Shouts and Whispers: Who You Are

Shouts and Whispers: Who You Are

by Ti Klingler

“Who is that woman shouting in your ear, primly whispering…”

It’s intriguing to explore whom you’ve created out of early caretakers, social images, and your own experience. How does that creation speak to you? Even more interesting is finding the bits of you that resist that advice and shepherding, the bits that go their own way, that have been defiantly, fully you since you were born. This poem asks you hard questions. Would the first cells that formed you, against all odds, accept the life you’re living as just reward for their determination to thrive? Can you justify your existence? I believe you can. I believe all of us can.

Poetry is one of the finest tools I’ve found to answer the question, “Who am I?” Every poem you write, no matter the subject, is a self-portrait. This poem tells me I am fiercely on the side of life. It tells me I like people who know they have teeth and how to use them. It tells me that I care about a person’s desires more than their ability to serve others. It shows me an honest, feisty, curious, caring woman I like.

Your poems will paint a different picture. Do you want to know who you are? Start today. Start now. Write a poem about five objects you see around you and you will find yourself on the page in startling detail. If you’re brave, share the poems here. If you’re a Cosmic Cowgirl, you can also send them to me at and you might see yourself in a future column!

Who were you before you were told who to be?(pic courtesy of USFWS National Digital Library)

Who were you before you were told who to be?
(pic courtesy of USFWS National Digital Library)

To the Wolves 

Why not wear all black forever
Or orange and green with plum
Socks? Why not the severe
Asymmetrical cut or wild grey
Waves to your waist? Why not
Paint your nails or your hair
Bright blue? Who is that
Woman shouting in your
Ear, primly whispering:
There are things that
Are simply not done,
This is not the time,
Maybe someday when
You’re old enough to be
Rich or poor without
Apology. Today you
Are exactly halfway
Through your life.
Is it for this cells
Exploded into growth,
Stole sustenance to
Survive, clung to each
Other with ferocious
Love, this echo of
Good enough
Comfort? Don’t tell
Me about the people
Who rely on you, the
Family, the job, the
Home. Tell me why
Your mother should
Have kept or turned
You out to the wolves.
Show me your teeth.


Ti is on the lookout for Cosmic Cowgirl poetry she can feature in this column. Won’t you send her your poem?

Cosmic Cowgirls can submit poems and a brief bio directly to Ti at (Submissions may be edited due to space constraints. Please limit submissions to 250 words.)

Ti Klingler is an Intrinsic Coach® and artist who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of the Cosmic Cowgirls’ Legendary Life, Medicine Wheel, and Sheroe’s Journey mentorships, she wrote a poem every day from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2012 and began another daily poem practice on January 1, 2013. Ti is passionate about women seeing their own beauty and trusting their desires. She is currently enrolled in the Color of Woman Teacher Training to help her share that passion with others. She hopes to see you in The Red Key, the Cosmic Cowgirls online creative vision quest, in which poetry, painting, art journaling, and YOU come together to court the Muse.

Author: Ti Klingler

Share This Post On


  1. Love the honest. Thanks Ti.

    Post a Reply
  2. Wow. I love this poem. AND I love how you lead us here, Ti.

    Here is a poem for today:

    a spring of green in a purple vase that once held coquito
    embroidered pillow that came with a couch whose color i would prefer to be different
    wool socks (i know, it’s spring!) received randomly from a festival attended years back
    books on social justice, race, class, education (my soon to be husband, a sociologist)
    thick blue blanket meant to be shared between the sociologist husband and i, instead the preferred napping place for our cat
    handmade, pieced and stitched together life, not much room for the new or the expensive, instead we find ourselves stapling a life of love out of sweet words, gifts, new friends, and dreams bigger than the lives we currently can afford

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: