Sunday, July 31, 2005

game boy

Had they taught
your spirit how
to dance -
you would not need
to hide among the
Peace, now.


This very day
rare moments have gathered
closely around me
like the heat wave.

Too shocked to observe them
in their activity
I now comtemplate
their aftermath.

Bu who am I to say
what follows startling moments
I have not created
to make my hours anxious?

(c)--Christina Cowling

Spanish Dancer

Earlier posts of Duenda,
and later mention of swirling skirts,
flashing eyes and passion caused me
to search for this -- took a bit of time ...


Rainer Maria Rilke

As on all sides a kitchen-match
darts white flickering tongues
before it bursts into flame:
with the audience around her,
quickened, hot,
her dance begins to flicker in the dark room.

and all at once it is completely fire!

One upward glance and she ignites her hair
and, whirling faster and faster,
fans her dress into passionate flames,
till it becomes a furnace from which,
like startled rattlesnakes,
the long naked armes uncoil,
aroused and clicking.

and then: as if the fire
were too tight around her belly,
she takes and flings it out haughtily,
with an imperious gesture,
and watches;
it lies raging on the floor, still blazes up,
and the flames refuse to die --
till, moving with a total confidence
and sweet exultant smile,
she looks up finally
and stamps it out with powerful small feet.

(from German)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Bluff's Powder

From my work in process "Soulground For Women"

Manufactured by Bluff
she covers her face
with a thick powder
but in a magnified mirror
the cracks can always
be seen.

(c)--Christina Cowling

The Midnight Sun

Haiku From The Top Of Deck Ten

Dome of day-lit blue
Horizon laced with scarlet fire
Comes the Midnight Sun

Sky burns with sunset
Three hours waiting for midnight
A wet moon rises

The sky at midnight
Is lit with coral and pearls
The roof of the world

I hear them calling
Through time and the deep Northern sky
Great Gods of the past

She rises shadowed
In veils of amber and pearl
Wet moon from the sea

Incandescent West
The Midnight Sun still paints they sky
Sea gives birth to moon

Alabaster moon
Scattering a trail of stars
In the midnight sea

Woven in the West
Sun still simmers the midnight sky
Wet moon rises East

Midnight Western sun
The nightwalking moon rises full
a gift from the sea

West blazes midnight
East gifts the sky with marble moon
Silence sings between

Haiku From the Edge of Exhaustion

The last time I slept . . .
I cannot even remember
The last time I slept

From the East, far North
Today I have chased the swift sun
Half way ‘round the world

Study in pastels
Sunset over the Great Salt Lake
Sink me in the sun

West into fire
Coming home from the Midnight Sun
On wings of white light

All the world’s beauty
Is wrapped in this final soft light
The green hills of home

Mount Ashland, Oregon - Looking toward Mount Shasta

Ingunn Ådland: Pianist At Troldhaugen

Her dancers hands
Elate and rise
Singing spellbound with his breath
Shaping his lovely, lyric dreams
Into sweet, soaring sound

Ascended from this altar
Of ivory and ebony
She strikes with the strength of sun on stone
Crashing like crystal cascades
Melting like the midnight mist
From her flying, fluent fingers
Norway comes

As the music ends . . .
Her hands lift full
Holding secret silence

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Piano Concert at Troldhaugen

Waterfall at Geiranger Fjord

Don’t count to quickly who will be gone
Who should be fated, or lost
Deep are the darkening Skandic seas
Loath to be patterned or crossed
What calls from the depth of darkness
Is not always fragile or fault
These bones are formed out of mountains
This blood is anointed with salt
Assume what is there unspoken
Suppose that feeling means frail
That which will bend won’t be broken
A flower can drive in a nail

Sailing from Geiranger


It is true
The Midnight Sun
Twilight spun of cloud and pearl
A silence of light

Below the fjord slips away
Dark liquid jewels
Hushed and glistening
Black blood sprung from
Norway’s bones
Vast bones risen massive from the mist
Grey with time
Green with forever
Wreathed with whispers of white wind
Breathing a mystery


Down from the path of eagles
Where the seven sisters fall
Thin white veils on the mountains
Great green and granite wall
Down from the cusps of heaven
Down a threading rock stair
Down past diamond falls dancing
Down through the whipping white air
Down to dark dreaming water
Bay carved of winter’s ice art
We sailed on a breath of wonder
Straight out of Norway’s heart

And here in the midnight twilight
Here where the mists rise and fall
Laced through these mountains of magic
I hear their echoing call
I hear their names on the white wind
Their songs in the bright crystal falls
I feel the power of their mystery
Throbbing from towering green walls
Back in the deepening shadows
Of transcendent towering rills
The ancient Gods of the Northland
Still walk these enchanted green hills


When the midnight sun has finally set
Just before the dawn
I throw a glimmering libation
To Gods who are hushed, not gone
An entire bottle of sparkling champagne
Into the dark crashing waves
To the memory of names of power
That echo through green mountain caves
Odin! I cry to the white wind
Into the dark, glacial sky
This for your knowledge and wisdom
What you see with your piercing blind eye
My ancestors spilled wine and called you
From longboats skimming these waters
Catch one more cry on the ice wind
From the last of the Vikings daughters
Come from a young land of promise
To the ancient land of my blood
I call once more and leave this gift
Here in the primordial flood

(And there in the tops of the mountains
Where the white falling waters flow
I whispered the name of Skadi
Into the deep Skandic snow)

Sailing from Geiranger

Friday, July 29, 2005

Created A Woman

Sanctioned by the sun
she acknowledges
hours reserved
to rejoice or to mourn.

Called by the sparrows
she mends broken wings
and offers flight
in new directions.

Busy like the bees
she hums lullabies
as she gathers honey
for her family.

Led to weeping willows
she touches blue tears
and blows them away
with her kisses.

Caressed by the divine
whether with or without child
she has been given
a mother-heart.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Please, Don't Walk Upon the Grass

A weed struggles to thrive amidst the trash,
reaching through a veil of smog,
searching for its share of that little bit of sun.
Nature, though feeble, is fighting back.
Please, don't walk upon the grass.

High above, upon an artificial ledge,
reflected in the glass, a hawk surveys unlikely territory.
Has he lost his way?
What prey is his to take here, in this concrete jungle?
Will his yellow eyes see only human ants,
traffic scurrying about,
prey too big to grasp within his talons.
Ah, but if he's lucky, a mouse perhaps
will catch his eye as he soars above the city park.
Please, don't walk upon the grass.

The park, the closest thing to Nature hereabouts,
yet so manicured,
with benches for the elderly to rest
beside a man-made pond.
The geese, majestic, but spoiled by human scraps.
I see one, a sickly bird
with discarded plastic wrapped around his neck,
trash tossed away by some uncaring passerby.
Please, don't walk upon the grass.

