Category Archives: National Poetry Month ’09

I had a Good Time

This poem is my reaction to all the fun I had eeking out a poem a day for the last ten days of April, National Poetry Month 2009.

I said I would put up
one poem daily for ten days
through the end of April.

I’m relieved I made that happen.

Now for my next trick
I think I’ll put up—
content to be determined.

Thanks for stopping by
and I hope you’ll come again.
for more poems for sure,

plus other random things.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Just Outside

cedrwxwings-3

Summer and fall
little brown birds
and bees pollinate
the weeping holly
doing their parts for
the trees to bear fruit.

By early December
I have only to open the blinds
to see my Christmas tree
decorated by nature,
my only job is to be thankful.

The advent of spring,
weather still chilled
invites the cedar waxwings
to pick the berries.
Wooshing fluttering wings
surely hundreds altogether
announce the advance
of the berry picking flock.

They fly off just as loudly
to rest on the yonder willow trees
catching their breaths
looking back at the berries,
or maybe at me in my delight and awe.

Soon they take flight again
swarming in for their next wave
until not one berry is left;
in preparation
for the cycle to begin again.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Master Distraction

It’s late and my page lays bare.
No writers block is visiting here
only over-tired delirium.
Words come not belonging to me
but to those I’ve read repeatedly,
those who inspire and intimidate me.

So it is better to speak
remembering we were never
meant to survive

comes through from Audre Lorde
and I pause to wonder about her emotions
at the moment she wrote those lines.

Dissolving in the chemic vat
of time, man (gristle and fat),
corrupting on a rock in space…

slides in and I’m once again
marveling at Stanley Kunitz
and the imagery he chooses to create.

I think about how, like Diane Ackerman
I too praise my destroyer.
Then I think I get how Billy Collins
came to see the relationship
between sex and death.

And without recalling
a single word from either, their names
Maya Angelou and Lucille Clifton
summon up from deep within me,
adoration and reverence such that
I know, no one will miss my voice
not put on paper tonight.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

My distractions for this poem came from the following works:

A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde, from The Black Unicorn
Change by Stanley Kunitz, from The Collected Poems
I Praise My Destroyer by Diane Ackerman, from I Praise My Destroyer
Purity by Billy Collins, from Questions About Angels
Ailey, Baldwin, Floyd, Killens, and Mayfield by Maya Angelou, author of I Shall Not be Moved
Study the Masters by Lucille Clifton, from Blessing the Boats

The Nature of Things

bird-nesting

Mom first noticed
the bird setting up home
in her hanging basket.

I saw the bird there
the day after,
and thought I felt something.

Once, I lifted my nephew
because even standing on the chair
he couldn’t see it.

We still kept our distance.

One windy day I was closing the umbrellas.
It was my first time alone with her
and I swear

I could feel her warding me off
away from her eggs and her.
The air seemed dank, was rife

with the protective vibe:
vigilant mother bird
with one false move by me

was likely to peck my eyes out.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Persona

I’d like to write the consummate herione
to embody a mixture of
the complex women of
Barbara Streisand’s
characters in later years.
Especially I think
I’d channel the honest
female lead in
The Mirror has Two Faces.

As a bad heroine type,
her almost law-breaking
lead opposite
Richard Dreyfuss and
Karl Malden for starts
in a favorite I don’t own, Nuts.

I could imbue
her faithful defiance
and courage
in the face of losing her dad
feeling Yentl
crying out in song
in the forest,
only to return to life
in pursuit of her dreams, alone.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Time Enough

If I could stay awake
hours on end
for days or
bend time to my will,
I wonder would it be
time enough to
gaze read listen write
play love laugh
cry dance walk
swing high, run fast
eat and drink tasting fully?

Enough time to
do to cherish
to savor
all that beckons to me
before I’m forced
to let go of
my time here?

I think of this now
because there
never seems to be enough.
And yet I have faith
that when I’m gone from here
I won’t care what I missed.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers