart.
Now and then it escapes
into a poem.


for Toni's prompt at Real Toads: to write about our "meez" - the actual physical place where we write. Mine, as you can see, is surrounded by wolves and nature: my greatest inspiration.


Friday, October 26, 2018

In Love With Place





When you are
in love with place,
the winds
blow love your way.
Every day
begins and ends
with pure contentment.
The white, soft sand blesses
the bottoms of your feet;
dune grass
burns golden
in the amber light
just before dark,
when the sun goes down.
Your heart
takes flight
on every eagle's wing,
when you are
in love with place,
and it knows
your name.


sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, my friends, where there is good reading every Sunday morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Monster of the Ghostly Shore




He is an upright monster
who doesn’t know he is a beast.
He devours all in his path,
cares not the price tag of his feast.

His thoughts are tormented
as he walks the ghostly shore.
He knows only one word:
“More. And More. And More.”

Under his footprints,
ecosystems collapse
and species go extinct.
Beings tremble at his passing,
and are gone in a blink.

The locals think the nightly wails
are his grievous sighs,
but it’s the sound of all things dying,
that we hear; their mournful cries.

His song : “I Can’t Get No
Satisfaction,” ‘cause there
never is Enough.
He fears the Others might unseat him
so he blusters extra tough.

He treads the shore wearing
the ball and chain of his desire
and nothing more.
He is immune to reason and to plan.
He is the species known as Man.


For Isy’s  prompt at Out of Standard at Real Toads: to write about a monster. The most destructive one, to me, is man.