Friday, March 30, 2012

Bodies and Bod-ease

Nip 'N Tuck? from google

Okay. Disclaimer: I didnt think I would even respond to this prompt from Fireblossom at Toads. Nothing was coming. But I am enjoying a glass of wine at the moment, after a long day,  letting my thoughts sort of freefall, and this is what they said : (will I Regret this in the Morning?)

Wild Woman remembers
when she was young and pretty
but didnt know it,
and would not be seen without makeup,
so inadequate she felt,
hiding behind
that pinkish goo.
He said, "Maybe when you're going out dancing...
but when it's just over the breakfast table....????"

She got natural soon after,
but it was too late for him.

Then she got to where
she just didnt care.
Knew she was Enough,
had HAD Enough of men
and natural was 
the only way 
to be.

She got older, still -
life is relentless, that way - 
and being natural
took on
a whole new life -
stalking around the yard in her pajamas
watering the flowers:
"You just dont give a shit do you?" her friend laughs,

Combing her hair once a day,
because she supposes she must,
but ignoring it the rest of the time,
letting it go its own way.

Poor vision becomes a blessing
when you are old.
You dont believe you're old.
There is still that woman inside
that used to be You,
(we blessedly believe THAT image, 
not the one in the mirror - mirrors Totally Suck),
but there is a super-imposed image
over it
rather like a Jello aspic
that didnt entirely set.
And you know what?
No one cares.
No one is looking anyway.

After 55, no one Looks
in the same way,
ever again.
There is great freedom in reaching this state
of "What you see is what you get."
No one wants to "get" you, maybe,
but if they did,
it is the real you 
they'd be getting.

Did you know
that you can Google
"aging women faces
with saggy necks"
and get 140,000 results
in 0.36 seconds?
The wonders
of Technology.

Here: Try this!

Aging Sucks from - where else?- Google

Too much information?
But some of you relate,
and the others - this is a warning:
Enjoy the Now!!!!!!
for it is fleeting!

Hee hee.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music of the Spheres

[image from google]

Kids, the prompt at Poets United's Thursday Think Tank today is Music. It reminded me of an intriguing and rather different kind of music I read about some years ago. It fascinates me. In the Vancouver Sun newspaper on September 11, 1999, I read that Japanese researchers had been studying a mysterious hum emitted by Planet Earth, as its geologic and atmospheric events combine to produce a symphony. I let my mind play with that for a bit.

Above ground,
a cacophony of sound:
roar of ocean, mighty wavetops flinging,
thrum of a million songbirds winging,
crickets under raindrops' patter, pinging,
above ground, the song of life,
Earth's creatures, singing.

From deep within
the heart of Mother Earth,
unheard by human ear,
yet sensed within its 
surrounding atmosphere,
its thrum so deep,
as present as 
our heartbeats in our sleep,
background to its creatures' chorus
up above,
a steady pulse, like a mother's,
that we attune to:
our planet,
singing us
its Song of Love.

[image from google]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rise Up Like Lions

[I found this phenomenal photo by Jose Co Photos, Visione Aerea in the Picasa web albums. It clicked with a recent  quote I came across by Shelley, "Rise Like Lions",  as explained below.]

Rise up like lions on the savannah,
who proclaim their hunger
with a roar that cannot
be silenced
or suppressed.

Rise up,
like the milky blue mountains,
sprinkled with popcorn clouds,
in numbers too great
to ever be 
fully conquered.

Rise up, like the morning sun
that says it is time
for a new day to dawn,
and the old order 
to simply fade away;
or like the midnight moon
who sheds light
on the lonely traveler,
so he may stay his course
through the darkest 
of brooding byways,
to arrive at his destination,
weary and in need of rest,
but safely, and unharmed.

Rise up like blades of grass
in the springtime,
healthy and full of life and hope,
with a clear vision 
for a better tomorrow
and, in the meantime,
do all you can to make today
the best it can be.
Hold your heart full of dreams
as tenderly as a babe,
water it with your tears
and nourish it with
every lesson you have learned
till it grows "as wise as serpents
and harmless as doves*."

Rise up, alone and together,
let your voice be heard,
let your prayers join the million others
seeking succor on this planet;
let your peaceful heart 
fly on the wings of your vision
towards a better life.

