The knowing 

I remember the ancient glory of the stars
the vast flinging-out of existence
I remember the creation of planet rings
(soft dust-glow in the darkness)
and the tying down of moons
I remember the truths and the answers
to questions now forgotten
to an essence of this universe no one can grasp
for I have seen beyond the nebula and the galaxies
to the edge of nothing.

A dark twist spun off from a section of the poetic, philosophical and beautifully bright Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 

The last prompt for NaPoWriMo 2016 was to write a poem in a different language or to translate one from a different language. This darker thought came to me as I read through that favourite French masterpiece. But what I really intended to do was write this in translation:

When you look to the sky,
at night,
because I will be living in one of those stars,
because I will be laughing in one of those stars,
it will be for you
as though all the stars are laughing.
For you, the stars will know
how to laugh.

It has taken a long time to get to this place

I remember all those times I felt righteous indignation
all those times I was sure you were wrong,
and I was right
and maybe you were wrong, sometimes,
but now I understand
just how hard it is
how complex the human soul
the layers of our interactions
the trying – the striving – to do the right thing
when so often all you can do is come up short
and then try again next time.

I remember so many of our struggles and differences
but I want you to know that I also remember the good times:
nights in front of the tv
making toasted tomato sandwiches
trying to break my fear of spiders.
I want you to know that when I look at my boy
I think of you and smile
and I remember the good times, too.

An unexpected exploration of my childhood assumptions spun from a conversation about parenting with my son and the NaPoWriMo day 29 prompt to write a poem based on things we remember.

My words fly up

I am a cog.
But my words and ideas form on the lips of greatness.

Spoken leader-to-leader, my words are shared with the sharpest minds
those at the forefront of this messy attempt to wrangle the incalculable losses,
to build a shared sense of responsibility.

The words I write pass onward and up, hand to hand, through to the highest level;
I watch as they go.

From this vantage point, I begin. I answer the questions before they are asked,
words on a page – my words –
I propose the way forward then wait to see what changes are made.

I can see it all before me, the global shifting, the positioning and posturing,
leaders of countries and ideas, pushing solutions, approaches, agendas.

I bring the thoughts and ideas of others together, woven through with my own.
I am the knitter of words.

It all comes to me. The questions, the taskings the seeking of views;
what should we say, what would we do, think and get back to us.
And I do.


My day, my always amazing and often exhausting job, described from the final stage, all the way back to the beginning for NaPoWriMo’s suggestion to tell a story in reverse on day 28. The title is taken from a line in Hamlet.

Away with the birds

A silent city wilderness hides, moss-covered and leaf-whipped,
beyond glorious warm sun-glare, under deep blue, between rapids and lake;
here, otherworld creatures take hold.
Migrating bird-throngs fluttering, gathering, disperse and reform
blackbirds’ tumbling, belting cries ease city rumble
cardinal flashes ignite branches and thickets
and distant white river-flocks mimic last season’s snowdrifts.

In deeper, forest-dampered stillness
juncos, sapsuckers and nuthatches abound
chickadees gather and woodpeckers echo
and a small squinting owl
tree-peeks, half-sleeping in nest-hole.

Oh, to spend an hour and another hour still
a wild woodland morning strengthens spiritless will.


A longer-lined poem for NaPoWriMo day 27, inspired by a morning spent birding. 

Spring’s anthem


Sun over cattails, Copyright Silverleaf 2016

Bluebell carpets grace tree shadows now
Another verse in spring’s anthem

Flowers, earth-sprung, where yesterday saw none
Another verse in spring’s anthem

Bird-trills lullaby evening’s slow-sinking sun
Another verse in spring’s anthem

North Wind lifts and lilts last year’s fattened cat tails
Another verse in spring’s anthem

Stark lace-patterned trees tie mud to sky
Another verse in spring’s anthem

This fair-weather season, wild and new,
Just another verse in spring’s anthem.

A call-and-response poem for NaPoWriMo day 26.