Daily Archives: 19 April 2009

Courage to Join the Club

Reading poems
makes me want to
write my own.
Writing them
makes me want to
read from more poets.

It’s a self-sustaining
cycle that could easily
consume me.
I know this because
I’ve let it loose in me
from time to time.

Beautiful timeless verses
of Audre Lorde in
A Litany for Survival;
The insightful, hopeful
message from Alice Walker imparted by
The Same as Gold.

They, the poets and their verses,
inspire in me this intense
longing to share
in their artists’ collective
with my own verses like Broke.
Still, I hesitate.

Through years of exploring poets
contemporary and long dead
I’ve vacillated between
wanting to participate
and keeping hid the way I can fall far short.

wins often
until my verses shout to me
demanding to be shared,
and here is one place I let them out.

These words that demand the chance
to have an audience
don’t ask for or require
safety. So I make the effort
to meet their bravery
and stand by them and listen
to what any might want to say
mostly because I have no choice.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers


A friend sent me
a poem by Alice Walker
in which she tells us
that grief is comparable to gold.

My wealth knows
no limits.
It’s boundless
and never
is fully spent.
For when it’s low
when I’m almost out
to replenish it.

I’ll never be
completely broke
in this life.
But one day
I will leave
all this wealth
behind me.
I’ll move
to another place
without my gold.

No purchasing power,
no list will I have
I will rejoice in my
and be fully
glad of it.

©2003 by Shari Lynne Smothers

From Pebbles in My Shoes © 2004 by Shari Lynne Smothers