Susan Savion's Poetry

 

 

Future Trip Wish List

--Sue Savion, 4/20/2019

Many places still to see

Waterways both big and small

I want to travel to the Ural Sea

Heck, I want to see them all!

 

I haven’t yet seen

The Rock of Gibraltar.

There’s more I yearn to see of the Caribbean

Add to that the Saskatchewan River

 

I’m yearning for Crete

And the blue Aegean

Hearing hundreds of sheep bleat

Then on to the Mediterranean

 

Australia still eludes me too

I have an urge to see Perth and Tasmania

The magic of sacred Uluru

And the fisheries of Nova Scotia

 

Planet Earth is full of wonder

But time is ticking on my clock

I’ve yet to see the Land Down Under

Where lies the lonely Ayers Rock

  

India’s Taj Mahal and Katmandu

A casbah in Marrakech, Morocco

The mystic draw of Machu Picchu

The high peaks of Colorado

 

The Northern Rockies in Canada

And the very high Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe and Nigeria

And the view from China’s Great Walls

 

Though I’ve seen much of Turkey

I’ve yet to experience Cappadocia

The Amazon beckons me

And I can’t skip Patagonia

 

Hiking village to village in Southern France

An island excursion to Costa Rica

Zip-lining in the Galapagos, per chance

Drumming and dancing in Cuba

 

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia,

This list is growing longer yet

Egypt, the Nile, Iceland, Granada

I’ll get to some of them, I bet!

Depression

--Sue Savion, 10/02/18

Always look on the bright side of life:

A motto I usually follow

But lately my mood

Matches the gloomy skies

 And I feel hollow

 

The political divide frightens me

The erosion of democracy

Civility decreasing daily

The march of angry men

And the rise of oligarchy

 

Withdrawal from treaties

Eviscerating our environment

Lives destroyed by ICE and lies

Children snatched from mothers and caged

Tears and anxiety define my temperament

 

Refugees fleeing disasters

War and dictatorships

Fires, floods and hurricanes

No longer welcomed at foreign borders

Division, nationalism and partisanship

 

Friends dying in multiples

Diagnoses of brain tumors and cancers

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Both literal and emotional

Cries of desperation…but not any answers

 

Stacked Supreme Court

And conservative courts dangerously assembling

Decency, truth and compassion

Sacrificed for an agenda

I am sad, afraid and trembling.

Haiku

 

Blustery winds blow

A harbor, a beach, gray sky

Cape Cod in the Fall


Notre Dame burned down;

Metaphor for Catholics’ doom?

Still so very sad.

 

Congo refugees

Lufungula family

Fled to Syracuse

 

Caribbean trip—

Monkeys, turtles, pyramids

Happy retirement!!

 

A birthday present

A video and dinner

Plus six pink roses!

 

Trump is on the loose

Is our democracy doomed?

HOW DO WE STOP THIS?


The Best Parts of My Week

--Sue Savion,  6/10/2019

 I feel stressed tonight.

I read the Post-Standard.

So many stories of crimes and sexual perversion

So many deaths-- in floods, from diseases, as the result of murders

 

Can’t take it anymore:

The vacation debacle

The degenerate Trump           

The snarky nastiness of a relative…

 

So, I’ll think about my poppies blooming instead

And the one gorgeous purple-and-white iris

 

The cardinals feeding from my newly tole-painted bird feeders

The shiny milk can on my stoop gleaming black with flowers and hearts.

With acrylic paints I transformed an ugly canvas

Into a Scottish Highland meadow scene with bright yellow blooms

 

Saturday morning purchases at the Regional Market with a friend

Searching out the Heirlooms that produce “BIG tomatoes”

 

Driving Katie home, clutching her blue ribbons                                                       

After grooming Tom in his stable when the horse show was over

 

And the icing on the cake…

The smooth passing of the Sanctuary Coalition Proposal!

Thank-you for Diversity

—Sue Savion

I am thankful for diversity;

How lucky I am to know

People of all nations

Became friends instead of foe.

I hail from an all-white town

No blacks, nor Jews, nor Italians

Forget about Polish and Kenyan

No Chinese, nor Norwegians

Though arrowheads appeared in plowed fields,

The Treaty of Chicago

Forced the Illini Confederacy out;

No live Indians did I know.

But since I came to Syracuse

I have good friends who are Oneida

We are traveling companions

Together to Laguna Pueblo and Santa Catalina

Neighbors of Onondaga share

Concerts, lacrosse and craft shows

Welcome us to the Rez

With dancing feet and beaded clothes.

