I met Sue Silver in West Virginia when she was poeting around the Charlestown area. She brought white sage into my workshop to "smudge" each of the writers and to cleanse our creative scene. It was then I knew she was a poet for me to know. Now, in a temporary medical residency in Annapolis, she is tasting of the Annapolis/ DC poetry world and finding the area indispensable. When she settled in, all the foxes jumped out of their lairs, the rabbits from their holes, the fish from the sea to greet her, for she's a healing energy among us. And her poetry is too. - Grace Cavalieri
Sue Silver is a poet and photographer living in Shepherdstown, WV and in Annapolis, MD where she currently works. In the field of Medicine she is a Nurse Anesthetist, CRNA.
She is published in Lummox #3, by Lummox Press, The Anthology of Appalachian Writers Volumes III, IV and V, Poetry and Prose, First Lights, and In Good Company. She reads her work at Bookend Poets of which she is a member, Scheherazade and Artomatic Jefferson County as well as on the radio at WSHC Shepherdstown University radio. She has studied with Bookend Poets and Sotto Voce and at Shepherd University with the Appalachian Masters Programs.
Sue has a deep interest and love of the practice of Energy Medicine and Transformational Healing of the whole person and finds poetry to be a major vehicle of that work.
A POEM AFTER MARY OLIVER
WHAT WOULD YOU DO
What if a hundred eagles
called you by your name and flew above you.
What if a crow sat at your window
told you how to fix the printer.
What if the summer breeze blew in your window
took away your aches and pains.
What if the whistle of the passing train
gave you an idea for a novel
and you became filled with joy.
What if the news was filled with
stories of goodness in the world
and all hostilities ceased.
What if the light in our eyes became so bright
we couldn’t kill each other any more.
What if you finally knew
the value of your every breath
the way the flower turns its face to the sun.
It is raining a heavy cold rain.
Late August of this wet summer,
temperatures swinging to the lows.
An unusual summer
completely out of the ordinary,
like the large Grackle, that found
itself in the house today.
Not one of the three of us saw him enter.
frantic at the kitchen window,
looking for an immediate way out.
Not at first eyeing the open door.
And then he took it, winging out,
his great silhouette against the Eastern sky.
This evening with the heavy rains,
an air, a promise of wood smoke
a promise of cozy nights by the fire,
hot soups and stews, their fragrances
lingering through the evening hours.
The evening hours when we will turn
our eyes to the winter moon and
wear the crisp starlit skies on our
stamped and claimed with the
rhythms of our lives.
Like the peoples of ancient times
waiting for miracles from the
or making miracles in our new world.
When all the world needs is
for us to love it enough,
love it enough to save it
IN THE MERCY OF STILLNESS
In the mercy of stillness
regret cannot enter
nor journey to its center.
It has no mode of transport there.
In the sweetness of stillness
the heart finds its home
always empty, always full
the quick Light dives deep.
I listen to the crickets droning whir
as if to pluck my dreams out of the sky,
nestled on my pillow it’s a blur
I have to lift my head to listen more.
Listening with my whole self in the night
with dreams a lost repeated whirl
of incompletes and waking at the spool
unraveled thread, mostly awake
endures enduring all the night.
And still the crickets stitch the night
saying with their rhythmic song
secrets of the journey here
the mystery of night song born.
The dark waters, brown colored
in their depths, know nothing of my blood
running out from this deep gash
while fishing, this new knife unwieldy in my hands.
The kindness of strangers
asking if I’d caught anything
helping in my distress to bind my wound
stem the flow for all I know
the uncaught fish sallying for light
caught in a flash of reflection
watched me from beneath the pier
amazed at my ignorance, eating gladly
the bloodworm I dropped there.
At the hospital the nurses take such care
I am swept and cleaned and stitched
the lost light of this lovely afternoon
a picture past.
I visit again this windy pier
I do not cast nor attend to fishing gear
but walk and sit and linger in the cold
and ask the fish for another year.
© Sue Silver, all rights reserved