She Walks in Beauty

A cherished reader, talented writer, and dedicated teacher wrote a poem about me in response to my post, “Sidewalk Conversations,” which featured two poems about conversations I had with two homeless men, separated by time and geographical locations. I am so appreciative of reader, asumoftheparts, for this poem and for her ongoing thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. I am honored to post this special midweek share and I am doing so with permission from the poet. This poem, “She Walks in Beauty,” inspires me.

She lives in a paradigm of beauty
Spoken and written word
scribbled on scraps, napkins and sticky notes
until they find their way to her world
    Family memories,
    blogs of moments captured
    in memory and camera lens.

Her love of beauty extends
    (or does it begin?)
    with visual art
From her daughter, a working
    artist in Oregon
to the beauty of canvasses from
    street boys in Rwanda.

Her own talent knows no bounds
    (this woman of privilege)

She lives in a world of beauty
    that includes “Alex”—
    endlessly searching his streets
    to capture his life in drawings
    worthy of gallery walls
    (his proof of his existence?)

She does not turn away,
nor does she rivet him with the
obvious questions of how he
came to be here.

She simply shares a moment—
perhaps more meaningful for her
    than for him.
A moment in which she sees through
    the rucksack, the frayed sandals,
    the smell of earth and stagnant air

To an artist
bound to this life
by misfortune or bad choice—
No matter—he finds beauty and expresses it
on his found canvases.

He is alive.

She finds yet another—
a reader like herself—
one brilliant in thought and expression
perhaps owning skills honed in school
or on the streets that are now his classroom.

She thinks, “Perhaps I should bring a book
    rather than food”
Nurture the soul rather than the body?
Perhaps next time…but next time he will
    be miles away, lost in another chapter
    of his life’s adventure.

But there will be another
for this seeker of beauty. She will not turn away,
    but grow richer
    from the encounter.

I did my best to maintain the poet’s original formatting and spacing. The photo is my capture from Eugene, Oregon, taken when I visited my daughter last October.

Thank you for visiting and reading. I will return Saturday. Enjoy your week. 🌞

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

48 thoughts on “She Walks in Beauty

  1. I could not stop reading this one, Michele.

    I bought a piece of art last year from John, a homeless man in San Francisco. He sets up his cardboard “shop” on the sidewalk near my son-in-law’s condominium. His little acrylic painting on a piece of pine wood is among my prize possessions. So is the conversation we shared surrounding my commissioning of the painting and later purchase.

    Thank you for reminding me that so much life operates where most of us avert our eyes and attention–a loss to all of us.

    I pause again to read your words–actually reading does not capture it; absorbing is more like it.

    Thank you, as always.
    Al Bell

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Al, thank you for sharing your touching story. I can imagine your conversation with John about his art, that is now a prized possession for you. I love learning the stories behind art, whether the art is a painting, a song, a dance, or a poem. 😊
      Thank you for reading, always.

      This poem, written by another writer, is a prized “possession” for me. 🥰


    1. It truly is an honor, David. Thank you.
      I am not worthy, but I am moved by the thought of my poem inspiring more writing and sharing. And by the thought that you too, were deeply moved. My heart and writing brain are both grateful. 😊 🙏


  2. I feel so fortunate to have connected with you – what a beautiful poem that paints a picture of the beautiful heart you are. I enjoyed it all and my favorite lines are:
    She thinks, “Perhaps I should bring a book
    rather than food”
    Nurture the soul rather than the body?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those lines too.💕Delicious words that fill up my heart. It is perceptive that she wrote that, because, of course, I wanted to bring him a box of books… wherever he disappeared to.

      I am grateful for the connection to you too; you have a presence that is both gentle and highly aware and I appreciate the time and effort you put into reading and responding to blog posts. Not just mine, but many. 💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Msdedeng

    I had to go back to “side walk conversations” to truly appreciate this. “Alex” has left me with so many imaginations, but it is you I am grateful to, for documenting your experience. Thank you, and a beautiful picture you have used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy that my poem, “Rucksack Artist,” the story of a memorable artist, is getting another read. Thank you for taking the time to go back for a second look. Alex left an impression on me, and I have thought of him often. It was a privilege to spend time with him; I wish I could have done more.

      Visiting Oregon last fall was a treat. The green scenery and changing leaves were a dream. Thank you. 😊


      1. Msdedeng

        It was such a pleasure reading your story. I find Oregon beautiful already, but it’s also the feel of the place. The people seem free, lively, and happy to exist. I cannot put it into words, but I feel very relaxed in Portland. My husband and I returned from Portland a few days ago. We had visited his sister.
        I love your blog and marked it has one to return to. Please take care of yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How wonderful that you were able to visit Portland. I love Portland and look forward to returning… someday. 😀 I agree. Oregon is so rich in natural beauty and friendly, relaxed people. Leaving the desert last fall and going there for nine days was a breath of fresh air. Literally. 😆 I enjoyed refreshing walks around campus while my daughter was in class and we had a wonderful time when she wasn’t. Of course, most classes were/are online with Covid, but she still needed to get some work done. 😉
        Thank you for visiting my blog and marking it as one to return to. I am grateful. I intend to reciprocate. 🙏
        Be well, Michele


      3. Msdedeng

        “Relaxed” is a good way to describe Portland, and yes, lots of fresh air. Haha. I am sure your daughter loved having you visit her. Plus, there is much to do around the university area when she had to be in class.


    1. Those are beautiful words. The poet, asumoftheparts, is talented and generous with her time. She said she felt moved to write her poem after reading my post, “Sidewalk Conversations.” I am grateful and others are able to enjoy her words, along with me. Thank you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  4. People who inspire poetry are indeed lasting souls so I loved reading this perception of you! In all the small ways I know you, I find words to connect with while learning new facets of you at the same time. Beautiful words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your description of poets, Jaya. Having attended an elementary school named after poet, Walt Whitman, I had an early affinity for poets and poetry that has continued through the years. Not surprising, I am enjoying writing and connecting with other poets in this forum who inspire me, entertain me, and help me to see ideas and life from fresh perspectives. Thank you for the visit. 🌻

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Accorded to a compassionate, lovely lady, this aptly titled poetry is both a splendid work and a well-deserved honor 😍 So wonderful, dear Michele ~ have a great weekend 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very kind, Phil. I was honored to received this beautiful poem. As my two poems reveal, I was forever impacted by the two homeless men that inspired this poetic response. There are many factors the contribute to the problem of homelessness, but it seems so solvable. Not that I have the solutions. 🙃 Those living on the street and/or in shelters makes me think of the proverb, “There by the by grace of god go I.” Enjoy your camera time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Michelle, sorry for my delay. And you are definitely welcome just by all the inspiration and work you put into what you do here, let alone providing such beauty; my hat is off to you for sure!

        This was a gift to me dear! Thank you!
        Look forward to more coming and having the opportunity to share thoughts and sincere interests!
        God bless you and yours!💐


        Liked by 1 person

      2. No need to apologize. Life is busy. I sincerely appreciate your kindness and support. I am inspired to create and share and love doing so – it is nice to be appreciated. 😊 Thank you so much, Lawrence. Light and love to you and yours. 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

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