Vintage Strength

Fierce winds suddenly rise
and threaten to destroy everything.

She is stretched and tested
by the pushing,
           pulling,
               howling, and
                   screaming.

The weathered door whistles and bends
causing her to tremble and quake.

Run She does not.
Collapse She does not.

Bravely, She braces the splintered door
when gales whip and shake.

Give up She does not.
Curse the heavens She does not.

It is a destructive wind –
too much for one woman.

Fearful She is not.
Alone She is not.

Thirteen grandmothers stand with her –
skin pressing skin, muscles flexed, feet digging in.

Mightier than a major hurricane,
She is protected by her motherly guardians.

They whisper in her ear –
“Stand strong, child,
               Stand strong!
                   We are here,
                       We won’t let you fall.”

She closes her burning eyes and breathes
them into her core. One by one they become her.

Poseidon’s fury is no match for
a woman robed in ancestral armor.

She laughs at the gods
and smiles at the heavens.

She knows there is a calm
beyond the door,
beyond the storm.

Artist Sammi Lee at the Mayan Ruins of Coba, Mexico

This poem was modified from a poem I wrote for my third poetry collection, Being a Woman – Forthcoming. For those who have read this collection, if you look closely, you will notice several familiar phrases from the original poem (same title), but it took on a new (and longer) life last night.

The digital art, titled “Anandamaya,” that inspired this expansion, was created by my artist daughter, Sammi Lee. Sammi is also the illustrator of my three Being a Woman Collections. There is something truly magical about merging my daughter’s work with mine. I never know what is going to show up and I am beyond grateful when it does. ✨ I last did this in October, in my post, “Shedding Skin.” You can see more of Sammi’s art, including artist fashions, at Mintaka Collection. Clicking on her name will take you to her artist’s page. Who knows, maybe her art will inspire you to write poetry! 😍 Or shop! 😁

Featured musician, Nina Simone. Check out my poetic prose post,A Note to Nina and Bettyto learn more about Nina and how she inspired me in the classroom.

Thank you for visiting, reading, and listening! Be well. 💗 Michele

Find my (spring) photos, reels, and micropoetry on IG ~ @mlsefton

Image 1: Digital drawing by Artist, Sammi Lee, “Anandamaya” Photo 1: Sammi Lee at the Mayan Ruins of Coba, Mexico

© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

101 thoughts on “Vintage Strength

  1. ““Stand strong, child,
    Stand strong!” Yes, do. These is splendid poetry. Gives so much encouragement. And then Nina Simone? Can’t get any better (this time) Vintage Strength is a different kind of strength we have today. Thanmks for sharing. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the power of those lines when I wrote them. I love when that happens. Thank you very much, Selma. I am grateful for your read and support. Nina, yes!! I thought of this song after I wrote the poem last night. It feels like a perfect fit. A different strength, yes. I love and believe in the idea that our ancestors are with us. Have a wonderful day! 🌞

      Liked by 2 people

  2. kenhume79

    Excellent poem Michelle! 😁👏👌 Stirring imagery full of hope and strength! The following lines stood out to me:
    “Poseidon’s fury is no match for
    a woman robed in ancestral armor.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Ken. I appreciate your enthusiastic response. Writing that poem was an interesting process last night. Borrowing and rearranging phrases from the original “Vintage Strength” poem then this completely transformed poem showed up, inspired by Sammi’s art. Quite a writing experience. Thanks for sharing your standout line – I like that one too. We must remember… all those who came before us and whose spirit lives in us! 💪🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kenhume79

        Indeed we must Michelle! “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” I love when you can take a previously written poem; change it a little and transform it into something even better as a result! 😁❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele my dear, you nailed some poignant moments in women’s history my friend. First, let me say that your poem is a powerful testament to the strength and endurance that embodies the voice of women throughout the ages. 👩🏼‍🏫👩🏽‍⚖️👮🏼‍♀️🕵🏽‍♀️ You featured an artist who did not get the type of notoriety she truly deserved during her time. Many did not realize that Nina Simone and Betty Davis had a voice and advocacy that embraced the depth of their humanity, whether acknowledged for it or not. Their words were a shock to the system no doubt, but I love the way you captured the essence of how the music tantalized and inspired your creativity. I reread your piece that you wrote last year about these two women. It affected me differently this time I reread it slowly. 📙📖📗

    As they inspired you, and you passed your creative DNA on to Sammi, her talents obviously resonate profoundly, just like her momma’s! Thanks for this great share this morning my dear. 🥰🙏🏼🌺 You have inspired me this morning to pick up the mantle and allow the spirit of creativity to lift me up! Whoooohoooooo!!! 🐱‍🏍🦋🦅

