Friday, October 20, 2017


Picture collage by The Unknown Gnome

I walk under soft, dark greenness.
Peace falls on me like rain,
The fiddlehead fern of my being
gently unfurls.

I breathe in cedar,
that my Inner Old One
from centuries past.

among the trees, unseen,
but felt,
perhaps in the dust motes swirling
in patches of golden sunlight
filtered through ancient cedar.

an owl utters
a sleepy "who-hoo?"
Somewhere, a black wolf
through the veil,
his eyes speaking
our language without words.
I feel them
in my soul.

Shinrin-Yoku: the Japanese art of forest bathing.

This poem is from spring 2016 and is shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Come join us for some fine reading with your morning coffee.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wild Beach

Wild waves at the beach today.

The beach was closed, so we stood 
at the end of the path at the north end.

Some waves came right up to the edge of the path. 
People who ignored the Beach Closed sign
had to do some fast footwork 
to keep from being caught in the tide.

No surfing possible today.

A little glimpse of blue sky and sun.

This is how good my zoom is.
I was at NORTH Chestermans.
These big waves were on the other side of the tombolo
that goes out to Frank's Island,
a long walk down the beach.

I can hardly believe the people are even visible.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

He Who Walks Among the Stars

From up here,
the world looks new,
peaceful, beautiful,

Down below live
people with holes in their hearts,
toxicity on their brains,
struggle on their paths.
They are longing for
wholeness and healing,
even if they don't know.
Down below,
looking up and dreaming,
live people
with the ability to
make the whole world new,
if they but choose.

One walks among them who shows
that it is possible to reach out
and do good
even in the midst of
one's own struggle.

He is a man
on his journey,
He Who Walks Among the Stars,
who told of one small boy's death
and woke his country up.
The chief thanked him for
"taking the time to care
about our people."

That is how we will remember him,
a man with time to love one small boy,
and, through him, a whole people,
before he took his
walk among the stars.

I wrote this one year ago, when Gord Downie, leader of the Tragically Hip, on his journey through brain cancer,  completed his farewell tour across Canada.   One of his most important works was a short film called The Secret Path, a true story about a twelve year old boy who died while escaping from residential school in 1966. Last December, First Nations chiefs and communities gathered to honour him, with an eagle feather, a blanket, and the gift of his native name, Man Who Walks Among the Stars. Gord cried throughout the ceremony, calling it the best day of his life.

The link on Gord's name will take you to the moving video of the ceremony.

Gord Downie died last night, age 53, after a heroic year. His message: that it is long past time for Canadians to address reconciliation with the First Nations people of Canada. I agree. The country mourns his loss.

Darkness and Light

In such global darkness,
we have to trust that
there will still
be light

that the sun will come out
after rain

the moon and stars
will follow day

that peace will reign again
one day.

There is 
no other way to live

than with hope and faith
and trust.

We continue to believe
we must.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Dark Moon / New Moon

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Yellow and burnt orange
row on row,
spilled over the garden fence,
at my little house
full of children
in Kelowna,
long ago.

and shoes
just inside the door,
made  a hill
so steep.
I never thought
one day I'd miss
that messy heap.

We thought
those days
would for forever last,
but life has a way
of going by
too fast.

Bikes and hikes
and flying kites,
our snug little home
full of music and laughter,
together we made
that would last
forever after.

The kitchen was the colour 
of marigolds.
I remember
breakfasts and suppers,
and morning songs,
my heart full of joy,
and marigolds cascading
over the garden fence
each September.

For the prompt at dVerse: to write about an aspect of fall.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Animal Spirits

After an oil spill,
the mist above the inlet
is filled with the spirits
of all of the animals
who have died
in the spill.

Orca-, eagle-, heron-spirits,
hover over the ocean.
They rest in trees
along the shore.

They carry a message
for the people of the earth:
Wake up.
Wake up to
Mother Earth's cries.
Heal her wounds.

After the wildfires,
the smoldering, parched earth
releases the spirits
of all the animals
who were burned
in the flames.

They remain near
the black, dead land,
near the horses' bones,
near the burning hooves,
near the deer, and rabbits,
and wolves,
near the lives
they loved and lost.

They carry a message
for the people of the earth:
Wake up.
Wake up to
Mother Earth's cries.
Heal her wounds.

After flood waters recede,
and all of the bodies
of drowned creatures
are bagged and carried away,
the spirits of that place
sit vigil near the watery graves,
praying we humans
will awaken to our mandate:
to replenish and heal
Mother Earth.

They carry a message
for the people of the earth:
Wake up.
Wake up to Mother Earth's cries,
her distress.
Awaken to all
you can be,
all you can do,
to heal the Earth Mother,
the only home 
of all creatures.

The idea for this poem came from reading Into Great Silence : A Memoir of Discovery and Loss among Vanishing Orcas by Eva Saulitis. Eva spent twenty years among the orcas of Prince William Sound, both before and after the oil spill. The animals she grew to know like her family are now vanishing due to the after-effects of the oil spill, the intrusion of human development into their wild habitat,  and the warming seas of climate change.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

When a Thousand Women Gather......

When a thousand women gather,
you can feel the power,
the joy, the deep, sweet Knowing,
looking into each other's eyes:
I see you.
You are beautiful.
Together, we are strong.

When a thousand women gather,
saying Enough! War is not the way to peace.
Enough! You will not have
our sons and daughters;
Enough! Life, earth, air, water
are more important and necessary
than money,
then Change begins.

All over the world,
women are planting trees,
because we need to breathe.
In response to the clearcut mountains
that filled the wallets
of the multinationals,
a billion seedlings are
going into the ground,
to green the barren deserts
and heal the earth, the air,
and our breaking hearts.

All over the world,
women are rising up,
doing what they can
for the earth and each other.
Yes, we can!

And now we join hands
across oceans, across sky,
across all man-made boundaries,
to birth a new way of being
with Mother Earth,
that is a very Old way of being,
understood by all aboriginal peoples.

When a thousand women gather,
the Divine Feminine is unleashed,
in all her power*.

On October 19 at 11 a.m. Pacific time, (2 p.m. EST, and 7 p.m. UK) the Call to Dream Ceremony will be held, online, in an effort to empower women to feel strong and hopeful in the face of climate change. It is sponsored by the Tree Sisters, whose goal is to plant a billion trees worldwide, in an effort to heal Mother Earth. The first goal was a million trees, and the response has been so strong, it is now a billion.

Time to rise in sisterhood. The male model of leadership has failed. Capitalism, based on the Myth of More, is destroying the earth and is untenable for all but the wealthy. Time to listen to the earth, to work with Her. Time to dream a better dream.

The launch is the beginning of a seven week  journey of collective discovery. Clare Dubois is putting out the call to all women to 1) plant trees worldwide and 2) unite in an attempt to birth a shift in  consciousness to a nature-based consciousness, to counter the aggressive momentum that is now going on in the world. I'm in. You can hear Clare talk about this here.

*In Tibetan myth, when a thousand women gather, the sacred feminine is birthed through their collective energy.