Migrating birds in a city parks, or those in residence,
they say, are messy.
They defecate upon the grass,
an act that labels them a nuisance.
What can the city fathers do?
Remove the geese …
diaper the ducks.
Please, don't walk upon the grass.

We have strayed so far from our earthly home
that we know not how to act.
We are afraid to feel the Earth, unimpeded,
beneath our feet … to know her warmth
like a baby knows its mother.
Please, don't walk upon the grass.

Feral cats, stray dogs, and rats.
Drug crazed killers on the loose.
Mothers battered,
babies lost, abandoned, shot.
Fathers gone, not caring.
We need our Mother's breast to suckle
so that we can feel and be again,
know the touch of grass beneath our feet,
smell the green, see blue
and, at night, the stars.
Please, do walk upon the grass.
We need to walk upon the grass.
We have to walk upon the grass.

© July 29, 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Different Perspective


The climb up the ravine was difficult enough without the lantern. Yet Daron did not complain, nor doubt. The crone’s strange legend had proved true thus far, and faith is not served by distrust at the crest of completion. Somehow the added weight on his back balanced his careful stretch across the chimney of granite. Each breathless swing from hold to grasp was guided by knowledge beyond faith. There was a secret way in -- the amulet would be delivered in time -- his quest and pledge fulfilled. His left foot was secure in the chistled slot. His fingers curled confidently within the angled crack, finding there a matching unnatural cleft. As he whispered the chant his right toes counted knots bound along his calf to guage the leap. His secure support almost spat him out as he pushed away from the frozen wall -- reaching with pointed toes in the darkness. As his yearning foot entered the new tiny haven in the other cliff wall he pressed upwards -- his left fingers leaving the cleft behind. For an instant he was flying -- no fragile flesh in contact with the stone -- his right fingers slicing like a dagger into the hidden crack above. Yes! For an hour it had been so. Even if the sun had been high above the hidden holds would have passed unnoticed, carved to match the natural rills. So deep and narrow was this defile that part was always in black shadow. At this hour before dawn not even stars could be seen above -- and none would have assisted for Daron’s eyes where wrapped in silk. If he had seen where he had to go he never would have started. If he understood where he had been fear would have gripped his soul. Again! A new measured height and plan -- chant ,chant. He became the star -- a five pointed shape in an abyss of lonely flight. No man should have to climb in this way -- by faith alone. None did. Daron was but eleven years old -- at least before this night. This night he was a man.

The castle was impregnable -- and it had always been so. The Duke was arrogant -- and it had always been so. His greed and pride blinded all reason and compassion, and this too was accepted. It would change with the sunrise. The silver medalian would change all that. Daron did understand how this could be or of what power it held -- no matter. There was no wizard waiting there at the portal --- just another child as he -- one who knew where the disk must be placed -- or so he had been told!

He lay on his stomach now -- another hour passed -- another yard or two across the glacice. The patterned cloth on his back matched the blocks of stone. His movements were catlike and ever slow. It may not have mattered. The blazing fires on the parapets above were blinding in intensity, reflected from gigantic disks of bronze to probe every hidding spot or corner of the walls. His eye covering that had protected his fear now saved him from searing blindness. Yet soon he had to see -- to find the hole in the wall in a sea of pristine glaring white. He rested against the towering wall, knowing that he could not be seen from above. The assembled lantern also would appear only as another stone. Not that more light was needed. Daron opened the hinged door with silent care and reached within to find the candle wick -- and at last he understood!

All his life Daron had looked at lanterns as a source of light, a tool to fight off the darkness. He had never consider how the flickering tongue of flame was only possible because of the protecting shelter of the frame and mesh. While a little essential light crept out in a patterned beam, the lantern itself kept away all distracting glare and distracting beeze. He had once laughed at his reflection in the shining brass, possible only in the special sheltered view, even at the height of day. The lantern held nothing -- nothing at all! The boy would have to provide the flame. His own eyes would be the light! This lantern would cast a shadow that he could see!

His slender face fit easily within the metal frame and allowed the silken scarf to shift aside. The narrrow slits let in only filtered glare from the polished wall, but even then Daron had to squint and pan the stones in little sweeps of wonder. He found the hole where one had not been before, just large enough for his bundled fist. It was enough! His arm stretched into this well to above the elbo before he felt a brush of warmth -- a tiny kiss! His fingers opened and dropped the necklace and a tiny hand clasped his -- pressing briefly -- gone. It was done!

Daron could scarcely sleep bundled under his patterned cloak -- but did, for a day or more. He did not struggle against the arms that picked him up and carried him home. But he awoke to laughter -- and that is all that mattered.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005


play your music,
engage the senses,
drawn down love,
move the stones.
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Pirene Fountain

of Corinth
daughter of Asopus
weep for your son
dead at Artemis hand
tears well up
and spring forth

Pirene fountain
sacred to the muses
healing waters
spring from the tears
of a grieving mother

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Sometimes I misplace/file a poem
and find it only years later ...
there must be reason to have found
this one right now --



It was impossible to discern
whether the action was a chance caress
of art and human spirit,
or the culmination of eons of practiced form.
Such is life.
The coin snapped up -- up -- out -- away. A gift? A prayer?
Spinning -- churning -- yearning.
By necessity, the man's palm followed -- open
fingers extended in a conductor's grace.
Last coin or first?
Flashing silver proceeds absorbing dark;
two faces wink in ever changing pace.
Janus dies and lives.
Look ever forward my love and dream.
Look within and learn -- spin larger dreams.
Only a little while -- a breath's eternity --
fall -- fall to the bitter earth
The coin scarcely breaks the pulsing
surface of the pool of cycled tears.
Ah yes -- a wish….


Triumphant I awaken
from a cherished sleep
to light weighted
on my eyes.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Monday, July 25, 2005


I wrote this for my dad's dad after he passed away a couple of years ago and read it at his funeral instead of a reading. Even now, I make an effort to read and reread it, because it reminds me so much that there are infinite aspects to people and reminds me that everyone plays different roles in others life. It reminds me my mother is a sister and a child, that my brother is a friend and a partner, my best friend is a mother - it reminds me to look harder at them as a whole and that gives me so much more respect for each of them.

From before I can remember
you have been a part of my life
so I guess I presumed you always would be.
And now, when I discover this is no longer so
I find myself grasping for some remnant
some small thing to keep you near me a little longer
because I am scared of losing a constant from my life.

I unconsciously passed up all the opportunities I had
to ask you all the questions I wanted to ask
and say the things I wanted to say
because I always took your presence in my life for granted.
Isn’t it strange,
How even when we realise what we take for granted
it is virtually impossible to act on
that awareness in the present?
It seems we can only conjure up those opportunities
as past tense.
Imagined regrets.

