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Poem: Shifting Gears

Books & Poetry

Life in the slow lane anywhere in the world is the subject of this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Sheryl Clough.

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Shifting Gears

“Slow down. This ain’t the mainland”.
Bumper sticker, Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, USA

When life stacks your chores too high
like pancakes on a messy plate,
sometimes you have to take a break.

Drive the back roads to slow your speed.
Gaze at spotted fawns just finding their legs
and fireweed painting the ditch edges.

Inhale the sweetness: new-mown hay,
pungent seaweed at the high tide mark,
rugosa roses in tangled hedges.

Park your car at water’s edge and listen
to the measured pace of waves.
They do not rush toward shore

but take their time, rolling with rounded
shoulders, releasing their stored tension
by collapsing onto smooth sand.

By the time you see the scarlet sun descend
by degrees as thin as a thumbnail moon,
the planet’s pace will match your own.

Sheryl Clough lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state in the US. With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska, she is a poet, writer, photographer and editor, founding her own publishing venture for anthologies that have featured poets from the US and Australia. Her own poetry and writing has been the subject of various awards, including for her 2013 chapbook collection “Ring of Fire, Sea of Stone”. Her most recent collection is the 2017 “Poul na Brone: In the Hollow of the Millstone”. More about Sheryl and her work can be found here and here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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