Monday, July 31, 2023

Giving Up the Goat


Politicians Debating Climate Science

For years, the tipping point was
comfortable years ahead,
when we'd, hopefully, be mostly dead.
Oops! My bad, for here we are,
far past the tipping, planet spinning crazily,
us lethargically, lazily,
the kaleidoscope of possible disasters randomly
spitting out storms, tornadoes, wildfires, floods,
torrential downpours, drought killing the woods,
and an Atlantic Ocean as warm as a hot tub,
whose currents are in danger of collapse.
Oh, there's the rub.

And what makes me most desperate of all?
That everyone is still living Their Best Life,
in their big houses and gigantic cars,
as if these problems were simply
a series segment on the news, Not Real,
God forbid we should wake up and feel
the out of control, topsy-turvy Now -
legislators paying glib lip service 
to how
Things Must Change, while
Nothing Does, the fossil gods
still so adored/abhorred.

It is enough to make an elderly climate activist
grow  disenchanted
with humanity, almost bored -
watching the inevitable
cliff edge we are heading toward.
(Is it ennui or catatonia, this malaise?
Help me.
Toss me a kind and hopeful phrase.)
I grow weary. I want to pull up my moat,
give up the goat, stop up my throat,
hop on a boat, (so at least I can float,)
and find a peaceful river
on some misty dawn
to sail away on,
to the heart-knell
we are

Sigh. for Brendan at Desperate Poets: 

where we contemplate the Tipping Point, which we clearly passed some time ago while summits talked and talked, heads nodding wearily, only lifting in outrage when Greta Thunberg, age fifteen, talked turkey and said What Must Not Be Uttered - the climate truth that our world is on fire.

(I intentionally used goat instead of ghost, not sure why, unless it is my own form of denial, lol.)

Heather Cox Richardson at Letters From an American wrote a wake-up piece, if ever there was one, this past week. Here is the link. Sobering, urgent stuff about the imminent collapse of Atlantic Ocean current cycles. Yet the urgency to lower emissions is still no where on the horizon, everyone is too busy mopping up towns, fighting wildfires, rebuilding infrastructure - the same entities that thought addressing climate change was "too expensive." Gah.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Elegy for the Wildlands


No copyright infringement intended
Facebook image

Mother Earth,

your clearcut slopes are sliding onto the highway.

Farther on, remaining forests burn.

The heat lays a smothering blanket across town.

Grass is yellow and crackling.

Emergency water restrictions are in effect,

food crops shriveling, rhodos

gasping their last.

A hungry displaced cougar, no where

safe to live, ate a dog at a campsite yesterday.

The creatures are hungry, and soon

we will be too.

My heart tolls sadly at how we have ravaged you,

razed the beauty of your wild lands,

hunted your beautiful creatures to extinction.

And yet life struggles on: baby orcas have been spotted;

the loons still sing softly at Loon Lake,

though algae, pollution, plastic line its its banks.

The world is hotting up, the sun shines down

on tourists blissed with summer heat,

driving frantically to and fro to get

their vacation in, ignoring the struggling earth, 

speaking in her many tongues, unheard.

Our souls know we should be better than we are.

The planet spins, we choke on our emissions

and drive on.

My heartsong is an elegy

all day long.

Slowly, and soon more quickly,

we are on the way to




I adapted a poem from 2016 for the Desperate Poets' challenge: Desperate Elegies

Friday, July 14, 2023

Nothing Like a Good Fantasy, or Desperate Times Call for Desperate Dreams


Facebook image
No copyright infringement intended 

[This was written in 2015 when i still had some hope. 

It is long but I thought we could use a smile.]

Scary Fairy Sherry breeches the holy vault

of the national legislature. A hush falls

as she swoops overhead, sprinkling magic dust

on the rotund, beefy-cheeked politicians.

They stop squabbling about more tax breaks

for the rich, to be paid for by  cutting services 

to the poor.

("Mr. Speaker, will someone please tell me, Mr. Speaker,

when the Right Honourable [Trudeau, Polievre, Singh]

will tell the Canadian people what the fuddle-duddle

is going on?")

The roars of approbation, fist-pounding on desks 

and derisive boos dies down. They fix their beady eyes, 

jowls quivering in consternation, on the small, 

green eco-warrior fluttering at the podium.

The security guards are uncertain of protocol.

They finger their holsters nervously, until

she shoots them a look and they desist.

You don't want to piss off a person 

with magical powers.

Scary Fairy Sherry hovers at the microphone.

"Ahem. This is to inform you that 

the Women's Revolution has begun. In a moment, 

I will strike you mute and motionless

long enough for the women of the world to get our

housekeeping done. We will send all soldiers home 

to open storage silos and feed the people. 

We will order all multinationals to pay taxes

and clean up their mess, reducing emissions to zero.

We will set to work all over Mother Earth, planting trees,

to protect, nurture and restore wildlife

and ecosystems. We will develop clean energy systems,

providing work and reversing the damage

oil-based energy has caused. There will

fricking be No More Fracking.

We recognize you are addicted to the oil energy model.

When you wake to a clean, green world, we will send

you all to treatment for detoxing and rehabilitation.

Do not worry. You will find there is another way to live.

All of this rehabbing of the earth will employ

every able body, for fair pay, ending poverty

and hopelessness world-wide. Every person

will have purpose and a means of sustaining

him or herself and their families. We will employ

sustainable-only use of resources. Task forces

will address restoration of land and sea.

