The Traveler Series


Kids, on this page, I have gathered all of my Traveler poems to date. This series began with the Soul Card Journey I embarked upon, as described below. And from time to time, other Traveler poems appear, and I have added them to this series. I plan to gather them together in a slim volume soon....Meanwhile, I wanted to gather them together in one spot, as they have recorded  a rather intriguing journey, through the past few years, including the skirting of the possibility of the journey being ended rather abruptly, which thankfully did not come to pass..

In April, 2011, Elizabeth Crawford of Soul's Music embarked upon a Soul Card Journey, writing to the beautiful art work of   Deborah Koff-Chapin, and I hopped on board. Every day, Elizabeth posted one of Deborah's beautiful cards, and then we each wrote to whatever the work inspired in us. That was the most amazing month as, each morning, I would look at the card, start typing, and the poems simply wrote themselves, as if I were taking dictation. It was a fantastic experience.

[All of the Soul Cards in this series  created by Deborah Koff-Chapin
of Used with the artist's permission.]

Day One
Wild Woman as Fool

The Wild Woman
has been a fool
her whole life.

Class clown,
prone to highly embarrassing
of Not Knowing How To Be,
it took so long
to discover
who she really was.

She dated Impossible Men.
She gave away her money,
her heart, her energy,  her time
to the bottomless pit
of living
and the needs  of others,
which seemed
much more pressing
than her own.

Now she has nothing left,
but her heart and her soul,
her fatigue, her life's wisdom
and her unstoppable cackle,
and, at this well,
rich and soul-quenching,
she drinks

Day Two
Setting Out

Setting out, all I need
is my kit bag of memories,
and a high, ready heart
for the road ahead.
I’ve been traveling
for such a long time,
and yet keep arriving
at the beginning.
I take my walking stick,
for balance and comfort,
and wide open eyes
for gazing at
the beauty of this world.

Day Three
The Sleeper, Before She Wakes

There is a face peering 'neath
tree branches
at the Sleeper,
who is being tenderly guarded
by her companion,
a creature  of the wild.

The wind murmurs a lullaby,
low and keening.
The last leaf rustles,
and gently falls.

It is a journey.
It is all a journey.

Rest softly, Sleeper,
the better to walk on
when morning comes

Day Four
Dark and Light

Light and dark, the two sides
of the inner voyager:
striving always towards the light,
she still remembers
moments of weakness,
of darkness and despair,
times when she was so much less
than she  should or could
have been.

At some point,
she lifts this dark companion
onto her back.
It weighs her down,
yet can't be left behind.
There are messages and teachings
she must  embody.
She must carry
the weight of this lifetime
until the end
of the journey.
Even so, with the  added weight
of all of the failures,
the embarrassments,
the imperfections,
the shortcomings,
the stumbling,
the flailing, the falling,
and the rising again,
with all  the stopping
and the starting out,
the wayfarer still arrives
at this  leg of the journey,
more or less on time.

Ahead lies
the long unknown path
leading to the anteroom
of her final destination.

A little late,
a little the worse for wear,
but with an indomitable
and undefeated spirit,
she continues on,
knowing she gave it all she had,
can't do it over,
can't do it better,
did the best she could.

Day Five
An Imperfect Beauty

Earth Mother gives birth to perfect beauty,
then has to watch,
with a mother's pain,
as the beauty fractures,
is raped and pillaged,
desecrated, battered, ravaged,
in such distress
it begins to self-destruct
Forests taken away in trucks,
hillsides weeping rain and mud,
wild animals searching for safe habitat
that can no longer be found.

and chaos

Yet still, every morning, no matter what,
her child's beauty keeps shining through
her many wounds.
The promise is there,
of a peaceful and balanced  world.
She is asking for help
from every passing traveler,
help to bind up her wounds,
and help to ease
her pain.

Day Six
Traveler on the Path

The traveler begins her journey half-hidden,
in retreat from all that has
caused her harm.

The journey is to step forward
out of the fog into the
bright light of the morning,
to see all that
surrounds her,
is still waiting for her,
to fear nothing, within or without,
to make one's way along the path
with open eyes, and a heart
ready for the joyous discovery
of a waiting

Day Seven
Mother and Daughter

Your path entwined with mine,
from birth to death and beyond,
legacy of mother to daughter,
through all the years
of time.
Your path branched off from mine
for a time, as you tried your wings.
But, in the fullness of seasons and cycles,
looped back, reconnected,
checked back in.
Now we walk parallel paths
on the same soul journey.
We speak the same language.
We belong to the same tribe.

Have I told you lately
how proud I am of you?
Told you that I love you
and will do so through all the years
of time?

Day Eight
Breaking Free

Breaking out of her shell,
the traveler is ready
to meet life head-on,
to state her terms,
own her own journey,
take the
Next Step.

It is time.
She has been waiting
for too long.
This is the moment.
There is no more time
to waste.

Day Nine
Traveling While Standing Still

Our traveler’s roots go down
deeply into the earth,
fastened firmly there
like her sisters, the trees.
Like them,
she knows how to endure.
Like them,
she nurtures life,
with strength sheltering those
in need of shelter,
feeding those who arrive
needing food,
giving rest to life’s
many wayfarers.
As she makes her way,
she stops often
to rest beneath friendly branches,
and to listen to
the music of
the singing trees.

Like her sisters, the trees,
she often finds herself
traveling the farthest
when she’s standing
in one place.

Day Ten

Traveler makes her way
as if she, alone,
is determining her journey.
Yet, all the while,
she is being
guided and protected.
Often, she recognizes
she is being led, supported, assisted,
by a force much greater than

Often, she realizes
she is walking through a landscape
much bigger than the landscape
that we see.

Day Eleven
Holding Up the Sky

"Women hold up half the sky." Chinese proverb

Our traveler is tired,
from holding up the sky,
keeping it from toppling
on her head.
It has taken much effort
to claim her right
to stand on her small portion
of the earth.
She is tired from carrying
her load for such a long time.
But she remembers when once
she was strong and brave and joyous,
when she stood holding a tall staff
on a cliff at the edge of the sea,
wind and rain swirling her cloak
and her long, wild hair around her-
a time when the horizon
was so far, so open, so spacious,
her life had no limits.
Now, our traveler carries a walking stick,
and, sometimes, she hobbles
on legs that no longer work.
Still, each day she never fails
to lift her eyes to the horizon,
for she knows the journey
is not yet over.
There are many miles yet to go,
still learning and teaching to be done.

And always, always,
there is the call of the sea
on that wild shore
of her heart’s home,
living within her
like a promised land.

Day Twelve
The Last Star of the Morning

Traveler walks like a moving tree,
like a wind-whisper, singing,”
like the breath of dawn.
Traveler is a part of the landscape;
she carries with her
a corner of the sky.
Traveler rises with the morning sun.
She is always walking towards
the next sunset.

There is the last star of morning
on her shoulder.
She wears the first star
of evening
in her hair.

The moon is her mistress,
a songbird flies from branch  to branch
beside her, and a
wolf-shadow companions
her every step.

Day Thirteen

Traveler lives in many layers:
skeleton woman, outer appearance,
aura, energy, the tactile senses.
She journeys through this world
from the inside out,
carrying all she has learned
in some interior chamber.

Her inner Wild Woman
knows far more than she does.
She points the way;
she is her own True North.
Wild Woman is always
singing through her bones

Day Fourteen
The Dark Knight of the Soul Journey

Traveler encounters a Dark Knight
on her journey of seeking
White Knights, Blue Skies
and Questing Hearts.
With outstretched hand,
he invites her closer.
Somehow she fails to see
the sharpened sabre
in his other hand.
Her instinct warns her: this way lies danger.
But his honeyed words convince her
to ignore her inner voice.
Hopefully, she steps up
and accepts his hand.
She encounters mortal wounds, thus,
not once, but more than once,
for the teaching is repeated
until the lesson is learned.

Traveler resumes her journey
wiser, and alone,
until the best and most devoted
companion of her life,
a wise, black wolf,
appears to dog her steps
and keep her from all harm.

Day Fifteen
Divided Spirit

On her journey, Traveler had to
heal the wound that divided her spirit.
Loving people, yet she had been harmed
by people.
She put up barriers
around her heart.
She lived like a hermit
in a cave for years,
trying to stay safe.
Her spirit froze, perched on the edge of life,
and afraid to leap.
Good people approached her
on the pathway.
They watered her soul
with kindness,
tended her gently,
raveled together the torn seams
of her heart,
stitched them up,
helped her to heal.
Traveler resumed her journey
with a light and joyous heart,
with hope, with a song to sing
tucked in her back pocket.

She stepped lightly on the earth,
and then, finally, near sundown,
began to dance.

Day Sixteen
A Heavy Load

Some days the load Traveler carries
is as high as her head,
the path pitches steeply before her;
her strength falters and the worm of doubt
creeps in: “There is no way
I can possibly go on.”
At those times, Traveler needs to stop a while
beside a rippling stream,
listen to water trickling over rocks,
raise her vision beyond the journey
and the heavy load,
to the horizon,
where eagles soar the heavens,
where the vastness of the sky
erases all but glory from her mind;
to allow the sighing trees to breathe into her
their deep peacefulness,
and renew her strength.

After a time, she is then able to
lift her load and resume the path,
knowing it is leading her
exactly where
she is meant to go,
knowing there will be rest and ease
at the end of this next hard segment
of the trail.

Day 17

Traveler sometimes circles and circles
the labyrinth of the mind,
worrying all that is there
like a dog with a bone
he is tired of chewing
but cannot let go.
She has learned that
the difficulty will remain,
whether she stresses about it or not,
so now she just lets it be.
Sometimes she circles
around and around
the same pathways
and comes back
where she started.
Sometimes she travels the farthest
by standing still.
Sometimes she covers
many miles in a single day.
And sometimes she stops for a while
and simply admires the view.
Sometimes she takes the long view,
knowing something larger than ourselves
is going on,
as if a huge Celestial Eye
is watching over her,
and will not let her fall.

But sometimes she looks through
the close-up view finder,
to appreciate and enjoy
the plentiful, miraculous,
beneficent small gifts of each day. 

Day 18
On Wonder

For so long, she had only half a heart,
her life, her self, undefined, amorphous,
seeking like a blind thing
to gain some purchase on firm ground.
It is such a long journey
for an inch-long kangaroo
to make it all the way up
into his mother’s pouch,
and then back up again and out,
leaping about on its
directionless legs.
Traveler finally found a place
to plant her feet.
They have carried her a long way, now,
so far her knees are buckling.
She leans more heavily on her staff.
But that sky, the beauty of it,
keeps drawing her forward.

Today she saw the most perfect cloud
of her 64 years.
Remarkable! That wonder increases with age,
that nothing, ever,
gets old.

Day 19
Traveler Sits By the Well

Traveler’s arms have tenderly cradled
babies and lovers,
have nurtured life, have comforted
and have set free,
holding close then letting go.
Life is a long series of releasing:
those one loves,
those one cannot keep.
Hopes and dreams slowly fall away,
transmute into something else:
this life, the daily small miracles,
and the wonder all around us.
At some point, Traveler has learned
to love best
this strange, odd lump that is her life,
turning and turning it,
viewing it from every outlandish angle,
checking out the spots where it shines,
rubbing others that still need some polish.
At the end of this journey, she will say goodbye
even to this: all that has been, for good or ill,
all the heartbreak, all the cackling laughter,
all the hard and satisfying work,
all the holding on, the letting go,
the gains and losses,
farewell to the forests,
and the deep blue skies,
to the mountains and the moon,
to sunrises and sunsets
beautiful enough to break your heart.
All will be gone.
No, she will be gone, incomprehensibly,
no more turning and turning.

But, till then, Traveler sits by the well
and drinks deeply.
She drinks her fill.

Day 20
Traveler By the Sea

Traveler comes from the sea.
Even when she is away from it,
its siren song calls to her,
courses through her heart,
ebbing and flowing
like her bloodstream.
It replenishes her spirit,
her stores of peace,
the susurration of the tide
washing through her,
through her ears, her brain, her being,
until she is as calm as the lull between waves,
as strong and silent as the smooth stones
scattered along the ocean’s shore,
as patient as the sand dollar
that spins its house
from the sand and grit around it
and caries it within.
On shore, there be fire,
the fire of life.
It burns and it beckons.
She must surrender to its danger,
for fire is her teacher,
and no one can escape
its painful lessons.
And then there is earth,
its beauty a banquet
to which she is an invited guest.
There is the vastness of the air,
the crooning song of the west wind,
wooing her wild spirit,
always calling her away
from wherever she has put down roots.
In these four elements, she houses
the sum of her being,
anchors it and gives it wings.
Watch her.
She is coming out of the sea, now,
she is rising.
There is a light beckoning her
on the path ahead
and she is trusting it
to guide her way.

She gazes one more time at he sea,
and then turns away.
She loves it,
but she must leave it,
for she is traveling,
always traveling,
and travelers cant stand still.

Day 21
Skybird’s Song

Traveler falters on the path.
She is wounded.
Her wolf companion has left her side,
and her hand is empty when it moves
to touch his head.
It is a blow,
a hole torn in the fabric of her living.
But soon she hears a skybird’s song.
It mends and weaves
the sore place in her heart,
and bids her resume her journey,
encourages her from low branches
till she gets up and walks again.

She follows that bird
the whole day long.

Day 22

It took Traveler a long time
to find her voice.
Time after time, she was silenced,
oppressed, shouted down,
pressed into smaller and smaller
from which she would eventually
have to break free, one after another,
in order to survive.
Each time, afterwards, she retreated
into a cocoon of safety,
to recover and gain strength
in order to continue traveling.

Finally, she grew so tired of this pattern
that she gave one loud last
uncompromising primal scream:
“No More!”
After that, her life remained her own.
She journeyed where she pleased,
in peace, unaccompanied and, thus,

Day 23
The Next Step

Traveler curls into a fetal ball.
Too heavy a load, legs faltering and weak,
long, hard road between here and rest.

When the path looks long,
and the direction remains unclear,
just take
the next step.

Day 24
Gift From the Sun

He came to Traveler like a gift from the sun,
sunny laughing baby with gentle heart
and innocent eyes.
Schizophrenia struck him down at seventeen,
and for two decades, he struggled to survive,
to adapt to his altered and fractured reality.
Traveler walked beside him
down many midnight streets
streaked with raindrop tears,
the endless darkness ahead unknowable
and, thankfully, unseen.
She hung onto the other end of the phone
during hundreds, no, thousands,
of conversations, as he struggled to decide
whether he could make it through
one more stormy, lonely, desperate night.
She became still and strong, like an oak tree,
to give him shelter, like an anchor,
to tether him to the earth,
when he would blow away like a scudding cloud
across the tortured universe of his mind.
On the other side of this battle,
he emerged, deciding to stay,
and thanked her for always holding on
to that sunny child, that gentle heart inside him,
for never letting go,
for never turning away,
for seeing him, still,
the boy that he was
inside the  large suffering body
of the man.
In the end, they decided
that the illness, the suffering,
 had brought them gifts:
it taught them unconditional love, acceptance,
Being There, speaking from the heart,
Being Real.
It taught them that What Is
Is What Is, and is okay.

It was their souls’ path, his and hers,
their journey to make,
to walk this portion of the highway

Day 25

Song of the Sea

Perched on a cliff, above the sea,
Traveler communes with the midnight moon.
Bioluminescence outlines both sea and shore
with a magical radiance
she has never seen before.
Traveler basks there for a time,
feeling an inner glow,
seaspray welcome on her face
as breakers crash and churn
against the blackened rocks below.

Though she must turn away and leave
the sea she loves behind,
she carries its song within,
its waves advancing and retreating
forever in her mind.

Day 26
Song of the Eagle

Song of the western sea,
susurration of the waves, breaking, breaking,
smell of salt, seaspray in her face,
Traveler follows the pierced cry
of the eagle,
its shadow falling across
the long, empty beach which stretches
before her to Forever.
He rides the air currents,
wind-surfing the skies,
eyes alert and penetrating,
seeing vastness as wide as the ocean,
and minutiae small as the smallest mouse
skittering across the sand
and under a log.
Betimes, he swoops down to the water,
rising with a salmon in his talons.
he is a symbol of freedom, of flight,
of Rising Above, transcending,
reaching for heights.
He is lord of all he surveys,
intimidated by nothing.
Where he lands, broad-chested and fierce of eye,
smaller birds and creatures back away.
He appears where there is pain,
to remind us that suffering is finite.
He appears where there is Death,
to remind us the soul travels on,
when it slips free of its body.
He appears to give the Traveler hope,
and inspiration for the journey.

To rest, he alights on a scrag’s
topmost branch,
and surveys the morning.
His eyes meet Traveler’s, below.
Slowly, he raises a wing,
and drops one lone feather
down to her,
a gift to let her know
she is worthy.

Day 27
Blue Sky Woman

She is Blue Sky Woman,
who has walked around her whole life,
head back, gazing at the sky.
Sky Traveler,
so many miles she has wandered
under the beauty
of this celestial blanket.
Star Dreamer, she asks her questions
of the stars,
and, when they’re silent,
she directs her attention
to the moon.
A white Dove of Peace flies alongside
as she journeys,
for she wants no disharmony
anywhere near her person.
Her step lilts, and she sings
as she travels, for a hopeful heart
rides along in her breast pocket.

That blue sky has carried her
a long way, first thing
she sees in the morning,
last thing she sees at night:
so much beauty, mystery and wonder
to be found
in decoding
the transubstantiation of the clouds.

Day 28
Earth Mother

In her day, Traveler was as fertile
as Mother Earth, giving life
to four small voyagers,
who grew like saplings
off her sturdy trunk.
She fed them with laughter
and snippets of moon (for wonder),
and soon they grew beyond her,
reaching for an infinity of sky.
Now Traveler reflects and remembers,
basking in the glory
of their exuberant flowering.

Day 29
Traveler Holds the Moon

Traveler wants to hold life to her
like a huge buttery yellow moon.
She wants to sip summer
out of a periwinkle blue cup,
and listen to frogs serenade
every evening beside the pond,
in a place where winter never comes.
Traveler wants to roll downhill
with six tumbling golden puppies,
to watch babies smile,
and old couples hold hands.
She wants to watch the sun go down beside the sea
for six thousand more spectacular sunsets,
and wake to watch the sun
peep up over the hill
for six thousand and one more
hopeful mornings.

The older she gets,
the farther she walks,
the more she wants to hold close
all that is swiftly and silently,
slowly slipping away.

Day 29-2

The haunting voices of the Old Ones
sometimes calls to her
from strange and owl-filled forests,
dripping branches playing timpani
on the canopy,
the ancient trees singing to her
like a last weary sigh.

Day 30

Water From the Well

Traveler walks through the woods
carrying water from the well,
with which to give drink and sustenance
to other wayfarers.
She has a kind smile.
She gathers everyone in.
She loves people.
Then she retreats to her cave
for replenishment,
where solitude and silence
are her best friends.
Traveler needs trees and water,
in whatever configurations,
in order to live.
She can crowd herself into
the tiniest treehouse
the better to savor the singing etudes
of the forest and the larking, joyous
perambulations of the river’s song.
Traveler is now coming
to the end of this journey.
Another pathway beckons
as the morrow dawns.

She is all filled with wonder
at the passage she has made.
She knows now that she is not alone,
that Beings are guiding her every footstep
from the Great Beyond.

Kids, this was the most amazing journey. I hopped on board Elizabeth Crawford"s Soul Card journey  without thinking much about it. Little did I know, it was right on time. Each morning, I awakened excited to see what card was posted for that day. Each morning, I took one look, began typing and the words came like I was taking dictation - they came from Somewhere Else. Also from deep within, where they have been lurking for a long, lonely time. The journey was remarkable, with signs and affirmations, and the importance of seemingly chance connections that are not chance at all, but meant. I am in awe, here, folks. And still Traveling!

Below I have added some other Traveler poems that have popped up over the last couple of years.

Traveling Light was written before I knew I was writing Traveler poems - in 2010. The first of the Traveler series.

October 3, 2010

cosmic voyager,
I travel light.

On the blue sky
and the morning star
I set my sights.

I surf the day  for windsong
and navigate the sky.
All I need
is what life gave me
to get me by.

In my kit bag
there are  midnight moons
and morning songs.
Where a thousand 
sunlit seas are, there 
I belong.

There are beaches
to infinity,
and far beyond.
In my world is peace
and silence,
or my heart 

There is dreaming 
there's what we do
to get us by.
So all I need
is a steady heart
and a clear sky.

I'm living  days of trial,
days of sorrow,
and days of ease.
Like the tall 
dancing trees,
I am shedding leaves.
My soul is past 
its autumn.
The cold is near.
And everything
that ever was
has never been
more dear.

I'm a solitary vagabond
who never  leaves home,
on a journey of the heart
I thought I'd put into
a poem.

I set my course by the Milky Way,
sprinkled with  cosmic dust.
In the beauty of the universe
I place my trust.

I soar the days  with eagles
and at day's end,
there's a counting up of blessings,
of grace, of friends.

I'm in a little acorn boat
and bobbing on the wave.
In this life I gave a lot.
I received more than 
I gave.

The Icy Slough
January 2, 2011

The slough of despond
is lined with dead bull-rushes
and cattails,
broken stalks poking through
the ice that covers the pond,
thick frost etching
every leaf

Does every heart visit it in winter
to look with the same
deadened eyes
upon a vista of
nothing living?

how does it remember,
in those times,
that spring will come again,
when no birds sing and chirp
in the winter garden?

you have choices:
one can trudge right through,
sinking into the sludge
with mud-filled boots
that get caught fast
and will
never rise again,

or one can go around
by the marked pathways
where others have trodden,
signposts pointing the way,
to wait for
a better day.

one can visit briefly,
then turn one's back
and search for a sunnier slope.
what makes the difference
between the one who puts
her head in the oven
and the one who hangs
grimly on
to hope?

whatever it is,
please believe me
when I tell you
that despondence
is a temporary station.
take the next turning
you come to and believe,
for winter is short
in duration.

Weary Traveler,
take the path we've left
behind for you.
There lies
a beautiful valley
on the other side
of the slough.

May 1, 2011

Traveler remembers
an evening at the beach
years ago,
when the entire sky, filled with
pink puffballs of cloud,
looked exactly as
the floor of Heaven
must appear.

Almost, she could hear
angel choirs.
she listened to her heart,
which was lonely, back then,
with love,
with no one
to give it to.

She thought of
the one she loved
who did not love her.
She thought of a lifetime,
so much of it
spent alone.

In the end,
it's her love of the sea
and a black wolf who loved her
that made
come right.

Spring Solstice 
May 15, 2011

For some time, now,
Traveler has been
watching the days lengthen,
welcoming the
extra light,
morning and evening,
behind her
the difficult winter,
which has birthed
the beginning
of her next journey.

Now comes
the putting away
of the old
the welcoming
of the new.

Now comes
increased ease,
and Possibility.

What gestated
all winter,
in her tears,
now brings
to fruition
all that was
making its
difficult passage.

sets aside
what no longer
serves her.
She prepares
with hope
and relief
for  renewal,
a lightening
of spirit.

She flows
with the emergence
of a new cycle
with trust,
with grace,
and enormous
knowing that
all is
as it
should be,
a time of
letting go,
a time of
stripping down,
a time of
being true
to one's own spirit
and its needs.

Traveler by the River
May 16, 2011

Traveler has not yet
finished traveling.

She is as weary
as the path is long.

She'd like to
sit on the soft moss
at the base of this tree
beside the river,
and simply listen
to the water's

But that is not the
way of

There might be
around the next bend
she needs to see.

There may be some truth
that she has yet to learn.

Hoping there
is time, yet,
before nightfall,
she hoists her pack
once more,
journeys on.

May 24, 2011

is packing her kit bag
with gifts and necessities.
She is readying her walking stick,
and calculating
how many books
to carry along.

She has been
putting off this trip
for too long:
too busy, too many crises,
too tired.
But now it is Time.

The plane
is on the tarmac.
It is revving its engines.
The windows are ready
for cloud-gazing,
and for seeing breath-taking
mountain ranges from above,
and little tiny towns
small as a children's game.

Her eyes
are lifting up, up,
from the minutiae
of daily existence
to beyond the horizon,
where vision expands
to the infinity
of possibilities
one life can hold,
if we only knew it
soon enough.

Soon, very soon,
she will be

Earth from Sky II
May 31, 2011

saw the earth
from the back of
a silver eagle,
looking down
on water
dotted with
blue and green,
tall mountain peaks
like a seer's
most majestic dream.

From above,
she could see
almost as
far as God,
puffy perfect clouds
in an infinity of sky,
a limitless horizon
utterly unflawed,
for man to
set his
fondest aspirations by.

She flew so far
tall coastal mountains
changed to
desert hills,
brown and rounded,
dots of
tumbleweed and sage,
tall sandstone cliffs
lining the arroyo
which have
stood sentinel
for an age,
since a time,
she had
been told,
when this valley
was once
an ancient riverbed,
rushing waters
roaring through here
in bygone days of old.

between the earth and sky,
celestial sphere above,
patient, steadfast, enduring
earth below,
knows herself a
citizen who can
choose to
walk or fly,
denizen of
no place/every place
she has
as well as
of the
spirit world,
all that remains

In the desert,
she sought the memory
of the young girl
she once had
in this
now so strangely
unfamiliar land
she was
nowhere to
be seen.

That girl
now lives
a world away,
and free,
within the
siren call
of the wild and
western sea.

When she
returned to earth,
long would she
the sight of earth
from sky,
distant and flawless
as an
untouched dream,
as if
nothing bad
could mar
a vision
of perfection
so beautiful
that so far
only God
has seen.

Traveler Takes Another Journey
August 26, 2011

Traveler is readying herself
to make another journey.
Her kit bag of memories
is stuffed beyond reason.
It nourishes her well,
but weighs more heavily
on her shoulders
with every passing season.

Her feet are moving forward
but her head keeps looking back.
There is knowledge from those times
that she still lacks.

She wants to find the spot
where the trail ahead
grew so much shorter
than the long way she had come.
The time when hopes and dreams,
songs left unsung,
stopped circling 'round,
slid into the past,
and Presence
became her only
standing ground.

The closer she gets
to taking leave of this world,
the more beautifully it shines.
How will she ever
close her eyes on it
one last time?

And those perfect
puffy clouds
against blue sky?
How they draw
her wondering 
bemused eye,
like a child's painting
of perfection,
each one
more lovely
than the last,
as the seasons
turn and change,
and far too quickly
hasten past.

The trouble with
this journey?
It has
an ultimate destination,
she an unwilling passenger
who wants to keep on riding
beyond the final station.

collage by The Unknown Gnome


September 30, 2011

Traveler looks out on a world of beauty:
blue skies, rain forests and ocean waves
live within her mind.

She passes a car wreck, and sees 
the everyday heroes
assisting the victims, rushing to save their lives,
for life is precious.

She walks Third Avenue, the beat of the forlorn,
the ragged, the broken, the addicted,
the impoverished,
and sees how a smile transforms the faces 
of the hopeless, 
the simple acknowledgement of shared humanity 
rekindling their hopes for another day, 
each life so precious. 

When the news clamors of discord and unrest, 
when the sound bytes of planetary suffering 
and injustice assault her eyes and ears, 
she turns it off, goes outside and 
raises her eyes to the sky, to the clouds, 
to the All That Is, 
for she knows well, by now, 
that the world of our perception 
is the world of our reality, 
and life is precious.

October 7, 2011

Come into my abode and have a look around.
I'll put the kettle on. We'll hear it sing.

Come sit upon my gigantic comfy couch

that dwarfs this small room

but offers comfort, rest,
when weary Travelers fall into its welcoming arms
to replenish for the journey.

I've been a Traveler since I was small,
in search of Home it took me decades to find
within my own soul.

I have never traveled very far, in miles,
yet through my wall of books
have wandered the whole world. 
I have my favorite spots
Tibet. Africa. Machu Picchu.
The ocean - the wild west coast of Vancouver Island,
and all the untamed places of the earth,
where beauty and nature reign
and wild creatures still walk freely on the land.

The inner distance,
that is something else again:
light years to this place
from where I started out,
and then full circle back
to my own hearth fire,
to make the trek complete.

I love best dogs, small children
and old people, and they tend to love me back.
I try to keep a true and honest heart,
to stay grateful, to give whatever it is
I have to give.
On the harder days, I find something 
to cackle about, to lift my spirits.

You can see, on my walls,
the things I love:
wolves, and elephants, lions and dogs,
Tofino, Tibetan singing bowls and prayer wheels,
the Dalai Lama,
Asian figures, African drums, First Nations masks,
and a South American rainstick.
A thousand books. Shelves of music of all types.
Stacks of wonderful movies. 
Enough to keep me entertained 
for the rest of my life.

There is Enough in my life,
for my needs are simple,
a roof, a little food and time -
time to rest and write and remember,
a gift of days to finish writing it all down,
and to walk through rainforests
in this autumn of my life.

My well being comes from peacefulness,
from a contented and ever-grateful heart,
from the beauty of this miraculous planet,
the comforts of my little home,
and connection with the wider world 
through my tapping on these magic keys.

From my first comforting morning cup of tea
to my last read of the day before I turn off the light,
this is my world, a simple one,
pleasing to me.

No more tea?
I'll bid you well, then
as you go.
And thank you for
your gift of stopping by.

Pup's last Christmas

How Many Times Can a Heart Break?
October 15, 2011

How many times can a heart break,
and mend itself again?
What keeps us moving forward
through such overwhelming pain?

Somehow we wake each morning
and survive another day.
We don't know how or why,
or even want to live this way.

But our hearts are stronger
than our wills,
when we're walking Sorrow's street.
We walk because we must,
because a broken heart still beats.

And gradually, through the months and years,
we begin to laugh again,
though we thought we'd never stop the tears,
we'd never ease the pain.

Those we love and miss would want us to.
They don't want us to grieve
but we can't help our sorrow.
We couldn't bear for them to leave.

Between pain and its passing
lies a valley we walk through
known by all who love and all who lose,
known by me, by you.

Down the farthest mountain
and up its other side
is the trail of tears we mourners climb.
Our pain can't be denied.

Keep walking, weary traveler.
There is comfort at the end.
The Community of Souls will guard
your child, your mate, your friend.

The day will come that you'll cross, too,
the river of life and death.
You'll hear them singing as they come,
and take your final breath.

I have to believe the soul goes on,
that we don't just fade away.
Our suffering makes no sense
unless we'll meet again, one day.

Rest, Keegan, rest.
May your dad rest, too,
though his tears run hot and free.
May he feel your spirit very close
to keep him company.

October 19, 2011

Traveler walks
on the winds of morning,
gentled by the soft mist,
attuned to the music
of the spheres.
Tiny birds alight

on her shoulders,

then lift off, twittering,
to follow her passage,
branch to branch,
through the sleepy forest.

She is Sky-Woman.
Though her feet are planted
on the earth,
her eyes never leave
the sky.

There are footsteps
softly padding along
behind her.
She does not turn
to see who comes.
She knows.

He is invisible,
but she knows those perked ears,
that arching tail,
that long black snout.

Walking on the winds of the morning,
their two spirits touch
through the veil of mist.
Their two hearts
are never


art by Ellen Wilson

Weary Wolf Woman

November 8, 2011

Wild Woman has been traveling for a long time.
She is weary from starting over again,
decade after decade,
lifetime after lifetime.

Somewhere, through this journey,

she began to Wake Up,
to travel more consciously,
to align herself with her inner wisdom,
which tells her she must evolve
this lifetime,
or be doomed to march in place
for yet another.

Wild Woman asks for guidance,
for assistance,
not so much in knowing which path to take,
(for the present path is the right path,
it is the Path That Is,)
but for the ability 
to fully inhabit the present,
to integrate it with all of her pasts,
to ready herself for the merging 
with all consciousness
that awaits
between worlds.

If Wild Woman can climb high enough
to see over the slippery mountain
of her life, and down the other side,
if she can align herself with evolving energies
and souls around the world,
this might be her finest contribution 
for the benefit of her soul,
and for the planet.

January 13, 2012

[Traveler has learned about Choices.]

When she was young and 
bad people harmed her,
she thought she was a victim
and that it wasnt fair.

No one ever told her
she didnt have to
let them hurt her,
that she could simply
walk away from there.

She put her heart
in cold storage
to protect it,
by avoiding love
trying to avoid the pain.

Then good people came along,
music and sunshine,
and the tight little ball of her heart
unfurled again.

Sometimes when the very
worst of calamities happen,
all that we can choose
is how we rise.

Those are the days of fire and ice
that hone us,
push us to make the leap,
and make us wise.

Dear fellow voyager,
if you are clinging
to the very end 
of the very last branch
on the tree,
if you fear falling,
just rest, and trust
life's cycle.

All will be well,
and help will come
to thee.

Remember, Traveler,
this is the soul's journey.
If we lock ourselves away
too high a price
we'll pay.

Safety can in time 
become a prison.
We sometimes travel blind
to find our way.

At first you think
you'll never trust another,
for he might wound you
like the last,
who was untrue.
But in the end
you're likely to discover
the only one 
you need to trust
is you.

Despite ourselves,
that early sun
will warm us,
and slowly we'll unfurl
those icy leaves.
We have to grow.
To stay the same
will harm us.
We're at our best
when we
the most believe.

A bud may wish to stay closed 
for a season.
If it fails to open, it withers
on the vine.

Unfurl your bud.
Come out to meet
the sunshine.
Expand in the warmth, 
dear little bud.
It's time.

January 26, 2012

the road
goes up and down,
along some winding trails.
But there's one thing 
that amazes me,
one thing that
never fails.

One step begins our journey,
a thousand miles
will take us home,
but we're traveling
through Beautiful
we roam.


January 31, 2012

see the fog
draping the mountains,
Grandfather Cedar 
black against
the morning sky?
See Sun and Moon
putting on their daily Sky-show?
We live in miracles, 
you and I.
Do you see the waterfall
tumbling down the mountain,
the thousand rivers
rushing towards
the sea?
How is it we go about
our days
the glorious gift
it is 
simply to Be.

We're alive in 
a land of miracles,
when we wake each morning
and open up our eyes
upon the thousand
ordinary beauties
life unfolds
against the backdrop
of the skies.

On this
extraordinary day,
may our gazes fill 
with unsuspecting wonder
that we're traveling
through such beauty
all the way.

February 12, 2012

We're all made up of stardust
and of dreams
our souls roamed
light years through 
the everness of time
from galaxy to distant galaxy
before we found 
our planetary home

we think that we are bodies
until the day we understand
that we are air and spirit
the stuff of stars
with heaven close at hand
our mortal struggles mask
the inner light
that tries so hard to shine
through our dark night
until finally we discover
that all along
we have had
perfect sight

we vainly
search to win
love on the human plane
paying with tears
and solitary pain
for all our hopes and fears
while all the time
we are already One
the way we all breathe air
unseen, yet just as present,
is the spirit
we all share

one day we raise our eyes
beyond the worry 
and the pain
and find the way
we can be whole again
grateful each day
for the miracle of life
sky above
and earth below
the beauty of it all
a never-ending show
free for the taking
joy ours for the making
gratitude with 
each new dawn
no more lonely aching
one heart
in all hearts -
our sudden waking

planetary pilgrims
on our long journey
to the end of time
we only need 
to understand
that we already shine
and humbly share our love
in all the corners 
where we roam
in the soul's profound simplicity
with every soul we meet
we find our own way

We take most of our lifetime
to shed the human limitations
we impose
we feel the pain
when from our loves we part,
until we learn
no love is ever really lost,
living forever 
in our heart

the secret's not 
in finding love
but in the giving
it's not in having 
the "perfect life"
it's in the living

our healing journey
lies far beyond 
our solitary pain
when we enter the 
All That Is
we are made new 

should we forget 
for a moment or two
the wonder we once knew
all we need to do
is look up at the sky
filled with a million stars
to remember 
just how 
we are

August 22, 2012

There goes Wild Woman,
head tilted back, and grinning at the sky.
She's listening as the windward voices cry.
She's trying to decode messages in the clouds.
She knows that there are spirits
passing by.

She hears Wind Woman singing from the hills.
At summer's end, the Westerly blows chill.
She packs her heart with memories and friends,
writes love letters  to the world
she'll never need to send.

It has been a Blue Sky Journey home, my friends.
Sun and trees and sky- their beauty never ends.
Spirit whispers to us in our sleep,
makes promises we travel far to keep.
Look up! Look up!
Don't miss one moment more!
There's a Sky-Show in the heavens passing by.
Keep looking up;
let's never cease our striving
to keep our vision bigger than the sky.