The Turkish Community

Opened their arms, offered classes;

Melik, Tim and Suhela;

Turkish coffee and tea in glasses

 Both Muhamed and Muhammed

Local friendly imams

Welcome us to their mosques;

Host community iftars; no bombs!

 Aziz, my friend from Turkey

Tall Joseph from the Congo

Hailu from Ethiopia

Malasian-born Indian Saro

 

Gracious from InterFaith Roundtable

Calls Zimbabwe home;

Jai is Nepalese

He helps resettle refugees

Marilyn is from Trinidad;

Yasmin is from The Gambia.

A young couple, Jasmin and Chad,

From Perth, Australia

 

In Mallorca on a sailboat

With Klaus from Switzerland

Who lives half-time in Tahiti…

 We got an invitation to England.

Just across the street from me

Neighbors from far away Algeria.

I’ve been invited to visit them across the sea.

Nadir, Yunus, and veiled Latifa.

Mehmet in the isle of Kos;

Selim, Yusuf, Suna and Leyla

On Ahmet’s boat in Bodrum

With  Emine, Server and Selma

 

Mary from Nigeria

Veronica and Anabelle from Spain…

These former students

Add another link to my chain

 

David Savion was born in Israel;

Saw Nazareth, Tel Aviv and The Old City,

We visited his parents in Jerusalem;

Jaffa, The River Jordan and the Dead Sea.

 

Lina Alsafadi is Palestinian.

(She called me today from Jordan;)

I helped celebrate her daughter’s wedding.

In November we will have a reunion.

 

Tim, Catleya and Pam are Thai

We visited their land

I enjoyed the spicy food, the wats, the palaces

Traveling together in a van

 

Leocardia, a nurse administrator extraordinaire

My friend from the Canary Islands.

Her psychic abilities are profound.

The Portuguese language she commands.

 

Thank you, thank you,  Universe

For making my life experience so diverse.

 

 

Blanket Fort

Sue Savion, Jan. 17, 2020

 

Tangerine-orange fake leather couch

The long edge of the blanket

Anchored under the 20 volumes of

The Encyclopedia Brittanica

Lined up in order,

The gold-rimmed edge of dark blue books.

A Singer sewing machine anchored an Eastern extension.

  

Blue sheets and soft white flannel blankets

Built the walls

All the pillows we could gather

Along with some books.

My home-made Monopoly game

Also made an appearance. 

My sister and I

Would play for hours between chores.

I felt safer inside the tent.

 

But the harshness of my mother’s voice

Would penetrate the flimsy, translucent “walls.”

Four Currier and Ives horses

On the knotty pine den wall

Greeted us when we lifted the “door” flap

From one side of the rickety card table entranceway.

 

Just two little girls…

No playmates around on this isolated Illinois farm.

Where I'm From

--Susan Savion, 12/24/14


 I'm from the Midwest

The flatland called Looking Glass Prairie

Timber Lane Farm, a quarter mile lane

Hickory trees and Osage Orange

  I'm a farmer's daughter from Swiss-German stock
Whose great-grandfather Johann crossed the seas
 From the Swiss village of Kuttigen, Canton Argau
Those village's valleys resounding with cow bells.  
How could they desert those beautiful mountains?
Because they wanted a more progressive way of being.
And so I became a southern Illinois farmer girl:
Wheat fields and cornpickers and pick-up trucks
  I'm from steering tractors before driving a car
Playing in haylofts
And bringing home the cows..
. That was a healthy beginning.
  But not so the screaming mother
And the loneliness that drove me to the escape of books
My best friends were a fox terrier named Ragsy
And a Holstein I called Mitzi
  I'm from a Catholic upbringing
But a public school high school
Marrying a home town boy
Post graduation from the state university
  I'm from 70's demonstrations in the state capitol
Pink roses for the legislators
Phyllis Schlafly, anti-ERA,on the other side
Apple pie the homey message they used as a bribe.
   I'm from teaching in every capacity--
Small rural communities, my own home town,
Rich suburban towns in PA,
Inner city Syracuse
  I'm from music
Piano and clarinet
Weekly lessons from a strict nun
Marching band--while the Bulldogs trounced opponents
  I'm from 4-H and girl scouts
And Future Teachers of America
Yearbook editor
And class secretary
  I'm from books and poetry
Goddess classes and mythology
Jack London, Mark Twain and Joyce Carol Oates
Kingsolver, Jean Houston and Krishnamurti
   I'm from marriages, each with a diversity
That qualifies as separate lifetimes
Protestant, Catholic, Jew and Muslim
Three states, three weddings, three grandchildren.
  I'm from short people with poor hearing
Sturdy people with intelligence but little education
I know these roots and feel them
But...there is an alienation that makes me just ME.