Grandmothers will replace you in positions

of governance. We will make decisions based on

the well being of our grandchildren's grandchildren

to the seventh generation, not on greed, money or power.

And you can bet your sweet patooties

we will not be sending our pink-cheeked boys

into the desert with guns. Not gonna happen.

So you can feel, deal and heal. Or not.

We don't really care. We have alot of work to do

cleaning up your mess. Sweet dreams.

Nighty night."

Scary Fairy Sherry waves her wand.

The porky politicians topple over onto their desks

for a Hundred Year Snooze.

And the women of the world get to work.

Meant to be humorous, but the reality of my province experiencing drought, wildfire and emergency water restrictions makes me sad at the sensible solutions in this poem, which should have begun 40 years ago.  Sigh.

Sharing with Desperate Poets open link.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Desperate for Home


Cox Bay ~ Warren Rudd photo

My desperate search for peace
began at age four. Surrounded
by the unpeaceful, I learned
tranquillity at my grandma's cottage,
so quiet you could hear the metal clock
on the kitchen windowsill,
ticking and tocking
through the five small rooms.

I found and lost serenity
at intervals,
depending on who was close by,
until the need
grew so fierce, solitude
was the only way to sustain it.

Even stronger was my desire
for the sea. For years it called to me
with its siren song, drew me to it
like a murrelet to its nest,
or a grey whale to her
feeding ground. Once found
and claimed, then lost,
my whole spirit yearned
all day every day
for my return.

It took seventeen years
to come back to my heart's home,
the universe gifting me my wildest dream
not once but twice.
And now, every single morning
I wake with gratitude,
go through my days
in peacefulness, serene.
All is Enough -
no more is needed
to suffice.

for Shay's prompt at Desperate Poets: Desperate Desires. The two strongest drives of my life have been the quest for a peaceful everyday existence (difficult to manage in the life I was granted), and the strong call of the ocean that drew me out of the desert, over the mountains to the sea. I did feel desperate all those years I lived in the wrong place, until I arrived at the home of my spirit, and that questing, seeking voice inside was stilled. Home at last. I have been so lucky.

Friday, July 7, 2023

At the End, Only Earth and Sky


Water comes first, then we follow,
gasp in a big breath of air, and then we cry.
Thus we are introduced to the world
as it always was and always will be.
Water: essential, blessed,
part of our beings from our very first day.

Through the Sacred Medicine Wheel I journeyed,
dipped my toes in a magical sea,
soul thrumming with the song of the waves.
My sign, my element, my spirit's home:
Mother Ocean.

Above, the sky, the air, the vast expanse,
curving over all
the great blue bowl of aether,
underfoot, the earth, brown and humble
and mothering.

I bow to you, Sky, I sing with you, Wind,
I dance in the rain, laughing
at the great clap of thunder,
feel the rushing whoosh of wind on my face,
raindrops falling on my spirit,
cleansing me anew,
healing the riven places, washing
all negative energy away.

When I am clean,
when the Great Bowl Above grows dark,
I creep homeward,
settle beside a crackling fire,
remember the winking stars,
the great wheeling seabirds,
wonder at the beauty gracing this span of time
that is still mine.

To the earth I bow, in gratitude,
in homecoming.
It waits to receive me
when that final moment comes,
when I will become one
with All That Is.

First, there was water,
at the end
only earth and sky.

One from 2015 for the open link at Desperate Poets

I would welcome a huge rainfall now, at least a week's worth. The hedges and bushes are dying, the earth is dry all the way down, we are on third level water restrictions (though our thousands of tourists are still having their showers!) Wildfires are still burning. And rain, from all indications, is months away. Yikes.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Walking In Earth Shoes


DL114 formerly known as
Tonquin Forest

Walking in earth shoes, I do not have to
venture far to feel Mother Earth's unease:

breathing smoke from the wildfires
feeling the grass crackle underfoot
noting the parched soil under the thirsty trees

I perform a water ceremony under the wilted rhodo,
its leaves all pointed downward, reaching for
moisture no longer there. Drops from
the watering can fall on the thirsty roots
like tears. We have been on water restriction 
since early May. We are watching so much
shriveling and dying.

please hold on till fall, we whisper
but we can't promise rain will come even then.

Along the forest trail, huge swathes of ancient cedar
are gone, tall wooden walls rising on their graves.
Along the roadway, stumps shoved back into what's left;
some trees turned into ten foot trunks, with token fringe,
to make way for new hydro poles.

they call it Progress, but why so savage?
The neighbouring trees, thin and exposed,
dusty and wondering if they come next -
I feel their pain.

Still so much beauty everywhere.
I marvel:
blue skies (when the smoke clears), waves
coming endlessly in to shore, 
a new baby orca with its mama, passing by.
Hard to know that, under this same sky,

climate refugees are homeless and starving;
terrible wars are being fought; the wild ones
are burning in the flames; and on the news
tonight, a nuclear threat from Russia.
Doesn't get much more desperate than that.

Hard to watch oblivious First World ways
continue as if all is well;
so much denial, and entitlement:
annoyance at traffic interruptions -
the "inconvenience" of
forests aflame,
that closed the roads
and stopped our frantic rushing
to and fro.

The world turns and burns.
I put on my earth shoes,
find a green space
in which to feel
mixed gratitude (for all that still is)
and grief (for all we've lost
and are so swiftly losing.)
Is there a green space big enough
for this much sorrow?
Stay tuned.
I'll put my Earth Shoes on,
and try again