Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Two Poems by Susan Sweetland Garay

The Continuity of Things

Let us talk about the stars and sky:

do not ask for answers from the trees and ferns
but instead try to be them,
to learn their ways

do not judge them for their slow growth.

Their growth is steady
and they know how to forgive
which is a magical quality all its own

and they are patient like no other.

We should be as the forest
blessed and growing
and constant.

Our power lies in each new moment
time will not disappoint us.

Collect the light,
gather it into the bowl of your bones
keep it safe until you are at the ocean
and then spread open your hips
and birth it out again

watch bits of light
drift into the sky
and out again
undulating with the waves.

I want to learn the language of the bees,

to create something from the cosmos
from the light we have swallowed
which is resting on our tongues.

Ancient Corners

In a river in the fourth of July,
submerged to my waist in icy water,
this weary and neglected body
does not feel imperfect.

I sink down into my hips
feel my skin
feel the water moving around me
cold and rushing.

It finds ancient walls
and corners

with moss growing
and flowers coming through the cracks
reaching for the sun.

We drove past a charred hillside to get here,
so recently burned I could still smell the smoke.
But the black ground did not seem so sad or lifeless,
instead I could almost see it breathing deeply as it rested.

I used to know the way
but now have forgotten

and I wonder what else I have forgotten
from when I was a tree
with my roots
into the

When other trees and ferns and mushrooms
whispered to me

and I understood their language
and the movements of their leaves.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Susan Sweetland Garay received a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Brigham Young University, spent some years in the Ohio Appalachians and currently lives in the Willamette Valley with her husband and daughter where she works in the vineyard industry.  She enjoys finding beauty and meaning in the everyday.  She has had poetry and photography published in a variety of journals, online and in print.  She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014 and her first full length poetry collection, Approximate Tuesday, was published in 2013.  Her second book, Strange Beauty, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015.  She is a founding editor of The Blue Hour Literary Magazine and Press.  More of her work and doings can be found at

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