Thursday, February 28, 2019


Traveler was making her way through a dark forest. The way would be hard, so she carried all of her wolf medicine to help her make her way. Coming to a fork in the road, she was diverted into a sunny meadow full of wildflowers. The Wise One told her “Your travel plans have been changed.”

Flowers dance and bow
at the news she will live to
see another spring

74 words

A metaphorical journey, and actual reprieve.

For Toni’s prompt at Real Toads: to write a true haibun of less than 100 words. I had been working with an old poem, "Traveler, Diverted on the Path", for Magaly's prose prompt coming up at Poets United on Sunday. So when I read Toni's prompt, I used the same poem and material, to create this haibun. Cool.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

To Speak With Clouds

Mother Sky,
teach me to speak
the language of clouds.
My feet on earth,
my eyes in the sky,
my heart swooping and soaring
with Raven,
I am adrift
in the beauty
of your forever blue.

I have walked through this life,
head tipped back
and smiling at the sky,
enraptured by your puffy 
storybook clouds,
your ever-changing colours,
your huge canvas,
which inspires 
all our dreaming.

Teach me to speak
as gently as clouds,
so my footprint on earth
will grow ever lighter,
like Wolf, like Deer,
like Heron.

After I learn
the soft speech of Cloud,
may I next learn
how to
speak Tree.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif at Poets United: Cloud

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Not Enough Time to Love

Seven children who
will not see the coming spring ~
mother's wails of grief

I am sorry to tell you that the above family, the Barho family, endured a tragedy a few days ago. Their seven children, aged fifteen to three months, perished in a house fire in Halifax. The father is in a medically induced coma, in critical condition. He tried to save his children. They are a Syrian family only here a year, beginning their new lives. The funeral was today. Heartbreaking. The mother's wails as her children's seven caskets, from large to small,  were rolled out of the mosque will stay in my mind a long time.

A poignant quote from one of the speakers: "Time is short. There is not enough time to love. I don't know how people find the time to hate."

I don't know either.

for Toni's prompt at Real Toads: to write a short poem or haiku with a reference to spring. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

This Poem is a Big Red Heart


Small boy / big heart

This poem is a six year old boy
whose dad and dog both died.
This poem is a crayon.
This poem is a big red heart.

This poem is a sweet and valiant little boy,
who has known tears, but who loves to smile.
This poem gets knocked down, and
bounces back up again.
Like the boomerang, it keeps coming back,
because it has known death, so it cherishes life.
This poem is a six year old boy
whose dad and dog both died.

This poem is a crayon held in a grubby fist
by an intent little boy
who wants a picture of his pain.
This poem can draw a stick figure dad
with a big smile, and open arms,
and a devoted droopy-eyed dog,
with floppy ears and an old soul.
This poem is a crayon.

This poem is a gigantic wobbly red heart
with a dog inside, along with the words
"Papa and Phoenix are fishin' in hevven".
This poem squeezes the heart
of his mother, who lost her mate,
then, one year later, held the furry body
of his old fishing pal as he went to sleep
for the last time.
This poem has lost too many loves,
but keeps on smiling, loving and moving forward,
because of a small boy made almost entirely
of hope and trust and sweetness and love.
This poem is a big red heart.

I am having a resurgence of interest in the boomerang metaphor poem, a form created by Hannah Gosselin and introduced at Real Toads in 2014 .  Some of you have seen this poem before, but I felt like revisiting it, before I move on to other forms, other poems. Smiles.

Sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United where, this Sunday, we are announcing a wonderful new feature and staff member. Do come and share in our excitement!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

This Poem is a Weeping Wild Woman

This poem is a weeping wild woman who hears 
the cries of Mother Earth and her creatures.
This poem is melting ice, starving polar bears, 
burning forests, warming seas, warring armies.
This poem searches earth and sky, looking for hope 
for a suffering planet.

This poem is a wild woman who hears
the call of Raven, howl of  wolf, 
wails of distress from every corner of the world.
What is she to do, with all of this knowing, 
when the cries of the suffering
are not being heard
    are not being heard
        are not being heard?
How many times can her beating heart break
against the certain knowledge that 
the planet she loves is burning itself up?

