Monthly Archives: May 2009

Failure to Plan

When I first saw them
this morning,
they frantically flitted
trying to escape the
grasp of the branches.

Seemed like they were
flagging down
high flying birds
to rescue them.

I wondered if they regretted
having cleverly
escaped the hands
of a happy child;
if they thought
in their group of three
they stood a better
chance in the wild.

Probably thought
they’d get far enough
to become space debris.
With clouds high
skies clear
probably they thought
what could be
their obstacles.

Can’t go back inside
they can’t go further
and it looks like no one’s
coming to get them.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers


It was my parents’ anniversary.
Fifty-one years ago
they exchanged vows;
Two anniversaries now
without daddy here to count them.

I meant to ask my mom
what does the count
feel like without him.
But it sounds in my head
a little too morose even for me.
Even though, to help me understand,
she’d probably
try to
find the words to say her grief.
Hoping I’m sure that naming it
could somehow put her in control of it.

It’s the poet in me
that is willing
eager even, to sit with a pain
pulling it apart to know it.

Protecting myself
I get rational
logical, my dad would say
reflecting on all the times
when my breath catches
as though he was newly gone from me.

Counting occasions
as the blessings I had
each one signifies, in its turn
my dad’s not here anymore;

Mine are enough anniversaries
to wade through missing him.
For their wedding, I’ll leave it
to my imagination.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

I Tweet, Therefore I Am

I’ve been having such fun on Twitter and I just want to share. What better day than a #followfriday. This poem is for people on Twitter and for those who may be curious to see some of why people are so keen about it. Oh, and when you read this, read @ as ‘at’ and # as “hash.’ I hope you enjoy it. Even if not particularly, the point is that you explore the people. So, click the live links, visit their Twitter pages, and go from there.

What is it about Twitter
that has folks all a’twitter,
including those who generally
don’t sit before computers?

It’s something of a mystery,
this simple, ethereal means of communicating,
this friendly form of
In my own back yard is all the world
when I’m twittering away.
Location can be fun to know
but isn’t a requirement for conversation.

The return on my time investment is
I have fun sharing and learning.
And if you follow my friends
you’ll see how I got to this.

They tweet cool stuff
some have great blogs too;
they like sharing their own and others’
timely information and resources
and just communicating.

@Bukowsky humorous, healthy, unique, political tweets, an interesting mix
@joannayoung tweets good words and posts articles to boost your confidence
@karenswim articles that teach and entertain and inspire
@chavis_t great quotes and easy conversation
@roberthruzek more honest writing tweeting and blogging
@adriarichards IT guru, effectively teaching, sharing, chatting by way of streaming video.

People I’ve come across from others
and # conversations
and just started following,
their tweets, profiles and websites got my attention.
Once you get going, you’ll learn how to find them.
In the meantime
take clues from others you like
and meet who their following.

Writers abound in my Twitter stream
since that’s my area of interest.
Each with their own stories
sharing their learned wisdom


More writers and poets
who brighten my days
with touching verses from life and
tweeting insights as they’re networking.


I follow people who are interesting
show a real person’s tweeting
those who are just fun
and some blood relations.

@AuthorSaoirse_R— writer
@jonxblaze— web designer
@cityspur— online reviewer
@DowdenA— a cousin
@kemicsmothers— my brother

And still there are many more
great people I follow
in the Twitter nation.
Another time I’ll share more
in this or another undertaking.

In this fun representation
of a small part of my Twitter community,
I’m not even sure these people
follow me back.
No matter though,
they’re people who tweet things I want to read
and who tweet me
when I send them @ messages.

© 2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

My Twitter ID is @sharils. See you around.


Facing morning:
I’m late to bed deliberately,
hoping I’ll sleep through the night.
Not much interested in my dreams
or avoiding them.
It’s the tossing and turning
I can do without.

Three a.m. sees me
staring at the numbers on my clock,
after I wake in a cold sweat.
Seems I’m worried over concerns
real and contrived;
little, remote possibilities are
amplified in the shadows
given off in moonlight and streetlights
that invade my bedroom,
having broken in
through the openings in the blinds.

Picking stories from the news
applying them to family and friends
in horrific, detailed what-ifs.
Fretting over my hats and
how they could be better stored.
Concerns over germs
my niece and nephew will get
if they don’t stop all that playing
with other kids.

Tossing and turning is
my body’s auto-responder
to try to shake it off me.

Nothing helps ‘til I come full awake
take deep breaths
and consciously allay my concerns
not with solutions all the time
but with the rational acceptance
that there’s no action
I need to take
just then
to fix

What is it About a Poem?

I sit at my computer and work;
laboring looks like meditation.
I’m just sitting
staring at the screen.
Searching blank space for the thought
the word, the letter that would
speak to each successive one
indicating the keystrokes to make
like a player piano.

I follow the lead to reveal
the message I know is there,
hidden just for me to find.

My alternative execution
is pen and paper
for calling on Inspiration
to whisper in the text
I’ll soon let spill out of me.

The tactile sensation of
my hand scraping a pen across paper
unearths the verses
that will expose parts of me
I may have wanted to hide.

Thank God for editing time
because once my hands get going
no telling what they’ll put out.
As if a poem makes a thing
less poignant, less painful
and easier to share.

A poem will display me naked
and prostrate before my audience;
and I give it space to have its say.

Before I share anything though
sanity and left brain rush in
and cover me properly
in innuendo using shape, simile and metaphor.

Shari Lynne Smothers ©2009

Poetry Night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

White House Poetry Jam 2009

Many are tweeting the news. My mom was talking about it today. And I’m very much looking forward to seeing/hearing James Earl Jones tonight, along with Joshua Bennett, Eric Lewis, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Mayda Del Valle and Esperanza Spalding and the rest of the great personalities scheduled to participate. If you want to see it online, visit The White House Live Stream to watch online.

It’s on tonight at 7:45 Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 12, 2009. I’ll be back tonight with my reflection on this great evening. I do wish I was there!

It was a Refreshing Event

It’s always a pleasure to hear James Earl Jones and tonight was no different. He read Shakespeare and did not dissapoint. The Jazz musicians skills were discernible even through my unclear audio.

While I love poetry, I’m not into all the styles. The style Joshua and Jamaica performed is difficult for me to follow. It’s quite exciting. I don’t know that I have the stuff to deliver that style even if I wrote like that.

Learning new artists is quite the adventure. These poets took me out of my comfort zone, for sure. My tastes generally run along the lines of Maya Angelou, written and performed, Billy Collins and Audre Lorde. It was a refreshing change from the more serious political atmosphere. I for one am really glad they did it and shared it online.

I do wonder what others thought. Please share your thoughts if you have something constructive to say.