I was shocked to look at you one day
and see a frail and withering old man.
When did this happen?
Perhaps if I had payed more attention
I would have noticed the gradual change.
The steady decline.
Or perhaps I did notice
but refused to acknowledge even the possibility
of the inevitable.
That this world had taken it’s toll on you.
That you’d given this life, and me, all you were capable of.
That you were tired.
Tired of struggling.
Tired of fighting.
Tired of simply existing being such an effort.
I still don’t understand how you took it all so passively
and simply accepted what came with resignation.
But then,
I guess my youth sees the world for it’s possibilities
and your experience saw it as it really is.

I know I neglected to show you how much I love you.
I guess I always assumed you knew.
Assumptions are dangerous things, aren’t they?
I hope more than anything there was never any doubt in your heart.

I’ve always thought of you
in relation to the role you have played in my life.
Not as a whole person
who has lived and laughed and cried and loved.
I realise now that I didn’t really know you.
That there were so many other roles you played
and parts of you I never knew about.
And while I regret that my perception of you
was only partial,
I appreciate that I was allowed to know you
completely, unconditionally
and free of judgement
in that role you played in my life
and the lingering imprint that will leave.

I want to say thank-you
for all the things you have ever done for me.
I want to say sorry
for the things I didn’t do,
and some things I did.
I want to tell you how much I admire you
and how much impact you have had on me.
On the parts of me that are so precious
and so personal
I find it hard to compromise them and make them known
for fear they will somehow be marred or affected
by the world outside of my core.
I want you to know that your very existence
reached into me this far
to influence the person I have become
and the person I want to be.And I want you to know how very grateful I am for this

Two Poems

Two poems from the book I'm working on--Soulground For Women.


A reputable man's daughter
finds comfort in her skin
and rallies around her brothers
in the battlefields.

A hooligan's daughter
fears her beauty
and believes she is less
than her brothers
dressed in bombs.

The second poem is inspired by lisa's work.

Older Hearts

She nurses her desire
to return to him
not a fightened woman-child
but to offer him an older heart
only if his
has matured too.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Golden Grove

Posted by Picasa

A seed planted
down deep and dark
fed and nourished
by sunlight
and rain
sprout breaks
little by little
season to season
year by year
the seedling grew
into a
towering tree
reaching the
at home
in the
tree top
new seed
pods sprout
here and there
carried by
far and wide
to begin

© Megan Warren 25/7/2005

Salt Doll II

Salt Doll visits the usual places
Sand and sea and wind and surf
Inspiration leaves no traces
A foreigner on once familiar turf

Slingshot pellets-neurons fire
mudgems soothing 'tween her toes
The choice to wallow in muck n' mire
That decision is hers- and hers alone

The Doll did venture to the shoreline
Not quite prepared to dissipate
However, she knows not the day nor time
and though embracing Now.... She waits.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

For the past year
I've carried this burden.
Held this grudge close
like the lover it's replaced
the friend that's been lost.
So long I forgot it's weight
forgot even I carried it
until I saw you again.
Felt that familiar pang.
What happened to you?
what happened to me?
I don't recognise either of us
and I don't know if I'm brave enough to forgive you
because that means asking you to forgive me.
I've got to be tentative.
I don't know what to say.
I've got to listen to my soul
I've got to find a way
back to you.
Can "I'm sorry" mean a thing
in spite of all the damage I've done?
Can I summon the courage
to say it?


A Secretive Woman

Presumed innocent
she hides
beneath white sheets
behind drawn curtains
in the motel room.

Exhausted by promise
she waits
to be discovered.
If not by the world
by him.

Then wonders
if she were his vow
would she be forthcoming
or still
the other woman?

(c)--Christina Cowling

Deeper Faith


Even thrust deep in the sand for stability, the staff rose five and a half feet above the smooth, multi-colored pebbles. Gordon rolled one of the small stones around his mouth to help slake the thirst that would come from the afternoon sun. He knew, of course, that it would be prudent to seek some small shade and simply sit until nightfall, but his mission required visibility. A hidden monk may be a safe monk, but accomplished little! The slotted cross on the top of the staff served as a suitable hanger for the long white robe, the brown edging and piping blending effectively with the mesquite and rabbit brush. The artificial tree cast a conical shadow on the burning drift, a safe haven for pack, boots and beads. Food! He would have to find food. Later! His sun bronzed form cleaved the surface of the pool in a dive defined more by yearning than practice. He drank. He rejoiced! The spring that gave birth to the twenty foot pond spoke of the mysterious underground river far beneath, whose life-sustaining force filled the basin two days each month, then retreated until the Goddess guided moon coaxed the spring into life once again. The pool appeared on no map but was well known in legend by the tonsured pilgrims. It took a special leap of faith to walk 60 miles to an empty hole in the ground. It required only awe and a pounding heart to watch the miracle of birth -- rebirth -- of the soothing waters. A primeval lust had stripped the clothes from his corpulent frame. Training and discipline had brought him to his knees in payer for this special gift. It began, "Good job Lord..."

"The ducks knew about the water too-- probably calculated their departure from Canada to arrive here today. Gene algebra -- or a little nudge from Him?" chuckled the gristled priest. "Maybe they're the same thing!" Dinner! The pond was still -- waiting; his snare just beneath its glistening surface. It had only taken minutes to whittle the thorn gaff hook and braid the line from the inner bark of the swaying willows. The rock anchor had been selected for its beauty as well as weight, a nice addition to the pool, blending well with the others showing through the crystal depths. The bait and hook, drawn by the stone to six inches below the surface, would insure that the unsuspecting duck would never return to the surface. Now -- to bring them down.

The contents of the pack were laid out in neat piles, each essential, each selected to work in harmony and efficiency with the others. The ritual of unpacking was as orchestrated as the packing, each item fitting into a pre-planned space, following a custom that was centuries old, developed through expediency in the rugged hills of 16th century Spain. Gordon picked up the two plain sticks from the center of the array, then replaced them as he considered the length of the shadow projected from the staff towering behind him. He glanced at his compass and performed a quick mental calculation involving longitude, rear-azimuth and magnetic offset. The small stones he set out would now mark off the hours, the larger ones indicating the Masses he would say while waiting for James to arrive. The thought of a long, sweet night ahead beckoned. "Oh night that guided me, oh, night more lovely that the dawn," he chanted to the winds. "No need for concealment here, but my house is at rest." The sticks were once more in his hands; and the tactile stimulus of the edge notches took him back -- back.