    Like

    1. Thank you, writer Kym. I value your perspective and feedback and sincerely appreciate your comments about women, including Nina and Betty. 🙏🏻Betty passed recently. 😢 I toiled a bit with this poem. I knew I wanted to pair it with my original, “Vintage Strength” poem, but that one fell short. I rearranged and rewrote and kept at it, while looking at Sam’s image (the print version in my office) then the words did flow. Surprising and delighting me. Writing. 💖 Sometimes we need more patience and persistence than others. Thank you for rereading a post that means a lot to me. 🎶

      You are an inspiration and maven of motivation! Your visits, support, and messages also mean a lot to me. I can feel your energy! It has been a privilege to share and inspire. Soar lovely lady! Enjoy your creative day! 🌞🤗💃🏽💃🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh Michele, I am a little overwhelmed by your sweet and gentle spirit my friend. I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, how you encourage me with your warmth, support and overall authenticity.

        Creativity allows inspiration to take us to new levels of awareness and anticipation because we can pause and absorb the beauty surrounding us. This is something we see in each other and the reason we can dance 💃🏼🎶💃🏽 and soar to new heights. 🐱‍🏍🦋🦅 So dawwwwlinkkkk, on that note, don’t miss an opportunity to bask in the essence of this weekend, no matter what it looks like outside. It’s what dwells inside that matters! Hugs and smooches!!! 🤗💖😘💐🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  4. margaret littin

    Thank you Michelle. This poem is wonderful. I truly loved it. I will be rereading it often to feel the support it offers. Also, nice to know about your daughter and her work. I will definitely explore more of her work. I received my copy of Being a Woman Overcoming, and related to many of the poems but especially “Makeup & Hair”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I am so glad you enjoyed the poem. 🌻 I am grateful for your first read – you choosing to reread it is an honor. 🙏🏻 On artist Sammi’s behalf – thank you and thanks for purchasing our first collection! That first poem, “Curves” launched that collection and the subsequent collections. I appreciate you! 💐

      Like

    1. Thank you very much, John. I enjoyed writing it and sharing Sammi’s art. Some late-night toil involved, but that makes the final product that much more enjoyable. It is a pleasure to create and share. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “ Poseidon’s fury is no match for
    a woman robed in ancestral armor.” Gorgeous language in a stunning poem, combined with such a lovely piece of artwork. The poem gives the reader such a visceral feeling, we were there watching and learning. Amazing write, Michele. 💖 Wishing you a wonderful weekend! 🌿🌼🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Jeff. I do like those lines – the sounds of the words and the idea behind them. ✨ This poem was a bit of a struggle last night, then it blew down the door and the words flowed. 😄 I am so glad I pushed through because the original poem needed some new energy for Sammi’s art. I appreciate reading about your experience with this poem. 🙏🏻💝 Thank you and same to you! 🌻🌳

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Michele. Always. 💖🙏 Ah, I like those lines for the same reasons. I completely understand how that is, and am glad you pushed through too. Thank you! 🌼🌿🌳

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this Michele. So powerfully expressed in your lines.
    Wonderful imagery and lead up in your delivery!
    💖💖💖💖
    “:She laughs at the gods
    and smiles at the heavens.

    She knows there is a calm
    beyond the door,
    beyond the storm.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful poem, Michele! Good to read you again here. Been a bit busy with life…. I usually am more active in IG though… Hope you are well. This is a wonderful collaboration between you and your daughter.. 😊🌹☺️🌹💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Diana. It is wonderful to read you too! 😊 I hope it is a good busy. I am doing well, thank you. 🙏🏻 It is a joy to collaborate with her. 💗 Best to you, beautiful and talented poetess. 💐

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely lines of lineage, in the poetry you write, and your daughters fine artwork, I must say – it’s a delight. Together, you and Sammi make a strong & wonderfully creative mother-daughter team! Have a Happy Easter weekend, Michele. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do take great delight in collaborating with my daughter, and it is easy to be inspired by her beautiful work. Her work has evolved a bit since we first colored together. ✨ Thank you very much, Phil. Same to you! 🌻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen. Whether received first-hand or through our DNA, the lessons and strengths are there. I also believe, as I bet you do too, that ancestors show up as guardian angels. ✨ It is an empowering belief. Thank you for reading and adding great meaning and purpose to my poem. 🙏🏻 It was a powerful one that had memorable energy.

      Like

    1. The art, yes! Sammi is incredible! She is so gifted and what a gift she is. 💝 It is an honor and a profoundly elevated experience to expand her art with my words. Thank for visiting and appreciating. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

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