by Karen Keller Capuciati
Beautiful. Inspiring. Sacred.
That’s how I would describe the poetry of Christine Sherwood, collected in her book, Help Me Remember Who I Am, which is subtitled Poetry of Healing.
When I read her verse, it stirs a knowing deep inside me, an inherent truth that all of us can recognize if we just really listen, a greater knowing that obviously came alive in Christine when she was faced with her own mortality.
She was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2006. And through the struggles that cancer brought her, it seems a divine spirit blossomed inside. “I see now that the poems capture moments in time that I was seeing through the pain and into the face of God,“ Christine relates on her website.
Ironically, Christine doesn’t consider herself a writer or poet. In fact, she has never written poetry before and doesn’t feel that she really wrote these poems herself, but rather channeled them onto the page.
Christine recently read her poems aloud at Lenny Foster’s Living Light Gallery in her hometown of Taos, New Mexico. She had the reading videotaped exclusively for In Care of Dad, so that we could share her wonderful poetry with you.
Listen to Christine read her poem, “Breathe” and tell me it doesn’t give you pause.
I think I am asleep
I think I am awake
What are these states that I think I am in?
While asleep I know my deepest dreams
While awake I drive for blocks not remembering where I’ve been
Yet someone always reports that state that I am in
What if I have it backwards or
What if none of these states exists at all?
I even wonder why it is important to me
Perhaps because there is something coursing through my blood
It is what makes the cells divide, the DNA split and
The mitochondria produce energy
It is primal, ancient and timeless
It does not require me to notice it or acknowledge it
It is there whether I am asleep or awake
Dancing drunk with joy or pierced by grief
Filled with light or filled with engineered drugs that
Make me appear dead to the surgeons’ knife
But it is alive
Cruising the golden pathways of life within me
And it has a voice
I can hear it even from the void I am in
It gives me the command that rules the universe
So simple, so surprising
You are the love of God