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In Celebration of International Women’s Day

WOMAN, THE CHANGE MAKER

 

I fed and clothed my tribe, curing buffalo hides

and drying meat over smoldering fires.

I civilized the Jamestown Colony in Virginia,

bringing family life to a new, unexplored territory.

I spoke for women in the Salem Witch trials,

weeping as they were burned at the stake.

I fought for women’s voices to be heard,

as far back as the Declaration of Independence.

I guided Lewis and Clark on their explorations of the West.

I braved covered-wagon journeys to settle the wilderness.

I was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic.

Today I still struggle for a woman’s right to control her own body.

I went to war alongside my brothers.

I fought, I healed, and I died.

I infiltrated congress and the Supreme Court,

bringing fair judgement and compassionate ideas.

I flew into space, exploring the final frontier,

bringing back information to guide future expeditions.

I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,

as the battle for education and human rights goes on.

I am resilient and courageous, charming and cunning.

I am woman – the Change Maker.

 

(You can read more of Sharon’s poems in her poetry books, Tapestryand the anthology, Captured Moments, and also in her memoir, Daughter of the Mountains.)

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of five books, including two children’s books, Herman, the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing and Revolt of the Teacups.

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Grandchildren and Teacups

I am a doting grandmother to Adaline, Emma and Zachary. I am constantly entertained by their sense of fun, their talents, their intelligence and their kind, loving hearts. Zachary, the youngest, is the happiest when he’s playing with cars, trucks and construction equipment, anything that varooms! Adaline and Emma love dressing up their Barbie’s and their American Girl dolls. But they are also talented little artists, spending hours drawing everything from self-portraits to teacups with faces and personalities. Their teacup pictures were the inspiration for my most recent children’s book, Revolt of the Teacups. I wrote the story around the tea cup characters they had drawn. My talented artist/friend, Vivien Mann, brought the characters and book to life with her wonderful illustrations. Adaline and Emma were so excited to get cover credit as Illustrators in Training. When they came to visit at Christmastime, we debuted the book and they autographed copies for family and friends. I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest with pride in our finished product. It’s a day I will always remember and I hope they will too.

This poem about the grandkids is from my first poetry book, Tapestry. If you have grandchildren, I’m sure you’ll relate.

 

GRANDCHILDREN ROCK

 

They dance and they giggle,

give out lots of hugs.

They’re wide-eyed at rainbows.

They even like bugs.

 

They’re loving and trusting.

They’re smarter than us.

If something’s not perfect,

they shrug, “What’s the fuss?”

 

They remind us of wonderful

years that are past,

when their parents were children

The time went so fast.

 

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author. She has published five books, including Revolt of the Teacups and Tapestry. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments. All the books are available on Amazon and from High Tide Publications.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Divine Call to Art – Why Poetry?

Poetry is the music of language. It soothes our frustrations. It comforts us in sadness. It is the voice of celebration and the expression of love. I write poetry for the same reason I breathe – because it is life-sustaining.

At nineteen, my brand new soldier husband was transferred to Korea. I sobbed through countless pages of soggy, badly-written poetry. It didn’t shorten his duty year, but the venting eased my loneliness.

By the time I was in my mid-thirties, I had filled multiple journals and the poetry was getting better. As a single parent of two, my pen flew, chronicling the end of a marriage, recovery and the joys of motherhood. Editors appreciated my humorous approach to single-parenting. Checks  appeared in our meager bank account.

When my grandparents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, I honored them with a  poem. When my father died, a poem brought comfort. When a second time around love blossomed, my heart overflowed with verses.

A few years ago, I retrieved the poetry journals from their hiding places and read them. My life was all there – the good, the bad and the slightly soggy – my own unique story complete with incites gained at eighteen, thirty-six, sixty and every age in between. Those poems filled my first book, titled Tapestry, published in 2016. Later that year, the stories behind the poems became a memoir, titled, Daughter of the Mountains.

So, why poetry? It is a gift we give ourselves and others that helps us live our lives.

Poetry is more than the music of language. Poetry is the language of the soul.

TIME’S SECRETS

Where does it go, the priceless time we squander…

Where do they go, the precious children we cuddled…

Where do we go, when they have flown to lives of their own…

Where is it written that aging is graceful and serene…

Where is it hidden, the truth about living and loving and dying…

Why don’t they tell us…we create our own happily-ever-afters

 

 

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of five books, including

Tapestry and Daughter of the Mountains. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments. All are available on Amazon and from High Tide Publications.

