Sunday, March 31, 2019

Going Rogue

They say Andromeda has moved
farther away from the Milky Way.
Perhaps they heard there is a planet
going rogue down here,
and put safe distance between us.

Scientists have realized the humans here
seem unable to understand
the simple science of climate change,
of finding cleaner, greener ways
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They are working on Plan B:
how to block the sun from space
to reduce the temperature on earth.
Talk about doing things the hard way.
We are ever slow to learn.

When we look outward to the power of ten,
we are one tiny speck
in an infinity of universes.
When we go inward to the scope of ten,
we find amazing mini-universes within.

To connect the dots and save our world,
we must make our leaders understand
every atom is connected
to every other.
And every human and wild creature
is our sister, mother,  father, brother.

for Physics With Bjorn at Real Toads.

I can't get over it. Harvard scientists are working on an experiment  to limit how much sunlight reaches earth to curb global warming. Imagine the expense, when what is needed is clear, and in our power to do : reduce  carbon emissions significantly, replace dependency on oil with clean energy - abundantly available from natural sources, and a source of jobs for millions as we make the switch - and plant millions of trees that absorb carbon, rather than chopping them down. [Shocking news: it takes trees 25 years old and older to absorb carbon. It takes 269 small trees to absorb the carbon of one mature tree. And the mature trees are going down faster than we can keep track, even here in the Biosphere where I live, one of the last old growth forests remaining, in an area that was supposed to be protected.]

The frustration is that such things must be legislated. Leaders would rather be re-elected and rich, than do what is right for the planet. Huge corporations need to pay carbon taxes, as well as be financially responsible for cleaning up the devastation they cause the planet. As individuals, our power lies in voicing our demands for this to happen, and by VOTING for those who have a climate change platform.

Twelve years till it is too late to significantly impact climate change is not very long. The floods in the midwest,  forest fires,  extreme weather events, tell us we are already in crisis. Extremely frustrating, the avoidance dance our supposed "leaders" do.

The reference to the power of ten is from a film I saw years ago that took the viewer outward from ground zero  ten times into space, and then from the skin to ten times inward....universes large and small in both directions. An amazement, how everything is connected, and how few people understand this. Thankfully, more of us are waking up. Especially the young, who are my hope and my heroes.

Friday, March 29, 2019

This Poem is a Wild Woman

Collage made for me by Steve,
now in the spirit world.

This poem is a wild woman,
knocking down invisible inner walls,
the better to observe the sky of mind.
This poem is agitated,
the inner wild a climate of unrest
when too far away from the untamed places.
Attuned to the call of  Raven,
the howl of Wolf,
this town full of monster trucks and logging rigs
assaults her senses, she feeling
as alien as a cougar
inexplicably materializing
on a sidewalk in the middle
of this grey little industry town.

Where is her soul’s home?
Deep, deep, in the wild places
where only the creatures live.
Sorceress of the midnight moon,
follower of the shaman’s path,
she drums a primal beat
that speaks “Home! Home!”
with a stick carved from her breastbone,
chants incantations to earth, air, water, fire,
prays her spirit guides will lead her well,
back to the ocean’s roar and the forest’s
sacred, hidden trails.

While waiting, Wild Woman
makes her escape in a poem:
sings to the trees, communes
with restless spirits, ululates with owls,
flies up and away over the mountain pass
every morning, every eventide,
to where the wild things are,
always and forever, forever and always,
a lover of rainforest and ocean-song,
she knows where she belongs.

Confined, her spirit finds no rest
away from her soul’s home.
Wild Woman restlessly circles and turns,
within the inner landscape,
like a too-large dog circling a too-small bed,
trying to make what does not fit, fit,
too tight the wrappings that keep her
from flying free,
for she has always been a seeker,
now hoping to find, one last time,
what has for so long been sought.

This was written in May 2016, when I was living inland, longing for the sea. It reminds me that when one hangs onto a dream with determination, it can come true. In my lifetime, not just once, but twice. I am blessed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

In Love With the Wild

I walk in solitary bliss, in  love
with the sky and the song of the sea.
Beaming at every rock and tree,
I feel love smiling back at me.

Wall of cedar out my window,
golden-greening in the sun,
beckons me forth into the morning,
and the sunny day begun.

Nature's gifts lie all around us.
Walk in wonder like a child.
Solitude is never lonely,
when you're in love with the wild.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Solitude

Friday, March 22, 2019


Port Albion just before sunset

Song of the frogs
in the fading light
soft fade the hills
in the falling night
God touching earth
with a gentle might
and all is beauty
within my sight

Soft falls the light
on garden walls
a rose-hued mountain
as night's curtain falls
a froggy symphony
serenades the night sky
and grateful, grateful,



Graceful heron
swooping across
the evening sky
like a pteradactyl,
Prehistoric bird
on a treetop,
my heart swoops
with you,
then stills,
standing beside
the silent pond,
waiting for the night
to settle
around us both
as softly
as feathers.


These poems were written in 1999, when I lived, for a few months, in tiny rooms in Port Albion,  a small community outside Ucluelet, where Pup ran wild. We were joyous. We lived by this pond at the foot of a mountain, which turned rosy pink every afternoon before sunset. Our next move was heartbreaking, away from the west coast, inland to Port Alberni, where we mourned together our lost wilderness.

Sharing this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


My Grandma and her horse, Monte
Note the wheel from the horse and buggy 
in the background.
No cars back then, in my Grandma's life.
They rode everywhere on horseback
or with horse and buggy.

"Be are the result of the love of thousands."
Linda Hogan

"The day the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
Mahatma Gandhi

I come from a long line
of strong, cackling women.
Each of us in turn has been 
captured, contained, caged,
silenced, oppressed, 
beaten and betrayed.

(- the open door of the cage,
the fear of flying,
the final desperate leap
when out we flew -)

Be brave, young women and,
more than that,
be determined, persistent, 
with your eyes on the her-izon.
Speak your truth.

You come from the love of thousands.
Your ancestors surround you,
whispering encouragement 
in your ear.

Our oppressors may beat us down
for a time,
but forever and forever
we will

for Susan's Midweek Motif: Empowerment

Monday, March 18, 2019


Small bird,
you flew down
to the lower limbs
of this old tree,
to encourage
my stumbling walk
through this forest
of darkness.

From branch to branch
you hop,
warbling encouragement
as I pass through this world,
so beautiful,
so full of pain and guns, 
greed and madness,
a garden turned graveyard,
filled with the wailing songs
of a million mothers.

I will follow you,
small bird,
the whole day long.
You are symbol of
all that I cherish;
your bright feathers
light my way.
Your song sings hope
to my tired heart.

I am glad, small bird,
that, from above,
you see only the beauty,
feel only the love.

for The  Sunday   Muse,  a bit late. Just heard of the shooting in the Netherlands. No end to the madness. All automatic weapons should be banned everywhere. When will enough be enough? Sharing also with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads.

Friday, March 15, 2019

meditation on green

the color of life, of growth,
tall, spindly pine
draped in old man's beard
a thousand fern fronds
under whose umbrella
twin blooms
small as a baby's tears
peek pertly
jagged stump
covered in soft thick moss
framed by tall cedars
among whose lofty branches
songbirds flit
their trill echoing
across the sleepy forest
winding trails
through the silence
paths springy, living
where we walk
heads thrown back
one with the ferns the fronds the trees
their height that teaches us to strive
the sky
a compass for
all our flighty dreams
clouds drifting by
one breath two breaths
leafy breath
and human sigh
ringing through
the silent canopy
piercing me through
with each piercing
I'm made new
forest floor alive
under our
live feet
step so lightly
don't crush the mosses!
fairies drinking dewdrops
from the white bell-shaped blossoms
frogs in the skunk cabbage
yellow jonquils
line the deadened pond
the forest holds its breath
and waits
it waits
'til we are gone

One from 2001, to be shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where we have good reading every Sunday morning. Come join us.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dreaming in Green

What do trees see,
when they dream?
Do they dream in green?

Is a violin weeping,
when the violinist makes his bow sing
those long,  keening  notes,
as if his instrument might collapse with grief
at any moment?

For sure, mother wolf grieves
when her baby dies,
and mother dog feels the loss
when her puppies are taken away.

Does the Planetary Clock
know it is one minute to midnight,
even though we foolish humans
prefer to believe time will go on forever,
and disaster will strike for others,
not for us?

Where do prayers go
and, if they are heard,
how will we ever find out
the answers?

What is the sound of
one hand clapping?
the koan master asks.
The befuddled monk
will ponder this
all day.

for Fireblossom Friday, my favourite prompt at Real Toads. We are to ask an unusual question. I thought of a few, if not unusual, questions I ponder from time to time. As for the last one, I am more befuddled than the monk.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


They circle the harbour,
my mountains ~
guardians, protectors.

My eyes follow their familiar curves
~ Catface, Lone Cone, Meares ~
tracing their round lines,
catching my breath at
their ever-changing mist and cloud,
their slopes turning rosy 
just before sunset,
like blushing maidens, shy under
so many loving glances.

My eyes caress their rounded shapes
with gratitude and love
~ Catface, Lone Cone, Meares ~
watching over the harbour 
and our lives:
neighbours, protectors, guardians.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Neighbours. Every day, as I pass through the village, my eyes fly to the mountains circling our shores. They are so familiar and beloved, my heart ever grateful for their beauty and proximity.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Begging Bowl

I take my begging bowl
out into the morning,
and it is heaped,
without my asking,
with delights:

sky of summer-blue,
perfect puffy clouds,
eagle wind-surfing the sky,
Lunabella's smile,
old black and golden dogs
with warm, brown, loving eyes,
old horse nibbling fresh green grass.

With humility and gratitude,
I accept what I am given,
these  riches beyond price.
We are heaped with blessings,
not one repeated twice.

I found this in my drafts folder this morning. It must be from a few years back, when old dogs and old horse were still alive. Sigh.

Thursday, March 7, 2019


Pink tips edging buds
on the springtime cherry tree
Small moment of joy

For Marian’s prompt at Real Toads: celebrating a small moment of joy as I anticipate one more as-if-for-the-first-time spring.

Petal by Petal, Carefully.......

Does one ask a flower to grow?
I just let it be,
letting it unfold
as it unfolds,
petal by petal,

I take care not to thwart
the solitary splendor
of its blooming,
a flower glows
just as brightly in an empty lot
as when my eyes
turn upon it
to share the sudden sweetness
of its garden plot.

As petals catch the wind
and dance under the sun
so do you glow.
Your beauty casts
a clear and steady light
that does not dim
and it shines more
the more
I come to know.

We touch elusively
as fragile stems
holding up heavy blooms,
nodding in the breeze.
The blooms are our two lives.
From underneath
their precarious weight
our hands emerge
like leaves.

Your solitude speaks
to the peaceful solitude
in me
and deep within
my quiet heart
I can feel
something gentle
yearn to be
set free.

A very old poem from 1981, to share with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Kindness of Trees

Row upon row 
of Bodhisattvas,
they stand -
green, peaceful warriors,
kind, gentle beings,
habitat for birds
and wild creatures -
patiently absorbing our carbon,
breathing out healing oxygen
and peace.
Walking the trails,
we are transported
to a world of silent well-being.
Holding hands under the forest floor,
they send each other messages
of hope and support.
They tell the others
we have arrived.
They stand, listening,
watching us with benevolent smiles,
spreading their arms protectively
to shelter us.
We enter their world of green
and emerge transformed.

And in return,
they ask only
that we let them live.

In Tofino, as everywhere, the trees are falling to make way for more and more of us. Wildlife are being pushed to the margins, displaced, hungry, seeking shelter. I learned recently that only trees 25 years old or more absorb carbon. So even replanting doesn't replace the job mature trees do. We cannot lose the old growth. Trees are what lie between us and intolerable heat. They help us live.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Lover of the Sky

I am a lover of the blue sky,
perfect clouds like a dream sail by;
of a green walk in the wild wood;
of trees dripping on me where I stood;
of mist rising up where the river bends;
of the small sweet song of a striped-headed wren.
I am a lover of the burning flame
lit for world peace in hearts the same.
I am a lover of the morning sun,
already radiant the day begun.
I am a lover of the whale, leaping,
of the blue, blue hills
in the sunset sleeping.
I am a lover of the eagle's cry,
who sweeps and soars without a Why.
I am a lover of life alone,
of the heart's peace when it's at home.
I am a lover of my old dog's smile,
of his warm brown eyes,
of his lack of guile.
I am a lover of the warm spring rain,
of the smell of earth stirring
to life again.
I am a lover of the ocean's roar,
of the sandy beach stretching all before.
I am a lover of rock and log,
of driftwood shapes looming through the fog.
I am a lover of clouds, of stars,
of the falling dark, of soft guitars,
of the meadowlark, of the summer's breeze,
of days of struggle, days of ease,
of heartfelt love gone away too soon,
of goodbyes under a slice of moon.
I am a lover of fresh-cut grass,
of children's laughter, of dogs I pass,
of babies all innocence and rapture,
of the bent and aged who tremble after,
of the falling leaves, of a job well done,
and I am a lover of beasts that run,
of water that moves and creates its own way,
of the journey made and the price I pay.
I am a lover of brand new books,
those journeys that I never took.
I am a lover of music that sings,
songs of the heart, the hope it brings,
and the flight of poems for a brand new dawn
that knows this life is Moving On.
Like the heron, stalk-still at the water's edge,
makes a sudden leap - I am the same.
Poised to dive from a tilting ledge,
the horizon lit with a golden flame,
I'm waiting to hear
call my name.

