Have you heard?

Have you heard about Toya Shibata?  She is a living testament to…it is never too late.   I kept a picture of Shibata on my refrigerator for a long time because she is an amazing example of a late bloomer.

Shibata was born in 1911.   At the age of 92, she began to write poetry as her creative outlet because she had to give up her classical dance hobby.  Shibata self-published her first anthology Kujikenaide (Don’t Lose Heart).  Surprise, surprise…it was a commercial success and was picked up by a traditional publisher.  Then in 2011, her second anthology Hyakusai (Don’t Be Too Frustrated) was published and also became a best seller.  To date, her poetry books have sold millions of copies and she is Japan’s best selling author/poet.

On and off through the years, I’ve read books about being a late bloomer.  I kept my fingers crossed that I would bloom sometime.  Below is a poem I wrote (in 2010) about being a late-bloomer or possibly a non-bloomer.


I must have bloomed already

and not recognized it.

Even a late bloomer

would have bloomed by now.

Could it be that

I’m a non-bloomer?

And that

I’ve waited all these years to bloom?

I know…

I’ll be great at wilting and withering.

It takes boldness to be great at those.

I do have boldness


I have wisdom.

The wisdom to know that wizened

is every bit as important as bloom.

About Sabra Bowers

Poet / Blogger / Writer
This entry was posted in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Have you heard?

  1. Nice, I like it. Especially as I am now wizened. 🙂


  2. Kim says:

    Oh Dear Sabra… you did not miss a moment! Your poem is beautiful and you are blooming still… reaching for the light, your arms ever full of wizened blossoms~


  3. Gerry Wilson says:

    Lovely poem, Sabra, and a bit of encouragement, too! I’m a VERY late-bloomer writer and proud of it!


    • Sabra Bowers says:

      Thank you, Gerry. Well, you are a great writer and should be proud of your accomplishments. I think being a late-bloomer writer is fun.
      I look forward to growing and blooming with you.


  4. Mark Spruill says:

    I like it. My prayer is that when the blooming is over, I will wilt with grace. But truthfully, I believe it is never too late to bloom and bear fruit.


    • Sabra Bowers says:

      Glad you like my poem, Mark. I like that you added bear fruit to bloom. Bearing fruit comes after bloom and it contains the seeds. I’ve been called a seed planter and didn’t appreciate how important being a seed planter was until later in life. Thanks for your comments, Mark.


  5. Veronica Roth says:

    Lovely poem Sabra. I sometimes feel like I’ve missed the boat too and then I think of Grandma Moses. 🙂


    • Sabra Bowers says:

      Thank you, Veronica. Yes, Grandma Moses is another testament to…it is never too late. I sometimes find it hard to remember, when I’m feeling I missed the boat, that
      those feelings will pass and I’ll feel joy and on purpose again. Thank you for including Grandma Moses here. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s