Rural living

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work in progress

A night in harvest
 
Aria and Morgan sleep in the bedroom quietly
A fan blows in the other room
It is full dark out
And the windows are open.
 
I can hear the strong breeze in the leaves
That are just starting to turn.
 
I think sometimes that I would feel whatever I feel
Good or bad
Regardless of whatever life event or circumstance
I am blaming my mood on.
 
I swallow disappointment
 
Let it go I tell myself.
 
Release it
Release it
Release it
 
This work is surely good
For the soul and skin
 
The moon was up and full this morning as I drove to work
 
Some truths are only found in darkness
In the cleanliness of dirt and ground and natural things
Breaking down
 
Hold space for detris
And decomposition
 
That is how the transformation happens.
 
And that is the magic.

Strange Beauty, my second poetry collection, is now available for pre order HERE. All pre ordered copies will ship on December 15th.

I am so excited that the book is finally available, thanks so much for your support!

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Strange Beauty is an exceptionally appropriate title for this collection of poems. Susan Sweetland Garay marvels at the ordinary, expressing her observations about the everyday with precision and adoration in equal measure. Her poetry will make you fall in love with the world or fall in love with it even more. “The sacred/and mundane/overlap like/ocean and sand,/in constant motion…”

-Matt Margo
Author of When Empurpled: An Elegy
editor of Zoomoozophone Review

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Garay’s poetry is sharp and clean, yet embraces ideas with lines as open and wild as they are sonorous. Her words blur dichotomies to pastel shades, then soar through vistas where art meets elegance and free-flying expressions of color and sound wing their way along like chromatic birds. A talented poetess with a bright future ahead of her to be sure.

-Earl E.S. Wynn
Editor of Leaves of Ink

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With its unadorned images and pared back narrative, Strange Beauty is filled with exactly that—strange beauty. The world introduced within these histories balances between fantasy and reality, between the world we wonder at and the world we struggle in. This narrator is domestic instinct—is woken by secrets—is presenter of rain and waves in the sea—with her dream-like charm on exhibition.

—Stephanie Bryant Anderson
Founder of Red Paint Hill Publishing
author of Monozygotic | Codependent

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Strange Beauty includes 77 pages of original writing with themes including motherhood, family relationships, finding beauty in the ordinary and a relationship with the natural world.

The book is available through Aldrich Press, an imprint of Kelsay Books. Please include a message in comments if you would like a signed copy of the book.

Copyright Susan Sweetland Garay 2015. All rights reserved.

Pale green stars

The two of us lay side
by side facing each other.
She suckles contentedly.

I take a deep breath trying
to relieve my tension and breathe
love and comfort
into her.

The worst thing about our fighting
is worrying that she can feel it.
That we are scarring her,
creating some deep issue
that will one day rise up and make us
wish to God we had been better
in her early years.

These days I can’t feel anger
without bringing along with it
worry and guilt.

She signs and turns
releasing my nipple.

I move carefully,
slowly, so as not to
wake her.

I emerge from the dark bedroom
ready for another evening of
anger and avoidance

but thankfully my stubborn
heart pushes the issue
and we talk
and he sees
and I sigh again,
this time with relief
and much warm air.

I hope that the girl can feel it
from her darkened room
under pale green stars.

Darkening sky

Tonight is the
second thunderstorm
in three nights,

unusual for
our mild home,

we keep all the windows open
listening to the downpour
and thunder.

On the bed, we sit
all together in
the fading light
and darkening
sky.

It is a lovely shade
of grey blue.

She clings to the window sill
and her father’s shoulder
feeling the rain
through the screen.

She would like
to be out in it.

She is certainly our daughter.

The rain continues
as we all sing each other
to sleep.
 

Hummingbird

Amazingly all 5 of us
are together in the backyard
checking on the
strawberries
so as to not miss
one’s perfect ripeness,

and a humming bird zooms in.

He is here and there
and here again, sampling
each raspberry bloom.

All eyes are on him
including two quite young ones
and four feline.

He comes quite close
to get a particularly appetizing
looking flower.

He stays longer than I
expect him to,
unafraid of us
as we stand still.

And then with a woosh
he is off to his next
adventure

and we go inside
to make our dinner
and eat our strawberries.

Measuring

Just like my Mother,
I never measure the
salt when cooking,
instead we add it in
small pinches between
our fingers until
it seems about
right.

Really we don’t measure
much of anything
in the kitchen,

instead adding a
dash here and a dollop there.

But my father, he measures
two or three times before putting on his goggles
and turning on the saw.

As children we didn’t know
much of the real lives
of our parents.

Really, how could we have –

but if we are lucky we
learn it as we grow.

Change happens
like water dripping –
slowly,
one blow at a time.