Posts Tagged ‘nature’


The earth wobbles from a shifted axis.

Today, a bird lost its sonar, crashed into

My windshield.

We pay for air, for space, for water.  Shouldn’t that be free?

~ we’re on edge.

Roaches have been here over a million years; they’ll out live us by millennia.

Stock markets fluctuate.

Cost of living spirals out of control.

Salaries stay the same.

 ~ we’re on edge.

Starvation is on the rise.  Why?

Yellowstonenational park is crumbling.

Antarctic glaciers are melting.

Rain forests are being butchered.

Natural catastrophes are becoming more frequent.

 ~ we’re on edge.

Animal cruelty is rampant.

Prejudice still exists.

I saw a kitten thrown from a speeding car.

I heard of a puppy drowned in the

River; he had been locked inside

The coffin of a suitcase with no way out.

Today, on prime time news, it was

Reported a young mother stuffed her

Newborn infant inside a draw-string

Trash bag in the city dumpster

Where it ended up at the local landfill.

 ~ there is no more edge.

                                                we fell off.


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

Oh Forest!

Oh Forest!

So you would teach me hunger,

surety of hoof and wing,

all that would join in tamed song,

          goodbyes cloaked in

                   hums and whistles

or fail to show up at all

come the lonely dawn.

I would weep,

heavy as sheets of Monsoon,

drone expel from wicked sky

opening those liquid doorways


brittle bones.

I am forever unsatisfied.

I taste the bitter leaves,

          how unassuming

                             beauty falls.

Touch thorny weeds and feel

cold pebbles that

                   mattress rivers

or weigh out the

slime from demon bogs.

          Sleep on fallen wild berries,

stamping into sweet existence

crimson raspberry mash as

I go.

Who can fathom loss, its mighty

soar with amber eyes like

a splendorous Owl, hint of

          tweaked thunder hidden

in the limp of a Silver Wolf.

Wide-eyed stallion never falters,

neither my faith nor plight

          of splintered lust.

For I am what I am,

          immortal below

Divine smile,

without remorse

          or blind curse

                   broken with

                             edges of mathematical pain.

Show me evolutionary stars;

a great fire’s center,

spit of Cactus tear

or the Sequoia’s core that

                   reeks of musk millennia.

Nothing can halt me,

                   or help me turn

                   pages any faster.

Not your faint love,

a fading perfume unsure

                   of prowess,

not twigged claw or

                   crooked beak.

Oh Forest!

So you would teach me

it’s not just the Dreamer who

stays hungry,

                             but the Dream.


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

Kiss the sky


Why have you fallen

I asked of the baby bird

Only days from its shelled cocoon


And now fallen from its nest of siblings

In mother’s fated absence.


Oh! What she will find in her regal dismay

When she returns from her diligent


Hunt for elusive worms

Now stuffed ever gently in her beak

For two chicks, now,

Not three.


(I wondered sadly if she would notice.)


I had learned as a child

Not to handle fallen chicks ~


Not to drench them in human scent

Or mother might possibly, and

Most probably,

Will reject.


When she circled out of the sheets of space

And close to the nest, I backed into


Brush so as not to frighten her at

Finding once less child to feed.


I heard her chirp change to

A frantic octave


Beady eyes darting this way and that,

Knowing something

Surely was



She satisfied the other starving mouths

But she never once

Stopped fluttering nervously,




Calling, for something she

Didn’t know quite yet

She’d never

See again.


Why can’t she pick him up, what

Good are beaks and wings

If not to save your own?


And he laid there so still on the

Leafy ground, tiny

Twig feet pointing

Degradingly upwards.


How I could identify: an instant

orphan, shocked, and dazed.


Forget all I’ve learned!


When mother took off once more

Into the unknowns of

Her world,


I gathered him in my coat



And carried him home.


He will grow, take wing some fine day, become

The flight and fury

That never looks back to thank me ~


But that’s okay

That’s okay



As long as he has the chance someday

To kiss

Something that belongs to him:


That distant,

Elusive sky.




© Susan Joyner-Stumpf



Posted: October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,



I could not sleep

and so walked the shadowy path

lined with purple, drooping hyacinths

stirred by lust-scented lilacs

as chills of unwantedness

wafted through the thickness

of midnight air

draping me in foliaged cashmere

adrift as though in a dream-like mist

of garden-deep secrets

ones bees told me about

during impossible days

when memories were once

thick as blooming Gardenias

and lay like Jasmine ghosts in-between

shattered rose petals after

unexpected storms.


Beneath a dim sky

one finds revelation

in the dank smell of earth

raw, musty dirt that reeks

like sex-filled autumn

or fear’s wet sting

and all that lives beneath, contentedly

fears our ever-exploring fingers

because of what we might indiscriminately

crush in mortal curiosity.


An Owl’s concerto ~

a cruel reminder that

private symphonies exist

take place under cosseted moonlight

where the restless are instantly forgiven,

and become a welcomed audience

to songs of performing cicadas

purporting the nightly gists

of their triumphs or defeats

from left-over foraged day.


When I return to

bed, and clutch you

like a lost child

back from a strange

world, I weep in the dark

mountain peaks of your back,


and pretend that you console me

like wildflowers swaying

at the base of foothills,

their silence screamed

only to wind in a dim sky,

where too, perhaps,

they are mourned.


 ~ ~ ~


© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf♫