Friday, 18 October 2019

the poetry of water

I have always found my way ...
to waters' poetry ... for I am drawn
by inspiration ... to brooks
and springs ... that I can step across with ease

I am drawn ...
to capricious creeks that vanish and return
to rivers-of-change ... as constant ...
as a mountain range ... though in winter ... shrouded ...
beneath ... ice and snow

I am drawn ...
to lakes and to lake ponds and to lagoons ...
to oceans ... to the deep abiding sea

I have always found my way ...
to waters' poetry ... and go there still ...
and often now
it comes to me

I close my eyes … remember … and it comes to me
in the purl and ripple of a phrase
in the crash and swirl that stirs expression 
in the ebb and flow of lapping waves

upon a jagged shore or sandy beach
along a stony bank or tall grass knoll
beside a crooked creek or vast blue sea
I close my eyes
and I am there ... in waters' poetry

Photo:  Twin Island Blue – M.S. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke 

Thursday, 10 October 2019

view from a rock and a hard place

I had gone looking for the whimsical in nature ...
 for the week had been a slog

and had found a bit of comic relief
in the crooked smile of an ancient oak tree knot

from somewhere in the distance ... I heard the laughter
of young children ... as if it tumbled from another time ...
and then

I sat down atop a whopping big rock ... which took a choreography
of contortions to climb aboard ... and although ...
an inelegant ascent … nothing else close by
seemed remotely suitable … and so …

 I persevered and, at length, succeeded ... smiling,
after-the-fact, at the peculiar sight I must have made ... but ...

for all that ... I felt ... as I looked out from my agreeable slate perch ...
far more ... a forest being ... than I had previously felt, when I walked
the path ... for now ... I had a home ... albeit a briefly borrowed one

the sanctum played its own notes ... which were periodically interspersed
with the sounds of children ... the children I couldn't see ... and I thought
… since, by then, we were all in the story together ... 
maybe ... they were magical ... like me … because 

with only the forest creatures for company,
I was invisible ... weightless in the enchanted woods ...
and I floated in the lightness I had come to that place ... seeking

photo:  End of Summer Foliage (framing the City of Vancouver with the Pacific Coast Mountains in the background) – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Thursday, 3 October 2019

first kiss


the kiss came  
none too soon

under the stars and gypsy moon  
waiting, in orchard breezes,

for the other to proceed:

a preemptive peck to signal 
they were set to do the deed. 

both wanting to appear sincere and not  
improper – or imply – 
that they were the kind person
to kiss any girl – or guy.

murmurs amongst the quivers  
til, she heaved a breathy sigh.

then fell –

a bashful velvet kiss
her cherry lip-balmed lips . . . 

like magic . . . floating by.

flitter-flutters  flitter-flutters
'neath the WHAMMO, WHAMMO SKY !!!

notes:  Winner - First Prize: The Ontario Poetry Society. Sparkle and Shine Poetry Contest, 2014.

Sherry and I had a wonderful conversation this past week at Poets United about 'What to do with all that Poetry'.  Our fellow poets joined in and, together, we touched on subjects such as:  publishing, self-publishing, archiving, audio poetry and social media.  If you missed it, and have been wondering about ' What to do with all that Poetry' check  it out at 'What to do with all that Poetry'.  A lot of awesome info was exchanged and, personally, I learned a lot.

photo:  Cherry Red – W. Bourke
© 2013 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 27 September 2019


“Bye now ... I envy you, treated to all that beautiful white.”

“And I envy you,” my cousin answers back, with a chortle of laughter “not having to shovel it.”

I hang up the phone and stare out my window at the explosion of coloured leaves on-and-under tree limb, that is nature's gift to me, this day ... while my prairie kinfolk, a mere thousand kilometres away, are the lucky spectators to a marvelicious light show ... an hours-and-hours-long, thirty centimetre deep ... cascade of glorious sparkling snow.

'Seasons', I whisper aloud ... yet again, struck by the epically sweeping profundity of change that is connatural to all life ... though no where, quite so conspicuously ... than in the change of seasons.

Seasons paint and repaint and repaint ... the scenes upon which the days of our existence play out. They impart visuals, sounds, scents, weather ... and even, at times, touch and taste to our world ... At the awesome, and perfect, convergence of time and sun and orbit and the tilt of this planet ... a grand new plethora of wonders is laid before us ... nature ... in all its magnificence.

Thus, the seasonal changes are deeply rooted in all living things ... how we receive them ... how we relate to them ... how we enjoy ... and rejoice in them. For me ... and for many others, I have known ... the depth of response to the changing seasons is, at times, transcendent. The metaphor, intrinsic in seasons, is repeated over and over throughout our lifetime ... spring ... summer ... autumn ... winter ... rebirth ... growth ... aging ... ending. It is beautiful ... it is moving ... and it is spiritual. Perhaps, that is why so many of us keenly relate ... and feel an abiding concord with nature ... with the natural flow of life as we witness it ... again and again ... in the coming and going of seasons … and in embracing it ... find peace. 

