Vancouver Island

Is it the robin whose morning song so sharp and crisp awakens me in this enchanted place, or the warble of Juncos whose hooded faces delight as they forage between the dried, curled aftermath of a cold Winter, now pushed aside by new life sprouting? The absence of raindrops on tin roof offers promise that the sun might appear today, the buds on the oak trees as anxious as I for the warmth.

I raise the window shades to reveal the lush green of Douglas firs, the walls that divide us from our neighbours: nomads like us in the quest to commune with a simpler way of life. We are metal boxes tucked within green pockets, quiet souls hushed by the grandeur of the forest we currently call home, reticent to disturb the wildlife that also grazes here – squirrel, fox, and rumours of cougar. Occasionally bear. We are skirted on one side by marsh, a lush welcoming for geese and goldeneyes; and on the other by ocean, where seagulls and terns claim driftwood as perches. It is the raven who is master here. Large wings casting shadows, the thrumming call – sometimes belligerent, sometimes a purr – a reminder that this land is theirs, that the totem poles dotting the island are a testament to royalty.

Offshore, seals roam in masses encouraged by the schools of trout and halibut, and soon the salmon run. Orcas gather in semi-circular formation, readying the hunt. Spring is a time of proliferation – abundance after the Winter chill.

Arise, old woman
Nature evokes new rhythm –
Spirit wants to dance.

(Vancouver Island first appeared here April, 2018. It is an early attempt at a haibun. I am linking up to my weekly challenge: trees. Image my own.)

Tree of Life

Drawn to trees
ink chasing lines
yearning for definition

How to capture
strength…beauty…
such profound calm

Even as the regal Walnut
towers over this place
she dwells within me

I know
I feel her
she seeks expression

My Tree of Life.

(In Response to Eugi’s Weekly prompt: Tree of Life. I have been obsessed with drawing trees. The featured image is the beginning of a series that keeps drawing me in. Others in the series below.)

Three Goddesses
Into the Woods



Birch Trees (with recording)

Strains of Tijuana Brass flood the yard
while father on bended knee tends
his garden, tiers of stone edged rows
encircling a trio of birch trees.

Father points out birches on Sunday
drives, as if the bark is sacred, leaves
whispering a secret I cannot hear –
stirs in me an indefinable longing.

My husband planted birch trees
there amongst the flower beds –
how the leaves shimmer in sunlight,
how my heart quickens, bittersweet.

Imagine Father seated there, mellow
as he was in old age, angst expended,
tyranny of parenting set aside – understand
love unexpressed dwells in birch trees.

(Watercolour image by yours truly)

Keep Imagining

Elaborate, the tree forts
imagination envisions

Indifferent, the rationale
that overpowers inspiration

I balk, abandon hope,
build a wall instead,
forgetting…

Creativity is not linear,
tolerates input, planning,
some alternatives preferred.

(Featured image from personal collection.   Doesn’t it just say:  “Climb me!”?  This image is a Live Oak, in Texas, and is available on various products at Society6.)