25 | New Neighbors

You are so helpful when

you carry my groceries up the stairs.


You are so helpful when

you wait till I can open my front door.


You are so helpful when

you lend me binoculars so I can see


the ducks swimming

      again in the pond

before they fly off

     who knows where.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne


24 | Some Females’ Silences

Ananda’s unbearableness

culminates in her silence.


Fasika’s mystic beauty listens

to the silences of silence.


Aparna sees how Silence speaks,

yet it never works for her.


Elizabeth feels winds of violence,

blown away by winds of silence.


Sweet Melissa’s silence is golden;

but, we ask: against what price?


Marilyn describes manifest Silences:

new days dawning, mothers in prayer.


Kay says in silence you can hear them

cry and whisper, then become speech.


Sylvia observes she breaks the silence

as she finishes sentences, then adds:


in silence all my thoughts are mingled;

in silence, I create an air of suspense.


Amy opens to silence, while Daffodil

simply sits, not having anything to say.


Donna echoes Silences full of rage —

feelings held in, lurking in every room.


Mary wonders if silence can be found

or heard — in a house truly lived in.


Theresa practices peaceful silence; still,

Mystikka knows in silence you’re all alone.


Ernestine stirs the silence, so profound;

Theodora embraces momentous silence.


Sara tells Eleonora that silence broods on

deserts, sets crowns of silence upon art.


Deepa recalls sometimes silence is so loud

and strange, heard across a thousand miles;


sometimes she wishes for at least one voice

which could kill this cold and bitter silence.


Sandra, too, notices silence is broken, with no

hands skilled enough to mend the difference.


Ina Helen notes the greatest power says more

than any word — without saying a single one.


Scarlett, ever a treat, rises upward into earliest

morning silence, hopes to hear sounds of love.


Marianne’s deepest feeling always shows itself

in silence; and not in silence — but in restraint.


Amanda allows herself to sit in silence, braves

being alone, treats silence as less of an enemy.


Edna finds silence lovelier than three lovely maidens,

as they too long for breath above, not under, ground.


So many women know all the ins and outs of silence;

especially female poets silenced — for far too long.


. . . . .


Susan Powers Bourne

Augmented pick and mix cento sourced from:



21 | Inklings

One tall candle flame

burns in a sconce.


A black-gowned figure

bisects the scene:


small head — female? —

short hair, downcast eyes.


Candle-light reflects clear,

just on the right cheek.


On the table a wineglass

— or is it a chalice? —


between two dark elbows —

long exaggerated arms.


The right hand shows only

four fingers — no thumb.


The left hand must hide

inside the long left sleeve.


One wonders if the hand

above the glass chalice


pauses in blessing —

or prepares to drop


in another poison pill?

She’s contemplating:


making up her mind,

— waiting for a sign?


Everything is long, lean —

enclosed in angled lines:


praying mantis green,

shades of olive walls.


Shadow-swirls dance —

marling every surface.


There’s one tiny bright

emerald-green triangle


between body-table-arm.

Is that the healing hope?


A similar shade of green

— not quite as brilliant —


covers the lower left corner —

where Mara signed her name.


The lonely circles in this piece

surround the candle flame.


Few other organic forms appear:

in chalice — eyes, lips, and head.


For some, the spleen holds light

— is this what the title reflects?


When demon Mara tempted Buddha

beneath the bodhi tree, he reached




with his right hand — touched dirt —

and said: The earth is my witness.


Yes, earth witnesses us all today

— amidst darkening — and in light.


. . . . .


Susan Powers Bourne

Ekphrastic poem reflecting

‘Spleen’ by Mara Rucki


19 | Introducing Meaning

At first glance,

the meanings of culture

seem self-evident.

On closer examination,

they can become

quite complex.

We weave new meaning

using time-tested symbols

as ways to shift thinking.

The greatest hope is

to escape eternal life, unite

with universal spirit —

above both meaning

and meaninglessness

found among people.

Open doors must speak

much more than just mechanics:

they have to show context.

And since we cannot require

any or all particular doors to open,

we must find appropriate

requirements, overlooked

so often like magnificent treasures

hidden in plain sight.

Blessings of the rising sun,

clean hands, double rainbows:

everything becomes sanctified.

Blake said: in between, there are

doors in the ajar, in liminal places

and people — in errors along

margin notes, frayed edges —

where we open to each other,

when we choose to play.

I say: no longer locked behind

closed doors, windows wide open,

we dance the night away.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne

Found poem sourced from first lines

of Google search: “open doors”

17 | The Laws of Poetry

The Laws of Poetry

contain poems

concrete —

as well as

abstract —

set out

in order —

as if

of essence.

Each poem

is asked

not to judge —

as law demands —

but to engage,

to travel


the other.

. . . . .

Susan Powers Bourne

Erasure poem sourced from:



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