Through the Curtain of Time

The photo over a century old
shows  my face.
From the inside, I feel it,
pushing through the curtain of time.
I know my own expressions, there I am.
a look of pure delight
in the tilt of my head, the ease of my mouth,
my regal posture at the beloved piano.

I glimpse my sister too,
in this ancestor we share,
but no, it’s me,
my face in a different life,
young a hundred years ago,
a girlish queen of music
brimming with creative thrill.

I’m the one
beholding the  photo,
and I’m the one
who gazes back  through time.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

Sticky Truth

I empty the can and lick:
its rim, my fingers, and the sticky plate.
Filled, now, with sap of maple,
I wave hello with both my branches
to the cold and lovely morning.

I declare contentment!
I adopt it, embody it,
practice its art. Contentment.
My garment. My stance.
My major. My mantra.

Contentment sings through
the flute of me. Music!
I keep on creating the notes
like a breeze playing leaves of maple.
On this morning of satisfaction,

I am soft and laughing,
little and tough.
I won’t give up
the taste of syrup
on my tongue.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

with thanks to Simone for the Montreal Elixir



We Ancestors

A few minutes go, my Irish grandmother,
Brigid Elizabeth Gibbons,
admired my baby, and now
she’s away and he is forty-eight.
An hour or so it’s been,
since I watched my Italian nonna,
Maria Angelina Caterina,
stir polenta with a wooden spoon.
How can sixty years have passed?


Ancestors have made the way for me
even as I make a path
for descendants who make the future.
Grandmothers who went ahead
now come present, touchable.
There is a way being made,
a spiral road, intricate with epochs
that pass by again at intervals,
and in waving distance.
Nonna! Che piacere vederti!
Elizabeth, is the wind still at your back?

In the elegant curve of space-time,
we forebears make the way,
greeting so-called past and future.
Without even leaving
the present’s widened reach,
we travel between the times
like particles taking every path
in the no-edge multiverse.
There are ways being made!
Wormholes, geodesics,
intersecting roads that link us all
in more dimensions than we know.
Grandmothers who went ahead,
come touchable and present!

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

Will It Work for Everyone

My Dad depended on binaries, true or false his only lens. On the phone with him years ago, I once casually referred to my lover Jeannie instead of my roommate Jeannie. I could almost feel him stagger backwards as he hollered for my mother, Marie! to come to the phone to rescue him. It was a horror for his small mind to consider something outside his binaries, and he seemed to quickly bury the experience.  Binary thinking feels safe.  Right/wrong, yes/no, good/bad, start/finish. It creates a world where things are black or white.

Halloween is a liminal time of year, liminal meaning occupying a position at, or on both sides of,  a threshold. It strikes me as an auspicious time to look beyond the veil of all binary perceptions.  What are our absolutes? Let’s be bold enough to disinter and examine them, to find the heretofore hidden gradations (the grey between the black and white) between their absolute end points. There is always a continuum filled with increments, a whole range of ways of doing things, an entire spectrum of ways of being. Intersex, for example, falls on the midpoint of the gender spectrum, binaries of male and female at either end. Absolutism will never make a world that works for everyone, as we are seeing so clearly in the ramifications of today’s US politics.

I dare us—to explore and explode  our own binaries! The doorways of perception are inviting us.