Tuesday, November 28, 2023


What does a Wild Woman do
when the news continues to astound,
humans committing atrocities
on other humans, bombs dropping
all around,
all manner of suffering and trouble,
women and children starving
in the rubble?

We need a Kindness Revolution, she sighs,
pouring a second glass of wine,
because one doesn't do it any more.
(She knows that is a very
slippery slope. Don't worry.
She is wise.)

She turns off the news.
She would like to write a poem
that inspires hope, lifts hearts.
But she is so freaking tired.
She is old.
She has lived several ages,
truth be told,
but never one so toxic
and so cold.

It's the opposite of
 a Kindness Revolution.
But she has always
Lived In Hope,
so that stubborn flame is
flickering still.
Wild Woman believes
in evolution/revolution;
 always will.
(Give peace a chance.
War is over
if you want it.

Let's keep singing it

What we have is today:
brilliant November sunshine,
wild waves and Stellar jays,
hope and grief all mixed together,
because this is where we're at:
inclement weather.

Wild Woman is grateful:
for another generation rising -
(May they be brave!) - for dogs
with wagging tails and smiling eyes.
For Mother Earth, with her trees,
and clouds, her ever-changing skies,
struggling so valiantly to survive,
on which we're blessed
to still be here,
still dreaming,
still alive!

In all the discord,
what does a Wild Woman do?
She prays, she hopes, she dreams.
 Sometimes she cries.
She writes poems of peace
and struggles to be wise,
stretches her rubber soul
to hold both hope and sorrow,
goes to bed and
prays for a Revolution
of Human Consciousness
on the morrow.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Letting Go

I save my love for what stays:
what is close at hand - the ancient forest,
birdsong, the roar of the sea -

and dogs, looking at me with
their doggy smiles, eyes full of love
for the simplest thing: a pat,
a biscuit, some loving words. 

I let go of what wants to leave:
who turns away, becoming mist;
so many leavings along
one's path, no words of farewell,
just sudden absence; I bless them
with the gift of grace
as they go on their way.

I save my love for what stays.

The italicized lines are from the poem "I Save My Love" by Marjorie Saiser, of Wild Writing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Days That Will Not Come Again


Where there was something and suddenly isn't
- a beach, a forest, the song of the surf,
the crash of waves on shore,
sunset sinking below the horizon,
running through the wild world 
with a big black laughing dog -
absence becomes a presence
that fits into a corner of our hearts.
Heart walls expand to make room
for the memories, watered with tears,
that come, unbidden, at random moments.
There is an ache, a missing, that feels 
almost as strong as the presence did,
for we are remembering Joy
from a place of less-than-joy.
We are remembering love
from a place of loss-of-the-beloved.
We are remembering companionship
and feeling the pining of our solitary soul.

Where there was something and suddenly isn't
we have to work hard to
remember gratitude, recognize enough-ness,
look up at the sky and trail
the eagle's flight with our eyes,
seek out riversong or a place of salt and sea.
We somehow learn to make a space for sorrow
inside our aching chests,
and place our love and remembering there,
glad that we recognized joy
and fullness of soul when we had it,
though everything after has been muted,
tinted grey and sepia,
compared to those golden,
radiant, long-gone wild
wilderness days
that will never,
     will not ever
         come again.

The two italicized lines are from Naomi Shihab Nye's poem Burning the Old Year .

Sharing this at  What's Going On,  where Sumana's prompt on Wednesday is Memory / Remembering.



The small things I do to help the earth
feel so insignificant, compared to
what needs to be done - especially
when the worst corporate offenders
are doing nothing.

The poems I write - pleas sent out
into the universe (which hears them) -
do little good, when world leaders,
corporations, the offensively wealthy,
cling to capitalism, even at the price
of every other living being's survival.

And yet we keep on keeping on
because giving up is not an option,
even when
scientific voices grow more urgent,
because we love the earth, and
what we love we try to save.
And because what we save
saves us.

