Friday, March 30, 2018


When you love a wild thing
your heart becomes wild too.
You gallop together joyously
along deserted beaches
to the roar of the waves
with an exultant song
of freedom in your heart.
You track through old growth forests,
padding gently on the mossy floor,
alert for other critters
in the bush.

You walk the beach
to the moo of Lennard's Light,
in fog so thick that others' voices
are disembodied spirits
that emerge, startled and laughing,
when you get close.

When you love a wild thing,
your heart soars with eagles
and is tethered to the land
only by love.
When you love a wild thing,
the bond of devotion
runs deeper than any human
you have ever encountered
was capable of.

And when you lose a wild thing,
your heart resists
its return
to being tame.

An oldie from 2011, after Pup had made his journey to the spirit world.  I still miss that big black wolf, more than I can say. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where you will find good reading every Sunday morning.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Emma Gonzalez
by Iman, David Bowie's widow
from facebook

She stood strong as a warrior,
with steadfast eyes that have seen
a thousand heartbreaking tomorrows.
For six minutes and twenty seconds,
silence bored into our hearts
like lances, like jackhammers,
like woodpeckers whose rat-tat-tat beaks
were pointing out the missing pieces
of our souls.
The silence was as loud
as a billion children screaming
they have waited too long
for us to become wise, become sane,
to build a better, not Mad Hatter, world.

Her tears were our tears.
They watered our psyches:
for children lost,
for gunmen with weapons of war
in school hallways,
coming to slay our round-cheeked babies,
for gangs on the streets, for drive-by shootings,
for domestic murder, for the shooting
of black men with cell phones twenty times
while wearing a police uniform.

Will there ever be an end to her tears?
to the bullshit? to society broken
beyond re-imagining?

We are seeing things
we can never un-see:
men with dead eyes and hollow hearts
laying waste the future of the young,
and the present of everyone else.

Emma - David - Cameron,
and all the others:
you are warriors of a dawn
we hope will burn
the putrid decadence away.
With you, we want to rise
on this new Tomorrow
you have birthed,
re-make a world
that doesn't
make you cry.

for Shay at Fireblossom Friday: to use imagery in unexpected ways to make a better poem. The content rather took over, but I did what I could.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Walking across the road,
towards the store,
with the last few coins of the month
clinking in my pocket,
I smile as I find myself humming
"If I Were a Rich Man".

My eyes find the beloved hills
ringing the harbour.
I croak companionably
at the raven heckling me 
from a high wire.
Clouds are wisping so beautifully
across the shoulders
of Meares Island.
And the waves! the waves! the waves!
are sporting tiny white caps
this fine morning.

I reflect
that I am likelier happier
than many of the local 

For here - and here! -
- and here! - and here! -

lie my treasures.

All my life, nature has been my love and my delight. Blue skies have brought me through all of the good times and the bad. I have never lost that wonder. I am a lucky girl.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Treasure.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Wild Bird of One's Being

Birds cross the sky in covens,
this golden autumn-of-my-life.
My eyes follow their flight,
my soul quickening to the sound
of their honking admonition:
follow the predestined route!
Find your way home!

The Voice of My Tribe croons a chant
that murmurs on the breeze.
I feel the winds of change blowing through
the drafty chambers of my 
just-before-winter heart.

The Old Ones are telling me:
Time to open the door of the cage
and free the wild bird of your being,
the one you have been hushing
and placating with crumbs
for so long.

Free her with joy, and,
as her wide wings swoop and thrum 
across the shimmering sky,
traveling between the worlds
in the space-where-there-is-no-space,
along the-way-where-there-is-no-way,
heed the call of those wild birds.
They are giving voice to
the longings of your soul.

Lift up that expectant, waiting life 
with the urgency
of not-much-time,
and, if you're ever going to fly again
as, once, you flew,
do it soon,
do it completely.
Do it now.

A poem from 2014, when I was still in Port Alberni, longing to swoop up and over the mountains. By dint of refusing to relinquish that necessary dream, I finally managed it. Just in the nick of time, lol. Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where there is always good reading on Sunday morning.


They are marching,
not just for their lives,
and the lives of all schoolchildren,
but for us all.

They march for common sense,
justice, equality, fairness,
safe classrooms,
and a better world.

They ask that assault weapons 
be removed from the hands 
of the disturbed,
a reasonable request.

Their strong weapons:
their voices, their passion, 
their hope, their determination,
their courage,
and their ability, very soon,
to vote.

