Karen Sanderson’s exuberant first collection of poetry, No Boundaries, celebrates her love of family and small town life. From memoir styled free verse to elegant haiku and snappy lymerics, the poet shines a light on the bonds dearest to us all.
Strong single mothers and brave soldier sons come close to the reader’s heart with Sanderson’s gritty and humorous poems.
Here are two of my favorite selections from her new book of poems, published November 15, 2016, in paperback with her own original illustrations. Please join me in congratulating the author on her first poetry publication!
No Boundaries: A Collection of Poetry
Book Excerpt, courtesy of Karen R. Sanderson
Inspired by Kristi P-L, USAF, Iraq 2009-2010
She packed up her comfy jeans
and laying-around T-shirts
She shrugged into a heavy canvas uniform,
now her second skin
Boxed up her peep-toe high heels and sandals
and stacked them away
Now all she’s got are dusty high-top boots
with heavy tread
No delicate black eyeliner around lovely hazel eyes
Just smudges of purple, her badges of fatigue
No long showers here
Just unshaved legs so she looks like
the rest of the troops
Forget salon haircuts with mousse or gel
In marches a permanent helmet-head hairdo
She strains to remember how lovely
that last manicure felt
Handling weapons with broken, scraggy fingernails, unpolished and blunt
Velvety cosmetic powder abandoned at home
She wears the Iraqi desert upon her face
Late night chat-fests with friends
of her choosing,
Now, it’s early morning wake-up and drill
No delicate sparkling pendants around her neck
Just a dull metal chain with tags
that identify her blood type
While mother’s comforting shoulder
and soothing touch wait at home
She learns combat strategies and
how to react to roadside bombs
Instead of cradling a tiny baby
She crawls into a burdened flak jacket
that hides her girlish figure
She rolls out with a loaded M4 and a 9mm Beretta.
Heavy paper leans against the stack
Neglected pieces rest on their friends.
Colors mix and talk amongst themselves
Pencil, charcoal, oil, and water.
They have their own ideas about where
To drip and display themselves.
They want to dress up and hang out
To be admired, matted, and framed.
Discarded loneliness, they look forward
To the artist’s next visit.
So they have new pieces
With whom to talk and confer.
– Karen R. Sanderson
To read more poems from No Boundaries, here’s the link to buy her new book in print: https://www.amazon.com/No-Boundaries-Karen-R-Sanderson/dp/0998127604/
About the Poet
Karen R. Sanderson was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!”
Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, poet, writer, and a fabulous grandma. She completed writing coursework through UCLA and the University of New Mexico. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com.
Karen is currently pursuing a degree at Minot State University and Lake Region State College in Interpreting and Sign Language Studies.
Contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.