Friday, February 26, 2021

This Poem is Dawn, a Skybird and a Grey Whale, Spy-hopping

This poem is the breath of dawn on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.
This poem is a murrulet on the wing.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping.

This poem is misty with early morning fog.
It drapes shawls over the shoulders of
Grandmother Cedar so she won't be chilled.
This poem loves the morning.
It looks to the sky to see all the colours of the day.
This poem is the breath of dawn on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.

This poem is a tiny bird who makes her nest
deep in the forest.
This poem must fly great distances,
out to sea and back again,
in order to find sustenance.
This poem sometimes grows tired,
and in need of rest.
Its perch is precarious,
its nesting sites vanishing
along with the old growth.
This poem is sometimes in need of
rescue and protection.
This poem is a murrulet on the wing.

This poem swooshes up in placid waters,
takes a look around with her wise old eye
and finds that life is good.
This poem is an ancient voice;
she speaks with an old soul.
Then this poem does a series of dives and breaches,
just for the joy of it.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping.

This poem is the breath of dawn, on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.
This poem is a murrulet on the wing, heading for home.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping
for the sheer love of living.

-from February 21, 2019
Hannah Gosselin's Boomerang Metaphor form as described at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, a site I miss very much!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

This Poem is an Old Woman, a Dream, and a Sigh

This poem is an old woman, looking at the sky.
This poem is a dream of the connection of all beings.
This poem may never live to see the dream come true.

This poem glories in the beauty of the sky,
perfect puffy clouds like a dream scudding by.
The beauty of the earth makes an old woman cry;
we are killing Mother Earth and don't even question why.

This poem longs for the connection of all beings,
for the awakening of consciousness that would be
so freeing,
to live on Mother Earth free of entitlement and greed,
and recognize when life is fair
we have all that we need.

This poem is an old woman with tears in her soul
who sees the folly of the way our lives unfold,
so unaware that we are  moving towards our doom
so, when it comes to hope, there just isn't any room.

This poem fears it will not realize its dream.
Humanity is too slow to see life's not all that it seems,
remaining blind and deaf to the Earth's dying screams.
This poem is letting go of its fondest dream.

This poem is an old woman, looking at the sky.
This poem is a dream of the connection of all beings.
This poem may never live to see the dream come true.

I adapted Hannah Gosselin's Boomerang Form by adding an extra stanza. It also insisted on rhyming which doesnt work too well with this form. But it was stubborn and I am tired, so it is what it is. Smiles.

Monday, February 22, 2021



Kelowna in Winter

This poem isn't a sleepy orchard town in the 1950's,
small wartime cottages surrounded by
miles and miles of apple orchards,
flanked by a huge lake, and rounded hills,
blue in winter, dry and brown, dotted with sage brush
through the long, hot summers.

This poem isn't a freckle-faced
thirteen year old girl in 1960,
her head full of dreams, trying to survive
in a house full of alcohol and violence,
being shaped even as she dreamed
of escape, the cacophony inspiring
her lifelong quest for peace.

This poem isn't that innocent time
when skies were blue, and no one knew
about the ozone, when big trucks lumbered
down the dusty streets spraying DDT
(even on the playing children)
to kill mosquitoes. Those days
we thought would last forever,
following each other
in comforting sameness; when stability
and peace were Grandma's house,
and growing up meant life would just
get better. 

This poem is a freckle-faced old woman,
watching the planet she loves revolt against
what we have done to her since then
in storm and flood and fire; the animals
all disappearing; poles melting,
earth tilting, trying to cleanse itself
of us, to shake us off.

Long life means trading
halcyon remember-when dreams
for the certain knowledge that
we're burning our house down.
I had not expected earth grief to be
the single biggest grief I own.

What we love the most, we lose.
I traded apple trees for old growth
and the sea. My worst fear:
that everything I ever loved
will yet be lost to me.

for Brendan at earthweal: the natural forces that shape us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


How many ghosts have humans caused
in the last hundred years?
I ponder, gazing at the ceiling
at 2 a.m., the time when inner ghosts
walk the halls of mind and memory,
when pillows grow too flat and sheets
too warm, yet an outflung leg chills,
finding no comfortable temperature
in which to traverse the night.

Across the sky of mind, polar bears crawl,
skin and bone, across the melting taiga;
wolves emerge, confused, into an urban
landscape, as we encroach further and further
into their homeland. Birds fall from the sky;
grey whales beach themselves, their death songs
mournful, pitiful; they look into our eyes,
seeking help, but we have none to give.
We are too late. This, the source of our grief.

I have heard of octopi walking out of the sea
to die onland. Forever I will remember
Tahlequah, carrying her dead calf
on her nose for seventeen days of mourning.
Takaya, beloved wolf, shot dead
by a hunter; so many furry creatures
shot, caught in traps, or poisoned.

So much death and suffering;
the wonder is we ever manage 
a whole night's sleep.

Now covid has come for us.

There is no shortage of ghosts
with which to confer
about sitting on the very lip
of the precipice.
We are all in line for the ferryman,
who has been showing up
so often his arms must be
getting tired.

What can I do in the meantime?
I'm saving trees, speaking for trees,
planting trees.
I'm cleaning litter off beaches.
Reduce, reduce, reduce,
and then recycle.
I write to my elected officials,
village, provincial, federal,
urging urgent action.
Representatives know that
one letter represents a hundred voters
who feel the same but never write
the letter. Letters have impact.
Votes have more. Vote well.

Mostly, I just love the earth:
the morning sky, the forest
and the shore, the animals
in my world (and the wild).
I love the sky, greeting it
each day with gratitude.
Still here! I smile. Thank you!
smug as a raven, happy as
a shore-running dog.

There is so much beauty to love
even when the big picture
shows how much is wrong.
I have to believe there is a picture
bigger still, when humanity may yet 
make that sudden leap
of consciousness and connection,
recognizing we are each just 
one more animal
in the chain of life, no more
and, certainly, no less.
But the fate of all the rest
is in our hands.

Deep karma.

for Brendan at earthweal where we are contemplating the Already Dead

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Mood Indigo

"Indigo Sky Mares" by Laurel Burch
click HERE for her website

Mood in indigo;
memories of long ago:
blue velvet twilight, 
crooner tunes 
on a spinning turntable,
sweet pea and peony
on the evening air -
lake scent and whisperings
engraved on my heart.

Mare and foal in the pasture,
my sister's dream,
foal with perky ears
too soon buried
under tall pines.
Heartbreak is
coloured blue.

Blue horses gallop
through all of our dreams,
all the sweet furry creatures
that blessed our lives.

Mood in indigo,
long-gone orchard days
so full of dreams,
all that love
still echoing
in my heart.

Friday, February 12, 2021



photo credit: Chris O'Reilly

First, I had to become invisible,
so she could learn to accept me.
We sat the difficult, patient,
excruciating hours together,
her hooded, at times, for calmness,
my eyes averted,
until she could be with me unmasked,
without fear.

Next, I had to make her hunger,
so when I offered food
on my extended fist
she would come to me.
This was a dance that took some time
to choreograph.

I did not know,
until she laughed,
that goshawks were capable
of play.

We walked the hill to the field in dread,
her on my arm,
she because she was terrified,
I because I feared
she'd fly away.

The hardest thing to learn
was trusting
she'd return.

It took many fails a day
for a week,
her falling, hobbled,
to the ground,
angry and glaring,
and then we got it right -
she flew right to me.

In the brambles,
her first time loose,
caught by the bracken,
her yellow eyes
looked to me
for rescue. Trust.

I thought I was training her
to be a goshawk,
but she was teaching me
to unite my wild and human parts,
until my spirit rose
from its bed of grief
and flew.

I wrote this after reading a most wonderful book, H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald, about the training of a goshawk, an intense process of inter-species bonding and communication. Shared with earthweal's open link.

Monday, February 8, 2021



The White Lions of Timbavati
are wandering through my dreams.
Enlightenment bearers,
beings as old as time's moonbeams,
born under an ancient star that fell to earth,
they carry a message for humankind:
Choose eternal darkness or rebirth.

The shaman says:
"At the end of the world, a white lion
will roar for the last time.
The sun will disappear forever from the sky.
If white lions vanish from the land,
we all will cease to be,"
too late, by then, to begin to wonder why.

Sun God, captive,
backed against the rock,
trapped, he turned and
stared his hunters down.
He offered humankind a choice:
the Light, or stay forever in the dark,
our fate determined by the bullets' arc.

He walked towards them proudly, unafraid.
They chose, for they had paid.
They raised their guns.
He walked to meet his fate, his eyes old fire,
and, as he fell, his last roar dimmed the sun.

Ingwavuma died aligned with his heart star,
in the Leo constellation from which he came,
marking the proud death of a Lion King -
(they tell me Ingwavuma was his name.)
The human psyche will forever
bear the scar.

Their shots rang out.
Ingwavuma, spirit undefeated, fell.
The hunters chose our fate.
There is little more to tell.

This story is told in The Mystery of the White Lions, Children of the Sun God, by Linda Tucker, who is in love with the white lions. She formed the Global White Lion Protection Trust, and protects the lions she has been able to rescue in a wild sanctuary in their ancestral home of Timbavati, in an effort to keep the last of them from being hunted to extinction. There they roam free, hunt and raise their cubs wild, but in protected territory. It is one of the last viable lion refuges in the world. The lions are critically endangered, as they are hunted in the wild, as well as in "canned hunting" enclosures, where great white hunters, for a hefty fee and a piece of their souls, shoot lions who have no means of escape.

The courageous Ingwavuma, whom Linda knew and loved, was not himself a white lion but was believed to carry the gene, so he would have sired white lion cubs. He was cornered in just such a "hunting" enclosure. When he saw there was no escape, he did not cower. He met his fate bravely and, thereby, those hunters perhaps cursed mankind to eternal darkness. Certainly their hearts were dark.

Shaman Credo Mutwa told Linda that, long ago, a star fell to earth, after which all animals in the area where it fell bore white offspring, the few remaining white lions descending from that time. The shaman says the white lions, who have blue eyes, guard a secret that can save humankind: to turn towards enlightenment, or remain forever in darkness. He says when the last white lion is gone, the sun will disappear. It is, perhaps, the most fascinating and stirring book I have ever read.

The exact time and date that Ingwavuma was murdered is the only time the setting sun was aligned with Regulus, the heart star in the Leo constellation, symbolizing the birth or death of a Lion King and, consequently, the birth or death of life on earth.

Linda Tucker's second book, Saving the White Lions,  tells the story of her life's mission to save the white lions, the weight of this on her shoulders, and the heartbreaking losses along the way. 

Posting this for my prompt at earthweal: The White Lions of Timbavati

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Fly Free


"Natural Woman" Digital Collage Art "Covid Creations" by Susie Clevenger

A little bird
asked me why
I kept his cousins
in a cage

when there is
a whole wide sky
to fly in.

I love their company,
I said. And I
so love
their song.

And then
I remembered
being in that cage
and how it felt
to finally
free myself.

Thank you,
I whispered
to my little friends.
Fly free!

and opened
up that door.

I did once have budgies in a cage. I would play cd's of birdsong and they would sing and sing. A friend expressed surprise that, feeling as I did about personal freedom, I kept caged birds. That made me think. I never have again.

I did, though, love their happy song.

for The Sunday Muse, inspired by the wonderful art of the multi-talented Susie Clevenger.

Friday, February 5, 2021



The shaman walks the medicine way
leaving no footprints.
The cry of the owl bids you follow.

Take up your staff, wrap up well in your cloak,
for the night is cold and the fog will poke
its chilly fingers
into every exposed inch of human skin,
seeking to steal some warmth
for itself.

Hush! for there be spirits here.

If you listen, you will hear
the heartbeat of an ancient cedar.
In its bark is the memory
of who you were a thousand years ago,
when it and you and the land
were young.

In the night sky
is written the promise
of who you are becoming
a thousand years from now.
Gaze well, and remember,
so when at last you meet,
you will recognize yourself.

There are dreamers, and there are
the ones being dreamed.
The journey of transformation
is the shedding of the false self
- the one who meets the world -
and the stripping away of everything
that is not essence, joy, wonderment,
trust and awe.

is knowing
all is as it is meant to be.
All we need do
is Surrender.

The mystical hooting of the owl
bids us safe passage
through this eery midnight world.
Hasten, for the shaman guide's cloak
is already swirling
with the swiftness
of his being gone.

An oldie from 2013, when I had more hope about the transformation of consciousness. Yet I can feel it on the air........shared with earthweal's 55th open link.

Monday, February 1, 2021



No matter how bad the news is,
with all that  mankind has wrought,
the miracle is that each February, 
as the teasing light slowly lengthens
these sleepy afternoons,
green things pop up through the earth,
ready to repeat the endless cycle
from dormancy to re-birth.

I catch my breath
at the glory of it all -
Mother Nature unrolling 
yet another spring
for we unworthy,
but appreciative,
silly human things.

How generous she is!
Her mantra is Life! Life! Life!
amidst all the disappearing,
and the dying. 

Tiny snowdrops poke up
through earth's crust, as tender
as a baby's tears, yet with
determined thrust.

And, down at the shore,
clinging to the rocks,
starfish are singing
the season in,
in colours orange, purple
and blue - a promise
of yet another springtime
gifted to me and you.

for earthweal where Sarah has us contemplating Imbolc and re-birth. Spring always Knocks. Me. Out. Every year, the same old miracle, yet new every single time.