Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's Go Down to the River again...

Starting tomorrow, it's the Mindful Writing River of Stones 2013 Challenge - one small stone per day
For details and to possibly join in with your own stones ... click on this link

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

Yesterday I received this award from a dear friend and a fine poet, Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (actually, she nominated me as one of 7 for the award - there are some stipulations to be completed which I am doing immediately so I am comfortable accepting the badge and putting it up on my page). This innovative award was created very recently (Nov.24/12) by another fine poet, Hannah Gosselin - so thanks to Hannah and to Pearl, and to the community of wonderful poets of which I am lucky enough to be part.

As part of the Sisterhood Bloggers Award, I am to list seven things about myself:

  1.  I probably have more blogs up and running than I should admit to (at last count, somewhere around ten).
  2. Writing has been a mainstay in my life for as long as I can remember.
  3. Not many people know this but I placed third in the Romance Writers of Edmonton contest a few years ago.
  4. Arthritis has been (so far) the worst part of getting older; it mostly bothers me because I haven't got much of a grip left and I like to shoot (at targets).
  5. If I was independently wealthy - I'd pay off family debt, give a large whack to charity and spend the rest of the time travelling the world (and probably still writing).
  6. Lately I find myself obsessed by certain computer games - only against myself - but still - I am surprised.
  7. If I couldn't write, read and be with family (Lord, I sound boring) - I don't know what I'd do. I find myself wondering about receiving this award as I write these seven things. I can't seem to think of much of interest to say. However, "interesting" wasn't one of the prerequisites ... so, I'm still going with honoured and grateful to Pearl and Hannah,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This Just In

Beauty queen and actress found
Face down, lifeless
Never really did belong

"C'mon sweetheart - big smile, shoulders back
Bust out - show your assets - can't go wrong"

Just a pawn in the machine
Swallowed pills, pride, and words
Stayed silent like a good girl

 "Sorry, please, just one more take?"
"I'll be on time from now on, I promise"

Never had a chance. Unless. No.
Never did.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wherein the Greatest Advises the Science-Challenged

“Imagination is more important that knowledge,” and
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s 
coming attractions,” Albert Einstein

 In the miasma that is quantum physics or mitochondrial DNA
As I struggle to come to understand the chemical mystery
That is my insanity; I rejoice to learn that even Einstein believed
There was more merit in brainstorming about possibilities
Then dwelling on what has already been proven – in fact, he
Once said “I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion”
A remark very similar to ones I myself make and, not infrequently

While admittedly, Einstein’s “what if’s” have resulted in some
Of the world’s truly great scientific finds and theories
It becomes apparent upon reading his biographies, and there
Are a plethora,   he had a superfluity of those questions –
Perhaps the staggering number alone, coupled with his passionate
Curiosity couldn't help but produce the theory of relativity
For instance – after all, there is certain logic to be considered
Here, and empirical data would suggest that – omigod – I am
Doing some scientific theorizing – am I out of my mind?
Well, yes – given my history, there’s a very good chance ...

It would appear that science and philosophy are growing
Closer together – some are even postulating that God
And Science are nearing a resolution previously thought
Unattainable, or even unthinkable; Albert Einstein must be
Chuckling or maybe just nodding, from wherever he is
After all, he did say, “All religions, arts and sciences are
branches of the same tree.” I could get behind that I think.

Every day, it seems that idea is becoming more accepted
As science embraces religion and vice-versa; Einstein also
Maintained that “God always takes the simplest way” and
“God may be subtle but he isn't plain mean”- a couple of notions
That might not sit well with some forms of the more traditional
Religions but for much of the world, made weary by chaos
Brought on by war and bitterness, the divisiveness that little
Understood factions on both sides have taken to exploiting,
This could be welcome news, especially those who are ready
To accept God and Science as partners in a changing world

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


She sits quiet but seething
Taught what to think, not how
Her damaged psyche
Is just learning to seek
The company of women
Who, like her
Bear scars she wishes to excise

She knows she has the power
Within her to unravel the thread
That's kept her bound to men
Not a single one of whom
Has been any good for her

She is ready to become one
With the whole
She will be part of "we"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lupine Loveliness

Last night you howled me awake
The pair of you, serenading each other
Making music, or love, your voices ululating
Full of such terrible tenderness I found
Myself unable to return to slumber

Sweet but primitive yearning in your voices
Had me wondering, were you about to mate,
Or simply singing eternal love-songs to Luna
As she blessed you with her gibbous fullness
Showering silvery light on shadowy mountain peaks

Thank you for honouring me, oh ancient ones
Granting me your ghostly presence again this year
An affirmation of the circle of life, you surely are
Performing in the darkness as if in a dream;
Stopping by just long enough to grant me peace.                                                                                                                                                                             

Sunday, October 14, 2012

To Become Light

I stand free
Ready to become
Light - no more
Excuses - I shift
The childhood
Inherited back beneath
Thunder's umbrella
Deeper than shadows
Of the past
I join to the present
And vow to remain
Here, now

Thursday, September 20, 2012


In the solitary moments of my separateness
I wonder why you occupy such space
And yet take up so little room
It’s as if you’re everywhere and nowhere all at once

My heart’s chambers on the other hand
Are scoured empty as old pails of lye
Rusting through now in its various weak spots

That comes as no great shock really
Since I’ve been scrubbing at the vestiges of caring for you
Long enough to diminish the thickness of the walls

And even though scars grow without my permission
Over damage we have inflicted simultaneously
I seem able to lessen their callous nature as the years go by

Until they too grow less able to sustain themselves
And eventually I sense them falling off
The way the last withered leaves depart the trees of autumn

I wonder, in my isolated soul, if when I am finally
Irrevocably emptied, without within, unoccupied of energy or life
Will I finally feel the peace of being one with all
Or will my aloneness be the peace I’ve sought all along

Friday, August 31, 2012

Desperately Missing You Who are Gone

I walk at night in the graveyard, and I walk alone
Hoping against despair somehow I will run into you
Knowing in my heart, and in my soul,  you are gone

Reading the stones, I weep, but still you are gone
I try to take it in, realize the truth of it, I am alone
No matter how I twist away from it, I don't have you

Oh what I would give for just one day more with you
It does not matter that I tell myself our days are long gone
No, for then I am left with the sad fact again, I am alone

So, I am walking on alone without you wishing I too were gone.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Latching the Gate

A mind floods
with past indiscretions
and other bits
of curvaceous lunacy
Its owner gives
chase as they lace
through narrow synapses
spinning past gateways
permanently stuck open

Trying to map these
is a lesson in futility
as they ricochet
at warp speed from
dark alcove to darker
Gaining even more speed
with dangerous
invisible intent
Any idea of eventual
dwindle, a dim impossibility.


Saturday, July 7, 2012


In the summer of our lives

When eternity stretched
Before us like a lazy cat

And fall stayed hidden
In the dark corners
Of bureau drawers

Housewives were just something
Our mothers became ...
Never those of us who played ball
Spent months perfecting our pitch
Felt the sting in the palm of a well-worn glove

Choosing to remain ignorant
For as long as possible
Subtracting years ahead
From the now of it
We spurned the future
Chewed the rind of a bitter lemon


Friday, July 6, 2012

Routine Hangings

In a strobe-like flicker
It's caught like a black and white
Snapshot - no more than a gesture
Less than the thin skin
Of a timpani drum
Their lips barely touched each other
An act defiant before ...
They stand back to back
Hands tied together
Heads strain through ropes
Meaningless words are uttered
Chairs kicked out from under
They are sent off.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

We Are

Grief older than the sea
Rawer than the cliff-face
Rips at the tops of the grove

We are giants, we are holy
Trembling is not in our nature
But our roots are being shaken

There is death colouring the sky
Slashing through the pines
And the taste of it is bitterness

Smell the sulphur as the lightning
Strikes,  splits an elder to the ground
The thunder booms triumphant

And we know the game is on - but
We bend together, try for grouping
Try for strengthening - stand as one

It is cyclical we know and can tell
This through the rings that count
Our age - but we also know the time

And feel it to the marrow of our wood
When the sky grows copper bright
And then is limned with lightning too

We whisper urgently as we huddle
Ever closer listening as the storm
Begins to take apart our lower limbs

It sounds like hunting season as shots
Are ringing out - each time a branch
Breaks off and one of us comes closer

To dying while the storm goes raging on
The storm goes raging on bringing death
With every crash, every flash, every sound

And all we can do in our terror, in our fear
Is stand bravely, and hold to our truth
We are older than the wind, we are ancient

We have outlived such chaos before
We must trust we will outlive this
As some of us fly apart in the fierceness

Of the end of days, the rest carry on
It is our destiny, our fate and we embrace it
We are the ones, we will stand tall, we are.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Over Dinner

Somewhere between the cheesecake
And the devils on horseback
They revisit a topic best left alone
The evening begun with such promise —
fine wine, crisp linen, dimmer switch low
music soft and tasteful; kitchen smells scrumptious—
Rapidly deteriorates, spins with concentric determination
Down, down, down — to the dark place
All too familiar to them both

She feels if she stretches her arms out,
Her hands will feel  cold, damp
No, not damp —slimy —slimy, wet walls
And she knows the walls will be closing
in on them, on her

He, on the other hand, feels as if the ground
is disappearing beneath their feet
That the more they talk, the less real his world
is becoming
Until soon it and he, will become entirely weightless
He knows there will be no keeping him grounded
That his drifting away from her will have
the permanence of death

Still – try as they might to quell them,
Bitter words, crisp as alum, fall from their lips
Spill like old blood on the empty china plates
Plinking like coins, each one louder,
Uglier than the last

Her hands fly to her face
Touch the heat gathered there and
the salty tears leaking freely
Her voice is stayed and she stares
at him blankly, wondering again,
How is it they have arrived at this place...

