Your Voice is Important

This poem came as a result of taking a class from the Oregon Poet Laureate, Peter Sears late last year. After investing so much time editing my manuscript  I wanted to unlock my poetic voice and get back to playing with poetry. I reread this poem as well as my book when I meet with inner resistance to taking my next relevant steps. 

My book, “Design and Live the Life You Love: A Guide for Living in Your Power and Fulfilling Your Purpose” , is completed now – Hooray! – and in process of being published. I plan to have it available online and in bookstores by the third week of May 2016. (Epilogue: The book is now published and available on my secure website as well as on and Apple Ibooks.

If you have a project that you are birthing and you seem to be in a long labor, may this poem inspire your next steps.


Your Voice is Important

Suppose this moment held all that you want to say
and you weren’t six anymore
and he wasn’t alive to stop you
but it seems like you are
and he is.

Would the courage
that lifted you back on the horse after a hard fall
move you to show up in a small audience of poets
studying with a Poet Laureate?

Suppose this master poet reminds you of your father
but unlike your father
he says,
Your Voice is important
more so than the content of the poem.
as he invites the class to narrate an event
spurred by the prompt

Would you slip down the deep well of your body
in search of your Voice
time quietly ticking away
scribble a few false starts in the last few minutes
before writing,
“Suppose this moment held all that you want to say
but were afraid to say…”
then diverging into a shadowy forest metaphor
trying to do the assignment right?

After listening to others read
and receive his transparent reflections
watching the clock slowly count down the minutes
suppose there was time for you
and following a painful silence
hoping one of the few remaining others would volunteer
your eyes lock on his compassionate gaze.

Would you speak what you wrote?

He said
this is an ambitious poem
preserve the beginning
write it on a separate piece of paper
continue from there
three times
keep coming back to the concrete
like the opening

Suppose you find
inside disclosure
your Voice
with its many colors and tones
discovering that its sound is not as scary
as the memory of what could no longer follow
that it is safe now
to come out of the woods
and sing.

Jo Anna Shaw 2015

(Thank You to Peter Sears, Oregon Poet Laureate 2015 for inspiring this poem, encouraging me and for publishing it on your Facebook page.)

If you are tired of struggling to know or create what you want, Mind-Body Coaching sessions help you align with your Innate Power and fulfill your desires, naturally.
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