Friday, February 24, 2017

Songs of All Creatures



The Elaho River
photo by Jon Merk


The earth sings in liquid notes:
roar of waterfall,
trickle of creek,
rush of river,
ebb and flow of the ocean tide.

Let it trickle through your fingers.
It is precious,
the basis of all life.

Thank the water.
Pray to the water.
It hears you.

The earth sings
in rushing wind,
in crackling fire,
in soft breezes,
in thunder, 
in crack of lightning,

in dawn's gentle rise
over the mountaintops
of the world.

Listen with your very being
to the message
coming to you
on the wind.

Listen for direction
in the way that
you must go,
for all the spirits know.

The earth sings
through its creatures:
cry of eagle,
chirp of junco,
caw of raven,
howl of wolf
in the wintery midnight,
roar of lion
on the hot savannah,
soft padding footsteps
of snow leopard
on its icy slope.

Listen to their songs and cries.
They speak their own language,
but if we listen
with our hearts,
they are trying to tell us
what we most need to know
about how to live together
in this world.


written in 2013 and shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where you will find good reading to go with your coffee every Sunday morning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Song of the Wild Waves



This morning the beach was calling.
I could not resist.




This is my beloved Wickaninnish Beach.




One keeps trying for  the Perfect Wave Shot.
It is always going to be the Next One.


In early evening, as the sun goes down, 
I can walk one short block
from my apartment
to see the water and the changing sky.




This is the tail end of sunset,
as I got there a little late
the other evening.
As the light starts lasting longer
in the evening,
I will go to the beach
and watch my first full-fledged
I-am-home beach sunset!

I will share the beauty with you.
Many joys ahead!
I am very grateful.



The Memories We Carry

created for me by The Unknown Gnome


There is plenty of room for nostalgia
when one has lived for seventy years
on the planet:
our heart is weighted with memories -
of the Old Days, in 1950's Kelowna,
when life seemed sunny
and simple and secure,
viewed from Grandma's kitchen
where no bad things could enter in.......

of days as a young mother
of four growing kids:
hikes up Knox Mountain,
afternoons at the lake,
Christmases full of magic
and children's laughter
forever gone.......

Years I spent longing for
my place of heart........
and now I am here,
happy as I wander through the village,
grateful as I walk along the beach.
Why were there tears this morning?
Because every beach,
and every trail I follow,
are ones I walked with you,
big, noisy, laughing
black wolf of my heart,
and I miss you,
and Jasmine,
and Luke and Blakey -
all my furry loves.
But I carry you with me.
I carry you in my heart,
along the sandy shore,
where once, without a care,
we walked before.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Nostalgia

Nostalgia is the landscape of the old....a longing for a place as well as a time.....it's where we elders are when you see a distant look in our eyes. We are remembering, visiting the richness of our inner landscapes. These days, I'm nostalgic for everything before this past election!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

WILD WOLF WOMAN

Wings for Wild Woman


Wild Woman carries the heart of a wolf
in her chest.
Its rhythm pulses in time with her wild sister,
who runs, wraith-like, through the forest, 
stopping under a midnight moon
only long enough to tip back her head 
and howl.

Her true being only comes alive
within sight and smell of the sea:
the hackles rise along her spine,
as she raises her nose to scent the wind,
determining her direction by the keening call
of the wild.

Wild Woman belongs to each of us, 
and to us all.
She lives in the space between heartbeats,
and in the thoughts between words.
Listen for her knowing voice
at your right ear, whispering:
"Come, this is the way."
Then follow, with perfect trust,
for no one knows better or truer
than the Wild Woman Watcher within.

Wild Woman moves through worlds 
seen and unseen,
emerging at daybreak to slake her thirst
at the River of Solitude.
At close of day, the forest rolls out
a soft mossy carpet for her bed.

In between, you may follow her
when she is Wilding, but not too close.
Be respectful of her space and of her growl.
And when she shape-shifts out of sight,
look down quickly.
You may just see the pawprints
she has left behind.

Wild Woman is the one we run from 
when we are young,
and run home to when we are old.
She is an ancient singing through our bones, 
a wise smile,
the knowing eyes of 
a Watcher in the Woods.

