Horrified at the events in Elliot Lake, ON where looking good by gov’t was being put before actual rescue this poem has come to me. This is for all those who are praying, for those who are doing their best to save those who are trapped and especially for those who are still inside, tapping away in hope that someone will come for them.  Pray for them all, won’t you?


As normal a day as they can come.

At the mall. At work. Trusting.

Cracks, breaks and collapse!

Twelve missing from town.

tapping tapping tapping


Rescuers doing what they need to.

At their rigs. In gear. Working.

Fragile concrete house of cards

Politics calls a halt, angry shouts.

tapping tapping tapping


Left inside, dying of thirst, waiting.

In the dark.  In hope. Praying.

Life living while buried alive.

Machines silent and then they roar.

tapping tapping tapping


Unseen tears on faces held in hope.

Hands touching.  Hearts breaking.

Living hell if you are left beneath.

Dying to help, held back by fear.

tapping tapping


Last of the cell phones die.  Darkness.

Dry throats.  Pain filled eyes.  Waiting.

Delicate rescue, enough willing to try.

Failure can’t be an option.  Can’t give up.



What’s worse than knowing you left them?

Seeing them saved.  In spite of your cowardice.

Telling them, “We wanted to give up.” Knowing.

When there is hope, isn’t hope enough to try?


Sorta famous, once

“Hi how are you? How is your folks? What have you been doing?”

I stare, knowing I don’t know this face or this voice. Certain.

“You don’t know me.” She laughs.  She knows I don’t.

“But I know you. I remember your photo, what

you used to write when you were that kid

the newspaper kid.” She laughs again.

How does she know me from

that black and white

from years ago?

But she does.


Grew up with a younger brother and a baby newspaper.

Knew how to be little grown up young, always on.

Spotlight shone on clothes, hair, feelings, me.

Seventeen years with that, living in that

small yet intense spotlight made me.

Made us. Our family. Different.

The HORSES ALL people.

That family that did

the paper all the

time and stuff.


Sorta famous, once. Long ago. But maybe not so long as I thought.

Interview for the 35th year.  Going for 35 years.

Not the same, so much changes as we grow.

Older, not wiser maybe nor better.

It is, and was, after all pulp,

ink and heart, bloodied

hands and tears too.

Sorta famous,



For Fireblossom’s challenge at With Real Toads.  Not movie star famous, or singer famous but rubbed shoulders with them all.  Never able to be star struck, but can move in the circles with ease.  Used to be sorta famous, once, long ago.  Maybe someday I’ll be that again, not as a horse magazine kid, writer and photographer but as a grown up poet and photographer.  


I am stalking you. You. Yes you.

I’m right here. Miles above you.

Drive your cars, build your roads.

Live in your houses of sticks and stones.

I am searching for you. You. Yes you.

I’m right here.  Hundreds of billions of me.

Watch your feet, head pointed down.

Live beneath the lie of towering trees.

I am indifferent to you. You. Yes you.

I’m right here.  Wind. Lightning. Thunder.

Watchers know me. They see me tower high.

Live, they shout to me, live!

I am enough to change the world. Yours. Yes yours.

I’m right here, dropping down, almost touching.

Watchers see me miles away. You are so blind.

Live! Live! Run. Laugh. Breathe. Live.

I am eternal.  I live on without you. You. Yes you.

I’m right here, nothing can stop my stalking.

Watchers know the choices – run or hide.

Living they choose to chase, to stay, to be.

I am a stalker in storm. Stalking all of you. Yes you.

I’m right here – hot tornado, cold funnel.

Watch me tower over your world.

Alive with electricity and might.

I am a warning to you. Yes you.

I’m right here, to change your world.

Drive home to watch TV, check the phone.

Live oblivious, live dangerous but live!

In response to the challenges at With Real Toads (Message in a Bottle or in my case a storm) and for dVerse to use setting.  This cold funnel was near us just last night.  I am the only one who saw it.  Really.


Look closely and can you see?

Something only a master can create.

An infinite design.

No beginning, no end, always moving.

Look closely and can you see?

Something that is woven together.

A personal symbol.

Love and eternity – always together.

Looking closely you won’t really see.

Something made piercing the skin.

An inkling of permanence.

Celtic heritage always there.

Posting for With Real Toads Celtic Challenge, took the free form route to celebrate my new tattoo!


Mountains fair, stretching behind rolling hills.

I craft them from trees and storm clouds.

