Interview:
Sharla Shults

Beacon Educator Consultant/Facilitator at Beacon Educator
Location:Dothan, Alabama

Written: Maxima
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My guest today, poet Sharla Shults has a very impressive, rich, and unique poetic background.  Her verses are composed with beauty and harmony, rising into the beauty of the night sky with universal harmony and stellar qualities. Her poems are as lovely as a bride in white, a lovely spiritual tone , pure and joyful. bringing new life to the meaning of poetry
Let’s listen to what she tell us here…My name is Sharla Shults. I am extremely pleased today to be a  guest of  Maxima. His soulfulwriting is an inspiration of mine so when he extended the invitation,I felt  deeply honored.Thank you, Maxima!

Welcome to my world…You can find me on any given day at my computer with coffee cup, pen and notepad.The coffee gives me that much needed boost of energy plus I just l ove   the taste of coffee. Of course, it all starts in the morning when the aroma of that dark,     rich liquid infiltrates my nostrils even before getting out of bed. (Thank you, Honey!) The pen and pad? Well, even though most of my drafting is on the computer, there are always occasions when a random thought must be written down right then and there within a moment’s notice before it becomes nothing more than a mere fleeting moment.

From mathematician to writer…

Through the years leading up to the publication of my first book in 2004, I never envisioned myself as a writer. I was a loving wife and mother devoted to family (still that today!), mathematician and educator, content on teaching and working in various arenas with youth in middle and high school.I enjoyed writing little poetic notes and wrote my first poemto my husband (Jim) on his birthday in 2004.

That was the beginning! From there, I began to challenge my students: creating curriculum that went outside the basic equation into the realm of creativity. Have you ever been given a poetic math challenge? My students were given just that: a challenge where imagination  reigned and creativity soared. As a result of that unusual beginning, I am now on the   verge of publishing my third book..WOW! Number three! As I look back to my writing’s inspection .                                                                                                                  I realize more and more what a gift I have been blessed to share with others.   It comes by way of poetry: a way of transcending the boundaries of conscious thought         where, like my students, imagination reigns and creativity soars. The heart of the matter… The heart of my writing beats steadily sending soulful messages of life.The poetic words are the vessels through which the blood of inspiration travels.As the arteries of the human heart  form a branching system so do the vessels of poetry diverge in different directions, in my case, two different messages.The first message is from the heart inspired by life, love and     whispers of yesterday.Whilesome thoughts are fact and others fiction, the recollections are rooted in moments to evoke a personal emotion,set a purpose for tomorrow, and provide an insight for reflection. It is a means for sharing love, dreams and inspirations to send a heart racing, free a heart of grief or perhaps even offer a path for forgiveness.

Poetry within echoes of life…

Within walks of life traveled
Turn back the hands of time
Capture each face in memory
Echoing to unwind

“Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are  familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom:  The echoes are the bottom.” — Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

Moments worth remembering…

Smiles and laughter the carnival enthused
Stretching back time to the first carousel
Sounds emitted of familiar organ tunes
Permeated the air like a magic spell

“Circle of life: The present is derived from the past and is passed on for future generations and lasts and lasts and lasts…” —Sharla Shults (1946-Present)
The second is a message to and for America, our country, your land and my land: A message where each person is not an isolated individual but a thread binding together with countless other thre ds to create a rich and colorful tapestry of life. From the far reaches of America’s past, we can all, in one way or another, connect to someone who set foot upon America’s soil looking for a land of promise. It is through laughter and tears that messages of centuries past paved the way for today’s future: messages of sacrifice, messages for freedom, messages for those who have served in the past, presently serve or will serve our military forces in the future. A grave price is being paid every moment of every day of the year for all the freedom America has to offer. Within your blood flows the very essence of the human spirit called freedom!

Connecting the past to the present…

Bleached paper and spotted ink
Subtly reflect on times past
Fading into the distance
As lone ghosts of meaning last

“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.” —Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Visit Sharla @

http://sharlashults.com/Home_Page.php
http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/
http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/

Sample Writing:

Mystic Songs

Songs of our mighty ancestors
Date back to ancient times
With melodies of lyres and harps
Long before bells and chimes

Attributes of raw nature
Wonders of light and motion
Infuse form and melody
In songs filled with emotion

Caring cries of innocence
Rapt in spiritual sensations
Reveal songs of the angels
Protectful of any temptations

Unearthed mystic moods of love
Warm, relaxed and ambient
Reflect mysterious moments
Enduring, not transient

Voices of dreams
Echo of blissful flight
Veiled in shadows
Under wings of twilight

Power of healing sounds
Transcends deep into the soul
Washing away the dust
As the heart it does cajole

Within secrets of the earth
Elegant, inspiring tunes belong
Un-struck chords waiting beneath
Define the mysticism of song

©catnipoflife
Listen to Life’s Songs
Sharla Lee Shults

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
—John Burroughs (American naturalist & essayist, 1837–1921)
Sharla Shults’ poetic verses are reflective of two different purposes. The first message is from the heart inspired by life—love and sorrow—within soft whispers of yesterday. Expressions are rooted in moments to evoke personal passions, set a purpose for tomorrow, and provide an insight for reflection. It is a means for sharing love, thoughts and dreams to send a heart racing, free a heart of grief, or perhaps even offer a path for forgiveness.
Everyone has a special journey in life. Sharla provides a transcript of uplifting words, which hopefully may transform your life or the lives of others. Her intent is for you, the reader, to reflect on the poetry as words of wisdom and ponder their thoughts and emotions often.
The second is a message to and for America, our country, your land and my land: A message of sacrifice, a message for freedom, a message for those who have served in the past, presently serve orwill serve our military forces in the future. A grave price is being paid every moment of every day of the year for all the freedom America has to offer. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!

Sharla’s childhood experiences revolve around a small southwestern Georgia town where education played a most important role. She followed in her dad’s footsteps and pursued a teaching degree in mathematics and science. Endeavors later in life led her to venture into the railroad industry and eventually a return into education until retirement in 2008.Being a mathematician is indeed a strange beginning for a writer of poetry. It is not unusual for quiet whisperings to come at any hour of the night, perhaps even in dreams, and if not written down at the moment, fade as swiftly as the brush of a butterfly’s wing. Sharla is always on the alert for the next moment when a random thought, a fleeting comment or a whispering from the past will become the inspiration for her next writing.

Through her poetic verses, Sharla invites you to open your heart, mind and soul to opportunities to listen to the echo, remember, discover and reflect. . .

Visit Sharla @

http://sharlashults.com/Home_Page.php
http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/
http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/

Before, During, After War
(Good ’ol Southern Fried Chicken)

Memories echo times with friends

Teeming with smiles and laughter
Families rallied together—
Morning, noon and thereafter
No bolts or chains held tight the doors
Open windows let in fresh air

A walk down the road came daily—
No worries, not even a care
Mom and Pop toiled and labored
Resting only when need be
Bounty of the fields flourished—
Fruits and veges aplenty
Vital decisions before war
Found their place in the kitchen
No one argued over ‘first’ choice—
Good ol’ Southern fried chicken
Amity reigned from shore to shore
Happy were the days before war
Memories echo times with friends

Becoming few and far between
Money depleted lessened wants—
Entertainment rarely seen
News seethed of impending war
Voicing restrictions
Daily freedoms met restraints—
Curfews and sanctions
Night-time raids, daily bombing, intense fear
Wreaked havoc, death and destruction

Blaring sirens were only a prelude—
A real nightmare’s introduction
Meat rationed during war
Randomly found the kitchen

Everyone missed ‘first’ choice—
Good ol’ Southern fried chicken
Hostility reigned from shore to shore
Relentless were the days during war
Memories echo times with friends
Once again brimming with laughter
Families rally together—
Today, tomorrow and hereafter
Devastation in the surroundings
Overpowered a once scenic view
Time finally came for rebuilding—
Beginning again, starting anew
With rebuilding came uniting
As people joined hands
Friends and strangers stood together—
No more battle stands
Life welcomed the normalcy
With meat back in the kitchen
Everyone agreed on ‘first’ choice—
Good ol’ Southern fried chicken
Reform reigned from shore to shore
Such were the days after war
Memories echo times with friends
Shrill as a bell’s chime
Peace surely reigns within its toll
Until the next time…

©catnipoflife
Listen to Life’s Songs
Sharla Lee Shults

If we do not end war – war will end us. Everybody says that, millions of people believe it and nobody does anything.
—H.G. Wells (English author, 1866–1946)