Poetry Friday: An original poem from Shirley McPhillips

October 1st, 2010

We are again honored on this Poetry Friday to be able to share an original poem from one of our authors. Shirley McPhillips is a poet, teacher, and Stenhouse author, whose book A Note Slipped Under the Door shows teachers how to make poetry a lasting part of their and their students’ lives.

Enjoy this poem and return next week for another original by Shirley!


Today I am leaving for The Hill
before the fat air and sweet taunts
of the city stir up the work wasps
into an unstoppable frenzy.

A morning glory muse helps me pack
my bags and I head for a place where
hawks carve up clouds and streams
tangle men in high-waisted boots.

I go to stake my claim like a redwing
at the top of a northern pine screaming
this is my time. Give me something
sacred to see, I will cry, something

bold to bless, fling me screaming
into blue flame, give me something
wild to hold onto.

I will sit still in clover, let small sunsets
of Indian Paintbrush rise around my ankles,
my hands hiding in the folds of my dress.
And when I grow meek from painting

peaks and hayfields on a streak of mauve,
I will laugh into a gust of wind, trick me
into a patch of passion, I will say, shake me
dry like a gourd until my seeds clamor

and crack again, even
if all that’s left is dust.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennie  |  October 1st, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I love the imagery in this one, especially the line about the fly-fishers. Thanks for sharing!

  • 2. Laura Shovan  |  October 1st, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I loved these lines: “shake me
    dry like a gourd until my seeds clamor

    and crack again, even
    if all that’s left is dust.”

  • 3. laurasalas  |  October 6th, 2010 at 6:04 am

    Lovely poem. I especially love the ending–great image!

  • 4. Poetry Friday: The Rollin&hellip  |  October 8th, 2010 at 6:24 am

    […] We have another original poem from Shirley McPhillips this week! Enjoy and check out her poem from last week as […]

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