Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Face of Loyalty

Bravo, Guardian 

Bravo, you are well-named.
When rescuers tried to take you away
from the rubble that had been your home,
you stood firm.
your job was to remain at your post,
stand guard
until your people
could return.

When the walls tumble,
when all one has is lost,
a faithful dog's heart
is the great gift
that remains.

Bravo's  people were pulled from the rubble and taken away, after the earthquakes in Italy. He felt it was his job to guard what was left of their crumbled home, and, once he was lifted from the rubble, growled at rescuers, refusing to leave his post. Finally, they were able to convince him to go with them, and he was taken for treatment of a serious leg injury. Just one more small story of survival of the earthquake in Italy that touched my heart. I hope his people will find Bravo soon.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016


photo of 1950's Kelowna
by Don Collier

Sister Forest,
when I stand under your soft-sighing branches,
breathe in the scent of cedar,
walk on pine needles soft,
I am infused with a deep green peacefulness,
feel more blessed than in any cathedral.
I breathe in Spirit,
the breath of the ancient ones.
I breathe out gratitude, beatitude,
send a prayer skyward to the Holy One,
who created forest, shining silver sea,
the earth and sky,
and you and me.

In memory I hear bells ringing 
at evening benediction,
in a small white church so many years ago,
the sweet smell of incense,
as the censor clanks to and fro,
the look of light refracted through stained glass,
those long-gone days we thought
would for forever last.

Send gratitude and praise, my friends,
for these soft, sweet-scented 
end-of-summer days,
when blessings fall upon our hearts
like gentle rain -
these days that will not,
will not ever
come again.

for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Blessings

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Row upon row of grinning people, munching popcorn, 
eyes on the ring, ready to be entertained,
and in she comes, huge grey beast,
prodded by sharp poles, yelled at by trainers.
She sullenly complies till, one sharp jab too many,
she turns on her keeper, knocks him down,
rolls him around the floor, enraged,
charges out of the tent, folks screaming and scattering,
is shot in the street, paying for her captors' harshness
with her life - this life she did not choose.

TYKE was an African elephant, not suited for circus work, (what elephant is?) yet made to perform anyway, for years,  until the day in 1994 when she snapped, killed her trainer, and ran into the streets of Honolulu. She was shot and killed by police, who fired 86 bullets into her. There is a film about her, (Tyke: Elephant Outlaw) explaining how owners had been advised against continuing to force her to perform, advice ignored in the interest of finances, as usual. She was not the outlaw, in her run for a freedom found only in her death. This breaks my heart.

for Kerry's prompt at the Sunday Mini Challenge at Real Toads: ten lines on the theme of "This is not what we came here to see."

source: Wikipedia

Saturday, August 20, 2016


photo by Jon Merk

And now the little nightbirds all are sleeping.
A froggy chorus rides the evening air.
High in the cedar, mourning doves are calling;
in the topmost branch, they've found
some purchase there.

The dusky light creeps softly down the mountain.
The heron on one leg folds up her wing.
Owl swoops the tall grass searching for her dinner.
Around the pond the noisy crickets sing.

Onto the darkening pasture 
creeps the nightfall,
atop the barn, a silver slice of moon.
The stars wink on. The twilight turns
to darkness. It's time to sleep. 
Morning will come too soon.

One from 2013, my friends, shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Star Voyager

I swirl and swirl around the ceiling,  then it vanishes, and I am flying through the radiance of the stars, awesome Sky-World. Down below is the planet, blue and green, radiant and beautiful, at peace, a cloud-draped snapshot of the way it's meant to be, peopled by loving human hearts, everywhere a sanctuary for furred and flying and skin-covered beasts. I look again, and now an oil-spill slicks and sticks along the coast, no place to land, herons and dolphins,  seals and whales, all sputtering and gasping in the inky sticky black. Now forest fires  crackle, swallowing hillsides with flame, deer and wolf, bear and cougar, fleeing side by side in terror, no safe place anywhere. Toxic fumes thicken the grey air, larger cities obscured by smog. Fire and flood, the earth is heating up from within and without. The last iceberg melts sadly into the sea, and all the polar bears are gone. I want to un-see what I have seen, our cancer spreading across the beautiful land, and, as this is a dream, soon all is blue and green and whole again, if only it were that easy.

I fly Up, and there are Beings here who beckon me to join them, and I know, (have always known), that we are One, as bright as stars;  we are singing, each of us a note in the universal song. Then I am back in my soft bed, my eyes wide open, and for sure no longer dreaming, and I see his face before me, First Nations warrior, his eyes behind his mask so infinitely kind and wise. Oddly unafraid, I hold his gaze, beguiling, as he looks deeply, deep into my eyes, and smiling.

Oh Medicine man,
your chants on the wind sing me
ever into hope.

***   ***   ***   ***

A mixed-up attempt at a haibun, for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads: Dreams. (Sorry for the haiku part of the haibun, Shay!) I merged two dreams into this piece. The shaman remained in front of my open eyes  for several seconds,  before fading away. I don't often remember my dreams. But I remember these two.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Big Boy

His name was Big Boy
and he was black, fluffy and regal.
Imperiously, he would miaow to go out,
and switch his frothy tail,
that had a kink in it.

Her name was Grandma
and she had a wicked sense of humour.
She would open the screen door enticingly:
soft summer morning air,
birds chirping,
inviting green grass where he ardently needed to go........
memory of the screen door slapping on his tail
not all, but some of,  the other times.

He would calculate:
the depth of his urgent need,
the space from here to the door,
how swiftly the door would slam
once she let it go.
Would this be one of the times?
Dare he trust her for a pain-free exit?
Life is so random.

scented air, pressing bladder, her smiling invitation,
"Come on, Big Boy," so sweet and lilting,
her hand just waiting to let go.
And he would streak, screen door would slam,
an outraged yowl of pain and betrayal,
Grandma chortling back to the kitchen.

All quiet. Until the next time.

This now horrifies me, on the one hand, but Grandma's sense of humour was so zany - and infectious -  that I can't help smiling at the memory. Poor Big Boy! Life is such a crap shoot. For Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Cats

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Talmud Angels

we are the Talmud angel
and sometimes
we are the blade of grass,
needing an angel's whispers.

we are heavy-laden,
and sometimes
we're heaped  and running over
with gifts to bestow 
upon others.

we are our own True North,
and sometimes we need
a little help to find our way.

The earth, our lives, 
our cosmic journeys ~
all are circles.
We step in
and step out again
at varying turns
of the karmic wheel.

we are our bodies,
our etheric bodies connecting us
to higher realms,
of which we are 
not always aware.
The veils part;
and we catch 
hidden glimpses.

On our journeys,
we somehow find each other.
I will be your Talmud angel
when you need one.
And, times when you
may feel alone,

Just Breathe,
upon your own blade of grass
and urge it:

an oldie from 2010, my friends, for Real Toads' Tuesday Platform, where the emphasis is on caring and sharing.