Water View

waterview (personal photo)

I have been enjoying taking photos each day as I move throughout my day. Recently I visited Vancouver Island and so you will be seeing some beach photos. This photo I took looking at the water directly below me. I was searching tide pools for anemones; maybe it’s the wrong time of year…
I was surprised when I looked at the photo to see that it looked more like a picture you might see that was taken from an airplane not one of the water.

an alien
looking for sea life
finds earth’s mirror

Ebb and Flow

20170330_082931
Seven days ago I ran alongside the river
that has flowed through our city
before it was a city.

Water that never stands still,
passes people, cultures, politics, technology
without a second glance.

She keeps flowing a graceful flow
sometimes slow and lazy
sometimes turbid and raging,
always moving.

Two days ago I stepped away
from my workplace
after thirty-two years
of coming and going.
Thirty-two years with a wonderful dentist,
Dr Brian Sacks, who was by my side
through the ebb and flow
of my life.
Over the years a wonderful dentist, yes,
but a wonderful friend, too.

I have had the pleasure of working with great staff
and of course, the best patients ever!
I am grateful for the opportunity
to have shared many stories
with many people
and to have had the opportunity to have been taught
so much by my patients over the course of my career.

I will miss the conversations and laughter.
I will miss the security of knowing
“where I am supposed to be” every morning
but I look forward to this new phase of my life-
flowing beside water that never stands still.

Writing Japan

toriiofshannoshrine

(internet photo: Torii of Shanno Shrine in Nagasaki after atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945. It was the only thing that withstood the explosion in the area)
A friend challenged me to write a poem about Japan; this is what I came up with.

Japan is a tsunami,
a world of samurai and sumo
ikebana and kamikaze.
The land of the rising sun
graces us with cherry blossoms
and temples that flow
from a calligraphy brush.

Earthquakes reverberate
half a world away,
carry strength
to the west,
remnants of people’s live
swept out to sea.

A crewless “ghost ship”
sails to Haida Gwaii.
While we sip exotic tea
and inspect wreckage,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
disturb us with grace,
slowly dissolving.

Japan is a sculptured garden,
glass and sleek steel
arranged with precision
next to paper walled teahouses,
Mount Fuji an elegant backdrop
to bullet trains that shuttle
honorable tradition
into a unpruned future.

Aren’t We All A Little Crazy At Times

tracks

Everything is set in motion.

Even if we wanted to

we can’t stop the train

hauling us into a future

we can’t know.

Comfort and security

habit and norm

blur scenes

fall to the wayside.

My heart skips a beat

out of rhythm

out of balance

missing

a sense of direction.

 

We Can Find Hope

broken-web

Anger and tenderness: my selves.
And now I can believe they breathe in me
as angels, not polarities.
Anger and tenderness: the spider’s genius
to spin and weave in the same action
from her own body, anywhere —
even from a broken web.
(Adrienne Rich)

Expect Nothing by Alice Walker

big-snowstorm-pennsylvania

 

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

The Moment by Margaret Atwood

treesonhill

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

Frayed Edges

strop

Glossy waxed floors
smooth as clean shaved skin
reflect everyday busyness.
A white stove and fridge stand stark
like your absence during the week.
The wooden table pushed in a corner
harbours nicks and scrapes
where noisy kids scramble in and out
with mouths still chewing as they leave.

Slippery floors mimic
sticky fingerprints on walls.
A shaving strop hangs by the phone
frayed from angry outbursts
that hone in on pink butts
sharpening fear and resentment
instead of blades.

Steady Drip

glacier ice(personal photo from inside the mouth of a glacier)

we turn the tap
water rushes
roars
sloshes under ice
cascades a cry through mountains
tries to hang on to steep slopes
warning of warming
a Swiss yodel
Suzuki echo
to get our attention
as glacial meltwater spills

our thirst grows

air conditioned car
to air conditioned home
we do not see
peaks slump on the horizon
a lifetime of habits
deposited downstream

polar caps melt
we lick our parched lips