Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

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



In the Nursing home,

my father seemed so small,

not the towering burly figure

I remembered as a child,

the whiplash of his tongue

tall as Aspen Pines;

the crest of his anger

rising and falling

like the Man in the Moon.

Now he peered out from

behind glazed over eyes

barely recognizable except for their

surrendered blue

which was hard to accept.

Just five more years,” he said to me.

“All I want is to live five more years.”

He was 85.

I think three weeks passed when he

stated this.  Then the

dreaded pneumonia, which seems to

rob the elderly most


well it found, and claimed,

him too.

One rough night of painful

breathing and never saw

the dawn of his 86th light.

He had never asked for much,

except, perhaps, that I be perfect,

which of course I wasn’t.

And if he came back alive today,

he surely

would have said,

that’s what killed him.

But despite the relationship

we never had,

the embrace that would never come,

the shadow of his voice,

(which is all an echo is),

won’t leave me.

The memory of his one

little wish

never leaves me.

Are we all to end up an

echo inside someone’s head?

Five more years…

                             Just …five…more…years


© 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


loveless wind

maybe if I stood in the sun, I thought,

it would thaw my uncertainties,

                   my disillusion about the train tracks

of life and how, as mortals, we get derailed

or miss the depot entirely.

perhaps if I let the wind take over,

                   caress my many sorrows,

then I could possibly forgive the

the lost embrace

of humans

                   who had no desire to want me;

only to remind me that ice doesn’t just

form in the heart of winter.

          or that if it wanted to, (and

                             mostly did)

it could leave me shivering with

wounded wonder.

oh but that curious,

cruel wind has not the strength

of unrequited love

                             to knock me over.


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf