Keeping the Waters Calm

It's not always easy

Trying to navigate

Because mostly it seems to be

Me that I need to situate

For when I lose my way

When I cannot be found

It is really only I that can say

Perhaps it is time to turn around

Don't go down that darkened path

Not the one to steal your very soul

Disappointment, fear, and wrath

Will never leave you feeling whole

They're fleeting emotions held in the palm

The clouds may form, the thunder growl

There may be no keeping the waters calm

As the mighty wind begins to howl

I am still the one in control

Of what I choose to think and feel

So even as the thunder rolls

My very being it cannot steal

© 2014 Shannon

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Comments 44 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

Good poem Shanmarie. Yes no matter what gets thrown at you you just have to brave the storm and remember you are always in control of how you handle every situation.

W1totalk profile image

W1totalk 3 years ago

This is just hard but the way to survive the hard times. Great hub.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Stay in the driver's seat. You're in control.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very nicely done. I have to admit that sometimes I do just like to ride in the back seat though.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

I love this and Garth too....Way to go girl!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Yes, persevering through the storms in life is hard but one must do it to carry on no doubt.

Good poem.

Have a great week.

Hugs, Faith Reaper

ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago


i really really liked this! It felt sooo...real to me..

i felt you...trying to navigate life, when it's a job just keep balanced day to day..

YOU are an awesome woman - don't ever think otherwise! you make the decisions - you take the ownership!



Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Really good poem, Shan, with such totally authentic feelings and thoughts. Never, ever give up your own being and dreams;- and I know you will not.

This poem may be my all-time favorite of yours! Even the title is inspiring and meaningful.

Garth is so good too. I hadn’t known this song before. Thank you for the introduction. It is quite inspirational and fits your poem so well. Love it.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hi, Jodah. Thank you. Remembering it is.just a matter of braving a temporary storm makes one easier to endure.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, W1totalk. I am glad you enjoyed it.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Always, FlourishAnyway!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

I think that every one at some point has been or wants to be in the passenger seat. Even that is a choice, though, unless some more sinister hand is at play. Otherwise, even in the worst of circumstances allow for some choice - even if that choice is to look for the positive and to expect better to come, something you are good at. So, burn, baby, burn! One of my favorites:

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, always exploring! I had the title and concept for awhile now and had even started writing, but then the other day someone asked what the all time best Garth Brooks song is and I thought, "Well, that's easy! 'The River'" I have loved that song since I was a teen. The moment I thought of it, I knew it fit my concept.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hello beautiful Faith Reaper! I hope all is well with you and your family. Some storms are harder than others, but often the outcome is better than expected.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Haha, Leslie, in the short time that you've known me, have you known me not to take ownership? Luckily, you have a sense of humor. ;-)

So glad you liked it!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Nellieanna, it is always such a pleasure to see your name in the comments of one of my hubs. Want to know something funny? I thought of the title and concept a week or two ago and then immediately thought, "That sounds like a Nellieanna title." No wonder you like it! ;-)

Seriously, though, I am glad you enjoyed it. I very rarely feel like giving up my dreams. Whe I do, it doesn't last long. Sometimes even when forced to let go, it just means finding a new dream or putting an old one on hold.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Shan - a lovely reply. Thank you. I am rather flattered that when you thought of this lovely title for the hub brewing, you associated it with some of mine! I liked it for itself, not relating it to mine, but understanding it, perhaps, the way a parent understands her own brood. haha.

Perhaps the common recognizable feature of your title with some of mine is my sometimes-use of the present participle form of a verb, such as yours is in ‘Keeping. . . ’ here. I like that verb form for its reference to things that are still in progress, still happening & ongoing in the recurrent present, rather than just experienced once and done with, either now or sometime in the past or in a hoped-for future.

When we use that form in sentences, it’s usually accompanied by a personal form of another verb 'to be’, such as “I am keeping’ but in a title that’s simply implied or left open for the reader to decide who is ‘keeping’. Anyway, the actions and activities each of us is referring to & which are to be followed up in our poems and hubs are those which we instinctively know need to be ongoing, ever newly affirmed each moment and always traveling along with us, sort of like word-partners as we move along through our lives.

Here’s one of my poems which you can see dates back to when my dreams hung tenuously by a thread, and which somewhat relates to your own declaration of refusal & imperative inner need not to abandon your dreams and your very good positive spirit:

Inner Light


Glows and variegates

Into beautiful

Free patterns

Upon the screen

Of life

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Plus, I can't help but notice the positivity in a statement you made in your reply, using the right-now present participles of 'doing'. . . and 'putting. . .' as parts of your ongoing positivity! It's what matters!

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hugs. You probably do understand in much thay way. I suppose the positive and present are both habits. There is usually no one there at the worst of times and even if there is, that person can't do much other than care. So it is either look for the positive or feel defeated for far too long. You might enjoy the song I posted in the reply to Eric. I would post it to you too, but the phone isn't cooperating as I try to copy and paste. It is called "Burn."

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

I must admit I've never expected anyone to be there at the worst of times but myself, though there have been some who cared & wanted to be 'there'. In the worst of those times, though, any chance caring by others only earned more of the worst for them and for me, so it was better to keep my own counsel, which was where my poetry came in, actually, along with my other creative outlets, all of which kept me alive and BEING. The poetry was really a 'someone' to whom to talk and from whom to receive wisdom. It sorta distresses me to see people in need just reiterating the anguish, as if it were not already ever-present enough. But each to his/her own.

For me, since I didn't use my poetry to complain or blame but to preserve my self and my own reality, not wanting to give those abundant negatives more power than they already tried to claim, my poetry was resourcing in a positive way, as it simply provided a way to express who I am without restriction or censure, in spite of opposition to that in other areas of the life around me.

I really, really like the song, 'Burn'. It was surprising. Great lyrics, well delivered. So far, my favorite of Jo Dee Messina's songs! Thanks for sharing. Too bad it couldn't be added to this hub! Maybe it could be?

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Thought the reply was lost - but there it is! wow

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

I think that expecting someone to be 'there' is an unfair imposition anyway. That kind of caring is a gift and a privilege, not a right.

As for giving the negatives more power, talking about them or writing is sort of a release of them. But- with writing, if I am lucky enough to convey some authentic feeling for a reader, it is gratifying. It is like a song or a story - the goal is to illicit emotions. Of course, most of mine, especially if personal to me have some kind of positive message. It's like a note to myself in that way.

I knew you would like that song! It is one of my favorites. Ask and you shall receive. I will try to get the copy/paste to work so that I can add it.

Oh, aside from the use of the present participle, which you mentioned, the title made me think of you and your thoughts about staying centered.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

Yes, that present participle connection was what first occurred to me about what the title has in common with a number of my titles and it was a feature of my titling I'd not really thought about or addressed specifically, so it grabbed my attention and I rather liked it. Yes, being centered is another of my favorite subjects, as is calmness or serenity. So your title does have several interconnections.

I've never denied negatives, especially those that arise in me, myself. I believe that all ones emotions are extremely valuable. I sometimes wish I had a few more negatives, but then I experience some and am more glad they are fewer. haha.

But feeling negative was not what was happening then. I was almost consumed with positive within me even in the face of strong efforts to squelch it from outside me. So the negatives that surrounded me at the time were not my own and were not what I wanted or needed to focus upon or to capture in my self-expression, but, rather I wanted and needed to record and be refreshed with the abiding positives within me. Of course, they were always 'in here', even with all that other going on and a deliberate effort from outside to somehow 'cancel' me, but it was a natural response when I wrote to remind myself and to assert me, rather than to invest further special private attention to all that other effort and all the other 'stuff'.

It wasn't especially planned on my part, but was surely what my innermost being knew was needed and that was what came out in my poetry. I feel very thankful that it happened as it did. At the time, during all the duress, I literally would re-read my poetry to feel myself 'in here'r and resurging from deep inside into my definite awareness from reading it. It was very strengthening.

Any other kind of poetry I might have spontaneously written probably would have led me in some different direction; as it was, the one that happened saved my life. So what more can I say?

I suppose for others, the release of negativity in themselves is needed. I've no idea whether dwelling on & expressing it gives it more power or not. For me, awareness of and expressing of who I am strengthened my confidence in myself. Dwelling on negativity around me just wasn't what I needed, since I honestly had virtually none of my own to release, oddly enough.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

You are a remarkable person, Nellieanna, no doubt. For me, I suppose, it is not so much a matter of need. I have been through plenty on my own without confiding. But, when someone trustworthy enough genuinely cares, it matters- much as your recent hub depicts. In the moment, it is very much like a child with a comforter to hug and hold her until she feels better. Yet after the moment has passed, there really is no point in dwelling, so any sharing (on my behalf anyway) is merely sharing for whatever the reason may be.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A wonderful poem Shan; voted up and wishing you a great day.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

It's a quite personal matter and of course, persons respond differently and find different ways to resolve things which beset and may seem nearly unresolvable at those times they're in progress. We all have different personalities and backgrounds of experience, all which builds how we respond to any of life's experiences, plus we find ourselves in specific situations which may dictate their own opportunities or limitations in how we find our personal quests and resolve our personal dilemmas and find enough comfort to sustain our efforts. We all have some of all that and meet it all during our personal life odysseys! With each experience, we learn about our own selves and all the 'other' which occupies our space on Earth. :-) Sharing can be a very enriching, empowering - and comforting part of it all.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

It can be, yes.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Eddy. I

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Beautiful writing and sharing of a such a meaningful poem.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much, DDE!

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Lovely writing. Just keep focused on your goals.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Gypsy!

Tolovaj profile image

Tolovaj 2 years ago

I wish you calm waters ... But not too calm, because an artist needs an occasional storm to refresh the perspective ...

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Tolvaj! That is so true! Without a few storms to make the water choppy here an there, one would not be able to truly enjoy the calm for what it is.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

You have delivered a powerful message through your beautiful poem. We are totally responsible for our feelings and actions. Until we learn this lesson, we are not free.

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting and sharing. Magnificent! Audrey

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Audrey! I'm still trying to navigate some choppy waters, though not quite as rough as they were a few months ago. They were downright treacherous for a bit. But I know I must not allow myself to succumb to the anxiety and fear that can come with such times. So, now, I am living in the moment, day to day and trying not to focus on some of the mistakes I made while trying just to hold on. The are what they are at this point and I can't change anything, only go forward down the river, hopefully keeping those waters calm.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

...and you will dear shanmarie! The mistakes we make in life are really portals of discovery. They help bring value to our lives. Mistakes are learning opportunities even though they may not appear to be.

I'm sorry you have gone through some tough and painful times. And yet, here you are, with such a positive attitude and helping others through your beautiful poetry with the message you have shared.

To be able to live in the moment is a marvelous thing. Few can ever achieve this. And the present is all we have.

My thoughts are with you, especially with Thanksgiving coming up. Just remember that you are a beautiful diamond. Continue to sparkle and shine. Love your inner-child. Do something wonderful for yourself.

Sending blessings, love and hugs ~ Audrey

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

So sweet. Thank you. I will be working on Thanksgiving and the next few days after, but I am thankful to have the job. Love, blessings, and hugs back at you!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

Shannie ! Never let any man take your soul , a soul is offered up freely in love and can never be taken without being wronged ! The song , "The thunder Rolls "- haunts me even today when I remember the storms of our home life as a kid ! Never let that happen , no woman on earth can fix that kind of man , nor is he worth fixing . Big Hugs for my gorgeous friend ! +++++ you know I voted this up up up !

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Oh, Ed, as a Garth Brooks fan, I know that song well. So sorry to have made you think of it. Sending you lots of hugs and wishes for a happy Thanksgiving.

P.S.- The River, which I used in this hub is a.beautiful Garth Brooks song. I like that one and Standing Outside the Fire.

janshares profile image

janshares 2 years ago from Washington, DC

Beautiful poem, Shanmarie. We can all relate well to needing to take back control when we feel stuck. You've expressed it well. Voted up and beautiful.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Take it back, Jan. Always hang on to control.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

I read the poem and lingered to listen to the choice music you selected. It was my evening treat. "Remember When" was special and I had not heard it before. Thanks.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks so much, Perspycacious! "Remember When" by Alan Jackson? Yes, that is a good song. It ust be one that comes on after either Garth or Jo Dee.

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