If you are quick enough, you might just spy 
the furry tip of her tail peeking out 
from under her billowing robe,
and trailing behind like moondust.
Follow her, embrace her, for without Wild Woman,
our spirits shrivel up and begin to die.
With her, our vision expands, and we learn,
finally and unfathomably,
to fly.


From 2012, my friends. It felt right to share this with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United this weekend, since Wild Woman has come alive again, on the wild shores of Clayoquot Sound. Returning to my heart's home is like getting back together with the lover you never stopped loving, and it is even better for the time apart.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Great-Grandma Julie

Great-Grandma Julie and my mother


Grandma Julie crossed the seas
to escape the potato famine in County Cork.
Her husband worked laying track
for the first railroad to cross the country.
My Grandma, Flo, told me he loved the drink,
and recalled the night he hugged
the jug of moonshine to his chest
and danced around the kitchen.
And the night he chased her and her mother
out of the house with a gun
and they hid in the barn till the shots stopped firing
and he fell asleep, so they could creep back in.

Life was hard, back then,
water hauled by hand,
clothes washed by hand,
bread kneaded by hand,
vegetables canned by hand,
children raised with a sometimes harsh hand.
Back then this was an unforgiving land.

My mom called she and her grandmother
"the two Julies",
since her middle name was Julia, in her honour.
Grandma Julie lived with them during the Depression,
sharing a room with the three leggy girls.
When her pension came in,
she shared treats and smokes,
four butts lined up on the freezing window sill
so Flo wouldn't discover their guilty pleasures.

One night Flo sent Pa upstairs
with a rolled up Saturday Evening Post
to "quiet those wild girls down.
They're disturbing Ma."
He came back down grinning.
"They're having a pillow fight,
and Ma is right in the thick of it,"
grizzled crone, standing up on the bed
with a pillow, grinning from ear to ear.

Life was still hard.
Wash done by hand in the bathtub,
living hand to mouth,
Pa exchanging bookeeping for coal,
for a chicken, for whatever anyone could pay,
three adults and five hungry kids to feed.

Flo remembered, with regret, in her final years,
"I'd be running around like a scalded chicken,
and Ma would call out, 'Come and do my hair.
Oh, I know: no time, no time, no time.'
And now it is my kids who have no time."




My sister has, in one of her boxes,
Grandma Julie's dress.
A small woman,
silent, fierce and indomitable,
she had lived through much:
hard physical labour,
a drunkard husband,
the drowning death of a two year old son,
a daughter on horseback struck
by a train in a blizzard,
her catching the next train
to find out the horse had died
but the daughter lived.

Resigned that life was hard,
she moved among her children
in her final years, with her
battered small black suitcase,
shoulders bent under the weight
of all she had survived,
harking back to Home in County Cork,
a woman fond of ghosts and fairies,
whose Irish blood, and indomitable spirit,
courses through  our veins.


for  Artistic Interpretations with Margaret at Real Toads: Immigrant Portraits. We are all descended from immigrants. I think that makes us a hardy lot.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love Blows In on a Westerly Wind



Trees dancing wildly
in the Westerly.
Love.

Waves rearing back,
white foam curling, arching,
then breaking,
the song of the sea
an unending symphony,
I, joyous audience,
heart applauding.
Love.

Pup's urn and Jasmine's photo
enshrined on my dresser.
Forever my Love.

Cute new little nest
in the treetops
of the west.
Love.

At peace, and joyous,
in the home of my spirit.
Love,
love and gratitude,
singing in my heart.


for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Love

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SURF'S UP!











So, my friends, this was yesterday, and the surfers and beach dogs were pretty happy. So was I , walking around with a big smile on my face, still pinching myself that I'm here.

I have almost finished unpacking and will post photos once I get the pictures hung - all my wolves!

Today it is windy and rainy. Since all I can see out my window are old growth trees - literally a few feet beyond my balcony, I have been enjoying watching the branches dance. When I open the sliding glass door, I am not sure if what I am hearing is wind or waves, but I like to think it is both.

Sigh.

Isn't life just remarkable, in its ability to completely change in no time at all?

My new email is wildwomantwo@gmail.com. I sure would like to meet wildwoman 1 who keeps beating me to email names......I suspect she is me, in earlier years. Now, in my later years, cyberspace insists I am decidedly  in Act Two. In act 3 , I suspect wildwoman wont know or care what number she is, so the question will be moot.