My mind takes this flat prairie and lifts it.

Exiled from my foothills roamings, by love.


Oceans rumble and roar, breezes salty and fair.

I imagine them as I hammock swing, eyes closed.

My mind makes this landlocked place roll, alive.

Exiled from my ancestral sailing folk, by love.


Hobbits and wizards roam wild, rings and adventures.

I go along with them, page by page, scene by scene.

My mind takes me to places where we speak runes.

Exiled? Exiled!  Never from my own imagination!


No mountains, no oceans, no magical adventures.

I know there are four dimensions, maybe five.

My mind touches on them in the spiral of time.

Exiled from so many conversations, but living free!


Watching horses in the pasture, grazing, I dream.

I know they hear me, and we long to ride, fenceless.

My mind reaches back in time, and we ride. We ride!

Exiled from history, the wild women entrusted in me.


for dVerse, Exiles, thinking of making mountains here on the flat, oh so flat, prairie and dreaming of ocean waves through the wind blown trees.  Reading and talking, sharing and dreaming…knowing there are a few who would journey with me, and we are a blessed wild bunch! 


For the With Real Toads challenge, Mary’s Mixed Bag about dreams and night mares. Three poems.  Enjoy!


Part I – Spooky

Hiding under broad green leaves, she dreams.

Facing the bird feeder, her green eyes are shut.

She dreams of catching a bird, a juicy bird.

But she’s full, fat and happy- the birds are safe.


Part II – Anna

Muzzle twitches, feet dash and dart.

Eyes rolled back, seeing only her dream.

She whimpers and snarls. Flinches.

I smile watching her running her dreams.


Part III – Me

They say (who is this THEY anyway?) you never land

you never hit the ground if you fall in a dream.

If you do, they say, you are going to die.

I hit the ground all the time. Phbat.

It catches me, oft hard some soft.

They say dreams can’t hurt you.

Some dreams are risky tho’

what if they can hurt?


They say (those THEY people don’t know JACK) remembering is false.

Everyone dreams in muted tones or black and white, so THEY say.

My dreams are in color, they smell and they touch me back.

I’ve woken, like Alice shaking rabbit fur, tasting cold tea.

Dancing with the bloodthirsty queen and dunce cards.

My dreams color my waking hours, bright or grey.

They are a living place, vibrant and alive.

Sometimes they carry on, my dreams,

without me being there and then

I have to sleep hard and fast

to just catch up to them.


They say (THEY ought to be quiet, you know?) that no one remembers dreams.

I remember them.  A video, a film and a stack of polaroids – messy. Wild.

They say our dreams are the workings of our mind alone,

they should come and visit mine for a night or two.

Then they would realize that dreams are alive!

They are a living world, a place that goes on.

Maybe, just maybe, we are not the ones

who are having the dreams at all

maybe we are the dream.

Then who is the


Be the weed

For Kenia’s Challenge at With Real Toads…enjoy!

Alien Worlds

Alien Worlds – Part 1

Smelling of rust and something coppery

this hard floor awoke me, chilled through.

My hands reached, and failed to find

a single thing organic, besides myself.


Smelling of oil and something mechanical

this world hums, vibrates to the marrow.

My ears searched, and heard no voices

no single human sound, besides my own.


Smelling antiseptic and perfectly clean

this creature studies me from LED eyes.

My eyes search for an iris and saw none

no single face alive, but my own reflected.


Smelling something alive, and fear-filled

I am brought to the ‘human life sanctuary’.

My heart searches for soul, and finds none

no one here is willing to be alive, only to live.


Alien Worlds Part II

“You really live THERE?” a question incredulous.

You mean HERE?  With a 180 sky arching overhead.

You mean HERE?  With the living things, alive.

You mean HERE? With dirt roads and barbed wire?


“You really live THERE?” a question, envious.

You mean HERE?  Flowers a living riot, cheered by bees.

You mean HERE?  Stars and northern lights overhead.

You mean HERE?  No person to see unless sought.


You really live THERE?” a question, disgusted.

You mean HERE?  Not sanitary nor antiseptic.

You mean HERE?  Unpaved, ungroomed and wild.

You mean HERE?  Celebrating birth in blood and tears.


“You really LIVE there?” the question, satisifed.

We LIVE here!  Some wild, some tame – all balanced.

We LIVE here!  Vibrantly, actively and hard too.

We LIVE here!  Alien to your tame paved world.


“You really live there?” a question, ending in a sigh.