The silence gathers like snowdrifts,
catches his ear; he stops to listen,
Stares into her leaking eyes
They stretch their hands towards each other
Grasping for some remnant of their love,
Her lips tremble with the absurdity
Of the notion that they may try
This staying together thing  another time;
How can she consider the idea
For even a second, when they both come
From such vastly different places,
Remember such very different pasts

She tries to remind herself how badly
He rewrites her history
How embellishment is one thing but now,
Every recital  of her transgressions
Has her growing more evil, less well

Then, tonight – oh my God – tonight
She’d almost forgotten that they’d
actually opened
Old-new wounds, some things she’d believed
scarred over
Were apparently never fully slashed apart
in the first place
The fact of the fiction has her feeling surreal
She can't tell which way is up, north, down, east
Her discombobulation so great, she feels
physically unwell

How could her memory be this faulty?
Could she really be this far off the mark?
She feels demented – she knows she's
subject to sadness
And bouts of mania – but demented?
Does she also have to accept that?
Dementia seems such an old person’s thing...
Besides she couldn’t be wrong
about all of her history —
Could she?


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Deep Tissue Bruising

It is late in the day before she crawls
From the edge of the woods where
She's lain crumpled since her last beating

Since coming to,  her head is crashing
Crazily and her skin burns so, she fears
She might actually be glowing ...

Except for a tiny blood blackened split
Over one eyebrow, she appears unharmed;
Her bruises are of the deep-tissue type

And she knows as she draws to a crouch
First,  then finally hauls herself to her feet,
Walking is going to cause pain so severe

It will pierce every single part of her -
Bursting flowers of agony like fireworks;
It's not  the first time, she's had to chisel out

A normal seeming demeanor to get her
Through, but it's getting closer to the last


Friday, May 25, 2012

Becoming Shrink-Wrapped

Another day, another mind mapper
He tells me we're not here to go over
Every little detail of my history - relief
Washes over me just in time to hear
Him continue - no, what he wants
To do is help me discover who I am

Oh joy, oh thank you Jesus, I think
But don't say aloud; after all I do
Want to be released from this place
Of cages and experimental drugs
And doctors like this one someday
And sooner rather than later I hope
And sarcastic remarks don't aid
In that result usually ...

I allow my brain to slide into the zone
While this guy begins his spiel about
The ego, the id and the super-ego
I wonder vaguely if he's even glanced
At my file; taken into consideration
How long I've been at this game
Been in the so-called system

Or, noticed - and this I am sure not -
That I have some background in psychology;
I might know a little bit about the basics
I forget just where he is in his lecture
When I realize I can't stand another
Minute of this useless appointment

I sit up straighter - look him in the eyes
So intently he actually stops talking
Looks somewhat nervous - the silence
In the office is louder than rush-hour
Traffic; we are at a stalemate, glaring
At each other when I finally tell him

Flat out, "You do realize I am just
fucking crazy right?" He literally jumps
a bit; I mean, his whole body lifts off
the chair and back from the desk
before jarring back down - he still stares
"And you are something like my tenth
shrink?" I continue now that I have
his attention, I figure I might as well

Go for it - I can see he's trying to
Compose himself and decide to take
Pity on him - "Listen, I know you're just
trying to do your job and it's a thankless
crap job at that, but if you could just
please try not bull-shitting me -"
He has started shaking his head as if
to say, oh no, he wasn't --

"Doing the whole ego blah blah blah
routine on me is such old news ..."
I tell him; "I'm just saying, it's not
helpful. I will walk out of here and
try to get a day pass so I can get
to the High Level Bridge and leap off
 - you take my meaning?"

He has the good grace to blanche
His pasty white face growing whiter
than I would have believed possible
No shrink wants a suicide on their
record but an in-hospital offing?
On their watch? It doesn't bear thinking
about; I can practically read his mind
Shortly he sends me off with an aide
back to the ward still crazy, still unsolved


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Second Sunday in May and No More Roses

Every year on this day of days
They take part in a ritual
the significance of which
Only those haunted by these
particular demons understand
Or have need of

Each one is as revered as any goddess
And travels as far as it takes to visit
The same sacred place; a site indigenous
To those who die while serving
Their country

With unspoken intentions they converge
As if gathering at a summit, each one
Carrying a flag folded to the exact
Specifications as each other one
They have no need for further elaborations

It is Mother's Day - these are the mothers of dead sons and they meet here annually—
to remember their boys;
It is the only time they allow themselves the indulgence of so much remembering, rubbing their memories like the well-worn beads on the string of a rosary
They store their commonality and strength, the courage they take from each other, fit for another year.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

no more than the bird with the piercing voice*

night is rendered mute
blanketed in storms of
soot, smoke, blood-stains

the youngest are always
led away first in no
particular order, maybe
by height; eyes eloquent

shrieks strafe the air
in the beginning but
shortly it is silence
that makes the eardrums

*from a fragment of a Sappho poem

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Moon is Cresting the Horizon

A moon is cresting the horizon, it's huge and creamy
The colour reminiscent of churned butter, old roses, love
And as I drive home, I catch glimpses of it as it rises
Through the trees in the park, over, and between the peaks
Of houses and other buildings; it makes arcing progress
Easily tracked and yet always slightly surprising in that
Way that makes one go, 'ah, there you are' — as if greeting
An old friend playing a casual game of hide 'n see
While you go on your way, and it goes on its way also.