Tag Archives: Tree Wisdom

Hope for Plain Sailing

Relationships and occupations
death in the family
and other amputations
weddings and grocery shopping.
Life offers up bumps and twists
at every stage we travel through.
Racism, sexism,
just I-don’t-want-to-know-you.
Chest pain, stomach ache, swine flu,
and better and worse are the
land mines we negotiate trying
to keep our souls in tact.

Endings, standings,
delivering come-uppings,
births and christenings.
Finding acceptance.
Hugging a bigot or keeping your distance.
Successful surgeries, bed rest
meditation and medications
that pull us from the edge
bringing us back for more of this.

It’s all part of the journey.
To each of us our portions of
crazy and volatile with
a measure of calm mixed in.
Plain sailing then is
a matter of perception
and depends on
what gumption we bring
to each situation.

© 2010 Shari Lynne Smothers

This poem is for the napowrimo prompt #24, find a phrase Visit the post to see the details of this prompt. “Plain sailing” caught and kept my attention.


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

What Could I Lose?

by Shari Lynne Smothers

post-Hurricane Katrina images

What would
devastate me
should I lose it
in this lifetime
is nothing I
can touch by hand.
For if I can
touch it
someone else
could break it.
Or, I could lose
my hands.
It is nothing
I can see
or smell.
For I could
those senses
as well.
It’s nothing
I could taste.
An edible thing
is transient.
And finally
that sense could
fail me, too.
What would
devastate me
should I lose it
in this lifetime,
would only
disappoint me
in the hereafter.
Only then would
I realize
that I had
lost my mind.

From Pebbles in My Shoes, ©2004

Back-Story: This poem is light and heavy. I sat on the bed in my grandmother’s house and wrote this poem. It was just a passing meditation on what I had that I was willing to lose. Naturally it followed that I began to muse about what I couldn’t bear to lose. And various things came to me including thoughts about the losses I’d already suffered. One by one I reduced the number of things that I would kill and die for.

It really came down to a major appreciation for the things and people that I had. And then I considered that no matter how much I might be willing to sacrifice for a person, they too are perishable. The culmination was this poem. I like it because it describes what could be considered weighty contemplations in a fairly light tone.

Resisting the Feeling that I’m Not Enough

I suffered an invisibility crisis. Being unappreciated was an associated feeling. It wasn’t from passing insecurities, but from the words. And I marveled again at how cutting and devastating they can be. I may have been out of practice because it’s been a while since anyone hurt my feelings. But just a brief sentence sent me reeling.

Partly Cloudy

Overcast without a cloud
no external indication
save for the
sarcastic tones
of address
and heavy sighs
of discontent.

Always the sense
of having fallen short
of the mark
expected for me to reach.

I took time to regain my balance. Returning to my center was going to take some doing. I didn’t have time to just sit with it because there was so much going on. The first chance I got to think and to meditate and be, I was too upset to focus.

It’s always intrigues me how God put things and people and messages in our paths at just the right time. It’s because of Morning B.R.E.W. sessions that I can step outside of most things quickly. And even closer to the event, the day before, the church sermon was for me. Pastor Edwards’ message was to ask for mercy that fits my case. Figure out what I need according to me and tell it to God.

My soul cried out in anguish. And I sent up prayers of thanks because I knew that I didn’t have to stay in this way. Watching, praying, grateful that I just trusted that better was moments away.

At home, I checked my email and found the message I needed in my BREW series newsletter, the Monday Morning Inspiration.

Date : 2008-04-07


Dear God,
Help me to be
still enough
long enough
to know that there is a place within
on the other side of silence

where love lives.

©2008 by Kirk Byron Jones

My prayers were a guide for what I needed. I learned that my efforts were not appreciated or even seen. And I had to accept that but I needed to know that I am enough. My focus was then on what could make me whole again, make me want to continue to try. This prayer/poem was the perfect message for me, from God through Kirk Byron Jones.

Once again, I am granted what I asked for, peace of mind. In this and many instances besides, I attest to the power of prayer and meditation and Morning B.R.E.W. time.

Partly Cloudy is from my poetry collection called Pebbles in My Shoes, published by Author House in 2004. It’s where the feelings took me for a while.

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!

It’s All Good: A Message from My Daddy

Dancing SpiritsI sat by my favorite tree hoping to find a way to unwind. I figured out, from a previous meditation, the best way for me to cast off my burdens. So, there I was, breathing deeply and leaning on a truth made manifest through practice more than comprehension. Moments passed and I lost myself in my internal space and reality passed away. In this session the sun was shining brightly as I rested against my tree. For the first time since I’ve begun practicing Morning B.R.E.W. sessions, I was visited. It was my dad who came and sat with me. He let me know that he was fine and all was well. I was in my meditation because I was all wound up over making things ready for dad’s celebration. He let me know that I needed to relax and have some ice cream.

A few things I must make clear. First, I said that my dad made me know things. I didn’t say “he told me” because it’s a different way of communicating when it’s out of body. The reason I was frustrated and stressed was because I was trying to make people move to help me with dad’s funeral program. You see he had died two days before.

Anyway, I took his advice, calmed down and had some ice cream. It turned out that he was right and everything worked out even better than I thought it would. My mom was pleased. According to my own assessment, I believe that my dad would have liked the way things went as well. So, really, holding onto my stress would not have done me any good. Most probably, it would have impeded my progress.

All the lessons I learned in my life are made manifest time and again throughout my experiences. Everything happens for a reason. Every thing in its own time. And really, whatever the hurdle, there is a blessing in the mix, if you sift and wait and let it rise to the top. Attending to life gives profoundly real and realized meaning to “It’s all good.” Look a little closer, even in the midst of turmoil, try to be empty of stress and worry, sit with an open heart and a receptive spirit. If you do it right, you’ll see them too, gifts of insight and assurance.