Sunday, March 11, 2018


What if we're living
in the belly of a whale
it gulped us all down
with our pills and Unfollows
and we can't help ourselves
we dared it to swallow
and it's been longer than three days
and longer than three nights, and
our world is taking place
inside this whale's mouth
while the angels lay low
with their grandly folded wings
in the safety of the whales in our souls

And there are other whales, too
like the one inside our guts
caught in the belly of a beast
flooded with our lack of trust
rocking and swinging to the dread of it
and then there's the whale
tossed around inside our heads
filled with our fragile, unspoken things
battered and soaked from the sorrow of it
and that one last whale in our hearts
our loneliness seeping into its mouth
as it thrashes back and forth
to the beat of it

A whale within a whale within a whale
all of them needing
a breath at the surface
a bellowing of their windpipes
from the cruel hum of us within
but they're wrecked at the bottom
with our earth dust and rage
the whales are all drowning
and, we, along with them
in the depths of our fears
the whales, they are calling
and our spirits, they're starving
but our eyes, they can't find the tears.

©Sherri Brannon

Our world needs a healing. I feel the weight of it so strongly that every single poem I write lately is about this.

I'll be honest...I've always felt uncomfortable about how sad my poems tend to be. I've struggled with this since I began writing, but over time I've realized that poetry is how I let go of whatever is troubling me. Writing it out releases the heavy baggage of it from my heart. It's therapeutic, and once that poem is expelled I feel relief. I feel like I need to shout out to whoever reads this, "I'm actually a happy person! I'm blessed, and my days are filled with music, art, family, smiles, and gratitude!" Those words I'd shout out to you are the truth. But my poems are the truth, too.

I created my whale digitally in Procreate, on my iPad Pro - I also used a few apps to create more texture (iColorama, Glaze).

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Poetry: Dear Moon


Dear Moon, come find me here.
You've been hiding and it's been awhile.
I see you've come full circle again.
What is it about you that I can meet you in the dark
and pour out my heart when I'm struggling?
You make it easy, cratered as you are with your flaws.
Like I am.
It seems I feel safest when I'm loving from a distance,
and I can see it on your face
that you'll keep my secrets.

This world has me weary from the gravity of things, how it's given itself up
to the cutthroat keyboards. Hunched over them at such a cruel angle.
I've stopped letting that into my house.
Hearts here have gone half dark, and
it's so hard to talk to the halfhearted.
I wonder, do you feel invisible when the sun comes up?
Do you feel blue when earth turns its back?
Thank you for hearing me, for your tender reflection,
and can I confess? I've stopped searching for myself
on other people's faces. It leaves such an empty feeling.

One thing I know for certain, my heart has been pulling at me,
moving words inside me like you move the seas,
spitting phrases at me when I'm not prepared to hear them.
It's been awhile
since I wrote my heart down.
Tell me, are you the keeper of the stars? Do you grieve
when they burn out or do you surrender and let them fall?
I ask because my soul stays seventeen, yearning for itself,
but sees another in the mirror. And, this earth tries to tell me
dreams must die with age, just like skin and bones do.

Dear Moon, please don't worry, I'll be fine.
My journey here is a frail and finite thing,
with the anguish of a mind, the reality of time.
I'll keep seeking the secret to this duality of life,
its mystic double entry. And, there's such joy,
such sweet attraction to a thousand recollections:
poems blooming like love flowers in my throat,
teardrops falling from the grace of an inner knowing,
that divine spark of always becoming,
even while headed towards dying.

© Sherri Brannon

Art work created on iPad Pro with Procreate, Glaze, and iColorama apps.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Red, White and Blue



We are
souls in a body
soft spirits
pressed up
against the harshness
of our minds
gentle lambs consumed
by the lion
of our brains
living in a place
where cynicism
is an epidemic
breathing in
the poison
of its blue breath
and we are
with the sting
of its scorn

We are heart brutes
drowned out by the
clank clank
of our thought chains
finite bodies
all fear and quick
gritting our teeth
while drones loom
reveling in
the mock and hollow
of hate and debate
our rib bones bleached
white with spite
we, in the round,
with our square screens
and our rush of blood
we are ego
bleeding out
like red wine
staining the carpet.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

The state of humanity...stark words that feel clipped and harsh on my tongue.

I created the image with apps - I took a photo of my hand and then overlayed another photo of birds soaring in the sky. In Procreate, I added the heart and tears.

It has been awhile since I've posted a writing always comes from whatever energy I'm feeling at the time, and lately it's filled with the turmoil and divide of our world.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Poetry: Heart to Heart

Falling star


Night makes an entrance
saying hello, bowing low
like a cosmic gentleman
listening to my words
as I pour my heart out
in the white-starred silence:
This sad earth of ours
is falling apart
all the people
in our troubled towns
with their angry mouths
have forgotten they're made
from long dead stars
all this mess of life
that strains itself
through cynical hearts
bitter thrones
spirits struck down
choked off, falling hard
and it shows
stardust hearts
have turned themselves off
burned themselves out
it's hard to share
my feathery thoughts
with stony hearts
and it's not in me
to put my fists up and fight
with these bird wrists of mine
this story book mind that
always looks to the skies
that wants to love softly
and fly
I plead with the night:
please help us to
sort it all out in time
and out of the blue
the sky answers in kind
sending me a tender sign
tossing down a falling star
a celestial offering
from its own carbon heart
to mine.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

A falling star is absolutely magical...I saw one recently and my heart overflowed. A split second of a miracle for my eyes only, or maybe not. Did anyone else at that exact moment happen to be looking up at the sky right when it happened? If so, we were supremely lucky to have shared that moment together. Separately, but together.

