Poetry on Life

This latest one comes spacious thanks to Peter.
My first work-in-progress “live” event.


Going on Forever, Maybe

I find myself praying for Nature, for the memory of her

We all want a stage to play on, our memories are valuable

I pray that we hold most sacred the times when we chased —


We chased a dream, we chased a garden snake, we jumped
Like the frog in front of us, or the rabbit who disappeared

If we can only remember the treasure of those deep feelings
Those deep feelings of joy, of magical awe that Nature gives —


She gives so freely because of deep connectedness, as children

We were one with these wild escapades, water and woods

Trees to climb, splinters, broken limbs, birds’ nests full of babies


I can’t possibly name the vistas I have taken in through my eyes —
Deserts, oceans, forests, and at the top of the world, mountains

The secret of mountains I have penetrated except in truth
Those mountains penetrated me through my legs, my face

When I did face plants, mountains and their trees stabbed my heart

With a longing to be still, to learn to think and feel in ways

Ancient ways, which brings to my heart memories of Grands —

The parents of my parents and their parents, all the Ancestors
Tall, shaped like a sawblade, always seeming to reach for clouds

Lost and going deep, twisting through dry canyons, beautifully carved
By forces we feel, wind and water, but we can’t imagine those eons —

Even the lizards of this desert and so many heart shaped stones

How can we understand all that shapes us, even skyscrapers

Standing and falling, have an influence on the mind of our hearts —


Snow and rain, winds from all of the directions, these shaped us
We only know who we are by what has shaped us intimately,

Gazing upon stars and falling stars, on La Luna in all her shapes
We have felt rapids and water falls, we have sun warmed water

Flowing through our memories, we have all of our breaths

To remember, well maybe not all are exactly memorable —

Even though they shaped us, we have the trees to thank

For the continuous flow of oxygen that enters three holes
In the place we think of as near our brain, but is our brain not

Located somewhere else, in the heart with ears for bird song
Or the fingers picking up a feather thinking of the giver


I want to bless and thank every baby bird I have watched

Teetering on the edge of the nest, if only we could fly —

Speaking of flying, how are we shaped by another place

Far from home, into the future, into the arms of loved ones
Or away, every one of those wings, those arms have their way

Through the very bottom of our feet kissing Earth anywhere
Through our spirit, through the soul of our changing spaces —

Like this, I know I am guilty for stomping on that gigantic spider

Only thinking myself the victim of the intruder in my house

When just maybe I disrupted the entire eco-balance of the Earth

     Beavers' Training Exercise Turning my thoughts to predators and prey I have been both
But not the squashed variety exactly, I have had a wild cat stalk me

Elk and deer have watched me and I watched them watching me
Last year the Beaver watched me as I watched their dam building



How I adore those memories, like present moment in my thoughts

A true exchange of energy, that watching, I have granted the same

Courtesy to many spiders, not the one who was as big as a mouse —


Actually I love watching spiders and beetles and birds and elk
Almost with the same focused attention I would grant a baby

Anything, especially baby bison protected by the bulls, a baby fawn
Sleeping in the tall grass scaring the life out of me as I disturbed her,

Baby calves born into the frost of winter, some joke
By the cattleman who loosed the bulls on the cows nine months earlier


Red or white calves or both covered with hoarfrost causes color

To leap into the picture, colors of clouds, of spring flowers, of summer

Flowers, of eyes, oh colors, so subtly different, the artist’s palette

Knows no limits, I wonder why humans naturally limit wonder —


Well, some do because we forget that silent wonder energizes vitality

Engaging all of those gifted senses, did I mention smell, if not now

Then when, smell is the oldest of our evolved gifts of sensuality

Almost everything under the Sun smells, especially earthy biology


Watching my first dog give birth, that smelled holy and shaped me

All dogs have shaped all dog lovers, mostly I love to kiss them

Smiling, thinking of all of the dogs and cats I have kissed, dogs

Like this strange human behavior much more than cats do


Speaking of kisses, the first four-legged I kissed was a horse

Named Ginger and her beautiful foal who stole my young heart —


These four leggeds have help keep me emotionally together, balanced

Giggly like when I was a child, more than when I was a child, oh baby,


Baby people may be the most intriguing because of designed neediness

Such deep neediness smells divine and foul, leads spirit up and down

Trails, leaving little tracks over decades with both hearts pounding,

Seeking the meaning of life, exaggerated by other people’s expectations,

Unknowable possibilities and unexplored capacities blocked by that —


May we name that, those thousand things taking us away from Nature

Which single handedly holds the keys to the kingdom of me and you


I think I could go on forever, but I won’t because I don’t have wings

Or gills, or four legs, I don’t weave designs with a silken thread that

Through unknowable magic, extrudes from an eight-legged’s body


Come to think of the planet, maybe those won’t go on forever either unless

More of us, the two leggeds, begin to pray and act for Nature’s babies.


©July 4, 2015 Gail Burkett, July 18, 19, 28, September 5



Home July 2015

Babes’ Rock Garden

Each day is a good day for prayers
I never miss those long conversations
With my ancestor Grandmothers—
In these stacks of stones, bones of the Earth
I offered my prayer for Emma, good labor
Long labor brought her to us, smiling
Bright eyed, she waited patiently for Sloan
Next to come on her divinely feminine day
While I sat in stillness, Friday the 13th!
I offered my prayer for Sloan, stacking stones
Next to Emma’s, two girl babies to watch
To love, to learn from, to give my heart away
Splash, right on time, Kaden joins the girls
Coming on his due date, September 23rd.
Good prayer stones stacked up for this baby boy
Clasp your heart, he makes the world go round.
In the Autumn rains, these bones of the Earth
Washed clean and pure with Earth’s blood, then
Froze solid to welcome Riley Rae, inspired by
Thanksgiving’s Comet, coming whole. beautiful,
On time. All Winter these babies will wait
For one more dear relation of my heart,
Fifth child offers the miracle of witnessingIMG_0068
This ‘ol Elder finally will get to behold
Where our journeys begin, the birth of a baby.
I feel the swelling in my big heart of love.

November 29, 2013


Baby Dear

Dear Kestrel, we’re doting over you, this is true
Your tiny self definitely feels at home in March
As you approach your four week old mark
Two days away, you’ve worked hard to hold
Your head up and look left and right, you’ve
Kept everyone awake throughout the night
Your days are so well orchestrated, a Papa walk
Lasts two hours in the morning while you sleep
A Mama walk lasts two hours in the afternoon
While you sleep, you’ve already covered more
Territory than the Moose or the Deer, well almost.
Stepping on the porch, the washer dryer runs
You squeezed my finger hard today Kestrel
When I said we would be doing this a lot
Adoring one another, every one, laughing
At the faces we can shape, a duck face yours
A surprised face mine, a sleepy face, Papa’s
Mama looked rested and beautiful in her face
Laughing at every tiny little thing you do.
I said, you look like you when others said others.
Little daughter it will be interesting to watch you
Grow through all your stages, one by one by one.


Stones for Mary

Elders’ Circle

Venturing way out on a limb, I dared
To reveal my shame, at risk of creating
More of the same shame, more rejection
I realize this is far too human, ducking
Dodging my truth made me feel exceptional.
I looked around the circle, every vulnerability
Had already opened us like Spring’s flowers.
Since shame happens universally, courageously
We can appreciate beautiful truths happen, too.
Open, open, our Souls beg us to open again.




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