Let us all join hands
and roll this oppressive boulder 
of corporate greed
to the edge of the cliff,
and over,
so we can go back 
to living with integrity, 
compassion and honor,
to taking care of needs,
living sustainably,
balancing budgets,
and restoring faith
in the goodness 
of the American dream.

Rise up like lions,
that have been lying
in the glow of
an amber African sunset.
Walk the acres of
whatever land you love,
whatever river, or forest,
or long sandy beach,
and reclaim its beauty
for yourself
as your God-given right.
Then promise it your protection
and let your voice be heard
in the corridors of power.
Tell them you oppose
corporate might,
and the marginalization
and dispossession
of the earth's peoples.
Tell them,
life is not about greed, 
money and power
for the rich
and struggle for
everyone else.

It is about humanity,
quality of life,
and purpose,
and the betterment
of the human spirit.

Rise up like lions,
clear-eyed and strong
in the bright light of morning.
Let's make for our children
and our children's children
the world as it could be,
if we Made Peace
instead of War.

Yesterday a friend forwarded an on-line video to me called Rise Like Lions, a compilation of film footage shot on the ground during the Occupy Wall Street movement. Its preface is a quote by Percy Bysshe Shelley, from his lesser-known poem: The Masque of Anarchy, written on the occasion of the massacre at Manchester:

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many - They are few.

I am moved by the film, people earnestly explaining their fed-up-ness with corporate greed and the resulting  increase in the  number of working and non-working poor. I was especially struck by the line "Rise like lions". 

Yesterday I also watched a documentary about the most enlightened town in America: Fairfields, Ohio, where nine thousand serene souls have come together with a vision of a highly enlightened, aware and advanced community. Not only do they live sustainably, with a gentle ecological footprint,  (wind turbines as an energy source, for example.) Inner health and well being is a part of daily life: twice a day people gather in two huge domes to meditate. Meditation and spirituality is a part of the school program, from kindergarten through high school.

Peoples' faces are all radiantly happy. The children are flourishing. And, in a center on-site, six hundred young devotees from India spend everyday in prayer and meditation for world peace.

A better world is possible. The shift is trying so hard to happen. With every ounce of my being, I embrace its transformation. I love this planet and its people. What a place it can be, when war is replaced by looking after its people.

Today I happened across the above photo, and the serpents and doves quote (*Matthew 10:16), and these  events jogged something in my brain. I envision my Muse's long froggy tongue darting out and slurping it up like a fly, as it flitted past her lily-pad.

Bad Boy

Bad little Blakey was blissfully enjoying
the most comfy spot in the house

upside down on the fleecy covered leather couch

when it must have occurred to him that he isnt allowed to be up there.

Much flailing and floundering as he tried to right himself.
I was so hoping the ottoman would move, but it didnt.
He found his legs, looking a tiny bit sheepish.
But not much.

I sent the photos to his Mom - saying it's nice Someone
is enjoying the fruits of her twelve-hour workdays!

He so reminds me of Pup! I have a similar photo of a young Pup blissfully upside down 
on my brand new couch, legs all sticking up.

Wild Woman Wakes Up

Wild Woman wakes up.
It isn't pretty,
what with The Hair standing straight up
like gray spun sugar,
and those eyes
that would rather be
Still Asleep.

Head perches
on an aching neck.
It will be a balancing act
for the next hour.

The computer clicks on.
Sadly, her Muse does not.
Muse is tired from dog-paddling
through sludge and muck
for what-feels-like Ever.

Wild Woman presses
a spot on her neck
and sends up a probe.
Somewhere in the Blogosphere
there must be an Idea.

Nope. Nuthin'.

But now Muse
is dragging herself
up out of the sludge
and is perching,
on a lilypad,
scraping off the slime.

Something is Moving
in the Pond
like a crippled gnat,
a speck,
a microbe..........

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Song of the Frogs

Port Albion at sunset


Song of the frogs
in the fading light
soft fade the hills
in the falling night
God touching earth
with a gentle might
and all is beauty
within my sight

Soft falls the light
on garden walls
a rose-hued mountain
as night's curtain falls
a froggy symphony
serenades the night sky
and grateful, grateful,



Graceful heron
swooping across
the evening sky
like a pteradactyl,
Prehistoric bird
on a treetop,
my heart swoops
with you,
then stills,
standing beside
the silent pond,
waiting for the night
to settle
around us both
as softly
as feathers.

Kids, it is Open Link Monday at Real Toads. Last night as I went to close the door on the falling dark, I heard my first froggy chorus of the springtime, out at our small pond.

It reminded me of when I lived in Port Albion, one summer, an outlying area near Ucluelet. I lived on this somewhat bigger pond, shown above, and every evening, everything turned a lovely shade of rose, and the frogs and herons all celebrated.

Some of you have read these before. But after last night's frog song, I just had to post them again. How my heart welcomes spring!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Word from the Grand-dogs

It's nice to sleep in on the weekend........

but Mom says I have to get up.....
we're fixing up our fabulous deck today!

Here it is, and it sure makes Mama happy!

That's Butchart Gardens behind the fence! Our view rocks!
Lots of interesting places for Morning Duties, also!

Mom started growing things when there was still snow!

Gardening is very tiring.

Here are all three of us,
Sanchez, Chloe and Chase,
tuckered after a day of deck-refurbishing.

Ya gotta love weekends!

These are Steph and Gord's "kids" - Chloe, the little pug, has grown so fast.  Steph was all excited this weekend, setting up the deck, planting things.........they will live on this deck all summer. They are in a lovely rural spot, not very far from work in Victoria, but far enough that you'd never know you were in or near a city. They can walk right down to the water in minutes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First Day of Spring

Port Alberni Owl - local photographer took this shot out the window to their back yard

Today, for the first time since last fall, I :

heard the loud roar of a lawn mower;

inhaled the scent of  fresh-grass cuttings, smelling like childhood;

was outside without a jacket;

drove with the window down;

had my first barbecue;

sat on the porch swing;

watched the dogs lounging all afternoon
in the warm sunlight -

all the heartwarming, ordinary/extraordinary

- (since winter was so long) -

pleasures of early spring.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Mary's Mixed Bag over at Real Toads, is to write about the ordinary. 
Only one topic on my mind this morning, after which I will pen a poem.

It was an ordinary day until the notice from Google turned up in my junk file saying I am not in compliance with their Name policy-huh?- because I am using Sherry Blue Sky. I am not a felon, I am a senior doing good things online. They are perhaps just a tad over-zealous, methinks?  
They say I have two days before my blog is affected.

Visions of two years worth of writing vanishing into the ether freaked me out!!!!!!

I spent all of last night and all of this morning clicking around the Very Unhelpful Help pages,
where there is no human being to respond and, in between times, deleting the millions 
of Google emails that have been  barraging me from their Forum site  and which I cant make stop - which means  I have been once again clicking around  the Help Forum for THAT problem.

Trust me, you do not want Google to notice you. I am living in Google Hell right now.
I think maybe I have fixed the name issue. But there is no one to tell me so.
I just want life to go back to Ordinary! But here is what I would have written before this nightmare began (why do tech problems dog me, when that is my idea of utter torture?) Forgive the digression, I just had to rant.

My life contains much more 
of the Ordinary
than the Extraordinary:
no shortage of chores
and bills,
a familiar and 
comfortable routine.......

but, given the state 
of millions 
on this earth,
even turning on a tap,
eating a meal,
walking down a street
safe from danger,
can feel
pretty darn
most days.

God bless
our peaceful,
ordinary days.
May we be 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Light

[image from]

The first light of dawn
is breaking across 
the horizon.
A raven's
wakes her.
Wild Woman stirs 
in her fur robe,
comes out
of her cave
and surveys 
the morning.

It is the end 
of the Hungry season,
the season in which 
her wolf companion
His pelt she keeps
wrapped around her,
for comfort.
Even gone, he is 
still helping her
to survive.

The days are growing 
longer, now.
In the evenings,
her heart leaps
at the extra hour of light
added to the day.

When she sits by 
her campfire,
the sparks floating up
as  darkness falls,
she plans for tomorrow's hunt:
certain leaves, morels, 
and rosehips,
anything to fill the ache
of a too-long winter.

Soon the babies 
will begin
to clamber about:
cougar and wolf,
bear and fawn.
Bald baby eagles 
will appear in the nest
above her sitting place.

She takes heart
and hopefulness
from the turning
of the seasons.
The time ahead 
will be easier,
because of
all the light.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When I Die

1989 - Tall Tree Trail

Kenia's Wednesday Challenge, over at Real Toads today, is to write a poem about one's connection with nature. A topic dear to my heart. The poet whose style is to inspire us, is 94 year old Brazilian poet, Manoel de Barros. I would love to write in his style, and may try to later today. But what popped into my head was this first line, so I decided to follow that lead. I am remembering, here, that when I lived in Tofino, among the ancient old growth rainforest, I was told that, in days of old, the First Nations people would set the bodies of their deceased relatives in the branches of the big old trees, sitting upright, their eyes looking out at the surrounding forest and the water.  

When I die,
perch me in the bowl
of an ancient cedar -
gently! -
don't crush the mosses.
Let my eyes face the sea,
my ears attune to
the tides and the patter 
of the rain
Let me sway gently
in the winter gales,
supple and bending
as a Taoist gentleman
practicing Tai Chi.
When, in time, I topple out,
come back and make a nest for me
of rotted nurselog and dampened salal. 
Add a blanket
of thick moss
and gentleman's beard. 
Tap it down lightly.
Let it become
a bed
for wolves.

[image from]

Putting On the Day

Sun-kissed tops
of snow-covered cedar,
lace filigree bushes
full of twittering birds;
snow-crystals winking
as the morning sun rises:    
I stand in the doorway,
putting on the day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Visit With Jeff

Kids, this morning I will share with you my recent conversation with my son, Jeff. Some of you have enjoyed his writings. He is a remarkable person, from whom I have learned so much, this lifetime. He has generously allowed me to share his thoughts and writings. This one, he wrote as lyrics for a song, for which he will compose the music. Jeff told me "Selma Karamay was Kahlil Gibran's first love. She was crushed underfoot." The final lines of this poem have enormous impact.

Selma Karamay

A woman filled with Life, Sorrow and Love
To play her part upon the stage of man
Descended out of Heaven like a dove
To do for her love everything she can

There was a Destiny she had to face
They mashed her underneath the iron boot
Shall mockery exalt above her grace
And make out of her soul a little loot?

The play of Love and Death were in her part
For those she loved she gave her final breath
Her painful labor stabbed her in the heart
Surrendering her soul unto its death


An angel greeted her by doors above
Asking, “Do you want to know if you were kind?”
She replied, “Only tell me I was loved,
And guard with mercy those I leave behind!”
Copyright Jeffrey Merk 2012

Here is a recent email of his, which shows  his remarkable spirit. Jeff has lived a challenging life, during which he has grown so much. He is my hero and my teacher.

I have a story to tell...

  I went to the library today.  One of the books I borrowed is called, 'Plum Red - Taoist Tales of Old China' by Stuart Wilde.  It's a series of lessons in the form of short stories.  The first story is called, 'The Thirty-three Sages of the Plum Red Robes - A Tale About Tenacity on Your Spiritual Path'.  I read it on the bus home.

  It's about a group of disciples who follow their master through extreme hardship.  I was reading it as a student.  In the end, only one disciple remains, and is accepted into the Monks Order.  He politely asks the master, "Why me, sir?"  The master explains, "Do you remember, one year ago, back in the village, when I said, 'Only one of you will complete the journey?'  All the other disciples said to themselves, 'Will it be me?', but you said, 'I am the one!'

  I realised that I was not the one.  In the park, on the way home, I sat down on a bench and wept bitterly, inconsolably.  But I learned a great many things from that story.

  I decided that I would sit on the park bench in the cold wind (I was wearing only a jean jacket) and not move until I had completed the second story: my 'hardship'!  I had a marvellous time!  I felt the first stirring of spring, bowed to crows, saw some boys playing soccer, and saw some beautiful people walking.  It's remarkable what you can notice if you slow down!

  If there is a lesson to this story, it would be that the greatest treasure a man can possess is his Inner Life!


Thank you, Jeff, for an uplifting morning! I am so proud of you!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stepford Fairy Tale

image from google

The prompt over at dVerse is to 
write a poem based on a fairy tale. 
Given I lived the tale, I didn't have far to look.

She was raised on fairy tales:
beautiful princesses, handsome princes,
ivory towers, white horses, 
bad witch spells overturned by heroic knights,
Technicolor dreams so beautiful,
we rushed to plunge right in.

Steeped in romantic notions,
she fared forth innocent and round-eyed,
wheat for the sickle,
corn  for the scythe.

The wolves sat up and took note.

She didn't know she could choose,
so one chose her,
built her a house of sticks
too fragile to withstand,
too sharp to provide comfort,
too small to  accommodate
her big unwieldy spirit.
He battered her with words and demands,
"my needs, my wants, what's wrong with you?"
Not the words of the fairy tale prince.
She must then be the ugly step-sister, 
the one who didn't fit the glass slipper.
She was not the true princess.

She tried to fit that shoe on
with all her might,
until it shattered
and finally sprang her free.

Out of the box of sticks 
and into her life she tumbled,
clutching her babies,
and that first glorious morning 
of  freedom
she hippety-hopped downhill, 
pushing the baby buggy,
laughing and giggling 
with her bouncing, rollicking  babies
into a brand new life.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

No Through Road

photo by Shanyn Silinski

The Sunday Challenge over at Real Toads is based on the photography of Shanyn Silinski.
This sign spoke to me :-)

Wild Woman has taken 
a lot of detours,
cruised far too many 
One Way Streets,
wound up on many a
No Through Road.

Just the same,
she has wound up here,
same place as if
she had traveled
straight through by Limo,
with nary a wrong turn.

For there are no
Wrong Turns
on the journey
of the soul.


Kids, I am not a big fan of movie stars, but I applaud George Clooney for not only going to the Sudan to see what life is like on the ground for its people, but using his platform to take a stand in the recent protest in Washington outside the Sudanese embassy, about the Sudanese humanitarian crisis. He was arrested, with others, to make the strong statement that intervention and humanitarian aid needs to happen NOW. He spoke of the Sudanese government's blocking of food and aid deliveries, famine, the bombing that is aimed at insurgents, but is also killing civilians. He spoke of child soldiers, the raping and killing that is happening now, the starvation.

In looking on google for a photo to accompany this poem, I saw some pictures that stunned me and broke my heart all over again.  I didnt post one here as it is too heavy, unless a person is strong enough to withstand it. But this happy eyed little boy? He is a child soldier. Still able to smile, so he must not have been one for long.........dear God in Heaven. What species are we?

Starvation and famine,
while aid is blocked and governments politicize,
bombs falling on the innocent,
human skeletons
crawling across the desert,
child soldiers,
unspeakable acts
against all of

God of the All That Is,
I beseech you,
change, transform 
the hearts
of humankind.

God's Canvas

photo by Jon Merk

When the sky
draws back
its gray winter curtain,
cerulean blue,
I could sit
with my head
tilted back
for hours,
watching God paint
puffy perfect clouds
on His

The Encyclopedia of Pain

image from google

When you've studied
The Encyclopedia of Pain,
you don't need a brush-up course.

Just say,
"I've suffered enough,"
and let your heart rest easy
in the sweet relief
that follows.

Friday, March 16, 2012

If you need a miracle.......

[image from google]

If you are
in need of a miracle,
and are wondering
if one is even
 any more,
in these times,
consider this:

baby seahorses 
are being born,
somewhere in the world,
right this minute!

Be Still

image from google

"The quieter you become,
the more you can hear."
Ram Dass

Grow still
and listen
from the center 
of your being.

What do you hear?

Rain gently blessing the earth,
      your own breath......
the sound of peace.

Bathe your spirit
in it.
Wrap it around you
like a cloak.

Wear it all day.


[image from google]

At Real Toads, today, Laurie's challenge  is Perspective. Cool one!

There is a time,
early in life,
when one feels 
she has been born
into the wrong family.

There is even 
a time or two 
later on,
when she  
feels alone,
as if the family
she has created
is the wrong family.

Then comes the time,
looking back,
when she knows,
without a doubt:
both times,
it was the