Silver Linings

--Sue Savion, October, 2015

 

Last week solar panels were installed upon my roof.

But a workman's foot went through my ceiling.

The repair of the ceiling is covered by NRG insurance

I am getting my entire ceiling redone!

 

On Sunday morning I burned the bacon

And then I burned the English muffins.

When I went to my freezer for more muffins

I found the door ajar--and saved the contents!

 

On a trip back home for a class reunion

My plane was overbooked in Minneapolis

I volunteered to take a later flight

And received a $700 voucher!

 

I held a garage sale that was a lot of work

I sorted and labeled and lifted and cleaned

Didn't make much money and my back aches

But donated a lot, got organized and made new friends!

 

The moments of connection now seem normal

The silver linings are not rare

Every delay or setback or disaster

Paves the way toward a reward

 

Shadow Side

--Sue Savion, November, 2015  

We all carry shadow material.

There is the light and the darkness.

On top of the mountain the sun glistens;

At the bottom the valley is in dark shadow.

The part of the iceberg we do not see Is what gets us in trouble.

It propels us to act Though the rational thinks it's in control. 


Delve into the shadows,

The hidden, the unconscious self.

Archetypes spring from dissected aspects

Of the Dark Side:

Examine what is lurking in the dark crevices.

Spirit goes within to find the soul;

The "Devil" devises ways to trip us up.


 We want more truthfulness

But we are addicted to our persona.

You can't be false to the outside world and be true to yourself.

We have to get beyond our broken record

Of how we think about ourselves.

To know ourselves,

We must communicate with our unconscious self.


 In the darkness, our alter ego dwells.

No one knows of what we are capable.

Who is there who really knows you?

We shield ourselves from ourselves

To keep from being vulnerable.

The world about us would be desolate

Except for the world within us.

The always active soul

Shovels the dark earth..

.And tosses it towards the sky...

Or not!


Sam May:  On Fire for Justice

--Susan Savion, 2015

 Samuel May, that progressive firebrand

Jumped into a cart, beat down a door

Personally transported enslaved people

Led the revolt for Mr. Henry's rescue

Raised cash for Onondaga Nation reservation school

 

For racially integrated schools

Both girls and boys thank him

School-wide reform his goal

Defended Quaker Prudence Crandall

In quest for school for  young black girls

 

He worked to create a meeting house

For Onondaga Anti-slavery Society

And a Normal School for Teacher Education

Published liberal chronicle, "The Unionist"

Defending seamstresses' Female Protective Union

  

A contemporary of Stanton, Gage and Anthony

He defended women, an early champion for their cause

Wrote a sermon, "The Rights and Conditions of Women"

Became a Temperance Movement leader

Deploring the spousal abuse and wasted lives

 

The death of his brother when a child

Spurred him to choose a life of service

Dynamic leader, radical reformer, pacifist

Using peaceful opposition for the sake of justice

Abolitionist, Feminist, Unitarian Minister

Never Too Old

--Sue Savion, January 28, 2015

 

Despite the contusions,
An enormous bruise
And a bit of embarrassment,
I have now paid my dues
 
Downhill skiing at my age
Toggenburg and Song
Finally fully geared up
And feeling strong
 
A sense of triumph
Two whole runs without a fall
Mastering turns
And stopping on call
 
Bend knees, lean into it
Speeding up and being bolder
A metaphor for life
Feeling younger, not older
 
The cold air exhilarating
Glistening snow and bright sun
Mentored by a good friend
Joyous retirement; I'm having fun

Journeys

--Sue Savion, 2016

 I've been on many journeys...
Trips to Lake Michigan when a child
Hunting seashells on the beach
Curbing enthusiasm so mother wouldn't get riled.
 
A trip to Florida to visit an aunt,
At 12, seeing the ocean for the first time
Sarasota and sponge divers
Trees in the backyard of lemon and lime.
 
Bittersweet the memories
The honeymoon journey to Colorado;
To California; to Sedona
And on a cruise ship to Mexico
 
Environmental teacher trip
Colorado Rocky Mountain high
Estes and Mt. St. Vrain
With S.I.U. and U.of I.
 
