Posts Tagged ‘poetry; animals; nature; emotional’

Graphic Art by Susan Joyner-Stumpf (© SonnetWolf Designz)


Simple slight of hoof

Beats hard the dust

And carves through

Space with invisible wing

His manner of weeping

To keep me in longing

Parade of brilliance

Fine Ivory horse

Of silken unbridled power

You corral intangible wind

As though your mighty

Royal seed

Nostrils drink of stolen rain

Frightening storms your children

I ache beneath the thunder

Of them that rage beyond

My grasp ~ I sit

Here fused to stone

Tears made of blown glass

Shorn of secrets

The millennia has whispered

With galloping lust

Outside the deafened

Aura of our bloodsouls

Oh ~ cursed are we for

Once to be a mere Human!!!


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf


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


Posted: October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized



Pastures scream in bruised,

Sienna-colored symphony

painful gusts of wind-blown,

thirsty calligraphy

write with their dry,

trembling seeds ~

imprinting across monsoons

of stained-starved memory

recalling what it was like to be

tumbled, rolling green

rising tall like bladed edifices

infrastructures of solemn glory

healthy, bountiful meadows

that even storms loved to play with,

swaying fragile blades,

as far as tired eyes could see,


their fertile stems once a landscape of

ever-bending, Emerald sea.


Even the horses walk slow now

eyeing me,

anticipating me to fill

empty metal troughs

while licking at parched air

in quiet, humbled misery.


One by one, I spray them

with the old duct-taped hose

sniffing with each pink, soft nose

cooling gentle slit-eyes

dowsing shaking, dappled flanks

shining under jealous skies

careful not to flood sensitive muzzles

yet they bite the welcomed stream

its liquid-fire, relief, of surprise!

and I know they thank me

or think I’m some fallen Angel

intruding upon exclusive

equine dreams.


I can’t cover

all fifty-three acres

of dead, stiff



nor find

the edge to death’s dull grass

that’s something we must

pray for:

precious rain,

like American Indians did,

from our not so-distant past

as these pastures thrive

not to appear as a wasteland

of burnt, lost embers.


Instead, to be again

rich, black, wealthy soil

Chartreuse-petaled jewels

ripe from fallen juices of

a cloud-laden sky;


    funny, how

    land remembers.


© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf♫



Restless creature

of the wild.

         We have caged his spirit.

He can growl, but not

to landscapes he roamed.

Only to confined space.

See the glow in his amber eyes,

diminished in their ferocity.

         He is a fading light.

Caged, a noble creature,

once king of his pride.

         Now stripped of pride.

Great tawny beast, massive

creature once knowing free.

         He remembers.

Caged, a prisoner who

has committed no crime

         except to be wild.

Release him, what’s left

of him, to his kind.

         They remember him.

He looks at me.  I understand

a lion’s grief when he looks


         I won’t forget.

~ ~ ~

© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf

“The Banker horse is a breed of feral domestic horse (Equus ferus caballus)

living on the islands of North Carolina‘s Outer Banks.

It is small, hardy, and has a docile temperament.

Descended from domesticated Spanish horses and possibly

brought to the Americas in the 16th century,

the ancestral foundation bloodstock may have become feral

after surviving shipwrecks

or being abandoned on the islands by one of the

exploratory expeditions

led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón

or Sir Richard Grenville. Populations are found

on Ocracoke Island, Shackleford Banks, Currituck Banks,

and in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Sanctuary.”


~ ~  Description from

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





Poachers filtrated the sandy beaches

ambushing the wild horses

that endured there

extinguishing their ancient reign

those who had never been lost

inside the danger of human eyes

mares shielded their frantic colts

stallions amassed their spooked mares

but none were the wiser for swift bullets

gulls sing their requiem in crimson air

seed-eaters          grave diggers

you watch things die

orgasm swimming in

rape-infected eyes

sin can’t loathe you enough

shock fails to deliver sweet oblivion

you ate the horses within us all

silence of pitted salt      race-deathism

echo of fading hooves

compassion bled out

but not from your bowels

soaked are ivory sand dunes      the Wetland Cordgrasses

with unborn grief

you left no bloated carcass

for even the vultures

may you choke on the flies

that had nothing to lick

but the sawdust of their bones . . .


~ ~

© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf



Grandfather asked me to walk the

Fence-line with him.


“You must learn the ways of

Your forefathers, how to read

Danger; how to heal the wounds

Of the land.”


Born of Cherokee blood, I understood

The manner of tribal disciplines.  I was

The only son of Dragging Hoof, my

Father, lost to a white man’s war.


“Dust Eagle Eye,” he mumbled

With ancient breath

Tobacco thick on his tongue.  He

Spoke my name as though sending

It high to Sky Gods for approval.


Made fun at in the school outside

The Reservation, I’d been nicknamed

Dusty, the name spared for my

Father’s golden horse

Who had died mourning the master

That never returned.


A mile into the traverse over boulder,

Brush weed and creek, we came across

One of the calves face down in mud,

One great liquid eye peering at us as

Though jealous we were still in this



He was ripped wide open from throat to

Immature groin.  Grandfather bent down

To study the carnage as though measuring

The size and distance of tracks, deciphering

The traveler, concluding


“Big cat, Panther, perhaps.  I see the

Jagged edge of teeth marks; the blade

And shape of claws that must have

Come down swifter than arrow,

Final as lightning.”


With a knot in my gut, I asked if

The end had been swift, with

Little suffering.


“Yes,” grandfather said, perhaps merely

To cushion the grief.  “There are possessions

We must sacrifice for a greater good;

Offerings we have no choice but surrender

To bring forth abundant harvest.”


With solemn hush I accepted this.


I wondered how long it would take for

Scavengers to skeletonize the calf

Beyond any former recognition of

Its innocent, perhaps reluctant,

Appeasement to the Wheat Corn Gods.


Secretly, as we walked away, shoulders

Held high, hearts low in the beating chest,


I prayed to these same Gods that Great Birds

Of the sky spare that one piercing eye staring

Back at me from beyond through the dust

Of sanctity, so melancholy.


I wanted to remember forever that uncertainty

Of whether it ever forgave us.



~ ~

© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf


Posted: October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized



The long, dry tongue of the ravine

carving through the core of this

enchanted meadow,


that’s where I came across the

decayed husk of an Elk, who,


for whatever reason, had met his

end, and now was closed forever

to the dusk raining its paw upon

his melancholy stillness.


I imagined his once regal form

poised above the craggy cliffs

of the Sangre de Cristo

mountain ranges that he called home.


A time when time meant nothing

to him but when creek beds roared

with life from summit springs.


Where, perhaps, he saw, on rare

occasion, that intrusion of man

forcing their way into those

wild parts he would never have



He had hid so well for so long,

finally giving up the fight,

giving in to a greater good he

could neither rectify much less



alas surrendering to

elemental dangers beyond his

reasoning or control.


I hope that age took him instead.

That he sired many a doe with

mates and got lost in crimson

sunsets beating across his mahogany



I hope he heard the cry of a wolf

one last time before both their intermingled

fates and instincts met with a final silence.


I guess he once lifted muzzle

to snow drifts glittering that

ethereal loneliness,


felt each nightly star follow

him with a blended array of both

silhouettes thawing to magic shadow.


Lastly, I hope, like that star,


he fell out of the sky with

equal majesty.


~ ~

© Copyright 2011 ♥Susan Joyner-Stumpf