On Writing

Poem 91 – Inter & NPM & Countdown Begins!

Inter (between)

inked between a crime and a virus
the poet drops her pen so she can pull out her hair

the brass plaque stolen Mary Bibb storming in her grave 
what kind of person steals a plaque? Mary knows having
thundered against them every day of her life and death now too

the flurry of rescheduling moving beds loading school books
into bursting back packs – these weights we’re carrying on the
back of the biting laughter of an invisible shape-shifter strengthening
in the gory glory of our weaknesses

mollitia sit virtus
resilience is power

put the plaque back! – the poet cursives then screams
throws her hair at the mirror 

words are different for the virus it doesn’t care about language
it knows only violent survival     the claws of it the determined fury

she stabs her pen into paper staking her claim in the frothy hope
of a future she keeps alive by writing poetry    it’s not enough

verba refert
words matter

right? right? 

The Countdown Begins!

Happy April, friends! The countdown to my virtual launch officially begins! Plans are progressing well with confirmed dates for interviews as well as events. You can stay tuned to all the delicious details that are posted on my website: www.vanessashields.com.

Tomorrow I meet with the PR team and we hash out the marketing plan as well as finalize all the links for zooms. Yay! Thank you for your patience!

Those of you who have already purchased a book for pre-sale THANK YOU! The books have not yet arrived, but as soon as they do, you’ll know because you’ll hear me yelp and yawp with joy.


Today begins a month dedicated to the vast and voluptuous world of poetry! Do remember to read poetry every day! A poem a day keeps the doctor away! It’s true! Here are some links to incredible poetry websites:

The League of Canadian Poets

The Poetry Foundation

Poetry In Voice

Rattle Poetry

A Hundred Falling Veils – Poetry by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

I’m still taking requests for Poetry on Demand…so far, no one has requested a poem! Ha. It’s all good. But if you’d like me to write you a poem, send me an email with some words or a theme, and I’ll let you know the date I’ll be posting your poem. (Email: shieldsvanessa@gmail.com. – please put ‘Poetry on Demand Request’ in the subject line.)

One thought on “Poem 91 – Inter & NPM & Countdown Begins!

  1. HI Vanessa,

    I’m so glad you’ve written about “ the stolen plaque”. Who does this? Mary Bibb was a wonderful woman,

    a true leader, as was her husband! You and I are white- do we have any inkling how lucky we are???

    I”m glad I drove by Mackenzie Hall shortly after the park was named for Mary Bibb, and while the plaque was there!



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