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
photos:  Whistler in the Winter Season – H. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke  

Friday, 20 September 2019

magic carpet

dawn awoke weeping
as muddy gray formations began to
materialize into smog enfolded silhouettes

but-by-noon ... the rain had ceased
and brisk whisks of sunshine had swept the fog away

leaving me feeling mildly gladdened
as one is apt to feel when a gloomy day
exceeds low expectations … though ...
it is a fairly recurrent pleasant surprise
in this ever-changing season

just now … I notice that the space
beyond our yard is covered with
an autumnal rug of kaleidoscopic leaves

… remarkable ...

where ... earlier this week the land was bare
there … is a vibrant tapestry 
woven in threads
of russet and golden orange and ochre
and reds … that ruffles in wind ripples
as if raring to take  off … and sail into the sky

… I picture that in my mind's eye ...

and smile at the magic of recall and evocation
and how a spark of memory
can lift us up and colour in
the pages of our story

… gloriously ...

photos:  Scenes from Stanley Park, Vancouver BC – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke  

Thursday, 12 September 2019

on the road that rings around round lake

rambling downhill
on the road that
rings around round lake

on an enchanted, mystic stretch
rollicked by the rolling wind
in early morning verdant scent

I was dazzled
by a stirring in the forest
by a shard of glint that winked
by the sunlight drips and gleams
that blinked ... as eyes ... of fauna blink

when a great gust caught
and tossed me
like a tire tube at sea
so that I bobbed amongst the billows
there ... between the lines of trees
and bobbed and bounced
and bounced and bobbed
guffawing rip-roaringly

and stumble-flew
in a medley of blue
and sparkling blings of green
and lifted up and plopped back down
and flapped my arms-to-wings

euphoric and elated
as if dreaming … yet awake

I danced on down ... feet off the ground ...
the road around round lake

photos:  The Road that Rings Round Retta Lake – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Thursday, 5 September 2019

I choose to be

the weather has struck the perfect
creature comfort temperature ... and
I bask in the blade and leafy scent

the flora is gently animated in elfin breezes
that tickle down my bare arms …
like ripplets on rillets …
like the casting of a spell ... as befits
the clouds above ... which reveal
their own folk tale ... in white

yesterday came and went ... and left
bad news to roll over and over and over
until ... I heard a chickadee whistling
its distinctive 'Hey Sweetie' call … a lilting birdsong ...
which always signals the end of angst ...
at least for a time

and so … at least for a time … the hard rock
I have come to rest upon is commodious and soft …
the air I breathe is light and sweet … the woods are playing
the loveliest of music and … I choose to be happy

note: Chickadees have several calls that they employ for any number of reasons. Throughout most of North America the Black Capped Chickadee's 2 or 3 note 'fee-bee' call is also known as their 'Hey Sweetie' call. (If you listen for it, it really does sound a little like 'Hey Sweetie' ... you gotta REALLY listen for it, though ~ smiles ~ that is because it is a mnemonic device:  a pattern of sounds chosen to aid the memory in distinguishing one bird song from another.)

photo:  Snickett Park, Sechelt (H. Bourke)

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Thursday, 22 August 2019

park bench

in the park ... there is a bench ...
perfectly placed ... away from the thick of things
... where ... the wind tosses through tree branches
in euphoric whooshing billows and effusions
of pine scent and flora

it sits at the half-way point of a pleasant park trail loop …
as if midway through a happy-sad story

it is far-flung enough that quiet contemplation is
unlikely to be disturbed … and private conversation ...
unlikely to be heard ... it is a good place for an apology ...
or a breakup ... or a confession ... or a secret ... and is used thus

as the deleterious accoutrements to human misery that
… periodically ... appear between the seat slates ...
sadly confirm ... for me ... at such times as these

it is the locus of a thousand contrasts that span
the spectrum of mortal existence … for even as …
I peer down upon a recently deposited relic of sorrow

off in the distance ... from the playground ... comes ...
the laughter of children in the loveliest of notes
in the rollicking trills of the innocent
as spontaneously as
effervescent bubbles ... bursting …
to the top of a filled-to-the-rim glass … full 

photo: Park Bench - W. Bourke

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Good Ones - a tanka prose piece

I have come to realize that I choose, how I wish to be in this world ... more, by the influence of what I don't like in others ... than by, what I admire in fellow human beings.

What I do like about others, wraps me in a blanket of calm positive energy. It is as comfortable and safe as life can be, at any given time ... it fits ... and it is as natural as breathing.

I don't bristle ... I don't imagine myself being beamed sci-fi – entifically away ... Words like 'narcissist' and 'control-freak' and 'greed' don't pop into my head like crossword solutions ... And I don't feel my heart sink as I put-it-together:  I've just come upon, yet another one, who doesn't have a heart.

The simple truth is ... it is easy to take the goodness in good people for granted ... until ... their steady, pleasant, empathetic, honest, inclusive presence ... is no longer there.

Then... as if intrinsic to the character of the like-minded souls that remain ... IT IS THERE.  And so, they seek each other out ... knowing who they are ... even as benevolence is as unobtrusive as the sky ... they know who they are ... for they have felt it from their earliest acquaintance ... though, it passed without conscious thought ... still ... they know who they are ... as they come together ... away from the others ... the ones who know nothing of kindness and love ... and tell each other

"We lost one of the good ones.”

~ ~ ~

 in the way of humankind ...
when it becomes known
a light has gone out -
the power of love
is at its most illuminating

~ ~ ~

photo: Two of the Good Ones (This is a picture I took in 2013 of my husband, Mike, rocking our Grandson to sleep.)  - W. Bourke

©  2019 Wendy Bourke

Friday, 9 August 2019

where meaning lies

the leaves have begun
to stir, in gladding flutters
... once again ...
and I think the smothering heat wave
has abated

I have
spent these past lost days
in hot flat lethargy
willing it to go

so much so
that now
the reemergence of typicality
appears miraculously
heaven sent

... the world is beautiful ...
in the halcyon glow of summer

though, ordinarily, I would, probably,
not notice
for it is unexceptional

even as
this day floats
on petals of contentment
like apple blossom petal boats
upon a breeze

in the unremarkable, remarkable

where I am sure
that meaning lies ... though I
have only ever felt it stir

photo: Osoyoos Lake,  B.C., in the Heat - H. Bourke
© 2019 Wendy Bourke