Posts Tagged ‘sad; loss; emotional’

Author Susan Joyner-Stumpf


Sullen path

I’ve tasted your dusty disaster

Contrived your tired lust

Gave up heels that swam in circles

Because destination did not exist

Save the winds from terrible laughter

It’s our eyes that suffer first

Vision turned like a reckless dial until

We find a view worth listening to.

Have we met yet

Sinkage where the road crumbles

To scattered shale and bone

Where, if we look real hard,

We might see ghosts

Of our ancestors’ footprints

Imbedded in grains of granite

Shadows mixed with an arroyo of sorrows

Fleeting thoughts of clay torn sweetly west

Across everfading and lofty meadows.

No chum here

For the starving road fork

No acoustic left to reverberate

Feed the silent whimper

Pick your poisons carefully

All that was narrow now widened

With bulimic planks

The soft has finally married its polar counterstone

And counts its blessings threefold.

It won’t be the first time

You found emptiness welcoming

Consider those days something

Lead you thicker into seductive evil

And there you settled nicely

Thinking to yourself, At least I’m breathing

And reading death quotes of a sadist

In a morning drenched with moth light

As you swallow last remnants

Of  beautiful disaster.


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

Poem about an Amusement Park
that shuts down
 over the
 death of one
 of its
young patrons.
Graphic Art by Susan Joyner-Stumpf (aka sonnetwolf designz)



Even the air spun wrong

it felt the blow of leaves like circus bullets

two things that should never happen

a Fair should never run out of ice cream

and a Theater should never close.


Slice the breath with a kitchen knife

space is out sick today

having a hard time catching the sky

the cement paths of the park

emptier than the

the silence of footfalls

that only echo past loneliness.


An assembly of shadows

gather to mourn the loss of realism

swirling and screaming around with

spectral jealousy

why is it

we look at them as extensions of ourselves

but shadows look at us

as what they used to be

not remembering how to call us back

to them.


This can’t end good

statues feel the severance of

hands that molded them from

vats of liquid bronze

their likeness to austere form

feels the tendency to melt

beyond recognition of solid mass

now apertures having lost the

human-quality dream.


The rifts and shrills of laughter

weep in another dimension

cascades of grief slide down

walls of alien fortitude

we hear it on Earth

as the change in subtle wind

knocking at our tears

not reasoning why a sound

we cannot hear, only feel it

as the smile that will not



“Something special will come of this,”

says the entrance Billboard with the

face of a scary clown, lips moving

in slow-motion, reinforcing the

petrifying cracking lines of an

exaggerated, painted face.


Why is it

somewhere in this nameless town

a little boy dies

and his memory shuts down

the flow of life and whispers here

he remembers the Cotton-Candy Man

and wonders where he is today. . .


And why for this little boy

do suddenly those wooden horses

on a quiet carousel

come alive with welcoming whinny’s

that only HE can hear?



© Susan Joyner-Stumpf


Thirst that could not be given any other name

A surprise even for saturated lichen

To make its move on wounded alders

That spoke less of fortitude

More of purity from casualty

Shedding leaves like bad habits

Only the possum knows its limits

How far hatred could slime it

A blot on the mind warp

Crimson tremors left shackled

Until even oil resurfaces

Like dreams yet to be forgiven

There is madness in the overtouch

A right saved only for virgin fuselage

Nearing the end of Nirvana

Do we seek shelter from sheer likeness

Of what golden stillness we used to be

Before inertia got bored of us

And left with our soulboots still singing

Oh ~ ~  the sweet sound of abused nectar

And yet we continue making love

To shadows who only whisper

Our ancient, forgotten demise


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

Fatal Oblivion


A morning

remembered only

for its damask entry

a velvet touch

along hemlined



This leisure waking state

nebulous of prism-light

golden-stillness enfolding

a noncommittal fog

of half-twilight, sinking.


Shadows flit then tease

broken, seeking form

from invisible placenta-thought

retinas thrust inside blindness

external visions impaired,

neatly aborted ~

fatal oblivion.


Memory, snow blanketed

with intermittent waves

of fire and cold

tug from quiescent core

weeping through

fabrics of mortal reluctance.


It’s at this moment

we are most vulnerable

abandoned even in love.

Your arms wrapped snugly

around me feel a distant

world away.


As you kiss the air between us,

all realism asunder,

bent in the coil of an

arctic caress,

my lips acknowledge

a measure of unspeakable hunger,

the first light rays

of unintended emptiness.



© Susan Joyner-Stumpf


Nothing will ever compare

To that tremor,

That fragile, dripping quiver

Reluctantly from

Your shadowy lip,

Burning, for now,

Our goodbyes

Oh Darling!

The fragments of my weeping

Soul as I stood there,

Numb as sunlight

Caught trapped in the pulled

Shades, struggling despite

Incredible odds

To remain strong, steadfast,

And bright.

So I fall into you limp, a

Ragdoll, pleading,

Begging you,

Please don’t


“It’s only for a few days…”

The sweet breath

Of your whisper speaks

Into disheveled strands

Of my blonde hair.

The door~

That cursed door

Between us now,

Your suitcase and attaché

In either hand.

I hear the engine

Roar.  That last roar…

Tulips in snow have

Nothing on me.

Their wintry surprise at

Least will thaw.

I stand here frozen now,

A mummy, no

Place to


Oh Darling!

And then that fatal call,

Telling me you’ll never come home….


Horrible accident.

Oh Darling!


I still hear your

Words now,

“It’s only for a few days…”

…….And then days turn into a lifetime.

No one ever told me

Waiting for Eternity would

Be so slow…


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

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



What inches

but this memory forth,

slow as lingerings left unfinished

or the lips of a frozen song

the crawl space of your sweet embraceGraphic by Susan Joyner-Stumpf

torn in a cobweb

while a spider screams

am I tethered only to its loss

shattered now, a prism buried

in an ancient sarcophagus

ruins someday to be unearthed

another millennia of

forgetableness away

who knew now of its tenderness, then,

mummified as any stone-cold artifact

of myrrh and golden-rod

lost poem of the Great Masters

last taste of hemlock, bitterroot

eyes forced open to witness

even dust’s unfolding demise.



© Susan Joyner-Stumpf