17 October 2012


I have gone into the earth
mud to its bones

below the winter rains
heart slow
skin cold
to sleep.

I have gone into the sky

ligament and feather
pulse pushing
body-shaped space
in the wind

Into the wake of rivers

rusty green
weeping snowmelt
milfoil filling the
gap of fish.

No use.

I come here every year


old remorse
as the rains 


~ sherri

"Once upon a time
when women were birds
there was the simple understanding
that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk
was to heal the world through joy."

~Terry Tempest Williams

26 June 2012

begin the last

Summer residency at Pacific University concluded with Ellen Bass speaking about sentiment versus sentimentality, all the pomp and circumstance of formal graduation for many of my friends, and the mother of all wiffle ball games in the wet grass between the dorms. I am still exhausted two days later.

If there is a single word to describe these residencies for me it is confluence. The coming together of writers and poets from all reaches, Oregon to Hong Kong, Idaho to India. The coming together of ideas and stories, poetry of deep emotion or vital hilarity, each of us brimming with passion and the love of craft.

This was the last full residency for me. The next one will be my thesis presentation and the culmination of my degree. It doesn't feel like nearly two years. Nor does the next stretch of six months seem like an adequate amount of time to finish this phase of learning.

I remember telling one of my dear professors, Dr. Merlin Cheney at Weber State University, how it felt like the more I learned the less I knew. It is the same now. As if the world has opened up to me, and I stand as the tiniest being on the brink of something immense.

So begins the work for the final stretch.


 ~ sherri

22 April 2012


Some writers play inspiring music while they write in their private studios. Some need a visually stimulating work space. Since my days are usually crammed with a regular day job, kids and family, and I have no private space of my own, I can write anywhere—living room, kitchen table, coffee shop, library, dentist's office lobby, front seat of my car. My words come from somewhere else.

That being said, my favorite preference is to be accompanied by the game of the day: basketball, football, soccer, rugby, horse racing, lacrosse. Sometimes just ESPN Sports Center. Even with the sound muted, I like the action on the screen and a quick score check.

Lately, it's baseball.

Yesterday I watched a perfect game. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched the 21st perfect game in the history of the MLB, a game that happened to be against the Seattle Mariners. The final out came on a dropped third strike. I doubt Humber could breathe while his veteran catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, scrambled for the ball, firing it to first to secure the final out.

Humber dropped to his knees. He stood in time to be mobbed back down to the ground by his ecstatic team. The Seattle fans gave Humber a rousing standing ovation.

It was a perfect game, but its beauty was the imperfection. In the 9th, Humber backed himself into a 3-0 count against Michael Saunders, his nerves showing a bit before he was able to drop into the zone, fanning Saunders with a slider. Then John Jaso sailed a high fly into right that Alex Rios snagged. Ending with the final bobbled strike.

Humber dropped to his knees.

Those breath-holding moments show us what's at stake. Reveal our shortcomings. Make us human.

It's what brings a stadium to an ovation for the visiting pitcher. Stings our eyes with tears for someone else's victory.

Drops us to our knees.

Write about that.

~ sherri

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
- Jackie Robinson, #42 Brooklyn Dodgers