For  Rajani's climate series. 

A message I have written about before but it doesn't hurt to repeat it.

Monday, November 20, 2023



Chris Lowther photo

Wind whispers
through the canopy
like lake ripples
through the trees

Small leaves spiral
thick as raindrops,
pixies dancing
on the breeze

Sunlight consecrating trees -
almost I hear an organ sound:
I, pilgrim and acolyte,
the golden forest
hallowed ground

Birch bark like ancient manuscript
writ by a gnarled and pointy hand
tells tales of olden times long-gone,
bygone days upon the land

Once again, the breeze-song swells,
upon the wind a hymn of praise:
to these blessed simple days,
these days we have,
a hymn of praise.


Praise the amber sunlight in late afternoon,
burnishing the forest golden.
Praise the eagle,
swooping twice overhead.
When I called out to her, "Beautiful!"
she fluttered her wingtips at me
in response.

Praise the stately cherry trees out front,
who have shed their leaves,
going into their winter sleep,
who will burst forth
in white and tender blossoms
next spring.

Praise Brother Bear, his big paw
reaching into the river
in search of one last salmon
before his winter nap.
And praise Sister Wolf,
who is teaching her cubs
the forest trails
and how to find their hidden den.

Praise those who are caring for
the suffering, in impossible situations,
under a bomb-filled sky,
and praise those who are trying
to find a way to bring this horror
to a merciful end.
(May all killing stop. Praise be.)

Praise our peaceful day
on this side of the world,
with which we mend our tattered hearts,
so we can hold this aching world
and bear what is too heavy to lift,
because what we care about,
we try to save,
and what we save
saves us.

Praise what we can,
in this world so full of pain
and heartbreaking beauty.
May Mother Earth receive our love
and carry it on winds of change
across the sky
to silence and still
the guns and bombs,
the inhumanity
of war.


"In certain ways, writing is a form of prayer." Denise Levertov. The first poem came to me as I was walking a forest trail. I sped up, to get to my car and paper and pen before I forgot the words. The second is a praise poem, inspired by "Praise Song" by Barbara Crooker.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Heart Broken Open


How would we be to each other,
if we knew we are each one small piece
of the broken heart of the world?

This must be why we wake up aching,
why, when everything around us
is beautiful beyond reckoning,
our hearts still feel broken inside us,
because the world is hurting
and we are the ones who cause it,
and the only ones who can heal it.

Today I will stand at the edge of the sea,
next stop, Japan - such vastness.
I will count the oystercatchers on the rocks.
Maybe an eagle will perch so close
I can see its feathers, it regarding me
with its imperial eye, me humble,
passing gently so as not to disturb.

Why can we not pass this gently,
have this same regard,
for our fellow humans?
How would we be to each other,
if we knew that we each
are one small piece
of the broken heart of the world?

The idea of each of us being one small part of the broken heart of the world comes from Mark Nepo, who taught this concept at a writing workshop recently.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

This Morning, Out My Window


This morning,
out my window,
the sky is becoming its day face,
after the long, dark night.

Just so, looking up,
does my heart expand
and take a circle or two
above the trees:
joyous, expansive,
above all of the cacophony
of humans being less
than we should be to each other.

My heart, a wise old owl,
perched on a cedar bough;
a raven with its gobble-cry;
a heron, skinny matron,
purse clutched under her wing.

The heavy stones in my heart
called grief,
called war,
the human-caused suffering
of all beings,
the accelerating climate crisis,
(ignored, because we are distracted
by the bombing):
I lay them down in the River of Solitude,
then walk on to the sea:
take refuge in
the eternal waves
that will be here long after
you and me.

My wish: that the great sky above
cover the entire globe
with peace; where
no bombs fall,
and all who suffer
find the healing, help and hope
they need.

A big wish. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023



Me and Pup - the Dog of Joy
(He was jumping for a treat!)

