Another One Bites The Dust

Poor girl didn’t heed
Cries of the already drowned
Smothered; false kisses

Warnings lost in hard pursuits
T’was never hard to know you

………………………………

Mad-hatters shape shift
He becomes every dream
Magical threading

Weaving so under your skin
Never releasing his prey

………………………………

Permanently etched
Tied more closely than skin deep
Oh, the tricks, those ploys

The spell forever changing
The whirls of madness now reign

RL

Haiku / Tanka
Street Art by @shalakattack
Photo provided by createdbyrcw.com

The Queen of Hearts said to the wee thing:

“How hard it can be for lost hearts to get it. The moment is passed and yet, some refuse to buzz-off even after their true colors have been brought to light and rejected. Such strange senses of ownership, but then new/old conquests refuse to believe hypnotic methods could fool them, no matter how much is offered in foresight. The trance in full effect – ‘he knows me like no other’…. They all do, dear. That’s their job. They stare and stare and stare at you until you give it all”.

“I wonder if we’re so different after all…perhaps that’s why they simply cannot say goodbye after, like a varicella-zoster, content to hide in the shadows forevermore”…

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Posted in Haiku, Life, love, micropoetry, Pain, Poetry, Tanka, three line poetry | Tagged , | 4 Comments

WANING TREASURES: Colour

The diminishing days of summer begin to tug at my only-just-now-relaxing heartstrings. I’m not ready to give up the heat, the light, the energy of the extra sunlight; not where we live anyway.

We live in a rain-forest and not the kind that, in winter, envelopes the area in near bathwater-warm mists.  Oh no, ours is that infamous, sopping, bitterly chill ya to cellular level till you cry kind of dampness. That cheery fun matched only by the varying depths of blanketing grey masses that blot out said light of grace.

So, is it any wonder I choose to claw back the impending doom and seek out the remnants of brilliance and shine? To hang onto the trailing sweet scents of fresh leaves and grasses and florals? To seek even more comfort in the flowing lightness of shimmery breezes (and really cute apparel)?

All of which serves to ease even the biggest workload into a sense of partial vacation. Maybe it’s closer to the idea of just vacant, but still… if it works for escapism purposes…

Soon enough, the world’s turn will darken patio libations and I will have no choice but to submit to the inevitable. Grey. Slate, Dove, Ash, Charcoal. Grey. Well, at least that is, until we get to the mixed and even, garish jewel tones of Christmas. Oh my… Can’t wait!

In the meantime, some of my micro-tributes to summer colour:

DAISY CLAIMS
Daisies

Momma’s favourites
White blooms speaking innocence
Thus mine are yellow 😄

Haiku
BC coast, July 2017

 

HIDDEN TREASURES

Secrets of the heart
A mere two souls know my fave
Primary option

Haiku
Photo, Peggys Cove, NS

 

JAUNE SEDUCTIONS

Sunny, bright, happy
Deep, warm, inviting caress
Golden embraces

A bed of warm intellect
The real couleur de l’amour

Haiku / Tanka
Photo, Northwest Cove, NS

RL

Posted in Haiku, Life, Lighter Side, micropoetry, Photos, Poetry, Tanka, three line poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Street Art Takes Pain

I came across a pretty great poetic thought on Twitter, and be damned if I could find it again to properly quote and credit it, but it said something along the line of, “poetry is where the pain goes”.  I’d wager there’s a pretty big crowd of us that wade in that poetic pool.

I’m not saying I had a painful week, but once again inspiration hit while I was perusing a friend’s street art photos.  Some old heart matters reared up, and I couldn’t resist the pull of the bard. So a short ode to a long week. Wishing all a really fabulous final August weekend.

WITH BAITED BREATH

Help, help she called out
Alas, only silence heard
No hook on the line

Haiku
Street Art photo provided by @createdbyw

 

DOG COLLARS

When the deeds been done
The new victim acquiesced
Signed on for the ride

Oh, the glee, oh if only
Oh, to be flies on the wall

Haiku / Tanka
Street Art photo provided by @createdbyw

 

HARE OF THE DOG

Oh, soul Girl, step slow
Do beware red hearts, Alice
Their souls are so black

Tread most carefully, angel
Every promise, a trick

Haiku / Tanka
Street Art Photo: Unknown, Porto, Portugal

RL

Posted in Haiku, Life, Lighter Side, micropoetry, Photos, Poetry, Tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Canada, Reparations Don’t End at Apologies – Just Ask Germany

Revised August 30, 2017

Canadians must work to heal a major historical point of contention for Canada and the Indigenous, and that point does not focus on “apologies and acknowledgements of territories.”

