Monday, October 7, 2013

Life of a Poet - Sherry Blue Sky

Today, Kids, (using the word Sherry Blue Sky would use), the table is turned.   I told Sherry Blue Sky, who blogs at Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky it was about time SHE be interviewed.  I had to twist her cyber arm just a few times (smiles) until she gave her usual cackle and then agreed. So I hope you all will enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed 'talking' with Sherry!




Poets United:  Sherry, I know that a person's childhood often has a lot of influence on who a person becomes as an adult.  Can you think of two experiences you had as a child that, as you now look back, are integral to just who you are as an adult?


How I Roll

Sherry:
 I grew up in a family where there was drinking and, often, violence. This impacted me greatly, as a child and, later, in the choices I made as a young adult. But my Grandma was a huge, steadying influence in my life. She believed in me, and she also showed me that a different life than the one I had known was possible.

Because I have always had a very peaceful nature, and have been surrounded most of my life by volatile people dealing with various addictions, the search for peace in my life has always been paramount, which has led to my living alone for long stretches of time - for much of the journey, in fact. It seems to be the only way I can maintain peace and equanimity. Peace turned out to be more important to me than love, when it came to choosing between them. And then I learned to love the whole world, in lieu of having one special person in my life. That works wonderfully. Trees don’t argue! Dogs, neither, and having a dog is essential to my well being. 


My sister's farm, where I've spent
the last couple of years


Beau

Poets United:  Oh, that seems so much like you, Sherry.  You seem to have the ability to turn negative into positive in a way that works for you.  An admirable quality indeed.  Let's continue a little bit, traveling back into your history.  When you were in school, what were your interests?  What were your dreams for yourself back in those days when you were in school?  Did you have any life goals for yourself way back then?

Sherry:  Ha! I wanted so badly to be a singer. I sang all the time, at home and in the school hallways, and likely drove everyone to distraction. However, I was too shy and self-conscious to actually get up on a stage and sing, so it was hard for me to get discovered.  Music has always been a passion of mine. My dad was a very talented musician. But I never  learned to play an instrument, as a child, as we were too impoverished. This has been a big loss in my life, as the music is in me, and has no way to get out other than through singing. And now I sound like a frog. 

When I grew up, I was too busy raising kids, and as a single mom was still impoverished.  And now?  I am too old to start back at Twinkle Twinkle on a violin. I want to play  like Zukerman. I missed the boat. My daughter gave me conga drums one Christmas, though, and sometimes I grab one of them and bang away on it! My teeth are also now loose enough that I can use them as castanets! One woman band.

I also wanted to be the youngest published author in Canada. Didnt happen. If I hang in long enough, maybe I can try for being the oldest. Cackle.

Poets United:  Ha, even though you never played an instrument or became the youngest published author in Canada , it seems it did not stop you from enjoying music or writing.  I am sure there are a lot of wished-they'd-been musicians among us tapping our feet to the music and singing in our cars. And a lot of us would-be-authors right here in the blogosphere.  Smiles.    But this lack also did not stop you from developing your trademark sense of humor, which all of us enjoy.  Cackle back.

Tell us about your family, Sherry.  I also know that animals are an integral part of family, so please do not leave them out.


The kids and I up Knox Mountain
Back in the Day

We're all a tad older now: Jeff, Jon,
me, Stephanie and Lisa
Our beautiful Zenny


Gord and Steph

Sherry:  I have four grown kids, and another wonderful daughter, Zenny,  who is married to my oldest son. And a wonderful soon-to-be-son-in-law, Gord, Stephanie's fiance. Plus four amazing and extremely interesting grandkids, and a seven year old great-grandchild. This makes for a full life (and a LOT of Christmas presents!) 


My grandkids, Ali, Caleb, Josh and Tyler, great-grandson Damian (Ali's son),
and Tyler's girlfriend Jacqueline - an amazing group of open-minded,
free-thinking, unconventional young people. (We taught them well!)

Oh, and we must not forget the three grand-dogs, who love it when I babysit them!


Lisa's cute little Penny

Stephanie's  baby, Chloe, and, below, Sanchez


I was a hands-on Grandma, and helped raise the grandkids. (My daughter raised her four as a single mother, too, not an easy job.) We are a very cackly bunch, especially we women. Big senses of humor, which has helped us get through the tough times. Poets United did a prompt recently: Left of Center. That's our family.....waaaaaaaaaaaay left of center! 


My beloved Pup

Animals are essential to my life. I had a big black wolf-dog who shared my journey for fourteen years, whom I am still mourning two and a half years after his death. 


