Sampling of poems



I would release all the words 
stored up in my language house 
to be snagged by another poet or songwriter. 
Please, have at them. 

I’d much prefer to show than tell you, 
but pictures turn to verse 
before my clumsy hands 
can guide them onto canvas. 

So I am left with words — 
nocturnal, feral. They paw 
through sleep’s deep layers, 
clamor for attention, then 
bunch up silent in a sunlit corner. 

When I poke at them, they scamper off, 
taunt me into a game of hide-and-seek. 
Long after I’ve lost interest, they turn up 
again with those sad eyes, looking 
to be welcomed home.

Published in Bards Annual, 2021 



Today we are at sixes and sevens. 
By we, I mean the house, 
which used to be easy as one-two-three to keep, 
and me — slowly losing the will 
to make myself presentable. 
We clean up in fits and starts over months 
that have melted into one long day of hiding. 

Room by room       dusted and vacuumed 
drawer by drawer   sifted and sorted 
sinks, tubs, floors   scrubbed and mopped 
We wash up only to start right in again. 

Streaks on windows appear 
in sunlight breaking through straggler clouds 
after a night’s torrential rain and wind — 
clouds that had obscured my vision 
like ones I fear may come 
from black holes, not in space, 
but inherited retinas. 

I pray the storm cleaned up the rose bed 
where I startled a hawk yesterday 
its legs dipped in blood and rabbit fur. 
It looked up at me 
then reluctantly flew into a nearby oak 
where it could guard its kill 
while waiting for me to go 
tend to my nest.

Published in Emily-Sue's full-length collection, We Are Beach Glass, 2022 (print); reprised in The Weekly Avocet #553, July 9, 2023


UNtold stories

What secrets feather the paper nest 
perched high 
in pine-scented branches 
decorated with ribbon 
the crows scavenged 
from holiday debris? 

Perhaps rain or sleet 
or gloom of night 
did stay the courier. 

Gas and electric bill short-circuited? 
Check truly was in the mail? 
Love affair left in limbo? 
Destinies derailed 
in a stash of letters 
lifted by the winds.

Published in Hope, a Calling All Writers Anthology, Winter 2020

(All poems © by Emily-Sue Sloane)