When Muses Say Goodbye


Right there in his hands
He’d held the light, finally
Rescue imminent

RISE, love cried loudly
Please don’t shout so, he bemoaned
I’ll just fall down

Swampy Sirens crooned
Songs full of stale, trite intrigue
Their shadows, now home

Angels cried, silence
Hush all those false noises, Shh
It’s up to you now


Photo credit:  New Hope, by DaXXe. Thanks, DaXXe.
Tip of the day for CDR: War is hard & ugly; take care in declaring it, especially when only guessing what you’re fighting against – those who have nothing to lose. The prize is nowhere as delectable up close; even a Clown had his supporters.
Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro Poetry, micropoetry, Photos, Poetry, three line poetry, Writing Challenges | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

That’d be right, Babe

Gili Copy

He was a little less oblivious than she believed.  He’d feel it now, without seeing anymore, how her expression would change from the melancholic stare out at the water while she washed dishes or while they were out on the sand and she casually sifted it through her fingers to pick out shells or sea glass for photo projects or perhaps something poetic. Yes, he knew she was already gone across oceans.

He’d known for some time, watching as she drifted into her dreamscapes within the screen, feeling the sweet release of understanding from him – the other hims.

He knew all about her yearning explorations, racing off from the edge of her keyboard to faraway places of sand-groping windstorms.  He knew that she whispered with them all about his limitations, searching for commiseration and to be desired at the same time.  Daring and challenging any of them to be her answer.  She loves him, but…

Yes, Davis knew all about her whole other world and he knew it would only be a matter of time before he told her he knew. It was only a matter of time.  He loved her, but…


The Daily Post Prompt Challenge to write about the experience of being outside, looking in – short story form.


Posted in #NABLOPOMO, Life, Non-Fiction, Photos, Relationships, Storytelling, The Daily Post, Writing, Writing Challenges | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Posting Fireworks That Burn

Actions Prove who people areI’ve been flummoxed for a while by how some writers, especially those married or committed, seem to get away with amazing levels of sexual flirtation in their communications seemingly without consequence.  I’m not talking about defined sex blogs, I’m referring to those based on life in general, photography, poetry, travel, etc.

Of course, I only assumed no misunderstandings because we can‘t be sure what happens behind closed post doors, so I decided to chat with some bloggers about it. This was no kind of social, scientific, double blind testing to come up with any definitive delineation of appropriateness. I just wanted to check out what’s behind it.

What started out as group speculation about lines of propriety in public comments quickly escalated into a near bloodbath on fidelity beliefs.

The varying opinions on ease with sexual overtones or statements blew us all away to an unexpected level of discomfort, hence the heat – decidedly non-sexual.   The vehemence in favor of free-for-all comments by three of my conversationalists made me question my convictions somewhat.

I need to note that only one blogger agreed to let me quote him publicly. The rest didn’t want to drive this particular conversation to their own blogs.  Fair enough.  I guess.

I also state upfront that in the end, this is really all about personal heart stuff and we all have our own idea of what’s acceptable, but what’s reasonable or not for the average commitment?

We read through various post’s reader comments that included compliments on general beauty, the sexiness of physical traits to outright statements of being turned on by one another.

Some posts were deliberately provocative – selfies of semi-nudes, bathing/shower shots, etc., so we couldn’t really be surprised when comments outside of “nice pic” came in. However, some writers pointedly invited that attention, by baiting replies with: “Do I turn you on”? or “Does this invite squeals of delight or make you think squeaky bed springs”? Even so, in all cases, there’s no actual requirement to reply with one’s level of arousal, right?

To my mind, if you’re both single and clear about the play, enjoy, but if not is that really cool?   Would I want to read my guy either answering in the affirmative or drawing out that chat in any way?  Not in this lifetime, nor the last five or the five to come.

That opinion wasn’t unanimous though.  One of us was adamant that because it was a public comment, it clearly wasn’t meant to be a reflection of any deception or cheating.  Interesting, but would his love interest get that point?

Another concurred, saying that as long as it was all in the open, it’s just harmless flirtation that required no further input, end of story, and this was where the emotional temperatures started to rise a little.  (Full-disclosure, one of these opinions is from an ex).

I wondered if that sense of freedom included publishing a post of intimate or suggestive admiration to or by a married/committed person. Interestingly, we had unanimity in declaring that was over the line and merited cautious stepping off.

Next, we moved onto our definitely non-single writers who admitted they shared more than writing tips in email and Skype conversations with their online flirtations. They easily engaged in detailing various intimate aspects of their relationship’s communication, emotional, and sexual issues.  I know it wasn’t only my jaw that dropped.

Maybe it’s because I’m old(ish), but I can’t quite see how physical distance really justifies these behaviors.  Has the ‘new reach out and touch someone’ technology made it OK to share this kind of intimacy because you’re not really touching?  Apparently it does for some. 

A writer who doesn’t agree with that, but did agree to let me name him and air his views is Ned HIckson,  a popular humorist & journalist and a resoundingly committed married man.  Ned has a wide readership that includes many admiring women that he responds to daily in comments.

He says it’s always possible to mess up, but he follows some personal guidelines to sort it out. To start, he avoids complimenting or zeroing in on any woman’s specific or intimate physical attributes and he “would never, ever comment on how ‘hot’ a woman is, or that she ‘turns me on’ or even jokingly suggest sleeping together”.

He said, “Whenever I leave a comment, I ask myself two simple questions: How would this make my wife feel and if my wife wrote this to someone, how would it make ME feel?  If the buzzer sounds with either one, it’s deleted. I generally never need to get that far, but there have certainly been some situations when I was caught up in a comment stream that I had to gut-check myself simply because, though I have a “naughty” side and am a sexual person, I feel it’s something that needs to be saved for my wife”.

You have to think if any behavior is hurtful to your significant other, there better be a pretty significant reason for doing it.  If not, why would you even be with someone apparently that incompatible?

These contentions in the world of writing sort of flung me all over the emotional grid about my own expectations, but I didn’t come away with any new beliefs and I can’t say anyone else’s views were changed about their own approaches either.

I do know though, that publicly or privately, I’ll remain damned clear about respecting my relationships and of others; most definitely, I’d expect the same from my partner.


Related post:

Love you, Miss you… Not Really…   …“Readers are not just recipients of thoughts, they are real people who believe in words, who respect words, and yes, mostly they realize the power of words. They know words matter”.
Posted in Blogging, Hypocrisy, Life, love, Sex, Wordpress, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

Our Home and Native Braves

Andrea Hotomanie, Principal, Glenda Speight, Constable Erin McAvoy

Andrea Hotomanie, Principal, Glenda Speight, Constable Erin McAvoy

 As Remembrance Day approaches, I am reminded of how profoundly I was moved by the Remembrance Day assembly at my son’s school last year. I found it particularly poignant for two reasons.

What I found initially striking was that the ceremony was presided over by all women, something I’d never seen before.  This brigade of impressive feminine force were school Principal, Glenda Speight, RCMP Constable Erin McAvoy in Red Serge, and Andrea Hotomanie, the district Aboriginal Support Worker.

Andrea Hotomanie was the second reason of note.  She stood up in recognition of the Indigenous peoples who serve and have served in the Canadian military. She wore a magnificent button blanket, borne of the Northwest Coastal tribes, around her shoulders. It was the first time I had seen this kind of Indigenous inclusion at any school remembrance assembly and it brought me to tears.

It moved me so deeply because it was the first time I felt my grandfather and uncles included in these remembrances in a way that they hadn’t before.  It brought them, Cree warriors from northern Alberta, faded from history for so many decades, up to the front too.  I felt they were being honored for the first time as servicemen and not as guests held only in my mind, while all the other heroes were noted up on the screens and in the speeches. Between Andrea’s presence and my son nearby, this acknowledgement brought it all fully home to my heart.

All those many years ago, there was never any doubt that at least three of my uncles would join the military from the time that, as young boys, they stared admiringly at the one photo of my grandfather in his uniform until they were all signed up and fitted into their own.

photo compilation by Robyn LawsonAlong with pride of their homeland and reverence for the uniform, there was another underlying and stirring reason to join up. Uncle Philip finally expressed it after I asked him why he always declared that his favorite job was being in the Canadian forces.  He said, “Respect”.  While he wore that Canadian uniform, it was the first time in his life that he was treated with honest to God respect, and it didn’t matter where he was in the world.  It was his greatest time of honor and pride.  I can’t say so for my grandfather or the other uncles, but I suspect they felt much the same.

Their presence at the Remembrance Day assembly that day was palpable to me, and I have no doubt that they were all there in full uniform.

There is a lot of history about Indigenous Canadians in the military and the details are available more than ever.  I would encourage anyone to look up that history sometime for some very interesting and enlightening reading.

For now, I would just like to say thank you to my family for their courage.  We will always be proud.  We will always remember.

In remembrance of:

Military family

John Gray-WW1, Frank Gray-WW2, Phil Gray-Korea, Larry Gray-CDN post Quebec


readers digest logoOur Home and Native Braves was published October 30, 2013 on the Reader’s Digest community website: http://www.readersdigest.ca/our-canada/community-blog/our-home-and-native-braves

Recommended link for Native military history:
A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Military:

Posted in Aboriginal Peoples, First Nations, Indigenous, Life, Military, Remembrance Day, Storytelling, Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments


Red tree 2The 3 demons urged
Sacrifice the Valkryie
Aye, smirked he, it’s done

She rose to the light
After shedding wings of blood
Freed of all demons

Demon sustenance
Disrespect, disloyalty
Forever vanquished


FY   R,F,C,F,F,D,&L
Today I finally start to breathe again

Related post: Faded Promises, Old Stories

Posted in Haiku, Life, love, micropoetry, Poetry, three line poetry, Writing Challenges | Tagged | 6 Comments

No Light For The Wicked

Halloween 1C. redone

                               Hallow’s Eve beckons

                            All hearts hiding in the dark

                              “Run”, it screams, “To light”


Haiku Photo by RL,- feeling all crafty w/ home project for Halloween, October 29, 2015
Yes, mom, I made it. Yes, J, by myself.
Posted in Haiku, Halloween, Photos, Poetry | 4 Comments

Faded Promises, Old Stories

He would say that, with a sweep of a hand, she would wipe away three hours of good conversation, all for nothing.  He would state that she was so weak that even the most simplistic encounters would send her into irrational world.

heart bandagedIrrational world was that place of burning where rubbing her nose in the aftermath of another woman’s questionable company was perfectly fine form.  He’d call it an “oh by the way”, moment.  With an offhand remark, she would find that all the efforts of heart to heart pleadings to be respected and first in their world, as promised, were real only in that moment promised – again.

When the band aids were eventually placed over that particular woman and event of dispute, it wouldn’t be long before a new one would be forged.  The madness of each occurrence, unquestionably innocent fun as far as he was concerned, smoldered like a burning hill of buried refuse for her.

He would tell her, you have my heart, they don’t – that is my bond.  He either couldn’t or refused to see that his offer was really – you have my heart, but not my word.

He was utterly clueless that her heart could only beat easily within the protection of his word.

He made her choose between the bonds.  She couldn’t. The offer being held up was the willingness to be thrown back into her deepest wounds at the whim of his choices.

He called them misunderstandings.  He didn’t become any more adept at understanding the losses of his word were always another addition to her scars.  He didn’t notice how each one of those moments added another layer to the darkness around himself.

Each time she tried to show how there is sharing a heart, and then there is sharing a heart.  It enraged him – all those moments of her questions and begging for understanding.  He said, he will not have his deficiencies trumpeted forever. He will not be questioned.  How dare she!

And then finally, when she was fully broken, a histrionic mess, he called her, finally relief.

It wasn’t the triumph of all bonds finally being met.  It was the moment he opened the door to one more misunderstanding; it was that one that plunged the final dagger through their love.

He railed at her rage and demands for why. There is no good reason for that why, though.  It was just thoughtless ease – scratching an immediate itch for control.  At the height of the newest bitter dance, he made light of the ugliness of her scars and promises were renamed as plans and plans change, he said. Deal with it.  And, by the way, you’re going to have to find a place in our home for my ‘friends’ too. Your insecurities are not my issue, grow up.

He told her she was just so naïve, and wrong.  He called her just a lonely, miserable, control freak.  He told her she’d always been wrong, and it turned out that all the previous band aids were really nothing more than duct tape placed over her face.  He said all the times she thought he’d heard her, was only the hard work to ‘shut her the fuck up’.

By then, he had to have known she wasn’t meeting his expectations either.  Her song was firm, but he was certain that he’d applied more band aids than anyone else had ever before and he deserved extra consideration for that. Besides, he said, you know no one has ever loved you like this before – and so remained oblivious to where all her scars had begun.

It’s funny now, how this knight in Viking armour insisted on the relationship early on.  He worked so relentlessly and diligently on the wooing and promise building. He had to have her then, but why bother after duct taping her the second or third or fourth time?  Wasn’t that just as much hard work as would have been in meeting the promises anyway?

As it turned out, not really.  It’s never that simple.


For Cheri and N.  I’m sorry – sisters in solidarity. One day it will get better for us.

On another note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign Month.

A heart-felt thanks to Ned Hickson, for his continuing support for DV situations and to fellow blogger,  Jeanette for helping someone -right now- to escape an abusive situation.  Help if you can. – https://www.gofundme.com/225yf6vg

Posted in Bullying, Coping, Life, love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Karma Knows Intentions… You Can Run, But…

MoonlightThey say Karma is a bitch and believe me, having met her face to face, I can tell you first-hand that yes, she is.   She recently decided to feed me a fresh batch of payback stew – with a pitchfork.  Don’t make her wait too long kids, atone for transgressions quickly – she gets more sour with time.

When I was in school, there was a girl I hung around almost entirely because I had an unbearable crush on her boyfriend. My crush was a one-way street and so I pretended to like his girlfriend far more than I did just to be near him whenever possible.

While I did like the girl, I was not nearly as enamored with her as I let on and so, when he left her, so did I.  We both broke her heart, and while she had some understanding about why he just wasn’t into her anymore, she had no clue as to why one of her closest confidantes had abandoned her too.  Pretty heartless, I know, I admit my selfish guilt; I simply had written it all off to the heart wants what the heart wants.