This poem is watching the poles melt, 
the polar bears grow thin and weak,
sitting on melting ice floes with their young, 
wandering into villages in search of food,
looking at us, in need of help
that does not come.
This poem hears the warning that is not being heeded:
not much time not much time not much time
as mad leaders and corporate greed responds: 
"Money rules."
This poem sadly reflects: 
No jobs, no money, no life, on a dead planet.
This poem cannot contain its grief, 
so sometimes it spills over.

This poem does not want to end 
without offering a note of hope.
It finds it in the beauty of sky and landscape, 
in the shine in children's eyes
- those children who need and deserve a future - 
and in Mother Earth's steadfastness, 
as she follows her endless cycle of rebirth,
giving and giving, season after season, 
in spite of us.
This poem says: 
Money rules, but the spirit liberates,
and lives in hope that we can evolve
from our destructive, warring ways,
and return all creatures to the Garden.

This poem is a weeping wild woman 
in need of hope.
This poem is all that is melting and dying, 
in need of our help. (Not much time.)
This poem is a prayer of vanishing faith, 
living in a wasteland of distress, 
that refuses to give up.

Well. Not an uplifting poem. But the photos of starving polar bears have lived in my head all week. I did not post the one that pierced my soul, to spare you. But it can never be unseen. This poured out in response to my challenge at Real Toads: to write a Boomerang Metaphor poem, as created by Hannah Gosselin or, to write a "This poem is...." poem.

My "This poem is" poem is rather disheartened. Yet, when I look around me at all the beauty, I simply can't believe that humankind will allow all of this to be destroyed. I hope a million Wild Women will run for office everywhere and turn this sinking ship around. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would get my vote in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Within My Reach

Title: Into the Woods
Magazine: Vogue US September 2009
Model: Natalia Vodianova
Photographers: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot

There was a time
when Wild Woman was young,
when Fun was riding fast
with a bad boy,
but that fun didn't last.

Then came a deeper love
with nature and the wild,
that I shared with every
animal and child.

Today my fun
is hanging chocolates on friends' doors,
or walking other peoples' dogs
along the beach.

I gather daily blessings,
each to each -
everything for fun and happiness
is right within
my reach.

Today, I am struggling with fatigue and my head feels like a block of wood. My idea of fun is Total Immersion in a jelly doughnut. LOL. So many memories of fun: the band Mullingar playing its first wild notes, and all of the beautiful people joyously circling and dancing in a meadow as the sun was setting; bike riding far into the country; long wild rambles with Pup; and always, always, my preferred activity: reading books.

Life is quieter these days. My fun is watching happy dogs and wide-eyed babies at the beach. But, like Rumi, I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Dreaming in Green

I came to ask you
how you have managed 
to endure for millennia,
with humankind
so threatening.
Do you tremble
when you hear
the grapple-yarders
and the saws,
coming ever closer?
(I think you do.)

They rip your roots
out of the ground;
they stick up in the air,
like the wisdom teeth 
of the planet,
being pulled
by madmen
who have forgotten
we all need 
to breathe.

I imagine, much like us,
those peaceful hours when you sleep
are your release.

I imagine, when you dream,
that you still dream in green.

for Magaly's prompt at Real Toads: strange news. The question is do trees sleep at night? I think they do. They are very alive, and must need rest.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On the Left Side of My Head

On the left side of my head, I turned my cheek.
Trying to kiss my lips, he landed on my ear.

That may have been the clue
we should have heeded.

The justice of the peace proclaimed the words
that turned me from girl to wife.

No skin off his nose; he was grinning,
likely imagining the awkward night to follow.

On the right side of my brain were enchanted
and magical thinking dreams.

On the left side of my life, I paid the price.
Being a wife did not bring a happy life.

My third eye was fixed on escape and liberation,
which finally arrived; o! merciful release!

The next man said "You've not been kissed
for a hundred years."

He said, "You came to me a virgin." It was true.
After that, left and right sides came together.

After that, when cage doors appeared,
I was a bird with eyes completely on the sky.

for Sanaa's challenge at Real Toads: to pen a poem in the style and format of Joseph Legaspi's poem "The Kisser's Handbook". Given my memory bank, this is what popped up. Nevertheless, I have remained a hopeless romantic all my life.

Instead of roses........

Instead of roses, bullets.
Instead of smiles, tears 
that will never end.
Like September 11,
Valentine's Day
will never be the same.
We remember you.

Today is the anniversary of the Valentine's Day shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  Those Parkland kids who became activists after that event are my heroes, and my biggest source of hope. I hope all millennials turn out at the voting booths. We need every single one of their votes, if we are going to turn this ship around and get into sane and sustainable waters. Those who have sold their souls to money are never going to do what needs to be done. There is a good article about some of the Parkland survivors here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

In Love With the Wild

My heart belongs to the wild.
My eyes make love to the shore.
As long as I can hear the waves,
I could not ask for more.

I fell in love with the sky.
I lost my heart to the trees,
and a small wolf pup
with a goofy grin
claimed the rest of me.

He awakened the wild in me.
I loved the wild in him.
He lives forever in my heart.
His memory will never dim.

The creatures of the earth,
its mountains, fields 
and streams,
feed my hungry soul
and wander nightly
through my dreams.

As long as there is sky,
as long as there are trees,
I need little more than a roof
and a bed -
the wild's enough
for me.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Love

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Gratitude travels
from eyes to heart,
at the beauty I am seeing.
Memory rolls out
the long line of gifts
I have been given.
From way back then
to the wonder of now:
my spirit rising
in a prayer of thankfulness
to the All That Is.

Gratitude is my most constant feeling, these days and all my days. For Marian's prompt at Real Toads: Sensation.

Friday, February 8, 2019

In This One Moment

At the shore,
sandpipers picky-toe
along the sand,
then rise as a group,
flying off
when a loose dog
gets too near.
The song of the sea
swirls through my being,
like a lullaby,
a hymn,
a cry of freedom.
The waves roll out;
they roll in.
is happening
in this one moment.

for Karin's prompt at Real Toads: Finding a Moment

Thursday, February 7, 2019


from deviant art

follow a raven
and find a wolf
hear her gobble-cry,
his soft whuff

up on the ridge
where wild grasses grow
they tarry to listen
while the west wind blows

the wolf sings out
when the full moon beams
hear his howl
threading through your dreams

out on the desert
before the dawn
you can look for his tracks
but he'll be gone

at the end of the trail
near the Joshua Tree
a big black wolf
waits for only me

one from 2012 to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United - great reading every Sunday morning.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Zero Tolerance

My heart has zero tolerance
for social injustice,
abuse of animals and humans,
Zero tolerance
for wealthy psychopaths
who grin all the way to the bank,
while they destroy the planet for profit,


Writing a poem
feels like
emptying the plastic-choked ocean
with a teaspoon.


One must do something,
when so much is wrong:
speak up at every level of governance:
municipal, provincial, national,

Apologize to fallen trees;
plant more.
Hope there is still a planet
to house them
when they grow.

Yes, it is discouraging. But the largest part of my inner make-up is hope, so I have to go on hoping, against the INSANITY that abounds everywhere right now. I have zero tolerance for it all. Yet somehow have to bridge daily peace and gratitude, and hopefulness, in the middle of it all.

for Susan's Midweek Motif at Poets United: Zero Tolerance. Pick any topic. I have zero tolerance for all the ways humankind gets it so wrong, when, given a little light, it could be so much better than it is. Society is very sick. It needs an intervention, starting right at the top. A good start would be the removal of the orange prez and his complicit cohorts.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Puppy Dog Hearts and Hope

photo by Christine Lowther

I am made of puppy dog hearts
and soft silver moons,
blue skies and the song of the sea,
wrinkled dreams and
threadbare hope,
fatigue and
rich remembering.

I am made of ancestral stories
told by hearth fires,
ancient drumbeats, prophecy,
and visions of a
Rainbow Race, 

And i am made of
lost love and wolf howls,
tears and cackles,
forest wilderness
and birds singing
the morning in.

All of these songs
make their home in me.
I perch on the limb
of my inner tree
and sing them to you,
so you can see
how beautiful this life
has always been
to me.

One from 2018. For the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. And for the Tuesday Platform at Real  Toads.