To his mother ~ an epistolary poem

It was Margaret’s poem in my inbox that ignited my spark to receive poem today. She nudged me over to Ruth’s lovely page, who is hosting Poetry Friday today and inviting us to give a go at a recipe poem.

Ellen Bass, my poet guide this month, along with Wendell Barry, has been also offering advice this month. The Epistolary Poem, a poem written as a letter, a form has been shaping poems in my notebook this month.

Could I combine the two? The recipe poem and the letter poem?

Perhaps . . .

Thank you to Margaret, Ruth, Ellen, my husband’s adoration of the food I cook for him and, his mother’s love.

If you’d like to read more poems, or add your own, head over to Ruth’s page to read a few more recipe poems. Be sure to fill your cup of coffee first.

What I really want

draft 2022 Shari Daniels

Jacqueline Suskin, this morning, teaches us about writing Manifesting Poems. The kind of writing that puts our dreams, wishes and hopes for our lives on paper and lets the universe know so it can begin rearranging our path and give us signs in where to go. She shares a poem of of her own and titles it, What I Want is Family. This felt like an invitation.

So, I wrote my own “What I Want” poem. Taking to my typewriter to see if the keys could help, I got it all down. Afterwards, my laptop went to work, cleaning it up, with a few revisions and edits. It’s still pretty drafty, not very good.

But it feels true.

What I Really Want is Love
I really want just love - all of it.
The deep love one feels for another
you know what I'm talking about -
the kind where that soul being you chose
for your partner and you synchronously
roll over under the covers
and he tucks your blanket in snuggly
behind your back, that spot
you can't reach where cool swaths of air
swirl under bringing the chills.
He protects that.

But, I want more than this,
I want everyone to have that kind of love
from someone.
Maybe if only from a pet -
that will do.

More than even this, I want everyone
to walk around will that kind of love inside them
hearts so wide open
radiating that love
spewing it out
all over the world everywhere they go.

To the trees, the hills, the sky,
the fields, the flowers, the insects even.
And, to other humans
especially those not like them.
That's a special kind of love.

If we all that that kind of love
to fill the world with
we'd know to protect it with all our hearts,
do everything we could to save
its preciousness
for our children, and theirs.

It would be only then, I could leave this earth
knowing I loved enough for that
to happen.

October 2022 draft SD

A small delight

draft Shari Daniels 2022

I’ve been reading and writing from Jacqueline Suskin’s book, A Poem A Day, and finding meaning in the smallest of moments.

She writes:

“Meaning is a choice. . . the trick is to be fully aware of your choices. . . what’s valuable to you isn’t random; it’s a crafted lens that you see through, that you add to and take away from willingly, throughout your lifetime. You can delve into the details surrounding you and measure the might of sacredness in each. . . anything can be holy.”

I love this about poetry. How it heightens your sense of sacred moments and how the practice cultivates an awareness so much so that we “saturate our lives with meaning”.

And, of course, since Jacqueline uses a vintage typewriter to type her poems, I was inspired to do the same. Mine has a few hiccups that emphasize even more imperfections of my poems.

But, I kinda like that.

World mental health day~2022

https://nationaldaytime.com/world-mental-health-day/
Monday, October 10, 2022, Indigenous Peoples' Day
Yet some people are still calling this day
Columbus Day ~
And, we wonder why we need World Mental Health Day.

This land of the free and the brave,
rich and poor, black and white and all colors in between,
injustice and color blindness,
powerlessness, cogs in the systems of systems,
phone bills and school loans, mortgages and rent,
global warming and division; masks and unmasked.

But sure ~ meditate they say.

So, I did.

And, then I walked over to my neighbors',
she, too, was meditating.
Ten things I try to feel with my senses
to quiet my chattering mind, she said.

Me too, I replied,
here's some bread I made for you,
and I handed her the round loaf of 
crusty artesian bread
I'd made in the cast iron pan
my husband bought for me.
We whined about unfinished window trim
and how many times we have to ask.

I'm making spaghetti, my mom's recipe
and my husband is hunting, she smiled,
I'll text you when it's done.
Okay, I accepted the invitation.

And, I walked back home through the path
in the woods 
between her house and mine
and I wrote a poem
while I waited for her dinner bell.

