Ghost in the Hall

Do you have dreams about the home you grew up in? I can see my childhood home in my mind. The typical three bedroom west coast rambler; living area on one side and a looong hallway to the bedrooms on the other. As a young kid I was pretty sure the place was haunted. The creaky floor didn’t help.

Ghost in the Hall
by Shannon Laws
Odd Little Things, published 2014

When I was a child A Skeleton Ghost would walk
The bedroom hall of our home  
Afraid of the dark I would sleep with the light on
My door open just enough to keep out the trouble
Ghosts are everywhere when you are four.  

Often the ghost would wiggle its way past my door
Steps heard creaking across loose boards
Creak.  Creak.  Creak.

Down the hall slowly it walked   Skeleton heading for the kitchen
To fill up its ribs with mom’s pork chops
Then fiddle its way back to bed After the meal was consumed  

One scary night before this mystery was solved
I slept between my parents for protection  
Bookends of adult and authority on either side
Defense from anything ghoulish
Each parent rolled over facing the walls
As I lay blinking at the ceiling.  

2 a.m. is Skeleton’s supper time  
Down it came toward my parents’ room
Bones walk lightly when there is no moon  
Closer.  Closer.  Closer.
 
From the ceiling my eyes followed
To see what stood at the foot of the bed  
Its frame wiggled trying to materialize
To grab hold of me with solid hands   
Dad sighed in his sleep and the ghost misted away. 
Scared off by the possibility of his waking
I waited.  Waited.  Waited.  

My father was a quiet man, little brought out
his anger, looking back I think dad was
The Skeleton Ghost walking the halls at night
His spirit jumping out, looking for food for his soul
Wandering around for morsels of encouragement
His bony frame proved little return

Wherever he is, I hope there is a table before him
Every morning set with enlightenment, curiosity, love
I hope he found peace because
With one soft growl
One scary night

He save my life



You can get your copy of Odd Little Things from
independent book store Village Books
https://www.villagebooks.com/book/9798743768806

Day 350: Absorption

Ferlinghetti, seen in 1982 in San Francisco, rejects the term ‘memoir’ for his new book. Photograph: Chris Felver/Getty Images

“…and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead…”

-“I am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, (b. 1919- d. 2021) 

Something funny happened to me the other day.  First off I had a bad day.  Nothing too extreme, just your normal run-of-the-mill bummer of a day.  I was feeling inadequate at work and falling behind in some personal goals.  My little apartment is my sanctuary.  Pulling into my parking space, sitting in the car for a moment to collect myself, the weight of the day became known.  Dang, what a day!

Walked in to set my stuff in the house. Got the mail key. Went out to grabbed the day’s mail. Went back inside. Looked through it at my desk.  It’s Tuesday so grocery flyer day. A bunch of recycling from one box to another. One letter caught my attention immediately—no mistaking it, it was a check.  Inside was a letter from the local book store along with a check for the sale of ten of my poetry books, approximately $65.  The letter explained the 4th quarter payments are late due to accounting circumstances. I was bummed thinking nothing sold last quarter, but, apparently, somethings sold. So, this is good news.  But…I stared at the check and the letter with no exclamation or acknowledgment.  I was still processing my crappy day.  I needed to process my crappy day. I wanted to turn the key from sad to glad right away but instead, I said, “I’ll celebrate tomorrow, or Saturday.”  A voice replied, “Did you just schedule HAPPINESS?” 



Words Under My Skin

Can the lines of a book or poem hug you?  Yes.  Comfort comes in many forms and during this freakin’ pandemic I would guess many of us are seeking comfort in any form we can get it.  I sure am.

A shift that has started in my writing is absorption.  For the previous decade, poems came to me, loudly, processing through my mind and body and shooting out my fingertips to the page.  I appreciated the clarity of the thought.  What’s happening now is I hear the poem and just friggin’ savor it.  I’m keeping the words within me. Like a dissolving lozenge, the flavor slowly works its way through my soul, feeding my very essence.  Sounds dramatic?  It is.  A bit of a mini-drama.  My knee jerks to hurry up and capture the thought on paper, my throat wanting to continue the precious perception, says gently, simply, NO.

Writers have a natural progression, you get an idea you write, or you need to form an idea so you write.  Writers write.  The stanzas coming to me throughout my day and dream time should be placed onto the page. Perhaps the moments are attempts of my psyche to heal the mind and body, acknowledge and absorb the beauty around me, helping me to recover from a bad day.  Maybe I’m just being lazy.  Fresh words and stories come by for a visit and I talk with them and keep them in my heart.

Perhaps we can force another Age of Enlightenment onto the planet? Let’s keep creating and loving each other and see what happens. Have a good day wherever you are. -Shannon

P.S. I was looking forward to perhaps some aliens landing, or a break down of society completely but it looks like the vaccine is coming out and masks are coming off in September (my guess for Bellingham, WA.) *sigh* no fun.

Alcohol Poem Anthology

I am happy to announce my poem “Rancid Blood” was selected by James Bertolino for his new project an Alcohol Poem Anthology.  More details to post later. Stay tuned!

My bio reads: Shannon Laws is a World Peace Poet and non-profit radio producer in Bellingham, Washington. Her family has an intense, repetitive history with the disease of alcoholism and addiction. The current generation, more aware and supportive than any previous, keeps a loving eye on the next.

jesus casts out
“Jesus casting demons into swine” or “Why bacon is bad for us”

Rancid Blood

“Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him.”
-Luke 8:30, New King James Version

You sit across the table and smile
Eyes dark, glazed, fingers tap the table
As I search for words
What is your name?

A worm crawls inside
Eats the innards, of a rotten, soggy soul
You are dead, the you I knew
Died years ago

If only I could cast out demons
And send them to swine,
Alcohol no longer your blood

So sorry, but I have no words
The sight of you has stolen them
All I can do is hold your hand
I cannot climb your mountain
I cannot walk your path
I cannot fight your fight
This is a demon you must
Cast out of Yourself
Everyday

 

online cover OLT
Rancid Blood from “Odd Little Things” By Shannon P. Laws Copyright 2014

Event: Poetry Reading

You are invited~

cafezippy june 2015

 

Everett Poetry Night at Café Zippy

6/25/2015, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

2811 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA

This event kicks off my summer tour.  (More dates to follow) If you’re in the area please consider stopping by for some words and really good soup at the hosting cafe.  Thank you emcee Duane Kirby Jensen.  

Poetry Book: Odd Little Things

online cover OLT
Photo credit: Daniel Laws. Taken at Old Town Cafe, Bellingham. Home of the BEST beni

This book was a lifesaver.

Written over the years of late 2012-2014 the poetry that emerged from my finger tips started to take a new direction.  Nature and love topics will always be on my forethought, but objects like a pole, a cinnamon roll and a rain drop on a porch at night attacked my senses.

2013 was an especially wild year, romantically, professionally, artistically.  New jobs (plural), hope gained then lost AGAIN, projects built such as “Poetic Moments” radio feature and the Peace Poets ‘Read-in” events, wonderful highs.  Then the love life roller coaster: hot and cold, warm, simmer, then over and gone.  In my free time, my down time and on my dates with my notebook, words started to show up.  THINGS started to twinkle at me to say “hi”.  Simple things with deep worlds.

“Odd Little Things” is a shorter book than “Madrona Grove” but it feels like it says more with less words.  I hope you will consider adding it to you collection.  This is the age of the chap book, staple binding n’ all.  Collect them and SAVE a poet!

~Shannon P. Laws

Purchase “Odd Little Things” by visiting Village Books
online or walking in. 
Buy online here

Event: Three Poetry Host

3 poets Launch sept 2014_SLaws

 

You’re invited…

My new poetry book, Odd Little Things, will officially launch September 6, 2014 at Village Books, 4-5:00.  Please join me and my two poet-sisters, Carla Shafer and Erica Reed as we share our poetry.  Books will be  available for purchase and sign at the event.

Three’s COMPANY

I asked Carla and Erica to join me in my celebratory hour, mainly because I am a fan of their work, both on paper and within the community.  Carla’s graceful, intelligent writing makes me marvel at life’s organized beauty.  Erica is more like a surgeon with her pen, digging into areas of the heart and mind, exposing those delicate memories that need to be explored.

These woman are outstanding pillars in the writer community.  They care, they listen, they show up.  Dedicated to keeping the writing arts alive in Bellingham, Carla and Erica create platforms for area artist to express themselves; with projects like Fairhaven Art Block, writing poetry by request at the Farmer’s Market, and  Read-ins for Peace.

 

 

 

Book: Odd Little Things

So happy to announce that my book is out, and ready for purchase!

“Odd Little Things”
Released June 2014

Purchase your copy here:

Description

The 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award recipient, poet, author and community radio personality, Shannon P. Laws, celebrates glory in the little things, the odd little things to be exact.
“Odd Little Things” is a familiar ride full of piercing moments and wishes. In this, her second book of poetry, Shannon bares all making you feel like best friends at a café sharing secrets. The cycles of life seem to spin like an unforgiving stellar system for this poet. However large or small, everything matters, especially the moments you only share with yourself. Shannon says about her new book, “If ‘Madrona Grove’ is my lover, then ‘Odd Little Things’ is my child.”

About the Author

Bellingham poet, Shannon P. Laws, is a regular at open mics, sharing poems and excerpts from her work of literary fiction. She can be found at such venues as Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, Village Books Open Mic, Poetry Night and Kitchen Sessions. She is a founding member of World Peace Poets, who encourage harmony through words for international writers at various public readings. In her spare time she hosts the Village Books Poetry Group, and is a volunteer producer at a non-profit community radio station.
Product Details
ISBN-10: 0692222359
ISBN-13: 9780692222355
Published: Chickadee Productions, 06/24/2014
Pages: 44 , $7.99

Message from the Author

“Synchronicity shows up in the oddest places.  It  waves at us, at just the right moment, from the living rings of our spiraling universe. It is our choice to recognize it. Miss it once, well that’s OK, perhaps you’ll catch it next time around. Years later a lightning bolt of déjà vu runs down your spine, awakens the bumps on your skin, jerks your elbow to perform a respectful wave back toward your connection to it all.
 
Thank you for the visit, spending some time with me in my mind’s garden.”  
 
 
~Shannon P. Laws