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.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Invincible Hearts



Having crossed the Siberian winter
of the heart,
with nothing living,
I came to a green valley,
where smiling people,
living gently on the earth,
were planting seeds.




"Come in from the cold," they said,
making space for me,
and giving me some time
to feel safe.
They knew the warm sun,
safety, love and trust
would do the rest.





My heart began to melt.
It hurt, and I resisted,
but they told me
it was time.
Time to spread my wings and fly.
And so
I flew.



albernichamber.ca photo


Now they and I, one by one,
are crossing another valley -
the Valley of Trust.
I learned its language long ago,
in the Green Valley of Melting Hearts
and Flowering Buds.
It is the language of love,
of acceptance, of holding close
and letting go.
It is Memory, lit golden
by those years when we were all
Forever Young.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Winter. The title is from the Camus quote: In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Tofino October Sunset













Glorious colours at the shore last night! Yay!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fairy Tale Treasures



When I was young,
I couldn’t imagine being brave enough
to climb a beanstalk into the sky.
But, in life, that is exactly what I did,
stepping off into the abyss,
a bemused Ms Magoo,
somehow managing to land 
more or less upright.

There were times I felt
the giant’s hot breath on my neck,
but I was nimble,
I was quick,
and hopped fast away.

The goose that laid the golden egg
eluded me.
My treasure was found
in the forest,
by the sea,
in golden friendships,
in music and the love of words,
in dogs, and all wild creatures.

My journey taught me things
I have been happy to pass along,
- not that anyone wants to listen -
they are all too busy leaping off
their own precipices.

I now sit in my counting-house,
counting golden memories.
My treasure still lies
in the heart-lift to be found
in that vault of blue fairy-tale sky,
the sheen of that
shimmering rainbow,
in windsong and the sight of
birds on the wing,
and the memories of so much love,
                      the memories
                                        of so much love...


I revisited a poem from 2016.........to share with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Wishing you all a sunshiney day.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Beans of Autumn

Sunset on the Somass River, Port Alberni
Lyndon Cassell Photography

This used to be the season
of gathering the garden in,
storing it away to
feed my children
through the winter.

Now, there is just me to feed.
The CoOp has a sale on beans:
kidney, chick pea, black beans, lentils.
I lug them home,
tuck them into the cupboard
like nuts for a winter squirrel.
I have an abundance of beans,
a surfeit of  succulence,
a   sufficiency of legumes.     

Let the Southerly blow in
the gales and lashing rains of winter.
I dream of steamy soups
bubbling on the stove,
a   perfect plenitude of  potted plenty,
thick with a preponderence of petite  potatoes,
a veritable Enough of Enough-ness
to see the winter through.

For Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Abundance.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

A WOLFISH TALE

Image found on facebook
Creator unknown
No copyright infringement intended


After years of keeping
the wolf from the door,
I let him in.
Oh! He was wild!
He wilded me along the shore;
I'd be untamed
forevermore.

Through Wild Thing's door,
we loped along,
cavorted 'cross the forest floor,
howled under the moon
our song.
I wasn’t lonely any more.

He led me such
a merry chase.
Toothy grin
and wolfish face,
feet and paws
never apart,
he claimed each corner
of my heart.

In time our steps slowed
to a hobble.
I knew that soon
I'd be bereft.
His paws still padding soft
beside me,
I grieved his loss
before he left.

I've mourned his leaving
all the years
from the day
this wolf tale ends.
In dreams, he asks,
"why are you grieving?"
I say, "I've lost my dearest friend."
He smiles his toothy smile at me,
reminding me,
"Love never ends."




for my prompt at Real Toads: Un-Fairy Tales  and shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

When I look back at those years, he and I truly did live a fairy tale. Those years are golden in memory. I have been given many gifts, this lifetime.

The Princess Who Ate the Pea


[image from favin.com - original source unknown]


She'd been told, of course,
about the princess and the pea,
the girl with such delicate sensitivities
she could feel a pea under 
fourteen layers of mattresses.

What does it mean, then,
when her bed has rocks in it
and the message is
"you made your bed,  now lie in it.
What doesnt kill you makes you stronger"?
How strong does a woman
have to be?
(Damn strong!
Strong as steeped tea.)

In her world, the prince did not come.
There were no glass slippers,
no magic pumpkin.
She got stuck in chapter one
of Cinderella,
never met a princely fella.
The Good Fairy got the address wrong,
so she has been cleaning chimneys
and other peoples' messes
for way too long.

Not Sleeping Beauty,
(and she envies her all that rest!),
she was, for years,
the aging woman in the Dickens parlour,
draped in spiderwebs,
waiting for her suitor
for decades.
She was always brushing
those damned cobwebs off her face.

Un-fairytales are her medium.
Definitely.
She has got un-fairy tales down.

She learned to hack her own way
through the thornbushes,
free herself from her own stone garret.
She galloped alone at a high lope
across the fields
on the great adventure of life,
with a brave heart for the journey,
no need to be rescued by a knight 
on a white horse,
with a back to cling to as he led the way
forward into Tomorrow.

Un-fairy tales can get repetitive,
the same old Rescuing of Others,
page after page.
Or, one may feel like she is beginning
a new chapter every other week.
It gets exhausting.

And delicate sensitivities?
One needs to toss those overboard
right from the start,
develop a hearty cackle
and a Can-Do attitude.
"Eat the pea, young women,"
is her best advice.
"You will need the nourishment."


for my prompt at Real Toads: Un-fairy Tales. This is an old one, that I re-worked considerably.  I didn't think I could say it any better. But, for all that, I still do believe in fairy tales. For other people, lol.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

SMALL OWL



Small owl,
harbinger,
traveler-between-worlds,
(all that we know
and the unseen),
what do you see
behind those heavy-lidded eyes
when you dream?

