Posts Tagged ‘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




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


There, a streak of dawn light

just glimpsing over the horizon

breaking into the first brink of life,

          and would lay across the

                             pond’s still surface,

a sheet of perfect, laser glass

gifted from a generous,

new-birth sun.

Expanse complimenting an

otherwise empty space

hovering above eerie mist

                   the type that hides our secrets

and our frozen hearts,

                   forming its vaporous body

                                      to compete with fluctuating

shadows seeking valid form, wafting like

athletics in electric air.

Am I apart of this, or merely a

spectator to nature’s dance;

and I’m clumsily aware that

I just happened here, to a concert

that started

                   long ago without

my being there.

Welcoming me, as it were,

now that I’m here.  I think

                   being mortal means

different things to different people.

To me, it means the stars,

          the concerto of breaking

day, doesn’t need me to

open beautifully into

          the song of a waking robin.

Where gymnastics of dark and light

intermingle like tamed fire.

And an ocean’s retreat or a tornado’s

          unwelcomed screams

doesn’t need us to perform

their rituals of eclipse

                                    and equinox;

Only reacts when we attempt to

re-direct its meaningful course,

                             twist its velvet message

or re-write its ancient story.

Why is it we want to interject

our infant babble,

                   our cruel interplays,

slice her painful bowels with curious,

                   insatiable fingers…

Is it we’re not ready to admit

we never were nature’s


                                      its catalyst.

It’s the other way around.

Were we ever its rightful Caretaker?

It wanted nothing in return but our

acceptance, our distant admiration,

                   to let it be as it always was

                             and always will be….

its own beautiful, dancing,

                             mysterious and

                                                lonely thing.


© Susan Joyner-Stumpf