He had studied the bush for several hours, praying, planning, deciding. Mountain mahogany -- a tree actually -- useless to the practical world, and cursed by many 4 wheel drive enthusiasts. The incredible strength and resilience of the branches that punctured tires and gas tanks could be turned to a Knight's task. When he decided on the sections of trunk that would become his cross, Gordon marked them with a silken tread and returned to the chapel. Others would cut out and trim the raw stock, but he knew not how. No regular saw or drill could cut through the rare wood, composed of naturally braided long and short molecules that dissipated and reflected attempts to destroy it. He would have 40 days in the desert to shape the branch segments into these two slim strips. When he later began his silent pilgrimage, the two pieces were laying by the sanctuary fountain. Now, the hand finished strips would never leave his side, even unto eternity. They seemed cool to the touch, oblivious to the scalding sun, a physical touchstone to the memories of long years of purgation. "The only thing I own," he thought, "I wish my spiritual cross were as easy to carry."

Each night in the wilderness, Gordon had charred the wood in his fire, partially to prepare it for the next day's honing, and partially in contemplation of the ancient story of how man and soul had to be tempered and prepared, pride and sin burned away. The following day would find him scraping the outer layers away on the sharp edges of granite and ruffing the reduced sticks in sand. When he returned from his ordeal in God's desert forge, the shaped sticks were laid by the fountain, not to be seen again until he began his first pilgrimage. By then the precious pair had been completed by hidden hands and tools, notched, polished and blessed. They served him well.

Gordon easily climbed the small hill behind the spring, chanting as he scaled the huge rocks. The two sticks were now locked in the center, forming a balanced "X" with a slightly curved plane. From this high perch the carefully thrown tool sailed out like a boomerang, several hundred feet above the glittering pond. To the ducks it seemed like a hawk circling for the kill. They settled to the water. With its wondrous flight complete, the whirling "hawk" returned to the monk, who, with a quick twist of the wrist, separated the tool into two cold sticks once again. The roast duck was very good.
The sinking sun appeared to float on the shimmering mirage lake in the distance, seemingly unwilling to touch the ground. Gordon knew how quickly the light could vanish in the pure desert night but he did not rush his preparations. Each practiced movement was accompanied by a payer; the small flask of wine to the left, the chalice wiped clean, and the flat box of hosts placed to the right. The two containers were unique to the wandering knights, bright gold, of course, on the inside, but dull gray on the outside. The unknowing might think them made from pewter or anodized aluminum. No. Only titanium lent strength to the thin walls while weighing scarcely more than paper. Function, simplicity and beauty -- very much like the lonesome priest who prepared for the solitary mass. The two favored sticks now formed a true cross and rested atop the staff, far above the ground. The amber rays of the setting sun caused the distinctive shadow to lengthen and grow. When the monk raised the chalice above his head in offering the two simple, joined sticks cast an awesome shape upon the ground -- larger than a man -- and the humble priest was not alone.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Til Death

She has bathed his feet
with her golden tresses
but the moment grey and blown
by his faltering breath
she recalls all
he has done for her.

Not in the uncomplicated ways
of a mother-woman
but the mischievious ways
of a blushing boy
on impressing his lover
and later
a loyal soldier's duty
to protect his territory.

Some had complained to her
about this change,
certain that the embarassed boy
had been a better husband
than the stern soldier.

This thought raises
the corners of her thin lips
as she kisses his chapped;
salved by the grim reaper.

She is glad that she has known
all of him
for had this not been so
there would be fewer memories
to love
and she would not be here
to watch his spirit
fly out the window
after 65 years of marriage.

(c)--Christina Cowling

A Song

I never could sing much --
'till Lady Emrys touched my throat,
and now I am blessed with 3 1/2 octaves
with vibrato and all --
think I'll take some lessons.

So now I write some songs also,
but, being untrained I often 'filk', i.e.
take a known melody and change the words.

The first verse was written for some
learning disabled children who crafted
earthware chimes. As I whistle the tune often --
"Glockomora" (sp), the rest just evolved.


I hear a chime,
A distant, earthen chime.
It sings to me of
Loving hands,
In angel voice,
And peaceful days.

I hear a chime,
A whisper, stirring chime.
Of fire and stone and
Gleeful shapes,
In quiet breeze
It laughing plays.

I hear a chime,
A lonely, yearning chime.
In dark of night and
Thunderous storms,
Of fearful doubt
It endless prays.


I sense a song,
A heart-bound, ancient song,
It calls to me in
Words of crone,
Wizard touch,
And simple ways.

I sense a song,
A shouting, trumpet song,
Of seed and blood and
Honored quest,
In vigil born
It girds my loins.

I sense a song,
A plaintive, wistful song,
In brightest day and
Chuckling clouds,
With loving mirth
It endless prays.


I know a dream,
A resounding, echoed dream.
It calls to me from
Tears of stars,
And soul's joy
That are the same.

I know a dream,
A living, blessed dream,
From now and when as
In covenant
And simple gifts.

I am a dream,
A choice and loving trust;
A rebirth mem'ry of
Of creation fire
And open hand
And trembling heart.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Five haiku that I wrote.
~Anonymous Princess
*~* *~* *~*

Idly her hand
rests on the scabbard and her
wings fold behind her.

Brittle branches make
up the forest she watches
with folded wings.

"Beauty," said the crow
on her finger, "I shall love
thee true for always."

Sepia sky looks
down on the jewel among
the ashes and cries.

Golden leaves follow
in her wake, caught in her
rich satin tresses.


Abide in me, abide in me
oh thoughts of tranquil gladness
when bleached with heritage
my javexed blood
doth pump its way
through guilt and shame
and madness.

What relative can be so pure
their sins are white as snow
and yet can bring me consequence
when little yet I know
of guilt and shame
and madness?
'Tis so, 'tis so!

Judge not lest you return to least
the dust from where you started
when on your neck
you find the noose
of those who have departed
from woe, from woe
your woe.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Applied Dreams

My posting of this was somehow prompted by Christina's --
not sure why. I've never shown it before --
written at the request of a Catholic priest.

Hope you understand why.


Pie Ties

The pleasant aromas drifting from the kitchen had neither a claim on his dreams or draw on the omnipresent snack-urge that all youths acquire. A pleasant, lazy snooze in the falling sunlight was allowed; a benefit of home schooling and reward for the pre-dawn assistance he gave J.P. Truthfully, he loved the quite, inspiring burst of new dawn that built upon the prayers of the evening to the yearning of the flowering day. Norman's heart was at peace, but he was not removed from passion over the misted surprise of a new bloom or rain revealed pebble of childhood memory. The call of hidden bird blended with the shriek of morning's hungry child. The patient gasping, grinding of the neighbor's aged car fit in somewhere, as did the song of the postman's steps and the gardener's rake. Now, in the afternoon, silence was more palpable than the angry rush of the working throng. The smells crept in.

