Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gifting Season ~ The Underbelly of Yuletime

For many including myself, The holiday season is a challenge. From the over commercialization, mass spending, circulation of toxic toys, useless gadgets, empty foods, and immense garbage. The expectation whether self imposed or externally commanded, often leaves us simple Earthy folk feeling drained and defeated.

We have also taken brave steps towards insisting on a season of nourishment rather than disdain. Many of us have taken bold steps in asking our families to downsize gifts, making them homemade or more personal, such as gifts of time spent together, planting trees in our children's names, giving gifts of health such as massages or yoga retreats, and focusing more intently on each others' passions in life as inspiration for these gifts.

There is also this funny thing we feel called reciprocity. I know I'm not the only one who feels this intense, burning requirement for equality. Although I'm immensely grateful for the many gifts that come my way in general, specifically at Yule I feel anxiety around the exchange; whether I will leave feeling as though I gave as much (or as good quality) as I received. These expectations are daunting.

I have not found a solution, but little by little I work towards a more empowering time. I want to see joy in my children's eyes, not because they have just opened a wii or a wad of cash, but because I finally had time to make cookies with them. Or because we chose a little tree together and cut it down in the freezing cold and drove back with it nearly flying off the car.

These are cliche - I know - the moments we look for on TV and give lots of lip about. But they're harder to get than we think. We cover them up with icing and candy canes and ribbon - for what reason?

Perhaps because we can't achieve our deeper expectation, our deeper hope, and the failure is unbearable. We feel cheated out of enough time or money or creativity to make it happen. Or perhaps because when we do reach it, it is so powerful it nearly hurts. Perhaps because the feelings available to us at times of truthful giving and receiving, should we be willing to feel them, open rivers of unshed heartache and longing for love and connection in it's many forms.

Yule morning for me is painful and beautiful. It brings me face to face with my unmet goals, my growing children, my aging eyes. It's also humbling; the sweetness of colored pencil cards, feathers wrapped in cloth, coupons for snuggling up and reading together. Long, intentional hugs.

When I melt all the overly sweet, fake frosting of the holidays away, I'm left with something just sweet enough, and just filling enough, without the sugar crash.


In light of gifts for plant lovers, consider these valuable resources for the tree-hugger in your life......

Beautiful Handmade Herbals from:

Blue Turtle Botanicals (amazing Darcey Blue)

DreamSeeds (Teton Herbalist Kristena Haslam)

Invaluable reading/resources:

Plant Healer Magazine (which includes yours truly, waxing poetic about Witch Hazel)

Herbal Roots Zine (a resource I favor for myself and students alike)

Herb Mentor Membership (endless applicable information for all herbal people!)

We'Moon Calendar (My all-time favorite datebook and daily inspiration)

Mountain Rose Herbs (for bulk herbs and herbal supplies)

Of course - finding local farms for things like winter CSA memeberships, wilderness programs for nature awareness and primitive skills, an invitation to a local Red Tent Temple or drum circle, or fresh organic meat from a nearby farm, are incredibly valuable gifts which directly reflect original meanings and traditions of this season.

May you come closer to your heart, your truth, and satisfy your deepest needs for connection this holiday.

My gift to you, dear reader, is a little poem of Witch Hazel which didn't make it's way into Plant Healer Magazine. (consider it a teaser for the article that did get published ;) enjoy......


Witch of the Woods

Ahhh the sun in my eyes

Through eyelashes of Hazel


The Witch of the woods

Winking at me, flirting I think

With her coppiced heart

And divided wholeness

Whose reckless ways

In tandem bloom and fruit and flower

And when ready


So far as to reach the riverbank

On the opposite side

With her I go

Through the veil of October

Riding the winds of the wrinkles in time

As I laugh through my lines

And I see anew through the gauzy tricks

Of Fall and of Fey

And her mischievous way

Wands of witch, divine waters

Flowering pretty, her petals cool

I am taken to dreaming

In my hazel-eyed mind

Holding the hands of change

I sip a sunlit cordial of wishes

Of rolling like her wavy margins

In the wake of summer

In the wake of unrealized hopes

In the wake of release

I float along in her astringency

And wit

And wait for ripening time

When I can explode

And reach the other side


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day Medicine Bag

On Turkey Day I'm grateful that I'm not the one cooking the meal. I will be contributing my spiced-apple salad (previous post) and some gourmet cheeses. But really what I'm packing up this morning are a slew of remedies for Holiday's inevitable maladies. 

Here's what I'll be toting in my medicine bag......

Black Cherry Elixir ~ For those with the nagging cough, and those with hot burny digestions. I use black cherry quite often to steady my heart rate and settle my nerves.

Kava ~ For my son mostly, who's indigestion is also nervous and painful, accompanied by a frustration of having to socialize. I combine it with the black cherry elixir, and sometimes peach.

Peach Elixir ~ Also for hot, irritating digestive complaints and temperamental personalities. For those who just feel pissed off most of the time, and if they don't express it outwardly, they end up with UT problems or ulcers.
(for an exquisite profile on peach, please visit Kiva :http://animacenter.org/persica.html )

Black Birch ~ For the people who feel uprooted, not "at home" and are finicky about getting around to putting some kind of food on their plate and then maybe even into their mouths. Great for teens and Elders. (Birch plays a key role in forest succession. Think of it as a transition remedy) Also for tension headaches.

Crystallized Ginger ~ For the unmoving, tired, slump on the couch after eating. Along with a hot cup of:

Dandy-Blend ~ An easy way to get dandelion root into people who would not otherwise take the tincture. It's a super yummy beverage that's easy to make and does the trick. Sweeten it with just a little honey instead of sugar, but don't drown out the bitter flavor - that is the medicine!

Echinacea elixir ~ There is always someone who is ill with something they don't understand. It's a little insurance for this statement "I don't know! It's weird. Its like... (---insert strange metaphor) .... and I just can't get rid of it."

St. Johnswort ~ For the blues, for the bruises, for the teary-eyed. For the nerve pains in the hip and back. For my own sanity.

Mugwort ~ Artemisia vulgaris ~ This one for cold, crampy digestion, especially liver stagnation, or anyone who can't get warm but shouldn't take ginger for it's too hot and dry. Mugwort is a woman's best friend :) Mugwort is also supreme as a pre-digestive bitter before a meal.

Alder ~ A new plant ally for me this year, I've been using it for lymph congestion with great results. So this will go for anyone who shouldn't eat that gluten filled biscuit, but does anyway. It will also go onto my poor daughters face which is swollen to the hilt with a wicked case of poison ivy.

Peppermint elixir ~ for teas or stuffy noses and little ones.

White Fir Elixir ~ purely for pleasure. I like it in my coffee.

For external use, I'm packing Witch Hazel tincture, Chaparral oil, Pain killer salve, and lip balm.
I already have a basic first aid kit in the car, so I usually have Osha and Yarrow already.

Need to grab a few survival items for your 

Blessings on this day to all of you, and may you have very happy tummies.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Plant Healer ~ A Journal of Traditional Western Herbalism ~ Open for Subscriptions!

I'm immensely honored and inspired to be a contributing writer for the premier issue of Plant Healer Journal. This promises to be an articulate, rooted, and outspoken voice for us Plant People, as well as a calling to the world at large who suffers at the hand of profound disconnection. My hope for this journal is many-fold. I hope people with flora curiosity will dive in head first. I hope that us herbalists will finally have informative, dynamic, applicable, and delicious reading we can count on. And daringly I hope that some people in a little corner of the political box, will close their greedy wallet and go eat some weeds, and realize that we are more sane than anyone for doing so. And maybe pull some strings on our behalf.

But back to the simple hopes ~ I feel really lucky to be a part of a resurgence of home and community herbalists who are so passionate about plants and healing, and who are getting back to the ground in their practices. I hope that this magazine, in it's unprecedented content, sells wildly.

Below is a clip and link for the original article.



Subscriptions Open Today For

Plant Healer:
A Journal of Traditional Western Herbalism

Get the Premier December Issue
& 5 Exclusive, Free Video, Audio & Visual Bonuses!

$37 yr.(4 Issues) – Go To:

please continue reading this article at it's original source:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spiced Apple Salad and the Healing of Food

Obviously it's been a long time since I wrote about herbal medicine or plants in general. It isn't because I have not been working with them, in fact I've learned monumental amounts. It's just, as my mom would say, 'anacana' - translation: on account of nothing. In other words, it's just because that's how the cards have fallen.

Often in life I feel like the ideas I have are brilliant, but then I'm not fast enough at pursuing them and they get used up by someone more savvy or opportunistic than I. Such is life.

In addition, I'm time compromised. And we all know how that goes, I don't have to explain.

