Posts Tagged ‘susan f. glassmeyer’

On Old Congress Run Road, a hauntingly beautiful poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer

August 20, 2013

ON OLD CONGRESS RUN ROAD

Susan F. Glassmeyer

A lost Lab running inside her own black shadow,
sideswiped by a car going north on the pike,
then struck by a driver heading south.

I’m an accidental witness on this no-moon night,
busy with my own troubles, like anyone else.
I don’t want to hear the dog’s pinched howl
or her fitful whimpering after she drops
like fallen cargo in the middle of the road.

I want to turn away, but a pressing thought
pulls me over—Don’t be afraid of the suffering.
So I give up, sit down in the street, stopping traffic.
Wrap myself around the furry clock of the dog’s life
as if to stop the stream pouring out of her head.

Not dead, but dying, I tell the onlookers.
I say, Touch her. I say, Don’t be afraid.
A few hands join mine as we follow the rise
and fall of the animal body, the warm belly growing
cooler with each exhalation. Pain appears to be lifting.

Now, under the village lamplight, a stunning
pink foam, almost iridescent, spilling
from dog lungs to dog mouth. Spilling a still life
of wet roses on the dark pavement: blood petals
on our hands, wrists, boots and ankles.

In a slow (call it reverential) movement, Bailey
(her collar says Bailey) arches her spine in an asana
of surrender. Musically sighs. Now dies.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

This reminds me of William Stafford’s poem, Traveling through the Dark, but Susan F. Glassmeyer’s poem takes the reader into the fearless heart of compassion. Profoundly beautiful!

Also see I Tell You, a poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer, from The Incomplete Litany of Untold Stories

Read more of her poems in Sixfold Journal’s Poetry Winter 2015.

Visit the new website of this Ohio Poet of the Year 2018.

I Tell You, a poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer, from The Incomplete Litany of Untold Stories

August 20, 2013

I Tell You

I could not predict the fullness
of the day. How it was enough
to stand alone without help
in the green yard at dawn.

How two geese would spin out
of the ochre sun opening my spine,
curling my head up to the sky
in an arc I took for granted.

And the lilac bush by the red
brick wall flooding the air
with its purple weight of beauty?
How it made my body swoon,

brought my arms to reach for it
without even thinking.

…………*
In class today a Dutch woman split
in two by a stroke – one branch
of her body a petrified silence,
walked leaning on her husband

to the treatment table while we
the unimpaired looked on with envy.
How he dignified her wobble,
beheld her deformation, untied her

shoe, removed the brace that stakes
her weaknesses. How he cradled
her down in his arms to the table
smoothing her hair as if they were

alone in their bed. I tell you –
his smile would have made you weep.

…………*
At twilight I visit my garden
where the peonies are about to burst.

Some days there will be more
flowers than the vase can hold.

~ Susan Glassmeyer ~

(The Incomplete Litany of Untold Stories)

I found this short video clip of a husband helping his wife walk very slowly up a flight of stairs that beautifully exemplifies the same loving devotion expressed in Glassmeyer’s poem.

In this interview, Ideas Live: Joy, November 2018, Susan Glassmeyer sets up the poem with the story behind it, then reads I Tell You.

Susan Glassmeyer’s advice in the interview reminds me of what poet Mary Oliver said: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”

Mary Oliver elaborated it in this 3-line poem: Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. / Be astonished. / Tell about it.

Also see On Old Congress Run Road, a hauntingly beautiful poem by Susan F. Glassmeyer.

Read more of her poems in Sixfold Journal’s Poetry Winter 2015.

Susan Glassmeyer is the co-director of the Holistic Health Center of Cincinnati and has a private practice as a somatic therapist, specializing in the Feldenkrais Method®. She recently won a grant through Xavier University (Cincinnati) to complete work on a chapbook titled “Body Matters.”  She promotes local writing classes, workshops, and activities through her website www.LittlePocketPoetry.Org.

Visit the new website of this Ohio Poet of the Year 2018.


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