Norman awoke with a start -- not alarm -- only chuckling, internal mirth. Since childhood, he had harbored a secret plan to watch her make the pies, to be there when the simple ingredients of flour and butter, eggs and milk, and arcane secrets found their way into grandma's bowl. He was always too late! The pies of last night's blackcaps and fresh peaches from Samuel's tree. They had to be washed in the mountain steam, of course, or they would never taste right. He never got to lick the bowl! Other kids talked about it. Of course their mothers rarely baked anymore. His father got the bowl if he was in the shop, or some passing kid playing on the walk. "Someday, someday, I will be up," thought Norman. "Oh, but that special place between clash of busy day and serenity of stolen internal search was so entrancing. Is it a trade to be sought, or a balance to be savored?" (well, he sort of thought that -- he is only seven.)

Normal had attempted a special ploy this day. As his mother Maria napped beside him on the window-box couch, he had tied her apron strings about his waist. She would not slip away! Ah, but his time was not yet to be! While his skills grew daily from book and written theme and long practiced numbers, the flow of simple human communication often proved more difficult. Maria's flickering smile acknowledge their shared secret, and an extra piece of cinnamoned 'sugar tit' was provided as reward. He had never said that these cuttings from the deftly turned glass plate were better than any planned cookie. She knew, of course, as mothers always know. J.P. got the bowl and he got the scraps -- who got the better deal? The loving stroke was different in each, one by careful count, the other by controlled heat. "Choices, choices - is that what growing up is all about?"

Norman wandered to the shop, still munching the golden goodies. His father, Guiseppi, had not yet returned. Everybody called him J.P. - always had. Norman had been calmly instructed to call him that also -- especially when on a handyman job in a stranger's home. "You must be judged by the work you do, not because you are my son." So he thought, 'Dad' and said 'J.P.'. In the kitchen he thought, 'Maria', but said 'mother'. A deceit? Self-delusion? A touch of humanity's bond? So many things in life seemed to blend together like the smells of the wood shop. Sawdust, glue, machine oil and paint. So like people. Each unique and special in its use and purpose. Together stronger and more pleasing - somehow greater than the bonded parts. J.P. often hummed while he worked. Did he hear a special song that guided his gifted hands? Or did he actually write the melody in wooden form and then rejoice in smiled prayer? So much to learn.

Other children were returning from distant classrooms where squabbling and insubstantial meals seemed more impactful than learning. There was time to play. Norman did not always enjoy the chosen games and was only passable good at the frenetic sports. He had a good eye, though, and could score when the moment was right. Yet, he preferred to pass off to another and share in the moment of victory -- not always, however, to those who thought it was their greater right by skill, or size or bluster. "By our simplest actions we are tied to others," he mused. "May there always be time to share the filtered sunlight and the crumbing gift of another's hand." The thoughts blended into a special blessing he would offer at supper. Norman's love was like that.

J.P was home! Norman ran off to jump in the rocker by the den. The smells from the kitchen would mix with the mysterious aroma of sweat and work, kitchen and shop. Mother and father. Without a word their thoughts would join across the separate rooms -- a caress, a brush of faith. He could feel it -- even see colors dance back and forth between them.

Norman liked this place the best.

Infallible Dreams

What happened to Tessa--
dimpled baby
in her cradle
spunky child
in the school yard
envied teen
on the dance floor

What happened in between
bag lady
on the street?

What happened to Tessa,
infallible dreams?

(c)--Christina Cowling

Thursday, July 21, 2005

For Daughters

I won't go into why a casual friend --
single mother with a daughter caught
in the physical and emotional
fears of becoming a woman,
would ask me to write something --
for a girl I had never met ...

but I did, and now dozens of mothers
have asked to use this piece --
though most hide the fact
that it was written by a grandfather ...



Everyone thought that Amy was very shy, or didn't like to talk much.

Talk - walk - wall - call - ball - bill - fill - filly - silly - willy - will - wall - walk - talk.

"Grown-ups are like that -- always a 'reason' for everything. You would think that someone would ask -- would care enough, be curious enough to … Well it didn't matter -- they wouldn't believe me anyway."

Amy was quiet because she was listening. She didn't have to talk to be understood. They didn't have to have a reason for being. They were the reason for being. They were trees.

Seed - root - stalk - stem - trunk - branch - bower - flower - flow - know

Yes they knew -- everything. For they were not just trees -- they were THE trees. And they had moved close to Amy, for she believed. And they sang. And she heard. Then she knew too.

Feel the kiss of brave cloud shine
That turns the lake on its side.
If the yearning water falls
Into my hands and heart
I laugh and dance.

"There is nothing like hugging a tree. A touch of Earth drawing up energy from ancient trust and tomorrow's dream. Today they hide me from the rain, the interlocking branches forming a natural thatch. The peaceful incense from the towering ruddy trunks is caressed by the gentle breeze and shields against the intrusive scents from the outside world. With the new aroma arising from the earth the fragrance of the berry-brush, pine, and ivy lawn seem intensified. Oh, hear the thunder roll and grumble. There! A finger of lightning feeling its way to earth, branching -- searching. One thousand-one, one thousand-two, one thousand three ... Wow, that was close.

Breathe with me Dear Lord. Enlighten me Father. Protect me Mistress Moon. Walk with me Mother Earth. I wish so that I were grown -- yet perhaps only as a child do I hear the whispers. Better than hearing the hurt -- the sadness. Why can’t we just stand in the rain and wash all of our pains away, down, down to the oceans of our birth? Could a new flower then burst forth in our hearts every day? Would I have the courage to make a gift of the blossom to someone special -- perhaps someday."

She picked a flower from beneath her beloved trees and drew it to her ear -- trembling. Unknown emotions washed over her.

"tell me -- whisper of love to me"

The blossom trembled too, but did not mind being picked if it could serve -- to sing.

“Love is not a feeling; it is a way of acting toward another.”

Chimes tinkled from the dripping dew…

“Let each who come to you leave with greater happiness and a sense of well being."

Tree branches bowed and waved in joyful play -- responding to a breeze -- a thought not felt on cheek or golden hair.

"They will know it in your smile, your stance, and in your eyes.”

The flower wilted then, and died. In its place were two caterpillars -- fuzzy, twisting -- a tickling touch of hope and prayer. Amy giggled -- and sighed. "I will be a little girl for a while more, I think. I am not ready yet to become a butterfly."

She placed her tiny friends gently on a tree -- they would be safe. For a brief instant she had seen -- had known -- had touched the pulse of humanity. Then, with the growing splendor of the sunset, she left the hidden glade.

