In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Book: Odd Little Things




So happy to announce that my book is out, and ready for purchase!

"Odd Little Things"
Released June 2014


Purchase your copy here:

Description

The 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award recipient, poet, author and community radio personality, Shannon P. Laws, celebrates glory in the little things, the odd little things to be exact.
"Odd Little Things" is a familiar ride full of piercing moments and wishes. In this, her second book of poetry, Shannon bares all making you feel like best friends at a café sharing secrets. The cycles of life seem to spin like an unforgiving stellar system for this poet. However large or small, everything matters, especially the moments you only share with yourself. Shannon says about her new book, "If 'Madrona Grove' is my lover, then 'Odd Little Things' is my child."


About the Author

Bellingham poet, Shannon P. Laws, is a regular at open mics, sharing poems and excerpts from her work of literary fiction. She can be found at such venues as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, Village Books Open Mic, Poetry Night and Kitchen Sessions. She is a founding member of World Peace Poets, who encourage harmony through words for international writers at various public readings. In her spare time she hosts the Village Books Poetry Group, and is a volunteer producer at a non-profit community radio station.

Product Details
ISBN-10: 0692222359
ISBN-13: 9780692222355 
Published: Chickadee Productions, 06/24/2014 
Pages: 44 , $7.99



Message from the Author


“Synchronicity shows up in the oddest places.  It  waves at us, at just the right moment, from the living rings of our spiraling universe. It is our choice to recognize it. Miss it once, well that’s OK, perhaps you’ll catch it next time around. Years later a lightning bolt of déjà vu runs down your spine, awakens the bumps on your skin, jerks your elbow to perform a respectful wave back toward your connection to it all.

Thank you for the visit, spending some time with me in my mind’s garden.”  



~Shannon P. Laws



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Poetry Day Camp

Saturday, I went to a poetry day camp taught by a well known poet here in Bellingham. Went in support of a friend and I'm surprised at the poems that came out of the day, well, not TOO surprised.

Poetry is a personal art, an intimate process.  To write poetry in a group setting creates conflicts in my mind regarding acceptance, insecurities in presenting work not polished, and sharing my life with strangers.  Believe it or not, these are all good energies that will spark new creativity!

I've talked with dancers, musicians and writers and many have shared how a challenging outline, space, or environment pushes them into new creative territory. The more unusual the boarder of space, physical or otherwise forces our imagination into the problem solving quadrant and the results can be amazing.

I encourage artists of all types to look for new space to work and perform.  If it scares you a bit, you're probably on the right track.  I'm learning to enjoy the uncomfortable.


Amazing or not, here are my two favorite poems from the day, unpolished, slightly edited, and fresh:

Photo prompt:


Goats in Trees Have Bird Bones


Air filled, no wings
not feather, but fur
covers the skin
soaked in urine
now a leather bag of a man
strapped to shoulder
walker of the road
follows the orange
setting sun until
he reaches the
land where goats
climb trees
but do not fly


Line Prompt:

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
 -a line from "Go to the Limits of Your Longing" by Rainer Maria Rilke
A Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, b.1875-d.1927

Make Big Shadows I Can Move In


Protected by your stare
Sun’s rays will burn me
If they spy me standing there

Under covers of the bed I made
Next to a pile of books to read
Window’s light a threat
Curtains now a shade

Dull shaped pattern of gray
Cover thick on the ground
Outline the places where I can stay


***



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Poem: Graduation



Graduation




The average person gets 432 haircuts in their lifetime
For you I wonder- too many, or not enough
Regardless, you will not like most of them

Every seven years your skin is completely renewed
From scalp to toes, a new birthday suit is knitted

You will use at least 150 toothbrushes
from baby teeth to wisdoms,
and swallow just as many spiders
or so the legend goes...

How many haircuts until you find yourself
How much skin must be shed before
it's thick enough to stand up in battle
How many spiders swallowed
before humility stains the lips

Your eyes will know the answers.
That day your heart will ring
As bells echo in your mind’s
cavernous landscape

We graduate many times, not just today.
Celebrate each one 








Monday, June 9, 2014

Maggie the Ghost


Have you ever worked with a ghost?

One summer, I worked on a Washington island as a housekeeper at a large inn that is playfully haunted by "Maggie".  My encounters with the ghost were so gentle, she is an inspiration for my book scheduled to be released 2015.




The Inn wasn't very old.  You'd expect a few ghosties in ancient buildings, but this fairly new island-craftsman seems the last place for a spirit to haunt.  The inn has beautiful contemporary cabin accents, and is set near a lake that mists up in the early summer mornings.  Walking around the lodge and grounds the spirit of the place is light and inspiring.  It has a magical feel to it, as if hidden from sight wood gnomes and nymphs dance around the ferns, and fairy princes ride dragon flies through the cedar and fir forest.


Red Hair and Footprints
My first encounter with the ghost was in the manifestation of long red hairs.  After cleaning a tub or sink, leaving the room and returning with clean towels, a bright red hair would sometimes waved “Hello” at me, all laid back resting on the clean white surface.  The third or fourth “Hello”, I started to calculate the odds of how many red-headed guests visited.  When I shared my findings with the house manager, she confirmed, it was the ghost.

Anything strange like that was given to the lady ghost’s credit.  The staff believes her to be an early pioneer woman, whose spirit wandered into the lodge attracted by the lights and noise.  One day we decided to give her a name.  We all felt like it was an “M” name, so she was named Maggie.  Maggie has a great sense of humor, locking staff and guest out of the rooms, turning on the heat in summer, but her specialty is leaving barefoot footprints on mopped floors. 




Maggie’s prints came to visit me one day.  Two bare foot marks appeared on either side of the toilet, toes facing out, on my newly mopped floor.  When I saw the foot marks, I knew it was the lodge ghost!  Just to be sure, I took a stiff brush and cleaner to the area.  No success.  The marks could not be brushed off.  Before the new guests arrived I checked the bathroom floor a last time.  The floor now dry, the footprints dissipated properly, as any nice ghost would do.  What a lady!

Thank you Maggie, for cleaning up your mess.  You’re alright in my book.


***





Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Guest Poet: Denise duMaurier


Snowdrop


A daystar opened in my row
of dead leaves pallid from the wind
a golden center ready for the slug
that finds it blind and eats it whole.
Feet that feel no miracles will
stomp on it thinking it a weed
in the way of clearing fallen bark
and broken twigs that quit the tree.
January snowdrop white as milk
glows like fairy-light on the foggiest
morning of the week frosted in the
polar vortex, born again.


~Denise duMaurier















Guest Poet Bio:

Born in Pennsylvania and educated in England, Denise duMaurier worked as a stage actor in character roles for more than 50 years. Her love of poetry began with wonderful roles from the "SH-guys:" Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw. Her latest book, Follow Me Down, contains poems of tribute, remembrance and aging, most written in Minneapolis, MN, before moving to Bellingham, WA, in the spring of 2010, to escape Minnesota's winters.

Village Books is pleased to carry copies of Denise's poetry books Follow Me Down and Abandoning the Raft. Please call 360-671-2626 to obtain copies.

***

~Thank you Denise for allowing me to post this beautiful, fresh new poem on my blog.  When you shared it with me the other day at our Saturday brunch, I was moved.  If it wasn't for the noise of the cafe, people may have heard me sniffing tears away.  It touched my heart as your poetry often does.  
Great stuff!  -Shannon


***