A collection of her thoughts

Washougal woman self-publishes a poetry book about her life

"My Essence"

I was always happy to see you,

Because you were happy to see me.

I always felt warm,

I always felt special,

I always felt loved.

You're in all the facets of my life,

My disposition, personal values, and inner strength.

I feel you in my memories,

I feel you in my heart,

I feel you in my soul.

We have an unbreakable bond,

Time, distance, or death won't end our connection.

You're there for me when I need you,

You lift my spirit with your love,

You emanate from deep within my essence.

I'm proud that you're a part of me,

And that I'm a part of you.

"A Journey of Pride"

A child teeters and takes his first step-

He looks and finds his mother's proud smile.

A child kneels and picks his first flower-

He brings it to his mother's' proud smile.

A child leaves for his first day of school-

He turns to catch his mothers' proud smile.

A child learns and achieves through the years-

He seeks to find his mother's proud smile.

A child is inspired through his music-

He feels blessed by his mother's proud smile.

A child wears his graduation hat--

He stands tall for his mother's' proud smile.

A child holds a bouquet of flowers--

He remembers his mother's' proud smile..

A man will make hard choices in life-

He turns inward for Mother's proud smile.

“My Essence”

I was always happy to see you,

Because you were happy to see me.

I always felt warm,

I always felt special,

I always felt loved.

You’re in all the facets of my life,

My disposition, personal values, and inner strength.

I feel you in my memories,

I feel you in my heart,

I feel you in my soul.

We have an unbreakable bond,

Time, distance, or death won’t end our connection.

You’re there for me when I need you,

You lift my spirit with your love,

You emanate from deep within my essence.

I’m proud that you’re a part of me,

And that I’m a part of you.

“A Journey of Pride”

A child teeters and takes his first step-

He looks and finds his mother’s proud smile.

A child kneels and picks his first flower-

He brings it to his mother’s’ proud smile.

A child leaves for his first day of school-

He turns to catch his mothers’ proud smile.

A child learns and achieves through the years-

He seeks to find his mother’s proud smile.

A child is inspired through his music-

He feels blessed by his mother’s proud smile.

A child wears his graduation hat–

He stands tall for his mother’s’ proud smile.

A child holds a bouquet of flowers–

He remembers his mother’s’ proud smile..

A man will make hard choices in life-

He turns inward for Mother’s proud smile.

“My life is better, for you being in it. My day is brighter, for you being a part of it.”

This is the introduction to a poem called “Thank You,” by local resident Sheri Allen.

Allen, 50, has been writing poetry since she was in high school. It all began when she had to do a project for an English class.

“I chose poetry, and I think I was the only one in the class who did,” she said. “I received an ‘A-‘ on it, and I wasn’t happy because I wanted an ‘A’.

After her teacher at Camas High School pulled her aside and mentioned an A- was the highest grade he gave, she was happy.

“I’ve been writing poetry ever since,” she said.

Allen, who is married and has a grown son, works at the Washougal Bi-Mart as a cashier. She writes poetry for her co-workers, friends and customers.

She tends to write several during the holiday season.

“People call it my Christmas card,” she said. “I start with some of the customers who come in the store and it just goes from there.”

Over the years, Allen has written poems ranging from how a mother feels watching her son grow up, to expressing her appreciation to a former supervisor, to pouring out her personal emotions.

“Sometimes I’ll have something in my mind, and then something else will inspire me,” she said.

Although she has a computer, Allen prefers the tried-and-true method of pen and paper to sketch out her first drafts.

“A lot of it is emotional writing,” she said. “I’ll write about things I am thinking about at the moment.”

One of her favorites is a poem she wrote to her grandmother, Reta Farley, who passed away in 1992.

“She died on Mother’s Day when my son was about a year-and-a-half,” she said. “It was just one of those things I decided to write about.”

Although she’s given her poems to others for years, it wasn’t until recently that Allen decided to compile a book of her poetry.

“Over the years, more than one person has said I should try and get published,” she said.

After researching the idea, Allen decided to go the self-publishing route, choosing a company called Xlibris.

The entire publication process took approximately six months.

The book is called, “The Poems of My Life: A Collection of Thoughts.” On the front cover is a picture of Cape Lookout in Tillamook, Ore., where she and her husband, Gary, vacation every year.

It is available for purchase online at BarnesandNoble.com and amazon.com.

“I have heard that poetry is the hardest venue to get into and sell,” Allen said. “But so far, everyone who sees it really likes it. Even some men I’ve shown it to really like it.”

Allen is considering trying to find a mainstream publisher for the book if it fares well online. She encourages those who are toying with the idea to pursue their dream.

“I get a lot of inspiration from talking to people about their lives,” she said. “When I give the poems to people, they realize right away what it’s about. It makes me feel really good that I put something out there that means something to others.”

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