by Nikki Anne Schmutz

Concerted effort
does not consist
of a handful of
good choices
laced together by
a few weeks of
well-intentioned smiles.

It is shown as sands
in the hour glass of life –
painstaking steps forward
showing authentic change
over time.

Weeks. Months. Years.

Walls built over decades
cannot be torn down rapidly.
They must be rebuilt
stone by stone
on foundations
of truth and love.

Anything less
is irrevocably lost
to the sands
of regret –
pulled through
the cinched
waist of trials
only to spill from
the bottle…

to be blown away on
the winds of life.


Tipping Scales

by Nikki Anne Schmutz

I find peace
on the boardwalk
amid bulrushes,
and cattails.
Birds rustle in tall
grasses that
sound like water
in the wind.
I hear voices
in the distance
as I slip
into a late
afternoon shadow.
In the back end
of nowhere
I contemplate fall leaves,
my fall, and
God’s fall in my eyes
as I search for
balance between
strength and vulnerability
on the scales
of life.


by Nikki Anne Schmutz

I stride towards
the tower, steady
steps, eyes to the
ground. Never slowing
only pushing
until I reach
its base. I don’t
slow as I climb
the stairs – higher
and higher until
I am above the
reeds and the
mosquito infested
marsh – until
the stars stop
and I can go
no higher. But
I wish to go higher
still. Above this place
past this valley
over the clouds
that gently float
on breathable
air. Higher until
the blue fades
into black and
the earth below is
only shapes and
colors. Blue and green
and white. Higher
until there is no air
to breathe. No place
or way to use
my feet. No air to
fill my lungs. Nothing
left but the intense
solidarity. Until I am
no longer part
of the world. I am
free to float
away. Gasp my final
breath. Alone with
the universe to
finally become one
with the beautiful
and dark unknown.

Young Love

By Nikki Anne Schmutz


Years later I still taste

your lingering flavor.

It kisses my senses

fills my mind.

Memories of dark

lonely roads,

a broken convertible top,

Lovers Point –

huddled together

in cold March air…

but not for us.

Closer than close,

body molded to body

admiring the highway –

a lighted ribbon below.

Stars twinkle acting as an

umbrella shading young lovers

unaware of the world.

Lost in each other –

our hands wander,

lips find,

eyes close in exploration….


By Nikki Anne Schmutz


The wall crashes

in on itself.

Water pours;

a deluge of liquid,

bursting from walls

built to last.

Erosion of years,

wasted away strength,

cracking foundations,

splitting seams

beyond barriers.

A torrent of time

passes beyond walls,

spilling over

into life as we know it.

The aftermath is staggering.

The terrain, unrecognizable.

Souls maimed and fighting

for a hold on reality.

But reality is in the eye

of the beholder.

A flooded house is not house.

It is a broken down reminder;

what once was, will never be again.

A fact,

shared within moments

of reconciliation.

The water logged walls

cannot be saved.

They must be torn down.

Piece by piece

until there is nothing.

Only a blank canvas

on which to build

a new life.


photo credit Nikki Anne Schmutz


By Nikki Anne Schmutz


They call to me
from the shelf I can’t reach.
The layers of dust seem careless –
but I know better.
Like a blanket
it swaddles,
acting as a protector
to a box of reverence
for what was saved.

It takes refuge in shadows
where sight means nothing.
Here souls become eyes
seeing a hidden world
waiting for resurrection.
Dwelling within this realm
is truth preserved.

Words said and unsaid,
celestial smiles,
stabs of regret,
hurricanes of fury,
breezes of heart sighs,
suffocating closeness,
intimate distances,
heavenly pin pricks of hope given
from somewhere unknown.

I pull them out of the box,
study each recollection
where my secrets reside.
One by one – I set them free,
watch them take flight
like butterflies with broken wings
on the breeze of fate.

My wants, my needs
allowed to manifest.