Little India (2002)

The sounds and smells
Reminded me of my childhood;
Days amongst my
Fathers’s students.
The laughter over the cooking
As I struggled to learn
Foreign names.
Rich spiced permeated the air
Surrounding us
Even as we stepped
Off the bus.
Scents of welcome
Wafting by on the breeze
As the silk ribbon
Dances in my hair.

As Gatlinburg Burns I remember

I have lived in Michigan for 15 years now, but as most of you know, I grew up in Georgia. My family, however, is from Knoxville, TN. From Athens, GA for most of my life, the drive to Knoxville took you over the Mountain and through Sevier County. We would drive through both Gatlinburg and Pidgeon Forge every trip, usually 2-3 times a year.
My Great Grandmother lived on the hillside in Gatlinburg, TN, I don’t know yet if that house has survived. Since before I was born my Father’s family (all the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) would get together every Labor Day weekend, rent a cabin about 4 easy walking blocks up the hill from Downtown.  I wonder right now, if any of those buildings survived, if the people I grew up seeing each year have lost their homes, businesses and are now overwhelmed and scare of what comes next and that is if they all survive the storm hitting tonight.
The pictures I see are devastating, as so many of the ruined structures are so very familiar.
To those people, I send my love and thoughts to you, as for 30 years you treated us as locals because we were there every year, and because you came to recognize us (especially my cousin and I) over the years. For your losses, I grieve with you and wish you all my best.
Stay safe.  You can survive this, and know that there is someone out there that missed you and is thinking of you all during the horrifying experience you are going through right now.

Scent is a funny thing… (2002)

Scent is a funny thing to me.
It rules my memories
With an iron fist of
Haunting recollections.
The incense burning on my alter
Comforts and protects,
Reminding me of days spent
In the shelter of friendship.
Ancient flavors and smells,
Their temptation soothes and
Wraps around me
Like arms around a well loved Child.
Hookah’s and twirling scarves
Delicate fabric falling from the hands of
Exotic dancers; imagery from a world
Extinct save for in our imaginations.
Scent is a funny thing to me…
It makes memories so much more
Potent and poignant with
The constant reminders.
Both past and present,
As they weave an intricate
Yet invisible blanket around me
Relax me and tuck me in.
GS 2002

Poetry Flashback: 2004 – Second Star to the Right

Second Star to the Right
As a child I dreamed. Visions of places
I might never see, danced just out of reach.
The promise of what might be, took me along a path unseen
Until from sleep I awoke.
I longed to travel. Venture to distant lands
See the distant shores and sands.
I would live among the elves and fae,
Scale mountains and wander Great Plains.
I once wished upon a star hanging low in the sky.
Hoping for an adventure, Upon it
I prayed: Take me away to my dream,
A journey far away to places yet unseen by me.
Forever young I would explore
The ancient wilds of distant shores
Dancing upon the wind of time
I would fly up so very high.
When I awoke and looked about me
The magic trappings of imagination were lost.
Give me the kiss of immortal dreams
I thought. But there was no fairy dust left for me.
Years flew by. Youth fell fast
Finally I was all grown at last.
Still every now and then, I wish once more
Upon a single star as before..
Neverland is gone, you see
And with it the phantom whisper of childish dreams.
That time I find I still do miss
Wrapped up in memories of twilight’s magic kiss.
            I used to dream of Neverland…
Until I found it within my heart.