The sky, ever-changing in colour and mood,
in sun, in starshine, in midnight moons.
The river wild, remembering my old
wolf-dog's eyes looking helplessly at me
as the current caught him,
and he started drifting away,
me getting ready to
plunge in after him, till an outcropping 
caught him, returning him to me.
For I have loved him best
in this world.

I have loved mornings, the certain smell
at the farm that takes me back to
summer mornings as a child; and that
golden time in late afternoon, when 
the light changes and turns the trees
to amber; and that smell - petrichor -
just before the first drops of rain,
when once more I am back in childhood,
listening to a thunderstorm
in the back room of the cottage
on Christleton Avenue
with my Grandma.

Sunrises and sunsets, which I miss 
in my elder years, because I am always
still tired, when I wake up, and
too tired at day's end.
But I remember, I remember, skies
that looked like the floor of heaven,
me sitting on a log, wondering
if the one I loved loved me.
He didn't, but my wolf-dog did;
he showed me how love was
meant to be.

I love tiny purple crocuses 
out on the lawn, brave forerunners,
as spring tiptoes in,
just waiting to spread her skirts
of white blossoms across 
the two old cherry trees
in the yard. I love summers,
sitting out front in the sun, and rocking,
watching the world walking by
with its children and dogs and canes.
I love when they wave and I wave back.
I love the big window through which
I watch the changing skies and seasons.
Sometimes an eagle swoops past,
sometimes a skinny heron
perches in a topmost tree.

I love that last Valentine's Day
I woke up to discover
someone unknown had taped small hearts
all across  the front windows - love,
to make a stranger smile.
I love the orange gerberas
on my desk, with their black eyes,
brightening this rainy day
as I ponder the winter ahead
with its indoor comforts.

I love ancient old growth: thick weathered
trunks and old man's beard,
moss and lichen,
and feeling in the forest like I once did
long ago at morning mass:
silent, peaceful,
I love long sandy shores stretching
to forever, and the way my wolf dog and I 
walked them, wildly, joyously
for years; never again
would I feel so whole, so free,
after he was gone from me.

I love the beauty of the world,
the true, good hearts of animals, and
what is best in humanity,
when people bring their open hearts
to helping others
in times of trouble.
Times when we puny humans
reach deep within,
and connect with something deeper,
something bigger
than ourselves
that is called Love.

So much love keeps my heart
full to the brim
on any given day,
and I know that
I have been very lucky
in this life; I have been
gifted and blessed
in every single way.

For Mary's prompt at What's Going On? LOVE. What the world needs now. 

Between Here and There


This poem is a bridge between here and there,
between trouble and peace. I write to
find my way to what lies beneath:
the bigger story in which my small
human journey is contained.

I didn't mean to carry so much:
the heavy lift of helping others
carry their own burdens;
the weight of a world in freefall:
people at war with each other,
at war with the planet itself.
One grows old
before we learn to travel light.

My head wakes every morning
to, first, the weather, what kind of day
it is, indoors or walking weather.
Then the news rushes in, the horrors
that happened overnight while 
I was sleeping; the insane antics 
of people wanting to govern the world
who are unable to govern themselves.

My poems are an effort to sweep the path,
make a clear space in my thoughts, the better to
breathe in the peace of Mother Ocean,
walk in the greenly Sister Forest, eyes
following the flight of birds above,
in the clear air - the most fortunate of beings,
who do not know of war, who are content
with simply Being.

My teachers: waves, the wild ones, trees.
A simplicity that brings me to my knees.

A Wild Writing poem sparked by Mark Nepo's unpublished poem "At Gate 3, in August." The italicized lines are his.

How to Begin


Start with the dust on top of the bookshelves:
neglected for a time, one thing you can do
to make today better. Remember that you are
only one human. Forgive yourself for
not being able to fix a broken world.
But don't forget to add whatever light you can
to the living of your days and
what you offer to others. Wonder about
what a green and growing peaceful earth
would feel like. Know that, at least
in your one small yard, your silent rooms,
you can accomplish

A Wild Writing offering sparked by Catherine Abbey Hodges' poem "How to Begin."

Friday, November 10, 2023

Look For the Helpers


"Look for the helpers," a wise grandmother
once said. "In every disaster and calamity,
there they are, calm and kind,
hands reaching out,
doing what they can. No thought
of race or difference, just one human
being there for another."

Sometimes nothing can be done, when
disaster is beyond the scope of human
reckoning. But even then, hands and hearts
reach out, to soothe, to comfort, to hear
a whispered plea for a hand to hold.
All quiet healing is welcome.

In these times, heart heavy,
I walk soft-footed
on the earth.
I speak more gently.
I pray to deer and rabbit,
horse and dog,
to teach we humans
how to heal:
each other,
and a world in pain.

Inspired by Joseph Fasano's poem "The Healers". The italicized lines are his.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

DREAMING IN GREEN (G is for Giraffe)


What are these walls and floors
where nothing grows?
What are these fences wrapped around us
keeping us from each other,
one on one,
when my Mama wants
to teach me how to run?

My Mama tells me stories of the savannah:
grasslands, where all my cousins run and play,
tall trees to nibble on,
an open sky...
Why are we not there, too?
I wonder why.

I love my Mama, and I love the sky,
but I need trees and grasses,
freedom I have never 
felt or seen,
no fences, lots of grass,
and so, when I dream,
in my wooden stall
at night,
my dreams are green.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the gold standard for assessing endangerment, has found that giraffes are “vulnerable,” meaning they face a “high risk” of extinction in the wild. And for some of the nine subspecies, this risk is imminent. As of 2020, there were at least 579 captive giraffe at 103 zoos throughout North America and more than 800 in European zoos. Their lives are lengthened slightly by incarceration, but I am pretty sure they would prefer to run free on the savannah.

for Rajani's climate crisis series.   All the wild ones are feeling the impact of accelerating climate change.

Walking in Earth Shoes

Warren Rudd photo

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 the rains come, we whisper

but we can't promise rain will come.
It is still warm and sunny in November.
Along the forest trail, huge swathes
of ancient cedar are gone, tall wooden walls
of housing rising on their graves.
Along the roadway, stumps are shoved
back into what's left; some trees turned into
ten foot trunks, with token fringe,
topped and limbed to make way
for new hydro lines above.

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.

But, still, there is so much beauty everywhere.
I marvel: blue skies, waves
surging endlessly in to shore, 
a new baby orca with its mama, passing by.

Hard to know that, under this same sky,

climate refugees are on the move;
and now civilians, caught in the latest war,
mourn their loved ones, sobbing and desperate,
on our tv screens. We have not learned
to live together peacefully on this earth,
seeing "Other" instead of "Us".
Why is that so hard, when we all have
beating hearts that love to live?

So 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. Denial that the cost 
of capitalism is coming due.

The planet turns and burns,
and countries bomb each other.
It is grievous to have a human heart
in a world at war, where
people have forgotten that
the natural world is dying, too.

I put my earth shoes on,
find a green space in which to feel
mixed gratitude (for all that 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


for my prompt at What's Going On? Walking in Earth Shoes, which will post at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.

I wrote this poem in summer when the fires were burning all over the province. Some are still burning, but the situation has impoved greatly. The fall rains  have just begun. I updated the poem to include this latest terrible war - so much suffering and death. My heart is having trouble holding all of it. Thank heaven for the forest and the beach! They save me. And they are asking us to save them in return.  Peace and light, my friends, our antidote in dark times.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Now and Then


Then, when you and I and the world
were young, the music was everything.
There they are, so young and alive,
riding the wave of their music
into the future. There we were,
back when we still dreamed of love,
before it hurt so much we gave it instead
to small children and dogs.

There are the ones still here: aging, grizzled,
with wise eyes, and here we are, aging too,
our memories reaching back to golden years
when music was the backdrop of our lives,
and all our dreams were sailing ships,
luring us from shore.

