Intersections (used with permission)


Standing at the summit,
Imagine ourselves,
Thank you, photographer Navid Baraty, for your generosity in allowing me to use your breathtaking photo. You can find this and more of Navid’s work on his website.
© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

Mi Nana y Yo, Frida Kahlo

Shadow Mother

Like a vapour, or a veil
Or a scrim that shades detail,
She deceives and she confines,
She interferes and undermines.
With dark intent and appetite
For infant flesh and soul alike,
She appeared in her disguise
As mother dear to lonely eyes.

And thus the witch, she passed the test,
Replacing mother’s tender breast
With poisoned cup, she gave her fill,
Enough to bind, but not to kill.
With fevered brow and little screams
The girl awakened from her dreams.
A constant presence dark and dread,
A terror looming o’er her bed.

The child soon became the bride.
The great seductress by her side
Cast her ancient, stinking web,
Ensnaring groom and wedding bed.
So passed the time and mother dear
Enchanted both, but secret fears
Of something hidden, undefined,
Began to surface in their minds.

Then to their joy, a child was born,
Their fears forgot, or worse, ignored.
Meanwhile the liar set her trap
Taking the child on her lap.
The boy, the father, he perceived
The perfect mother, for his seed.
The circle drawn, the stars aligned,
And it was blissful, for a time.

The child’s mother, still would quake
Under the terror, stirred awake
By memories old and horror deep.
She could not turn her mind to sleep,
So went to look in at her child,
To sit and hold her babe awhile.
And there the witch, the shadow dread
Stood o’er the crib, then turned her head.

“Mother dear!”, at first, she cried,
But when the ancient visage spied,
She flung the curtains to the side,
And called the dawn to come inside.
The husband burst in from the hall
Protecting mother, child, all.
But his perspective showed him two,
The perfect mother, mother new.

The boy , the father split in two,
The witch, she claimed the first, and flew.
The husband fell, the hero dead,
The mother staggered to the bed.
She clutched the baby, held her fast,
The scales had fallen off at last,
And on her knees, she wailed her grief,
The truth, the decades lived asleep.

And from her deepest, searing pain,
She found the strength to live again.
And time, it healed their broken hearts,
Released their fears, dispelled the dark,
But still the witch, she holds the boy
Her golden captive, child toy,
Her poison daily she applies
And keeps him smiling, by her side.
This is an image of the painting “Mi Nana y Yo”, My Nurse and I, painted in 1937 by Frida Kahlo. The painting is part of a study posted on Frida Kahlo Fans. While not directly correlated to the story behind Frida’s painting, this image evokes an additional layer of knowing for those less inclined to learn from words.

© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.



From depths of mind I walked the shore,
Where broken ribs and jutting beam
Lay buried half in sand.

And there at waters edge, pristine
A lotus white had death defied,
From distant muddy depths it seemed
All wisdom, innocence combined.

Though tempted I continued on
And left the single flower there.

Then feast my soul!
A burst of blooms appeared.
Crowding every laden branch
Were lotus blossoms white,
A blaze of countless trumpets,
Each a gift,
To life!

© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

Mountain Goat Kids


Oh woe! And rue the days she shirked her charge,
Her blue puella eyes averted, blind
To pain and sore despair, for her too large,
To look too close, malicious pranks she’d find.
And so another mother came to know
The radiant, inf’nite possibility.
Malevolent perfection time would show
The first and second child were her fee.
A mother third and daughter clothed in red,
A white knight charged amid the battle fierce,
Then fell the witch, the crystal broke, and dead
Would fin’ly rest, a stone to honour each.
Let not our childish rage our futures bleed,
Lest goodly knights and witches cease to be.
This is my photo of Mountain Goat kids, skippering on the rock faces of mountain passes through Kootenay National Park in B.C. Canada. The harsh and rugged terrain is home, and many kids do not live beyond 1 year.
© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

Winner Roses


Now to tell the tale of what I’d sown,
Of lawns and trees and roses, stones inlaid.
How proud was I of all that I had grown,
A vacant lot to sanctuary made.
The roses were my fav’rite, and I dreamt
Of climbing stalks and blossoms bursting tall.
My winter reveries and summers bent
On nurturing these sunny faces all.
But only flowers three came forth from green,
And two were taken early by a frost.
The one surviving rose I pressed between
Two parchment leaves, blind to what I’d lost.
My promise darling one this day I give
To you, to watch you grow, to see you live!
This photo shows my now 13-yr old stand of Single Dortmund Climbing Roses, planted with much hope and without much skill in 2001.
© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

Cache Lake Loon Algonquin Park


Just as the robin
And the finch
Herald the morn’
With joyous song,
Their melodies unchanged
Since that first dawn,
So does humankind
Write, dance and paint the day,
Repeating words, steps and strokes,
Compelled by that same force
That wells up,
Bursting in raucous shouts
From every singing bird.
Canada’s Algonquin Park has many treasures, none the least of which are the many varieties of birds that grace the trees and lakes. I took this photo while canoeing on Cache Lake. It is my photo of a Common Loon or Great Northern Loon as he pretended to sleep, while paddling softly below the surface.

© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

By taken during the official visit of US Rep. Frank Wolf [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons public domain

How Can I Stand By?

When I was a child
My mama tucked me into bed
We said a prayer for my Daddy
Brothers, sisters
Grandpa, granny.
Hugs and kisses
Close your eyes
Leave the light on
In the hall
Sweet dreams,
Sweet dreams,

How can I stand by
And watch the world
Go to pieces
See the faces of the
Millions crying,
Helpless in their need?

How can I stand by
And see you standing
In a doorway,
Homeless, nameless
And forgotten by the
Yes, indeed.
I wrote this song when the news of the horrific genocide in Rwanda began to surface. The invasion of Kuwait, this terror, and the ever increasing aggression of the US, created in me a feeling of despair and powerlessness. In my own city, many still are homeless and struggle to survive in our cold winters. I couldn’t then, and still cannot reconcile the imbalance of wealth and safety. This photo was taken during the official visit of US Rep. Frank Wolf [Public domain], and resides on Wikimedia Commons.
© WhatHabit Co. and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.



Legs idling,
Knee socks sliding,
Black patent buckle shoes
Dress up riding.

Kicking slightly,
Mother touches lightly,
Tissue tucked up her sleeve,
Sitting up rightly.

Best coats swishing,
This one wishing
She were anywhere but here
Maybe fishing.

©WhatHabit and Words For Leaving, 2010 to 2014. All rights reserved.

Motes of experience suspended in moments of light.


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