Sharmagne Leland-St. John, four time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a Native American poet, concert performer, lyricist, artist, and film maker. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the poetry e-zine Sharmagne spends time between her home in the Hollywood Hills, in Southern California and at Brown Hackle Lodge, her fly fishing lodge on the Stillaguamish River in the Pacific Northwest. She tours the United States, Canada, and England as a performance poet. She has published four collections of poetry Unsung Songs (2003), Silver Tears and Time (2005), Contingencies (2008), La Kalima (2010), and co-authored a book on film production design: Designing Movies: Portrait of a Hollywood Artist (Greenwood/Praeger 2006) Most recently she has co- founded a poetry venue in Washington called fogdog poetry.

Things I'll Do Now That He's Gone

I'll go to Tuscany alone
and flirt with dark eyed men

I'll buy a zither
and join a gypsy band

I'll paint my toenails
fire-engine red

I'll learn to write Sanskrit
and leave messages
in indelible ink
scrawled on bathroom walls
in cities with names
beginning with the letter "Q"

I'll stay in on Thursdays
and cry myself to sleep
on Friday nights

I'll learn to tango
and propagate red roses
with 12 inch stems
devoid of thorns

I'll make wishes on stars
and believe they'll come true

I'll subscribe to Ladies Home Journal

I'll have an affair with Bob Dylan
I'll lose 10 more pounds
and become famous for something truly inane

It could happen you know

published on “Everything 2” (online journal)


La Kalima

Like swallows they return each year
their vermilion scarves stirring
in the relentless,
oppressive, scalding Sciroccos.

They come amber scented
from Tunisia
the hems of their lilac kaftans
fluttering in the zephyr's
white-hot breath.

They come from Kashmir
with mehndi stained hands and feet,
physical graffiti,
their silk saris whispering raginis
pitched to sultry winds.

They come from Cairo
their kohl eyes
searching the bazaar
for the delicate spider web lace,
the rondels woven by
needle pricked fingers.

They come from Andalusia
with jessamine and geranium
pinned into the lustrous ripples
of their burnished ebony hair

They come and they go
to return each year like swallows.

from La Kalima ~ A Fourth Collection of Poetry


There Were Dry Red Days

There were dry red days.
Devoid of clouds.
Devoid of breeze.
Sound bruised
My burning bones.
Dirt cracked my hands
And caked my cheeks
No buds on limbs of trees
No birds on branches
No hope of rain
Scrawny chickens
Kicked up dust
Scratching for food
That wasn't there.
In the stifling, stillness
Of the scorched night
We dreamt
Of cool oases
Tropical isles
Emerald bays
Not these dry red days

from Silver Tears and Time. 2005

Sharmagne Leland St. John

2011 Sharmagne Leland-St.John

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