Hi poetry peeps: I've added some new poems and am trying to better organize them, for your reading. The seasons of the year, and Life and Times, seemed a good place to start but there are many more subjects. What to do?  This page will change, and hopefully improve, over time and I thank you for your patience while it evolves. Please pardon anything out of kilter in the meanwhile. Thanks!  Fern

SPRING

I Like
published Chronogram April 2020

I like my toast light,
my coffee dark,
my men well mannered

I like my sunsets pink and orange
my clouds fluffy,
men who can still dream

I dream of beaches
canyons, puppies,
ribbons, glitter
loving hands

I see pain
feel pain
know pain
dream anyway.

SPRING HAIKUS

when will the green come?                         

to sooth winter weary eyes                          lone robin waits patiently 

 

morning nods its song                                

lime green spreads slowly across               

maples, oaks, birches.                                    

laughing lemon drops                                

spreading across green landscape 

dandelions tease 
(published in Chronogram, May 2019)                                            

Ohayo Mountain Road                               forsythia bedazzles                                  winding yellow curves       

                     

How Many Signs of Spring are Found on a May Day?

A mammoth ant appears from nowhere,
marches across the white counter

to commandeer my crumbs

I swipe him away; he hits the floor,

takes his mission elsewhere

 

The sweet scent of viburnum rolls around the corner
on a gentle breeze, drifts into the kitchen,
thick and spicy, compelling
I drop my lunch and track the scent,

like a teenaged girl following a musky scented male
down a crowded school hallway

 

Outside I grow saddened by the daffodils
as they fade and nod,
worn out and resigned, like former beauty queens
forced to hand over the reigning garden crown
to the statuesque perfumed lilacs

 

Lilies of the Valley push hither and yon;

the circle so carefully planted last year
resembles now a hastily scattered display

as greenlings, prepare to unfurl

share their sweet scented tiny white bell clusters

 

The placid pond reflects a lime blush from eager trees
and with the May sky’s bright blue face,  
creates a blue and green liquid tapestry.

 

A pair of geese repose statue-like and unawares
under a Japanese maple
resembling a placid old couple
bench sitting in a park

 

I crank open windows
stretching and breaking
accumulated winter cobwebs.

Chimes tickle the air 
Birdsong trills from the trees

How many signs of spring on a May day?

SUMMER

Plums are Summer

Plums are a screened porch

On a rainy day

The musty smell of old cushions on a sagging divan

A faint mist of cooling rain coming through the screens

Lazy July days of rummy, Sorry!, Monopoly, Masquerade Party

 

Plums are hammock swinging under the triple stand of birch trees

Faded shorts on straight skinny legs

Plums are sour skin breaking thru to dark red pulpy inside

Juice dripping down the hand

Plums are savoring the pit till all pulp is sucked off

Chewing on it till you forget what it was

Plums are summer

Twice

Twice the Monarch fluttered and danced

in front of my face

Flaunting its brilliance

in black edged orange and gold

 

Startled once

then again

I felt a chill

Whisper thru the hairs on my arm

Was it telling me something?

AUTUMN

October Moves

Mid October sees windows

snap their mouths shut

against the chill air

Bird chatter is hushed in a

church like whisper

Wind chimes,

like admonished children,

are seen but not heard

Socks urgently rush 

duty bound, from drawers

plates clatter with cold from the cabinets

the oatmeal box marches confidently

to the forefront

 

Without struggle

the house adapts this quietude

then quickly switches

to the clatter of logs

dropping to the basement floor

furnace rocks and rumbles

The dehumidifier nods to duty well done

Until next year

Autumn Drops its Veil

The house next door comes into view
from the upstairs bathroom window,
November, and the green lush curtain of summer is suddenly swept aside
In its place, leaves, yellow, rust, and brown
twirl and rush to betray my privacy

 

Long antennaed brown seed bugs,
mistaken for brown marmorated stink bugs
invade the house,
landing on walls and drapes
high up, always high up
they cling to their slow life but
ready for that lethal blow,
the strong scent released at death
fighting, they cling tenaciously to fabric
their last valiant effort

Autumn drops its veil upon us.
Wet brownness all around
Sweaters must appear
scarves must protect
farewell bare feet.

Vicious

Mid November and the sudden cold snap

bites me in the ass like a vicious dog

My crooked finger wails with pain

I curse those autumn lovers who

Knew this was coming

And nonetheless

hailed the harbinger

the brown, the orange, the gold,

the dead leaves of autumn

WINTER

Winter Poem 

I am the Duchess of layering,
a wizardess of wool.
embracing winter with gusto

Though I long for mittens to type
I tire quickly of the moaning
the whining and the gripe

Bring it on! I say
Though even nighttime tunneling
cannot prevent cold hair
I will not lean to despair

 

published Chronogram, Feb. 2018

Winter Haiku

Soft powdery snow

sugar coating covers deck

chairs idling till spring

Black Beauties

published in "Poetry Leaves" exhibition and book at the Waterford Library in Michigan. May 2019

Image ©2018 kathleen suess

Starlings amass
in hundreds to circle the building

we watch from the second-floor office

of many windows

feeling safe behind the glass

yet trapped with a titillating fear
of what

we don’t know

turbulence perhaps

or the power of the graceful spectacle                   

They swoop down swiftly 

transforming
parched browned winter grass

into a dense shimmer of ebony,

a black crowd throbbing with intent        

 

Abruptly, they rise in unison,

soaring at a vertiginous slant

to a shadowy sky

scarcely a flapping wing visible

to the discerning eye;

a fluid, inky black motion of resolve        

 

One’s stomach rises with them

such is the dizzying feeling

they create with their flash-mob ballet

a splendid spectacle
like a thousand debutantes’ black gloves

tossed to the ground

to attract attention

then rapidly reversing their focus

rising, rising

flying magically away

LIFE and TIMES

Willpower

they taught us about
willpower
nuns in fresh scented white garments
we sat primly
dressed in eternal navy blue
retaining what made sense
forgetting what we didn’t like
they hoped we would remember
years later when back seat
shenanigans took place
we didn’t

Soft Sliver of Time

Somnambulating in the soft sliver of time,

mushy, cushioned niche lulls

before full wakefulness

before physical or emotional discomfort or
life’s burdens threaten with

piercing fingers.

 

Somnambulating before awareness of age

or chapter in life

slaps like ice water

before frustrations
or fiascos strut into view

before deadlines, or lack of deadlines.

 

Somnambulating before cognition
of loss or grief

grips tightly in sore awareness

before a niggling hint of annoyance

chips at a perceived

or insignificant hurt                                         

Somnambulating in the soft sliver of time

the fleeting split-second ledge

of comfort and equanimity

Resting within the delicate fissure

twixt sleep and wakefulness

Holding tight to a brief and flawless reverie

My Wooded Path

...resembles a game board of

child’s pick up stix

littered by deliberate winds

Past the felled whiteness of the old stately birch

I hear the roar of

 

Spring’s rejuvenated stream

running like a wild child

raucously tickling the ear

creating mini waterfalls

chortling happily over rock steps

 

Froth builds like washday around

matted piles of brown leaves

snags stick stubs

trickles down atop

pale lettuce-stamped rocks

 

Morning is sanctified in this

sheltered arena of woods

Rain blackened trees eagerly await

the imminent kiss of morning sun

Brown carpet complements

the mossy green smattering of feathered firs

Herein lies the altar to pray

Two Hawks

Two hawks and a great widespread owl in my dream

a large, nubby red wool sweater lies in the woods

Is it a sweater installation I asked the brothers?

 

"Over educated is the new black" my pencil states

as it whines thru the sharpener

Rice Krispies stick to fuchsia sox

My egg is a pathetic substitute for a Churchill egg,

it's pale frightened yolk with runny white

scampers to the edges of the black skillet.

 

Hibiscus and geraniums, plump and bulky,

coral and Pepto-Bismol pink,

protest loudly in in the living room

Take me back outside!

 

Pain reminds me of who I am these days

my right arm captive and useless

observes the left fingers tapping the keys

letter by painstaking letter.

Radio drones

Washing machine hums

Coffee soothes.

© 2020 

All images ©1998-2020 kathleen suess