September  2012

I stumbled across a prompt some days ago that stuck in my head: Tell a creation story. I actually wrote one, in prose, some years ago, during a staff training at the treatment center for First Nations families dealing with recovery issues, where I worked. For now, my poem took me in a different direction.

The Iroquois speak
of a world
that exists high above
the world we know,
where life is much
as it is on earth.

Sky Woman fell to earth
from the Sky World,
and the giant Turtle
provided his back
for her to rest,
and this is how
we began.

There is a
Tree of Peace
that I visit.
Its name is Opa,
and it is as old
as all the trees of time.

When I rest my hands
on its rough trunk,
I feel its ancient heart,
and understand
what Endurance
feels like,
my heart
slowing its beat
in compassion
for all that
it has witnessed,
all that it has weathered,
all the storms
and lashing winds,
the crack of lightning,
the hot summers of thirst,
the times when
the chain saws came near
with their blood-curdling sounds.

Sky Woman peopled
this world
with dreamers,
all of whom
spend their days
gazing at the sky,
our cellular memory
vaguely recalling
the height from which
we have fallen.

We spend our lives
trying to
get it back.

Bigger Than the Sky
November 17, 2012

There are panthers
in the forests of Mumbai.

This sets me dreaming

of a land where temples 

lean towards the sky.

A poet walks in footsteps 

of Siddhartha

as another day 

on Planet Earth goes by.

There's a doctor 
in the refugee camps of Gaza
who lost three daughters 
to Israeli bombs.
He works for peace 
and daily crosses borders.
"I shall not hate," he says.
I shall not cease."

There's a Sky-show going on 
this very second!
We live in miracles, 
you and I.
Look up.
Look up!
Let's never cease 
our striving
to keep our vision
bigger than the Sky.

There Is No Path
September 5, 2013

Wild Woman
spent much of her life
for a path

that was

right under her nose

- and her feet -

all along.


there is no path.

The path is made

by walking." *

quote by Antonio Machado

February 26, 2013

is thinking about maps.
How does one prepare
for a journey
when she doesnt know
where she  is going?

The secret, she thinks,
is simply journeying 
as far as she can
between daybreak and nightfall,
then resting.

Time enough for the length
of tomorrow's trail
upon waking.

There is a little bird
traveling with her,
hopping from branch to branch
as they wander along.
She is singing,
her pretty head tilted,
a song of the forest, 
of the morning sun,
of the sky and the clouds
and the mountains.

Her birdsong is sent
to brighten the journey.

[The above poem came when I was waiting to find out if a tumor was malignant or not]

Traveler, Before the Journey
February 1, 2013
"The Wild Woman of myth is primordial Nature that cannot be tamed."

is going on
another journey.
She'll be walking
through the fire
where her bones
will be honed.
She'll be passing in and out
within the Dreamtime.
She will meet with
oracles and owls.
She will bring back
from the other side.

Kids, I have been struggling with extreme fatigue this winter, and recently have had a hard time writing. It just isnt flowing. But this morning, as I woke, these words were in my mind. I wrote a series of Traveler poems (included above) in my Soul Card Journey of April 2011. During that month, each morning I would rise, look at the image, and start writing. It was like taking dictation, and I never knew what the words would say.

Traveler has always told me, when I am going to be taking another journey. As always, I listen well, and align myself with the guidance that will see me through my travels. It is always interesting, always enlightening, always moving forward. Traveler has brought me far.

So I have only a small idea of what this poem might mean. But I trust Traveler, and am, as always, open to the journey.

February, 2013

has always wanted
to walk the Camino.

And now she is traveling -
a 500 mile pilgrimage
to the center of her soul.

She readies her kit bag
of memories,
to sort through,
one by one,
at the base of a tree
come nightfall.

She has marked the places
where she will stop
to find water
and shelter.

She has chosen the finest
to companion her journey.

She has prepared for dark places.
She has prepared for pain.
She has prepared that the journey
will be difficult,
might be terminated,
that night might find her
still with miles to go,
but a shortened path.

She has prepared for
sudden endings.

What she has forgotten
to prepare for,
what she could never have anticipated,
is sudden grace
and the removal
of her burden.

Kids, I am home,  resting and recuperating, too tired to be online very much. But everything went wonderfully! The aged hotel we stayed at in English Bay was perfect. From my bed on the 17th floor I could watch a strip of beach, and admire the lights after dark. 

The last words I heard as the anaesthesia closed in were: "Imagine yourself in Tofino, walking along the beach, listening to the sound of the waves....." I did, and then I woke up in recovery. To my astonishment, I am largely pain-free. It is like a gift. I was prepared for everything but Easy! 

I am happily home and resting, and now waiting only for the magic words: "it was benign", to liberate my spring.

February 19, 2013

Traveler has been preparing
for a long journey.
She has put on all of her wolf magic,
for the going
will be hard.
Wolf head on a cord around her neck,
wolf robe on and walking stick in hand,
she sets out
on a road full of hazards
and waystations,
with one eye on the windy trees,
the other on the rocky path
under her feet.

Traveler has confidence in the journey.
Wolf women know much
about difficult terrain.
They have stamina and endurance
and know there are times
when one cannot evade the fiery pit,
but must zip along, leaping,
singed whiskers and tail to show for the buffeting,
hearts singing with triumph
at the Going Through.

This time the road ahead is unknown.
She will need all of her strongest medicine.
Stalwart, she readies her heart
for the rocky cliff,
the stumbling stones,
the mountain pass.

But when she comes to a fork in the trail,
surprisingly, the arrow points left
into a field of daffodils.
There is a pond, and food
and a comfortable den
all waiting for her.
She is told to lay her burden down
and stay within the sunshine
for a time.

the Wise One says,
"your travel plans
have been changed.
You may rest upon the earth
a little longer, after all."

Astonished at her unexpected deliverance,
Traveler sinks down among the flowers,
looks around the sunny alpine meadow,
raises grateful eyes to the sky,
and awaits the unfolding
of yet another spring.

Amazingly, after being told the tumor was malignant, before surgery, I have now been informed it was benign. I had prepared for a difficult journey. What I was not prepared for, was an easy one. I am very relieved to be able to side-step that particular side-trip.

