Age and Obstacles

Sloth-like she shuffles
each stride an argument
against unwilling muscles,
ignores spasms, lips pursed
in concentration, advances

Cockeyed he totters,
step…hop…step, poker-hot
stabs punctuating his effort
moves swiftly as if to out run
pain, face set in determination

They are out of sync, oddball
awkward sightseers, obstacles
for the fast-moving able-bodies
that whir past unable to fathom
motivation in crooked spines.

The race here is against time,
propelled by insatiable thirst,
they forage for snippets worthy
of hoarding, squirrels readying
for winter’s harsh call, days

when minds still alert will hunger
despite bodies inert, they will
dine on memory, boast about
the daring, reminisce fondly
over adventures hard won.

(The Daily Post prompt is snippet.  Hope you enjoyed.)




He is the planner,
planning routes and stops,
measuring distances, researching
particulars, focused on specifics

I am the organizer,
organizing a mass cull,
distribution of worldly possessions
to kids, goodwill, or garage sales

He is the scheduler,
scheduling maintenance,
pre-departure inspections,
double-checking mechanicals

I am the communicator,
communicating itineraries
answering emails, phone calls
reassuring family left behind

We lose each other
in the preparation scramble,
absorbed as we are in personal
agendas, anxious for departure.

The future is unknown,
we have committed to the leap,
replaced obligations with openness,
are setting sail on a new adventure.

We are questers,
questing after discovery,
retreating from a weighty past
leaving judgment in our dust.

We are travellers,
traveling off the beaten track,
chasing vibrant panoramas,
a close proximity to nature’s best.


Must Have

(Originally posted May of 2014, this poem describes the early days with ME/CFS.  This is an edited version of the original.)

Rain pelts against my window,
cheered on by a relentless wind.
Inside, I lie motionless
on my once-yearned-for
now resigned-to

Target has those things you’re looking for
texts a daughter, pic attached.
Exactly what I’m looking for
but a million miles away
when energy fails me

Instead, I give in to the fingers
of sleep, pulling me in –
blessed unconsciousness,

A door opens below me,
footsteps, a voice:
Do you need anything?
I don’t respond,
too weak for words.
Do I need anything?

The question reverberates
through mind…
comes up empty –
what could I need?
too much

Rain abates, wind subsiding
and a brief ray of sun
brightens the room –
a promise
of spring
of new beginnings,
and I think:
I need clothes

but clothes means shopping
and shopping means energy
and the cycle continues
and still I lay

Then you enter,
an offering of tea
and a gentle word
and with renewed momentum,
I shift to make room for you,
and it all comes clear –
You are what I need

You are my must-have.


Is Progress This?

Is this progress,
this decision to uproot,
caste possessions aside,
free ourselves of ties?

Can his dependency,
my dependency, endure
the transition, released
from former justifications?

We are companions
embarking on adventure,
companions retiring past
lies, redefining possibility

or is this more of the same,
artfully camouflaged –
a continuance of flight
from tyrannical origins?

The paths behind are jagged,
wrought with rocks and crevices
and scarred riddles, and yet,
have we not survived, thrived?

The road ahead is expansive
our home an ever-changing
landscape as wide as a continent
our minds eager to absorb…

this is progress,
we are unburdened,
free-spirited, submitting
to new tests of truth.



A Wedding Blessing

(I penned the following poem on the occasion of my son and daughter-in law’s recent wedding celebration.  To read more about the ceremony, visit :  “Blessing of Interracial Union” )

A son is sweetness and strength and mystery;
here is my son – a gentle soul, kind-hearted
and generous – wasn’t he just a boy, only four
asking his father for work so he could buy me
a pair of earrings: Suns, he said, like you, Mom.

How did that boy, once so caring that he’d save
his treats to share with older sisters, sisters
who would turn around and snub him – he
never seemed to care, accepted it with a shrug
tried again – how is it he is now a man, married?

Always the loyal friend, is he, with an ear for
the downtrodden, offering a hand; I’ve watched
him struggle for independence, study hard,
labour tirelessly, he is a man of vision, a man
with a heart big enough to hold all his dreams.

I want it all, he once told me, eyes focused
on a future only he could see – I read joy
in his countenance, felt pride swelling, knew
this day would come, knew the moment he
first spoke the name Warsan he’d found love.

Warsan, truly good news, precious as the sunrise
her spirit bright, her smile contagious, she is
brilliance, and thoughtfulness, and I could not
have chosen better: a child I can love as my own
a woman our family embraces with open arms

What wisdom can I offer these two, joined
together in love, driven by a commitment
to one another, to family, to shared vision?
Be your best selves, I want to say, approach
anger with tenderness, and pain with warmth

Hold fast to one another in a world that will
challenge you, and know that I will be there
behind you, a rock to your storm, and that
others who have gathered here will do the same
And know, above all, that we celebrate you

Marriage is a vessel, a beginning, an opportunity
It is a bowl in which to place your dreams and hopes
it is a coming together of values, histories, a blending
Let it always be your soft place to land – today
is a new beginning; may this blessing continue.

