I wrote this poem last year, some four years after the death of my father.  It seems strange, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn't write about it earlier.  I just choked, gagged, and neither my brains nor my hands seemed capable of movement, of forming words to describe the experience. I was finally able to assemble a few words, and I know I have so many more walled up inside me. The following words try to describe the very last time I saw him, when I knew he was on his deathbed, and I was never going to see him alive again.

Gone Daddy

 I lie next to him

turn my head to kiss his cheek.

Don't, don't, it hurts

It hurts when you touch me.

 I turn my head, stare

with clouded eyes at the ceiling.

Unspoken words arc the night

return to earth to unknot their syllables.

Daddy, I love you

            I love you too.

Like hibiscus drenched in rain

my heart blooms.

He lies quietly

his breath, fluttering.

©Shery Alexander Heinis

Shery Alexander Heinis

I'm back from beautiful St. Lucia and wanted to share with you some memories from my last poetry event "Poetry in 2 Acts" What a week that was, so I never had the time to sit down and write!

It was a cold night in February, but friends and well-wishers came to share their time and offer support for "Poetry in 2 Acts". My friend Terri-Ann, the lovely mezzo-soprano, set the stage for the evening with her wonderful rendition of the negro spiritual"Nobody Knows". I continued with poems expressing both visible and invisible pain, loss, rejection, identity and love. Alex, my guitarist friend, was there again to accompany me in poetry performance.

And the best surprise of the night was Jada, Alex's daughter,  who I invited to provide us with an impromptu jazz rendition.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support this fundraising event, and to those who, even if they were not able to attend, supported this effort in other ways.  Enjoy some of the photos from that night!

Shery Alexander Heinis
Celebrating Black History Month with "Poetry in 2 Acts"

I'm really excited about my upcoming poetry event entitled "Poetry in 2 Acts" scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2017. It will be a celebration of Black History Month. This time around, I'll be sharing the stage with my friends mezzo-soprano Terri-Ann Wint Scar[a de Masselis and guitarist Alex Eloise.

As the name implies, the event will unfold in 2 Acts: Part 1, introduced with a song, will focus on pain and loss, while the second act, also introduced by a song, will focus on identity.

This is a fundraising event and all proceeds will support charities serving the black community in Ottawa.  I look forward to welcoming you!

Shery Alexander Heinis