Saturday, August 30, 2008

an inner tale

in the throes of fever, she watched
a small brown spider slowly
make her way up the wall
to the ceiling, across the plaster
and into a small hole beside
the dust-wrapped light fixture.

later, she could not say
whether it had really happened,
or she had dreamed it up as a way
of captivating her restless mind,
trapped as it was
in the fog-enshrouded
thick head of illness.

Rachel Westfall
August 30, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

or maybe tomorrow

cold rain today,

[in those long, hard days
of west-coast winter
how many students
did arthur erickson drive to suicide
with his
miserable concrete architecture?]

green brings calm, and the rain
nourishes green
if we let it
grow lush rampant, taking hold
in cracks with persistent roots
crumbling what we have foolishly
built, grain by grain

dissolving grey-
the grave, the colour
of tombstones,
diseased tissue and stale

cold rain today,

and the cracked earth swells

Rachel Westfall
August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Road-kill II

We emit some small sound
as we take flight the first time.

Once a man tried to free-fall
hoping to kiss the ground in one final act;

only to discover he had wings that long lay unused,
atrophied to the point that they could only
weakly flutter, his joy at their discovery

shattered by the realisation that he’d left it
too long. His heart flew boldly

for those few moments, drawing
the moon from the sky
into his waiting arms.

When he struck earth
she cradled him lovingly

for a mother is equally blessed
by each of her creations, no matter
how stunted.

Rachel Westfall
August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008


Fat chalk in hand, bird-child
draws lopsided daisies up
and down the asphalt.

Thin shoulder-blades
protrude like stunted wings
through her thin cotton
t-shirt, mocking the blackflies
that seek the tender skin
of her nape.

They say each of us
has the potential to create
some small beauty.

Cold grey rain
painted with smog
will soon erase
the carefully sketched blossoms
while the pavement remains indelible,
its wavering a heat-drawn
illusion but its stink of tar

Rachel Westfall
August 22, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the garden II

She stepped barefoot off the wooden porch
glassed-in but still open to the breeze
onto the cool dew-laden meadow grass.

Moving swiftly now across the field
her way was marked with cool wet imprints
as abrupt and silent as the path of a deer.

To the garden she went
stooping now to scoop a handful
of cold fresh-tilled earth.

Here she placed the key
furtively glancing over her shoulder
in case she was seen.

Only the crows watched her, sly
and the chucked softly amongst themselves
at what they saw.

She placed a rock firmly over her work
brushed the soil from her hands onto her skirt
then wove her way back towards the house.

Slipping back into bed expertly
her body drank the warmth of the covers
quick to shake off the morning chill.

It was as if she had not even left
but for the dew on her feet
and a few small leaves, damp and rough.

Rachel Westfall
August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

the garden

this tree that I planted
spread her roots wide
like a fan.

she reached down into rich loam
and wove stories
beneath her crown.

when her soul came down and alighted
on my shoulder
she stood strong.

Rachel Westfall
August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

bedtime poetry

Mama, what are you doing?

I have things to do. Be quiet and go to sleep now.

what are you doing?

Talking to my shadow.

Thinking about whether I am the voice
or the echo, and how my half
can exist here while the other half
is over there.

Mum, can you sleep with me?

No. I’ll come and snuggle you
for a bit when I’m done, ok?

When will you be done?
At five o’clock or so?

In about half an hour, ok?

I don’t think half an hour is very long.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


two eyes look at me, strangely sad
from the robot under the chair, disbelieving
having been knocked down
senselessly from the top of the piano
by a jealous feline, not wanting to share
his space

so special just hours before, but

now banished with the dust mice, a naughty
looking race car and a small plush triceratops,
remembering its recent view
from a store shelf in nowhere, saskatchewan

when the toys have faces, what
gives our dreams light?

big brother comes now, with the same
sad eyes, to comfort
the little plastic fella through this
long cold night

for nobody should have to sleep alone
in a house full of toys

Rachel Westfall
August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


a word cuts deep. a knife
the hawk’s beak, a streak of spilled blood
the eagle’s eye. what was gently
growing cradled warm and deep
in red-pink glow

is gone


so little do we know about
what could have been, until a dark sky
alive in three dimensions

draws down
with the suddenness of thunder, a hint
of remembered potential
if only dreamed.

Rachel Westfall
August 13, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008


magic is found here;
watching naming unfolding
before our deep-struck eyes.

a squirrel beside the path
holding an edible mushroom
much larger than her head,
barely seen as we fly by
on our dog-powered bicycles;

a coyote in the bushes
tawny and sun-speckled
following us along our path,
curious, standing golden now
at the top of the hill;

her harsh call, strong and close
and a distant answer, sung high;

a shower of meteors
moving across the sky in
winking response to our
call, the flick of a wrist,
glitter-sparkled wand in hand.

Rachel Westfall
August 11, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

spiral down

A red scent followed me
down the hall. Like a wolf
it came stealthily on padded
paws, gaining fast
then engulfing me so sweetly
I was no longer
myself when I turned
the corner, sunwise. This new place
tasted of ocean salt, hinting
of a sky visible only to
the lone kayaker
or a gull floating
on endless waves,
seen in the dreams only dreamed
by the roots of the ancient
yew tree. In a single turn
thoughts moved from ordinary
to extraordinary, shifting
abruptly from blue to gold
as the new sun, pale now
but growing stronger moment
by moment.

Rachel Westfall
August 7, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008



small child

cold fear

bleak room

hard hand

door slams

daddy's gone

swollen eyes


hope collided

trust none


light on

teddy hugged

back rubbed

breathing slowed

story told

mama’s here

fear gone

wrap around

night long

Rachel Westfall
August 1, 2008