1. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Alive in each other’s company

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    6
    On a recent Saturday morning, I spoke poems to passersby at our village market. My booth held two blue lawn chairs with grey cushions, a small table graced with autumn flowers – bright orange zinnias and yellow sunflowers, and a shallow hand-woven basket filled with poem cards, all face-down. As...
  2. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Lakes so blue and far

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    6
    I’m paddling with my sweetheart in Quetico Provincial Park, a canoeist’s paradise located northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Practically every year for more than 20 years, John and I have driven the 1900-some kilometers from our home to paddle the lakes and rivers of Quetico with good friends. For various...
  3. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Leave them be

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    4
    Mid-summer. Clear skies, warm days. With the ample spring and early summer rain, the nearby fields exude lush green. The roadsides near our country home burgeon with grasses, ivy (poison and otherwise), and a profusion of wildflowers: blue cornflowers, white Queen Anne’s lace, mulberry milkweed, periwinkle harebell, yellow black-eyed susans....
  4. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Idle and blessed

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    3
    Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? These last two lines from one of Mary Oliver’s most popular poems, The Summer Day are often quoted as a reminder to pay attention to the small, ordinary astonishments of everyday life. But this...
  5. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Why do I flee from you?

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    6
    I wake up, look out the window at the vibrant green trees, breathe deep of the fresh country air. This lovely peace lasts for roughly 12 seconds, until the day’s to-do list crowds my mind, urging run, run, run. Do this, do that, hurry, hurry, hurry. Of course, my complaint...
  6. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Life…and…death

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    1
    Today, Monday, March 20th, marks the official start of spring. The red-winged blackbirds arrived two weeks ago, trilling cheekily just before the last (we hope) huge snowstorm briefly silenced them. Warming days brighten the promise of green beginnings after the long white winter. In the face of new life, it...
  7. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Standing differently now

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    4
    I have a confession. I did not participate in the Women’s March on January 21st because I felt conflicted. Public activism has never been my way: I prefer to work behind the scenes, writing letters, signing petitions. Demonstrations that coalesce around hard-line positions, pitting one camp against another, make me...
  8. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Starlight of the soul

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    3
    Wendy Sarno, one of my tribe members in Kim Rosen’s Mystery School, is a remarkable poet and writer – for a taste of her artistry, check out Writings from Wild Soul. Wendy, who lives in Missouri, introduced me to Canadian poet, Jan Zwicky, whose book Forge, offers a collection of...
  9. Mary Lou van Schaik

    Welcome!

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    Comment
    Welcome to Soul Walker Poems. Each month, I post my reflections on a poem that I’ve been walking with, and taking to heart – a poem that is teaching me something about being human. I’d love to hear your comments.