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


the work to be done 

so many things to save 

the planet 
the Republic 
plant life   animal life 
all lives threatened by a virus 

the sun   the moon   the stars 
bear witness to dreams 
left simmering on the stove 
too long ago to be remembered 
but not quite forgotten 
in the rushing river of distraction 
deflection and insurrection 

charred remains of promises 
tossed out the back door 
where smoke dissipates 
along with the intention 
to map an escape route ...

[link to full poem]

—Emily-Sue Sloane, excerpt from "the work to be done," published in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change (Winter 2021, volume 32, number 4)

(All poems © by Emily-Sue Sloane)