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HIDDEN BEAUTY by Shannon K. Lockhart

I wrote this poem during a time of personal turmoil…

I had just been diagnosed "officially" with a chronic, progressive disease, rheumatoid arthritis. As a child, I remember seeing my great aunt crippled by this disease and i was gripped with fear of the unknown, and at the same time, with a great sense of urgency to live my life fully, even on days when pain and fatigue are overwhelming. It was also a time of letting go of certain relationships and certain expectations, and a deep time of my body, to myself, to loved ones.

Hidden Beauty
by Shanon K. Lockheart

i want to sprinkle
in unlikely places 
at unexpected moments

uncover treasures
hidden in darkness
masked by pain
and grief

even when it is
hard to muster up
the strength to
unearth it or
create it,
when so much pain
through my soul

as i lay down my burdens
they grab at my hands and 
clutch my feet,
insistent and needy

i stumble and fall 
on my path

your burdens 
are not mine
to carry,
though i still
as the weight 
down on me
and my empathy stabs me,
wracks my
soul, as i listen 

but slowly, very slowly
i am learning
to sift through that pain,
pick out the
precious moments,
like panning for gold
in a frigid mountain stream
or winnowing grains of wheat
in a fertile field

sometimes i can shake away 
the chaff
and cleanse what is left
with tears
of wonderment
and gratitude

and every now and then,
when i hold those
bits of intense beauty
in my hands

i am privileged enough
to mold
them into a mosaic of words
and images
to be shared,
lifting the darkness
to reveal
my exquisite love
for sacred connections.

Shannon K. Lockhart is a social worker, human rights activist, and teacher who has recently embarked on her newest journey as an artist and poet. She is a native Louisvillian, but has spent most of her adult life living in Chicago and Central America. Shannon spent 12 years working with indigenous communities, genocide survivors, and other human rights activists in Guatemala before returning to the U.S. with her family. Her greatest source of pride is her family, and she works hard to be a mother who imparts joy, gratitude, and respect for the unexpected bumps along the road. Shannon has published her poetry online with Rebelle Society and in DoveTales, a print journal published by the group, Writing for Peace. She can frequently be found drumming in parks with her family, drawing, or reading her poetry at the Urban Goatwalker Coffeehouse in the Phoenix Hill neighborhood.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


  1. So beautiful and inspiring, Shannon. Thank you.

  2. Ready to greet the day with your inspiring thoughts touching my heart and soul. Merci.


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