February 26, 2013

is thinking
about maps.

How does one prepare
for a journey
when she doesnt know
where she
is going?

The secret, she thinks,
is simply journeying
as far as she can
between daybreak and nightfall,
then resting.

Time enough for the length
of tomorrow's trail
upon waking.

There is a little bird
traveling with her,
hopping from branch to branch
as they wander along.

She is singing,
her pretty head tilted,
a song of the forest,
of the morning sun,
of the sky and the clouds
and the mountains.

Her birdsong
is sent
to brighten the journey.

Letting Go

September 17, 2013

A blaze of color
as you cling to
your familiar tree,
before you curl up,
fall to the ground, blow away.
Your message to me
in this autumn of my life,
when one most wants to hold on:
the traveler's path~
Let go.
Let go.

The Old Woman of the Sea
October 31, 2013

The Old Woman of the Sea
surveys the cloudscape,

while the wind billows her cape

as she stands atop a dune

from early morning until noon

watching the waves break.

The Old Woman of the Sea,

she feels a sadness,

for the times that are no more,

for all that came before,
for all the losses
as she stood waving goodbye 
on the shore.

In the Old Woman and the Sea
-this the Wind did tell to me -
joy also rises,
for the times that came before
have filled her spirit More,
suffering bringing wisdom 
in life's disguises.

The Old Woman of the Sea,
she is a wild one.
She has a poet's heart,
she took too long to get this smart,
but the old woman of the sea
- and this the Wind did tell to me - 
the winding path that led her to the sea
is the route it took to set her spirit free.

The Old Woman loves the sea
and feels joy rising:
so much beauty everywhere,
she can only stand and stare,
at a loveliness almost too great to bear.

The Old Woman of the sea,
she is a traveler,
back and forth to the seashore,
to memories of time before,
her heart beating to the rhythm of the sea
and - this the wind did finally tell to me -

she knows all is as t'was always meant to be.

April 9, 2013
Diversions, distractions, on the path?
Traveler, diversions are the path.
We take the offshoot, circle back, resume the trek again.
The journey loops and backtracks to make necessary gain.

Traveler diversions are the path.
There is no way made straight from here to there.
The journey loops and backtracks to make necessary gain.
You have to circle to get anywhere.

There is no way made straight from here to there.
Seek here, seek there, for it is all The Way.
You have to circle to get anywhere.
And when you weary, Traveler, stop and pray.

Seek here, seek there, for it is all The Way.
We take the offshoot, circle back, resume the trek again.
And if you weary, Traveler, stop and pray,
when you encounter those diversions on the path.

May 13, 2014

I am Traveler,
who spends a decade at a time
poised to move on,
yet marching in place because,
I just might be needed.
I have been a mother
since I was still a child.
What to do with my mothering,
when my whole life's work
has been weighed
and found wanting?

I am the quiet heart waiting
and waiting
for someone to give something back.
I am loneliness,
surrounded by busy, distracted people.

What is left when all is said and done?
My dog's anxious head,
thrusting itself under my hand, to say
"I'm here, I'm here."

A heart bruised and battered,
and filled with chagrin,
for the choices made,
that could have been other,
and for all the years gone.

This morning I woke without fear.
But it is even more frightening
to wake without joy.
The sad gilt edges of the day
nibble at my toes
that dont want to go out,
though the sun is broad-beckoning.
In my soul is a great turning,
like a sonar,
towards the western shore,
alive with seabirds,
ablaze with sunrises and sunsets,
where every morning I once woke with joy,
- alive! alive! -
in a life that was wholly,
and completely
And with everything that's in me,
I am turning,
one last time,
towards home.

May 25, 2014

In search of home,
Traveler carries a turtle shell
around her heart.

This shield protects vital organs,
lends strength,
consists of skeletal and dermal bone,
remains when everything has gone,

Turtle Woman
pokes her head out,
surveys the cloudscape,
retreats within
in response to any threat.

Traveler carries a turtle shell
around her heart.

June 25, 2014

Traveler has been traveling alone
for most of the journey.
Times, she sought a companion
to help ease the passage
through difficult terrain.
But none could stay the course.
Each turned off at the nearest byway.
Traveler grew accustomed
to making her way alone.
A wolf companion stayed  by her side
for fourteen years,
the truest companionship
she had ever known.
His turning was involuntary;
they both mourned greatly.
Solitude was emptier once he had gone.
But in time, Traveler began to realize
she was never truly alone.
All around her was the ghost
of a big black wolf; he walked invisibly
by her side.
There were trees breathing peace to her,
birds on the wing
who companioned her eyes through the heavens,
reminding her to Keep Looking Up;
the moon bathed her in silver
and spread its canopy of stars
for her alone;
there were wind voices singing secret love-songs
just for her, and wave-tops lapping shores
of forever beaches, where each one knew her name.

Alone is never lonely
as long as you love the wind,
Traveler says now, reflecting.
When you stand in an old growth forest,
when you watch the butterflies flutter by,
when you look into the knowing eye of a small red filly,
you are surrounded
by loving friends.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Traveler has made such a long journey
since her blue-eyed boy was born,
those big guileless eyes, looking up,
uttering truths, trusting,
even though his nights were
so often peopled
with monsters.

The journey he took into the life
of his tortured mind
at seventeen
was fraught with pain,
and watered with a mother's tears.
Yet now they both say those years,
that long hard journey,
each of them at the other end of the phone,
a conversation that spanned twenty years
of healing and growth,
was one they might not have made
by any other pathway,
and for that
they are grateful.

He journeys now at times
through other galaxies,
sometimes calls her from the astral plane,
tells her his third eye has opened,
he is now awakened.
She listens carefully, with respect,
for in every journey,
there are deep teachings,
wisdom to learn,
deep truths to impart
and to receive.
He dances to a music
the rest of us cant hear,
but he is happy to share,
so she listens closely,
attempting to discern
the melody.

Her blue-eyed boy is a man now
who says his spirit longs for the wild,
that he wants to return to being
a grown-up child.

Mothers' hearts break during such journeys.
But also, hearts inevitably
heal and mend.
The gift of being brave enough
to make a journey this precarious,
is that mother and son
have become best friends.

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