Canada’s government already knows what needs to be done. It has received why and how details for decades, most recently from the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), the 2011 Canadian Auditor General’s Report, the 2015 Truth & Reconciliation Report (TRC), and perhaps most unexpectedly, from Germany.

Canada’s apologies—for forcing Indigenous children to attend Residential schools, only one step of genocidal policies in the Indian Act; for sexual & physical abuses and death; for medical and nutritional experimentation; for starvation and medical sterilizations; for the missing and murdered; and other horrors —have become almost glib.

They’re cheap makeup to cover the scars of racist policies past and the continuing eruptions today. They’re feel-good measures that gloss over the lack of amendments leading to genuine restorative healing. In some cases, official apologies have been done literally to death.

“These things take time,” we’re told; an egregious, time-wasting cop-out. The amount of money and assistance announced to the country as given to the reserves is often exaggerated greatly.  Indigenous kids continue to die by Canadian policy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on earnest promises to the Indigenous that included ratification of the United Nation’s policy rights for Indigenous peoples. Not only has he not lived up to that pledge, but he is actually suing to retain the ability to discriminate against Indigenous children, even as they die from lack of resources afforded to all Canadian children. For Canadians, these rights are called services, but for the Indigenous, they’re regularly viewed and stated as “handouts”.

Why this belief is so widely held and accepted as truth is not because Canada ‘provides the Indigenous handouts whenever possible’ – aka charity. That view is the original 1876 talking point of the Canadian government and its partner-in-crime, the media. Despite well-known travesties, the pair have left out other important historical nuggets such as the laws that made it illegal for the Indigenous to operate any kind of business; laws that were in place for well over a century.

Too few know the real Canadian foundation. So, the focus has to turn Canadians back to acknowledging their history and their much defined hand in creating the situation that has lasted for 150 years and counting.

Cda Nazi Flag

Colonialism is based in racism. Supremacy is its heart. Symbolic irony – the Swastika symbol was used by the ancient Native Americans of the Mississippian culture. Indigenous genocide, millions on their homeland. Who remembers?

It’s commonly said the German genocide of Europe’s Jewish population must be “never forgotten.” And yet, Canadians will routinely tell the Indigenous to “stop living in the past.”

But the past isn’t over. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) isn’t over. The Canadian Government’s effort to manage Indigenous lives, lands and take resources isn’t over. Your “past” continues to be Indigenous present.

“What’s the answer?” – is a huge yet simple question. Aside from the answers already provided by commissions, Germany—which took a page from Canada’s Indian Act to create its own terror camps— returned with a blueprint to decency that Canada should take to heart.

Canadians must listen to what the Indigenous have been saying for nearly two centuries, and stop believing another popular myth that the Indigenous don’t know what they want. While there may be myriad ideas, the fundamental demand has remained true: genuine equal standing in their homelands with equal access to all services, already paid for in perpetuity with their resources and land.

The “nice Canada” face the world sees is false. Although Canada is populated with many lovely people, most live in ignorance while continuing to benefit richly from the livelihoods taken from the Indigenous, who are left on their own to overcome the horrors they’ve suffered.

Canadians must clearly and fearlessly look at their history, and teach it, fully and honestly.

Germany didn’t create monuments to their monsters, but rather to the people who suffered under those monsters and those who stood to help the suffering. They teach their history unabashedly from kindergarten to university, and they make immigrants to their country learn those same lessons. Germany made financial reparations to its victims, and does not hide its shame.

In the process, they have grown a greater sense of understanding and humanity across their country and have flourished to become a respected, successful world leader today.

Canada cannot and will not move into a new future of genuine honour and peace until it has truly examined and amended its dark past. Just ask Germany.

RL

With great gratitude to Randall Willis, So What’s Your Story
Posted in Indigenous Peoples, Life, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Tales From The Heart: Dad

Nova Scotia, July 2017

Of great character
Lovely men earn the prizes
Strong and gentle wins

Cowards wilt in their presence
Fight or flight; laugh while they run

Haiku / Tanka

 

I’ve written a few times about the days of my childhood, when my mother was alone or alone within the presence of an abusive man who tormented her and her children. I’ve even written a bit about that broken man. Yet, I’ve never been able to really put down a word of meaning about the man who would ultimately become my beacon of manly decency, the barometer for all who’d follow and be measured against.

