YYC POP: Poetic Portraits of Poetry, a Sheri-D Wilson Laureate Project


– Sheri-D Wilson

she is the embryo
the nest and the egg

sometimes she is blue
as robin, other times
speckled as nighthawk

she is an unbroken shell,
holds the lifeline of a million tales
inside her, and when she cracks
open she tells a spirit story
of how to read the earth, and tell time
in the divine, between
sun and moon as they align
she speaks in tones of the leyline,
aye, we feel waters cross
beneath our feet, held
in glory, as she speaks
we look into perfection
the reflection of planets and stars
on the landscape, and there
she hums the whole sky
says, ‘let us learn how to fly,’
aurora borealis lights in her eyes,

she is from the old world
and the new, where dreams
meet in other altitudes
alternative realms

she is the ovum of survival
both tamed and wild
an oology of the beautiful
rare as raptor ground

she is child and she is elder,
gives birth as she etches a path for us
dancing with wisdom in pure abandon
iridescent as ammolite,
she twirls on a carved shillelagh
windswept hair, in a distinctive hat
her wings catch the air, all peregrine falcon
she dives into the eternal azure
with a maternal cry, she

leaves an imprint,
like those who trekked the trail
of the sky, before her, yes, their songs
and stories travel with her
and now they travel with us,
a sole feather in the pocket
of life

Sheri-D Wilson

Sheri-D Wilson, aka Mama of Dada, is the award-winning author and creator of 13 books, 4 short films, and 4 albums which combine music and poetry.

High Priestess of Spoken Word in Canada, Sheri-D is an international artist known for her electric performance-style, making her a favorite of festivals around the world.

In 2019 Sheri-D was appointed one of the country’s highest civilian honours, the Order of Canada, for her contributions as a Spoken Word Poet and her leadership in the community. In 2017, she received her Doctor of Letters—Honoris Causa from Kwantlen University.

Other awards include: The City of Calgary Arts Award, the prestigious Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, Women of Vision Award and The USA Heavyweight Champion Title.

Sheri-D is a Marriage Celebrant and Ceremonialist.

A strong advocate for social change and community building, she was Founder & Director of: Calgary Spoken Word Society—Festival (2003-2019) and Spoken Word Program | The Banff Centre (2005-2012).

Photo of Sheri-D Wilson