Earth Day


This sketch was made from the roof of our house looking across Saanich Inlet to Mill Bay. From this vantage point, above the level where we spend most of our time, you might feel more an observer than a participant. That was the situation for the first poem, Beautiful Blue, written in the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 that caused huge damage and loss of life in the Bay of Bengal  ( northern Indian Ocean). A high-ranking Catholic bishop spoke at an international memorial service and his words of acceptance and respect for our beautiful blue planet inspired the poem.

Beautiful Blue

Beautiful Blue,
spinning through a night of stars,
bathed in light, constantly becoming.
The past is locked into your bones
where we can read the warnings in the hills,
though the future is hidden from our view
and will be what it will be,
permutations trailing to cold nothing,
or perhaps rebirth.
Either way.

And we who are of you,
born of light and water,
we are changing, too.
We have strewn our triumphs and our terrors on your surface
and your deeps;
they are part of your becoming as your changes fall upon us.
So be it.

Do we dream that we can choose
‘tween fading as we wrangle in the trash for scraps
or joining voices,
singing our time into the pulsing stars?
Oh beautiful, how beautiful, most Beautiful Blue!

(January 2005)


Scan_20200425 (2)

Anjou pears from our orchard ripening in our garage. They either make it to the table or the compost heap but either way their elements remain in circulation.  Earth Lover arrived about the time of  the death of Stan Rogers (1983) when it seemed that all of Hamilton, Ontario was in a state of agitated mourning over the heroic singer and his heroic demise. Stan’s death released my song-writing.

Earth Lover

When roots and tendrils
marry these bones to the cool dark
where the slow seep of autumn rains
tells the seasons’ turning,
put your ear to the ground as the first snow falls.
You may hear the fading of a tune,
wild and Celtic,
a bramble of pale fiddle notes on thorns.
The melting flakes are tears I did not shed while living;
The wind in fir-tops, songs I did not sing.
I returned to my earth lover,
surrendered to her ultimate embrace,
once more the wanderer among the dancing stars.

(November, 1983)


4 thoughts on “Earth Day

  1. Earth Lover makes me weep. And you know how much I loved/love your pear paintings. Both poems are so applicable to today.

    Xo >


  2. In these times of ongoing unease, your words lead me to reflect on countless blessings and this in turn gives rise to hope. And hope prompts action and I am brought back to the rich present again.


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