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A Day in the Life of a Grateful Beach Bum – Part 2

Awake at 6 a.m. I prop up on my pillows in my comfy bed and watch a rosy dawn emerge from the sea, spreading a trail of silver across the water. Into my bathing suit and out the door for my morning seashell search along the water’s edge of our deserted beach. The sea is warm as bath water and deep azure blue. Palm trees nod in the breeze and melodic bird songs punctuate the silence. I feel as if I own the island.

Don and I share fruit and cereal on our porch and watch the sailboats come to life in the distance. A tiny hummingbird flits from branch to branch of the Sea Grape tree in our front yard. Hermit crabs drag their shells over the sand and tiny lizards entertain us with their mighty leaps from rock to rock, sailing effortlessly through the air. The breeze, fragrant with salt and exotic flowers, intoxicates.

Some mornings we kayak around the island, exploring the lagoons. Other days, we hike. Today, Don snorkels and I write, savoring the cool, quiet morning. Lunch at our open air café is a daily adventure, enjoyed at white tables under an awning that shields us from the 90+ noontime sun. Bathing suits are the attire of choice. We linger over  sweet fruit tea in large, sweating pitchers and share conversations with our old friends, Becky and Jim, who first introduced us to this tiny paradise, and our new friends, Caz and Bob, who are honeymooners from Pittsburgh. The only other guest is a young redhead named Kate, who leaves early every day to go diving and has so far declined to join our friendly lunch and dinner group.

Afternoons are lazy. We nap or read or play in the crystal clear water with schools of brightly-colored fish. Each day the snorkelers compare notes about their sightings — an octopus, a six foot barracuda, a giant ray. Today the excitement was on the shore. A plastic oil bottle washed up on the beach. Within a half hour, it was surrounded by dozens of hermit crabs, dragging their shell houses. They came and they stayed — all day and all night, worshipping at the shrine of the empty oil bottle. That amazing sight became the inspiration for a children’s book, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black Shiny Thing.

(Please come back for Part 3. I’ll tell you about our diving excursion and an interesting encounter with a nudist sailor.)

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author. She has published five books, including two children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and Revolt of the Teacups. All are available on Amazon and from High Tide Publications.

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A Day in the Life of a Grateful Beach Bum – Part 1

April 10, 2018

My husband, Don, and I loved to travel and one of our favorite spots was tiny Cooper Island in the British Virgin Islands. Our second trip there was a few days after the 9/11 attack. It was like going from hell into paradise. We could hardly believe so much beauty and tranquility could exist in the same world with the devastation and fear we had just left behind. Even the plane trip was surreal. We changed planes in Boston, walking through an airport protected by armed National Guardsmen onto a plane that had more flight attendants than passengers. We were uneasy about flying but finally decided the precautions probably made it a safer than usual time to travel. So off we went, from Boston to Puerto Rico, to the island of Tortola, where a boat, captained by Chris, the tall Brit who co-owns the Cooper Island Beach Club, picked us up and whisked us to the island.

The Beach Club is very private – six yellow and pink cottages, nestled in the trees, an outdoor gourmet restaurant, and a thatch-roofed hut with a seldom-open boutique which sells swim wear and postcards. There is no electricity, no phone except for emergencies, no television, no roads, no hassles. Our frig, stove and lights are gas powered. The water for our shower, which, by the way, is on the back porch, is desalinated sea water, solar heated. We have a well-stocked bookcase and a cassette player. But we usually prefer the music of the sea.

The staff outnumbers us. Curt, from Trinidad, is the manager who can solve any problem and cooks special desserts for us, just because he likes us. Antoine grins shyly as he carries the luggage and works around the grounds. Brandon is the tall, lanky handyman, who fixes everything. Liz serves our meals and reads Harry Potter books in every spare moment. Wayne waits tables and charms us with his dry, British wit. Nate has a smile that would warm the hardest of hearts and is also a Harry Potter fan. The staff lives in a dormitory-style building built into the hillside above the beach and hidden by cactus and flowering trees.

One of our favorite hikes is to the top of the island where some energetic soul has cut crude steps into the hillside and built a columned viewing area at the summit. From there we can look down on the other side of the island. Below is a homestead with a vegetable garden, goats and chickens, and a dock, belonging to the native family who is the lucky owner of this paradise.

To be Continued…In Part 2, I’ll tell you about a typical day on our island and about a curious event that inspired one of my children’s books, Herman, the Hermit Crab, and the Mystery of the Black, Shiny Thing.

Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author. She has published five books, including Herman and her newest children’s book, Revolt of the Teacups. All are available on Amazon and from High Tide Publications.

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