An old poem from 2002 that I felt like sharing today with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads where the theme is Blue. The sky, the looking back, the old dog's smile, the nostalgia - yup. Blue.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Another Spring

“I’m sorry,” the specialist said. “Given the ultrasound, the testing doctor and I think it gives every appearance of being malignant.” The lump on my ankle had started growing. It now was the size of an egg from a small speckled hen.

“Get it off!” said the doctor who did the pre-op tests, recoiling.

I could gross my grandkids out by asking, "Do you want to squeeze it?"

Oddly, I felt no fear. I thought, well, this is the pathway we’ll be going down, a diversion from the one I had assumed I was on. I readied myself for the journey. I put on my wolf medicine: a silver wolf head on a leather thong, my wolf sweatshirt; I took up my walking stick. Ready.

They fast-tracked me to the oncology clinic in the city. The surgeon and his team wafted in the door on a tide of positive energy. All smiles, he looked at my egg. “It looks to be encapsulated. If it is benign, we’ll just take it off and you won’t need to come back.”

Wow. I had not known that was a possibility.

All went well. It was encapsulated, and benign, and when I got the news, I had to re-adjust my thinking once again from the harder path I had thought lay ahead, to one that was, itself, much more benign.

With gratitude, with the understanding I had been granted a great gift, I would get to enjoy yet another spring. And more after that.

250 words

For Magaly’s prose prompt at Telling Tales With Magaly : to write the story of one of our poems in prose. This one is from the poem "Traveler, Diverted On the Path", written in February 2013. The one regret I had, when I thought my energy would be going towards battling cancer, was that I had not archived my work in book form. With this reprieve, I immediately began doing so and now have a nice little shelf of books to (hopefully) keep my life’s work from being taken to the landfill when I die. Smiles.

Friday, March 1, 2019


                        by Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild

If ever you would speak with any tree,
come walking in the forest here with me.
I'll show you the wild mushroom and the root,
but where the ancients gather, set no boot.

If you would speak with nature spirits wild,
you must maintain the heartbeat of a child,
learn riversong and mountain chasm deep.
You must commune with angels in your sleep.

As you step lightly on the pungent moss,
and feel the leaves the winter wind doth toss,
let your spirit fly away among the trees.
It will return upon the morrow's breeze.

I go into the forest dark and deep,
every night after I fall asleep,
become a woodland guardian, reborn
I do not want to leave when it is morn.

Last night my spirit fought as a black wolf,
against four brown wolves on the forest floor,
This told me that a battle lies before,
my spirit having recognized its door.

Come with me. I will show you secret groves,
moss-hung and ancient in this stand of pine.
Deep in the bracken, where the hoarfrost glows,
the Old Ones are singing Home this heart of mine.

A pantoum from 2012, for dverse, where they are celebrating the pantoum, one of my favourite forms. 


The trees are falling in the forest - blight,
as humans clear away the ancient sites.
Make way for Progress, all wild and beauteous beasts.
When money rules, no living thing has rights.

As humans clear away the ancient sites,
we sing to the trees, our sadness at their plight.
When money rules, no living thing has rights.
A dirge we sing, in humankind’s dark night.

Sing to the trees, our sadness at their plight,
a lullaby to ease their pain and fright.
A dirge we sing, in humankind’s dark night,
a hymn of hope, that we will see the light.

A lullaby to ease their pain and fright -
make way for Progress, all wild and beauteous beasts.
A hymn of hope that we may see the light -
the trees are falling, protest as we might.

for Gina's prompt at dVerse - to write a pantoum. I always like tackling a pantoum. Mine turned into a rather gloomy one........I was thinking of how The Tree Sisters are planning a global event on International Womens Day - to sing to the trees. I will have to sing a more cheerful song than this one!