Thursday, December 29, 2022

Looking for a Fairy Door


We tripped across the forest floor.
The green trees formed a maze.
I was looking for a fairy door
to escape my wistful days.

But I was just a mortal
accustomed to the blues,
no luck finding a portal,
no bright red magic shoes.

I told her of a vision
I had had, a ghostly tale.
It brought a tear into her eye
and made her face go pale.

There was a humming all around us,
and I was searching for a song.
The trees and bees were buzzing
as we wandered all along.

It was the sunniest of summers,
the sky a purity of blue,
and had I seen the years that lay ahead
I would have wept, then, too.

for Shay's Word List, inspired by Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale, such a haunting melody.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022



With all of the things you have learned
from your long journeying,
with all of your heartache
that taught you to love and to cry,
and with all of your dreaming
that helped you to live,
with that same loving heart and merry laugh
that has brought you to the ocean's shore,
come out at dusk and celebrate
the full cold moon
at the place where the tide
kisses the tombolo,
then runs away, laughing.

Yesterday morning's dawn
approached as pink and fresh
as a young maiden
singing the new day in.
Tonight shows itself
as a wise old woman with knowing smile,
tapping her cane and hobbling.
But she still remembers her dancing feet,
she remembers,
and, in her heart, she is still dancing
across the beloved landscape
with joy.

You grew your soul
all green with wilderness
and wild with wolf-breath,
in a forest of great and ancient tree beings
breathing peace.
You owe them your every breath,
each one their gift to us.

The journey has been astonishing, magical;
it has brought you here,
to the edge of the sea.
And now you are looking at
those far, snow-capped mountains.
The echo of the heron's call
and wild wolfsong at midnight
will keep you here a while.

The tree trunks you hug
breathe their smiles at you; they whisper,
"we waited for you, friend,
for all these many years."

The sea sings your soul-song,
the only song you ever knew.
It sang you out of the desert
and over the mountain pass
to the wild shores of Clayoquot Sound.
It has carried you so far,
and it is singing, still.

Come out at dusk to meet me
on the shortest day, in the place where
the tide kisses the tombolo,
then runs away, laughing.
Let earth and sky
inform your grateful heart
that, finally and forever,
you are Home.

An oldie this winter morning. We had a snowfall overnight, inches of snow which is unusual. Very beautiful out. I imagine the beach looks especially wonderful today.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Just Ice!


They gather for a bottled Christmas,
all the alcoholics ready to imbibe,
the addicts with their shiny spoons,
wearing their Amnesty International t-shirts 
that say "Just Ice!" (Wait! What?
Ice cubes rattling in their empty upraised glasses,
an entire generation, demented,
but proud, like peacocks performing. says 'Justice'?)

Aunt Matilda has enormous protuberances
stretching the fabric on her flowered dress,
her hair in corkscrew curls, too much lipstick,
with fake eyelashes that look like tarantulas.

Let's pass the fruitcake, which gets nuttier
every season. Strew the hollyberry about,
hide the mistletoe, and
don't spare the party snacks. 

Somewhere, in another life, horses dream sweetly
in snowy fields, a lark sings, a falcon flies above
in a world of peace. Mandolins play,
poetry is written and a violin begins the Adagio.

for Shay's Word List. I tried to use most of the words.  This is not autobiographical, other than the fact that one Christmas I was wearing my Amnesty International t-shirt that said "Justice!" My youngest grandchild looked at me bemusedly, and asked, "Grandma, what does that mean: "Just Ice?" I thought of my long line of alcoholic relatives, and cracked up. I relayed this to Amnesty and they said, If this is a true story, it just made my day! LOL.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

To a Poet in 2050


Conference about climate change

Are there still poets? Is human (and non-human) life
still viable, or have you all fried to a crisp?
If you are there, know that some of us foresaw this,
with great grief and alarm,
but capitalism blinded our leaders
with greed and denial, and no one seemed to know
how to change the trajectory.
Humans now have all the information
in the world. And little wisdom.

Are there still trees? In my time, they are
cutting them down faster than they can grow;
not enough mature trees are left
to absorb the carbon that is slowly choking us.
Animals are starving and we are losing species.
Have you heard of elephants and lions?
Bears and wolves?