What wonders do you witness
in the darkest dark
of night?
What do you remember
when comes
the morning light?
Mice, skittering across
the forest floor?
Or in your daydreams
do you swoop 
and soar?

Do you conjure shamans
in the nighttime woods?
Commune with wolves,
ululate, as small owls should?
Have you seen my black wolf
as the midnight air grows thin,
at the edge of the Other-world
trying to
get back in?


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Owls. I have written often about owls, with whom I have had a few encounters, one quite mystical. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Skybird's Song



Traveler falters
on the path.

She is wounded.
Her wolf companion
has left her side,
and her hand
is empty
when it moves
to touch his head.


It is a blow,
a hole torn
in the
fabric
of her living.

But, soon,
she hears
a skybird's song.
It mends and weaves
the sore place
in her heart, bids her
resume her journey,
encourages her
from low branches
till she
gets up
and walks again.

She follows
that bird
the whole
day long.


One from my Soul Card Journey of April, 2011, shared with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads. We can listen for that encouraging bird, as we walk through this dystopian forest of bad news. Perhaps she sees farther down the path, to where the news is better. We live in hope.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Wild Woman Goes for Tea




There is a dangerous old woman
who lives in the forest.
Her house is whittled inside a tree trunk,
and her music is the rainfall on the leaves.

"Whu-hoo", says the owl 
on the cobbled doorstep,
blinking her yellow eyes
and rustling her feathers.

"To enter, you must have passed 
seventy years of seasons.
The map of your life
must be drawn upon your face,
and your eyes droop with 
sadness and the memory
of your journey.
Yes. You are
sad enough and wise enough
to pass."

I enter and, within, the fire is blazing.
A grizzled white-haired crone bends
to pour my tea.

"And what are you wondering?
What question brings you here?"
she asks,
dipping a dainty finger
in her teacup
and stirring.

"What do I have to do,
to have my dwelling in a tree?"

"Grow back your clipped wings,
and remember how to fly."


google picture - original source unknown


One from 2013, kids. Because I am in need of a cup of tea. And wings. Or at least a bunch of helium balloons, to hold up my tired Head. LOL.  Sharing it with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Whale's Tale

Nuu chah nulth whaling circa 1700


The Nuu chah nulth people of the West Coast have cared for the land, water and its creatures for ten thousand years, according to the principle of Hishuk Tsawalk: "Everything Is One". Each being is seen as a relative in the tapestry of life. Even the lowly slug has territory that is respected. “There are spirit forms in everything that surrounds us,” the wise ones say. When someone harvested cedar bark, back then, permission was asked of the guardian of that area. After harvesting, that tree and that part of the forest would be left alone for many years to heal.  

In those days, pre-contact, the whaling canoes set forth from Echachis, at the south end of Wickaninnish Island. A whale hunter was trained from birth for the hunt. When grown, for months before the hunt, he prepared with prayer, bathing and fasting.  He and the whale would meet in dreams, to agree that that whale, and no other, would be taken. It was a sacred contract. He would paddle until he found the whale, and fulfil their agreement. After the hunt, everyone would gather to process the whale into the products they would use for food, trade, barter or sale. Then all would feast in celebration, with many songs of gratitude and respect being sung for the whale whose life sustained the village. First Peoples have always understood the necessity of maintaining the balance of the ecosystems that support all life.  How they must recoil at the mamalthni’s* heavy footprint on the land, our disregard for tomorrow.

In spring, I watched three whales rubbing themselves on the sandbar in the channel. I gazed across at Echachis,  reflecting on long-gone days, when the canoes would head out to meet the cetaceans. Whales, the keepers of  our collective memory, are now making their difficult trek through warming seas, pollution, hunger and death, brought by the colonial culture of domination, greed and money. The great beasts are the wisdom keepers, intuiting how all that we hold dear is coming perilously close to being lost. No wonder their song is so mournful, and their ancient eyes so sad.

If only  mamalthni*
would learn we are but one link
in the chain of life.


*Mamalthni is the Nuu chah nulth word for white people. I have been told these things by the Nuu chah nulth people of this land, in workshops and gatherings. If this earth is to survive, we need to hear their wisdom and learn to live with Mother Earth as they do. Soon.

A lengthy haibun for Margaret's Artistic Interpretations at Toads: a Whale's Tale.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Slap of a Beaver's Tail, at Morning




To steady your steps
in this turbulent world,
enter the marsh
at the edge of the pond.
Listen to the thrush
sweetly singing her morning song.
The slap of the beaver’s tail
sends ripples across the water.
Your dog smiles.
There is only this moment,
right now,
breathing in,
breathing out,
your heart like a reaching root
warmed by the sun.

Perhaps you woke this morning,
as I did,
with the words of your dream
still speaking:
“The planet is burning,
and our leaders don’t care.”

We do all we can:
make the calls, sign the petitions,
make wise consumer
and life choices,
plant trees, help our neighbours.
Pray. March. Vote.

The reeds lining the pond
thank us for our good hearts;
the sun bathes the trees
in golden light, gifting us
with another day
of trying.

Enter the marsh
at the edge of the pond.
Listen to the thrush
blessing us
with her morning song.
Our hearts like reaching roots,
warmed by the sun.


for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Balance. Hard to find if one listens to the news. I did wake up this morning with those words from my dream. Sigh. I guess the rich crocodiles figure they can pay to protect themselves from whatever disasters come. Won't they be surprised!