Monday, May 29, 2023

At the Precipice

 We are at the precipice,

in a world spinning

out of control. We're on the brink.

Extreme events, calamities keep

coming at us, faster than

we can blink, think, 

rise or sink.

On the rocky ledge, our heads swim,

looking down. When we fall, will there be

a river, in which to either

swim or drown?

Where's the bottom, when the bottom

has fallen away?

Is there enough hope left,

still, in which to pray? If so,

what shall we say? We're told

we're in a situation of grave peril.

Yet those in control have their own agenda

for their role. What's scary is, in their eyes

I see no soul.

Perhaps after the sheer drop,

there will be a landing on a kinder shore.

 It's the best that I can hope for

any more.

For Desperate Poets, where the topic is Precipice.

Field of Sorrow


They are all out there,

our furry loves - the foal, 

gone way too soon, buried

with the ball he loved so much,

his mother, Beau, the grand old mare,

who once stood between two fighting horses,

bared her teeth and bellowed

her "Enough!" She was undisputed

queen of the paddock during

her reign. Other loves

followed - beloved dogs and cats,

Jasmine, buried with her

big stuffed moose, beside her

brother Lukey (they came

and left this earth together)

and more loved horses,

so now we look across

a field of sorrow, which also

is a field of love and pain,

and the hope that one day

we will see our furry loves 


Saturday, May 27, 2023

On The Day the Towers Fell


On the day the towers fell,
North America lost its innocence
and its feeling of invincibility.

We watched them fall, on repeat,
all day, humans covered in concrete dust
stumbling with stricken, hollow eyes
across our tv screens.

Towards evening,
they began to appear,
Angels dressed in white,
wings outspread,
gently smiling
peace and hope and love
to the crowd,
who bowed their heads
and cried
at being reminded
that, even in the darkest hour,
beauty can be found.

For Carrie at The Muse, with thanks,

In the Land of Desperate Poets


In the land of desperate poets,

how desperate must one be?

So many topics to choose from,

but who's counting?

I typed the word "desperate"

into Stardreaming's search bar, and

poem after angst-riddled poem popped up.

Wild Woman has been writing

desperate poems for years.

Out in the world, extreme happenings

of every kind are being recorded

by  humans not awakened to

the urgency of a planet in distress.

People are losing their minds

and their human rights.

Animals are dying.

Animals are dying. Is that desperate


Smiles. For the Desperate Poets open link. I think I have been waiting for a site like this.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

One Might Say


One might say life served her

sunny side up, bright smile

as perennial and perky 

as spring blooms.

"Go to your room and don't come out

till you have a smile on your face,"

and the sad child kept that obsequious smile

through heartbreak, abuse, the con man

who burned down her store, that was also

her home. She kept bobbing up from disaster

like an apple in a Halloween tub. How did she do it,

one might well ask. She'll tell you the blue sky

kept her Looking Up. She'll say nature's beauty

got her through, that she walked in wonder

even through the littered wasteland 

of broken dreams.

And what of her heart? She'll tell you there was once

a big black dog, who showed her how love

was always meant to be.

For Brendan at Desperate Poets

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Through Grateful Eyes


Let me look into your mind,
the doctor said, peering
through my ear into my head.
Interesting - poke poke poke -
it's full of pockets. That's no joke.
One full of
childhood woes, another
packed with dreams. You have lived
many busy lives, it seems.

There is a black hole in the centre,
where I see you've tossed
all the stuff you're glad
is long-ago and lost.

That is wise.
Life is more beautiful
when you look through
grateful eyes.

LOL. This is what popped into my head - out of whatever pocket - when I looked at the photo.
For The Muse. And happy birthday to Shay.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Things I Could Do This Morning


I could hose the thick dust off the car,
or sweep the fallen blossoms from the path.
I could walk into town and purchase 
the things on my list. Or drive to the beach
and jockey with the thousand tourists
for parking and space.

I could vacuum under the bed
and polish the bathroom. Or dust,
as, with windows flung wide,
the dust is everywhere.

Instead, I will sit in the sun,
stunned by torpor, like a
pollen-drunk bee, and watch
the last of the blossoms fall down
from these two old
and beautiful

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Will Anyone Hear Their Cries?


The fawns creep out of the forest
in search of a gentle human
who might help.
Not far off, up in the hills,
their homes are burning.

They have no language for their distress,
but there are questions in their eyes:
where can we go?
where is  it safe
in this world of noisy humankind?

A gentlewoman holds her torch high,
proclaiming to all who might listen:
It is time to help the innocents!
Time for all of us to rise.

But will anyone
who can make real change
care to hear
the wild ones' cries?

Sigh. Well, it is hard to write pretty poems when B.C. has so many wildfires already burning, one of them in Port Alberni where my sister lives - in a valley - and has to worry about evacuating her horses on the one two-way highway out of town. Elsewhere in B.C. accelerating snow melt is causing flooding. Some towns have been evacuated in both instances. This is now happening annually. One would think leaders would be urgently legislating lowered emissions from corporations and transportation. But the economy is tied to oil, and is more important than planetary survival, it seems.  This gentle human is wearily frustrated, at this moment in time.

For Carrie at The Muse, with thanks for her hosting such a friendly, wonderful site these past years.

Friday, May 12, 2023

This Burning Land


B.C. Wildlife photo

Pain is the necessary salt
our lives require, to rub off
our rough edges, soften and
open our hearts, join us
to the struggles and striving
of other beings, of the human
and beyond-human realm.

We emerge from its depths
deepened, transformed.
We look at the world
with new eyes,
every creature, tiny or ten feet tall,
going about the daily business
of living.

Mother Earth does what she can
to keep us all alive:
she weaves her web
of interconnection,
tries to tell us that
what happens to one happens
to us all.

We are not good at listening,
so we feel the result
of our own actions
in wildfire and flood,
on a heating planet
full of carbon-emitting machines.
We chop down all the trees
that once stored carbon,
and never understand
that we have written our own future
all across
this burning land.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

I Remember Mornings


Sunnrise over the inlet

I remember mornings
when I would wake early, in time
to see scarlet wings spread across the sky
over the inlet,
mornings when my wolf-dog huffed
with impatience, waiting
for our walk on the beach.

I remember earlier mornings,
when I woke the kids with Abba on the stereo,
or by tapping the keys 
of my old Underwood,
writing another poem,
the shush-shush-shush of the sprinkler
whispering through the kitchen window,
watering the small tender sprouts
of spring.

I remember mornings, so early,
so tired, heading off to
one or the other of my jobs.
I remember boating to work
past small islands and eagles, and how
the moon would be disappearing
on my left, while the sun
was rising in the east.
I was tired, even then,
but, as always,
enraptured by the beauty.

I remember mornings
in my porch swing, sipping tea,
two dogs at my feet,
listening to the wind chimes:
one sounding like church bells,
the other bamboo, clacking,
making me think of Africa.

And now mornings find me
shaky, still tired, a bit unsteady,
but grateful to be here.
I take my tea outside,
sit in the sun,
watch the busy working world
go by, content enough
in my rocking chair,
just watching the blossoms fall,
eagles flying over,
another May unfolding its delights:
cherry blossoms, coral rhodos,
smiling people walking grinning dogs.
I wave as they
go by.

Sunday, May 7, 2023


There is a prayer in my pocket
for Alberta, where a hundred wildfires
out of control (in early May!)
are chasing people and animals
away from their habitats,

and for B.C., where rapid snow melt
and raging rivers are flooding,
so more beings will be losing
their safe place in the world.

There is a prayer in my pocket
- albeit one not full of hope -
that legislators will hear the warnings
that each year is hotter than the year before,
that all of this will not get better
without enormous change.

I keep waiting to hear the words
we need to hear
and take the actions we so need to take
- lower emissions now! -
but think I might pray for another 70 years
for those in power
to care.

There is a prayer in my pocket
for the wild ones,
who do not get a voice or a vote,
who flee the fires and floods,
in terror,
who are losing so much more
than we are,
and who have done
no wrong.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023


364 Christleton

[written in 2015, when Lori and I were in Kelowna when our uncle died.]

I come from apple orchards, and sweet-scented blossoms, from sweet pea and lilac, a canvas hammock slung under a weeping willow, wet bathing suits hung on the line, that didn’t have time to dry out before the next swim. I come from lake scent and marsh grasses, the smell of summer mornings taking me back fifty years to a little cottage on Christleton Avenue. I come from brown hills covered with wild yellow daisies, the smell of sage, songs about tumbling tumbleweed. I come from weeping willow and poplar, and the gentle lapping of baby waves against the shore, of bullrushes and horsetail, that I tried to pick apart when I was not as tall as the green stalks. I come from bike rides past old country farms, as evening falls, the meadowlark  singing its melodic song from the pasture.

I come from a cackling grandma and a twinkling grandpa, shiny dimes tucked into a tiny white envelope, to buy a popsicle and some Dubble Bubble.

I come from a small sleepy orchard town surrounded by mountains, the Big Blue Hills of my childhood, and a lake down the street where the best day was finding a log to bounce up and down on, when the waves began to dance.

I come from family visits where the stove never grew cold, pancakes the size of skillets with brown sugar on top, and strawberry shortcake served to the menfolk in serving bowls, with cackles and great hoots of laughter, Grandpa thumping the salt and pepper shakers every meal; they were never in the right place.

I come from a line of strong women and gallant, devoted men, all the beautiful aunts and uncles with the trademark round Marr eyes, so impossibly glamorous to we freckled awkward children, as the ice tinkled in the glasses, and the stories and laughter filled the happy hours. I come from a little house on Christleton Avenue that spawned generations of cacklers, and launched us all like little bouncing ships, that came and went from its shores, through the busy years, until, one by one, they came no more.

I come from dates in two-tone ’55 Chevies, with guys with slicked back duck tails, who showed up smelling of talcum powder in cars with leather upholstery. We would troll up one side of Bernard Avenue, through City Park, and down the other side, seeing and being seen, then do it all again.

I come from rose-scent and whisperings on soft summer evenings, in a small town full of rose and lilac dreams, from all the sad songs of broken promises and heartbreak, whose words would become prophecy: Blue Velvet, Mr. Lonely, Cryin’ Over You, a love of dancing in a girl who rarely got to dance once she was grown, a lover of song who slowly, over the years, forgot to sing.

When I go back to that town, I visit all the beautiful loved ones in the cemetery on the hill, where this week we will lay one more gently down, to join his parents and siblings in heaven.

I took my flock of ducklings back to this town to nest when they and the world were young and, when the fledglings had flown, I gathered the wind under my wings and made a prodigious leap across the desert, over the mountains, to the edge of the western sea, where the waves had long been calling me. 

And now I come from ocean roar and pounding waves, galloping into shore like white-maned horses, from sea and sky and scudding clouds, cry of the gull, wing of the eagle, small darting sandpipers, long-legged heron, long sandy beaches stretching to forever, forever and always, the song of the sea, waves advancing and retreating on the shores of my heart.

I am old-growth forest and morning fog, and the moo of the foghorn at Lennard Light, sunrises and sunsets, and the long lope of wolves along the shore, as dusk purples the sand and we take one last lingering look, then turn towards home.