Keep Your Wildness Alive

Keep Your Wildness Alive


okay you nun you,

go ahead and pray but don’t forget

after your monastic routine calms

you down to neutral,

don’t forget I’m waiting,

even then, waiting my chance

to pounce on any passion scrap

I see on the street!


I am the heroic delinquent you

pray for, sister.

I am the indolent trickster you chide

and you had better

open your door to me or

you will blow!

But oh, go ahead,


feels so good—

not your goody good, but the kind

of chaos that makes the stars.

Where do you think you come

from anyway, sister?


Don’t worry it won’t

hurt to be wild— you can

be 100 plus in age and leap

on the page.

Sparks can fly

and the paper stays cool.

Your renegade can do

the strangest things in a poem,

and if anyone

can pin it on you,

they’ll know it made you grow.


So do dare to

please yourself,

dare to give up pleasing

the rest. Who gives a hoot?

You do? Don’t.

Only do have the nerve

to risk and gamble,

frisk and gambol

for the queen of you!

Please the queen, I say! Delight

in your wild wild ways.


Let coyote make you

write something crazy. Be ditzy!

Walk in a thunderstorm looking

for lightning. Soak

in a moonbath of outrageous.

Give your rowdy

center page.

It might turn into

a poem, it might

open up

your whole life!

© Susa Silvermarie

Full Moon February 2014

Piano ecstacy


Entering the Fire of Love

Mary Oliver’s poem, Sunrise, seems fitting for this time of the stirrings of new life. I share also, her poem Spring, because in February we celebrate Love, and to me one of its most hopeful forms is the animal joy evoked by the lengthening sunlight.

February 2 honors the turning of the sun year’s Wheel to the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The fire festival of Candlemas is also known as Holy Bridget’s Day, and as Imbolc, which translates variously as in the belly or ewe’s milk, for the time of lambing.

On that day this year, I made merry with five sisters around a ceremonial fire, and we used the inspiration of the flames to transform and pray for the world, each of us in our own way renewing our passionate love of this life. I revitalized my commitment to my creative work, praying that the instrument of my Being make beautiful word music in the world!

May this time of initiation brighten you, also, and may you illumine your corner of the world.

The Condensary

Photo1805“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world,” wrote Shelley, and this is no more true than on an Alzheimer’s Unit. I am a 66-year-old whippersnapper with a lifelong passion for poetry. I’m retired now, but at one time in my life I found myself working in the nursing home world of elders as a social worker.I did my job of facilitating family support groups, naming resident needs at Care Conferences, and finding lost sweaters. I became the friend and advocate for each resident, some of whom I feared, a few of whom I disliked, all of whom I came to actually love. Beneath the tasks of the job role, the poet in me saw the dazzling intersections of the elders’ rich life stories. The poet in me looked around and saw, in one single and singular corridor of Earth school, teachers!

Evergreen was the name of the resident poetry circle which I conducted weekly. Stimulating the memories of participants, patiently eliciting and recording their responses, I stretched my listening limits into outer space. One elder told her son that in the circle, she was “heard alive.”

The pinnacle of my learning experience with these teachers was the evening we held a poetry reading by the residents. Their family members sat in rows as audience, low expectations keeping them quiet and wondering. In the transformed dining room, the Evergreen Resident-Poets sat in a semicircle at the front. Each Poet held a page with large-print lines of their own words. I stood in back of the Evergreen arc, holding the microphone. As the turn of each Resident-Poet came, I leaned in and held the microphone in front of them. Some read their own words. You could see the surprise and pleasure on their faces as they recognized their cadence, or their story, or their unique diction. Some proudly held their paper, while I read their lines over their shoulder. To me, the faces of the residents said, “We are still here! See us! Our lives mean something! We still have something to offer!” The families were startled and amazed.

I learned we all have something to give, we all have dignity, even in dementia. In retrospect, that evening was one of the most important nights of my life. Poetry condenses meaning. That evening, an Alzheimer’s Unit became a condensary. It showed me that wherever I find myself in my life, I can peer deeper, beneath the surface. I can find the hidden beauty.


Making the eBook Physical

What’s an old school reader who craves to hold a physical book in her hands to do, when there’s something we long to read that is available only in a digital format? First, go ahead and Sigh. Then, download a free Kindle reading app suited to your computer.

Next, download that e-Book that is NOT physical. Now follow the rest of the instructions, which are purely physical!

Make up for what you crave, this way: Fix yourself a cup of coffee or pour yourself a glass of wine. Sit in your most comfortable chair with your laptop, or drag the rocker to your desktop. Turn down the room lights, turn up the screen lights, and settle in to read. Once you’re immersed in a book, you know what happens. You enter its world. Soon enough, the fact that it isn’t a physical book may even be— heavens—forgotten!

Tomorrow January 14 is the final day for my e-book Giveaway on Amazon. Tales from My Teachers on the Alzheimer’s Unit is a digital read, but now you know how to make the experience physical.