Poetry by Joe Shermis

Give and Take, Take and Sing

We learn from what we’re singing,
sing from what we’ve learned,
talk about the knowing
as we learn how to discern;
it goes the way we take it
and comes as we compose,
folding into what we give
from songs that we have chose…

We learn from all that’s given
in a given space and time,
from all that adds to fables
and stories that will rhyme;
it takes a single moment
when we pay what it will take
to give some full attention
to what there is to make…

All that we are given
is a blessing in disguise
whether telling us an answer
or how a thing applies;
it brings what will be questioned
and gives what it will bring
when learning both the answers
and the way that we can sing…


Turning Tides

Tides will pull us outward,
waves will wash us in,
the timing gives us both ways
with the simple question: when?
When do things come back to us
and when do all things leave,
it’s part of letting water flow
as we learn to love and grieve…

We all roll down our mountains
when climbing makes us sweat,
letting go to gravity
is sometimes one’s best bet;
we scamper up an incline
and fall as things give way,
dropping into space unknown
as work turns into play…


As The Language Turns

“It’s such a muncharini,”
and she meant just what she said,
said that both the meaning
and intention is what’s fed
when ya take a simple wording
and twist where letters led
when making up a new word
that came straight from her head…

“It’s such a twistarini,”
she offered with her nose,
the part of her
she would infer
had come from what she chose
to give a brand new sounding,
a way of twisting word
that comes across as truthiness
that may be quite absurd …

“It has a certain meaning,”
she claimed with deep brown eyes,
“a way of giving something back
to what is meant as wise.”
I took it as a way of being,
a way the girl flies
when answering
the riddle held
and just how it applies…

Joe Shermis was the founding publisher of The Steelhead Special, the Northcountry Parents’ Forum, and the Isis Scrolls, has three adult children he played a key role in raising, and has a small cat that is adjusting fine to their new home overlooking the Elk River Valley.

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