Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Cause of Freedom

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

The parched soil drinks their holy blood.
They lay their bodies down like wine:
last dregs of fleeing innocence,
surrendered on the sacred vine.

With colors flying in the breeze,
stout poppies stand in full array.
Brined roots draw horror from the ground,
releasing it to light of day.

The horror and the loss, the loss.
Destruction never counts the cost.
Freedom remains an aching need.
The soul and body bleed. They bleed.


On this and every Veteran's Day, my heart is filled with gratitude for 
all who have placed themselves in harm's way to serve the cause of freedom.

The origin of the red Flanders poppy as a modern-day symbol of remembrance 
was the inspiration of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Under Cover

image by Jacek Yerka

Under Cover
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

I draw my sleep beneath a golf ball moon,
where verdant trees sprout tiny, ticking clocks.
Deep waters hold me close in rippled arms,
enfold me in a soft, white bed of rocks.

There is a calm, a strange but present peace.
All that I need is waiting on the shore.
My spirit slumbers, dreaming of release.
Night holds me helpless; dawn unlocks the door.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Loving the Land

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Their roots were in the land;
the land was everything.
The old ones took a stand,
inured to suffering.

Hard work was what they knew,
hard work and sturdy hearts.
They held God in their view,
gave Him their sacred parts.

He came by storm and flood,
breathed wind and uttered rain.
He smiled in sun-warmed crops,
frowned droughts of wasted grain.

Like Job, they persevered
and counted blessings twice.
The land was theirs, revered,
worth any sacrifice.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Nexus Needed

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Unfair I may be, but I'm not
quite certain of that fact.
It's hard to be objective when
you judge the way I act.

I hurt your feelings, so you say,
but do you care for mine?
Your constant criticism leaves me
feeling less than fine.

You tell me I don't like you much.
I'd say the same for you.
If this is liking me, I wonder
what dislike would do.

In honesty, I must admit
my attitude needs work.
I'll like you a lot more when
you're a lot less of a jerk.

In other words, your attitude
could use some labor, too.
Am I the chicken or the egg?
Who hatched this: me or you?

I'm sure we won't agree on that.
I guess we're in a pickle.
You think I suck. I think you suck.
Can we meet in the middle?

Find the intersection. 

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Marking Marvelous Moments

Darlene and Dick

A lot of you old-timers at Sue's News are BIG fans of my formerly blogging mom, so I thought you'd enjoy seeing this 43rd wedding anniversary pic of her with her sweetheart. Aren't these two a cute pair? They even got kinda matchy-matchy with their outfits in honor of the occasion. Dave and I just returned home from visiting the lovebirds last weekend, and we can testify that they are about as happy a couple as you are going to find. Hope they have a TERRIFIC day together. 

Melina and Alcide

Can't believe our miracle babies are half-a-year old already. Where on earth do those first six months go, anyway?! As you can see, these two are growing up to be as beautiful/handsome as might be expected of my grandchildren (heehee). Grandpa and I are having LOTS of fun with them, and they truly are keeping us young! Well…youngish, anyway. 


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dreams, First and Last

Dreams, First and Last
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

Martin Luther King
had quite a dream,
and so did I.
Sadly, it peaked,
then sprang a leak
and failed to satisfy.

It looked so rosy,
felt so cozy,
when the thing was new.
But in the end
(let's not pretend)
the shiny bits fell through.

I don't like grieving
when believing
can't get something done.
When wishes fail
and hopes derail,
my face turns toward the sun.

But rain will fall
in spite of all;
blue skies still turn to gray.
My dream went wrong,
though I held strong
until it slipped away.

The line runs thin
from "hanging in" 
to empty hands and loss.
It's like a death;
you lose your breath
and marvel at the cost.

Two ways to go:
above, below.
Sink down or choose to rise.
My brand new dream
has open seams
and room for compromise.

This one looks bright,
but held less tightly,
it finds room to breathe.
As wisdom frees,
perfection flees
and once more, I believe.

Though first dreams go,
last(ing) dreams know
that life is not ideal.
Today I find
the world more kind…
my hope less blind, more real.

Some of you may wonder how this poem landed on my mental doorstep. It refers to what my sister and I like to call "the death of the dream," that critical moment when the weight of life experience and its accompanying adversity teach you that living on this earth is not exactly what you thought it would be when you were a small child dreaming of a perfect world. It comes as a real shock to the system, or at least it shocked my optimistic young soul when it happened my way. The odd thing is that it seems to come around again every so often, as if to strip off another layer of my naiveté and expose in all its glory the difficult, soul-stretching challenge life really is. As the admitted owner of a tendency to sport some rose-colored glasses, this is a good exercise for me. Having said that, it is not always a pleasurable one.

Recently, I've walked through another enlightening round of dream dampening, and this poem was my way of making peace with it. I'd be interested to know if any of it resonated with you.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Happy 4th of July: Patriot Dreams

Patriot Dreams
©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

I grew up in the golden years
when WWII was finally past.

A grateful country shed her fears
as fighting men came home at last.

We stood united, bold and brave,
inspired by freedoms we could name,

allied with nations we helped save,
and fair to those we overcame.

We worked together for one goal
Americans held fervently:

a union that was strong and whole,
a nation that was proud and free.

The means were often in dispute,
but one great end was crystal clear:

to crown with good and brotherhood
a land we all chose to revere.

We took a little, gave a little,
compromised to get things done.

Sometimes we met right in the middle
to ensure the country won.

Hard work was valued and rewarded;
independence was the prize.

Industry was praised, not thwarted.
All our hopes were on the rise.

Flags were flown and pledges spoken.
Songs of freedom filled the air.

Patriot dreams were still unbroken.
Faith waxed stronger than despair.

Values laid a sure foundation.
Cynicism held its tongue.

Firm resolve, not resignation,
was the gift we gave our young.

A land of dreamers? Yes, indeed.
Idealists? Sure, we aimed high.

Believing that we could succeed,
the limit was our starry sky.

But hope gave way to animus.
When did our vision lose its reach?

The answer lies in each of us.
Our children practice what we preach.

The love of country starts at home.
It’s learned upon a parent’s knee.

No patriot is born alone.
Beginnings frame our destiny.

Who trades belief for bitterness?
This nation thrives when men are true.

Commitment is not hit or miss.
The dream is ours. We'll see it through.

Walk tall on Independence Day.
Our liberty was bravely earned.

The path is clear. Let no one say
too many bridges have been burned.

Our land remains our land, and free.
Problems abound, but we are strong.

In order to claim victory,
we must believe. We must belong.

Respect and honor differences,
then focus on the things we share.

Negotiation is the key.
We get it right when we fight fair.

Fairness requires an open mind,
a listening ear, a lack of guile.

Why not leave enmity behind
 to serve our nation with a smile?

And as the fireworks light the stars,
give thanks to those who went before.

Their legacy, uniquely ours,
demands the best in us…and more.

Be brave; be loyal, and be true.
Ring bells; sing anthems; blow a horn.

Embrace this land of ours and prove
that patriot dreams can still be born.

Long may she wave.

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