IMG_0032It struck like a Nor’easter
Barreling up the Atlantic coast,
Thriving on converging air masses.
And I was sucked in,
Bowled over by a freak wave,
Spitting mouthfuls of salty words,
Birthed out of me
As though a pair of rope-worn hands
Shoved them onto the page.

This virgin birth
Left me laughing with astonishment.
But on reflection
The seeds were buried deep and dormant,
The labor pangs, years in the having.
It was time
For those ripe, slippery phrases
To gush out of me.

Now I gaze at that mewling creature
Let loose on the world,
Cradle it to my chest,
Relish its earthy scent,
Scared of its vulnerability,
And take ownership:
The proud mother.


30 thoughts on “BIRTH OF A POET

  1. charissagrace

    yes Yes YES!! Melissa…I abso Love this poem. It just jumped straight onto the sorts of feelings I often have afterwards, knowing that I “wrote” this poem, and remembering the effort…but not remembering any of it in a sense, and there she is in her fullness and wonder…

    I am thankful that I get to read your work.

  2. Argus

    Like to like—I like.
    And I especially love that photo—it speaks volumes of the owner of those ropes. Never met him, but I know I’d like him. (And you were impressed enough by that cheesed rope to snap it, no?)

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Yes, that rope spoke to me. I shot it this summer in the West of Ireland. It intrigued me that the lobster fishermen had taken the time to coil their ropes so beautifully.

  3. Roger Baker-Utah

    Yes, life has planted its seeds in all of us, where they ripen and eventually errupt. Very few can capture the moment, or rather describe the moment without capturing it, leaving it still wild. Sometimes a poem gushes out, jumbled and crying. Sometimes it rages. Sometimes a poem slips out neatly, sequentially. The muse can be violent or sublime, or both. Either way, the poet must notice, must pay attention, and see the meaning, the metaphor, and the words, and must write immediately, or the fairy will fly away and the magic be lost. Thank you for this poem.

  4. aussiebirder

    I truly love the way you write Mel, I like to read your poetry at different times it has a deapth and texture to it that brings great images. Only good poets can really do that well. Thanks!


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