Ms. Jasmine

Jasmine, my golden retriever, is eight years old. And my sister, who lives next door, has a horse and three dogs,  that I am very close to, as I am their caregiver when she’s often away adventuring. I am longing for a little black puppy, but I may have to wait a while more for him!


This is life at Dogs R Us! Possession of the Kong
is their obsession. Blakey, on Lukey's rear,
appears to be gender-confused. Or maybe not!

Poets United:  Your life seems very rich with people and animals, Sherry.  I do know you are still mourning Pup, as anyone who reads your poetry does.  You have written some beautiful poetry about him.  I DO hope you are able to sometime in the future get the little black puppy of your dreams.

I know you live in British Columbia, one of the most beautiful provinces of Canada (one for which I also have a strong affinity).    Have your surroundings  influenced your poetry in any way?






Sherry:  My love for the natural world is one of the strongest passions of my life. Truly, nature has been my lover this lifetime. In my 40’s I lived inland,  longing for the ocean. It was my dream to live in Tofino, on the wild West Coast of Vancouver Island, some of the most spectacular landscape on the planet.  


My beloved Wickanninish Beach

Finally, I knew it was now or never, make the leap or give up the dream. And I knew I couldnt live without a dream. So I gathered all of my trust and courage under me and made a mighty leap. When I landed in Tofino, that seeking, questing, clamoring voice inside me stilled. I knew I was home. I lived the ten most glorious years of my life there. I have put together a small book of my Love Song to Clayoquot Sound, and have put a copy of it on my site, here, so folks can see the photos of its stunning beauty.



Poets United:  Wow, Sherry.  I can hardly wait to see it.  From the periodic photos you have shared on your site, I do know this will be a real treasure!



Sherry:  My poems are full of the ocean, the forest, Mother Earth, and my angst over how we have treated her. These days, I live an hour and a half inland (argh),  so once again, missing the ocean’s roar is in my poems. I dream of returning, and we shall see whether the universe will give me a second shot at living my dream. My name is on the waiting list for a small seniors’ complex in Tofino. Stay tuned! If I move back there, my poems will take a joyous leap into the stratosphere! I will bound around the village like a grinning gazelle. I will be ecstatic, once again, as I was for ten years there.

Poets United:  I do hope this dream comes true for you, Sherry, and that you will return to the ocean again.

When did you write your first poem?   And when did you begin to consider yourself a poet?

Sherry:  It was the strangest thing. When I had just turned fourteen, I wrote my first poem. I remember sitting at my desk in school,  the words coming to me, and me writing them down. Suddenly there was a poem on the page. Who knew? I had had little exposure to poetry, though I have always been a voracious reader. But this poem just came through me, and after I wrote it, the floodgates opened.  I sat at my desk in school scribbling furiously from then on. My teachers recognized that I had a drive to write, and they let me scribble when inspiration struck. One teacher, especially, encouraged me. This was my first poem:

Each acquaintance on the road to Never
whispers through the soul
and leaves a soft thought to remember
when Tomorrow dawns cold.
It seems each person that I meet
on this long journey to the end of things
is someone I can love
and I must tell him of my love.
For if my heart stopped beating
e’er one more sky was streaked with dawn
how would my many loves live on
uncertain of this extra dream of life
only my heart, in love, can dwell upon?

Poets United:  Wonderful first poem, Sherry.  Impressive.  I can see you were born to be a poet.  Tell us more about your early writing.

Sherry:  When I read the poems I wrote back then, I marvel at the words I used, and how my subconscious knew things my conscious mind did not yet know or understand. It is like someone else wrote them, the inner I, (the inner Eye?) Some of the language of those early poems seems beyond the grasp of a fourteen year old. The words came through me. I just copied them down. 

Though I knew I was a writer, that I was meant to be writing, and felt guilty in years when I was too overloaded to do so regularly, I didn’t think I was a poet till much later in life.  I used to think of myself primarily as a writer of prose.  But since finding the blogging community, I realize poetry is my first love. When I first found Poets United, I was thrilled to be able to read other writers’ work. It astounded me when poets would come and read mine. It still does. 

To have feedback and encouragement has been a wonderful gift in my life, and I am writing today – because of all of you – far more than I ever wrote before I discovered the world of blogging. A gift beyond price, for which I thank each and every one of you.

Poets United:  I agree with you there, Sherry.  Feedback and encouragement are both wonderful gifts, so important to those who write. It definitely encourages people to write more & just plain feels good.

What do you consider the main subjects of the poetry you choose to write today?  Do your poems seem to have a basic theme?

