Little Orphan Annie & Now – by Kathie Sutherland


“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ― Seneca

This month, MITV is focusing on the question: Surviving vs Living. What does that mean to you?  Do you feel you can live a full life even though you are struggling at times, or do you feel “on a time out” while the struggle passes?

Today, Kathie Sutherland, shares her view in poetry, adding a couple of questions for you to ponder. Feel free to discuss in the comment section below.

When I am disconnected from myself, there is no joy. Life is cold and harsh. I am simply surviving when I live in my head and deny my most vulnerable feelings.

little orphan annie

snowflakes cling to her eyebrows
and leaf skeletons to her ragged shoes
the little orphan annie inside me
cries outside the frosty window

wandering in the winter twilight
peeking in at lighted kitchens
an abandoned waif turns her back
on a hearth fire of her own
bickers with her disowned selves
making faces in the glass

unsettled ragamuffin
survivor of unmet needs
she digs for scraps of self-acceptance
in the rubble heap of loneliness

“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

However, when I am present to myself and filled up with sense and sound and aware of the world around me, I am fully alive and open to the moments.


in the tree up ahead
a cloud of grosbeaks chitter
wait for me to catch up
clawed toes and scaly legs knee deep
in snow-fluffed branches,
gorging on next years seeds.

eternal now
whispers in my ear
stop…just stop…stop here

a magpie squawks
a train whistles, a long way off
coyotes yip in the iceberg cold
the sky is crystal blue.

now ripens
a bursting blossom
of attention

then passes quietly away.

About Kathie

katieI am a story in progress! In addition to my roles as wife, mother, grandmother, secretary, short story writer, poet, workshop guide and facilitator, I am a great cook, an avid reader, a people watcher and I adore the outdoors, especially the ocean and the forest. I love dogs, cherish my friends, and appreciate good photography. Though I’m curious and adventuresome and really enjoy travel, my home is my sanctuary.

  • Beyond these roles, I am a reflective, spiritual person who seeks truth, love and wholeness.
  • I respect all life, and strive to be aware and conscious.
  • I believe every human being has a story, but that we are more than our story.
  • My goal is to continue to shed my ego’s stories and embrace my true and authentic self.
  • I am a soul diver whose creativity is filled with images and experiential detail that represent my truest self.
  • I love word craft and the power of connotation and meaning.
  • I am a lifelong learner who strives to find the gifts in my experience.
  • I am a steadfast and compassionate friend, a good listener and cheerleader.
  • I appreciate our common need for connection and belonging.
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