Sunday, June 30, 2013


G. Cornwall, c. 2012.

I revisit the word 
each year at this time 
often wish it was another 
mot du jour
This year I think of lions. 
This is my pride, 
stretched out, 
across the hot savanna. 
I have pride in my pride of lions, 
you women warriors, 
my band of women. 
Yes, you, you wild creators 
and lovers of life, 
child protectors and friends 
to the end. 
My pride, my pride.

Single mothers I see you
as you march on
I salute you
and you say,
"It's just what I do.
I'm a mom you see."
And I do see you
like a soldier of love
I see you
for the love of the children
through day and night
you fight for their right
to life,
to joy and love
You lift them high
right past you
so they would never know
your fatigue,
your loneliness,
how your love for your young
could break you open -  
it's so big
It hurts sometimes
you love them so.
Women, single mothers 
I see you
I honour and support you
Warriors of love
My pride
My pride.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. June 30

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wherever I Am, I Am Not Gone

The White Rose
West Saanich, BC
c. June 2013

This is a poem about how I believe we are all connected, all one. There is life in energy. As physics states, there is change in the condition of energy but never less nor more of it; thus, we are omnipresent in one form or another and inextricably connected.

Wherever I Am, I Am Not Gone

When I pass from this life
to what we name Death
will you cry and miss my presence?
Will I know 'missing' then?
I hope to ride the waves, 
the ocean of your cells,
to rise with you completely,
on your molecular tide,
receding in your dreamworld
as you fall to rest.

May I live among you,
rippling through life,
through eternity
as the wind upon the sea.
Open your soul and I'll flow through you as love.

No need to hold,
no need to fear,
for I am with you 
as you are with me,
across the miles,
across time,
in your arms
or in your thoughts. 

Live well.
I offer you my love,
my only gift in life or death.
I am as much your heartbeat 
as you are mine,
we are one,

-Gillian Cornwall, rewritten June  23, 2013.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Frivolous Musings

A scene runs through my mind on replay. I hope you will allow me the frivolousness of the text and images - a simple wandering through time and imagined lives based on this island in the Spring and far too much Jane Austen.  

A man is walking through a verdant wood at dawn, a time when light appears as fragments, a kind of fairy dust, a zillion Tinkerbells who will create daylight upon holding hands. 


This man high-steps through knee deep bluebells. His skin has taken the waxy, blue-green hue of the surrounding vegetation as though he had popped his head through the loam this very morning. 

He leans into his destination, his pant legs damp with morning dew.

He pushes forward to his love in her country manor home.  


This woman waits in a dress the colour of robins eggs, her hair a strawberry blonde, with long curls cascading across porcelain skin. Delicate shoulders support her gown and the weight of the world as she frets over the unknown arrival time of her forest wanderer. 

Her eyes, the blue of tropical seas remain slightly red at their rims. She has no more tears to shed and will confront him on sight, after he dotes on her sufficiently.

He pictures her and the comforts of home in his mind's eye. He cannot tarry long in the woodland depths for fear of a misstep, a fall. Fraught with tension and weak with exhaustion, he must arrive whole in body if not yet so in spirit. He will tell her she is the hero of his story and he the fool. The blood from a recent wound stains the colour of his singlet to a deep crimson and he presses on with the determination of a warrior. The heart of the lover pushes him forward.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. 2013.

Sunday, June 09, 2013


Chinese Cemetery
Photo by Gillian Cornwall
Victoria, BC  c. March 2013

Sometimes our greatest strength
rises from the ashes
of our vulnerability.

Today, I have two examples of vulnerability. The first is vulnerability without choice and anyone who lives in Victoria, BC is likely to experience this if they walk down Cook Street in the late spring or early summer. I hope you find it entertaining:

Dear Crow God,

I humbly request that you ask your disciples to stop flying at my head. My hair is not nesting material and what the hell would I want with a crow baby? Rest assured, very few humans, as twisted and cruel as we can be, have use for a crow baby!

My understanding is that your kind are not even good eating. The only time you may have heard us speak of this is purely idiomatically:

          1. Eating Crow: Humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position 

I would imagine that actually consuming one of your kind would be, well, foul. (Yes, I really did make that pun.)

To return to my original request, please inform your ilk that, while I am renowned for my good nature and sense of humour, there is nothing sporting nor dignified about running down the street willy-nilly, gesticulating in panicked madness, terrified at the prospect of having my eyes plucked from their sockets by your kin.

Certainly, I wish you the very best with all of your other crow endeavours, not the least of which is your attraction to, and collection of, bright and shiny objects (let it be known here that I am not a bright and shiny object), your affinity for playing 'chicken' in traffic and your tasteful black outfits. 

Most sincerely,

Gillian Cornwall

What is Underneath?
G. Cornwall c. 2010.

My second example of vulnerability comes in a poem from 2010. I post it again today in dedication to all of the women I know around the world and right here at home, who put themselves out there everyday, working, raising their children (often on their own), taking care of their significant others and their parents, persisting no matter the weather, the day, the exhaustion. I see you and I love you. Together we are stronger. 

This is Not a Poem, It is a Series of Waves

I come to you with my self in my own hands
like a clam shell.
I say, "Look. This is what I am."
and I open.

This is my language.
This is my culture. 
This is my truth
in this moment.
This is my ability to speak with you
from my heart.

My fears,
my scars,
they are here too.
Touch them;
know this part of my terrain.
Read me like Braille
in your hands.
Read the shapes I take. 
Read my amorphous shapes.

Keep reading.
I am here.
I am changing.
I am able to be touched by you
and read again.
I am the story;
shifting like dunes on the wind.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. 2010.

Gillian Cornwall
c. 2013

Sunday, June 02, 2013

This World is Our Mother

I love to travel through the Saanich Peninsula, to see the beautiful dark soil amid the green and forested landscape, to know that I can select most of my food from the island on which I live, with gratitude. This land provides for us so well and I want to take the opportunity to share this through these words, which act as a mantra for me, an instrument of thought. I originally wrote this in 2009. I return to it regularly to ground me, associate me with the earth that sustains us. Wishing each of you love, peace, kindness and sustenance. 

Saanich Farmland
G. Cornwall, c. 2012

Let Us Not Forget the Land

For every house we build as home
For every school we raise for education
For all the buildings in which we work
Let us not forget the land on which they stand
For it is the land that is our true home
The land that teaches us all we need to learn
The land that is our provider.
Let us not forget the land.

-Gillian Cornwall, revised c. June 2013.