Sherry:  Without meaning to, as the poems just flow up out of my heart, the themes seem to be my love of nature, the environment and my angst over what we are doing to our world, abhorrence of cruelty to animals, and a strong desire for social justice. I have great empathy and compassion for the disenfranchised of the world, who cling to life by a thread. And hope. I try to maintain an attitude of gratitude and hope, because how we see the world creates the world we see, and I never want to sink into despair. There is always hope that the transformation of consciousness we need so badly on this planet will happen in time. It must. 


One of my favorite trees,
the Hanging Garden Tree on Meares Island

I believe if enough of us put out positive energy, send healing thoughts across the earth, join with the millions across the globe doing the same, that we can help turn the tide towards a new and more equitable paradigm, for the planet and for humanity. 

Poets United:  Well expressed, Sherry.

Describe your process for writing poetry.

Sherry:  Ha! That makes me smile, as I don’t have one. When I was younger, I would say my poems were inspired, they welled up from a place deep within. I worked at them, revising and struggling a bit to get them right. There is a big difference now that I am older. I live with chronic pain, especially chronic head pain, and fatigue, and so my poems now are more pedestrian. If there is a prompt, or an idea, I just start tapping the keys. Something appears on the page, almost by itself. I miss the old days of inspired writing. But I count myself fortunate to be writing anything these days. 



Soul card courtesy ofDeborah Koff-Chapin of http://www.touchdrawing.com/

The one exception to this was one month in 2011, April,  when Elizabeth Crawford and I made a Soul Card Journey. Every day Elizabeth posted a beautiful image, by the artist Deborah Koff-Chapin, and we each wrote to it.  I would look at it,  start typing, and the words just came. Those poems were inspired, and seemed to come from a deep place in me. It was an amazing month. I have gathered the Traveler series of poems based around this journey, on a page on my site here, and may gather them into a small book soon. Here's a  peek:



Traveler walks 
like a moving tree,
like a wind-whisper,singing,
like the breath of dawn.


Traveler
is a
part of
the landscape;
she carries
with her
a corner of
the sky.

Traveler
rises
with the 
morning sun.
She is always 
walking towards
the next sunset.

There is
the last star
of morning
on her shoulder.
She wears
the first star
of evening
in her hair.

The moon 
is her
mistress,
a songbird
flies from branch 
to branch
beside her,
and a
wolf-shadow
companions
her every step.

Poets United:  I do remember when you did that Soul Card Journey, Sherry.  Your poems were wonderful.  I am glad you are thinking of making a small book of them.

How did you become involved with Poets United?  And what keeps you working so hard on behalf of Poets United today?

Sherry:  Oh I love this question. A long-time friend of mine, Lynette Killam, over at Imagination Lane, encouraged me, when she set up her blog, to put my poems into a blog. I did so, and it was a learning curve, as I am a dunce when it comes to technology.  I didn’t expect much  to happen. I had had other blogs that never went anywhere. But Blogger is a really great place to blog, as it gets a lot of traffic.  I decided I wanted to find other poets in the blogosphere, and I went to Blogger Forum and asked “where can I find other poets?” Robb Lloyd, who created Poets United and ran it for its first couple of years, responded “Why don’t you try Poets United?” I did and the rest is herstory!

What keeps me working for Poets United? Gratitude and joy. I will be eternally grateful to Robb for my involvement at PU, which opened the doors of the world to me. I now have friends all over the world, whom I met here. I love encouraging people, so it gives me a large platform to do that (smiles). And also I adore interviewing poets and hearing their life stories, which always blow me away. 

Poets United:   And you are so good at sharing people's life stories here in all the interviews you do and have done over the years.  And we thank you for this.  And yes, we are all grateful for Robb's early vision, I think.

What are your thoughts on the poetry blogosphere in general?

Sherry:  It is absolutely wonderful! The poetry blogosphere provided the support for my writing that I so badly needed, and motivation to keep writing. For lack of support, my writing had slowed to a trickle before I found it. I have written more consistently since I started blogging, and have produced more writing in three years than in my entire life before.  

Poets are very nice people, plus there is just so much talent out there. Every day I read things that blow me away. Not only does the blogosphere inspire me, it motivates me to keep at it. I think it is a wonderful platform, especially for those of us who don’t have aspirations of being published or being well known. For me, it is more than gratifying  that some people come to read my words and comment and even, sometimes, come back another day. Wow. It’s the stuff of dreams!

Poets United:  Do you have any well known poets that have influenced your writing subjects or style?

Sherry:  I adore Mary Oliver’s work, which I only discovered about ten years ago. I don’t know that she influences my work, as I could never aspire to her level of craft. But she writes about nature, and so do I, and it gave my heart such a lift to find her and know, through her poems, that someone else feels as I do about this beautiful planet of ours. Someone else who “stares at the world”. 

Poets United:  Yes, I can certainly see why Mary Oliver's poetry would resonate with you, Sherry.

Do you have any heroes....living or dead? 

Sherry:   Hmmmm..........yes, many. I could talk about the Big Ones: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama. Also, my Sis, Jeane Manning, best friend for thirty years, who has devoted her life, at considerable financial sacrifice, to the cause of clean energy.



But I have two people in my life, my son, Jeff, and my daughter, Lisa, who have made the most amazing journeys, while challenged with mental illness. They have done so with grace, courage, humor, strength, honesty and truth, and I could not be prouder of them.



All my life, I have been drawn to stories of people who transcend difficult circumstances with grace. Those stories helped me weather my own hard times. But Lisa and Jeff have shown me how it’s done, better than anyone. 

Poets United:  Nice that you recognize the heroes in your own life, Sherry.  I think we all have them if we will only look.  Smiles.

Do you have any causes that are near and dear to you, causes that you believe in and work for in your own way? 

Sherry:  Big ones: healing the environment and learning to live on earth sustainably, so that the planet (and all species) can survive; preventing cruelty to animals, including  the horrors of factory farming; human rights for everyone, especially the oppressed, impoverished, displaced and disenfranchised. If we get those right, what a world it will be. But we need  to wake up soon. Like yesterday. Some of us have been talking about this for thirty years and STILL not enough change has occurred. Corporate greed still talks with the loudest voice. Sigh. I have gnashed my teeth into stumps over this.

Poets United:  What do you do when you are not writing poetry or working on something for Poets United?

Sherry:  Not much, hee hee. I sit at my desk by the hour!  But I so love it. I read, though. I have read voraciously and daily since I was five years old.  I watch movies, as a way of relaxing. I most love books and films about people overcoming adversity. I prefer real life stories to anything made up, as truth is always more interesting (and often less believable) than fiction. 

I look after little kids sometimes, which is a happy thing. And I get out into nature and just bask in earth and sky and trees – all this free scenery we are so lavishly endowed with.

Poets United:  On a very serious note, what would you like to be remembered for?




Sherry: Kindness.  A giving spirit. A sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world. My gift to every child I’ve come into contact with is instilling a love of the outdoors  in them. It’s a gift that stays with them all their lives. 

Poets United:  I am sure these children appreciate the gift, Sherry, and that it will influence them throughout their lives, long after you are gone.

One last question for you (even though I know I could come up with many more):  You are often very open and honest about the 'aging' process.  How do you feel about being the age you are, and how does that influence your perspective in the poems you write?


video

Sherry:  I find aging utterly hilarious. I make it work for me, as a source of endless slapstick humor, in life and in my writing.  But I don’t really feel old (do we ever?) My spirit is still young and alive, I still feel wonder, gratitude, joy, all the good stuff. I am happy to be through all the years of angst and struggle, and to have gained the perspective and wisdom and peace of being older. I hope to get a lot older yet. I just hope I get to keep my marbles so I can enjoy it.

Poets United:   I love your attitude, Sherry.  I think you have discovered the secret of aging gracefully.  It is definitely a gift!  

And, as Sherry Blue Sky would say in conclusion, don't we meet some of the most fascinating people at Poets United?   Thanks, Sherry, for introducing us to so many of them.



95 comments:

  1. Sherry you are such a wonderful soul.
    I wonder if we took a poll of poets how many are artists or musicians ???
    Your poetry is a song Sherry as is your life.
    Each of us a better person because of what you do to encourage us
    Thanks for the reminder that we are as old as...
    Hugz to you dreamer and lover of the sky

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    1. Such kind words, Leslie, thank you. I remember how blown away I was when I happened upon your wonderful poetry! Especially your poem Beautiful Girl. Sigh. Glorious.

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  2. My favorite picture is the one on Knox Mountain, tho' all the ones you take show an artist's eye. So glad to hear that you finding aging hilarious! I feel other sides of it and have read about them in your poetry and comments--but you help relax my spirit toward laughter. I will follow your poetry to the end of time. Thank you, Sherry! Thank you Mary!

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    1. Wowzers, what a gift you give me saying you will follow my poetry!!!!! Thank you, my friend. That means a lot coming from a poet of your calibre.

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    2. Came back to reread the poems and look into the family faces--and as a by product, I got to enjoy love flowing toward you! Right On! (heehee)

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  3. Wonderful interview! Sherry you are such an inspiration to all of us.

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    1. I should have added: I want to be remembered for my cackle!!!!! If I only inspire you to cackle often, my job is done. Hee hee. (I just discovered the mute was on my cackling video. Hopefully it is fixed now.)

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  4. Thank you Sherry for accepting to be in the spotlight today! I have enjoyed learning more about you, your background, the people who are important in your life and your pets, your writing process and your involvement with Poets United.
    Your poems often inspire us to pause and look at nature and our environment and how we treat the earth. Be assured that you will indeed be remembered for your "kindness, giving spirit and sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world."
    Thank you Mary also for a wonderful interview and the great questions you asked. They truly allowed us to know more about Sherry!

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    1. It is different, to be the one being interviewed for sure:) It is a love fest in here today, that is making my heart feel very very full:) Thank you, Gabriella, so much.

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  5. Sherry is a very special person, and the first blogger who 'found' me and welcomed me to Poets United back in 2010. It is wonderful to read her story here and see her beautiful photos of family, home and animals. My greatest wish for Sherry is heart's content.

    Thank you for bringing this wonderful feature to your readers, Mary.

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    1. I remember, Kerry, when I first happened upon your blog which I clicked on because it is called Skylover....and discovered this AMAZING poet in South Africa. Sigh. I havent missed a poem since! And now you are the admin for Toads. Internet connections have been a revelation and a wonder in my life. It would be much emptier without all of you.

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  6. Mary,

    Thank you for this fantastic interview and for highlighting the most wonderful life of Sherry. It has been very rewarding to read through the text and to learn much more about this special lady.
    I particularly loved her poem at fourteen years of age. A true star was shining back then!!
    Of course I note the refeence to dear Pup and know how much Sherry has missed his presence. I love that she mentions him and includes his spirit in various pieces of new writing.
    Sherry has a spirit that simply tranfers so well, reaching all corners of the world with her goodwill and giving of time to help promote and keep Poets United alive, along with yourself Mary:)

    This has really made my Monday evening, to have had this opportunity to share the world of my friend Sherry.
    Eileen:)

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    1. Eileen, dear friend, you belonged to Poets United already, when I discovered it in spring of 2010, and you have faithfully supported the site all this time. Bless you. Poets United is what it is because of its wonderful members.

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  7. Ah, Sherry and Mary, the two cornerstones of my blogging experience. I loved reading this and will return again and again to be the wee mouse in the corner, quietly listening. You two work well together and your shared love of this community shines throughout the interview.

    Mary, you made me aware of Sherry way back at the beginning of our divergent paths journey and I couldn't be more grateful for then and now.

    Sherry, I loved the Soul Card Journey as much, if not more than you and your constancy throughout made all the difference. I go back and read that long ago interview you did with me and am always amazed at how easily you drew me out of my quasi-hermit reality. And then there is your take on the aging process, I always love reading your words and cackling right along with you.

    Thank you both so much for brightening my day, for sharing your words and your wisdom, and for your combined dedication to the well-being of this community. You both ROCK!!!

    Elizabeth

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    1. Elizabeth, fellow Traveler, maybe we should embark on yet another journey soon? I feel ready, how about you? Your interview was one of my very first at Poets United, and is the reason I was put in charge of interviews right after it was published. So we have you to thank for the interviews that followed, because you were such an intriguing and interesting subject. I believe one comment, on that interview, was what an "evolved" woman you are. I could not agree more.

      Mary, you DEFINITELY rock and are the reason our little boat putts along right on schedule from week to week.

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  8. I am thrilled to read about you Sherry! How wonderful! I cherish you, as one of the "precious things" in this world. I am so glad to have you in my life! Thank you Mary and Sherry!

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    1. Annell, you and Elizabeth got me through those first months after Pup died and I will always be grateful. Did I tell you I put together a book of all the poems I wrote for him, chock full of photos? 150 pages and it is one of my most precious treasures. I laughed and cried all the way through creating it. I so miss my boy. I am glad to have you in my life too, kiddo.

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  9. Sherry,'

    'I am so glad to see this interview. I know how you criss cross the earth cheering up people and bringing all of us together.

    I thank God we found each other, I found you, through Poets United.

    You are truly a friend i found in the poetry blogosphere, a gem indeed.

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    1. Ninot, watching the trajectory of your work preserving Malaysian legend has been amazing. I have been so proud and happy that your work is being recognized as the cultural treasure that it is. It never ceases to amaze me, the wonderful friendships the blogosphere makes possible with amazing people from all over the world. It is the joy and blessing of this time of my life, and it will never get old. Blessings, kiddo, and keep shining!

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  10. Mary, you deserve huge kudos for this interview ... Sherry is certainly one of the most interesting, talented, spiritual, wise women I've ever known.

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    1. Helen, you are so kind. I dont feel very spiritual or wise at the moment, but I am surely grateful someone THINKS I am, hee hee.

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  11. Lovely interview, ladies!

    Sherry, what a beautiful family, pets, home, and life story. Thanks for all you do and your encouragement.

    I can relate to retreating in nature to find peace and zen. I do enjoy your nature poetry and spirituality. Smiles! :)

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    1. Thanks, Loredana, I definitely enjoy your work as well. Thank you so much for your warm words:) I appreciate them.

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    2. Thank you, Sherry. And I also wanted to say I love this site, so friendly and inspiring ... and I have felt welcome here since I joined Poets United ... :)

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  12. Sherry, I'm fairly certain that while at times you may not walk with other *people*, especially when you are in nature, you never walk alone. ~ M

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    1. I so hope you are right, kiddo. I know the Standing People (trees) are about, along with the nature sprites........and I have to believe a black wolf spirit accompanies me:) It has been so wonderful getting to know you through Poets United. Stay tuned, kids, because Grapeling's interview is coming very soon - next week!!!!!!!

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  13. Wonderful interview Mary n' Sherry! Sherry's wisdom and wit are gifts-I still think she is going to find out someday she is related to Mary Oliver ;D
    Your world is surrounded with love and nature's gifts-and you have the inner eye to gather the good and share it with us all~ I am happy to know you Wise Woman!
    @>------------------------

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    1. And I you, my friend. Thanks for your kind words and friendship, and for the time you put in helping to keep Poets United going last year! I know everyone appreciates you very much.

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  14. A beautiful interview about a special woman who truly walks in the spirit you can feel it in her writings and in her kindness to others. A wonderful interview to read thanks ladies.

    Sherry, your journey still has places to go..listen to your heart the wolf waits...

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    1. Yoiks, your comment got me all choked up, kiddo. I am missing that big old wolf extra much these days. I so hope the places I have yet to go involve BEACHES. I have been away from them too long.

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  15. ha what an amazing interview...its about time indeed...sherry you are a beautiful soul...as is evident not just in your writing but being surrounded by such family as well....your love of nature def comes though your words as well...

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    1. that story of your first poem just happening too..ha...that was music for me in younger years...

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    2. Thanks, Brian, for your warm words, your kindness and your gigantic heart. And for your participation at Poets United. It is so appreciated, as we know how busy you are.

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  16. This was a nice turn around Mary ~ Lovely to see Sherry featured here and getting to know more of her life & beloved family ~ Someday I will visit the beautiful island and beach Sherry ~ Really enjoyed this one & thanks for all your hard work on this site ~

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    1. Grace, when you were in Vancouver this past summer you werent very far away - just a ferry ride. Next time! You are most welcome, but, truly, it is my pleasure and privilege to take part in this community.

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  17. I am so glad you did this, Mary... great interview. Sherry, you are such an inspiration and have been such a friend to me. I love your first poem! And your children and grandchildren, and great grandchild are all so lovely. An hour and a half is not too far away from the ocean, but I'm sure you'll get closer some day. Thanks so much for letting us into your beautiful world.

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    1. Yes, I am working on getting closer. It is long overdue! Thanks, Laurie, for your lovely words, and your friendship. It means a great deal to me.

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  18. Dear Mary, what a great idea to turn the tables on our beloved Interviewer Extraordinaire. Though I think I have come to know her well through her Poets United work and her own blog, there were fascinating, inspiring new things to discover here about her life and her poetry— just as there always are in the interviews she herself does with other poets.

    I deeply appreciate you both!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary, to you, for your dedicated work at Poets United. Kids, stay tuned. Rosemary's interview is in the works!

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  19. Nice interview! Thanks for sharing with us your passions and creativity! I feel we have some common affections, Sherry: nature and longing to the ocean... Although met you just recently, I had time to read/feel your kind words of comments for my novice poetry... Best wishes, many years....and thanks, Mary for wonderfully held an interview.

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    1. Humbird, I notice your love of nature and the sea in your work. (I am resisting your word "novice". Just "poetry", kiddo. We are all growing.) Thank you for your kind words, and do keep posting your work. It has been lovely getting to know you here at Poets United.

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  20. :) Nice to know in depth about a person who is admired by one and all, an inspiration for us. Thanks

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    1. I am blushing...my goodness! Thank you, Vandana.

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  21. Mary, thanks so much for turning those tables to interview Sherry. She is an indomitable spirit, so in touch with Creation. She understands that trees have souls, that animals are SO much smarter than we think, that it IS funny aging (I just got my first set up "uppers" this week, clack clack). But most of all, she is a loving, caring individual who has shared so much of the beauty - and the environmental controversy - of her beloved Canada, I feel like popping a LaBatt's in her honor.

    Long Live Sherry Blue Sky!! Love, Amy

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    1. Hee hee, Amy, I love your "clack, clack" and am deeply envious of your upper plate (yes, sadly, it has come to that:)) This is strange for me, all of these wonderful messages, blush, but I will gratefully lap them all up, with my heartfelt thanks.

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  22. Hi Sherry. Thanks for sharing snippets of your life. Enjoyed this immensely. Love how you are so in touch with nature and I always feel your poems have a spiritual feel to them. There are so many similarities with me - I too would like to be remembered for kindness and my poems also just come to me. Your first poem is beautiful. Wish you many dreams come true.

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    1. Thank you, Susie. I always resonate with your love of nature, too. Am so happy to have met you through Poets United.

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  23. Sherry my beautiful friend, I feel ever closer.

    Mary dear, many thanks for the interview. Kudos from one of the kiddos!

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    1. That makes me happy, kiddo. Thanks for reading.

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  24. Wow, a very well done interview and most awesome responses... it would be very hard for someone to put words in her mouth with their own spin, nor need to add to the human interest... that, and she conveys to me she lives in a sacred place. What riches are there more than family, like you poets seem to be here!

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    1. It feels very true, that we become like family in this community, doesnt it? One of the GREAT blessings of my life! Thanks for being a part of it.

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  25. Great to put a person to the 'kiddo'!

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  26. Such a lovely interview thanks Mary. Sherry Blue Sky is definitely a kindred spirit for all of us. Sherry it is so awesome to see you get interviewed and find out more about your life since you inspire us all.

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    1. I dont often feel very inspiring, Anne, but thank you. Am just so happy to be part of this wonderful 'sphere of poets.

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  27. And the grand doggies are too adorable! LOLs.

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  28. Oh... this is so exciting. I just had to say THANK YOU. I have been swamped and won't be able to read this until tonight... but the photos alone are splendid and make me so happy! Love you, Sherry.

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    1. Oh thanks, Margaret, you are so sweet. I love the photos, too. I have huge tubs of them, so many sunsets!

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  29. Beautiful interview your spirit shines Sherry! You are amazing =)

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    1. I am AMAZED, actually........such lovely lovely comments for little old me. Yikes! I do so appreciate each and every one. Thank you all so very much. And Mary......thank you for steering our little boat so well and steadily.

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  30. Really lovely interview and Sherry is such an inspiration. Vivid, beautiful poems that just overflow with life and emotion. This is an exceptional perspective that adds colour and joy to all she writes. I find Sherry very inspiring, thank you for all you do.

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  31. Thank you so much, Alan. Such a lovely comment. Thank you for reading my work, it means a great deal. I still am amazed that people come and read my poems. It never gets old!!!!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Cait. Wonderful to see you at Poets United.

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  33. Sherry, you are one of the most encouraging writers I have had the pleasure to know. Your words have often brought smiles when I needed them the most. Thank you for being you and for sharing your words with us.

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    1. It is my pleasure, my friend. My online life is the sugar in my coffee:)

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  34. Sherry aka Wild Woman is awesome! Sherry, I so enjoy your spirit, your sense of humor, your encouragement, your heart, and of course your poetry and photography. Reading your poems about Pup make me want a wolf dog of my own! And your encouraging words on my work have often made my day. Thanks so much for all you do for us, especially how often you make us smile. Excellent interview Mary!

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    1. Such a lovely comment. It makes me smile to read my comments cheer you. And I love making people smile! It's my fave!

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  35. Such a delightful interview...full of truthful speaking and right from the heart and soul.
    I was impressed with the 14 year old poetry...so grown up and soulful.

    Thank you Sherry for your sharing and caring.

    Peace
    Siggi

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    1. It is my pleasure and privilege, Siggi. Thanks for your kind words.

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  36. Loved the other side of Sherry here! and what a superb idea it was to make her speak!! :D Sherry you are a very warm person and hope every day is filled with more warmth and peace for you. Glad to have got acquainted with you. Your poetry is profound!!

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    1. I'm happy to have met you, too, Akila, and enjoy reading your poems very much. Thanks, kiddo!

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  37. Wonderful to read about you like this, kiddo. I know what you mean about not feeling old. Oh, my body feels old, but I wake up every morning thinking I'm 30. I never am, but it feels good until I try moving my arms or legs. And when I try to turn over, I know I'm the same age you are. LOL
    Luv, K

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    1. Cackle. We must get together, Kay! It would be a hoot. We shall railroad Lynette into hosting a tea one time!

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  38. Sherry Ma'am,
    I had earlier peruse through your interview. Unfortunately I was on to something. I told myself I would come back again. When I came back a few minutes ago, I saw a posting on David's blog at my blog list. I quickly went over to know what's the latest. Sad to say it was his son who made the posting. He confirmed David passed on last Friday. I'm terribly sad. I'll read your interview again Sherry!

    Hank

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    1. Oh Hank, that is very sad news. I will go over there and leave condolences. Poor Dave. He gave so much to this community. Thank you SO MUCH for letting us know.

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  39. Finally! The figurative tables are turned, and we find the host is the best guest at the party! i am so happy to read about your life and that indomitable spirit that breathes in you and into the world through you.

    Know thyself, we are told...and there is no question that you have the integrity to do so.

    Thank you for the beautiful views of your home and family!

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    1. Karen, such a lovely comment. Really, I am overwhelmed at all of these wonderful messages. Yoiks! But thank you so much. Each one lifts my heart - except the one I just read about our friend Dave, who has passed on.

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  40. So happy to have read this....you are really special!

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    1. Happy you enjoyed it, kiddo. Thanks so much.

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  41. What a wonderful interview! I so enjoyed reading about Sherry's life and her positive energy just radiates off the page. Thanks for sharing your past, present and future dreams wth us Sherry--and may you someday return to Tofino with a little black puppy at your side.

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    1. YES! Then I would be in heaven! Thanks, Joy! So much.

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  42. Sherry, what I wanted to say most of the nice people had already said in the earlier comments.
    but I really want you to know that I am glad and thankful to know you through Poets United. I like your positive outlook on life, your wonderful sense of humour, your love of nature. and of course your poems and photography.

    And Mary, thanks for this great interview. :)

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I so appreciate it.

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  43. Well, kids, I didnt think about the commenting part when I agreed to an interview, just thought newer members might like to get to know the staff better - other staff interviews will follow soon.....I am overwhelmed by all of the kind of wonderful words. Blushing, even. But thank you all SO much, from the bottom of my heart.

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  44. Well..if I'm ever gonna have an inspiration in my life of poems that would be you ma'm :) A lot of stardreaming for me in this case :D
    Lovely interview!

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  46. I have been out of town and away from WiFi and phones. It was a wonderful trip with my daughter. However, I missed this (as I missed all things Internet). What a spectacular and fascinating interview. Sherry is my dearest friend upon the Internet. She is very dear to me and I to her so I am so happy to read this (finally), you did her justice. Thank you for such a wonderful interview.

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  47. Sherry, so great to get to read about you this time! I love that bicycle! What a great family you have and as a dog lover, so nice to see the grand dogs included!

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  49. Saturday evening and I said "I have found the time to read and absorb Sherry's interview". I raise my wine glass to you! "cheers" to an admirable spirit! What a life you have had, a struggle for sure - but such inner happiness is rarely found. I flipped over to your Love Song to Clayocuot Sound... glanced over it and will give it a much more thorough read in a few days - again... poverty, passion, perseverance ... you amaze me. I really do hope you get back there soon, that a spot opens up, for you love it so. Thank you for all you do, and I am so glad to get to know you better through this interview (Thanks, Mary)

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  50. What a truly wonderful, inspirational interview. Thanks, Poets United and Sherry!
    I agree about your spirit, Sherry. Thanks so much for sharing yourself. You're a poet through and through.

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  51. I so enjoyed this interview, Sherry! You are indeed one of the most kind and welcoming poets in the wide, wide Internet community! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your gifts.

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  52. Sherry,

    Sometimes the best conversations we have are with ourselves, and your interview today is an amazing account of a life well-lived and well-loved. You know, I truly believe that those of us who have been through challenging experiences, are awarded with a deep compassion for others, an infectious warmth, and a need to protect.

    Having had the pleasure of collaborating with you these past few weeks, and now sitting in on this enlightening discussion, it is more than apparent that your many passions colour your world, and what a world it is!

    ''Each acquaintance on the road to Never
    whispers through the soul
    and leaves a soft thought to remember
    when Tomorrow dawns cold.''

    The teenage poetess has matured, and the whispers of all those who have passed through her world, have added up to one bold and bubbly cackle - a signature of her zest for life, in all its squeaky, decibel delight!:))

    Hugs,
    Poppy

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