Tag Archives: Appreciation

Joy, Still

Have all my happy songs
been writ and sung?
Nothing new, green and freshly budding
to be found? I don’t think so.

I can’t even pretend it
when joy comes fluttering up
out of nowhere, to spark in me
soul smiles I can’t hide.
Appreciation for all
I was brought through,
the lives that guided me.
The reasons ethereal and God set
that I can string words,
paint pretty pictures,
share in joys in others’ lives.

I still can pull
a joyful verse from the guff.
And whatever the impetus,
it makes me happy
just to be able
to say a little ditty
on a happy state of anything.

© 2016 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Poem #16 for 2016 National Poetry Month. It was time for a happy one, I guess. I just record them as they come. And tonight, it seems I was thinking on how I’m grateful for my journey.


Everywhere I look
I see the poetry
life offers up
for the open heart
to enjoy.

And I do.

Cotton blossom scent
of my favorite candle,
humorously outrageous
contorted faces
reacting to the very opposite
malodorous skunk aroma.
Waving leaves on trees
on an otherwise still day
give the strong impression
I’m watching them growing.

Even the gentle flurry
of the curtain rolling over
the soft breeze
through the open window
makes my mind smile.

All the soft, pretty, pleasant,
quiet sides of being alive
can cocoon me
and I get rejuvenated,
apart from the draining
aspects of my days.

© 2010 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.

Day 9

All of a sudden
I understand
the sweet sick feeling
that’s been welling up
from the pit of my stomach.

At the back end
of each joy and delight
that passed through me
while in my hometown
was a sick
curly cue punctuating
experiences with—

In my quiet last night
I understand
it’s the downturn
of the roller coaster ride.

In all the excitement
of remembrances
we were creating in great detail
they included
the unplanned part that insured
I would miss home.

later today, I drive back to Houston
with the fun times dancing
in my spirit and the
aftertaste of melancholy
over all I leave behind in New Orleans.

©2009 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Graces Like Mercies

The Hard Parts

Graceful Birds

I was preparing to leave my dad’s hospital room. He was very sick with cancer and other complications. He had suffered and recovered from setbacks that required surgeries, but he couldn’t seem to shake everything. Blood clots were his problem four years earlier and he still was plagued with them. We saw him through so much, but he was leaving us.

This day was a peculiarly gentle, warm day nearing fall. It had rained and then the sun came beaming out. It hurt every time leaving my dad in the hospital because I knew how much he hated being there. It didn’t matter that he was understanding about my leaving, he complained enough for me to understand that his heart wasn’t in that. And I understood that because I knew his personality. Still, I had to keep things in perspective so that I could just keep going. This particular day, dad was not ready for me to leave, and asked for different things “before you leave.”

Light in the Middle Parts

I stayed a little longer and did a few more things for him and just sat awhile longer. I told him that I’d return tomorrow, or maybe even pass back after I finished my errands. His spirits lifted and I was content that he was satisfied. As I left the hospital, I started to feel a little lighter because with just a little more time, dad was better prepared to be without family for the evening. Driving down the street the day was shimmering and such a feeling came over me. It was a promise I could almost hear. I called my mom, I just couldn’t wait to get to her house. I told her that things were about to change for us all. Mom asked me, “Like what? What do you mean?” “I don’t know really. That’s all I got.” She said okay and that she felt that way too.

In the weeks that passed, dad started to show some improvement. And he did get a little better—enough to get home. I got some good job offers. My youngest brother came to town to see my dad before he got really sick. My family and friends kept my mind occupied and life just felt tolerable with good stuff in the middle. I was laughing and talking and appreciating good things that were coming my way, as I grieved the illness that had invaded my dad’s body.

I was talking to one friend and he asked my how I was doing. I told him I was well, and that made me pause because I didn’t know how I was well. It was amazing to me that in the face of my abject sorrow, I was still able to smile and laugh from my soul—I could still touch my joy.

Dad went back into the hospital a time or two and each time I went with him. When I could, I spent the whole day with him. We would talk about the things that I was working on, like my editing course, or learning HTML. Sometimes he would sleep, and he would apologize for not being a good host. It never mattered to me and I told him so. Sometimes we would both sleep. We just spent time at the hospital then at home. After a time, my daddy died at home.

Always Learning: Lessons are Everywhere

Looking back now over these 7 months since my dad died, and I try to track how we got through it. I wasn’t as “prepared” as I thought I’d be, and yet I survived. I appreciated all the good things that dad and I did for each other, and the time that we spent. It came to me one day when I was considering how it is that I survived:

There’s plenty of excitement in my days. Life has a way of showering down graces like mercies in difficult times. And I am drenched with reasons to be grateful.

It’s easy to be grateful for the good things that come my way, no matter how small. What was a deliberate practice years ago is now a habit of gratitude. The other part that helps me is searching for the meaning in difficult times. In my darkest times, I try not to get maudlin. But I do try to take a straight-on look at things; my goal is to take up some treasure from the muck. Writing them down helps to soothe me. The poem Life Lessons (at the end of the post, I Write for Me First) is from a sifting expedition; one that took me passed the why and straight to appreciation.

Death and why
don’t sit together in me for long.
It makes me feel too inept.
Because without exception,
I come back to accepting that
it happens


by Shari Lynne Smothers

Only the sun showed bright.
I couldn’t tell if it was doing it though.
The air was still
the clouds didn’t move
power lines didn’t sway
as there was no breeze.

A green S.U.V. in the
middle of the street
carried people who
didn’t move or speak.
The family dog at the house
across the street

had fur that seemed
to be on pause and a tail
stuck up in the air.
And as I looked around
at the housetops and trees
I saw the telling sign.

In midair was a flightless bird
neither moving forward nor
crashing to the ground.
The world had stopped,
paying homage to
grandmother who was slowing.

A bit longer things held
to let me take it all in.
“We are all on one accord
in sorrow for our passing friend.”

As everything resumed
flying, blowing, wagging, going
and I continued to stand watching
I realized
all that went by was an instant.

From Pebbles in My Shoes, ©2004

Back–Story: This poem came out of a daily writing stint. My goal to write a poem a day happened to fall in the last month of my grandmother’s illness before she succumbed to the ravages of cancer.

On some days I’d write more than one. And often they were not so great. Still, there were those that wrote themselves workably or whole. This one came out mostly whole—much like the long poem for which the collection is titled. But, you’ll have to get the book to read that one.

Not everything that I wrote that month was angry or sad. Some poems were ironically hopeful. But I find a measure of peace in respecting or appreciating the hurting times. I’ll offer you one more bittersweet poem after this one and then I’ll let up.

As a final observation I’ll share, this poem doesn’t make me sad. It’s a remembrance of my history. As with any poem, you have to find your own reflection in the meaning, or not. When you read a poem, cracking it open is often as easy as considering yourself. Start with, “It makes me think of…” and see where you get to.