Thursday, September 11, 2014


©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

Moths are drawn to light
and so am I,
wings awave against
the darkened sky.
Free to fly yet 
bound by naked need,
anchored to a source
we can't concede.

Moths delight in light
and so do I,
seeking shining answers
to my Why.

for more Magpies, click below

Saturday, September 6, 2014

On Parenting: Walking the line

On Parenting: Walking the Line
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

Of late, my life is hard at best,
and best is hard to find.
I lay down, but I get no rest
with so much on my mind.

My body's always out of sorts;
my brain is stuck in worry.
I do the things I have to do
but flatly, in a hurry.

I'm eating more than I should eat
and exercising less.
Anxiety and consternation 
crowd my happiness.

The things I fret and fret about
are not in my control.
I know if I would let them go,
then I would feel more whole.

I need to give them to the Lord,
just trust Him and be still;
but it is hard to watch and wait
until I know His will.

That's parenthood: To care so much
yet have so little "juice."
Adult children need struggles. 
Face the facts, and cut them loose.

But don't forget to walk that fine line.
Keep the rope on hand.
Supporting is a parent's role
(at times). You understand?

It's no small feat to be a mom
who gets the balance right,
who listens lovingly by day
and still sleeps well at night...

The one who keeps a boundary, but
knows when to cross it, too.
God's training me again, right now.
(I still have work to do!)


It does help quite a bit to see
the Lord knows what He's doing.
I feel Him with me every hour:
supporting, not rescuing.

{Apparently, He's got this parenting 
of adults thing down pat.}


for more P posts, click here

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oy vey

Oy Vey
c2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

Oh no. Dear me. I'm out of sorts,
sick of the smoldering temp reports.
Each visit to my mom is sweet,
but still I cannot bear the heat.
111 in the shade,
the stuff of which Hades is made.
No soft wind ruffling my hair.
No desert breezes in the air.
In fact, no air to breathe at all.
It's gone till further notice, y'all.
Evaporated, so they say,
till further notice. Oy vey.

for more O posts, click below

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Nod to Starry Night

Starry Night by Alex Ruiz...a tribute to The Starry Night by Van Gogh

Nod to Starry Night
©2014 Susan Noyes Anderson

In the mind or in the meadow,
we must find our starry night.
From the green hills to the ghetto,
we are moved to set things right.

Through the bars that block our windows,
past the cells our souls create,
we contest the way the wind blows,
brushing off the hands of fate.

Man is weak and prone to stumble.
Let the daylight count the cost.
But the moon will never tumble,
and the stars shall not be lost.

Sailing on a ship of crystal
or a van Gogh-ing to hell,
wrap that starry night around you
and believe that all is well.


The Starry Night was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in June of 1889. It is based on a view from the east window of his room at Saint-Remy-de-Provence, a mental institution. "Through the iron-barred window," he wrote to his brother, "I can see an enclosed square of wheat...above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory." In the end, however, Van Gogh opted for what he called a "night study" of the scene, one which he deemed a failure. "Once again," he wrote his friend Emile Bernard, "I have allowed myself to be led astray into reaching for stars that are too big..." Of course, time has proven Mr. Van Gogh to be considerabaly more successful in his efforts than he imagined. (Perhaps the stars are never too big for our reaching.)

Vincent van Gogh
for more Magpies, click below

for more N posts, click below

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: The Joy and the Sadness

It's been a long time since I've felt irresistibly compelled to blog about something that's happened in the "real" world. My posting has slowed down considerably since my husband retired, and much of what I share is poetry at this point.

Having said that, today I hope to create some prose that somehow expresses my feelings about the death of Robin Williams. Experiencing such a visceral reaction to the passing of someone I don't even know surprises me, and I want to understand more about why I feel so personally bereaved. Clearly, I am not alone, because everywhere I look––both online and off––people are remembering him, talking about him, mourning him. I am mourning, too.

There was a joy about him, wasn't there? An irrepressibility of spirit that is rarely seen. It showed up in his comedy and in his acting, and it was carried in his eyes...kind eyes...eyes that twinkled both his joy and his suffering, often at the same time. In every close-up, you could see his humanity, his realness, his compassion...and he felt like your uncle, your father, your very close friend. There was a sweetness in his smile, one that transcended acting...or maybe I should say eclipsed it...because you could not look past the sense that he was every bit as kind and loving as he appeared. His unshuttered eyes were one of the remarkable things about him, I believe.

Of course he was funny, beyond funny, perhaps the funniest man we've ever seen; and he could act his pants off. (I smile, knowing Mr. Williams would have been off and running with that idiom.) Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets' Society and Good Morning Vietnam speak for themselves, and I believe Mrs. Doubtfire probably speaks for all of us who hope to find love and belonging in the world, with a few laughs along the way.

And so we are sad for ourselves, because we lost a bright light...a lively and creative mind...a genius of so much more than comedy. And we are sad for his family, who loved him as only those whose lives are personally touched by someone's energy can...up close and personal that his daughter Zelda's quote from Antoine de St.-Exupery's The Little Prince brought tears to my eyes in the reading, as did his birthday tweet to her last month (same link). But there is something more that saddens me, something that touches all of our lives as personally as Robin Williams touched the lives of his family.

Robin Williams was bipolar, which means he not only swung happy, but he swung sad...a sadness every bit as devastating as the humor that he so freely shared with us was elevating. Articles are saying that he "struggled" with depression, but that verb doesn't quite work for me. If my observations (formed by knowing and loving more than one person who is bipolar) mean anything, this remarkable man didn't struggle with depression. He was tormented by it, anguished by it, devastated by it. It terrified him in its unpredictability, in its inability to be reliably affected for the long term by treatment of any kind. Every remission was fickle, every relapse a desperate search for something new that might work, now that what was old had ceased to be effective. Most of the time, he didn't let that stop him. Monday, on one very bad morning, he did.

We are all the losers. The man was beloved, but I am troubled at statements made by strangers who would label him "selfish" for having the audacity to leave them and us bereft, people who clearly have never suffered as Mr. Williams did. Don't get me wrong, I am not a proponent of suicide...and I hope I never have to find out how it feels to love someone who seeks respite in that particular escape. But we can't judge another's pain unless we have walked a, 63 his shoes, nor can we judge that person's inability to withstand the lure of permanent release in one weary, weakened moment when even his valiant spirit failed him.

Here's the thing. Robin Williams, judging from a career observed by many, was what we like to call in my family "a very hard tryer." He pushed himself to excel and achieve again and again, despite being afflicted (through no fault of his own) with the worst sort of burden to bear. I would guess that Sysyphus himself had nothing on Mr. Williams as he stressed and strained to push that boulder of depression up the hill, only to see it roll back down...over and over and over. Every time that stone hit bottom, I can only believe the heart of Robin Williams did, too...and as time passed, that bottom probably started feeling lower, that rock heavier. One of the most harrowing features of depression is its relentlessness...the inexorable nature of it...the entirely based-in-reality fear of never truly escaping it.

Selfishly, I wish Robin Williams had not escaped it. But I take exception to anyone calling him "selfish" for being temporarily overwhelmed by it. Another day, he might have found the strength to start pushing that boulder uphill yet again. Monday, he didn't. But that was one day out of a lifetime. And his courage was and is undeniable.

A final thing, if you'll bear with me. One actress tweeted, "If only Robin had known how many people loved him," her well-meaning inference being that, had he known of this love, he would not have ended his life. My thoughts run a different direction. I believe it is because Mr. Williams knew exactly how many people loved him that he found a way to live with his depression for 63 years. And for that, I thank him.

{I also thank untold others who are doing the same.}

Thursday, August 7, 2014



On a quiet summer morning,
after night's unbroken rest,

I look past the tree-framed window
and discover I am blessed.

Peaceful joy arrives on tiptoe, 
unexpected––a surprise.

I've been gazing at gray shadows;
now they've fallen from my eyes.

Nothing changed. The scene is static,
every branch and leaf in place,

but the sun is warm and welcome
as it plays across my face.

Tender mercies may seem fleeting,
but their goodness lingers on.

Knowing that the night is coming,
shall not wrest from me the dawn.


second image by Portia Lee

for more L posts, click below

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}


for more G posts, click below

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. 

for more F posts, click below

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!


for more D posts, click below

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.

for more C posts, click below
for more magpies, click below

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved | Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations