Thursday, March 30, 2023

Just One More Wayfarer

I stopped searching long ago,
once my feet stood on the sand
at Chesterman Beach,
in front of my winter cabin,
the orange sun going down,
my great adventure beginning.

Yes, I have loved and lost.
I have lost a lot. But I have also
gained so much: friends, and
experiences that told me
I was being led and guided
the whole time.

I found my peace through solitude,
became the Observer, at a remove
from angst and drama. I rubbed
my lumpy carbuncle of a life
until it grew smooth and shiny,
if not a pearl, still so much prettier
than how it started out. Yet
I carry tenderness, still, 
for those old times, when 
we all did the best we could,
though it was not enough.

Now, I am content, watching
the silver waves roll in and out,
tall trees dancing in the wind,
looking up as an eagle flies over,
as I sit in the sun,
watching the busy world go by.

Immersed in the silence that is my life
alone, I sense a portal opening
upon that farther shore, I,
just one more wayfarer,
fortunate enough
to have found Home
beside the ocean's roar.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Galaxies, a Gyre and a Family of Wolves


Earth seen from Hubble telescope

I am too weary for a revolution,
but a peace march I can manage,
(if it's not too far.) Beyond the falcon's flight
are galaxies; beneath, a gyre,
circling and circling
in the sea.

Once an eagle swooped so close
I saw every feather. A poet could make
something of that, if she were not
so tired. I will toss in an elephant's tusk,
still attached to her face, thank God,
to give this poem added interest,
and a family of wolves
on this side of the globe
- equally beautiful,
   and threatened,
   equally challenged in finding
       a safe place to live.

For Shay's Word List, inspired by the poet Michael McClure, and sharing with earthweal's open link.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Not One Tear for Remembering


Jill Battaglia image

Fix your eye on the north star and turn right before morning. The madman walks between daybreak and hellfire and has fallen. Never say to me that I don’t know soaring. I do, but I know it from the safety of the ground and the longing in my heart, always captive, tethered like a kite in full sail to the hand of the needy. Never tell me that I don’t know love for, alone and solitary, I have learned to love the whole world and I carry that love with me like a prayer, like a weeping elegy, like a song of hope that refuses to be muted.

Come my way and I'll show you a bit of the highway you may never have seen, through the eyes of blindness that have been opened. I'll teach you to listen to wolfsong and witch-howl, and we can join in towards the midnight hour, when the longing is too great to be contained within any longer.

I don’t know what I'm writing here, it is writing itself, and it is telling me that though I smile and insist on hope, within there is sorrow, constantly ebbing and flowing like the tide. A sorrow, under the bright smiles and determined hopefulness, as deep as the ocean, and as wide, that dare not, dare not, shed one tear for fear of drowning.

I wrote this in 2015. These days my sorrow is for the accelerating climate crisis, and its effects, especially on animals, both wild and domestic. I somehow felt like sharing it today. Sharing with earthweal's open link.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Looking Through Both Eyes


How do we mourn this long dying,
this voiceless goodbye from creatures
speaking only through their eyes,
who bellow their pain as shots ring out,
who flee wildfires on burning paws?
Yet we stay silent to their cries.

How do we live with the choices we've made
to live so high on the backs of others?
Fat people with too-full plates,
against starving children, starving mothers?

Bemused, we watch the icebergs melt,
polar bears toppling into the sea,
floods covering cities and towns,
people rescued, as animals drown.
The temperatures rise and rise again,
sun shining on a world in pain,
because of our love of oil, and ease,
because too many do as they please.

It is the animals who have my heart,
their voiceless suffering as they leave
a warning bell we do not heed,
a sorrow we'll forever grieve.

I think what saves us, in our grief,
is the shining beauty of Mother Earth.
Though we harm her by how we live,
still, like a good mother,
she gives and gives.

I live with one eye attuned to the peril
of a world in crisis, suffering, crazed.
The other eye looks to the sea and the sky,
gives thanks for the beauty,
dazzled, dazed.

for my prompt at earthweal: The Age of Loneliness, about the species we have lost and are losing, in a time of accelerated climate crisis.

Thursday, March 16, 2023



ABC News photo

The fire came so fast.
We humans barely escaped
in time by boat.
The kangaroos were trying to hop
faster than the flames.

For three long days of burning,
my heart ached, worrying.
Would anything be left?
Would the Roo Refuge survive?
And, more than that,
what of the roos themselves,
and the one I loved the most, Kanga -
my love, my partner, my soulmate
in this had little world we'd made?

Surely, I would return
to scorched earth, house and
sanctuary gone. I feared I'd find
the furry bodies of my loved ones
lying everywhere.

I told myself: if even one kangaroo
survived, I would begin again.

I returned with trepidation,
braced for what I'd find.
The house was gone,
supply quarters in ashes.

With heavy heart, I climbed the hill.
The smoke was thick, but in a clearing,
where it thinned, there he was -
Kanga, my furry love, caring for
an injured joey, standing over him,
protecting him. Waiting for help.
Waiting for me.

He knew that I would come.

And then, one by one, they all came back:
burnt paws, terrified eyes,
they came to their safe place in trust,
and we began again.

This poem was inspired by an Amazon Prime film titled The Bond, the story of a kangaroo sanctuary in Australia that came through the wildfires. The woman who created this sanctuary for roos is a senior, and amazing. The series documents inter-species friendships between humans and dolphins, cheetahs, kangaroos and goats. I loved it.

for earthweal's ekphrasis challenge.

Friday, March 10, 2023

When Sun Dogs Dance Across the Sky


Wickaninnish Beach Sun Dog
(the driftwood looks like a wolf to me)

When sun dogs dance across the sky,
the sacred prophecy is at hand,
as the Children of the Rainbow
begin to walk across the land.

Hush, now, and listen,
for the Grandmothers are speaking:

"Like a new-born, wobbly foal,
you're trying to find your skittery legs,
in a time of great change
as land and waters re-arrange.
You'll feel the wobble in the earth
turmoil in the land and sea.
As our Mother Earth gives birth,
we'll learn a balanced way to be."

The people of the Rainbow
are born seeing with new eyes.
May those ready to awaken
hear our Mother's painful cries.

"Getting More must now give way
to sharing All with All.
We must return to the Old Ways,
let polluted systems fall.
There will be turmoil in the turning.
Trust those with twinkles in their eyes.
They are cool water to ease the burning.
They are the Messengers, so wise."

Mother Earth, I feel you quickening
as the new world is a-borning,
like a shape-shifter, transforming,
response to evolution's dawning.

"In the time of whirling rainbows,
dance your prayers under the sky.
Listen to the song of wolves,
fate of the wild world in their cry.

"Sing songs of love and peace.
Watch for a rainbow 'round the sun.
When sun dogs dance across the sky,
the Fifth World of Peace will have begun.

Ah, ho. Now we have spoken."

Thank you, Grandmothers,
for this hope and trust.
We will help the people change,
because change we must.
We will sing with the wolves
our song of tomorrow,
work to mend and heal the planet's people
and the earth its sorrow.

*To the Navajo and the Hopi, the Prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow speaks of Ancestors who will return in white bodies, but who are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again. The generation following the Flower Children are prophesied to be the ones who will see the dawning of the Fifth World of Peace.

One from 2015 shared with earthweal's open link.

Friday, March 3, 2023



Through gates of wisdom we,
most hopefully, step.
It is time for the dream of our life
to be coming true,
for the being of all that we truly are
to flower.
Why wait?
Time is fleeting, faster
by the hour.

I passed through the valley of elm and ash,
their branches entwined to form a protected path.
At the end of this path is the portal
to the land of bones.
I have the feeling
I am not alone.

Internally, I am shown,
where my journey lies.
I must cross this littered landscape,
with a seer's eyes,
find and pick up
a backbone, a wishbone,
a funny bone and
a hollow little bone*-
only the ones that are my very own.

Perched on a quaking limb,
a single prodigious egg sits in a nest.
I hear it crack,
and then my quest
is blessed.
A thousand cranes lift up, into the sky.
I am granted the gift of Wonder,
and put it in my pack.

There be spirits here,
and there is no turning back.

Raven sits before me, huddled on the path.
She speaks a single gobble-cry to me,
then turns herself into Flight
without another sound.
Her flight path has teachings in it
for who we are:
citizens of earth,
grounded, yet sky-bound.

When she lands on a topmost scrag,
she points her wing into the forest dark.
I quake, but have no choice,
my inner guide informs.
When I pass through that dark Night,
I emerge into the morning light
It is frightening:
Nothing will ever be the same again.
It is liberating:
Nothing will ever be the same again.

When Raven calls to you,
and points her feathery wing,
listen closely for the
message she will bring.

*Indigenous people believe these are the foundations of our being: backbone for strength, wishbone for dreams, funny bone for essential humor and a hollow little bone, for trust and faith in the Great Mystery.

It is also believed that all women came from the elm, all men from the ash.

I wrote this poem for Real Toads in 2015. Stumbled upon it today and am sharing it with earthweal's open link.