No matter how hard I tried to write a nod of love for Father’s Day or his birthday, whatever event, I would draw a blank or the words I put down felt far too much like a eulogy. Even when I wanted to relay one of his famous tales of hilarity, I’d cringe at how much it felt like I was standing at a funeral lectern; the same feelings washed over me as did when I delivered a eulogy for one of his grandchildren.

Then, this summer holiday, during our annual events of hugs and dinner talk, huge laughter, day trips, familial eye-rolling impatience, and intense political arguments that look like someone’s about to get offed, I entered epiphany territory. If I didn’t say these things now, for him, to him, ultimately my words really would simply become the very thing I feared.

So here it is, not a “Happy Something Day” anything. Just a summer hug to my dad, who as a step-father, stepped in it and all over it in his own inimitable way, to become the embodiment of what a man of decency and character should be. Whose heart was far bigger than he needed to shelter us. Whose protective and respectful love is genuine and unreserved.

He’s shown how it’s done after screw ups. Oh yes, he’s definitely a pro at screwing up, BUT he’s equally adept at employing his best to undo his infractions. His apologies are quick and he fills the holes of his failings with triple the ratio of acts of kindness. I’ve never met a man who wants to make up for his failings as badly as he. It’s one of his most admirable aspects which has repaid him with enormous, widespread respect.

Outside of that, he’s your basic straight shooter, what you see is what you get, and certainly honesty is a key attribute. Well, unless he’s got a story to tell. There’s no doubt he’s got a blarney bone floating in there, but that’s just one more lovable trait, right? I’ve not met anyone yet, who can tell a tale with his level of wit and witty circuitous routes. That’s bonus material right there.

Tin man 7.jpg

Oz never needed to give this Tin Man a heart

And so, if all this isn’t the embodiment of good character, what is? His shoes will always be a bit of a loose fit for someone to fill, but that ain’t no complaint by me. Damned certain neither of us will ever make apology for that. I hope when he sees this note, he’ll feel my respect too. Maybe he’ll even have seen something that surprises. Whatever his feelings, I do know I’ll get a hug not long after.

Thanks, Dad.

RL

Posted in Gratitude, Haiku, Heroes, Life, micropoetry, Poetry, Storytelling, Tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Figments Of My Heart

Summer heart purging, it’s like spring cleaning, but the summer haze softens reflection edges without the sweat inducing labour. If you’ve a chance to sit back for a bit with your memories and you’ve grown enough with them to have learned something real, something honestly measurable, forgiveness is sometimes an unexpected result.

I know there are different understandings of what forgiveness means, and for me, it’s mostly along the lines that the flare of anger sparked by a flash into my past is essentially gone. It’s that point where I can remember an event – even with a shudder, but without the piercing hurt. Where I can speak freely without tears, where I can see I was led astray and where I followed even when my instincts stung me with a no.

It’s when I know if I were to meet that situation again, I’d know exactly how to handle it in the best interest of my heart forevermore. It’s when I know I have stopped beating myself up and in clarity, realized where it all took me. So far, even the worst of monsters in my life ultimately mined strengths and abilities I’d never dreamed were in me… and beyond even that, the truest reveal is, I’m at peace.

ProselyliarsDo ask the prophet
Please sate your spiritual needs
‘Cause he’s God’s right hand

Ask him, pray tell all knowledge
Your belief, the deadly price

Double BillingDouble dog billing
Starring bereft alpha souls
Red and gold flame outs

Beware harem frenemies
Two faces, double the bites

Ogres and  MonstrositiesFair and fairer won
Booby prizes of the year
Outsmarted themselves

Thought they knew better than, but
Fell harder than anyone

RL

Here’s to the times we get the last laughs… Cheers!

 

Street art photo credits and much gratitude to the talented Randall Willis of CreatedByRCW and So, What’s Your Story

 

 

 

Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro Poetry, micropoetry, Personal Growth, Photos, Poetry, Reflection, Tanka, Uncategorized | Tagged | 19 Comments

Remember That Thing Called, ‘The Canadian Way’? Yeah, Not So Much

When it comes to the past, the quotation, “History is written by the victors” is supposed to be the bottom-line. But the truth is, history is more often true only until it’s uncovered. Unfortunately, often such revelations induce intense reactions. Especially toward people who now have a magnified voice to speak about their place in that history. We’ve seen plenty of this recently with Indigenous perspectives brought to light far more widely in Canada.

When I was a little girl, I remember how proud I’d feel when tested on Canadian history. I’d swell with pride the most at knowing who our heroes were.

Robyn, who was our first Prime Minister? “John A. MacDonald, ma’am”!

And what did he do for Canada? “He built the railroad, ma’am and he built our great nation”.  Good girl. Oh yes, a proud little brown girl in braids staunchly saluting the man and country.

Then my world shifted, with a decidedly brutish thud. I’d be well into adulthood when I learned who J.A. MacDonald the man, really was and what this first Prime Minister of Canada did to my grandparents for 6 generations and counting.

John A. MacDonald – venerated on Canadian money, statues and plaques across the country was a depraved, racist drunk who did his level Prime Ministerial best to wipe out my grandparents, my heritage, my culture, my status of equal standing even within the Indigenous community, and my God-given inheritance rights of our lands and resources.

That’s some ‘uncovered history’ and I suppose I went through stages of grief following – full disbelief at the absolute betrayal – by MacDonald, my teachers, the entire country’s standings. Although, I have yet to truly get past that anger stage. Not because I haven’t yet processed the often requested, “taking into account the mentalities of those days”, but because most of his policies are still being enforced to this day, by the more than willing.

The number of inequities and prejudices still leveled at the Indigenous in Canada are documented daily – news stories, opinion pieces, every social media platform, and via self-appointed trustees of the Canadian taxpayer, (who completely ignore that the Indigenous majority pay taxes – & that irony).

So, Indigenous history aside for the moment, it’s not very surprising to see what happens when more truth-hammers come down onto mythic Canadians of account. I understand that sense of shock, even for the side that hasn’t suffered the injustices their heroes perpetrated.

Canada maple leaf flowers

What is surprising, given the monumental (no pun intended) work to promote it is, the lack of that famous ‘Canadian fairness/niceness’. Because not only is there justified, understandable shock, the amount of immediate outright denial and shutdown is stunningly disappointing.

Too often, every excuse to pardon the atrocities and buff the edges of inhumanity are trotted out. Regardless of credible citation provided, every rationalization possible is provoked. Case closed. Nothing to see here, folks.  Oh and, “We’re not racists”!

Although, also often ignored are the denials especially loudly voiced if the research is supplied or written by an Indigenous person. That right there is proof of merely ‘biased opinion’. Only the ‘white science/history’ need speak to history, thank you very much.

When I received that J.A. MacDonald reality check, the ground shifted and my world changed forever. I learned that not only what I’d been taught was a lie – especially the parts that said my ancestors and I were from an empty, useless abyss, but I was to see how much the world around me was still promoting that abysmal record of inaccuracy.

It’s scary as hell and ugly. It’s frustrating and infuriating, but like most pasts of bad behavior – it can be changed for the better. However, it can’t be changed, cured or healed, nor grow into something genuinely good for all, until it is really seen.

It’s time to own up to the fact that Canadian atrocities are real, no matter how poorly that reflects on Canadians. The reflection can’t be clean until we get clear. We can’t hide our heads in the sand and allow professional or neighbourhood deflectors to speak for us anymore.

We can’t be called decent until we behave with decency. We can’t let fears of losing face for not being good people over-ride actually acting in decency. When we know better, we do better. Well, right now we know enough. Take responsibility for the price of the benefits still received from that history.

Opportunities present daily, requiring little effort. It’s as simple as reading the Truth and Reconciliation Report and its 94 calls to action. Act on the ones you can.

Addressing history isn’t about changing it. Homages to Canadian atrocities belong in museums from where we can learn. Let’s place pride in seeing, cleaning and dressing the wounds. Place pride in those who build honourably and for those who overcome atrocities. In honesty; why shouldn’t that be the ‘Canadian way’? Honestly.

RL

 

Posted in Indigenous Peoples, Life, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Tempered

19145868_10158854303085367_2963596329683661272_n

Narcissus banished
Comforting reality
New sweet nothings real

Overwhelmingly cherished
All storms tempered by love’s grace

languid

And, I win.

Fabulicious street art, thanks to the wonderful walking & eye spying work of Randall Willis of CreatedByRCW and So, What’s Your Story  Randall’s photo posts are amazing views of art, wildlife and human wildlife… He has gifted me another batch of creativity challenge and for that, I’m thrilled to have the privilege of immersing in poetic thought for most of the summer. Hopefully.

RL

Haiku/Tanka

 

Posted in Gratitude, Haiku, healing, Life, love, Micro Poetry, micropoetry, Photos, Poetry, Tanka, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

YEAH, TAKING A PERSONAL DAY

So, another major milestone crossed in this life story. As of this very day, I survived and even thrived in another year where the current scenery doesn’t match up to what the old dreams were…

I don’t know if that’s good or bad anymore. I’ve weaved around enough moments to know a story may only look like it’s ended. There are so many corners we can never expect. The best things ever, turn out to be the biggest nightmares, or some of our biggest un-packaged fears are really the sweetest blessings.

