Scent of memories

It’s a hint, a wisp of a memory.
The forgotten bite of someone’s
cigarette smoke, or a sweet tang
of pipe tobacco and coffee.

The smell of powder from a
glass dish shaped like a dog.
Special day perfume lingering
on a scarf or sleeve like mist.

Stale smells of old ashtrays,
a lip of Cope or pull of chew.
Was it Juicy Fruit or Kool-Aid
that summer smelled like?

Kitchen smells can tease out
a whole decade of memories.
Car smells can put on miles
recalling maps and road signs.

When I try to recall though
they fade quickly, no hints.
Just a thought of what it
might have smelled like then.

They cross over too, the memories.
Vanilla – candles, air fresheners
or perfume? They me tangle up and
start me on paths worn and forgotten.

They are ambush predators every one.
Sneaking up with feelings and images,
non-tangible senses of things gone.
A tear or a laugh, scars ache and burn.

The scent of a memory lives as an
anchor and a trigger, a way to pull you
back in and awaken some forgotten
place in your heart, to live again.

Some last a fleeting moment, others
linger and bring with them a cascade
of other memories from scent, sound,
taste, touch – a blast from the past.

You can’t hold them, or keep them.
They are butterfly and wasp both,
Brush of something special and
a sting of something with no words.


Not yet winter, not yet.

No. No snow shots. No winter photos. Not yet.

I’m firmly in denial about this heavy shot of

winter snow, wind, and approaching bitter cold.

I want to imagine summer days,

deer in canola fields, blooming waves

of purple flax and the sounds of birds and insects.

I want to feel the sun warm on my face,

not snow in my hair and frozen lashes.

But the dog – oh the dog.

She loves this! Snow! Running and leaping.

Not too hot, just right for rolling fun.

She is a fall baby, grown into love

with the winter blanket of snow.

She bites the snow, digs into drifts.

Cuddles on the couch, cleaned by winter.

We balance it – the moisture so desperately

comes as snow, the promise of spring seems

darkly far distant as we hunker down to

snow, cold and short days easing to

darkness of winter but still…we wait.

Waiting gives us time to dream, to rest.

The busy weight of fall eases off.

We know it’s time to plan, plot and

to look inwards as the winter comes.

I won’t stop dreaming of spring.

I won’t hate the winter either.

I’ll lean forward and embrace

the special moments of quiet,

that only a cold snowy night

can bring in a busy loud world.

poetry #winter

Rolling hills with blues and greens, a foreground of yellow canola with the head and ears of a mule deer peeking out.


Sometimes I take off my glasses
and let the world soften,
out of focus and into gentle colors.

I close my eyes and let the
sun and shadow take turns
warming and cooling my face.

I let the shades bleed without edges
or definition until it becomes one.

#micropoetry #poetry

Taking up space

Clean sheets and sprawling across
A queen sized bed – taking up space.
In the morning I find I’m on my side
not using more than my space.

Conversations rolling along, fluid.
Me speaking my words – taking up space.
Later I wonder if I was too ________
using more space than I should.

I used to be bold, bright and wild.
I didn’t try to blend – I look up space.
Now I’m reclaiming her, that version
using the space I want, that I need.

Not unkindly but with passion
I won’t be less than – I take up space.
My voice, my art, my words – see them?
using space that has sat still and blank.

The between spaces where wounds bled
The lies that shrunk my vision of space.
Scar tissue that bound my muse
keeping her from dancing, painting, singing.

Leaning forward, into the idea of space.
Accepting that we always take up too much
for those who wish we didn’t take any
because they wish to control it all.

I won’t back away now, verging on an age
where saying no is akin to wisdom when
it is said with wrinkled brow and crooked finger
I don’t shout, I whisper – take up the space.

Fill it with color, laughter, tears, hopes and dreams.
Fill it with dancing, fire, ice cream and cake.
Take up the space, without apology, take it
use it wildly, loudly and with passion.

Let them howl, whisper and whine.
Let them defend their idea of your space.
Bump them gently, and keep moving
and never stop taking up space.

I often heard, growing up, that ‘we’ need to understand our place, not to take up too much space. It didn’t matter who you were, if you didn’t fit in just right you were too ________ (something) and expected to be less for their comfort. No more! Take up space. Breathe life into it, passion and fill it with everything bold, bright, dark and awesome.

Missing you

Through the Window

Through my window I see the sunset in spring.
From my comfy chair I watch the traffic going by.
The busy flights of birds through a tangle of branches.
I feel the world moving all around me.
Some parts fast on their way to who knows where.
Others in their pace set by nature and instinct.

Through my window I wait for the late spring leaves.
From my comfy chair I watch the lights flash by.
The busy noise of trucks and cars on the highway hum.
I feel myself in the moving of the world around me.
Some parts of me willing (and able) to go with the flow.
Others resisting, instinct and nature wanting stillness.

