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Samantha’s Daily Poem

October 26, 2015

Another odd demand



The house is quiet
except the two of us

it’s too early to be up
but just late enough
that he won’t fall back asleep

I lay on the floor
in the hallway
outside the bathroom
trying to make a few socks
into a pillow

he is having a poo
and I must be here

yet another odd demand
my children make
that I obey

like how my daughter
will only bathe
if I join her
and let her build Lego
on my knees

or how my son
pleaded with me today
until I sang
“our silly song”
for his teacher

and just when I wish
I could reclaim
some dignity
some right of refusal

a moment like the moon happens
bobbing across the night
big and bright
like a buoy
on a black sea

and my daughter
gasps and presses
her cheek into mine

the moon is her favourite thing
and I know my job
is to stay here
as long as it takes
cheek to cheek
getting quieter
as we whisper
all our thoughts
about moons
until our thoughts stop
their rattling

and in the silence
I am grateful
for all the different things I see
when I follow.

October 25, 2015

A big clock



We can’t go back there
not for at least five years
not after what happened

I should have known
after the last time
with the band-aids

aisles of things
you want
the way a lion
wants meat

I thought I was safe
just batteries

a quick trip
in and out

but then you saw
the alarm clocks
and your body
turned to fire

at first I watch you
like I would if you
were an animal
and I was at the zoo

impressed by how red you get
and the way your crying
gets faster and faster
like your rage is running downhill

but then I realize
that you are screaming
over and over
I want a big clock
only you can’t say your L’s

and I remember later
driving home
how it was me
everyone was staring at
wondering
I suppose
all sorts of exciting things.

June 15, 2015

The man who got our envelopes



Each day is a fleeting stack
of moments
that replaces itself
like a card trick

the way my son
asked his dad tonight
if those scoundrels
were still bugging him

and how his little sister
blows kisses
at trees

that he asks me
to fill him up
with good thoughts
so that no bad dreams
can get in

and how she says no
all twangy
like a Bjork song

I see now
how my mother
must have felt

sliding photos of me
into envelopes
that she let me drop
into the mailbox

never a note
but the message was clear

how can you bear
all that you have missed.

Posted In: Parenthood | 2 comments
May 21, 2015

The big questions



You used to ask me about death
in the dark
in the whisper voice you use
when you don’t want
your stuffies to hear

but now you are
so cheerful about it
pointing at old people
in grocery stores
asking me with some excitement
if they are almost dead

yesterday you cornered me
and wanted to know
if people ever die
the night before Christmas

I tell you people die every day
in a tone that tries to say

death is not scary
but perhaps don’t  bring it up
so loud in public
so you whisper back
with wide eyes

what does Santa do
with their toys?

Posted In: Parenthood | 2 comments
May 20, 2015

Sleepless



It is one of those nights
my bones don’t fit me
my head tossing
my to-do list
like a juggler in the dark

a hum of panic in the quiet
I am stuck
upside down
like a fly
in a web

I nurse the little one
lying beside her
in the pool of sand
that somehow travelled
with her after the bath

then the older one wakes up
a nightmare
about jam

I am a lunatic
soothing another
telling him
over and over

strawberries
can’t feel pain

I end up on the couch
cursing the invention
of decorative blankets

the sun ignores
my plea for more time
dumping a flood
of light into the room

I watch the dust dance
wondering
did it perform all night
or is it twirling now
just for me.

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