Do you know that icebergs once
covered the north pole?
They are melting rapidly now, the earth is
tilting slightly on its axis.
Indigenous people view what settlers
have done to the planet in only 150 years
with horror. Summers scorch the earth;
wildfires rage. Storms, hurricanes, and floods
batter towns and cities.

And nothing changes, nothing changes.
Nothing changes.
What little we do is not enough.
Leaders gather to talk and talk and talk.
Target dates get pushed farther
and farther off. One target date is 2050.
Are you and other beings still here?

They say addressing climate change is too expensive,
then send rockets to the moon. Cleaning up after
floods and fire is expensive too. This week
a head of cauliflower costs eight dollars.
Inflation has run amok
and only the rich are happy
(but not content.)

So I ask you: Are there still poets? Birds and seasons?
Are people living on scorched earth,
among the rubble, or in caves?
Did humankind war itself to death?

Or did climate breakdown force us
to finally change our ways?

Future poet: this is what an
iceberg used to look like

This is an old growth tree

A gloomy poem for Brendan at earthweal: Earthcentric Vistas: The Future Poet.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

White Wolf


Photo by Cory Storb

White wolf,
sensitive, intuitive, bright
and gentle soul,
you belonged to another
who was made of darkness.

You loved the peacefulness
in me, turned towards my door
at every passing.
Jealous, he would haul you away,
yelling angrily.

At the end,
we exchanged one long sad look
through my front window.
You didn't understand
why he woouldn't let you
see me.

he finally grew enraged enough
to let you go,
and you were liberated.
You were happy at the SPCA,
which tells the whole story.

When men came to meet you,
you growled.
You had had enough of men.
One day, an older woman came.
I think you thought it was me,
come to get you.
They said you ran up to her,
tail wagging,
and she took you home.

I would have kept you if I could,
one more wolf I loved
and could not save.
The next best thing
is to believe
my love prepared you
for your life with her.

I miss you,
every day,
but am so glad
that you are free.

for The Sunday Muse.  I miss him. He was such a beautiful boy.

The Light That Never Goes Out


There is a light that never goes out,
the song goes, and I know it's true.
Back when I was young and skinny,
in an emotional coma, full of panic
and shyness, a thorn in my every rose,
still I had dreams that never gave up.
I had hope that never quit.
All the songs and books had told me
a great love would be mine.

I waited a long time
for that big black wolf to find me.

for Shay's Word List The Light That Never Goes Out is a reference to a song by The Smiths.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022



In winterlight
- white, cold, muted,
with the sky lowering down -
we hunker down
like the animals:
they in their frozen burrows,
we in our cozy rooms,
and rest.

It is time for warm soup
and crackling fires,
time for good books
and music, and the lighting
of candles.

In winterlight,
we draw inward,
seek warmth, and hope,
and long for peace.
In winterlight,
like every other animal,
we hunger for what
we have not,
and dream of spring.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

A Weary Prayer


I run my beads through care-worn hands,
each bead a prayer from my weary heart;
one step, around the prayer wheel:
prayers for peace in the world,
peace in our hearts.

Another bead, another step:
may all warring stop,
may all beings be cared for.

Three times around the prayer wheel:
may the animal world cease to suffer.
May all bombs be banned from the planet.
May we awaken more enlightened.

76 times around the sun I have travelled,
most of those years with dreams. These last years
I have seen things I never could have imagined.
A soul weariness: humankind has lost its way.
How can we have lived for so long
bombing and killing
and still not understand
we cannot win peace this way?

A final time around the prayer wheel, and then to bed:
May humankind become enlightened.
May leaders lead as they are sworn to do.
May they work to save this planet, our only home,
and stop serving corporate greed in quest of power.
May all beings stop cutting the trees
we need to breathe.
May all beings stop harming the animals
who suffer at human hands.

May all beings awaken to a better day.
I finger my beads; this is the prayer I pray.

for The Sunday Muse. No wonder old souls are so weary.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

In Canada


In Canada, explorers flock
to watch the icebergs melt.
Tickets cost a thousand dollars,
printed on old growth, smooth and svelte.
They garland the ship with hollyberry
and offer morning gruel,
and, watching the starving polar bears,
do not know that they are fools.

The oxygen is hotting up,
no breeze to fan the windsock,
and if I were a betting man,
I'd say we have hit bedrock.

Look at the pretty white cliffs fall.
Tickets are two-a-penny.
Let's sing a hymn to the 49th parallel*,
for smarts, we haven't any.

Sigh. What a ditty to start the day. For Shay's Word List. The climate crisis is always on my mind, the starving polar bears more than I can handle. On the news yesterday: one out of five of every species is now endangered. As we blunder and plunder on.

* The Hymn to the 49th Parallel refers to a song - and the title of a fantastic album - by k.d.lang.

Also sharing with earthweal's open link.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lament of the Winter Witch


Keening Woman walks the winter-wilding shore,
waves galloping in like white-maned horses,
the sound and fury of their breaking
in her aged ears, a roar.

She cannot find the well of youth;
to seek it, she would feel a fool.
From beauty to hag in a single season,
would be surpassing cruel.

Instead, she dreams: Let me change into a river,
wild and rushing towards the sea. My
many-headed children
have over-wearied me.

Let me find the snowy fields 
where bears and wolves and
sweet quick foxes play.
I will watch them until my eyes close
at sunset on the very last day.

This world is so beautiful; it should have
brought us joy, if humankind was not so skilled
at seeking to destroy

the earth that is our home. I'm filled
with gratitude and sorrow,
and all my fading hopes
are for a wiser world tomorrow.

for Brendan at earthweal: The Cailleach Bheare, Witch of Winter

Monday, November 21, 2022

Tending a Difficult Garden



Turn off the news, which is almost always bad and disheartening. The door is waiting:
walk through, out into the morning, grey with promised November rain which has been too long in coming.

See the way the leaves on the trees droop from long thirst; see the earth gazing at the sky, longing for moisture. Yet, when it comes, will it be too much, like everything – sun, wind, rain, storm, floods and fire – has been too much for so long?

Never mind. Today, we need only Be, with the air and the sky, with the soft forest trail and the waiting trees, wafting their peaceful energy towards us, wrapping us in Green, in silence, in a world out of time that is timeless, that has always been.

Remember to step softly, and not crush the mosses. Make a wide berth of the slug’s slow passage across the trail. Note the way the yellow swamp lanterns lift their heads, without a care in the world, even in this mad time we are living. Their mandate is to grow; yellow and green is all they know.

Breathe in peacefulness; breathe out gratitude, for the beauty shining all around, and for the way Mother Earth keeps gifting us sunrises, sunsets, growing things, baby creatures, even though we have forgotten how to tend our garden gently. Even though so many have done such great harm. Like every mother, she continues to give her heart and her gift of life, hoping we will tend it well, yet knowing some of us will hurt her and break her heart – and still she gives.

Here is something the trees told me: when we walk through the forest, loving them, in awe, head tipped back, they start to love us back. Even the rocks, the ferns, the salal, the winter berries are reflecting our love back to us. (How is it that only some of us know this?)

If you sing, softly, so only they and the nature spirits can hear, they smile; small birds cock their heads to listen. An owl opens her yellow eyes, then blinks. And, deeper in the bush, a wolf cub wakens in his burrow and tries out his first small baby howl.

There be spirits here – the ancestors shapeshift among the trees; the morning mist is clothed with spirit walkers. Long ago, they told us that we are meant to be here at this time, when the world stands at the brink of a major shift, uncertain which way to go. Rainbow warriors have hearts of every hue;  lovers of the earth everywhere on the planet are dreaming in green.

It may take us longer than our lifetimes and our children’s lifetimes to return to the garden, to gather around the fire and begin again with small gardens and respect. One lesson we need to learn, and to teach: when we take, we must give back, so the children’s children’s children may also live. Like the salmon dying in the dried out riverbeds still try to make their way home, we may also die along the way. But the journey matters, and others will follow. And one day this big beautiful blue-skied world will smile again.


for Brendan's prompt at earthweal: Tending a Difficult Garden, a concept that appeals to me. 

The Garden Taught Me How to Grow


I began by tending weeds, till a neighbour
taught me how to loosen the soil by weeding.
Then I learned to plant, seed by seed
and row by row: fruits and veggies,
and flowers for our delight.

Up and down the rows I crawled, pulling sprouts,
patting soil, my fat rabbit nibbling his way along
and napping near me in the rows.

Early mornings, I turned on the sprinkler:
swish-swish-swish, in a circle, thirsty plants
drinking deeply. It was a blue-sky summer.
In the evening, I would weed again, or
simply bask, gazing in gratitude
at the carrots and cucumbers, the squash
and watermelons, the huge green leaves,
marveling at so much spectacular bounty
from such small seeds.

The nature spirits smiled.
My plants grew like Findhorn cousins,
with not a weed in sight.

My garden taught me the pleasure
of sowing and its reward. My garden taught me
how much water it needed, how to help
small plants along until they grew tall,
much as my children taught me
how to mother.

It was the garden that taught me
that all of life - the interconnected cycle
of all things - is designed
with one clear mandate : to grow.

for Brendan's prompt at earthweal: Tending a Difficult Garden.

The garden we are globally tending now is difficult. Yet still, Mother Earth showers us with blessings and beauty, with growing things, with new generations of young beings. She grows in spite of us. How much better she will grow once we re-learn the ways of old and begin to live sustainably and simply, in harmony with the nature spirits. The same principles apply to gardens large and small: when we take, we must put back. Where there is damage, we must restore. During covid, we saw how the earth responded with relief and clearer skies to reduced human activity. The time is now to lower emissions to not surpass that 1.5 C target. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

This Poem is a Wild Woman


Wild Woman collage by Ella of Ella's Edge

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 the Raven,
the howl of the 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 poem was written in 2016, following an exercise by the late poet Elizabeth Crawford, of Soul's Music, who recently passed. At that time, I was living inland, longing for the sea. Sharing with earthweal's open link.

A Wild Woman Away From the Wild


The hard part is to unsee, the poet said,
and I remember my long years of exile,
impossible to settle for a less-than life,
after experiencing the golden shore.
My every thought and prayer was
wanting more.

Back then, the town inhabited me
as I once  inhabited the town.
I lived a makeshift life,
my dreams nattering
in the corners of my mind,
just out of reach.
I was haunted by a village,
by a forest,
by a beach.

I longed for sunset,
missed the wild,
full of phantom wolves
and misty trees,
a wild woman away from the wild,
my spirit longing
to be free.

Well. I am not in a writing space this week at all, but wanted to respond to Shay's Word List. The words - inhabit, makeshift, nattering, phantom - took me back to my exile in Port Alberni, where I marked time for seventeen years until I was able to return to Tofino. I riffed off Shay's words: "The hard part is to unsee". Having once known such a golden existence, it was impossible to settle for anything less. Such gratitude that I was able to come back.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Tongues of Falling Trees


Did you know
we tremble as the saws come near?
See our branches quiver at the sound
of the big trucks rolling in.
Only the sensitive among you
know our tender hearts. Only
the animals and birds hear
our silent screams.

We shiver as that cold energy
approaches, numb souls,
killing everything without compunction,
disassociating themselves
from what they do for money.
Holding hands beneath the forest floor,
we send each other messages of farewell,
weeping sap-coloured tears
as the grappleyarders yank our sisters
out of the earth, as if they are pulling
the wisdom teeth of the planet
without novocaine.

As we who are left sway
in the sudden exposure
at the edge of a clearcut, 
can you hear
our sighs, our keening sorrow,
watching hungry bears and wolves
cross the ravaged land in search
of a new place to hide
from the Two-Leggeds;
yet they are everywhere.

We wish we could pick up our skirts
like the wild ones
and tiptoe softly away.

Did you know
that as soon as you enter the forest,
we know you are here?
We turn our ears and our welcoming branches
to those of peaceful energy. We know
who comes in fellowship, in sisterhood.
We love those of you with gentle hearts
who walk softly and reverently here.
We feel your awe, gazing up at our tall spires.
Sometimes you place your hands on our trunks;
do you feel us tremble in response?

Please tell the others
what all the wild world knows:
we cool and protect you from the blazing sun.
Please protect us.
Let your poems be
the tongues of falling trees*.
Speak for us;
please help us live,
for what you save
will save you
in return.

For my challenge at earthweal: Poems ~ The Tongues of Falling Trees, inspired by  the poem "The Trees Have No Tongues" by Fiona Tinwei Lam, Vancouver's poet laureate. *The italicized lines were inspired by the closing lines in her poem: "Let each poem be a fallen tree's tongue", which I think is just brilliant.

Monday, November 7, 2022

The Word for Wilderness is Home


As I enter the forest, I tell the tree beings
and the others who live there, I am here.
They already know; they are watching me
as I pass. The forest is draped in old man's beard;
thick moss clumps lie on trunks and branches.
Silver sun rays filter through the trees.
Mushrooms and swamp lanterns, rose hips
and salal, line the path.

High on an ancient cedar,
a strip of bark has been peeled away.
When the First People were the only ones
living here, each family was responsible
for an area of forest.
When they felled a tree for a canoe,
or removed bark for their baskets and hats,
they left that area undisturbed
for a hundred years so it
would recover.

They say, back then, the People
and animals and trees and rocks,
the whales and sea and rivers,
all spoke together,
for everything has a spirit.
The salmon were so plentiful,
you could have walked
upon their backs.

When it was necessary to hunt a whale,
the whale would appear to the young brave
in his dreams; they made a pact,
and only that whale, and no other,
could be taken.

I walk the same pathways now,
a mamalthni, in reverence,
yet some sadness, knowing
the forests, the ocean and
all the wild ones are suffering
because the dominant culture
has not yet learned how to live
upon the earth.

To the First People, there is no word
for the wild. They tell us
"The only word for wilderness
is Home."

Cox Bay ~ Warren Rudd photo

A mamalthni is a white person.

For earthweal where we are taking A Walk On the Wild Side. I am fortunate to live with wild nature all around me: ocean and forest, wolves and cougar, bears and whales. But even here, we are fighting to save what forest is left. Even here, in what was a rainforest, we now have drought through spring, summer and fall. And a million tourists come year-round, leaving few wild places for the animals to be free of us. This fall, bears are stressed and hungry, as they have been unable to put on enough fat to get them through the winter. My heart breaks for them.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Pretty Bird


"Pretty Bird, Pretty Bird,
what do you say?
Something chirpy
and cheerful
to brighten my day?"

Pretty Bird sits
on her feathery butt,
with nothing to say
and her beak snapped shut.

LOL. For Carrie, at The Sunday Muse. I am having a too-restful weekend, and the words are resting too.

Friday, November 4, 2022

DONA NOBIS PACEM - Blogblast for Peace 2022


It is time to turn the implements of war
into instruments of peace,
to till the souls of men
and bring forth a harvest
of lasting social change.

Time to till the soil,
plant forests, repair streams,
lower emissions,
heal Mother Earth
in all the places she is aching.
Time to remember
we are only one species
among all the many other beings
that share this earth with us.

Mother Earth has enough
for our need,
but not our greed.

We are all weary of war, of division, of greed, of unsustainable living and the extractive capitalism that is devastating the planet. Time for social change and hard decisions about how to live on this earth as just one of earth's many creatures. 

Thank you to Mimi Lenox for the annual Blogblast for Peace, uniting voices across the globe, all longing for a kinder world for all earthlings. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Among Lions


With my soul among lions,
I walk the dusky chambers of my heart,
following the dreamways 
cast there, like a spell,
by the pages of my lifetime's
many books.

I tarry there, long evenings
before sleep - light softly falling,
the only sound the quiet turning
of the page. A cheetah cries in the bush,
an elephant treads heavily
to the pond to drink.

And in the amber glow of sunset,
a lion king lies down upon
the highest point of land,
where Finch-Hatton was laid to rest,
those many moons ago,
when all the Masai warriors came to dance
his farewell, and
one of the great love stories
came to an end,
yet is remembered still.

for Shay's Word List, which led me to the Africa of my dreams, experienced in the many books I have read, and movies watched, about that beloved place. My romantic heart (which survived my less-than-romantic life), loved Karen Blixen's Out of Africa. She wrote the Masai reported that lions came in the amber glow of sunset to lie on Finch-Hatton's grave in the years that followed. I Dreamed of Africa by Kiki Gallman, is another beautiful read (and movie). 


When morning breaks dark grey
outside my window, and my heart 
is quiet in the peace and safety
of my small rooms, I remember
years when I longed for a life shared,
when being alone was to be feared,
to be passed over, to be left.
It was inevitable that my soul needed
to learn aloneness. Solitude taught me
peace; the wild world taught me love.
Enraptured by sky and trees,
ocean and wolves and dogs,
I found just being was enough.

It's ten years, twenty years, later, now,
still traveling on my own by preference.
Once more, it is November. Winter storms
lie just ahead, when the pounding waves
will sing my soul into joy; the trees will dance
like dervishes in the wind, as bears
and wolves seek tunneled passages
at the base of ancient cedars
for protection from the rain. All winter,
they will dream of salmon and berries
until springtime comes again.

When morning breaks dark grey
outside my window, I remember
all this pilgrimage has taught me
that I could not have learned
any other way.

 Inspired by the poem "Ten Years Later" by David Whyte

Monday, October 31, 2022

Poetry, Trees and Me


The Hanging Garden Tree
Meares Island, Tofino

I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.......*

This is where my poetic journey began,
along with my love of trees.

I fell under the spell of words
when I was eight. The teacher
was dictating; the word
was "paw". I loved that word
and wrote it as carefully and
reverently as I could.
The teacher smiled. 
And I still love that word.

When I was fourteen, sitting in class,
my first poem came, with urgency.
I wrote it down:

Each acquaintance on the road to Never
whispers through the soul
and leaves a soft thought to remember
when tomorrow dawns cold.
It seems each person that I meet
on this long journey to the end of things
is someone I can love
and I must tell him of my love
for if my heart stopped beating
e'er one more sky was streaked with dawn,
how would my many loves live on,
uncertain of this extra dream of life
only my heart, in love, can dwell upon?

And I was off, chasing the words,
finding the wild places, in my heart and
in the world: the forests and hillsides,
the meadows and rivers and
wild winter waves, loving dogs
and wolves and people and then
coming home to put them into poems.

Quoth the Raven : Nevermore!*
drew me to the wilder shore,
urged me to listen to the inner voice
that led me out of the desert, over the mountains,
and to the sea, where I
forever belong.

My poems leave a trail behind me
for others to follow after I am gone.
They say: I was here, and
this is who I was.
They are the words
of my soul-song.

My teachers looked the other way through high school, as I feverishly penned my poems. Poems slowed for me during the busy years of raising my children, but started up again once I moved to Tofino.

And with what joy I found the online poetry community in 2010, which sparked a frenzy of writing through all the glorious years since. What a journey it has been! 

* The tree quote is, of course, from the poem by Joyce Kilmer and the raven quote from Poe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Writing My Anthem


I write my anthem in ink,
full of sorrow, ethereal dancers
on the periphery of my vision,
from the other-world,
I write full of gratitude
for all the small joys:
song of the mockingbird,
peace of an old growth forest,
the gaining and losing of dreams,
the brightness of morning.

I write my anthem by tapping the keys,
pecking, as crows do, searching for
just the right return. Ghosts of
my past selves dance by,
that old masquerade, smoke and mirrors,
until I emerged onto a wild beach
and turned into my Self.

I write my anthem with tears
for all I have lost; with thankfulness
for all the gifts given;
not least, this world full of poets
on the other side of the screen: all of us,
tapping and tapping together,
writing to say we were here
through all
the journeying years.

for Shay's Word List, where we are celebrating the wonderful Susie Clevenger, and remembering our years as Toads.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Kindling Poems


In days of olde, when fire was the source of what heat and light there was, villagers would gather on the commons, where a huge fire would be burning. Someone from each household would take coals and embers from the communal fire back to their houses to light their own hearth fires. Perhaps our poems are like that. A community of souls, we come to read each other's words, and take away what light and warmth we find to strengthen our minds, comfort our hearths, and inspire our own poems. Together, we hold firmly onto light and hope, to withstand the outer darkness. We fortify our own and each other's hearts.

Our poems, as kindling,
stoke other fires, other hearts,
and we all stay warm.

for earthweal: Kindling from the Forest of Light and Shadow

Monday, October 24, 2022

Out There, Just Past the Dark


To counter the darkness, I place a circle 
of small white candles outside
the door, to welcome sprites
disguised as small humans,
begging for treats.

To counter the darkness, I go
into the wildwood, dark green and pungent,
mossy-trailed, to gather small branches
and twigs from the  forest floor,
old man's beard to catch the blaze
of the Samhain beach fire,

and bouquets of salal and rosehip
for the long-gowned maidens
to carry as they bunch their skirts
and leap across
the flickering flames.

Out there, just past the dark,
I feel you watching: wolfish snout,
brown eyes that saw into my soul,
a heart that never wavered,
come to see me when the veil between
your world and mine grows thin.

Out there, to counter
the dark-hearted of humanity, are the
bright hearts of the awakened ones, who come
to heal and restore to Mother Earth
some of what has been lost.

Out there, to the starry sky that
illuminates our darkening world,
I send a plea:
transform our consciousness 
from sea to warming, rising sea.

Illuminate our vision.
Decolonize our minds.
May our light outshine
our darkness
while there's still time.

A humble offering for Brendan's challenge at earthweal: Kindling from the Forest of Light and Shadow. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Fox Music


Photoshop Manipulation By Julien Tabet

you take the high notes
and I'll take the low.
Where the song will take us,
we don't yet know.

We humans have caused
a planet-full of
inclement weather.
Teach us a song of harmony
that we can sing together.

Remind us we are only one
of earth's many creatures.
We will be your students,
and you, our teachers.

We can learn again
from you how to belong,
and join in altogether
 singing an earthlings' song.

This reminds me what it felt like as a kid, when adults would tickle us into helplessness, thinking we were enjoying it because we were laughing, but it felt like too much. Fox giggles are adorable though.

Friday, October 21, 2022



Raven travels the Blue Road
to bring Wild Woman a gift.

You carry a message of trust,
says Raven,
light for the darkness of our times.
There is magic in the void,
creative forces swirling in the cosmos.
Reach up, and grab yourself a fistful of hope.
Scatter the news that all is far from lost,
that for every troubled soul,
there are one thousand more
dreaming only of peace,
of justice.

Continue affirming
that being more, not having more,
is where peace lies.

Raven hopped onto the hood
of Wild Woman's car just yesterday morning.
She gifted him with crumbled biscuit,
and he flew, swift, away,
bread in his beak, and happy.

A gift for a gift.

A small heart-lift from 2014 for earthweal's open link.

Monday, October 17, 2022

In A Floundering Sea


Mother Earth,
you grew me like a tree
on a riverbank, toes in the water.
You grew me with eyes
always looking up
at your ever-changing skies
that taught me to strive.

I am a student, longing
to learn the language of clouds,
of trees, of birds and beasts,
of whalesong.
I learn from my indigenous neighbours
that everything is one, that
even the lowly slug's slippery journey
across the path is to be respected.

I am a sailor on the sea of hope,
praying for safe harbour.
I am holding two truths simultaneously:
the glorious beauty of this long, golden fall,
and the forests dying of drought.
I am a beating heart, aching
at salmon lying dead by the thousands
in dry riverbeds, yet lifting
at the news fish are still leaping
the rapids in the river that I know best.

There is an owl calling to me at night
from the nearby forest. I listen; so far
it has not yet called my name. One night,
a cougar screamed below in the darkness.
Here, the wild ones come close, into "our" world,
which is wilder and more cruel than theirs.
I long to walk back with them,
into their world, of deep forest
and hidden unpeopled shore.

I stand on the tombolo, and turn
in a slow circle: 360 degrees of beauty,
radiant and shining. I close my  eyes;
when I open them, the colours
have deepened. I am one with the sky,
the sand, the cedar, the soaring eagle,
the croaking raven,
one with the song
of the waves
~ my soul-song.

Mother Earth,
you grew me like a tree, with strong roots
to hold fast against the storms of this life,
but you kept my branches flexible,
so I can support others, yet not break
when the wild winds blow through.

I am a tired tree, now,
bending low towards the earth,
still a student, striving to learn
the language of the wild world
I hold in my heart.
I am a sailor on the ocean of hope,
in a floundering sea,
praying for safe harbour,
and shelter, and justice
and peace,
for all of your beings.

for Lindi's marvelous challenge at earthweal: Enactivism and the Poetry of Becoming. It is a must-read!

Friday, October 14, 2022

Mother Sky / Small Bird


Expansive Mother Sky,
in all your greys and blues,
your hazy autumn hues,
you hold my heart
the way the rugged maple
holds the twiggy nest
in which sits a wee brown bird,
serene, and softly singing.


Small bird,
with your sweetness
you are
the bodhisattva
of my morning.
you awaken me
to the plight of all beings.


who own only feathers,
are far happier
than we.
Teach us your song.


Sharing an oldie from 2015 with earthweal's open link. Looking forward to Lindi's challenge on Monday!