Journey across country           
In Grandpa Otto's rented van
A miserable trip
But the kids got to see Disneyland
 
The Badlands of South Dakota
Another family vacation
Camping under the stars
Seeing Jellystone in action
 
Smokey Mountain's misty clouds
Near Nashville  bunkhouse in the park
Rangers telling ghost stories
Kids dipping candles for the dark
 
St. Louis departure on a long flight to Ketchikan
First time on an airplane
All the way to Alaska for a three-day weekend
This tryst with a boyfriend seems rather insane
 
First journey to Europe
Spring time in Tuscany
Meditation, yoga and art
Under a rose trellis in Italy
Several weeks in Israel
Trips to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea
A Tel Aviv apartment on the Mediterranean
Nazareth, Haifa and Galilee.
 
Adirondacks, Lancaster, the Amish--
Sleeping in Intercourse and Yellowstone
Grand Tetons and the coast of Maine,
Stopping in Old Forge for an ice-cream cone
 
Turkey's Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
Seen in Istanbul during a six-week long stay
Sailing with Ahmet in sunny Bodrum
Ephesus, Goddess temples, and Pamulkale
 
Another trip to Anatolia and Bodrum Castle
A flight to Trabzon the next stop
Black Sea, black sand, delicious kafta
Georgia and an Eastern Kurdish mountaintop
 
A long flight to Thailand, Land of Smiles
Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, northern Chiang Mai
Pink rambutan, foot massages, the floating market
The island of Phuket, Buddhas in the sky
 
Two weeks in Berlin plus San Soucie palaces
Munich, Austria, Switzerland and Strasbourg
Then on to Dresden where I learned to love beer;
The Black Forest, Prague, Vienna and Rothenberg
 
Sailing in Mallorca with Margaretha and Klaus
Then with Kate in Barcelona
Later San Sebastian by train to Albacete
Land of Don Quixote and beautiful Sevilla
 
UU's hosted us in Fairbanks, Alaska,
Denali, Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka.
Service trips on Santa Catalina
and Hawaii's Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea
 
Antalya's Kas, Yosemite, and Key West
And finally Edinburgh in Scotland
The gorgeous Highlands and Isle of Skye;
Belfast, The Titanic, Galway, green Ireland.
 
These adventures to other regions
Each journey has a flavor
Each adds to my perspective
Each provides much to savor.

Journeys to Another Realm

--Susan Savion, January, 2016
 Epiginetics
Memories from our ancestors
Imbedded in our genes
Passed along through DNA
 
Ancient Huna tradition knew of it
The Amaukua, an honored presence
In their current lifetime
Our Higher Self is an integral part of who we are.
 
Shamans speak of it;
Clan of the Cave Bear told about it.
Ayla knew from memories of ancestors long dead
Which herbs to pick.
 
Jesuit priest-biologists
Even study the phenomenon.
Soul-level dimension of consciousness.
Essential energy of alma.
 
Slow down...Breath deeply
Become aware
Establish the pathway
Develop the intuition
 
Access the library in the ether
Soul record of every thought
And all future possibilities.
The past can inform the present.

Fractal Illumination

--Sue Savion, January, 2016

 Brain infusion
Explosive light
End our confusion
Journey to inner sight
 
Sheila and Zach
Experienced a download
Time out to go there and back
Bringing us all into the fold
 
Close your eyes
Relax and wait
Let the images rise
As a group we participate.
 
Enlightening, inspiring
Our personal fraction of belongingness
Images come, spiraling
Shining shards bring brightness
 
Butterflies of super consciousness
Revealing messages and guidance
Through purple mistiness
Ego awareness without arrogance.
 
Eyes are shut but cells awake!
Looking at the past over rim of a precipice
Pushed forward to view what's at stake
"Soular Power" bringing bliss!

WATERS

--Susan Savion (reflections on FUUS Water Service at Onondaga Lake, July 22, 2012      

    Precious water

Stream of life

Water is renewal

And rebirth  

Gathered in a circle

Gentle, gentle breezes flicking strands of hair

Readings honoring the waters While the sun warms my cheeks  

Dappled sunshine

Sparkling lake

Songs of flowing rivers

We respect the interdependent web  

Religious ceremonies abound Jewish traditions aplenty

From the East, the Ganges rituals

From the West, Native Americans’ sacred relationship

  Islam’s cleansing rituals

Ablutions in fountains outside mosques

From River Jordan to Onondaga Lake

Immersion or sprinkle—a baptism  

And whoever gives a cup of water

To the least  will be rewarded.

Life throb of ages,

Ebb and flow


Peacemaker Seed of Peace

--Sue Savion

 

Copper and crystal

Geodesic energy

Power...for Peace

Seed the Earth's sacred spots

Build a grid of calming energy

Open portals of love

Song Mountain ceremony

Shaman Blessing

Sprinkling of tobacco

Shower of cornmeal

Prayer of philos for humanity

Entreating deities and ascended masters

On sacred Onondaga ancestral land

Tree of Peace, the five-needled White Pine

Spontaneous sprouting, miraculous symbol

Beneath its roots the weapons were buried

Beneath the soil, the seed now planted

Radiating Peacemaker energy.

Giving Blood

--Susan Savion

"The need is constant

The gratification is instant."

Every seven weeks I can depend on it..

 My phone rings and there is a plea for my blood.

No one else may love or need me--

But the Red Cross does!

I may be a quirky, misfit Aquarian in many ways

But I am popular because of the O-Positive blood

That courses through my veins.  

These vampires are good guys

Who extract the whole blood and platelets.

And I am so happy to do so!

A kind attendant hands me the plastic-covered manual.

I scan through the list of meds...

That I, fortunately, have never heard of:

Proscar and Avodart; Properia for baldness...;

Tegison and Feldene...

Nope, thank goodness, no prescription meds for me!

 My vitals are taken:  BP  120/80;

I am told this is good.

Temperature 97.9; pulse 90

14.0 for iron/hemoglobin.  

"How are you feeling?" begins the online questionnaire.

Every cell in my 67-year-old body does a cheer.

"Are you healthy?" Yes, I am! 

Go, team, go!

Are you taking antibiotics..."No!"

No blood transfusions have I needed.

No transplants of organs, tissue or bone marrow.

No grafts of skin or bone.

No sex with drug users or AIDS victims.

Not even a small tattoo to prevent the donation.

No piercings, no venereal diseases.

Never been a prostitute.

Never been in prison, especially the past 72 hours.  

Though I love Europe, I have not had the pleasure

Of staying there for over five months.

No malaria or hepatitis to report.

Chagas' Disease is a "No"

And I don't even know what Babesiosis means!

I am still cancer free.

My lungs are fine.

I am not even the right race for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

So happy, so grateful, to be clicking "No."

But I gladly click "Yes" to having been pregnant.

And I gladly and gratefully give blood for those Not as lucky in health as I.

 

Eulogy Poem for Mother

(Eleanor Fellhauer)

August, 2014

 

My mother was born a child in the middle

Four siblings older and four younger

The situations of her life continued that pattern

Never quite complete, she had an unsatiated hunger

 

Caring for children became her lot

The younger ones at home, the DeForest children, too.

It was the height of the depression;

The family needed her meager income to help make do.

 

A coal miner's daughter from southern Illinois

Father William returned weary from the mines each day

Supporting a wife and nine children

Coughing from coal dust, he kept the creditors at bay.

 

A quiet man with a beer in hand,

Observed the four boys and five girls from a corner.

Mother Emma had too many task and too little patience

And little time left over for Eleanor.

 

From small-town Breese to DesLoges in St. Louis

She studied nursing and learned the big city.

Mickey, her beau, wrote many long letters,

Fountain pen on fine paper spoke of love's intensity.

 

They married at twenty-two, Daddy never leaving the farm.

But mother only spent weekends in the hinterland.

Nurse to the children of Medarts, Baers and Busches.

Going on their rich vacations, playing with heiresses in the sand.

 

She straddled two very different worlds

Feeling comfortable with the upper class ways;

Officially a farmer's wife

She struggled with the confusing maze.

 

The barn and the tractor were strangers to her;

Yet, she pasteurized the fresh milk and fed the haymakers.

Fried chicken, baked pies, picked berries, cherries and mushrooms;

Made do with a "patch of blue" on 200 acres.

 

Grandma Elsie and Grandpa Arthur lived downstairs

Sharing one century-old farmhouse and a quarter mile lane

Until I was born eight years later,

Followed in 15 months by Mary Jane.

 

No automatic washing machine to wash all those diapers;

Instead, a wringer-style in the basement.

Clothes made out of calico feed sacks

She sewed on a Singer over which she steadfastly bent.

 

She also embroidered tiny flowers on dainty white dresses,

A good seamstress and crafter she became;

Knitted sweaters and sewed matching outfits for Janie and me

One in red and one in blue--but made just the same.

 

Pottery, silk flowers, and Christmas ornaments,

And a garden filled with morning glories, hollyhocks, delphinium

Vegetables to can:  tomatoes, green beans and pickles,

Home made salsa and German potato salad--yum!

 

Food seemed at times her main purpose in life,

Her affection was shown by supplying a meal.

She'd greet folks with "What do you want to eat?"

Not with:  How are you and how do you feel?"

 

She worked shifts in hospitals and private homes

Often coming home at 7:00 very tired.

The extra money paid for piano, flute and clarinet lessons

So in a lowly, boring life we wouldn't be mired.

 

4-H sewing and cooking classes required much chauffeuring.

And college was expected of us.

She seldom complimented us directly

But her bragging to friends proved she was proud of us.

 

The grandchildren experienced her better nature...

A Christmas orange at the bottom of a well-filled sock

Sewed and labeled with each grand child's sequined name

And Easter eggs hidden behind the door lock.

 

A backyard tire swing attracted the grandkids;

They laughed at her follies and Daddy's old shoes filled with hens     and chickens.

You figured you passed muster if she called your hair "sassy,"

She commented on nails, proffering a quarter if left long and unbitten.

 

She loved playing cards and taught all the grand kids.

Daddy loved pinochle but she like canasta better,

While castigating him for "holding his meld;"

She excelled at backgammon--if played by HER rules.

 

She lived a long life and survived The Depression,

Her hearing loss, difficult breathing and joint pain.

Less than five foot and quite weak at the end

But enjoyed memories of traveling--Hawaii, Holland and Spain.

 

We say goodbye to her now;

Though small in stature, she created a mighty presence;

She's finally in a place where her fears can abate;

May she find peace, satisfaction and happiness in her heavenly state.

 

(Written by Susan Savion while traveling home to Illinois.)

Changes Through the Year

--Susan Savion, December, 2013

 Sitting quietly I contemplate...
Meditate..concentrate
On changes this year has brought
Partnerships and parting
Sorting, realizing, starting....
New adventures wrought  


Vacations to Catalina
Phoenix Grand Canyon, Sedona
Grand vistas sought  
Laguna Pueblo Feast Days
Parades...Processions...Dancing
Culture and customs taught
  At 95 my mother passes
States she's tired of living
Funeral leaves us distraught  
Now I own a farm
Illinois pastures and fields
The inheritance not fought  
Money helps pay for siding
House gets an upgrade
Became easier than I thought
  Two-Row trip to NYC Washington Park.
.. U.N. Ceremony
Spirit of treaties caught
  Friends rebound
A deeper love is found
All my worries have come to naught.


Deadlines

--Susan Savion  
Retirement expectations...
Some have manifested;
Some still seem a distant dream.
"Busier than ever" is my reality
; Rushing and deadlines,
Lack of sleep and calls at 6:00 am.
The piles of magazines and newspapers get bigger, not smaller.
The email inbox gets fuller each day.
Self-assigned tasks and creations Gobble gobs of time.
Even book discussion groups
Demand a deadline!


 BIRDS THROUGH THE WINDOW

--Susan Savion, 1/14-12/14

 The Christmas cookies,

Sugar and citron-filled,

I tossed gently to the ground

Outside my kitchen window.

Their green and red faces

Now mingled among the sunflower seeds

Upon the stone patio

Under the giant maple.

 

I did not have to wait long.

Soon appeared a bright red robin.

He pecked at a small morsel

And then his mate joined him,

Searching out the bounty,

Investigating with their beaks

And even touching each other

With little beak kisses.

 

Soon, they had company

Joined by both smaller and larger birds

A chickadee appeared,

Perched on the brown bird feeder

I'd lovingly painted

With pastel flowers

The summer before,

Now containing cranberry suet

 

Then some tiny wrens

Hopped over the flagstones

Mining leftover seeds.

Some large crows and

Some doves

Arrived on the scene.

Scratching in snow

Devouring crumbs

 

 

 My well-fed squirrels

Discovered the bounty

And Mr. Gray

Carried off his cookie

To munch hungrily between his paws

While perched on the back of my garden bench.

Meanwhile Blackie is upside-down

On the wire squirrel-proof feeder.

 

A cardinal came by,

Bright red, iconic against the snow,

And chose a crumb of sugar cookie,

Darting off with it

Into the bushes.

But he returned

And explored the flower pots,

Extracting a tiny worm from one.

 

It is a gray day.

But because some beautiful blue jays

Joined the crowd,

And two nuthatches appeared

My special spot outside my window

Is a wildlife oasis

That brightens my day

Fulfills a bond with the natural world

 

Then the rain increases...

Suddenly, all my feathered friends disappear.

 But wait! Here comes Mr. Gray again.

He scoops up

A large iced basselackie cookie

And bouncily scampers off

With his German treat

Clamped between his tight jaws.

Andale
                          --Susan Savion, 5/1/11

Dreaming of distant shores, exotic places
Stating the goal aloud
Causing the thought to transform to the reality
Jumping at Klaus' invitation
A sailing adventure begins
Swiss connection Facebook friend,
My Mediterranean captain
An invitation from Bali
For a connection in Torreviejo...and then...
Balearic Islands, Mallorca, coastal towns near Formentera

Pronouncing the possibilities
So entices a good friend
That she jumps in, too!
The sailor in her compels her;
Once more she must feel the gentle winds
Misted with sea spray on her cheeks
Her sailing skills, honed when she was once
Proud owner of a sailboat
Will help the voyage and lessen the Euros
She will spend for passage.

Past exchange students, now young women
Excitedly welcome me
Veronica, Patricia, Anabel and Elena
Hola, otra vez!
Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, perhaps Pamplona;
Northern Oviedo, southern Valencia...
Adventures loom resplendent;
Tapas and paella beckon.
Start strumming those Spanish guitars!
Yo tengo muchos suenos. 

 

Aphrodite, Artemis and Athena

--Susan Savion, December 2, 2009

 

Great goddesses

Rulers of an ancient world:

Aphrodisia, Ephesus, Asos

Cities of the past built to your greatness;

Stadiums, arenas, statues, and agoras

All inspired by your divinity,

They lie in ruins now.

Aphrodite, goddess of love,

Mother of Eros, sprung from the foam of the sea.

Queen of sexual rapture

Sailors petitioned you for your protection

Generous Aphrodite, rescuer of Pygmalian

With your power over human emotions

Still incurred a trembling recognition of your spirit

As I stood beneath your Tetrahedron

And gazed at the expanse

Of the city built in your honor.

Ionian carvings celebrate your loveliness.

Chosen by Paris, Prince of Troy,

As most beautiful of goddesses.

Doves sit upon your shoulder and nestle in your hand.

Lie naked in your scalloped shell;

Gaze in your mirror

As you take a bite of your juicy apple.

Mighty Aphrodite,

Drape your girdle around me

That I may yet feel

The primal sensations you passionately promote.

Artemis, Great Goddess of Asia Minor,

Bronze-age Amazon,

Venerated Cybele, Huntress, twin of Apollo,

Eggs, breast, fruitfulness, fertility: 

Great Mother.

They built you a temple mightier than the  Parthenon,

Wonder of the Ancient World,

Now in a swampland of Selcuk.

This ancient province of Lydia

Funded by those first golden coins of rich King Croesus

Now hosts just one tall column of the sixty-four.

Storks nesting atop

Instead of incense, flowers and slit-throated lambs

On mighty marble altars.

 

Athena’s temple, high on an escarpment in Assos,

Majestically overlooking the clear aqua-blue of the Aegean,

Sparkling turquoise brilliance beneath a vast cobalt sky,

A column here, arches and rough hewn stone steps nearby.

Routes plowed by Jason and the Argonauts,

Odysseus enroute to Troy,

Merchants of many nations heading to the isthmus of the Bosporus

On their journey to the Black Sea.

Now the crumbling remains of a few Doric columns

Strewn as if from a divine temper tantrum,

Lie tilted among the few pillars remaining

From the ancient acropolis.

In the distance, the lavender-misted island of Lesbos

Can be seen beyond the masts of sailboats.

Ah, I am transported back thirty centuries

For the essence is still there.

I am a supplicant

And I feel her awesome power swirling around me.

Athena, mighty daughter of Zeus,

Bright-eyed virgin of Wisdom and War,

Monuments abound to your mythical might.

Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena

There is a power, even in the names.

 

Cathedrals
By Susan Savion, 2011

Magnificent, grandiose, ornate;
                                  With gold and silver they decorate                                      

Baroque, gothic and Catholic
Everything overstated, hyperbolic

Crucifixes, statues, the Virgin Mary
Parapets with gorgoyles, grotesque and scary

Popes and saints buried in crypts
Rosaries mumbled through fervent lips

Immense organs explode with sound
Hallelujahs reverberate, salvation found

Artisans, artists and architects
Designed structures that all the world respects

City state contests of who could build the best;
Is Florence’s duomo or Siena’s better than the rest?

Bigness counts too; Who is supreme in God’s eyes?
The Vatican wins if measured by size

London and Sevillla next in immensity                           
They glorify God but impoverish their city.

Built on the backs of common laborers
Tithes and donations and volunteer workers

Bishops pleading we need more and still more
Money for another altar that could have fed the poor.         


The spires are inspiring,                                 
The pews and candles soothing

Years in construction, the work never done;
Build twenty side chapels instead of just one.

Sad stations of the cross elaborately conceived,
Angels and St. Michael offering reprieve.

Halos on apostles, radiance streaming
Jesus gives a blessing solemn and redeeming
                                                  
Prayers rise to the vaulted ceilings;
Praise echoes from gilded railings                        

St. Vitus in Prague boasts Mucha stained glass
In St. Stephans in Viena the cardinals say mass           

Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg,
Dresden’s Frauenkirche, Heidelburg and Freiburg

Barcelona is Gaudi’s playground
Where La Sagrada Familia is found               

Tabernacles for sacred charters
Sanctuaries for bones of martyrs

Repositories of sacred scrolls
And jewel-encrusted chalice bowls

Precious artwork and mosaic creation,
Catholic church holdings could end starvation

Prayer books balance food in giving sustenance
Both body and spirit need nurturance

Cow Girl
                                --By Susan Savion, re-written 2011

Her heavy sides heave,
   Expand,
                Rumble.
She chews her cud,
   Methodically,
                   Somnolently,
Oblivious to the farmer's daughter draped upon her heaving sides.
Gentle,
  A lowing-of-the-manger kind of nurturance
    

Warmth and heartbeat and loving acceptance,
Found in the barn with Mitzi, the cow;
Small pony-tailed body
   Nesting sleepily in feed sack clothing
      Sewn by hand.
Here she finds the "mothering"
   the vital contact,
     skin to skin
Denied this primal pleasure from her human mother,
   The barn, lime-rimed straw, the jingle of the stanchions,
        Give her solace for napping oblivion.

Demeter’s Fire
      --Susan Savion,  April 7, 2000


Embracing the circle of life
Demeter walks through the fire of transition.
Woods aflame with Fall’s red blaze
Lighting the forest pathway like flares,
Relentlessly onward toward the Winter’s icy pause.
Her pace marked in semi-years:
Life, Death, Rebirth:  a wheel.

The Autumn has come
And her life is luscious with color.
Living full, loving lustfully,
As vibrant in her middle passage
As when her
Springtime frolics blushed her cheeks.

Now--mother, elder, wise-woman--
She relaxes into Indian Summer sunshine.
Recalling the turn of many seasons past,
Comforted in perceiving future cycles churning relentlessly.
Longing for dear Persephone,
But having learned not to cling to that
Which one has no right to grasp too tightly;
Allowing the fallow time to inevitably arrive
To cover the brilliant leaves of the forest floor
With white morgue sheets of snow.
Rest and renew;
Now comes the Frost King’s agenda.

Green Velvet
--Susan Savion, December, 2010

First time a bridesmaid—
Gliding down the long aisle
Of the St. Louis Cathedral
On the arm of a man named Guido
In my long plush forest-green velvet dress,
Yellow roses pinned to a white fur muff.
Cousin Sandra  and Tony are still married.

But the dress and my life moves on;
Next stop is a college formal.
Young, flipped blonde hair,
On the arm of my future husband
I dance close and feel loved
At the Fell Hall Winter Ball
While outside snowflakes fell.

Jump ahead a generation—
My daughter needs a dress
For a D.K. formal;
She tries to zip my still lovely dress.
Too snug, but too lovely to discard.
A remake, 1990’s style ensues;
A new bodice of sparkly-designed green velveteen,
A shortened skirt that brushes the knee
Instead of the floor
Out the door on the arm of a curly-haired date.

This daughter has a daughter.
This granddaughter has a doll.
The remnant boxes came down
From the closet shelves.
Seamstress skills ply the sewing machine
And tiny buttons are added at 3:00 a.m.
Now Katie’s American Girl can be fashionable
In a soft, fur-trimmed velvet cape
Atop the glittering velveteen dress
With a new green ribbon for a sash
And carried in the arms of the next generation.

The story caused the craft store ladies to cry.