Saturday, November 4, 2023




Take this beautiful morning,
this November sunshine,
this blue-sky day, with the song
of a thousand seabirds,
wheeling and circling
at the edge of the sea.

Take the eagle's cry,
from the top of the cedar,
as he surveys his kingdom.
Take the heron,
gliding past my window,
looking like a skinny matron,
purse clutched under
her wing.

Take the waves, rolling in like
white-maned horses, wave upon wave,
day after day - our own glimpse
of Eternity.

Take this moment, peaceful,
crisis-free, in the places
where you are;
breathe deep the ordinary, when
so much in this world is no longer
routine. Feel the peace
of nothing-going-on.
Let your prayers be prayers
of gratitude. May your tears
bless those living through
apocalyptic times.
(Our turn will come.)

Take this poem which
I offer you with open hands.
Take its wish that you
and all you love 
be blessed. Take my dream
of a green and flourishing earth.
Maybe if we share it,
some green tendrils
will begin to grow.

Take a break from the terrible
and disheartening news.
Let's walk our peace into the world,
step out into our front yards.
Let's lift our arms to
the cloud-dotted blue above,
the trees breathing with us in tandem,
such generous and benevolent beings.
Take this ordinary morning
into your heart and let it live there
all day long.
Take this poem,
like a prayer of peace,
into your very being.
Let it sing.

Cox Bay, Tofino, British Columbia

Today we peace bloggers once again send out our prayers for peace, in a world where bombs are falling. We find ourselves living in a world of "Other", instead of a world of "Us". Valarie Kaur reminds us to See No Stranger. She calls for a revolution of the heart. This resonates with me.

This year Mimi Lenox is asking us to contemplate the transforming power of walking in peace - being peace. This is more challenging than usual right now, where division is everywhere, and tensions are rising across the globe.

This poem was written before the latest war began. I offer it as a branch of the peace we all want. It is hard to find the words, even for someone who has written millions of words in her lifetime. We are taking too long to evolve. Yet somehow we have to hold onto hope that humankind can learn to live the ways of peace.

Thank you, Mimi Lenox at Blogblast for Peace, for once again sending our prayers for peace across the globe. We need it more every year! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023



Maybe you find yourself heartsick, grief a lump
in your chest, and you do a checkup: health reasonable,
home peaceful, some food in the fridge. Then you
expand the circle: one son in a nursing home,
post-stroke, one daughter struggling to keep
her head above water, working too many jobs.

Then, wider still, and yes, here it is: bombs falling,
civilians suffering: innocent Israelis attacked
by terrorists and brutally slaughtered; desperate
Palestinian civilians living the hell of bombs
dropping, uncared for by their own government.
So much hatred, so much suffering, 
yet the bottom line: civilians, just people,
suffering, dying, starving, displaced.

One grows silent, not knowing  what to say,
for fear of angering one side or the other,
hearing and understanding the suffering
of both. And then being called out
for being wordless, when one is expected
to take a side, and one's "side" is humanity,
so often at the mercy of its leaders, including
here in North America.

A sick feeling that all is not well with the world:
anti-Semitism rising, anti-Muslim sentiment
rising, right-wing, trump cult, versus left wing
keepers of Democracy - everyone seen as Other, not as Us.
How to move forward in the world? Does it matter
if I clean the house or let the dust gather?
Does it help if I send some cash to my son
or a bag of dog kibble to my daughter? Does it help
when so many humans (and dogs)
are without food and water and the sky
is raining bombs?

Start with what you love, the poet said, so 
I go to the beach and watch the waves rolling in
under a blue sky, surfers riding the crests joyously,
happy dogs frolicking on the sand. I come home
to my peaceful rooms and remember
to be grateful. But I never forget that,
across the sea, bombs are falling,
a living hell for all in the right place but
at the wrong time. Knowing that,
even here, even now, as far away as North America,
things can always get worse.

Inspired by "Start With What You Love" by Laurie Wagner of Wild Writing.