Wednesday, July 18, 2018

From the Heart

(for ryan)
©2018 susan noyes anderson

city beat
city heat
miles of pavement
pulsing feet

dirty asphalt
ocean breeze
misty mornings
nights to seize

sidewalk sleepers
suited men
money makers
born again

mission district
nob hill flair
sunset, castro
union square

trolley crossings
beeping, dinging
magic sounds

snaky streets
bridge of gold
arching, soaring
bonny, bold

gritty, graceful
work of art
san francisco
from the start

(bring your dreams
leave your heart)

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Still Waters

©2018 Susan Noyes Anderson 

O be not lulled by placid sea
nor lapping waves
of harmony

stand warily beneath a sky
of azure born
to soothe the eye

lean soft against the stolid tree
serene in all
its symmetry

embrace but do not claim the breeze
that rustles gently
through the trees

for deep within each peaceful thing
a wildness waits
and will be seen

the oceans roar, the heavens burst
the branches whip
the winds reverse

and e'en my steady soul breaks free
the wild in me


Sometimes I fear the wildness in this world, but I make every effort to seek and appreciate the good in it. Quotes like the ones below help me find my way to acceptance, even appreciation. (I do confess that nothing thrills me more than a violent thunderstorm or waves pounding the beach with unyielding ferocity, so maybe there is a bit more of the wild in me than I realize.)

"God loves all the flowers, even the wild ones that grow alongside the highway."
– Cyndi Lauper

"Wild waves rise and fall when they arrive; and that's what makes the peaceful sea alive."
– Munia Khan

"She found herself over a long and treacherous road, and the more treacherous the road became, the more of herself she found."
– Atticus Poetry

The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy."
– John Muir

"By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive, Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs - now a flood of fire, now a flood of ice, now a flood of water; and again the fullness of time, and outburst of organic life." 
– John Muir

"All the wild world is beautiful; everywhere and always we are in God's eternal beauty and love."
– John Muir

Our Creator didn't get this wrong. It's what we do with the wildness that matters. 


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Monday, April 23, 2018

Blessed Am I

My sweet mom is 91 years old today, and while she isn't feeling nearly as chipper as she did in this picture from last year, she is hanging in as best she can. Mom has her good days and bad days, but every day we are grateful for all the love and support she has given us through the years. Our mother has a generous heart, and we are the beneficiaries.

Below are the lyrics to Blessed Am I, written with my mother as inspiration. I thought it seemed just right to print them here today. The sheet music can be found on the website of Lindy Kerby, who took my heartfelt words and composed the loveliest melody imaginable. We were introduced to one another years ago by Janice Kapp Perry and have collaborated on several songs since that time. This one is generally sung for Mother's Day.

On this day, however, Blessed Am I is a happy birthday song for Grace Darlene Robbins, whose daughter I am grateful and proud to be. 

©1996 Lindy Kerby (music) Susan Noyes Anderson (lyrics)

I came to a world that was cold and unknown.
You reached out to hold me and made me your own;
and you made me strong, and you filled me with love
and whispered that I was a gift from above.

Blessed am I; my mother is you,
sharing His love in all that you do.
Each gentle smile is an answer to prayer.
Deep in my heart, you'll always be there;
deep in my heart, you'll be there.

Your love is the truth that I came here to learn.
You listened and counseled with love and concern;
and you understood me when other hearts failed,
when you were the reason my spirit prevailed.

Blessed am I; my mother is you,
sharing His love in all that you do.
Each gentle smile is an answer to prayer.
Deep in my heart, you'll always be there;
deep in my heart, you'll be there.

I thank you, dear Mother, for all that you are –
no softer a moonbeam, no brighter a star,
no stronger a mountain, more constant the sea –
No other could be such a mother to me.

Blessed am I; my mother is you,
sharing His love in all that you do.
Each gentle smile is an answer to prayer.
Deep in my heart, you'll always be there;
deep in my heart, you'll be there.

💗 Happy Birthday, Mom. 💗
You are loved,
dearly loved,
by all of us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Our V-Day Pick - Mom and Dick


Happy Valentines to you,
the sweetest ones we know, times two!
We wish you a bright, happy day
and love you more than words can say.


Sue, Dave and family


"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother."

"The greatest thing a father can do for his children 
is to love their mother."

So grateful you two belong to us.



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Winding Down: A Window Pane on Parting

©2018 Susan Noyes Anderson

We sit.
She, burgundy chair.
Me, blue leather sofa.
Like so many times
before, days of yore.
She used to watch me,
claim me, eyes love-lit.
I'd blush. You're staring, Mom.
But I put up with it.

She watches still.
Soft hazel eyes,
once bright
stare past me now
devoid of mother-light.
Unclaimed, I try
to hold her eyes
with mine. Be seen,
be heard, be known,
wait for a sign.

Sure love you, Mom.
My voice, too soft,
falls lonely.
I love you.
Louder now and yet
Oh, for a word!
Heart plummeting,
I yield
or nearly so.
Mom's moving on
beyond me.
This I know.

We sit.
She, burgundy chair.
Me, blue leather sofa.
Like so many times
before, days of yore.
Between us, coffee table,
stool, my longing.
I lift a hand,
small wave from
distant shore.

Sunrise. As if on strings, 
her elbow bends.
One weathered hand responds.
The distance ends.
I blow a kiss; she smiles.
Ghost smile, but true.
Small fingers pressed to lips,
she blows back two.
I twist my hands in
semblance of a heart.
She follows suit and
claims me, every part.

Time pauses;
eye to eye
our spirits touch.
So many years remembered,
sweetly shared.
I love you, Mom.
Once more, her
light shines through.
Sun to my soul,
she speaks.
I love you, too.


The onset of dementia is an inexplicable sorrow for loved ones, and my family is no different. I can imagine few things more heartbreaking than watching my lovely, intelligent mother decline in capacity day by day. How I miss her insights, her humor, her comfort, even her criticism (though she rarely aimed any in my direction). I miss her sudoku, her crossword puzzles, her Kindle, her love for Reality TV talent shows. I miss her delight in See’s candy, small dogs, and Swedish pancakes. I miss her cooking, her curiosity, her crazed kitchen cleaning.

Yes, I miss her, but I am also grateful for the pieces of her 90-year-old self that are left to me. This poem shares a moment that I will treasure always. Maybe it will resonate with you.

For long-time readers: I know how many of you have enjoyed my mom over the years (remember her blog?), and I wanted you to know that she is being well-loved and receiving 24-hour care in her home. Her wonderful husband (Dick) is by her side, as devoted and attentive as ever. Mom still has much to smile about, and she does...especially on her good days. She remains our greatest treasure.

for more poems, click below
for more poems, click below