Tag Archives: Hope

Taking Liberty

All good things to those
who reach for them;
I feel certain that’s
the lesson I’m being taught.
In the face of setbacks
and before brick walls,
I move forward,
scaling them
when I don’t need to
knock them down.
It feels affirming.

Reaching out for all
within my grasp
and then beyond that,
trading on the promise
of at least a chance
at success on my own terms.
I’m loving my current
opportunity to finally be
fully self-directing.

© 2016 by Shari Lynne Smothers

Poem #5 for National Poetry Month. This is the poem for yesterday. I wasn’t going to write it, letting the TWW poem stand for both things. But, I thought better of it. It seems, there are many things on my mind I think lithely enough about to versify.

We All Got To Go From Here

Time to answer for myself
is ever looming before me.
Every day, I’m older
move and heal a little slower,
careening toward an ending
of my time here I can’t see
but am fully aware is coming.

On my way
I work to keep my load light
void of guilt wherever I can drop it.
Trying to do the right thing first
before I have to be told
I was wrong for something.
Aside from that
making amends when wrong seemed
my better alternative.

I live in interesting times.
And had I been born
in a different era
my hope is
I’d still be one to stop
to appreciate things.
Simply marvelous.
The butterfly lighting
lithely on the tip of the dandelion.

Breathtakingly warm
The school girl who’s dad
fresh from military service
greets her in class,
surprising her takes her breath away
drawing tears from her barely believing eyes.

Brutally horrific
The grown ass man
who fires 10 rounds into
a car of unarmed black youth
because he didn’t like their music
or their lack of regard for him;
The jury of his peers
can’t agree it was murder
even after finding him guilty of
attempted murder against
the ones who lived.

I marvel at the craziness of it
the changing landscape of killing.
Thinking of how we are forced
to learn history dates names places and facts
we never learn from
only repeat the same jacked up mistakes
with a different face
and maybe a twist on the specifics.

One thing that never changes
in this world of unoriginal
sin and mediocrity,
we all have to go from here.
I believe we all have to answer
for the smarmy things we do.
I wish others believed
really believed
and maybe
they’d try to do better
while they’re still here
inflicting themselves on others.
It’d be kinda cool
to be in a world where
it looked like
good people were in the majority.

Time and tide . . .

© 2014 Shari Lynne Smothers

I Knew

I’ll never forget the day—

After doctor visits
just me and him or with other family
in hospitals and waiting rooms,
examinations, procedures, and treatments
hours spent in fruitless and unavoidable worry,
we finally got the doctor’s
last words on the matter;

Whatever they decided to do
whatever dad accepted to be put through
he didn’t have much time to be here with us,
they were sure they couldn’t fix him.

My life moving on felt like
a betrayal to dad who’s life was coming to a close
and everything was heavier.
Still, I continued doing what I knew I had to
placing everything I could on my automatic list,
with breathing and swallowing
because everything I thought to do
became easier to just skip it.

And then one shimmering
breezy September afternoon,
I was driving alone when I laughed aloud
and had to admit it—
I can’t recall the song, joke
or thought that brought me to it,

but that was the day I knew
that even through my profound grief
over the impending loss of my father,
in my soul I would eventually know joy again.

©2009 Shari Lynne Smothers

Prompt: Write a poem about a memorable person or event. Day 30 of the 2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, from Poetic Asides.


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

Hope–What a Concept!

Yes We Can

Obama 2008

Isn’t hope the foundation from which we all move forward no matter what we’re undertaking?

It never occurred to me that anyone could find it effective to take a hardline stance against HOPE. What makes a person run for office if not hope? What makes a citizen vote if not hope? Explain to me again what is the matter with fostering, encouraging, pronouncing the good in hope. . . I must be slow. . . or, it must just be Hillary!