Change happened gradually
almost as if it was
not happening at all

But slowly
ever so slowly
brittle soil softened beneath
the birth of new rains
Green shoots pushed forth
saying hello to sun and sky
Dusty fields became wind-waving grasses
New gatherings of flowers said hello
to all every morning

Every morning when she awakes
she smiles at the world
of beauty unlocked within her soul

~ Nikki Anne Schmutz



The asphalt street is
lined with lawn chairs and blankets
An arsenal sits, ready
to launch into the
darkening cloud-feathered sky
The celebration is marked by
resounding CRACKS echoing across the valley
Sparks rain above our heads
Children “Ooooo!”
Adults “Ahhhhhhh!”
I smile quietly into the night
as the sizzling sounds bind
precious childhood wonder to the present
Each one is a celebration of delight
I can still see them when I close my eyes
Brilliant fire flowers in the sky

~ Nikki Anne Schmutz

Butterfly Stroke

Life lived upon me
resembling an ocean
I cast my boat
on its white-tipped
frenzy, navigated
storms without maps
clouds obscuring
the heavens
I held on with
white-gripped knuckles
as my vessel
came apart in the surge
I sank into the depth
It claimed me as its own
until I realized
I could swim


~ Nikki Anne Schmutz

Paradigm Shift

Tectonic life plates
shift perceptions
in upheavals
rumbling from the deep
Walls built over years
using stones cast about
tremble and shake
Ghosts of voices release
as fissures reveal
Buried discontent flows
freely devouring
surface complacencies
altering landmarks
Without a map
we are left to wander
a place unrecognizable
Forced to become
explorers of fate
and acceptors of circumstance


~ Nikki Anne Schmutz

Inner Peace

The sprinklers
trick me
into believing
it is rain
pat-patting against
the window
My body relaxes
into the rhythm
tap-tapping away
my anxiety
through me
as peace
found by means
we must create
our own place
of rest


~ Nikki Anne Schmutz

Summer Rain

The pavement

is too hot to walk

with bare feet

during these

hundred-degree days

Shade is a precious


A rare thunderstorm

overtakes the sky

raindrops sizzle

as they hit the ground

People run indoors

screaming curses

at the deluge

Not me! Oh no!

I grab your hands

pull you outside

We let the rain

wet our hair

clump our eyelashes

drench our clothes

Summer rain

should never be wasted

only smiled at

and danced in


~ Nikki Anne Schmutz


If I could, I would peel
the sun from the sky
and place it in the
sticker book of my heart –

I would collect
bird chirps and Aspen leaf rustles,
rubber bike tires on asphalt,
rain on the tin roof of the carport,
yellow dandelion lipstick
and “wishies” floating on a breeze,
four leaf clover treasures,
the whoosh felt on the playset
swinging as high as possible.

I would collect a picturesque world,
stickers of perfect intent and beauty
where my heart was the sun
and I never stopped shining.

~ Nikki Anne Schmutz