Tag Archives: poetry

On Becoming a Crone


aging is not stealthy, like some ninja warrior

sneaking up and nunchucking me from behind

new lines and wrinkles appear in the mirror daily

whether I choose to acknowledge them or remain in denial,

I am surprised when I bend down to pick up something I’ve dropped again

to feel a new twinge or stab catch my breath

and when that happens I say, “oh I feel you now”.


aging is not beautiful; the silver framing my face may be precious

but only as a reward for all the courage I’ve revealed

the soft curves of my body are not a sign of vulnerability,

but symbolize the great expanse of my soul,

today I treasure really looking people in the eye,

saying aloud, “I like your smile, your sweater, your care”

and when that happens I sigh, “I hope I made a difference.”


aging is not inevitable; we are blessed with each bonus day,

another moment to tell a loved one they are beloved.

I try to halt the peevishness I feel towards the flesh hanging from my arms

by assuring myself that I now have angels wings and then,

I laugh at myself because crones aren’t always angels,

sometimes we transform into bitches, refueling our wrath

and when that happens, I whisper, “can you see me now?”


aging is not in the mind where I will always remain 30,

while my body changes and prepares for the next transition

I forgive myself for the days when I wheeze like an organ needing repair

for truly I am an oak tree with strong roots, able to dance in the wind,

yet curious, wilely and wild enough to

March on Washington while proudly shouldering a rainbow flag a little higher

and when that happens can you hear me roar?


silver power is not for the faint hearted,

look us in the eyes if you dare, discount us at your peril

you will see tigers baring their teeth, or what remains of them,

listen closely, you will hear us growl, we are becoming crones,

we care more for serenity and less for what others think

with less to lose we are reckless and daring

and when that happens, will you miss us sneaking up behind you?

© Mari Selby, August 6, 2017

Out of the Ordinary


hot tea

as ordinary as a hot cup of tea
a big sigh taken without thought,
black woolen gloves for cold hands
warmth radiating from a wood stove
ordinary moments that sneak up to become…life

waking one winter morning
dawn shines through bedroom window
sharp blades of light slice through
slumber, a beacon of
courage seeking a new day

working on a short wintry afternoon
outside my office window,
robin perches on bare branches of a red bud tree
stares back at me with a question in its black eyes
maybe singing, are we there yet?

walking outside one chilly evening
the moons iridescent ring grabs and shoots me
to the stars and back, to loom among the oak crowns,
a screech owl woman
bursting with mystery, calling for change

wondering, that after 27 years
your sweet smile flashes and sparks
sends shivers up my spine
stokes a fire that’s not been quenched
asking why would we want to rush these things?

grace finds us in odd moments
maybe on some ordinary morning
departs from us not where we are found
instead, transports us to uncharted realms
leaving no footprints behind

when is a smile more than a smile, a robin more than a bird,
the moon’s ring an uncanny passage,
morning sunlight a wake-up call and
when we pause to listen…
the ordinary may sound like a chorus of hallelujah



© January 20, 2016

A Little Night Magic

night's womb

Excerpt from the poem “Crazy Wisdom” published in Lightning Strikes Twice

dreaming the primordial word

I nestle in the palm of night’s hand visible yet empty

blinking in the radiance of the galactic eye

embracing whole worlds of the eye within the eye

perching on my shoulder angels sing hallelujah

invisible paws padding by my feet whisper put faith in every pace

smelling restless noise the tip of my tail twitches I lick my lips

don’t stop me before I am lost

curling up against night’s belly her great head turns towards me

her gaze stars full of mercy and magic

accepting timeless wonder my breath embraces dakinis devas

the dry rattle of skulls following every movement

praising the diamond night

I am the crazy wisdom of no hope and no fear

A Womb with a View


Forty thousand women stand up and claim their wombs back!

The thunder of their drumming feet as they march,

the harsh echoes of their raucous cries

abruptly wakens people everywhere, in cities,

within verdant farmlands,

and in sleepy villages’ people’s nerves jump

and twitch from the shouting

“no more, you cannot have more of me!” Continue reading

Faster Than a Mint Julep

Thank god no one has ever called me pretty,

I am too fast and furious for trivial things.

The first six months of my life I slept in a baby carriage,

rolling through the shifts from room to room

I watched the ceilings as I lay on my back.

Today I never wear hats; they flatten my curly brown hair,

unlike cool slim blondes, who make the art of

wearing hats look pretty and important. Continue reading

When Lightning Strikes Twice


there is nothing delicate about lightning
or a cancer diagnosis
both seem to fall from the heavens
flash a sharp acrid smell,
rip apart the sky, our world
blind us
knock us senseless
then comes the thunderclap,
ricochets, reverberates, echoing
down to the core of our being.

once hit by lightning we never forget the smell,
the rush of adrenaline
or the lack of oxygen to our brains.

once hit by lightning we forget
our bodies are a hummingbird’s kiss
frosty puffs of breath, a buffalo standing in the snow

once hit by lightning we must remember
the sentinel apple tree charred by a bolt
still sprouts new life, grows sweet fruit.

there is nothing delicate about lightning
or red zippers of cancer scars
both are heaven’s clarion call for fierce grace
welcome angels sow miracles while
we rest in the palm of God’s hand.
We must whisper a wish to a butterfly
gaze at a little girl dancing with a firefly
become a shadow which runs across the grass
lose itself in the sunset
yet greet the roll of thunder come again.