About CBSmithem

Cheryl Smithem is one of the founders of Charleston PR & Design where her responsibilities include creative direction, public relations planning, crisis communications consultation, social media messaging development and planning, taxonomy and SEO strategy for client websites, and marketing strategy. The firm’s preferred platform is WordPress. Cheryl is an instigator—which might be why she’s involved with the organizers of Charleston’s 2014 WordCamp. In 2009 she initiated discussions that led to the development of Charleston’s Restaurant Week and South Carolina’s Restaurant Week. She also serves as a member of the Strategic Posse for Parliament, a creative industries economic development taskforce under the aegis of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and New Carolina. She is a workshop presenter for SCORE and the South Carolina Women’s Business Center [Charleston].


There are bits of my childhood embedded in the night noises.

The cicada’s chatter like a shaman’s rattle summons visions.

I can see the girl I once was, standing in the belief that I would change the world.

And 50 odd years hence, here I am wondering about the depth of my imprint on the world.

The blades of grass between my toes invoke the cool summer nights of days before. When I lay upon the grass, looked to the heavens.

Believed that destiny would sweep me up. That I would make a mark so lasting that everyone would notice.



pink sasanqua camellia and bee

There will never be(e) a photo
of a flower that doesn’t make my heart bloom.

The Rite of High Summer

Summer Peaches

A supplicant stands at the kitchen basin.

Hands cradle warm, fragrant fruit.

Fingers skim velveteen surface.

Knife slips between skin and flesh,

flashes silver edges. On the longitude,

she inserts the blade. Parts the mesocarp.

Reveals a gnarled seed.

With a flick, the pit tumbles. Leaves a rosy

depression into which her thumb slides.

White teeth bite into yellow flesh. Stored sunshine

melts on her tongue. Rivulets of moisture trickle

arms, baptize chin and seal her to the moment.

Porch sitting

Wood Storks Close Up

I practice the art of porch sitting,
with my exposed heart outside my ribs
while black banded wood storks
glide to arboreal landings.

The folding of their wings catches me
tucks me into their bird-boned bodies,
integrates me to feathers.

Wind shifts, branches quaver.
A bird startles. Releases
me into the humid, fecund air.

I gentle down into my rocker,
as my heart beats from the exertion.



Your lips are eloquent

As they touch mine

Speak to me wordless

Lines of love

To be absorbed through

Skin. I feel the sharp

Points of your mustache

Scrape my philtrum

Prick my heart and cause

It to open as water cascades

From my eyes.

Home for the holidays

I am a flawed and broken woman who needs nothing more than sitting on the couch with my loved ones near. Their chatter burbles in the background as my soul sings. At last I exhale the breath I’ve held far too long. In their company is home. Peace. Redemption.

Maybe it was not the birth of the baby that was the start of the church (despite the Bible stories) but the gathering of man and woman to bring a child into the world celebrated by the presence of shepherds and wise ones. They formed the first circle. The one we emulate now in this house.

In this season of excess I’m glad we celebrate simply. No grand gifts. But no gift more grand than presence. This one cannot buy. All it requires is that we be here now. In this place, body and soul.


Summer’s End


At August’s close,

the heat has worn

all of the greens

out of the leaves.

Maples are gold.

The wind sings in pines

whose lush needles

no longer glint bright

with the sun.

Here  is the beginning of fall

when the cotton plants show white,

yellow butterflies float among them

while the sky is a dull blue.