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.