Friday, October 23, 2015

Meet GAIL SCHIMMELPFENNIG of Valley Winds Chapter

Gail tells us: "I was lucky enough to be the 2009 Utah State Poetry Society Poet of the Year for my book The Frozen Kingdom, a book of cancer poems. The book was also a finalist for the Utah Book Award in 2010. Poetry is a spiritual path for me, and a great source of comfort. In addition to my passion for poetry, I'm also in love with teaching high school English, reading good books, hiking the glorious mountains around the Salt Lake Valley, learning new things, getting back to yoga after decades away, and animals. I'm also a knitter/basket-maker/sewist/silk painter/fiber artist, a clumsy but enthusiastic skier, and a grandmother. Since 2010, I've gotten divorced, found a new love, lost 25 pounds, and moved to Holladay. Reaching 65 has meant I get Medicare! Yay! Life just gets better and better! And inside, I'm still about 6. No one knows about this part. So don't tell!" Gail serves UTSPS as Laureates Publication Chair and Facebook Editor.

Just North of Sleep

The sun is the color of granite.
Time dissolves when I hold it
in my mouth.  The clouds are spun
from salt, and memories
echo around me like a waterfall
of tears.

Shadows gather, pull at my
fingers and hair, push their way
under my skin.  They whisper
in thorns.  Their heavy scent
follows me, threading through
my pores, my ear-channels,
my dreams.

Forgive my doubts.  I know they
are voracious.

Some days, when I awake, I am
knit of little else.

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