Affairs of the heart can be pretty tricky at any age, and regardless of our experience, we’ll always be in some sort of learning curve within all of our relationships.

When we want something or someone so badly that we will bend our values or morals or sense of fair play to get it, the one thing I learned from that is, the achievement will not only be shallow, it’s doomed to be short-lived anyway.

Even that much awareness, regardless of age, is still no guarantee we’ll be able to over-ride desire.  We all want to be loved,  respected,  to be heard, and sometimes to get those things,  we‘ll go so far as to convince ourselves that bending a value is the same thing as a compromise.

Compromises mean things like you’ll agree to half the salt you normally like on popcorn so you can share with your sodium conscious pal, or you’ll agree to that raucous rugby tournament on TV the whole weekend if he’ll wear the earphones.

If someone says they agree to a value like a level of trust or respect, but do so not so much in understanding and agreement as in just an effort to halt friction, that’s not compromise.   That’s deception, and not only to the party who believes they have an understanding, your own heart is eventually going to take a beating too.

Love makes people do some incredibly wonderful things, but it also, intentionally or not, makes them do some really stupid things too.  Deception is a friend when we need to sneak around a corner.

This kind of deception isn’t necessarily the deep, dark, nefarious predatory sort, but it can sure feel like it if it gets to step in your relationships, especially as broken agreements.

If we become close to someone and honestly love them, but we’re not able to truly understand a value need of theirs, intended or not, if we don’t work to resolve it, we create a chasm that only one of us knows about.  Eventually the blind one is going to fall into it.

If consensus isn’t genuinely met, but the desire for that person remains, what is the fair play in the end?  There is really only one decent option.  As painful as it may be, you’ll either need to slog it out until you both truly get honest agreement or just let go.

Let me assure that the seemingly easier route of agreement for the sake of avoiding conflict is neither easy nor painless. It’s a short term plan that always gets revealed and as I was recently reminded, it doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 50 years old, when your heart falls into that chasm it gets crushed, pretty damned badly.

You don’t have to be cruel to be kind, but know the heart taking what the heart wants while bending values means someone is going to get hurt anyway – mostly, devastatingly.

Karma takes no prisoners.


There was never any RA, it was only a dream
Posted in Coping, Life, love, Pain | Tagged | 5 Comments

I Was Hacked, & By Friendly Fire Too

Unfortunately I was hacked and a post was put up on my page without my involvement today.  Although I am in support of the knowledge contained in the report that was posted, I will not support the tactics used to place it on my page.

I am a strong supporter of Indigenous issues and I speak out regularly on various platforms often and proudly, but I’m sorry that someone felt that placing their view, even if well-intentioned, without my permission would be a viable method.  I will ask for help if I have trouble finding my own words.

I appreciate someone else wanting help in spreading the word about the incredibly uninformed and racist views of Conservative candidates, but ask for my assistance, do not impose your will on me, the way Canadian policies were imposed on our ancestors.

I am aware of these candidates, I speak out about them, I encourage people to seek out the backgrounds of who they may be voting for, but most of all, please use the hard-earned right to do so.


Posted in Aboriginal Peoples, Blogging, Life, Racism, Wordpress | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

The REDress Project

Red Dress Project 3

My red dress, hanging under the Weeping Willow tree
The REDress project, created by Métis artist Jaime Black, highlights the issue of the missing & murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

October 4th is a day to honor the lives of over 1000 Indigenous women tragically taken from their loved ones. It is also a day meant to raise awareness about the ongoing violence, at significantly higher rates toward Indigenous women and girls than any other demographic in Canada.

This effort was started by the Sisters In Spirit Vigil (SIS) organization and the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto nine years ago, and includes support services for the family members of the missing and murdered women (#MMIW).

The group began in answer to the lack of resources through any government services and the continuing lack of public response on any meaningful scale.

Current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper outraged many when he said in an interview on the CBC last December,  that looking into this issue, particularly with a national inquiry was “not high on his government’s radar”.  To date, despite a later outright denial of what he said in that recorded video, his government has continued to do nothing about the issue.

In response, artist Jaime Black chose to highlight the issue with her project designed to represent the women with red dresses in a photo display that is being shown in various galleries across the country. In various interviews she said she would like people to hang their own red dresses wherever in their community or wear one on October 4th in solidarity for the women and their families.

The public can also participate in the honoring by attending various candlelight vigils in various cities and/or with a virtual candle online project:  http://www.october4th.ca/


Please see Jaime’s full story at http://www.redressproject.org

For more information about the Sisters in Spirit group, see: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/giving-life/community-happenings/sisters-in-spirit-honouring-the-lives-of-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women/

Posted in Aboriginal Peoples, Life, Life & Death, Missing & Murdered Women, Photos | Tagged | 5 Comments