We live here, with thankful hearts and calloused hands.

We live here, hard times and easy times and between.

We live here, this strange farming world, we truly do.


For dVerse, a challenging poetic prompt to create an alien world in poetry.  The passing of the great Ray Bradbury has left a sci fi void which may never be filled.  My attempts, both sci fi and real life are here.  Be sure to stop by and see who else is sharing their alien worlds at dVerse today.  And for those who are wondering, yes farming can seem an alien world – the joy of being covered in afterbirth because the calf lived, the sweeping of hands over swollen heads of grain and admiring a storm swept prairie sky.  There is nothing like it in the world, and if you don’t know it it can be very alien! 🙂

Living a long goodbye

in response to an amazing new challenge at Real Toads by Izy, here is my ‘break up’ poem.  Please note, this is not a real break up poem for someone right now in my life, but rather a take on a favorite part of an old break up song.  The lyrics are here, and the video is here.  The song, A Long Goodbye by Brooks & Dunn, could be a staying together song as well.  It does play both parts well in the description of relational anguish.


Song plays on the radio.  Bought the CD.

I drive, listening to it over and over again.

“Just what kind of love keeps breaking a heart”


Song blasts over the speakers.  In the field.

I walk, listening to it, tears falling again.

I know the answer, this kind of love breaks us.


Song plays quietly, waiting for the phone. Ringing.

I listen to your machine, waiting for you.

How long can we keep breaking and not be broken?


Song plays, the band is live. I’m singing loud.

You grab my hand, pulling me close to dance.

Leaning in, feeling a love of broken hearts beat.


Song is done, Quiet at last.  Standing tall I walk away.

You watch, knowing it is time to go. We do.

“No matter how I try, I always make you cry.”


Song plays again, years later, iPod perfect tune.

You touch my hand, exchange wry bittersweet smiles.

“All that’s happening here is a long goodbye.”


Song plays, one last time. Dark days looming.

I watch you leaving me for the last time. Gone.

Only death can break up this long goodbye.


Song plays, and they all wonder why I sing.

Your heart and mine, tears and joy, always twined.

“Cause I’m still in love with you
I spend each day here waiting for a miracle”


Working Blues

Blues, blues it seems everyone has the working blues.

Bitch, yawn or snooze, everyone has the working blues.

Had a job, lost one too, finding one that makes the news.


I work, hard you know, don’t get my words wrong.

Sweat, stretch, and laugh, having fun isn’t wrong.

Have something to do with my hands, a heart’s song.


Country songs, rock songs, and blues men sing it.

Mournful or rocking, no one really does ‘pop’ it.

Everyone has a working song, labour and music fit.


No matter what we do, there is work going on now.

Even if it is just breathing, you are working now.

Clean or dirty, fast or slow, same for all but the how.


Punching cows, punching dies, punching a clock.

Watch the hands rule the world, turning the clock.

Farm yard, factory, office, garden or loading dock.


My work don’t always pay well, unless you count kisses.

Son and Daddy, dogs, cats and cows too pay in kisses.

Not all are sweet, some are sought and others near misses.


Count your days to be satisfying and fully full.

When you go to sleep tired from work, fully full.

Wired to work, some driven and some feel a pull.


Blues, blues can you feel the generational working blues?

Blues, blues can you feel us losing our working blues?

Under qualified, or over, no work here – sadly old news.


For Real Toads (Blues Form) and for dVerse (Working Poetry) I hope you enjoyed the poem.  Extra special bonus cowboy style poetry below…

Working the Land

You haven’t fenced for real, unless you’ve bled some.

Barbed wire ripping through your gloves looking for meat.

Pushing posts under a tractor bucket is living in trust.

Snacks for a little boy, drinks for Mama and Daddy too.

Pulling wire, pulling calves, pulling twine off of bales.

Love and hate those cows – some days a bit of both.

Garden growing, calves growing, boy growing too.

Working on the land means trusting more than you.

Plant the seeds, pray for rain.  Pray for heat. Pray for sun.

The pride of watching the crops grow tall and sons too.

Eye on the sky, every farmer’s a weather man, hands to soil.

Some jobs are a living, but make no life, so very true.

This work is a life but hardly makes a living. Still.

Wouldn’t trade this life, bloody hands and scars.

Six generations raising a seventh on the land.

Roots grow strong in rich deep soil – we love this.


For my husband, and all the farming ancestors on both our sides. 

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