Draft 2022 Shari Daniels
Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
                      ~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Poetry friends

Pradraig's voice of balm painted a story
of two poetry-loving-souls walking in the rain
conversing about a poem they both loved.
Driving to work, I sighed, wishing for such a friend.
David Wagoner's poetic words, were then written on my bones
Lost. Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
And, I thanked him for these directions.

Later in the day, Kim Rosen's words in her book
urged me to jot down the poems that
have touched my life and to remember why.

So, I did.

Mary Oliver reminded me of The Journey and 
how I finally knew one day what I had to do
even though all the voices kept shouting,
And Robert Frost asked whose woods these were,
to get up, you have miles to go before you sleep.
Then, Mary again, with a message
that you do not have to be good, just let the
the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Rumi joined in the conversation 
and said, be grateful for whoever comes,
welcome and entertain them all!

Soon, we were all laughing and crying
and nodding and hugging,
my poet friends and I.

Wherever you are is Here, whispered David.

And, Kim Rosen smiled, as I followed her breadcrumbs
that rescued my bandwagon of thoughts
and redirected them to the path 
of my soul.

I asked Rosemerry how I should thank them.
She hummed. . .
write them a poem
in a whole field of eternal thank yous.

So, I did.

Draft 2022 Shari Daniels
Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
                      ~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Poem to chatter

To the chatter that stirs
a Bru-ha-ha when I accidentally
wake at 2:30am because I climbed
into bed too early because of
the chatter Bru-ha-ha the night before,

It's not necessary for you
to attend to my restlessness,
to pick the locks of the anxious
back doors of my brain
causing turbulent mental weather
and hopscotching through
time and space rounding up
all the past forget me nots
and future would bees to
relish in unproductive wallowing.

I don't need reminders of
projects to be due and ones I've
not yet invented but put off.
And, yes, I realize
the earth is a hot mess
and my grandchildren and great great
grandchildren even possibly will
one day point their fingers at me
and ask, What did you do to us?
And, also, I am conscious of the fact
that time is moving faster and faster with
each passing year so please.
You. Must. Stop.
shouting at me my number of years
that I've lived versus what I've left.
I. CAN. ADD. AND. SUBTRACT.

This is a gentle reminder that should
you visit me tomorrow while I am
attempting a full eight hours sleep,
I'm calling in my Chatter Board of Advisors

and they WILL be attending the meeting.

You will all have some explaining to do
to the members in charge.

I will be expecting a full report.

Signed, Tired.

Draft 2022 Shari Daniels
Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
                      ~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

a hard frost

forgotten flowers
She knew it was predicted
a coldness forecasted
the signs all there
moments of soft autumn glow,
warmth, softness and comfort.

She knew it couldn't last
many seasons behind her
the chill always returning
to settle the perennial score.

Bring the flowers in -
at least cover them,
she reminds herself,
protect the beauty
stretch each sacred moment
of radiant heaven and bliss.

But she forgets this small act of care
distractions rob her common sense
her careless neglect invites
the creep of silent hoar.

In the morn, distress her first alarm
she gently caresses her blooms
wrapped in frozen crystals
and knows that soon each petal
must say good-bye as it wilts away.

I'm so sorry, she whispers to each blossom,
in the sorrow of her deepest gloom
She gazes up at the morning dawn
her reminder of the hopeful light

and she sighs with cautious knowing
for the season to return
to thaw with gentle charm
her garden of the heart.

Draft 2022 Shari Daniels


Sarah Grace Tuttle is hosting Poetry Friday today. Grab some coffee and a scone and head over to read a few poems and share you own. 

oh. . . To be a squirrel

Oh, Dear Squirrel,
racing along the twisting branches
high among the tallest of oaks,
leaping from tree to tree
across the air without hesitation

Are you not afraid
of missing a steady branch
your estimations a wee bit off?
or worse. . .
the branch not able to sustain you at all?
and breaking - prompting a long, treacherous fall?

Has this happened to you, Dear Squirrel?
If so - 
How do you manage?
to continue climbing back up 
on the highest of trees 
and repeating the feat?

I mean it must seem like the ground
is light years away from your place so high in the sky,
Do you look down?
or keep your eyes on the road
intent on your destination?

Please tell me dear squirrel,
how do you do it?
What's your fear busting secret?

For I desire to fly like you
across the sky
from tree to tree

with the bravery of a squirrel.

draft 2022 Shari Daniels

Writing and sharing a poem a day ~ 
"The writing is inhaling and the sharing is exhaling.
They don't have to be good, they just have to be true."
                      ~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer