Poems from Mendocino

By Valerie Holm Warda



He reared his torso, acknowledged her presence.

Massive, solid, yet soft, he blended into the rocks,

But even at this distance she could see his whiskers.

Coarse crags laced with seaweed his resting place,

He lay alone, no friend or family or enemy in sight.

She sent her sound to him across the black sand;

Above the rolling and roaring surf crashing near,

He heard her greeting and lifted his face towards her.

"Hello over there! Yoo-hoo, what's up?" she hollered.

After a long, anxious pause she waved, and he knew

He would share his space, after all, in the setting sun.

Taking his afternoon rest, his well-deserved reverie,

He would have to deal with more than seagulls today.

This tall animal on two legs motioned to him again.

What was he to do - call back? use sign language?

What did she want, this stranger entering his home?

But he remained still, silently following her climb

Across the dark rocks and sand to higher grasses,

Until she disappeared above him into the clear blue.


Did she know how long he waited, wriggling to see

Her form once more, foreign but friendly, before

He urged himself back into the beckoning waves,

Curtains coming down, as he ushered himself out?

Valerie Holm Warda Ó Dec. '97




By Valerie Holm Warda Ó 1996


Man and animals are comforted by your presence;

We watch your growth from seed to sapling

With help from sun rays and dew drops.


Your young, hungering threads rooting down

Are fed by brave, fallen warriors,

Nursing mothers and their babes.



Deriving life and energized through rich soil,

Your trunk grows and steadies

Against the screaming wind.



Your strong arms reach up, weaving a parasol

Crawled and roosted upon by

Grimy grub and fair fowl.



Providing sustenance for all nearby,

Morsels of food and needed meal, you've become

A shelter from storm and enemy alike.



How suddenly you're stolen away

Without a gracious exit,

We've no chance to say

Thank you or goodbye.



The greedy screech

Of the saw sounds…


Your death song.



the end

by Valerie Holm Warda ã March 1997

and the story goes on…

once upon a time…

turn a phrase…

capture a thought.


How many - revered or reviled-

have worded it just right,

have woven with care the storyline?


Candlelit cave animations to

Electronic publications,

will they sequence or segue forever,

these tales inspired by

love, ego, experience?


Or will the flame die out,

the writer hushed

by lack of luster,

a missing muse,

a quick demise?

Will someone, someday

discover the last "THE END?"


Battle Cry


Fight to live, fight to die;

Slaughter and maim.

Lay lands to waste

To win, to win…


Fight to win, fight to lose

Sons and daughters.

The cause is all

We have, we have…


Fight to have, fight to own

Earth and seas.

Grant all deeds

To man, to man…




Charred remnants of pride and honor,

Mourn your barren plains and hills.

Gone the bison and elk,

Ash and maple slain.


Mother Earth, Giver of breath,

Mourn your daughters and sons.

Who will tend the hearth?

Who will warm your sod?


Cool, gray horizon

Dawning of death…

The white man comes.

Ó 1990





I'm looking for a home;

Let me buy yours.

You don’t need so much;

We can share.


I need to carve a heritage

Out of these hills.

It took many miles and lives

To find land like this.


But, where is your marker, your boundary?

A birthright so undefined can't be!


I won't go back from where I came.

You can't live in the past;

My future is at stake.

Make room - I'm here to stay."

Ó 1996

Last Updated February 15th, 1998
For more information contact: Valerie Holm Warda