Sunday, June 24, 2018

Poetry Pantry #408

New York City -

Photos by Vandana Sharma

Statue of Liberty - "Lady Liberty"

Ever busy Times Square

New York City from Empire State Building

World Trade Center Memorial

Annie Moore statue - first immigrant
who came through Ellis Island

Thank you, Vandana, for sharing your photos of New York City with us today.  The photo of the Statue of Liberty makes me sigh a little bit.  I hope that Lady Liberty welcomes immigrants to our country for a long time to come.   You must have had a wonderful trip, Vandana.  It is always nice to be able to experience another country..

Oh, and in the Northern Hemisphere, summer has finally arrived.  Smiles.

Susan's Midweek Motif topic (human) this past week certainly turned out to be an appropriate one for the week and inspired a lot of interesting responses.  Next week Sumana's prompt will be:  What I Think about Myself. I will have to give that one some thought.

I hope everyone has had a chance to read Sherry's I Wish I'd Written This feature  - the poem "These are Some of the Things You Missed" by Christine Lowther, a very good Canadian poet who just happens to be a neighbor of Sherry's.

Monday, do return to read the latest Poem of the Week.  Sherry makes such great choices, doesn't she?

With no delay, let's share a poem.  Link your poem below.  Stop in and say hello.  Visit other poets who link.  Enjoy being part of the community.  See you on the trail.

Friday, June 22, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

Some of the Many Things You Missed

It’s the springtide of the moon
full and heavy float the moon jellies
to hands’ reach, the glass lace
of their tentacles scarcely moving…
Pat Lowther

the bay is full of jellyfish that don’t sting
pulsating full-bellied yet diaphanous moon jellies
blue-tinged with four pink gonads
their only colour not brains but genitals

why moon  were they named just for being pale
did they remind someone of that pockmarked face
did they appear to the namer as small craters convulsing

they look more like petticoats ballooning down a staircase
or shower caps or miniature parachutes
the size of a thimble or a dinner plate
always only a few until one year there comes a bloom

a moon jelly bloom when they’re everywhere impossible to avoid
shredding them with the boat’s propeller
not looking back picturing them torn into fragments
like so many pieces of floating toilet paper

every day i return home to hundreds of jellies
dimpling the water’s surface like rain
were i to brave the cold water, dive among them
they’d slide away, oblivious
slooping around my limbs pulsations barely pausing
my kicks and strokes tumbling them about
in their birthright of slow chaos

i wish they’d crowd their cool soft bodies up to mine
wish i could say i’ve been swarmed by moon jellies
wish I could say i’ve been to a moon jelly love-in
ecstatic in the slippery translucent animals

last night i saw them gathered under their fully waxed namesake
embers of moonlight-on-jelly breaking black water
lighting up the bay
their surface-bobbing like visual morse code

the same pattern i’d seen when raindrops
fell onto a dark ocean
their tiny splashes sparking to life

the pulsing creatures ascended
to a meeting of worlds:
water   salt   jelly   air
darkness    moonlight    outer space
all these years & finally i can say
i have seen the moon jelly ritual
jellies gathering to kiss air
kiss the moon
become moonlight

Christine Lowther

Marlene Cummings photo

We have another Tofino poet for you this month, my friends. Christine Lowther is a noted Canadian writer of poetry and prose,  and is a fellow member of the Clayoquot Writers Group.  I would love to be able to put my love of and reverence for nature into words as eloquently as Christine does. Her poetry is imbued with her deep love of the natural world. She lives in close connection with the wild, on her floathouse a short boat ride away from Tofino. This is the setting of her poem, as she dives off her dock to swim among the jellyfish.

Linda Baril photo

Chris has lived in Clayoquot Sound since 1992. Her mother is the noted poet, Pat Lowther, whom Chris lost as a result of spousal homicide when she was seven years old. This traumatic event lies at the heart of some of her deepest work, notably her first poetry collection: New Power. Her most recent nonfiction book, Born Out of This, charts her journey from this terrible loss, through foster homes, punk rock, and lifelong activism, to the life she has created in the heart of nature on her floathouse in the Sound.

I find similarities in  the writings of mother and daughter. Each has a distinct and unique voice. Both love the wild; this love  illuminates  their writing. Pat Lowther's work still lives, and is quoted and respected  many years after her death. I believe her daughter's work will also stand the test of time.

Chris's writing sings through the soul. She truly "sees" the small and large beauties of the natural world and, when she writes about them, we see them, too, with appreciative and awakened eyes. Chris was arrested at the blockades in 1992, standing for the trees. She still advocates on their behalf as Tofino struggles with the thorny conflicting issues of development and preservation. Her activism and the conscientious, respectful way she lives on Mother Earth inspires me. She is one of my heroes.

Chris was co-editor of two anthologies, Writing the West Coast: In Love With Place, and Living Artfully: Reflections on the Far West Coast, and has three poetry collections New Power, Half-Blood Poems and My Nature. Her most recent book is the memoir, Born Out of  This.

Christine's website can be found here, and more information about her books can be found  on the site. Her author page is at

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Human

Image result for human beings quote

"Listen and tell, thrums the grave heart of humans.
Listen well love, for it’s pitch dark down here."
― Hailey Leithauser (See full poem below)

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in the kindness of human beings. I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and angels.” 
 Midweek Motif ~ Human

I am human. I am only human.  
 I am sadly human.  Happily, I am human.

When you describe something as "human," 
what do you mean?  

(Click "What is a Human Being?" for a slideshow.)

Your Challenge: Write a new poem giving what is human its place in the natural world, the solar system, galaxy, and/or universe.

Cruelty has a Human Heart 
And Jealousy a Human Face 
Terror the Human Form Divine 
And Secrecy, the Human Dress 

The Human Dress, is forged Iron 
The Human Form, a fiery Forge. 
The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd 
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white
chambers. The heart of a swan is a swan.

The heart of a wasp is a prick of plush.
The heart of a skunk is a mink. The heart
of an owl is part blood and part chalice.
The fey mouse heart rides a dawdy dust-cart.

The heart of a kestrel hides a house wren
at nest. The heart of lark is a czar.
The heart of a scorpion is swidden

and spark. The heart of a shark is a gear.
Listen and tell, thrums the grave heart of humans.
Listen well love, for it’s pitch dark down here.

(Used with the poet's permission. First published in PoetryOctober 2015)

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community— 

(Next week Sumana’s Motif will be ~ "When I think about myself.")