Walked away -- out -- back. Back to look through the excitement of a young woman's eyes. To swim in the calm between -- little girl or proud female spirit? Ever both. With the trees she -- knew and understood.

Then with a skip and hop -- she forgot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Making a poem on Salmon Beach: haiku triad

each word gleefully
snatched by the wind, then scattered
in all directions

some roost in twisted
trees, some are claimed by bronze ants,
a few hide within

winkleshells; later
they come straggling home again,
soaked, scuffed, eyes shining


The Silver Mistress full above
would be a herald of delight –
for when next she rises
two fortnights hence
you will embrace a joining.

The Lord and Lady of Sakin’el
invite all to a wedding –
to public witness and proclaim
their twilight marriage
in most ancient rite.

They are bound in pledge long past
but friends and family
will not be denied their celebration
nor planned revelry
and foolishness.

Cynthia Ruth Andresen
Kenneth Fredrick Muller
will be publically wed
in the Henge of Sakin’el
on August 19,2005
7:00 PM EST

may your spirits be with us this day.


skimming stones
skip.. skip.. skip.. kerplunk!
deep summer

Please let me know if this post shows lines of HTML, I'm typing into the post instead of copying and pasting. Nothing is showing on my screen so have to ask. Thank you, Chris:

A Poet's Window

Through a poet's window
She sees further
Than the end of the round earth,
Beyond the circle
That encompasses the world,
Past the finding of Columbus
To transcending ocean words.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Why we forget

There seems to be a thread of sorts
on a number of blogs herabouts,
on remembering and forgetting.

I am drawn to reflect on this
and will carress it everywhere,
and so throw this into the pot ...



Somewhere between the moon’s jump into the sky
And man’s found ability to write things down
Evolved (or was ordained – choose one) a notion
That all things should be uniquely named and labeled.

Now if the useful purpose was meant to be
to share something grand or wondrous just beheld,
then certainly saying I saw a ’whatsit’
flip a ‘wow’ wouldn’t convey much sense of awe.

Beyond this agreed simple expedience
Man became a bit obsessed and controlling;
Setting some names above the rest in order
Such that judgment was required and corrupted.

Before long – well a millennium of two,
Prejudice became such a necessity
That hierarchy came to be ‘gooder’
And being ‘lesser’ meant some subservience.

Forgotten was the bless’d gift of life itself
Which respected all is one and divine,
And as man forgot love and brotherhood
He created sin out of nothing but pride.

Humans, in their folly, even split up God,
And forced evil from a dualist nature
While projecting that their eternal spirit
Was now up for barter and thereby worthless.

Occasionally God would send a herald
To help us get it straight and guide the way
Back to innocence and liking life a lot,
But we just squabbled over which was better.

Now that I’m getting on in years and wisdom,
Which is to say ‘more wise than’ but forgetful,
I’ll be excused for driftin’ back to childhood,
When all along that is what is meant to be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Desert Ritual

pour out your water
on the thirsty earth, so that
the well won't run dry

Over Lunch

At lunch

our secrets linger

over iced cappuccino

or hot chocolate

whatever the season.

We dress in the colours

of whispered women’s affairs.


you in a mouth-watering melon

and me in wash-worn fatigue.

You speak of expertise, harmony

and limitless.

I of bloat, cramps

and pointless ovaries

after conception.

But we know this will change

like women do

over iced cappuccino,

hot chocolate,

and seasons.

(c)--Christina Cowling


When I was young and learned of death

I worried mom would leave

So in the yard beneath some junk

A board I did retrieve.

Then on the board I painted in

Two laughing eyes of blue

A wise wide smile, a tiny nose

Just like the mom I knew.

And when big sister went to school

The board I took with me

And planted it where ever I played

So mom would always be.

Now years have passed

I can’t pretend midst Alzheimer’s disease

When from her rocking chair mom says,

‘There’s a soul—,”a soul that I can’t see.

But I can’t help but wonder

When grandma comes to mom

And mom describes her like before

Before when I was young.

Oh how I long to tarry

Within my childhood space

Find comfort in a piece of wood

And peace in childhood faith.

©--Christina Cowling

Related Story

Chistina's posts caused me to dig it out --
perhaps it relates to many things


The tinkling of glass chimes were so faint that Anna could not place their location, and in fact, resisted being drawn back from her brief nap. Here heightening awareness combined the scent of honeysuckle, the fluttering of lace at her chin, and a slight press of urgency about the tasks ahead.

“tinkle, ching” –

I hear a chime,
A distant, earthen chime.
It sings to me of
Loving hands,
In angel voice,
And peaceful days.

I hear a chime,

A whisper, stirring chime.
Of fire and stone and
Gleeful shapes,
In quiet breeze
It laughing plays.

I hear a chime,
A lonely, yearning chime.
In dark of night and
Thunderous storms,
Of fearful doubt
It endless prays.

-- awake
“For shame,” she chided herself. “Dosing off at ten-thirty in the morning with Dave and the kids arriving this afternoon.” She checked again the two roasting hens in the ‘fridge', each with a different stuffing. The macaroni salad was partially prepared, awaiting only the mayonnaise and few secret ingredients to make it a family heirloom. No one else would serve these items together, but Anna would broach no argument. Dave loved her chicken and he liked her salad – enough! Dozens of other delights had been prepared as well, of course, and all far in advance, for that was Anna’s way. She fretted over each napkin, candle and spotless fork. Sunday afternoon was more than a tradition and certainly more than the chore others would make of it. Yet the lure of the sunlight on the window chair held its magical allure as well. “Ching –“.”

“What if they arrived and found me curled up here like a Cheshire Cat, all mischief and unpredictability? The kids might think ‘take-out’ a great idea but they get too much of that all ready. No, Dave. I could never do that to you, my love. You deserve so much more.”

The air conditioning came on and Anna reluctantly closed the porch window a little. She had long avowed that many of the world’s problems could be blamed on air conditioning. No pleasant evenings on the front lawn watching the neighbor kids play ‘kick-the-can’. No box dinners with the whole town out to watch the Little League game. Not even lengthy discussions over the coming weather! Who really cared? Of course, her “open window” philosophy downplayed the dreadful experience of Freddie Barns learning to play the trombone, or that Saturday morning laundry often had more “family linen’ involved that many soap operas. Sunday with Anna was an opening of the blinds on a world that most people would never see, nor would care too, filled as they were with pain and anguish and guilt and regret. Thus, these would miss out on the joy and rapture and passion. Air conditioned minds perhaps deserve only a 78 degree share of life! In Anna’s world dishes got broken, kids got splinters and a new war was just around the corner to fill a Presidential void. But Anna was the first on the block to welcome “that family” to the neighborhood, and always had a new stray cat, and had flowers blooming everywhere, even in a drought. She gave plants away to any that asked, and they never died either. Didn’t dare!

“Mary-Mary, quite contrary. How does you garden grow?” mused Anna as she slipped again into a muzziness, measured by the rhythmic creak of the cane in the rocking chair. She had used many garden analogies in the classroom to inspire decades of reluctant seventh-graders. “How would they view her now? A withered weed who had stood too long in the hail of time? A rock garden in which low maintenance wins out over grooming and care? Had any ever thought of using her as garden in which to plant a seed of an idea and then return generations later to see how it had developed? “ Goosebumps rippled on the back of her arms at the sexual implications of the thought and she sat up, fully awake, at her own laughter. She resisted the temptation to recheck the preparations and attempted to simply enjoy the small sensations of the moment. “What adventures will the children have to share,” she thought. “Can I force another smile?” Can I endure another miss-written assignment awarded with an ‘A’?” Then someone will say, ‘Now leave Anna alone.’ Then, then will I have to suffer the loneliness of being present but ignored. Ah, but they like the chicken! Regardless, Dave and the kids will soon be here.”

The tinkling chimes were easier to ignore this time, and the honeysuckle won out over the thermostat. Sunlight filtered through the damask curtains and set fire to golden curled memories hidden in the long white braids. Then she remembered falling – falling, and Dave trying to catch her.

“Not your fault,” she cried. Her ten year old tears were partially absorbed by “old bear,” a rag-tag, eyeless companion. But she wanted Dave. “Today he will come. It is nice to have an older brother. Run – run – run to me.”

The nurse closed the window for the umpteenth time, partially amused, partially in distress. She swept the wisps of snow from the lap shawl and wheelchair arms. “All the other patients get sad as Thanksgiving approaches,” she thought. “But our Anna here just smiles the day through. I wonder what it’s like to be 108 and to have outlived all of your relatives? I’d be sad! I wish, and pray you could share your secret with me.”

Alzheimer's Lane

In the earlier stages of my mother's Alzheimer's, she would often laugh at herself and I would join in as "laughter is good medicine." On one such occasion, we had been for a drive in the country and as we neared mother's condo, she asked me very seriously, "Are we on Alzheimer's Lane yet?"
Realizing what she had said, she burst into laughter, but the horror of Alzheimer's is no laughing matter and later, remembering this time with mother, I wrote the following poem.

Alzheimer’s Lane

<> For some

there is a dead end path

famous for no road signs

that bestows upon its travellers

bends and twists

lined with apparitions and specters.

This perilous path

spins out of control

like a broken merry-go-round

until thrown from the ride,

confused travellers are compelled

to climb back on again,

to riddle their way

down Alzheimer’s Lane.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Monday, July 18, 2005

Getting Acquainted

I have planted a sprig of a tree

beside the old maple

in my back yard.

The sprig makes the maple

look stronger

though the maple is old

and shedding her branches

as the aged shed their hair

and teeth.

I shall nurture the maple

for her trunk

is filled with

my memories

and the sprig

so she shall sprout me

new memories.

But like a puppy

tries to replace

a once faithful dog

the sprig must

grow into my heart

in order to stand

as tall as the maple

in my eyes.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Dolphin Fantasy

Slicing through water
like a warm knife through butter.
Fast and graceful,

then, for one brief moment,
she hangs,

before diving again,
leaving behind
an arc of sparkling

jewels poised, an after image
on an invisible cushion of air
to show where she had been,

just a moment ago.

(c) July 18, 2005

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Promise

You have promised
to give me
no more
than I can bear
yet I feel
my shoulders break
'neath the cross
I carry
but remember the one
who carried
the cross of Your Son
thus take You
at Your Word.

(c)--Christina Cowling


Endurance is not a test

but a mother’s capacity

to stretch her arms

across shattered miles

and carry her willful child


©--Christina Cowling

A Round

We have three posts
offered in a row --
a chance synchrocity,
or touch of magic.

If one were to place these poems
(yearling, tears,unlocking)
end to end in an endless braid --
a musical round --

then perhaps each does answer the other
in part and in conjugation


The Yearling

with no new
little one this
year, she
still bathes
him like a
fawn, until
his fur
stands up
in great
waves, until
the young
does drop
their heads,
hiding their
smiles in the
tall grass, until
he turns
flicking his
tail irritably -

why is it
that mothers
are always
the last to
see: that spindly
have become
strong springy
branches; that he
bears two
antler buds (little
in peachfuzzy
velvet); that an eagle's
beats in
his narrow


Like mercury leaks

from a broken thermometer

then clings stubbornly

to where it has fallen,

our tears cling to our cheeks

before tumbling

into the crevices

made by our forgotten smiles

that allow us

to lick the salt

before it stings and wounds.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Unlocking My Dream

Faucon's comment "This thought you share invaded much of my writing, and is perhaps a key to poetic dream" about my piece "The Greatest" inspired this:

My dream lurks

inside me,


like a savoury garden

with grand watermelons

and pumpkins

that stand

as high

as a toddler.

But I have lost the key

to free my dream


in the auspicious foliage

that holds my compulsion

to find it

and must be careful

that I do not deflower the garden

while I search.

©--Christina Cowling

A stranger not seen

Christina's post touching on natural brotherhood
takes me back to thoughts of actions
toward people we do not even see,
yet, in faith, our cherityy must abide.

this was written for a Slavic Medieval Recreationist Publication,
and is in an very old 'stilted' form.


Boar Spear

The Carpathian ridge sweeps gently to the east,
except for ragged escarpments of ancient stone
that protrude like teeth of a gasping battle steed.
Twenty yards -- no more, they reach unto the sky
to form a barrier to unwary hunting climber,
and tax the skill and strength of the warrior.
The River Sorok, here little more than a stream
crashes through a narrow defile in cascading mist.
To pass here requires a leap of faith and courage.
There is no handhold 'round a giant sculpted rock
save enough for scarce left finger stretching balance
while a hurtling man can swing around and up
to clutch an unseen, mysterious support.
For there is imbedded in monstrous cedar root
the cold head of a rusted rogatina spear.

Sixty years growth or more have seized the iron
in a grasp secure for the mightiest of men.
Its two foot length and protruding nether spars
allow the traveler to swing up and then beyond
the peril of dashing plunge to the eager rocks
that draw so on the fear and doubt before the jump.
To miss the waiting, assisting hold is sure death,
but to draw back from the blind, challenging test
is to admit defeat where others have passed before.

Safely passed we three look back at wrenching fate
and the terrible opportunity just well met.
I give prayer for the one who placed it there,
that wild boar intended stretch of welcome steel.
How was it placed -- what price was surely paid
to leave a gift for other to follow in faith?
When I did swing about that towering edifice,
with eyes closed and labored breath held tight,
I imaged an ancient warrior hand waiting there;
the mailed fist of a comrade battle friend.
And I know that there is price extracted here.
I must now reach out to a hidden stranger's plight.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Greatest

Light is seen only through resolve—

the decision to blaze with the secret of compassion,

which is “To love thy neighbour as thyself”

for in doing so

we treat self as we would our neighbour

with respect,



and charity that is greater than faith or hope.

(c)--Christina Cowling


You kiss my brow


like morning dew

kisses branches.

You serve me

a seductive tray

with raspberries

then roll with me

‘neath coloured sheets

in fashion.

Though much grows old

like trees and woods

and memories

we oft’ unite


from habit,

from honeyed years

of love and lose

and sharing life,

our passion.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tiers of Sakin'el

Rebirth Fountain

A year before I moved to Tennessee from California,
I constructed a fountain as part of my altar.
It is one of the few items I brought with me,
and now I have removed the Nevada rocks
to place in my new outdoor display --
three pools, wood flume, waterfalls, rock-garden and
gifted plants.

I wrote this poem, back when, about my small fountain.
Thought you might enjoy it.



The cooking pot is now antique, encrusted with ruddy, rusty blood.
Cold iron will did suffer into a thousand meals over an open fire,
to be abandoned to the hidden garden to keep the mint in check.

My father's father double bound did gain a hundred years of use,
only to let it die as life's pace drew beyond a simple camp.
I have cause to rescue it now, proper use in honored memory.

I will not dare remove its hard-earned flaky skin - not me;
or straighten a handle casually bent to loving lifting hand.
I will wash it some in a mountain spring and dry it in the sun,
and gather therein some pebbles, a few for me and some for Her.

In its core I will place an ersatz heart, driven by electron prance
to poor replace the slow gravity seeping gifting of the spring.
I'll pile in some pleasure stones and pebbles from the forest glen,
and perhaps a twig or two to engage the jutting drift worn branch.

The water will pulse and laugh with glee, and claim new life in harmony
with the reborn trusty, rusty pan and red veined quartzine skree.
Something calls out to me from a fountain, a gushing, vibrant claim
on life's vain struggles that I did have just before I settled near.

I listen close to the cycling chime of the jeweled misted dance
where trickle spreads in silent calm in the soul of that simple bowl.
I am led to contemplate on birth and life and endless loving bond,
and question close -- did I rescue it, or can it rescue me?


<> Aware,

I will not grab

for the crumbs

you offer

though you promise

prime beef

from a mad cow

and auction pretense

as if giving away

highly priced tickets

to see though your eyes

that have avoided clear mirrors

for a very long time.

(c)--Christina Cowling

Back To My Youth

I hitch a ride

with my imagination

that transports me

to long ago—

to floundering Prairie soil

where far from death

I see myself immortal

in perfect skin

without the flaw of age.

‘Tis here I’m thrust

by nervy winds

that whirl me

past slippery chances


that bid me trust

my frosty breath,

my bustling heart

to churn eternally.

Round currents swift

a warmer breeze doth glide me

to romance,

new ideals

and promised spring.

I float from billowing clouds

to puffs of leniency

and bite hard on the gripe

old age can bring.

©--Christina Cowling

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Everyday heroes

I looked around the other day and realised that I was surrounded by some of the bravest, most incredible people - every day people, who don't look like heroes, and have never saved the world or made the news, but who have battled their own little wars and displayed strength which belied their frame - a friend who lost her brother, a cousin who had a stroke, my mum, a friend who was scared of the dentist, but went anyway, another who was scared of public speaking, but made the speech - all these people give me strength from remaining strong themselves through hardships, yet trusting me enough to allow me to see them at their most vulnerable. Fear is fear is fear, whether it's of a thing, a person, an illusion or the unknown, no matter how big or small, conquering it is, to me, an act of heroism.

The strength of a person
can only be measured by the trials they endure.
Courage is not defined by heroic acts or great deeds,
Nor is it a virtue possessed only by those who defeat great odds.
It is evident in our every day lives
And though it often goes unrecognised
It never goes unrewarded.
For many, it is the smallest and simplest acts that require the most courage.
It isn’t brave unless you’re scared.

Skirts of Fog - Veils of Mist

Skirts of fog,
veils of mist
tinted by the sunrise.
There upon a mountain blest,
as a painting from the past.

Skirts of fog,
veils of mist.
A summit floating
in the still and freshened air.
is this thy gift to me?

Skirts of fog,
veils of mist.
Rocky portals
like a dream
in mystery surrounded,
yet inviting.

Skirts of fog,
veils of mist.
What secret superstition
lies behind
your masquerade
of finely woven silk?

Skirts of fog,
veils of mist
beyond which I must wander
to find entry to your secrets,
to find my strength,
my fortress.

©July 13, 2005

No Veils

Winnie's post caused me to search my archives --
realizing that I rarely speak of veils ...
don't know why.

I found only one poem -- ever;
which you might enjoy --
and perhaps it is enough.


Silent Veil

Her veil was azure silence
'neath the crashing waves forlorn,
and foam forgave the footsteps
ever present, swiftly gone.

The raindrops were a poem
up from the Goddess sea;
and her love runs in ripples
down the slopes of Avonlea.

Come now my timeless lover
to the mossy stones of Spring,
and we will birth a sunrise
that mortals will come to sing.

For you are the beloved,
kissed by the mists of morn,
to join the child of lonely
and dance the waltz of dawn.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005



I walk this lucent pathway
With the shadows of
Between the bright veils
They brush my cheeks and soothe my
Slumbering eyes
My fingertips kiss their softness
On each side as I walk

Sleep is chiffon, melting easily
With almost nothing in between
The other side and I
The breeze wafts fluidly
China silk, crepe de chine
I am here
I am gone

The dream veil wraps me round
With a thickness I perceive
I can feel consciousness slide
Thumb and finger brush each side
Cashmere, suéde, broadcloth, brocade
In the stiff wind of vision, the dream veil shifts
And I’m holding on with both hands
Corduroy, tweed, canvas, chinchilla . . .
Batik, alpaca, cheese cloth, chintz . . .

I walked under stars
Where the past melted from the present
The present slid into the past
She left finger prints on my memory
Soft dreams behind my eyes and
Rustling veils of velvet, doeskin, Venetian point
Wafting lemon oil, lemon grass, lemon verbena

When all of the selves
On this luminous path, join breath
And mystery, memory and meaning merge
We will lift the final veil
With the beating heart of a bird
The veil spun gold gossamer
And behind it we will find . . .
A spill of fresh moonlight
And laughter
Like a fae blessing
In the deep
of the

©Edwina Peterson Cross