Saturday, January 19, 2008
Featured Poet: Sharon Hawley
The strong, insightful, witty and musical poetry of Sharon Hawley is as heartwarming and inspiring as her personality. A wonderful friend and poet, she was celebrated Januuary 20, 2008, and a subsequesnt encore presentation a few months later, in the first Celebrated Poet's Tea at our home in Pasadena. Sharon's 120 day solo cross country bike trip is featured in the current issue of Glendoran magazine. She will present a slide show of her trip, sign her chapbook, and read poems composed during the journey. You can read some of her adventures her blog in progess, Pedaling West.
Here is a small collection of poems from her Pedaling West chapbook. The poems give you a feeling of the experiece, a poet's eye view while traveling solo across the country.
The Happy Side of Misery
On a country road in mid-Virginia,
a cyclist pulls another hill,
past a house with mammoth lawn,
a dairy barn behind.
Oaks and poplars catch the sun
and glisten with the grasses,
soothing tired eyes with
forty shades of southern green.
Bovine eyes look up from munching,
distracted by a passing beast,
a strange one this, not making sense.
Free from fence and milking,
instead of lying in the shade,
she pants a lonely hill.
Rebuke arose as proud I watched them,
a preacher in a wandering soul.
You fear the pain of fence,
perform the duties you suppose
your hometown breed imposes.
Then came to mind the antsy spirit,
wrestling with norms,
how I give so much for danger,
magnify the little gain.
In the weariness of afternoon,
legs draw concentration,
leave the brain to wander,
strain to hold the narrow way.
No shoulder, but a drop-off,
a coal truck bearing down.
Here I go, a long new road,
like going back again,
not so sure this hilltop hides
just another downhill ride.
The significance of Sharon Hawley
(May she rest in peace.)
Cleanly positioned in clearly marked lane,
Sharon rode in a bright yellow shirt.
Happily driving, son strapped beside,
a young mother chatted, her car pointed home.
Turning right where she always turned,
thinking of baseball, cooking and love,
she snagged the shirt, bicycle and all,
crushed them beneath her car.
For a week after that, her caution improved,
her son rode tense with the change.
she watched with care at every turn,
didnâ?Tt find quite as much to say.
Thus our Sharon affected her world
for the time that she spent passing through,
made a week safer for bikers and walkers
from this one mother of a boy of two.
Now that Sharon's back home, she is often asked "What will you do next?" What is your next adventure?" Always ready for a new adventure, you'll be surprised by her answer... coming soon!
Recently, Sharon inspired Kath's haiku and artwork below (collage and watercolor on handmade paper). Looking north at the snow-capped San Gabriel mountain peaks, most people would see them in the sense of line one. Sharon's reaction, however, is shown in line three!
distant snow mountains
on new year's morning
only a step away