If we’re lucky enough, in every year we’ll have people to hold us up while we endure and to share the biggest laughs when we’re soaring.

I am grateful beyond these pitiful words to know I have an amazing child who already takes a stand for what’s right – a sage soul in his beautiful, young mind and body. My parents – my rock, my comfort. (Happy Labour Day, Mom). Auntie Maureen & my friends, well really my sisters and brothers, are my holders and laugh with-ers. I thank them all for their love, wisdom and presence. And presents.

For circumstances that are normally unusual (hopefully), other people may stand out for us. And so it was for me again this year and for that, I am more than grateful to some special souls. I can’t reveal the private details in this missive, but they do deserve public acknowledgement. While they aren’t a part of my nearest circles, their impact was as big as any, and in some ways, pretty likely to have been bigger. So, to –

Kim, Rebekah, Rachel, Bruce, Sandy, Louise – Thank you for sharing your amazing level of knowledge and strengths that have emboldened my courage to speak out in truths. I deeply, deeply appreciate your friendship.

Ned and Beth T. – Thanks for your sheer decency. That’s my personal 5-star rating. Thank you for helping me to understand and accept what I could change or not; especially in seeing what wasn’t within my control, and would never be.

To J, N, C & G – I respect your wishes for anonymity and I thank you, most of all, for listening to me, believing me and in me, for the vindication and trusting me with your own stories along with the parts of ‘our story’. You turned unimaginable madness into dawning awareness that got me through so much. If only more people were as strong, as kick-ass fierce and generous as you in covering another woman’s back.

To the eyes in the sky – thank you for taking me into your hearts too. Thank you for playing such a critical role in righting my sight and spirit… I would never know how to repay you, but then again, I know you don’t need me to. You are serious hero material. I hope someday the people in your world get to see why they should be so proud of you.

And then, there’s you… who, without any payoff or coercion whatsoever, stop by anyway to read what’s going on in my world. Thank you, so much for your time, for your kindnesses, for your likes/comments/emails, for your own tales and your humor. You’ve added so much to my world. … … …

…<cue the music>…

…and thus she trails off singing to herself… happy birthday to me, happy birthday tooOOoo me….

RL

 

Posted in Gratitude, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged | 27 Comments

ICYMI: That Time I Was a Goat Herder

What a month, eh? So much padded wall-level induced activity all around, I know I feel like a bumper car in a maddening institution. Except every bounce-back is a welcome push to a new direction, destination be damned. Speaking of new directions, last year I thought I’d give that a whirl – at least in theory. I decided I would change my outlook and profession toward something more collective, so to speak. That’s right – goat herding.

So, OK, I wasn’t really a goat herder. At least not in the literal sense. It was just a little fun I had with Linkedin.  If you don’t know what Linkedin is, well apparently, neither do a lot of the people who actually use it.

How do I know that? Well, because once in a while I like to test the efficacy of certain operating procedures in my world. This time I wondered about the notifications effectiveness on Linkedin, so I made a couple of changes to my profile.  I changed my name to Shelley Miller and I ramped up my rather average marketing title to ‘Goat Herder’.  I also changed my location to Montana for good measure and then I kept that profile up for two weeks.

Goater herder MONTANA

Do you know what kind of response I got to all these changes in my life? Nothing. Nada. Not even a blip on any social media radar. Is it me? Apparently I have to really, really up my game in business social media

Why not? Apparently I can be anything I want on Linkedin anyway. I’m seriously considering ‘Fire Hula Hooping Rocket Scientist’, tagline: “We light the fire under your landing pads”!

Maybe it’s better to leave plain marketing as is and turn to Memey Vice. Let’s face it, this post has gone to the dogs anyway and what the hell, let’s stick some goats in while we’re at it.

Reason has its moments… Guess which one works for Linkedin?

Well played sharon don't underestimate a woman dogDon’t ever underestimate a sheep or goat-herding woman, dog… Just sayin’.

Hold your horses, the goats are coming…

Image result for goat meme

OK… never mind…

… and I’ll just be on my way…

Even nature becomes one with nature.  It’s a thing.

OK, OK, I’m going, I’m going..

Who knew goats could be so baa-ad ass?

Oh man, that’s cold.  … Well, excuse me… at least I goat the last word…

Have an awesome weekend, all.  See ya when I see ya.

RL

 

Posted in Humor, Life, Lighter Side, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments