you look up at me
with such trust
it hurts my heart.
have shown me
too many beings like you
at human hands.
I will keep you
safe and warm.
I can only pray
for all the others.
Inspired by "Rain, on New Year's Eve" by Maggie Smith. The italicized words are hers.
for Shay's word list. I used fragrance, lilacs, chimera, gloomy, haunted, song, suffer(ing) and mask.
50 tonnes of debris have so far been cleaned off the beaches manually, and picked up by helicopter. It is a daunting task and Surfrider Pacific Rim, the cleaners, say that more offal is washing ashore on beaches already cleaned. The area impacted stretches along the entire coastline of Vancouver Island, from Haida Gwaii to Victoria. Surfrider worker Alys Hoyland said, "We want the federal government to hold large companies accountable for cleanup." (Wouldnt that be great? If only.) So far not a word has been heard from the shipping company.
Being fully engaged in the Now has many hard moments. But it is better to know, and try to help, than live in denial while the waters creep up higher and higher along our shores.
for Thay, who has left us as gently as a leaf in the wind.
I will not tell you everything will be okay.
We all know better than that by now:
the icecaps are still melting;
starving bears are swimming miles,
exhausted, in search of food;
underwater volcanoes can explode
with a force greater than a nuclear bomb.
(Think about that.)
There are too many worries to name,
and nearby the last of the Old Ones
are falling to chainsaws, bleeding sap
on the scraped earth.
I don't know what to tell you, except:
it stays light a bit longer each evening,
and, some days, the grey skies draw back
and our old beautiful blue sky
is still there. We gaze at it, rapturously.
I can only say that life is a gift
that we all long to keep,
no matter what is happening.
Love is all around. So love because:
we are all here, breathing; because
the green shoots are popping up already
and we are not far from spring; love
because puppies are being born,
and baby everythings, even as
old peoples' eyes are closing peacefully
for the last time, on to their next adventure.
I can only say again that life is a gift
that we all long to keep,
that the beauty of forest and shore,
sea and sky, all the changing colours
of the earth, takes my breath away,
expands my heart with gratitude,
that, even, and always, alone,
a heart that hears the ocean's song
is never lonely.
Inspired by"New Year's Day" by Caitlin Myer. The italicized lines are hers.
Shared with earthweal's open link.
LOL. For Shay's word list.
Inspired by Quarantine Poem # 17 by Norman Minnick. The italicized lines are his.
The tsunami missed us this time,
but swept away others.
Mother Earth's voice grows louder,
while leaders stay silent, responding
to crisis upon crisis, no time
for addressing the fact
that we live in a collapsing world.
Icebergs melt, huge cracks open in the earth,
floods and fire and storms batter,
one after another, so that crisis is
the order of the day, just
another bit of morning news.
Ram Dass was ahead of his time
with Be Here Now. I am here,
loving where I live, sadly watching
trees fall, more ecosystems being
cleared away for humans,
because we are too many.
We, who have voices, are
the only possible agents of change
in this transapocalyptic world.
Let's demand that our leaders
act; with our dollars, refuse to support
corporate criminals and factory "farms".
The earth will force those who are left
to return to the Old Ways.
The indigenous people of the earth
will show us how.
Meanwhile, the 8th continent,
the forest canopy, is disappearing.
Where I live, in what is left
of the last of the old growth,
deforestation continues apace.
Some of us work to pass tree bylaws;
we bring to Council our dismay
at the forest falling; we fight to save what's left.
Every day we write a letter to Council,
pen a poem, visit a tree. We steadfastly love
the sea that one day will swallow us.
We love where we live, while, every day,
its destruction is breaking our hearts.
The canopy as the 8th continent is a premise discussed by Meg Lowman in the book The Arbornaut, in which she explores the kingdom at the tops of trees. A large portion of Tonquin forest is now gone. Already, they are talking of falling the rest, which they had said was not under threat. A group of us have been trying to get Council to pass a tree bylaw for years. We are now mobilizing to save the rest of Tonquin. So many wild creatures are being displaced and encroached upon. No government or corporate agencies think about them, and their right to a safe place to live. This "human first" attitude is what has destroyed so much of what was once bountiful enough for all (all but the greedy.)
Cutting old growth in an escalating climate crisis caused by a warming earth is insane. But leaders work for votes, not for what is best, or difficult. Easier to put in one's term, let "future" governmental agencies deal with the fallout. Except all of B.C.'s agencies are fully involved this year dealing with massive flooding, wildfires, heat domes, collapsing infrastructure, and a pandemic. I think they have utterly lost control; the tipping point has been passed. One way or another, humans will learn how to live on this earth. The way it looks, this may be after cataclysm. Meanwhile, we love where we live, we do what we can, we wish for enlightened leaders who rarely appear.
for earthweal, where we are contemplating these transapocalyptic times, and how we are living through them.
I just read a book titled The Puma Years by Laura Coleman, a memoir about her work through the years in a sanctuary in the Amazon. It is for wild animals rescued from terrible abuse, who are unable to live on their own in the wild any more. Wayra, a puma, was her special connection. The book is amazing, and the deforestation and wildfires that are steadily encroaching on this refuge are briefly described. There are a band of volunteers living in rough situations, without water, without electricity, yet they stay there year after year to care for the animals so harmed by the way humans live on this earth.
for The Sunday Muse
Woke at 6 a.m. to a phone call from emergency services. Tsunami advisory because of the event at Tonga Island. Once again, I get up, gather the most basic essentials, medication, tablet, have it ready to run out the door. This is happening so often now. Each time I think: one of these times will be the Big One.
Footage of the actual event is very scary.
But, here, once again, we got lucky. People living along the inlet saw the water draw back, then rush back in ferociously. Beaches were closed as tides and currents were expected to be wild. People on boats were told to get off the water. The advisory was called off this afternoon. No flooding expected. I unpacked my little bag one more time. No end to it, it seems.
Is it wise to live on a faultline at my age? LOL. I have no choice. It is home. I am happy here.
This poem was inspired by Winter Morning by James Crews
Inspired by Morii, from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig.
Inspired by Some Tomorrow by Maya Stein. The italicized phrase is hers.
Yesterday at three o'clock, thunder
roared so loud it shook my window,
then rain, then hail, then snow - snow
on the west coast, so rare. But weather
is disturbed now, everywhere.
Yesterday at three o'clock, in the city,
a giant tree fell into a couple's
living room and killed them
where they sat.
Wildfires in Colorado wiped out
hundreds of homes, and then it snowed.
Ice floes are melting and, in the north,
the earth has tilted slightly on its axis.
I live on a coastline. When the waters rise,
mine, along with many other cities,
will be washed away.
And yet we live as if that day
will never come, because
the alternative, living in fear
instead of gratitude, is no way to live.
My neighbour came too close to me
in the lobby, talking his germs all over me,
then told me had just had omnicron.
Now that we know that anything can happen,
how will we live? Can we cherish each normal day,
understanding that, at any given moment,
everything we have can be stripped away?
Can we cherish our mobility knowing that,
in a single heartbeat, it can be lost and
we'll spend our remaining years
watching life through the window
of a nursing home? Is that what it takes
for us to recognize all we have
to give thanks for?
Now that we know that anything can happen,
can we be more loving, kind, compassionate,
and grateful for this normal day,
this mix of struggle and hope
with which we face
this challenging year?
Inspired by Now That Anything Could Happen by Joyce Sutphen, at Wild Writing.
The music of my youth brings back
the memories of those golden
coffeehouse days, when fire and rain
sang in the living room,
I cooked in the kitchen, and
the musicians said they didn't need
an audience, as long as I was there.
The music thrummed in my soul,
all my songs hidden and unsung.
We laughed, we cried, we loved,
we thought that we would be
But not one dream, not one love song
would be completely sung.
They sang the soundtrack of my youth
back then. They loved and lost,
as we all did, and so to hear them now,
singing the love, the pain of those lost years,
leaves me broken open, with my own
lost dreams, and all my hidden tears.
Gah. Just watched James Taylor and Carole King's concert on CNN, the music of my youth, coffeehouse days, loving and losing and not knowing how to hold on to the joy..........seeing the two of them singing together now - the music and love enduring despite the memory of past pain - just brings those years all home to me again.
So much love, so much twisted highway. At the end, it is the memory of love that remains.
I have read Girls Like Us, by Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, and also Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon, so I know the history of James leaving Carole for Carly, of Carly's anxiety in performing, of James' addiction issues - how they all loved and lost and suffered like we all did - and out of that the great music they birthed, and the love that has endured all that pain...........in the coffeehouse we felt forever young........what special years they were - a gift. I have been given so many gifts this lifetime. I can only be grateful.