Some of Susan's favorite poems

I thought you might enjoy some poetry to lighten your busy day. If you have a contribution, I would love to hear from you!


“What will you do with all my things,
when I’m dead?”
she said.

My Mother, the forever strong Viking,
courageous of brow and gentle of hand,
Die? — she can’t.

“There’s the Grandfather clock, with a nameplate of gold,
my Persian rug, the Wedgeworth soup bowl, and
all the crystal memories in my soul.”

“I’ll sell them,” I said
“. . . and buy you flowers instead,
every day you’ll breathe fresh roses over your head.”

But I never thought, Mother would die
— before I.

The gray in my own hair glints,
lines on the face advance steadily, stealthily
musty cracks on old pottery.

I must relent, night will descend
sorrow stifles the heart, tears flow dark
we are apart — however temporarily.

My turn to ask,
What will you do with all my things, Son,
when I’m gone?”

“There’s Grandmother’s clock, with her name in gold,
her Persian rug, that Wedgeworth soup bowl (with a tiny chip),
all the crystal memories in my soul — I hope you will keep . . .


Just a breath away you are
Like touching a star
In the night’s darkness
It doesn’t seem so far

I whisper your name
To the magical moon
Hear it echo
Through the wind anew

Just a breath away you are
Like gazing at the sun
The morning light’s caress
Melts away the dawn

I whisper your name
To the blue of the sky
Hear it echo
Hummingbirds flying by

Just a breath away you are
Like kissing misty air
My face moist drops of dew
Forever I will care

I whisper your name
To the cottony clouds
Hear it echo
Rainbow colors sweet sounds

My heart though lonely at times
Is never alone or lost
My breath your name writes
Your face upon my face smiles.
All my life
Your face upon my face smiles.

© Sirkka Shayan, (01/26/07)


It is quiet
untouched snow
and crosses of stone
old leafless willows
like widows’ hair
those who dare
walk here.

There are dead
they breathe the air
and wait to hear
our steps
above their heads
for the moment
we fear.

It is quiet
we are gone
from the bustle of life
to a new realm
where we meet again
lost loved ones
and friends.

Copyright ©, 2005, Sirkka Shayan


Talons of titanic steel, they rip
And shred and tear
Send fear
Their victim

The exquisite beauty of feather and flight
Cannot hide the sheer fright
A pheasant feels
It flees

In a flash of black and brown and futile flapping
And squeals and cries, crushing of bone
A life is gone
Feed another

No help is forthcoming from a flock of worried friends
Sisters, brothers, beloved mates
Watching the horror
Deepest sorrow

… But, a happy mouse lines its nest
With soft feathers
From the chest
Spattered amongst the snow


A shooting star sweeps across The Sky.
Like the tail of a peacock
it’s sparkling aura unfolds.
Toward The Earth the star falls
and fades,
dies away,
its life ended.

So also a human as a falling star
for a time, sparkles and glows,
until toward the evening of time
his aura dies down, disappears.
But after him he leaves
the works of his hands
as proof of the journey.

The star’s fall is final.
Its journey ends
into dark nothingness.
The soul of the human, however,
ascends into The Heavens,
in the embrace of an Angel,
into everlasting glory and lightness.

_ By Sirkka Shayan (04/06/2007)_

Before You Go

Pale, thin
In that bed
at eighty
your skin glows
you promised me your mother’s
recipe for homemade facials
teach me how to mint pure cider vinegar
to freshen me.
until today you only taught me of
hot toddies and plum jam.

I am listening
teach me the old ways
I need your living yeast
your apron around me
grainy with flour
measure me the recipes
your mother made you practice
‘til you knew their feel.

I have not put in my time.

Teach me with your own hands
blue-veined, crooked hands you worked so hard
to shape
hands that birthed my mother, my sister,
hands that soothed me at my baptismal
hands gnarled with stories
I have not yet heard.

I cannot learn these things
from strangers
teach me
your ways
your mother’s mother’s ways-

By Mary Ellis Peterson ©

And I Shall Be Your Ancestor

I carry fire deep
these days
ancestral fire of many winters
firepot clenched of clay
worn to glaze by women’s palms
fire of greatgrandmothers
clay of the earthmother
it smolders too deep
to light my face
to warm my fingers
deep in clay it burns.
it has always burned.

By Mary Ellis Peterson © Guild Press, 1978, 1980