Saturday, May 21, 2016

Begone, Swan of All-That-Is-Not

A lagoon in Port Albion I once 
was privileged to live beside

When ripples disturb
the surface
of the sleepy lagoon
that is my life,

when skunk cabbage and stinkweed
elbow their way in
and wave their smelly fronds
in my face,

when the waters grow turgid 
and the channels clogged,
as if the pond floor has become
an uneasy agitated beast,

May I focus on
the lotus blossom
in the center,
let the ripples flow
off and away,
breathe in the peace and beauty
of the flower's waxy bloom.

May the swan of All-That-Is-Not
carry itself to the farthest bank,
making way for 
the small fuzzy ducklings 
of gratitude and serenity,
for All-That-Is.

A poem from December 2012, posted for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United on Sunday.


  1. This is wonderful, Sherry. I love it. And you, too.

  2. Focusing on the lotus blossom...if only we would also find that kind of focus!

  3. Your descriptions are always wonderfully vivid and real. I love the focus on the lotus, and also the names you have given the swan and the ducklings.

  4. Lovely! Especially the personification of Skunk cabbage and stink weed, haha! And that last stanza takes my breath away. The photo is pretty hot as well. This is my new favorite of yours.

  5. a beautiful yin and yang poem Sherry...

  6. Oh my goodness I just loved the swan of all that's not... great writing and your style just shines through.

  7. This reads like a prayer, Sherry. A true (and very welcomed) prayer. Life is such much better when we dedicate ourselves to what (and better yet, what is beautiful and good).

  8. The contrasts here is stunning.. The lotus and the ducklings put against the stinkweed and skunk cabbage.. Always search for beauty.

  9. Gosh! Such gorgeous contrasts here :D especially love the reference to "breathe in the peace and beauty of the flower's waxy bloom." Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,

  10. Nobody writes about nature quite like you. Love the flow of "gratitude and serenity" that it is imbued with.

  11. May the swan of All-That-Is-Not carry itself to the farthest bank - what a superb line..made me smile and have such a glorious and unique view of the world and a strength which shines..

  12. That busy paddling unseen is clearly all that is not, while we think how easily the Swan glides across the water. All of your poetry reflects your observation of the natural world with such love, Sherry.

  13. A lovely picture, Sherry. You make such good use of it's component parts and the life that inhabits it to make a universal statement.

  14. The last two verses are beautiful. "May I focus on the Lotus Blossom" Yes, in the journey we must try and focus on the beauty or we ourselves might become stagnant.

  15. What I think is really well done here, Sherry, is your structure and line breaks. There is a great flow and movement to the piece. Nice.

  16. Sherry, you have no idea how much this poem lightens my mood. It reminds me not to dwell on things that aren't happening and be grateful for what is. This poem, to me, is a prayer and I am grateful for it.

  17. This is a prayer. Om Mani Padme Hum: The jewel in the lotus of the heart.

  18. You have conjured such hope in "the swan of All-That-Is-Not" bravo Sherry

    I'm happy you dropped by my Sunday Lime today

    Much love...

  19. Lovely - almost prayer-like - in its simple contemplation of that which is and the serenity to be gleaned in finding beauty amid the smelly fronds.

  20. Lovely, positive spirit pervades this poem.. love the swan-of-all-that-is not juxtaposed with thankfulness of all-that-is

  21. That lotus blossom at the center, may we all find it within our own being,


  22. making way for
    the small fuzzy ducklings
    of gratitude and serenity

    A peaceful scene very rightly captured of swans and ducklings mesmerizing one's appreciation of nature, Sherry!


  23. Makes me dream of such a lovely place.
    well written.

  24. That lagoon is beautiful! The first stanza is so simple and says so much Sherry! This piece is totally zen within that lagoon. Nature makes me feel this way too.

  25. Focusing on the lotus and ignoring the stink weed is the right attitude.

  26. Sherry, you can take the ordinary and make extraordinary, in a few well-placed words, in your stanzas.

  27. A prayer and a meditation in one - very vivid!


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!