Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stone Cold Venus

Venus de Milo with Drawers, 1936, Salvador Dali
©Susan Noyes Anderson

Greet the One all creation adores,
crowned the goad-ess of weddings and wars.
She is immortalized
as a feast for men's eyes,
but she'll not let them get in her drawers!

(Pardon me, friends. I was taught that a limerick 
should be either humorous or slightly risque.
I did do my best to keep this one in good taste!)


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Never Say Die: Requiem for the Grandiose

Requiem for the Grandiose

©1997 Susan Noyes Anderson
The Comstock Review

The day you killed me, I thought––What a drag––

and started making funeral arrangements.

I'd deal with all the requisite estrangements.

If dying was the task, then I'd die fine.

"A wooden casket?" No, I'd take the steel.

"They rust? All right, then make mine copper, please."

"Impervious," they crowed. That worked for me.

Off-white, of course, with roses at the crown.

Let it be said, "She always stopped to smell them."

The eulogy? (Could this have been poor taste?)

Who better to deliver it than me?

Though dead, I eulogized myself so well,

that people barely noticed I was gone;

though later some were sorry to conclude

that I had failed––sometimes they felt the loss.

And resurrection did exceed my grasp.

I wrote Never Say Die, a Requiem to the Grandiose when I was 45 years old, the year my first book was published. It seems I was treating myself in poetic form to a heavy dose of the martyr, using my "angry" version of humor (translation: sarcasm) to at once validate and honor my experience while working through considerable and not entirely unfounded resentment. (I have always been a fan of writing my way to clarity.) Of course, more than a few of the barbs in this piece were aimed those who needs I was endeavoring, with an empty cup, to fill. (Codependent much?)

What I remember is that I had stretched myself very thin at the time. I felt as if people were pulling at me from all directions, expecting more from me than was reasonable, especially in light of health issues that had become chronic. I was hurt and, yes, angry that no one seemed to notice how overextended I was, and I felt the weight of their continuing expectations. Conversely, I was in the beginning stages of realizing that much of my angst was self-inflicted. (Presenting as superwoman was not a particularly effective way of helping people tune in to my needs!)

Happily, I have grown more adept over the years at finding and maintaining balance in my life...and of owning the fallout when I fail to do so. How reassuring it is to look at things I have written in the past and see tangible proof that growth actually does occur. And I am often surprised at the degree of affection I feel toward my younger, struggling self. I even find myself wanting to take that earlier me under my wing. I guess you could say I am healing (and befriending) my inner chick, and ya know what? It feels good!


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hearts and Arrows

 A tasty treat for Valentine's

is sure to spread the love around.

 The sweetest story, shared by two

 creates a space where joy is found...

a place where laughter can abound.

 Come with a grin and sit a spell 

 with those who know you very well

 and love you more than words can tell.

 A belated Happy Valentine's Day from 
two of my three grandchildren...
and a brief tribute to the third, below.

 Cupid is not the only guy

 who holds an arrow in his hands.

 The Arrow of Light means this young man

 has principles for which he stands.

The Arrow of Light is the highest award in cub scouting.
Congratulations, J!


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Never, Never, Never

Wind of History by Jacek Yerka

Never, Never, Never
©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson

History is not
an open book.
Ofttimes, the gate swings
shut. Don't fret.
Few pillars stand
inviolate. Even the
best-laid blockade

So don't give up
no never, never, never...
(Or was that give in?)
You see? The winds of
history elude us, as
the words that ride them do.

But that's okay.
Take Churchill's car.
Jump in. Climb in.
Just get in; find
a way, a vehicle
to storm the castle,
as lord not vassal.

And then go sideways
Record the whisperings.
Touch touchstones. Capture
one   bright   window.
Make it yours.

The past endures.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Go-To Girl Got Up and Went

Couldn't let the day go by without trying my hand at Jenny's latest Saturday Centus prompt. Regrettably, I exceeded the 100 words allotted, but I'm hoping she'll forgive me if I promise to be a very good girl next week! The prompt, as always, is in red.


My favorite teacher told me in my youth:
"You'll always be a leader; that's your truth."
This left me feeling special, even proud.
I'd often thought the same, though not out loud.

I liked to bite off things most wouldn't chew
and chew them, just to see what I could do.
I was the go-to girl, and I still am.
Ya got a problem? Cool, let's fix it. BAM.

But lately I've been running low on juice.
If life's a battle, should I call a truce?
Although surrender chaps my DNA,
a little R&R might be okay.

At home I am a queen, but where's my throne?
My loving family can't leave me alone.
Each mother in our PTA adores me.
Now I'm the president, which nearly floors me.

My part-time work has grown; they think I'm GREAT.
The boss pays double...begs me to stay late.
But I'm already driving in fifth gear.
I signed on for a job, not a career!

Am I a hamster running on a wheel?
I wish I could pretend it's no big deal.
What's that?...Will I direct the school play? Gasp.
(Now I've officially reached critical mass.)
I'm done. Kaput. Don't ask. No mas. I'll pass.

 ©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson
The Go-To-Girl Got Up and Went


Friday, February 15, 2013

On Marriage and Mothers

 To my husband:

We met 44 years ago,
hooked up at the Valentine's Dance.
Your date showed up a bit too late.
(Boo hoo.) She blew it...missed her chance.

But that's okay. Yes, that's all right.
Cuz I sure made the most of mine.
I'm 60 and you're 62.
But you still make my stars align.

Hoo-wee! You're one hot valentine!!


For my mom:

My mother loves me oh-so-well.
I love her more than words can tell.
She's 85 and going strong.
Her gifts to me have been lifelong.

Of mothering, she made an art.
Mom taught me how to use my heart.
She raised me up and set me free
to be the best that I could be.

(Her secret? She believed in me.)


Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day.
I surely did.

And lots of love to my kids and grandkids, too!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Seeking: Beyond Borders and Buzzards

photo and prompt by Gail from At the Farm

We fix our gaze on buzzards in our lives,
convinced that they are focused on us, too.
The wise and brave forsake such slim horizons.
What use is vision, blocked by point of view?

©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson

Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Plate Special

artwork by Joseph Lorusso

Sometimes, in a cafe,
 he gets hungry for 
the red plate special.
Don't make him blue. 

Kiss him silly, till he
can't even smell
the food
for want of you.


If the blue plate special is the usual fare, 
this feast of passion must be the red plate version!


Happy Valentine's Day.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013


Just got back from our vacation, and I'm doing double duty with my Saturday Centus today. Because I missed AlphabeThursday, I will be combining the two for your reading pleasure. The prompt, as always, is in red below.


©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson

Trials trouble all who travel.
Obstacles get in the way.
Large as mountains, small as gravel,
struggles clog up every day.

Let the river flow, then follow
where its fearless waters lead.
Keep your channels clear and hollow,
open to your every need.

Walking down life's pebbled highways,
blast those boulders or get burned.
Rock the rocks that block your byways.
Leave no kidney stone unturned.


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Monday, February 4, 2013

Library Lib

Central Library, Manchester, U.K., by Robin Gosnall

Library Lib
©2013 Susan Noyes Anderson

Take a whiff of joy-in-store,
of silent tomes that sing.
Ride your neurotransmitters
from Boston to Beijing.
Bust the bonds of gravity 
and leave the earth behind.
Splatter scenes the eye can't see
across a canvas mind.
Don't write off the best in life
as "difficult to hold."
Wrap your hands around a book,
and watch the world unfold.

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