Friday, September 18, 2015

Creases and Folds

Poems by Sue Crisp, Shingle Springs, CA
—Photos courtesy of Sue Crisp


I have strange power of speech,
something I have always known.
I’m silent and still, as a hunting
Kestrel leaves his nesting site
to glide above the brush laced
field, edged by a wandering stream.

I watch his rippling reflection as he
hoovers, then dives to snatch up
a small hapless vole.  An alchemy
of nature and raptor.  Back at his
nesting sight, he begins his meal.

I cheat, and call to him in his own
language, quirr-rr, quirr-rr
and listen for his answer.



Sara was saddened by a loss
she felt only she could feel so deeply.
In her grieving state,
she felt nothing could eclipse this pain
of  heart and mind.

Try as she may, it seemed she could not
heal this open wound. 
What would it take she thought,
to guide her through this
 endless nightmare?

As she fought down tears,
tiny soft padded feet
made their way toward her.
With blurred vision
see saw her new kitten
gazing up at her with questioning eyes.

Then, graceless and scrambling,
the tiny kitten climbed its way
onto Sara’s lap.
Sara smiled slightly, as she stroked the kitten.
This, her first glimpse
of being needed again.

The mirror reflected an image
she was not pleased to see.
The vestiges of time clearly etched on her face.
Creases and folds, where smooth peaches and cream used to be.

The figure, once so pleasing to the eye,
full bosom, narrow waist, hips that gently swayed.
Expanded by time in all directions,
a cruel joke, nature has played.

In the closet hangs
a long red, sequined gown.
On the shelf above it,
a gold scepter and sparkling crown.

Time has stolen all she had held dear.
Her former self, nowhere to be seen.
Behind a closed door, the only things left unchanged,
the remnants of a Beauty Queen.



The tour of the damage
and wreckage by the fire,
makes my heart lament
a time when all was fresh and new.
And now I see only a garden of burned cement.
But not before I stop for a moment,

and try to see with new eyes
what could, maybe, be once again,
in an effort to force my calm.
To soften the anger hidden within.
My gaze focused on a found object, a soothing balm,
with the once-blue car idling in my palm.

Thoughts tumble, like a river a-flow,
as my heart is wrenched by this tiny toy.
Once so shiny-new and held dear
by young eyes, and gentle hands.
As my eyes grow heavy with tear,
to imagine the boy who grew up here.

Heavy hearted, I scan the ravaged scene
feeling blessed it belongs not to me or mine.
Now a piece of history, a story of rubble, steel and tin,
But I am pleased to hold the once-blue car, in my hand,
the tiny testament of hope, even though the fire did win,
to see that two of the crusted wheels still spin.

*(Based on the last four lines from "Digging", a poem by Billy Collins:

but not before I stop for a moment
with the once-blue car idling in my palm,
to imagine the boy who grew up here
and to see that two of the crusted wheels still spin.)



Walking into the aged hilltop house
gave a sense of déjà vu.
The feeling it had been visited by me
many times, over many years.

It spoke to me in
languages of the house,
I did not know
I knew.

There were the soft tones of
love, joy and harmony.
The pulsing rhythms of
passion and desire.

A sensed excitement of
fulfillment of expectations.
I felt the heated vibrations
of anger and distress.

Also, muted notes of sadness,
sorrow and scandal.
Last but not least,
emoting waves

of gloom surrounding a
long ago suspicion of murder.
Never proven, but the haunt
of it still remains.

Perhaps today, the real story will be
revealed to me in a whisper in the ear.
Putting old speculation to rest, giving back
the maligned old house its dignity.


It still sits there, the tired
old stagecoach barn, long
after its time of use has

Some see the aged grey
wood, the sagging timbers,
as an eyesore.  Others, a
piece of progressive travel

A way station to catalyze
connecting routes, and to
reassure passengers, in the
sway of doubt of safe passage.

It still holds the essence of
its prime time.  Bits of hay
chaff eddying in the filtered
sunlight, the acrid scent of
horsepower and leather.

Even the silvered webbing
of industrious spiders in
shadowed, hidden corners,
speak of another time.

This strategy of travel is
marked by expanded thinking,
while moving forward, from
one era into another.

 Sue Crisp

Our thanks to Sue Crisp for today’s poems and pix! Sue writes: I was born Ona Sue Mason in Bakersfield, CA, in 1938.  I moved with my family to Pleasant Valley in El Dorado County at the age of twelve.  I attended and graduated from the Pleasant Valley one-room school to attend El Dorado County High School.  Graduated from El Dorado High in 1955.  Married in 1955 and moved to Fair Play, CA.  I remained there for 27 years.  I remarried and moved to my present home in Shingle Springs in 1983, with the new last name of Crisp.  I retired from 25 years of customer service and began writing at age 50, and I’m still writing.

Sue has had poetry published in Housewife-Writers Forum, 1995; Poets at Work and various contests and poetry from 1995-2005; Poetic License Group (collection of poems from El Dorado County Poets) and various poetry publications from 1995-2005; Sublime Odyssey (poems of love and romantic fantasy), 1996; Free Wheeling Towe Auto Museum Poetry Contest Anthology, 2007; Voices of Lincoln 2013 poetry contest; Voices of Lincoln 2015 poetry contest.

Thanks, Sue—and don’t be a stranger!


Today’s LittleNip:

The writing process, it’s too mysterious to try and describe.

—Mick Jones


This is a busy weekend in NorCal poetry; be sure to keep watching our blue box (under the green box at the right of this column) for all the haps. Some notices don't arrive at Medusa's door until almost the day—or even the very day—that they're happening. If you have an event, I'll be glad to post it (and I do watch Facebook), but gosh—it's more fair to your readers to give the world a little previous notice before the event, yes? This is a busy poetry season, so keep those notices coming!

Oh—and D.R. Wagner sent us his Saturday poems and writes that he's in Denver and will start updating us on his journey soon!


Sue Crisp