publishing poetry chapbooks

Monday's Poem

I have been writing poetry off and on for the past twenty-five years. It's been a slow process, probably more off than on, but I have learned much. Great thanks to Patrick Lane and Patrick Friesen for their inspired sharing of the craft, and their encouragement. Also to the keen ears of the Stark Raven Poets. Writing poetry is now on, with the support of my husband David and our three children— Benjamin, Quinn and Ailsa Rose. Home for now is Steveston, a fishing village defying the big city, where the south arm of the Fraser meets the ocean, and the dyke where I walk skirts the edge of something still a little wild.

© Susan Jonsson


How else sing the house finch rose-throated
warbling under the eaves, how else
stroke his narrow breast. Crow's wings rustle,
black silk over her shoulder, exquisite.
She shudders under the touch.

She is in love with the earth, certainly,
rises to its slow-bellied turning, its sure
breath on her cheek as she sleeps, her tongue
entwined with other tongues, snow geese
gathering on Sturgeon Banks, the white-crowned
sparrow in the wild roses by the river.
The river flowing down. And
there is the urging of a tide
to lift and carry her.
No wonder she is in love.

But what when the hot sun beats
on the dry hills or it's dark
and desire lopes down the valley
the moon on its flank and it becomes
more than pleasure. What then.
The earth smell of dirt and fire.
Procreation necessary as breath
but the words burn.

The weight of feathers does not
take the shape of the heart,
nor birdsong nor water, words
a reply but no answer.
Yet how else to say
the thrum of the hummingbird's
wings as he hovers, nectar on his thin tongue.