Ada’s Invitation: The Lightkeeper

An early commute of 37 miles to teach writers
Ada's The Slow Down poem a balm
for my languishing soul
The Lightkeeper, she reads 
with a voice of sweet honey

The air thick with fog this warm autumn morn
Stay awake, the poem's words speak loud
a friend, pulling me by the hand,
so I might see this for once in my life.
the light in search of the lost.

Visions of my own lightkeeper friend
swirl between the poem's words and Ada's voice
I feel her hand as I stepped inside of this poem,
lost in my fog, seeking a lighthouse.

Shari, she whispers, the world needs your voice.
I need your voice. Give us your gift. I'll be waiting.

She is in the front row, her cheers are the loudest
Genuine, real, and true, with each word
tossed out for eyes other than mine.

To my lightkeeper friend I say,
You taught me to live like this.
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

tiny Oak Leaf Lessons



Oh, tiniest of oak leaves
that flutter from high above
down to the pages
of a notebook in waiting.

Why now? This moment?
Why did you let go?
So miniscule you are - the baby leaf -
Your elders still hanging on. . .

Perhaps it was your lightness
the breeze so easily lifts you
from the sturdy branch.
Perhaps you had not yet learned
the act of holding on.

But - what if it was a mistake?
to let go so very soon?
What if there was more
of what you were supposed to live
as a leaf among majestic oaks?

What if you letting go
was weakness? Fear? or giving up?

If all depends, I suppose
on who is doing the watching
You may be the way-shower for some
and what not to do for others.

Either way, you are a teacher
in the art of letting go.

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

Today, I am participating in twowritingteachers Slice of Life. Join us in sharing a slice of your life, or take a sweet moment to read some small slices in the lives of others. May they inspire you to write and record you own small moments so that you may find meaning is what our lives have to offer us.

Where is home?

Where is home? I ask
my hunter husband,
for the geese and the ducks?
Is it south or is it north?

They nest in the north,
he replies, and then
head south when it gets cold,
his eyes occupied somewhere else.

I realize that I say,
brows furrowed.
But where is home?

He didn't have a certain answer
underneath the response
he mumbled.

Humans tend to search
for their home
have a need to call one place
home.

But maybe home
is where ever you are
as long as love
is near.

And safety and rest.

Peace and calm.

draft 2022 Shari Daniels

Writing a poem-a-day.
They don't have to be good,
They just have to be true.
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Mystery Eco-challenge


Mystery Eco-challenge

We arrived at the cabin
on the peninsula
at Lake of the woods
the water level had dropped
3 feet since last time

The dock had to be lowered
pulled out to reach the boats
the duck boats hauled
closer to the edge of shore

It’s an Eco challenge
every time I come up here
Steve said, breathing heavy

A mystery eco-challenge, I added
because you never know
what the challenge will be

I looked over the bay
at the glistening shimmer
of the sun on the slowly rolling waves of clear and healing water
breathed in the solitude
and untethered the fraying rope
tied to the rest of the world

And I said to myself

I’ll take it.


I am participating in Poetry Friday this week being hosted by Tabatha Yeates at The opposite of indifference. Stop over to enjoy some poems or add one of your own!

An Apology to The steady arm

Do you want them both
in the same arm? or not?
the nurse politely asked
in the dispensing of two shots
one for the flu and the other
covid

I did not know the answer
and became perplexed
Did I want a shot in each arm
to even out the pain?
or just one to carry
the burden?

One arm, I replied
make it the left
save my writing arm
at least I'd have 
one good arm
so I thought

Afterwards,
I felt bad and apologized
to my left arm
for giving the right arm
more privilege
when later upon 
my writing time
I realized

It was the left that 
held the notebook steady
so the right 
could do her dance
across the pages.

draft sd 2022

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

To the woman who remained on my tail through the round about and down hwy 59

I can see you, you know
Your big SUV pressed
against the bumper
of my petite Malibu
the rage on your face
perched up high behind
that steering wheel
the size of a hula hoop

I may have taken
that round about 
at the pace
of a sloth on a late Friday afternoon

But you see ~
I was taking a sip of 
my hot cup of coffee
in my heavy new mug
I was admiring
from my mother for my birthday
and being struck by the dawn
peeking just over the horizon 
at precisely the same time
and the sky was
a piercing blue
while Padraig O Tuama
read me a poem on 
my podcast with
the Irish in his voice. . .

and the speed 
was not on my mind.

So forgive me.

But, I'll tell ya
If you do it again

I'll step on my brakes
in hopes you can see.


Writing a poem a day - they don't have to be good, they just have to be true.
~Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

when i die, let them write about my mistakes~

When I die, let them write about
all the mistakes I've made.
Let them mention how I failed 
at keeping the house clean, 
or finishing things
that I could not make a garden
grow nice vegetables like my sister.
Or spell.
Tell them I loved to write 
but those words and their spelling. . .

Tell them I sometimes paid a bill late
and had late fees,
and overdue library books
and that I did not always answer
the phone when it rang
so I put it on silent to not hear it ring

Let them mention that I've damaged
cars by filling them up with oil
and let black smoke trail behind me
and couldn't run a TV remote
or the VCR, or pretty much anything with buttons.

They can note how my teenage children
snuck out of the house at night
and I never knew - some mother I am
to not have a clue

Let them say I was tired, or lazy, or daydreamed a lot,
or whatever it looked like to you. 
I don't care.

Tell them whatever you want
But do let them know that I cared
and I loved the best and
that messing up was part of the plan.


This poem was inspired by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer's poem:
AFTER MY FRIEND PHYLLIS SHOWS ME THE NEW YORK TIMES
OBITUARY HEADLINE: 'LOU MICHAELS, ALL-PURPOSEM PLAYER, 
DIES AT 80, MISSED KICKS IN '69 SUPER BOWL'.

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 nudge from My Poet Guide, Rosemerry

Rosemerry ~ my September Poetry Spirit Guide of my writing notebook

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer has done quite a number on me this month, my 57th Birthday Month. I chose Rosemerry as my Poet Guide for the month of September. As the last week of my Birthday Month draws nearer, she has been nudging me to come out from behind my notebook and share the poems that lay hidden between my pages.

Rosemerry does not just write poems, she writes them every day, and shares them every day. Every day, a new poem goes out into the world, an offering to some soul who is waiting for the balm Rosemerry’s words are.

I started writing a poem a day at the beginning of 2022, from the smallest of moments. They provided a documentation of who I was that day – what I paid attention to, and each poem gifted me a discovery in the making. It became an obsession. However, most of them are not very good. In fact, many of them make me shudder at the childlike sweeping words of my pen. But, maybe this is the point. To share these poetry beginnings with the world to overcome our fear of perfection. We are working those bravery muscles and quieting that critic every time we hit SUBMIT.

Rosemerry’s words echo with each poem scribed:

They do not have to be good. They just have to be true.”

William Stafford, my poet guide from April, and his son, Kim Stafford, my guide from May, each also wrote/write a poem a day and have adopted this same way of writing and sharing poems. Both poets also urge us to write bad poems, but make them be true.

So, at the Poet Guides’ urging, I begin. Along with many other poets who fling their words out into the world, in hopes they just might land on some thirsty soul. But that really does not matter to me. The words are there to remind myself – to live my life wide awake to each miniscule moment of my day. I do not know when the last day will arrive, but I whisper to myself each morning, “What if this were the last day?” and I choose to live it as such.

POETRY INVITATIONS

Some poems arrive on their own
spoken words from someone you love
 a passer-by, or a stranger
their words - a doorway to inside.

Or perhaps the conversation
between two crows soaring in the sky
beg for documentation,
the oaks, the acorns, and the rocks
we carry in our suitcases,
all yeast for the bread of a poem.

But, somedays, a nudge
from a poetry friend is is the remedy-
Rosemerry or Padraig,
Naomi or Natalie,
They whisper, Shari - see this poem?
Feel it? Here's what they did!

You try it! Trade out words of your own!

Well, Padraig adds, you don't have to
if you don't want to, you can do what
you want.

Rosemerry looks at Padraig and then me
and adds:

But, it's FUN!

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

How a message arrives

green buds and their urgency

An early morning transcribing
messages from beyond
the sky- – a stunning blue
spring buds beginning their escape

an infrequent flock of seagulls
high above – cry to steal my attention
racing the robins to the first
morning call

The pen harkens back to the voice
of a poet, who the day before
I’d savored his own scribed words
his father’s voice
laced with his own

Writing poems is a service to others
gift those poems to someone
with the nib of your pen, his lesson
Share without fear! A poem can’t wait
for perfect conditions!

Braiding his message with that
of the morning seagulls cries
and the urgency of these spring leaves
it all flows at once into the river –
my passport to the day

The sky is the limit! the chorus sings.

Shari Daniels ~draft

To listen to Kim Stafford’s words: podcast/rattlecastpoetry: https://youtu.be/ZT0cnRH1Jy8