Saturday, July 5, 2014

Glory Days: A 4th of July Poem

We the People
Glory Days: A 4th of July Poem
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

Declaration of Independence.
Pilgrims' feet, well-planted.
Heritage and brave forefathers:
all taken for granted.

Continental Congress,
Articles, Confederation.
Patrick Henry, Paul Revere:
heroes of our nation.

Words forgotten in a breath:
"Give me liberty or give me death."
"English coming," warning ride.
Things revered now tossed aside.

Thomas Jefferson turned knave,
fresh dirt thrown into his grave.
Lots of blame to go around:
so much lost; so little found.

Citizens left in the cold.
Congress putting them on hold.
(Keepers of one dream: their own.)
Unity stripped to the bone.

Cynicism honed as art,
curling into every heart,
smothering the hope within.
Are we out or are we in?

Shall we sing or shall we sigh?
Will our glory pass us by?


I sincerely hope it will not pass us by.
Our nation's strength is her citizens.
And this American is all the way in.

Happy Independence Day!

{some things will always be worth fighting for}


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Fix Is In(side)

The Fix is In(side)
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

My life is hard; she likes to say.
In fact, she says it every day.
Reliably and without fail,
Poor me has been her holy grail.

She's taken knocks, and that's the truth.
It's gone that way right from her youth.
The girl can't seem to catch a break.
Most days are more than she can take.

Maybe, she says, her luck will change.
She's always thought it's kinda strange
how helpers come and helpers go.
Nobody sticks around, ya know?

They don't show up for me, she cries.
And no one's gonna say she lies.
But how can anybody help
when she's a no-show for herself?


Of course, nobody makes it through hard times alone. We all look for cheerleaders in life––and who doesn't need good people to pass the ball to when we're about to take a dive? With trouble chasing us down, a quick hand-off can keep us a step ahead. But we still have to suit up every day, to get our own hands dirty.

Lasting change comes from within, where the power is...our power. And the precursor to finding life fulfilling? Being willing. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dads Are Grand

Matt, Todd, Karin, Dave, Ryan

Father's Day has historically been kind of a mixed bag for me. Though he did have his moments, especially when I was a little girl, my dad wasn't always the kind of father I wished for. My husband, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of dad I wished for, and my children (and grandchildren) have reaped the benefits.

Don't get me wrong. Big Daddy Dave isn't perfect, but he definitely has come close enough to get the job done. His success is evident in the faces of my adult children when they look at him; in the security they feel knowing that someone of substance always has their backs; in the respect they have for his integrity and selflessness; in their teasing as they interact with him playfully, knowing for sure that he is and always will be their friend. Loyalty is so important in family relationships, and my husband has plenty of it to go around. Through thick and thin, he has been there for my children, and he always will be. Of that, I am certain. And more importantly, so are they.

With this in mind, I will be celebrating Father's Day with a grateful heart and no small appreciation for the man I married and the children we have raised together, one of whom is an excellent father himself. As for my own dad, he has been gone for many years now. Strange as it may seem, I think my connection with him has improved since his death. Either he has done some growing in his new state of being or I have done some growing in my old one (probably a bit of both), but I'm glad for it. When I think of him on Father's Day, I now find myself remembering the good times…sitting on his knee zipping and unzipping his leather key case, turning the ruby class ring around and around on his finger, feeling safe and secure diving under big waves in his arms, singing silly songs with him in the car as he honored my pleas to go faster over the bumps, laughing at the jokes and teasing that were so much a part of his personality. I'm convinced he meant well, and that counts for a lot.

So happy Father's Day to all you dads out there…and to my own dad, too. Happy Father's Day to my mom's husband of over 40 years, who has been a friend to me and a wonderful grandpa to my children. (Dave's sweet dad was a terrific father and grandfather, too.) And finally, happy Father's Day to my husband, a devoted family man who has given his all and then some to the ones he loves most. No wonder we love him so much in return.

Have a great day, Dave. 
Breakfast in bed is coming your way!


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Friday, May 30, 2014

Collecting Peace

Collecting Peace
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

Collecting is a testament
to life already lived––
a witness of the future
still in store.

The past holds value far beyond
the grave in which it lies;
we are wraith-ed in peace and yet left
wanting more.

Our ghosts inhabit weathered woods,
etched glass, revolving clocks––
every tick marks a beginning
and an end.

So we gather warm and lovely things
to comfort and surround,
ground ourselves in new tomorrows
with old friends.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

We reverenced the flag when I was a young girl...
proud and strong we stood, hand over heart.
Deep emotions were raised as we saw it unfurl;
our allegiance was pledged from the start.

We were taught by our parents' example...
their knowledge that freedom was fragile at best.
They had seen evil threaten the world and
defeated it soundly when put to the test.

Liberty was an essence that sang in their blood
for the blood of brave countrymen slain,
and the flag was a symbol of all we had lost
and a tribute to all we retained.

From ocean to ocean, our voices were raised
in an anthem proclaiming our worth.
As heroes had given their all, so would we,
in upholding the land of our birth.

We honored the flag and the nation it stood for.
We sang, and we pledged, and we stood.
We were grateful enough to hold sacred a symbol
defining our country as good.

Today things are changing. So many young people
just watch the parade passing by.
They stay in their seats or stand carelessly slouched,
quite unstirred by our flag in the sky.

Our patriot songs are less known and less sung,
our allegiance less fervently vowed.
Cold winds of dissension blow harder each day,
and the roar of contention is loud.

If united we stand and divided we fall,
then survival demands common ground.
Our roots lie in legacies, planted by love
of the country our forefathers found.

True freedom is more than the right to dissent;
it's respect for the things we can share.
When the patriot dream seems elusive, our flag
carries hope that the dream is still there.

Those broad stripes and bright stars are reminders.
Embrace them. They help us to know who we are.
In peace or in conflict, they fly on a standard,
and we must keep raising the bar.

On Memorial Day, as we reverence our dead
and remember brave souls, let's be clear:
We live in a land that requires our devotion
and honor each day of the year.

A nation is fed by the people it nurtures,
and all of us drink the same cup.
Our stories are told in the symbols we share.
May every heart treasure them up.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Atlantis – The Ghost Ship

Atlantis – The Ghost Ship
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

She sails across an open sea
obscured in fog and memory...
a ship of ghosts, of days gone by,
her battered flag lost to the sky.

Inside she carries hopes and dreams
unraveled, threadbare, frayed at seams
that pulled too tight and bound too fast,
first tries that faded into last...

a fallen star, a broken wing,
a lump of clay, one note to sing,
a jilted peak, an ocean floor,
an empty space that begs for more.

Her tall mast lifts no sinking heart,
and yet she knows a sailor's art:
to ride upon the wind and wave...
a ship of dreams, a gliding grave.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Exaltation: A Journey into Light

Image ©2010 Rose Braverman

©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

The road of life is rough and steep
with little ease along the way.
Some rivers cut and plunge so deep
they throw us back to yesterday.

We pick up things along the path
to carry with us as we go.
They weigh us down when times are hard
or lift us up and help us grow.

Quite often, we can see the light
that beckons from beyond the shade,
but other times the view is dark
and progress must be blindly made.

It matters not; the trail is marked
by twists and turns beyond control.
This is the journey all must take
to sanctify the human soul.

To bend, not break is our desire
and by His hand we will succeed.
A sacrifice was made, well made,
and God alone knows what we need.

In His own wisdom, we reside.
I would not thwart His will with mine.
And yet I cannot help but dream
of gentle stream, of soft sunshine.

Why must the storms come crashing through,
the waters roil and rise so high?
The jagged rock looms slick and sharp;
the thunder swallows up the sky.

And we are left to brave the night,
a night that stretches on and on.
The moon goes out; the stars fall down;
hope flickers, wanes, is nearly gone…

And then a spark…a glow: sunrise.
The day is won. The Master’s grace
shall never yield to darkness, yet
He cedes to us our part, our place.

We lift the load, resume the journey.
Faith renewed, we carry on
with burnished hearts, the light in us
refined each time we wait for dawn.

His light will turn our hearts to gold
as we, in faith, await the dawn.

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory 
of the Lord is risen upon thee." – Isaiah 60:1
Image ©2012 Brian J. Matis

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Call Me

photo credit: Terri Windling

Call Me
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

I'm waiting for my master,
but the rascal doesn't care.
I wish he'd get here faster, 
but I haven't got a prayer.

He takes me quite for granted,
though I'm at his beck and call.
So call me disenchanted.
Mine's a dog's life after all.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Birthday Bird Told Me...

Some mothers know just what to do

to build a cozy nest.

They know where every twig belongs

and choose only the best.

Their young are nurtured carefully

in colors warm and bright.

To comfort and protect them brings

these mothers pure delight.

They gather feed to fit each need,

till every mouth is filled.

Their eyes are ever watchful, and

their love songs never stilled.

How wonderful such mothers are. 

What beauty they impart.

How blessed the little ones they bear

and care for, heart to heart.

Dedicated to my mother, Darlene Robbins,
and her very cozy
Robbins Nest ~
where every child 
finds love enough
to grow. 

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Would you be mad if I told
everyone how old you are today?
Because you sure don't look 87!


We love you.
Sue, Dave, and the FAM
(Are you wearing your new necklace??)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Arise and Umbrellize

Finland, photo by George F. Mobley

©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson
Umbrellas offer solid proof
that weather's not in vain.
Surely a drop of rain
deserves a bit of notice.

What shoddy arrogance denies
the weeping skies with
heads left bare and
hats left home?

Don't float the notion soggy hair
is any less than an affront.
A front deserves respect.
The rain works hard for you.

Don't dis the dew.

Arise and umbrellize!

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