These kids have my full respect. They are amazing. They are not in thrall to money, corporate agendas, or political power, so their voices ring true and strong.  I cant wait till they replace the fat cats in the halls of power. A better world is on its way. I can hear it in the voices of the young.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One Day, Little Bird, You Will Fly

You were born whole, and perfect,
but life is scary once you leave the nest.
You receive so many messages
that you are not the best :
your feathers, not as beautiful as other birds,
your neck's too long, your hair's a sight,
you cannot possibly take flight,
you will never soar as high,
you'd better settle for the low branch,
not risk falling from the sky.

You carry those words
like a mantra.
You become afraid
to try.

Little bird, I'm here to tell you,
you have believed a lie.

One day, small bird,
you will understand their gig :
they only make you small
so they feel big.

I see you, on the end
of that quivering branch,
contemplating the sky.
I want to say :
we are enough
the way we are,
you and I.

(How long have you waited
to hear those loving words?
Only all your life.
Me, too, small bird.)

One day you will
grow tired of watching
others swoop and soar.
You will feel wind gather
under your wings,
and step through freedom's door,
know the heady rush of rising,
being brave enough to try.

One day, little bird,
you will fly.

for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: "You and Me", Alice Cooper's lovely song about being enough, just the way we are.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Colour of Our Hearts

Why is it that so many people
see skin first,
when looking at
a fellow human being?

It seems to me
that we should see
only the colour
of our hearts.

I have never really understood division over skin colour. I just see human beings. I have a problem with my own skin colour, if anything, as it is the colour of oppressors of people of colour all over the world through millenia.  So difficult to understand this bias.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

An Evergreen Soul

Tall Tree Trail, Meares Island

My soul goes walkabout
into the forest
on a vision quest.
Amongst the breathing trees,
the white owls are speaking,
softly, so as not to be overheard
by the Others.

My child,
you have journeyed far,
and you are tired.
You are approaching the edge of
a far valley.
Attune your heart
to journeying.
Prepare your traveling song.

My soul sits itself down
at the base of a great green cathedral
whose trunk has grown
for almost one thousand years.

My child,
you are weary and heartsore,
and can find no surcease.
Place your hand on my trunk
and I will tell you all I know
about Enduring.

My soul tiptoes up close to
a gentle, startling deer.
She tilts her head, recognizes
that I mean no harm,
and does not turn away.

My child,
you have learned to keep
a distance from the world.
I understand.
My way, too, must be one of caution,
for there are fast unthinking cars and
angry men and killing guns
out in the Land from which
you come.

On the shores of my soul,
there are waves,
forever advancing and retreating,
while I perch in this desert of the heart
as precariously
as a cactus flower,
afraid to take root for fear
the wound of blooming
will be

Bloom and thorn-
sometimes the messages
are mixed.

My soul emerges from the forest
surrounded by
six white wolves.
My honour guard,
they will protect me.
My soul puts forth the rough, hardy shoots
of a cliff-dwelling juniper.
They wrap around some 
shambling, slipping rocks
and hang on tight.
They have learned
to be tenacious,
and self-sustaining.
They have learned
that even the most solid surfaces
can move and change
and crumble away.

An evergreen soul
can weather the storms,
can withstand drought,
can find joy 
singing in the rain.

for Paul's prompt at dVerse: Soul Gazing

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dear Lunabella

Dear Lunabella,

I'm sitting at the beach
looking at a world that is
all beautiful and blue,
and I want to hand it to you
just like this:
blue sky,
puffy clouds, peaceful dogs,
and a silver sheen on the water.
The waves are singing.

I don't want to leave you
the world on the news:
children dying, suffering, starving,
war everywhere, racism, division,
animals being tortured and murdered,
corrupt politicians, climate change,
and corporations raping the earth.

How to give you hope
when mine is fading?
How to feed your dreams
with my aching heart?

But I see you,
bright Rainbow child,
with your shiny spirit,
and I see the young folk rising
across the country.
You all deserve this world
the way it's meant to be.
So I know, for you,
I must believe again.

For Mother Earth can heal,
if we all help her,
and there is enough for all,
if we all share.

I turn off the news
and all negativity,
and look with eyes like yours,
little Rainbow child,
wearing your shining spirit
of many colours,
alive with all your tomorrows
of hope and promise,
and Life! oh, how it shines!

This is the world I want to give you,
all blue and shining
and wrapped in sunny ribbons,
as brand new and perfect
as your trusting eyes.

love, Great-Grandma

for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: "Dear" poems, and shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

As I watch the young people speaking truth to power, unafraid, because they see things clearly, not through the filter of money greed or power, I begin to think the young folks will be the ones to save us. I can't wait till they begin voting and moving into the corridors of power. The old way has gotten us in a pickle. Let's get money out of politics and find people who want to SERVE.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Turning their backs
on a White House
that does not hear them,
their silence 
is more powerful
than a scream.

I stand in solidarity with students marching across the USA today, asking for something so simple it is heartbreaking that they have to ask: safety in their classrooms. In front of the White House, these students turned their backs on the government that does not hear them. Their silence was more eloquent than words. It is sad when students have to do the job we adults have failed to do over the years. But I am heartened that we have strong young leaders on the way up. There is hope.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


This beautiful collage was created for me
by my friend Steve, The Unknown Gnome,
one of our early Poets United poets,
who sadly left this world too soon this week.

I am referring to Pup in the following poem,
whose spirit I hope still accompanies me 
along the beach.

We were traveling together
when you took the turning
where the Disappeared go,
and were seen no more.
I could not follow. The way was barred.
Still, I continued walking,
carrying your soul with me
in a small wooden box,
hidden under my cape,
held close to my heart.

When I tire, and falter,
am tempted to turn back,
I can hear you thumping inside your box.
You will not let me abandon the journey.

(Asleep, she found herself
crossing a barren desert.
There was a river ahead,
and she could hear voices, singing,
coming around the bend.
They were coming to get her,
but then she came back into her body.
Not time yet.)

Death is a river, turbulent, roaring,
through time-worn rock-walled chasms
green with weeping.
It dashes our brains out on the rocks
so the eagles may feed,
then settles us, lighter and relieved
of our earthly burden,
in rippled ponds along the shore,
where beaver and wolves may find us.

I will meet you there
at twilight
on the last day.

At midnight, a ghostly spectre
glides mistily along the shore.
She is beckoning,
but I pretend that I am blind.
She is calling. I pantomime
that I am deaf and cannot hear.
Not time, yet.

These words are a pathway
between the time when you were here
and now.
They are as full of your absence
as my heart.
I am still traveling.

You always did go
before me on the path.
I am getting just
a little closer.
Not time yet. Not yet.

This poem was written in 2014. I borrowed some lines for a collaboration with Paul Scribbles last year. But this is the original. I am feeling my mortality these days, and decided to share it with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United this weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2018


The curtains are blue, on rungs,
surrounding the last resting place,
the bed where breaths go in and out,
rasping, until that final moment,
after which there is no more
life on earth.

Before then,
may there be great swirling galaxies
of miracle and wonder.
May we catch our collective breath
and drink it all in,
with awe, with gratitude:
the beauty, the colour,
the sweep, the reach,
the astonishment of each dawn,
on another day of living
on Planet Earth.

for the prompt at Real Toads: Curtains

Today it is gloriously sunny. The daffodils are blooming, and I am off to the beach, with a grateful heart.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Hearts of Women


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

Aho, Wise Grandmother says,
it is time for the women
to raise their voices:
in song, in council, in power, in truth,
to speak for social and
environmental justice
for all the living.

Huff, puff, says the big bad prez,
we are going back 50 years
to the Good Old Days
and women may not speak.
We are not, in fact,
entirely convinced you are people.

Aho, you are foolish.
We have dealt with men like you before,
and better.
We have grandchildren,
and we need to leave them
a world that is alive.
You will find us a formidable force,
for we are half the earth,
we hold up half the sky.
In strength, we bear
your sons and daughters.
Our life's purpose is
to keep them safe.
Our hearts are strong.
Our love for Mother Earth
is fierce.

You can drive us
away from the river.
You can lock us up.
More of us will follow,
for water is life
and we do not respect
the ways of death.

Your addiction to oil
is polluting sacred waters.
Your addiction to money
is melting the polar icecaps.
Your willful ignorance
is imperiling the planet.
We refuse. We resist.
Our wolfish hearts rise up.
We march for
our grandchildren's grandchildren,
and for yours.

We are of Life, of Breath,
of Memory, of Tomorrow.
In sisterhood, in motherhood,
we sing the Earth Mother's song.
Our hearts are weary
but our minds are wise.
We speak for the voiceless,
for the refugees,
for the wild, for the animals,
for the air, the soil,
the ocean, the rivers, the lakes
and for all creatures.
This gives us strength.
We will not be moved,
or silenced
or overcome,
and our hearts are
no where near to
being on the ground.

A message in honour of International Women's Day. [from 2017]

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We Can't Eat Money

The animals are looking at us
with questions in their eyes.
They are starving,
with nowhere to live.
The trees shiver with fright
as the chainsaws roar.
Whales lose their lives
in the noisy, polluted ocean.
Creatures all over Mother Earth
are disappearing.

And still the Two-Leggeds
log and frack and lay waste.
The Black Snake coils
across the land,
spewing death.
Plastics pour into the sea
and come back out as our food.
As a species we are unique
in fouling our own nests,
destroying our habitat,
and that of 
every other creature.

There is not enough money 
in the world
to fix all we have destroyed.
Nor enough time.

Mother Earth is crying
for our voices, our actions,
our help,
for she can heal,
if we give her the chance.

What will it take
for us to understand:
humankind is in peril, too?
What happens to one,
in the web of life,
happens to us all.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United: Money

Saturday, March 3, 2018


I gift you a morning sunrise,
in late winter,
new-minted with promise,
a fresh day unfolding.

I gift you hours with loved ones,
sharing songs, and stories, and laughter,
and tears, in the remembering
of those things that have been lost.

I gift you sunshine and birdsong,
and a winter hummingbird,
magical and unexpected,
at the feeder,
blue jays and scarlet cardinals,
and a horse in the field,
huffing small clouds of breath
into the cold air.

For your lonesome heart,
I send you an old dog's smile,
patient and devoted,
and always there.

For your tomorrows,
I send you a small fairy
sprinkled with moondust,
and a wand,
to bid you safe passage,
and the certain knowledge
you have a place in this world
that is distinctly yours, where you
are treasured and needed.

I wish you open hands
to receive each day's gifts,
to store away in your heart
like nuts from a winter squirrel.

This poem is adapted from one I wrote for a friend back in 2016, when I lived at the farm, and there were horses in the field. The photos were taken last night at the beach.

Shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Calling Bullshit

Emma Gonzales
photo by Jonathan Drake, Reuters

Their leaders are failing them,
so they say “We will be the change
we need to see.”
They are tired of waiting,
so they say, “We call b.s.”
that the NRA donated 30 million
to the repubs,
who refuse to legislate
tougher gun laws,
though other countries have shown
this is the answer.

I call b.s. too,
that MR-15’s – weapons of war -
are available to anyone
who wants one
and that the prez’s answer
to school shootings
is to arm the teachers.
We have fallen so far down
the rabbit hole
we can no longer see the sky.

But when these young people speak
Truth to power,
Hope rises in my heart
like a brand new day.
Damn right, I’ll walk with them,
support them,
drink in the inspiration of
their pure, unvarnished truth,
stitch up my tattered heart
and march again.

I can’t literally march for this issue, as I live in Canada, and we have other things to march for. But in my heart I am marching, listening, supporting, and speaking out with these kids, who are rising up to make this world more worthy of their presence. Here come our future leaders, who are already providing more leadership than we have seen this past year: Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin. And students all over the country are planning to March for Their Lives on March 24.

When it came to this most recent massacre of school children in the US – the seventeenth shooting in 2018 (and it is just barely March), according to Everytown for Gun Safety  - I had had it. It was with complete admiration that I listened to the young rising up to do what their leaders refuse to do, insisting upon legislated change. Thankfully, these kids will soon be of voting age. I place my hope in them and in the voices in government rising in support of gun legislation – Joe Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, and others.

Corporate interests are now withdrawing their connections to the NRA. Good news, as it is in the pocketbook that impact is most felt by those ruled by money.

Maybe this is the tipping point, where the majority of us, good-hearted people with no Big Money agendas, say “Enough is enough!”

In Canada, we have our problems. But we do not have this repeated incidence of gun violence. We have gun legislation. People still have rifles, still hunt, still can buy the firearms they feel they need. But there are background checks, and guns are registered.  ASSAULT RIFLES are not available to the public. An intelligent, immediate response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting would be to remove assault weapons from sale to the public in the US. That would be a good first step. No civilian, and no hunter,  needs weapons of war.

On March 24, young people will be marching on Washington and across the country. I hope Washington will hear them and not insult their intelligence by ludicrously repeating that arming teachers will make their schools safe.

for my prompt at Real Toads: Being the Change