Through my window the world goes by and sometimes
I don’t see or hear a thing as I sit in tears in my comfy chair.
The busy noise of coming and going passes me by.
I feel myself pulling back to hear birdsong and wind.
Some parts of me wanting to move on, others to stay.
Others wanting a space between to rest, and breathe.

Through my window I see sun shine and storms rolling.
From my comfy chair sunny days and starry nights.
The quiet of a curtain of rain makes the world smaller.
I feel a tiredness lifting, sheltered from the noise around.
Some parts growing and some healing, still some being.
Others being still in the moment, power in being.

We are human beings, not human doings. We are able to do so much and yet we seem reluctant to do the one thing that might best of all for us – to just be. To rest. To be still. To treasure something small. To let a wound heal. To rest in faith.

Mad Dance

They who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music. – 1927

The struggle to understand, to be understood.
Comes down to such strange things.
Brain wires, glasses of perception, experiences lived
Culture and education, acceptance of what you can’t
understand but can sense a connection to.

Arguing about the shades of a blue pen
Seems mad, almost without purpose
But when blue is your world the shades matter
When blue is the color you see
understanding blues is a big deal.

Struggling to put complex feelings into words
A poetic crisis of faith, a true crisis of life
When those feelings demand their words
be spoken, be understood the world can crash
down and become chaos in the places misunderstood.

Knowing what you know, without words to say
Feeling the feelings large and ravenous
Speaking them to be hushed, quieted by
Those who can’t hear the music you
are compelled to dance to

Fighting so hard for the words to be not heard
but understood, accepted, with their feelings
fraught with emotion, tension, hurt and love
To see them swatted away with platitudes
and shrugs because you are being TOO MUCH

If you hear the music – DANCE!
If you feel the words – speak Poet, SPEAK!
If your heart hurts let the tears FALL.
If they don’t want to understand
Say a prayer and walk away.

It’s no fault of yours that your brain
Was wired different from the start
Neither is it theirs that they don’t see
the world as you hear it, sense it.
The pen is still blue – start there.


She’s gone, around a corner I cannot follow.
To a place free of pain and fear, she’s gone home.
We are left here. The space she filled is empty.
We don’t miss her hurt or her suffering.
We miss her. Her smile. Her laugh. Her.

She is gone, around a corner I cannot follow.
The sun shines there, but here is shadow.
We are left here. Grasping our memories.
We don’t miss the worry or the fear.
We miss her wit. Her touch. We miss her.

She’s gone around a corner I cannot follow.
To a place with no time and not a care.
We are left here. With the space she filled.
With her she took a piece of our hearts,
We miss her. We love her. We just do.

My mom is gone to heaven. No more pain or suffering. But outside of the big thoughts my Mom is gone and that knowledge hurts my heart so much. No more chances to do more things together. Even to sit and look at pictures or color flowers.

What we don’t say

It isn’t easy to not know what to say
When questions are not in formula
Answers don’t easily come out.

How are you?
Isn’t answered by busy.
Staying busy as opposed to?
Busy is what you are doing.
How are you asked
How is your being?

Are you okay?
Okay so often has a silent preface
Can you hear it?
I am (not) okay.
But we happily skip past
Okay is easy, neutral, bye

When the answer has the ‘not’
or the “I am having a hard time”
Can you be present and wordless?
Can you be a listener and still?
Can you help me hold and acknowledge
This pain, grief and hurt?

You don’t have to be comfortable.
you shouldn’t be, I”m not.
This hurts. It sucks. It’s raw. Ugly.
It’s confused and it’s unsure
My ‘being strong’ is a facade,
It is a shield for your comfort.

It feels so lonely, and unfaithful
To want so badly what can’t be given
Won’t be given. Either way.
Falling apart isn’t an option
Strength required and needed.
Salty tears burn quietly
Polite acknowledgement of
your distance grants a pass.

I won’t stop asking after your heart.
I won’t stop brushing past the busy and okay
I know how that (not) feels and
I honour it with my concern.
“Thoughts and prayers” are good
But are no replacement for
being present, being there.

It’s not easy, never said it was.
If it’s hard for you to be here,
imagine if you will
How I’d love to be anywhere but.
And can’t. Won’t. Because
Someone needs me more.

I wish I was strong enough
to shake you free from your
safety and your platitudes
But I don’t have the energy or the will
When I am slow to come back,
understand the miles I’m walking alone
I don’t blame you, but I miss the idea that you’d
be there as I’d try to be for you.

How long can you stay in a stage of grief? How much preparation can you imagine and still not be ready? Grief isn’t a line, or a road, It’s a twisted scribble full of traps and triggers. It may get straighter, or so they say. All I know is that as hard as it is for you to be there for me, it’s harder to be alone in the middle of it.

Black Galaxy Marble

Perfectly smooth, perfectly round
Swirled depths spots of light
in darkness.
Cool to the touch
but warming hard
Always the same
Different at each glance

for dVerse, imagists is being served at the Bar. Join in!

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