Guest Poet Susan Nelson

South Texas Drought


perfect gentle crystalrain

palmheld tiny falling

onto our starving part of Earth

Did God give you oh domed sky free will as well

Did we have some lesson to be learned

while you were gone

Were we not the stewards you hoped we would 

awaken to be mighty infinite giantblue

You did not recline often with us years now it seems

Rarely did we see your miles high tufted pillows

for you to lie upon

stroking us with their shade

dropping their resucitating kisses on us

We loved to be by loved by you

Perhaps as conduits to your precious beloved Earth

we have not communicated for her tofromyou as we should

for as we gashed her left her barren taking all her fruits

we did not mean to imply that was the way we like her

stripped and naked

We simply assumed very simply too simply to be profound

that you would know you were always expected

But she refuses to speak to us now

it is only with great coaxing that her agitation 

subsides long enough to acknowledge us

with even a patch of indian paintbrushes

or brave little bluebonnet lupines

Please come back and visit long enough

that we might learn to speak with you and her

through Them before we fail

ultimately and forever

and we are cast off to another 

spiritlearning shore

enraptured without regret

April, 1999

Susan Nelson's Questions:

I am the absolute beginner. I've never submitted anything before. For that matter, only a few close friends have ever seen any of my poems. I've written only to appease my need to see the words and hold on to them in the hopes that some time afterword they would still feel the same -- that the emotional state I was trying to decipher and map would be true to course and still bring me back to the same spot so that I could hold it, remember it and perhaps refine it.

I have not used punctuation other than to capitalize a new sentence/thought. For my purposes, I intend my poems to be read out loud -- gone over until the intended rhythm presents itself and the reader feels the tactile nature of what they're saying. Do you think this is an annoying contrivance or is it valid? Any thoughts you have will be appreciated. Thank you.

The Albany Poetry Workshop