Marital Dance

We converse in actions,
words inaccessible –
have not been schooled
in dialogues for two.

His clutter spreads,
pronounce’s a kingly
presence, commands
attention, oppresses.

I clean with insistence,
shuffle papers, wipe up
crumbs, assert my right
to co-exist, belittle him.

Once we studied dance;
he learning to lead, I
to follow signals – the art
is lost on us now, our steps

more interference, blocking
an inconvenience, not
a strategy, we are rhythmless
avoidance more tolerable

than the effort it takes to tango.
How did language fail us?
experts now at skirting
delicate issues, retreat before

we speak, pray time will serve
absolve the problem, but only
distance grows in silent cracks
and we converse in actions.

(Image: source unknown)





















Contemplating Confinement

Is this clawing essential?
Are we creating a practical life,
a persuasive existence;
or are we restrained by judgments?

Do we value joint holdings,
going places  – are we two wheels
pulling this oversized work in progress?

Is there space for support,
to land, and register once
on board – a must-have meeting
of the minds?  Or are we cramped,
piece by piece, to each their own –
equals, wrestling with what’s important?

Can I conceive – while pleading my case –
whose rights decide, how we preserve
our assets?  Risky when both charges
are unstable:  a study in adaptability

a hard trial – requires a negotiation tool
for surfacing needs, to lift us from
our limitations, help us confront
mirrored images, perceptions
battling for imperatives.

Eventually, our laboured intentions
will birth proof of the worthiness
of this journey, that storing family
differences and moving precariously
forward will succeed, if we are committed,
flexible, and willing to co-create.


Demon Prowler

It stalks – colourless,
soulless, skin of leather,
ears tufted – a demon
predator crouching
in the private places
awaiting bloody attack

A wife reigns in instinct
ignores niggling senses
guards her loyalty –
vaguely speaks to spouse
of fears, accepts a shrug
as compliance, relaxes

Routine a barrier to what
lies within, darkness waiting,
watching – convinces herself
serenity is a state of mind,
while her husband seeks
a more youthful companion

Has plotted his escape –
accomplices secured –
intends to bulldoze
the marriage – feeds
the beast with covert
manipulations, lies

Inexperience lures the
maiden, sandwiched
between his lust and
her hope, willing to risk
precariousness, encroach
on marital privacy, bait

for what lurks there,
impatient for the kill;
but who will fall victim,
whose heart be torn
in irreconcilable pieces
when betrayal strikes.






A year ago, my husband was in hospital, having suffered a heart attack and awaiting bypass surgery. I wrote this in his absence. ( Image from

One Woman's Quest

Slippers, perched at night stand,
twitching impatiently,
mark the absence of feet,
cannot appreciate the meaning
of unruffled bed covers.

Abandoned, a coffee mug
bemoans its curdling contents,
complains of thick brown lines
contaminating its porcelain shine,
has not noted absence of hands.

Chair, pushed back from desk,
in partial rotation, sits awkwardly,
commanding attention, disturbed
by its misalignment, has not thought
to ponder absence of body.

House, uncomfortable with silence
creaks unnaturally, loudly voicing
objections to the absence of footfalls,
automated machinery and incessant
rings, beeps, and chimes of technology.

I try to reassure them that the absence
is only temporary, that the man whose
presence so strikingly fills this space
will return,  hope they cannot read
the apprehension in my tremulous heart.

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He possessed a certain divinity,
a soft-spoken modesty she read
as safe harbour, fell for maiden-like
innocence, her blessed compliance.

Married in the sacred way, carnal
mounting accentuating a tailored
love – husband and wife exploring,
celebrating glorious submission

until joy plummeted – impossible
to duplicate infatuation in a void –
they grasped at objects, mystery –
remodeled, relocated, searched,

constructed a delicate balance –
contrived happiness, passionless,
spontaneous and fearful, rawness
of exposed souls clinging together

saw deliverance in the perfection
of celebrity, worshiped at the feet
of media icons, like fools pandering
to a naked Emperor, no amount of

polish could contain the anxiousness
of their precariousness; quietly he
undressed another, fiery girl, while
surprised onlookers, sensitive, yet

unwilling to intervene – the discernible
darkness seeping through cracks of a
once golden haze – closed their doors to
the holy union now veering off course,

shielded themselves from bludgeoning
nostalgia, the anguished cries of vows
slaughtered bleeding onto sidewalks,
as if pain bore tentacles, spidery limbs

able to infiltrate the secrets of their
own carefully compartmentalized
partnerships, disrupt the grind and
lay bare the godless infidelities within.