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.)


Blogging Retreat

A retreat centre
somewhere beneath
open air, amongst
boughs of birches
and sturdy oaks.

It will be a feast of minds
each new acquaintance
a delicacy of delight
each interaction
laced with verbal spice

Some will perform
others peddle their wares
cameras clicking
and stories being told

A weekend to fill our hearts
our minds, our souls,
and then we’ll part
still hungry for more

and meet again
the next year,
somewhere else.

(In response to my weekly challenge: envisioning a gathering of blogging friends. Image my own.)

Relocate. Reset

Mom said sh’e leaving Dad
can’t take it anymore
we move.

Relocate. Reset.

Bullying at school out of control
can’t take it anymore
we move.

Relocate. Reset.

Truancy a problem
then the rape
school says I have to go.

Relocate. Reset.

Sister move back home
one unhinged, the other battered
Moms says it’d be better if I leave.

Relocate. Reset.

Shuffle boxes from relationship
to relationship, change careers
like hairstyles – is this boredom?

Relocate. Reset.

Never did grow roots
too good at packing up
trouble comes…

Relocate. Reset.

Tell you more, but we’re about
to pull out, the road is calling…
you know how it goes…

(Relocate. Reset. first appeared here in December, 2017. I am submitting it here, edited, for my weekly challenge: I’m bored. All welcome to join in. Image my own.)

Wasted Time

It’s Monday again –
days passing through
my hands like sand,
no receptacle in which
to catch the granules –
why this sense of urgency?

In high school, I played hooky
wiped away the hours in empty
places, sought answers for
questions I could not articulate,
chased dust while other formulated
dreams – how is this any different?

Am I not just recreating the pattern,
painting over efforts with adult hues,
donning the pretence of self-importance
while occupied with vapid tasks – time
continues to slip by, and what have I
to show for it other than incessant panic?

(Wasted Time was first published February, 2017. I resubmit here for my weekly challenge: the chase. Image my own.)


Depression monitors my movements
eyes me from across the road, waits

I struggle to define myself, here
at the margins of life, career lost

As teacher, days were outlined
bells, rubrics, and semesters

Now I must learn again, find
purpose in nothingness

Despair wants to move in, overwhelm
But I’m building my fences, regaining

routines – markers motivating
each day – a reason for being.

(This poem is a response to my weekly challenge: define but don’t reveal. Image my own.)

Life Shifts

Had a kinship once
with gentleness
and acceptance
confidence, too

Till independence
made me tough
a fortress against
imagined battles

Married myself
to distance
from fluidity

Age necessitates shift
those barriers of old
they’re just cons

Readopting tenderness
re-friending acceptance
confidence with humour.

(My challenge this week is con/ scams/ catfish. Image my own.)

Who Speaks For The Silent?

Your voice, he said, it sounds…different…

Project your voice
I learned in theatre,
speak to the back
keep it strong
don’t falter

I had to replay your message several times….

Hold that note
dig deep –
from the diaphragm
sing from your belly

Must be something wrong with the machine…

Demonstrate conviction
let your tone convey passion
stand tall, be confident
motivate your audience
Dad, the orator, told me

I couldn’t make out your words….

Performance demands voice
activism relies on voice
change requires voice

You sound so…weak…
not yourself at all

I am losing my voice
but not my words;
I have much to say
who will say it for me?

(Who Will Speak for the Silent first appeared here in October, 2015. My voice was the first thing to go at the onset of ME. It would be years before I could speak and sustain a conversation again. In revisiting this poem, it occurs that it is still relevant for all those who do not have a voice, who cannot speak for themselves, so I resubmit here on behalf of Woman’s History Month and am linking up with my weekly challenge, dig. Image my own)

Frozen Waves

Snow drifts in blanketing waves
I’ve forgotten the colour of grass

We plow out paths, add salt
pretend it’s all manageable

Do not speak of risks
how slippery the route ahead

Soon, the thaw will come
temperatures rising, rain

We’ll slosh through the mud
disgruntled and weighed down

Projecting hope in the first sprouts
Spring bearing the promise of renewal.

(Linking up to my weekly challenge: waves. Image my own.)

IT Takes Grit

Calm belies the storm
dis-ease spawning a flurry
fractured ideas
peppered with glints of hope –
with focus, I too sparkle.

(There have been many instances this week that have tested my grit.
I am learning to harness the good moments and hang on.
Linking up to my weekly challenge: I’m learning... Image my own.)