So my post today is a little different but every bit relevant. It's about food.

As long as I can remember I've dubbed myself as "hating to cook". Which has made it exceedingly difficult to feed two growing children, a husband on occasion, and daily, myself. Growing up I learned simple basics to my benefit: how to cook soup, eggs, and make a great sandwich or salad. But that's it. Jump forward to having two small children and absolutely no idea how to not burn meat, shop frugally at a grocery store, or make a meal while managing children, you've got a recipe for a dis-empowered kitchen wishes-she-were-a-goddess woman.

I've burnt countless chicken breasts. I've ruined plenty of rice. I've eaten dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. It wasn't until I made a commitment to cooking that anything changed.

But it wasn't easy. I'm a very busy woman! I work part time, take my children to learning co-op, I teach plants, I teach dance, and I try to write now and again, and I've got an apothecary and a household to manage. So you can see it's additional pressure to feed good meals to my loved ones.

But... I love food. I've never had any "food issue", so I don't have any eating stuff to deal with. I love food of all kinds and have always had the taste for healthy, well rounded foods. I love to eat and have always been active and never had any weight issues. So again, my problem was solely the fact that I HATED COOKING.

It was arduous. Laborious. Boring. Painful. Hopeless. Confusing. A waste of time.

And while I cannot say it's all better now, I can say I've come a very, very long way.

I'll mention here my Medicine Woman Mentorship. I'll mention it because one of the main thrusts is being in touch with one's senses and the birthright to take good care of ones self. Within my lesson work (and I'm still near the beginning) I am asked about my commitment to myself. It was clear to me that by not feeding myself, not engaging my senses and nourishment through the very basic human actions and needs, I was avoiding nourishment, pleasure, and pro-active healing.

The other note I'll make here is that my husband, as well as my children - miraculously - have a gift in the kitchen! Yes, my kids have been lucky to receive amazing cooking lessons from close friends/chefs in my community, and to learn plenty from Dad, but they just have it - the patience, the instinct, the love, and the uncanny ability to read and understand a written recipe from a cookbook. This has been (while slightly frustrating) an unsuspected inspiration.

And so within both my MWM as well as my monthly women's circle, I declared that I needed to both embrace and cultivate my inner Kitchen Goddess. I needed to find the woman in me that could infuse my food with both magic and skill. This was couple of years ago.

It's been a long journey and I'm still at it. I have a lot to learn. I've held to a Soup-Monday tradition for a while now, which helps keep me learning new recipes and by making it a routine I can count it as a required activity rather than something unimportant. I have tried my best to invite my hunter friends to feed me locally hunted venison, teach me about the animal and the different cuts, and had some healthfully harvested roadkill such as groundhog which was hit cleanly by an employee while I was at work. I've tried with the help of a talking thermometer to learn how long to cook meats, and I've enjoyed the benefit of finally cooking chicken well even if I'm not spoken to. I've cooked roasts, fish, acorn oatmeal, roasted potatoes, and many other dishes to a "T".

I'm proud of myself. While I cannot say I want to spend every day in the kitchen, I can say I'm no longer scared of it, and sometimes even really love it. Like today when I invented this spiced apple salad to take along for lunch tomorrow.

Sometimes eating disorders are not about getting fat or skinny, they are about not knowing how to cook, and not having the time in this fast forward life to do it. Sometimes they are about fearing the GMO's and learning to get outside to forage and to find local CSA's, farmers, or hunting. They really are about healing our relationship to eating, nourishing, taking, feeling, life, death, growth, creativity, and the intimacy therein. They are about consuming - the kind of consuming that was known before it was evil.

The moments I take in the kitchen, when given the time and spark, are sensual moments not too unlike my herbal potions or dance movements. They are moments that use to deplete me, and now feed me. And my family. They are organic, sensory, delicious moments.

Apple~ Spice Salad

5 ripe cubed apples
1/3 cup slices almonds
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
1 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
1 whole fresh squeezed lemon, or more if desired
3 Tbs herbal infused honey (I used sage and monarda, you can use what you like)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Stir well and enjoy

Friday, October 29, 2010

October Hips

October hips have ripened

They'll go into jars and bottles and liquids to soak

in a honey-brandy cloak

but others are not to be harnessed for such uses.

They dangle on canes and wave temptingly

slow with a seasoned swagger like Marilyn

wearing flame red

on a bed of blue sky sheets with white fluffy

pillows and spooky moon nightcaps.

From arms in the wind they shimmy

in rhythms from the far east

with bronzed skin and burgundy skirts

they quiver in Autumn induced showers

and sighs

with long legged undressing thighs

of cherry bark trunks

and spellbinding skies.

October's sweet bribes

like a wine tasting for my eyes

and reprieve from redundancy

gemstones on mountains

elixirs of beauty..

On tiptoes of petioles

hips ripen sweet after frost

into memories and jars they will go

to be sipped, and savored,

forever not lost to my taste

for lusty sips of earth on my lips;

October's hips

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Living at the tip of the lighthouse

on the edge of a crashing ocean

I shut my eyes tight and hold on

to the salty metal bars of the balcony

and face the stormy slap

I hold my breath

push my feet into the concrete

and imagine I'm a lightning bolt

A part of the storm itself

absorbing the charge like a battery

and storing up strength

For the long and thrashing ride

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I should be sleeping

but I smell rain

the cicadas sing

as the metallic air

stings the night

and the humid croak

of frogs kiss the wind

As my potions red

and brown cascade along the counter

I know the coughs will go away

even with the stormy weather

I take my potions sweet and bitter.

As the water bubbles

I add oats, cinnamon, and clove

with cardamom and ginger

spicing up the brew.

It will be pouring by the dawn

I hope for rainbows.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Wilderness Skills kicked off our first day of courses back at the Hollow today. The land smells of honey and hay and is showing the first colors of Autumn. Despite being busy all day, the breathing of the land filled my heartbeat with rhythm, grounding, and solace. It was good to be back.

The Skills posse is small this year - just the four die-hards and their devoted mentors. How I love their familiar faces and newly grown vertical inches. How I love their glowy eyes and sighs of "finally" when they return. How they bring the stories of the land to life.

I long sometimes to go back and ride a day in their boots. And vicariously I suppose I do. As they pressure flake, swamp-walk, groundhog skin, cattail eat... I feel if nothing else at least the next generation will be able to make a fire and feed me if necessary:). Even if only theoretical - it serves a profound need of mine to see a few children into adulthood with some valid Earthskills.

Despite not hiking the trails today, the land seemed to come to me. The wild grapes line the rock walls, the chipmunks chirp outside my office door. The amaranth punctuate the meadows, and the wild cucumber; unruly with spines.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Irreverent choice?

Sometimes staying authentic means pissing people off, disappointing them, or involuntarily shattering their images of you. It's not done maliciously. It's not done with spite. However it is haunting if you've attached your own self worth to their approval. But life is not an unspoken barter of worth. In the end, what matters is how you feel about your choices - are they bringing you closer to your truth, or closer to others' agendas? Are you actually breaking an agreement you made - or simply breaking someones made up expectations?

And yet it is so often that on the other side, if we as humble humans are open enough, we can realize a place that contains the richness of composted illusions and fears. We can come to a place of compassionate support and mutual honesty. We can come to a place where we find the breakdown is a gifting of deeper strength. We can discern the beautiful edges that may have lined the old structures well, and take them with us for new trim.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Herbal Roots Giveaway Monday: Clay Pendant

Giveaway Monday: Clay Pendant


I have a couple of Rebekah's herbal pendants myself and I adore them! I of course *must* have the rose one, lol, but whoever wins this treasure will feel the same I am certain.

and Share - tweet - FB - blog etc for a chance to win!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time With Trees

I love trees. They make my heart flutter.

I've spent the last couple years just adoring them; gathering some knowledge, practicing recognition, and making medicines. And of course I continue, as it's such an ongoing process.

My most treasured learnings thus far have been from Black Birch, Black Cherry, Hickory, Witch Hazel, Alder, Sassafras, Willow, Apple, Linden, Cottonwood, Juniper, Locust, Pine, Peach, and Elm.

In fact I would venture to say that collection could cover quite a panacea. I nearly feel sad for states with less abundance and varieties of trees!

As I marvel through my plethora of tinctures and elixirs overflowing their allotted counter and cabinet space, I ponder what I might share with my readers. Some days words just don't cut it. How can I possibly tell you what my black cherry elixir tastes like, or how unusually warming and comforting my black birch elixir feels?

What I really want to say, is go spend some time with trees. Smell the bark of the cherry trees. Taste the leaves of the birch. Draw each part of the tree. Watch what creatures love it for home.
Log how long it takes for the leaves to turn color, then fall. Get to know your trees.

I could pontificate or get esoteric; sharing about my thoughts while gathering black cherries. How they spoke to me of balancing labor and fruits of labor. How they coaxed me into a pleasurable rhythm as I collected, making the work easier and the reward greater. How I knew we had more rain than New Hampshire by the size and moisture in the cherry. How the Natives prized them for lung and heart conditions.

But will those be your thoughts? Wisdom you can own? Maybe not. Perhaps the cherry elixir will clear your cough the way it does mine - but my time with cherry can't replace yours, no matter how profound it was. My wind and sky and temperature on that particular day will be different. My heart was listening for wisdom applicable to my own context - and why would a friend tell all their friends the same advice?

Perhaps I can sell a bottle of my willow tincture, even filled with all the energetic magic of my time while I gathered and prepared it. But what if, instead of downing some while driving, you took that tincture while sitting under a willow tree?

So there is a part of me that wants to arrive here, for all you lovely readers and plant friends, and announce a grand medicinal realization - it makes me sound professional, wise, and well-studied. It would make me feel as though I just gave everyone some great gift of myself or stamped success on my day. But I'm not sure that today I need approval; what is greater in my heart, when I really listen, is a desire to sit under a tree with the glinting sun on it's blades, hear the lessons meant for me, and know that some others out there in the world are getting their very own session of tree healing too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Funny thing, this.....

It's a funny thing


How it makes us stronger and weaker

in one stroke

It's a funny thing

this emotional ride

how it takes us downriver

towards a relentless tide

How we push up against truth

until it slams back against us

like a revolving door

Cracking us wide


It's a funny thing

this, being open

like the hat of a busking musician

we risk no return

while we pour out our heart

and soul

and personal composition

and we wait to find out.

and so it comes in

that ineffable tide

salty with reality

kissing us again

each night

no matter how far we push it away.

we come back to the shore of our being

and remain open,


It's a funny thing


how it shakes us to waking

and smarts like a burn

yet somehow is the balm

for what was really an old wound

and we stay in it


to our tremendous

capacity to feel.

Weeping oceans onto carpet

and grief into bathtubs

we pour

all our reins into liquid.

It's a funny thing this feeling;

how it leads us to healing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ancient Heart, Modern World

Wherever did my insides go

away so far with laughing leaves

on turning winds of Autumn air

oh where could my desires be

inside so deep, asleep?

No. They stir

they squirm inside their

circumstantial shackles

hard they push but quietly

In leaves they dare not make a rustle

in the snow they dare not crunch

Lest I wake the bossy world.

I stalk my dreams in camouflage

I track them silently.

I watch them from a shadowed cave

a purgatory's slave.

Sit still my dear and watch these plants

it makes no difference - your dresses or your pants

watch this plant until it shows

you where inside your soul

you lost

your heartache nerves

and chose to be this numb, this scared

and ask how you can be repaired

And get up off your ass and act

with sharpened blades of Self

Just do

what matters to you. If you see

the dance in a song and you want to move,


if you see the medicine in movement,

then heal

if you are sick and tired of redundant linear grace

the pirouettes of symmetrical faces

then be the grit. The noise. The mismatched perfection.

Disgrace to us our pigeonholes of women's lines and curves defined

if we accept these roles - these holes - then we are still confined

I spit on billboards hot with exploit

I spit on mini skirts

I shit on all your subjugation, all your secret tabloid worlds.

I shit on all your tampon governments.


I scream

to be recklessly beautiful

to let my thighs dance free and wild and ripped with muscle

to show the leaves I know their route

from life to yellow flight and forest floor death

Uncurl like ferns and fingers

Ripen like flesh and fruit.

I hurt inside, to love without


My back aches to bend in arcs

like rose canes drenched in blossoms

Fastened by roots.

But I lack the thorns.

All those eyes of expectation

all those red pens marking

yes or no, good or bad, right or sin.

All those chasing egos on my skin

and ropes of judgment cast.

These artist shackles keep me locked

in bars of iron, barbs of heart. Inside I wait

for freedom's gate.

For safety's key

and fearless walk.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guts and Sass

Maybe life just takes some guts and sass

To rub blindly up against the rough bark of a dream and laugh

at the furrowed trunk of growth and the rings

of years sustained amidst the pains of sins

pulling so hard on those reigns of belief, chaffed with will

power, your muscle of dreaming still

holds fast

without fail

without steering you


Maybe the chains of life's confinements

are glass and foil.

My dagger dreams come sharp

committed, mapped

like yours do

not trapped - they are wild, enraptured


In this life we need guts

and sass

to run towards those mirrors of glass: they are lies

and trash. Run buffered by animal tallow and run


like Buffalo. Pierce

the shadows of crumpled foil and run

wild with dreams of your own

Recklessly owning your

own vision.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sludgy Lung Elixir

Spring tends to evoke maladies of the lungs, especially in those who are of pitta - kapha constitution. Something of the watery-warm thaw creates a synonymous action in our bodies. Of course it isn't the only way in which our bodies bring us back to the awareness of the fact that we are inseparable from all life on Earth.

A simple elixir of Earth's healing herbs can bring us healing and relief in our lungs, whether a viral and swollen throat or painful, persistent, spasmodic cough.

Lung Elixir

To a 1 Quart size mason jar add:

1 Tbsp Cloves, dried
2 Tbsp Elecampane root, dried (double for fresh rt)
4 Tbsp Wild Black Cherry bark, dried (double for fresh bark/twig)
6 Tbsp Cinnamon bark, dried chips (if you have fresh cinnamon you are lucky!)
1/2 Cup Ginger root, fresh sliced (1/4 cup if dried rt)

Fill the jar of herbs 3/4 of the way full with brandy or alcohol of choice.
Fill the remaining 1/4 of the jar with god local honey.
Apply label with details and record in your herb journal or calendar.

Variations can be made to your liking, for example you may want to add a little fresh turmeric if you tend to get bronchitis or if viruses set into your muscles and make you ache all over.
If you're making this for your children, you can add dried elderberries and reduce the amount of ginger and elecampane to improve the taste and add the immune and lung strength of elder.
If you have a favorite lung herb, of course you can be as creative and intuitive as you wish. If this sounds like too drying of a remedy for you, add it to a demulcent mallow, violet, sassafras leaf, or elm infusion and sip it that way. Remember that our mucilage carries our antibodies, so befriend the good snot and keep it working. And remember too how slippery cinnamon can be.

If you need immediate relief, these same herbs at approximately 1/4 of the recipe can be steeped in 2 quarts simmering water for 30+ minutes and drunk as an effective decoction.

Allow one moon (month) for the extraction of your elixir to take place. Sing to it, shake it, admire the changes. Set it out in the full moon to absorb the healing powers of the water element.

Use small amounts in hot water or tea as needed.

Happy Spring

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make it Your Own

What's there that I missed?
In the mist the whisper
the list of the missing
things I ditched
and left? Or things
I feared and ran
from before I landed
in quicksand in locked
eyes with danger or wit
too great, never mind
fate. I hate
the longing that haunts
and shows up to taunt
my every blinking
breath, my wanton
I sew words in hopes
of a better suture
My life's true suitor
green in curly scapes
in summer
shapes make their ways
through my daze

Dancing plays
and tumbleweed
where's the feed
for souls
like me

Lost in wondering
singing silent
where's the insatiable quest
the drive in my chest
the blindness to test

Lest I wake in another life
with tails untied and tasks
Denied of dreams
of rose petaled streams
of bamboo leaps
and leaf colored leotards
Scribbled in air
scripted in sinew
imprinted on eyes
on karma's long thighs

How the waiting narrates
story lines
arabesque lies
of no pain but inside
as the pages they flip
on waiting's hip
I trip up and hiccup and
flat face first into muscled tree arms and soar
beyond writing OR
So write AND
dance-pick flowers-make life all yours.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Saplings all over my yard
I reach my heart out
Listening for hers
I can taste her tingle
just by thinking

She opens
says hello
says 'welcome daughter'
we start again

in the arms of Mother
and the sky of father Sun
we re-create

I am sweetest
on a warm day
after a deep sleep
I am strongest
with my family all around me.
I am most happy
when there is sun on my skin
and space for me to claim.

I am versatile
but never a pushover
I have my place in this world.

My Medicine is new
and it is old.
I heal the wounds
unhealed by time.

Open your heart, child,
we are all in this together.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Song for Together

The water-like ripples of the bird songs wake me
lifting my eyelids from their slumber
like a miniature sunrise

My quaky bones stretch like cold birch limbs
into the courting air of March
humming silent murmurs to the hidden flowers

My heart reaches for the melted ground
where the leaf litter crumbles
into muddy compost

Yet my ears still search
for the calling home
for the welcoming.

Where's the village song?
Where's the calling down
of the rain
and the blissful chant of the grain?

Where is the Daughter when the Mother falls ill
Where is Grandpa when the Son's heart breaks
Where is the feeling of together.

Far away we fly
on metal wings
slicing through flocks
to get to the beach or the jungle
"to see the world"

To see that it's true in some ways
in some pockets far away
that we do call with our voices
the rain, the sun, the agony, the blessings
We sing in the spring
And chant our mourning
until the haunting dissolves

And in our pocket here
where bounty is expected
and freedom reigns
we wake lonely
with the bruising of far away pains.

Where is the Daughter when Mama falls ill?
She's flying overseas calling home on her cell

Where are the Grandpa's with stories to tell?
They're back at the homestead; abandoned home-shell.

We're selling our souls to the mortgage Gods
and breaking our backs to feel worthy.
We're starving for wholeness of wheat and of tribe.
We're selling our fancy new knowledge
for what? Cars? Fashion? Pride?

I rise from my sleepy blankets and listen
for that call of the red bird
to sing me back home
to the vision of whole
where I can rest my birch bones.

Where the sunrise is sung
up by children
and the stories are still told
where the trees are known from each season's skin
and the senses stir wisdom from deeper within

I call out my voice to the wandering souls
to the hearts lost on the islands alone
to sing yourself home to the land
you call home
and sink in to the flavor of each moment born

How we long for the leaves to speak
to us
for the roots to tell us when to plant
How we long to belong
to feel safe
and yet free

How we long to sing
our wild heart song
to the wind and hear her call us hers.
How we long to shed our costumes of "independence"
and fall hopelessly in love with togetherness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Work in Progress II

I wonder if the reason

we - artists-writers-herbalists-soft underbelly mamas -

don't get the work in the world

we wish for

is because we are so damn busy waiting for


waiting for the right business to hire us


for the right school to say you graduated

(it's official!)

for the right business partner

(I can't do it without a scapegoat)

or whatEVER

and we keep getting only some of what we need.

MAYBE we keep waiting for that special validation

with the right hours and perfect situation

because we are to damn scared to say

I'm good at what I do

I take responsibility for my learning curve

I have the right to make my hours,

create the structure right for me,

to be unique

and excellent

and at the mercy of no one else's


besides my own.

Maybe we would prosper if we decided

we were so passionate at what we did that we were


learning more

and maybe we would prosper

if we had the guts

to shamelessly

self promote.

We wouldn't want to be confident, now would we?

That would be arrogant, presumptuous.

How can you have any objectivity towards yourself?

I am good at what I do.

I love what I do.

I care about my work.

I can make my own hours,

meet my own needs and those of my family,

take care of my home and the land I love,

and I deserve to make good money for it.

Without overworking.

Without extremism.

Without selling my ideas

or pride

or leaking out my well of energy.

There is room in this world for good people to prosper.

We are good at what we do.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Red Tent Temple

I'm linking this from our Red Tent Temple blog for those of you who may only be following this one, in hopes of greater awareness and publicity.......


Sunday, February 7, 2010

I believe

I really believe,

that if we start gathering together

again, not just to eat,

but to feast on homemade goodness

of all kinds;

foods, crafts, knowledge, art,


and in the affirmation of friendship we form

alliances of wealth

through sharing

through teaching,

through doing,

the momentum of community will

gain force


and power.

And the more powerful the people

and families are in their hearts,

their homes,

the less we fall

prey to consumption, despair.

I really believe that when we gather with

those who ignite our curiosity,

respect, and compassion,

that it's a fine gift given

of sharp tools

to make a structure we

can hinge our future on,

all while baking bread in a room

filled with side-splitting laughter.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Work in Progress

Alive I am in this body in this life

and although I see through story and strife

I illuminate my shadows and forge my way

through tangles of uncertain days

And in ways I think why

have I not just arrived

at the place I expected to be

With the land and the dough

and the titles to show

with a homestead that's perfectly run?

Why is it that still I'm just simple and real

with a list that's only half done

So where is the feeling

of arriving at being

of presenting the world with ME

Is she hiding? Or waiting? Or side stepping, skating?

Pretending to need to know more?

Is she scared of the walls and the

candy striped halls

of society now in it's pretentious malls?

Where is the ME, where is the YOU

that's says who the fuck cares

if I've done algebra two

What about the ME in the middle

of working on little

things that make hearts go aglow

and seeds that are planted

and small wishes granted

and words that help others grow

what about days where the magic

is normalcy,

stories of self are a fog

where the dishes go dirty

and laundry's a heap

where's the beauty in you on the days

you feel cheap

Where's the beauty in us if we don't grant

success until debts are maxed out and our

credit is fat, when our school's made out


yet our jobs are a bitch

and we're still not connecting to Earth.

What's success in my skin

if I'm expecting to win

something that was never a race.

What's glory in the eyes

if I'm living disguised

and not willing

to be in this place.

Every moment a muscle

worked stronger by reaching

and weaving together in grace

and in grieving

reclaiming the normal unglamorous me

as daily life sculpts what we

are supposed to be

WE already are works

in exquisite progress,

a malleable, unfinished success.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Sweet water

happy tears

pouring down their rattle song rushing

snake river, falling


moving Earth wet

living belly warm

womb fluid

given in


landing in our place

space filling up round

quenching wells

swelling seeds

deep under

thunder rocks

of soil drinking

gulping mouthfuls

pushing out through veins tiny

rivers inside roots

boots covered muddy


day of rain splashing

every where you are

we are

water ways, life's

liquid maze

amaze me sweet water

pour my goblet

all the way, all the ways


Monday, January 18, 2010

My Photos in February's Herbal Roots

I'm simply delighted that my photographs of Willow will be featured in the upcoming edition of Herbal Roots Zine.

If you have not yet encountered this enchanting, all-ages, magic portal into the world of herbs and herbal healing, well get on it! You will NOT find this quality and quantity of grassroots herbal learning anywhere else for this price.

Kristine your work in the world is beautiful and invaluable. I'm lucky to share my Willow photos with you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


There is this thought

that the more we wake up

the more joy infiltrates

the more bliss dominates

but how am I to believe this?

I eat

my dinner

and watch

my family

laugh, and drink

and make silly jokes

and I feel how much I love them, how much I fear this moment

to change

so it's easier to block it out, find something wrong

than to let my heart swell and break with the truth

that the love in this moment of laughter and health

is more than my little heart can hold

or my eyes can see

and so they fill

with tears

of discomfort

of fear

that this moment will pass today

or someday forever

be gone

from my lense

my glove

my table.

My children

chubby-cheeked, sweet eyed and sassy

My husband, strong and willed, optimistic

my skin clothed and hearth warm

that the need in my belly, should it not be filled

with this I could die

loveless, empty

void of blessing or luck

or worse

robbed of what beauty had given me so generously

right now in this moment

as they laugh and eat

my attachment grips me


and I run

to the bathroom where mirrors are small

enough to avoid

and far where small sounds of weeping cannot

be heard and the cloth

of tissues can sweep away the open wounds of my strangling love

dumping me in the lap of the moment

revealing pain as truth and love

as duality. Moment as short.

Children as miracle. Husband mortal. Self;


Sunday, January 10, 2010


I never thought

the moment would come

"Oh shit" I said

inside my head

as my heart grew from grinch to grin

and water swelled

in my eyes.

I squeezed the steering wheel

as I felt the white pines

watching me

and the juniper listening,


with frosty bitter blue fruit

jewels on her boughs

and the white birches reach, drinking

in the January sun while it lasts

as the bald eagles cavort

and the jagged mountain sides pour

with thick still ice

While I drove down

interstate 84


with my children in the car

and the smell of this particular place

and time

in my nose,


landed in me.

I'm here.

This land is me. My body

responds now

to it's changing light

the curvy hipped roads

and gazelle winter trees

The decent of Autumn

and revelation of summer

Her greenery, her cycles

my teacher.

I never thought

the moment would come

when Connecticut called me


and I would accept.

Yet in the time it took

for the next snowflake

to melt on the hood

of my red Saturn

(which is terrible in snow)

the spirit of this land

thawed my icy heart

as my mind sped

a film in my head

and showed me visions

of all the plants I've come to know

and trees I've wept upon

and rivers carrying my prayers

roots and nuts that are now

my hair, my skin

the hills who hold my walk

the rocks who tell my story

and the collective of

that movie

surrounded by the people keeping

me loved.

"Oh shit"

I thought

"It's here?

Not Tennessee? Or Virginia? Or

Asheville North Carolina? Costa Rica?"


She says

at least not right now.

You are here

with me

you are here

come in.