The state of the world...the ugliness we're showing to each other...the vast weighs heavily on me these days. Almost all of my poetry is about this subject right now. I like how this poem runs together in a big jumble, just like my stream-of-thought when I'm standing alone looking up at the stars.

My photo started out as a daylight photo I took in Hilton Head a month or so ago - I put it through several apps and it began to look like a night photo. I thought it would be a great photo to support my poem.

Grace is always present. You imagine it as something high in the sky, far away, something that has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart. When the mind rests in its source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you. ~Ramana Maharshi

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Poetry: Wild



Most people carry the husks
of their wild oats
in their pockets
and every once in awhile
their hand reaches in
to scoop out an old piece of rebellion
turned to sawdust
and it makes them smile

But I was that child
whose only version of wild
was to raise my hand to read out loud in class
in my own quiet way of daring
and it turned into a lifelong thing
this cautious mind, with empty pockets
lost in an inner world
deep within the confines
of my careful cage of a body

It's all okay, though,
I'm coming back around
I was always afraid of my own shadow
but God was just making sure
I was breaking it in
growing me into a better version
of that bookworm child
teaching me to see
beyond the hard edges
of my knowledge

And I have come to love
my own way of the wild
the soul-side kind
curve of spirit, circle of dreams
soft epiphanies and wonders
spiraling behind my eyes
which may have aging lines
but now seek out the light in others
because the eyes
can never tell lies

My wild oats are alive
and they're with me even now
I shake them off my fingers
collecting them
between the pages of my journal
soulful word husks
pressed into the grain of the paper
where I can sit in my wild silence
and read them, and smile.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.
~Anne Sexton

I was never a rebel growing up...I was the quiet, studious one. I was the good girl who was afraid to step out of line or get into trouble. I'm perfectly content with that now. It suits me perfectly. We all have some sort of wild in us...mine was (is) just quieter, and more internal. What kind of wild did (do) you have?

As a creative challenge, I tried to come up with an image to go along with my poem. I don't know if I succeeded, but it sure was fun trying. I blended two of my iPhone images together in Superimpose (one being a shadow photo of my hand). I recently discovered the Slow Shutter Cam app and I'm having fun trying to figure it out. It'll take some practice!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Poetry: Grounded



I seek out the water
and we breathe together
I look into the
honest eyes
of the dusk flowers
and we see each other
I love these moments
how my soul
takes time to notice
I have long resisted
that my sensitivity
is my strength
we fools of the world
there are days
I'd rather not
have my fragile heart
be my super power
with my soft approach
my love of dead poets
my lofty thoughts of God
all tethered down
by this ball and chain
of a brain

I seek comfort in nature
its wordless wonder
with no malice or sting
there are no greedy stars
with cynical hearts
I think about the sound
the moon must make
when it brushes
against the water
and I'm forever grateful
the herons don't mock
they have no sharp tongues
no sorrows that burn
no eyes filled
with fire and ego
I watch them fly
daring me to follow
and I stand there
as they depart
for the sky
to their paradise,
their star-God life.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

The jewel is the awaring presence, not the object being seen. That’s why we can be bored and disappointed while gazing at the Swiss Alps and ecstatic and blissed out over a crumpled cigarette package in the gutter. The beauty is in the quality of the seeing, the awareness, the presence, not in the object being seen. ~Joan Tollifson

This is my first poem I've written in well over a's nice to be back. Real life has been very busy. The image was taken with my iPhone and edited with Stackables.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

App Stacking Edits: Waterlogue, Tangled FX, iColorama, Distressed FX

Fall grass in Florida

Morning fog in Florida

App stacking has become my only method of altering my photos - I'm actually starting to forget how to use Photoshop Elements. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite recent edits.

For the first photo, I used Tangled FX initially, and then merged that photo with the original one in Superimpose to make the effect more subtle. I added the birds with Distressed FX. I also played with the image in iColorama using the "Raise" effect. I've discovered if you bring the opacity way down on the Raise effect, it sharpens the image in a very pleasing way. I believe I also added a paper texture in iColorama.

I was thrilled with how the second photo came out - I had forgotten about the Waterlogue app and hadn't used it in awhile. I love the wonderful watercolor look it gives. After altering my photo in Waterlogue, I merged it with the original image in Superimpose to achieve a happy medium between the two. I then used the iColorama "raise" effect to sharpen the image, and I love how defined it made the tree limbs.

Thank you for stopping by! I'm "sherribrannon" on Instagram.