AUGUST POETRY POSTCARD FESTIVAL 2011, Carla Shafer. 2011. self-published, 32 pages, https://chuckanutsandstone.blogspot.com/.
My dear friend Carla Shafer is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to being a fine poet (and coordinating multiple poetry events in her hometown of Bellingham, Washington), she’s a political activist for peace and justice, and a fierce advocate for indigenous peoples, as well as our beleaguered planet. No matter how bleak the headlines, she never despairs, but always sees a way through. She inspires me every day.
I have several of Carla’s self-published chapbooks of poems and I’ve been after her to pull together a collection to submit to presses. Here is one poem, written nine summers ago. (To learn more about the August Poetry Postcard Festival, visit Paul Nelson’s https://popo.cards/.)
Beauty and My Story Return
To see for the first time (with your own eyes),
the steady up and down flux of wings
by a stilled butterfly and realize what it means–
that it is sucking nectar through its proboscis
in rhythm, feeding from the pool below the petals.
When you compare that to something you have watched
all your life–noisy bees hovering over borage
and lavender–you continue to wonder, follow the
threads of your own unanswered questions
step again to the drum, apply pressure
from your fingers wing-like, tap in steady motions
repeat the throbbing of the earth, buried in your heart
somewhere between the buzz and the silence.