Posted in journal prompts, journaling, poetry, Writing for healing

Nothing to Fix

back alley 1 copy

Journal entry: on a deliberately UNPLUGGED Sunday evening in the desert…looking through my art…trying not glare at the news about a new radioactive leak being reported. Maybe fantasy works as a temporary cure for mankind’s insanity. I am grateful for having lived so many years without a television. Now I know better and have to take serious breaks from the dang thing.


   There’s nothing to keep up with,

    nothing to fix,

    turning it all off

    while ignoring the mix.


Above: tempera on wood- 1998 -San Francisco.




Posted in friends, inspirational, journaling, poetry, Writing for healing

A Wayward Leaf

cherub with my name


Prompt: fog

Form: elegy

Device: metaphor

WordPress Writing 201 Day Five



A Wayward Leaf


You appeared as a wayward leaf

Outside my window whispering “time is a thief.”

How you disappeared so quickly, my friend,

You died during heavy rains of confusion, a Piscean end.


Yet in the misty, watery, bayside moorings,

I knew you had suffered and cried in the mornings.

We knew all you ever wanted was a family of sweet kindreds,

Yet the anxiety bottled up blasting inside your head.


I wept at the injustice day after day,

Thinking about the wolves that  kept you at bay.

They came up with all kinds of psychological labels,

It was much too late; you  longed for a happy-ending  fable.


The lightest, most delightful red ruby hummingbird

Caused gaiety and laughter, uttering not a word.

How could it be that you had to so quickly depart?

And leave us to wonder if you ever knew your own heart.


Came a glowing cherub, the  angel of deafening fate,

A thrift store treasure found during my melancholy 1998.

Little friend, I often wonder if a fairy tale had been written,

Could it have saved your life, instead of you being bitten?


When, at summer’s finest end, the leaves do fall,

I stop to pick them and ponder it all.

The things that delighted our senses were many,

Like googley-eyed frogs, blooming roses and the shiniest penny.


If you are reading this, over my aging rounded shoulder,

Kiss now your loved ones, savor each pebble and boulder.

Give me a sign please, just one in the evening

And let me know again that you knew you were leaving.





Copyright ©2015 by Susan E. Rowland


Journal prompt: write a no-holding back elegy (see above) or page about a death or a love. This poem is one of a series that is emerging on my friend and co-worker Jocelyn who died in 1998 from an aneurysm. She was only 38 at the time. She loved nature and collecting pretty leaves, and anything with googley eyes. She was born in Nashua, New Hampshire and passed away in San Francisco, California. We both lived in a small rural town about two and a half hours north of the Bay Area. Her husband Pete, died six months before her after a long illness.

When I think of my friends who have crossed over I can smile again. I look at death differently. They want us to carry on and to be happy.

I am not posting a photo of her here, rather I’m posting a picture of the things she loved.

Posted in poetry, wilderness

The Condor

prompt: animals      form: concrete poetry   device: enjambment


majestic Andean kuntur and Spanish cóndor flies enlightening the sky with each lifted wing through windswept air is free, free free                                                         because

it survived man’s leaden pollution.

This was a really tough assignment. Concrete poetry is intense. I’ll be working on learning that in the five year plan. It’s going to take some time. On to the next project.

I wanted to make the words look like the condor, but that is going to take some skill. I don’t know what is wrong with my WordPress format but it is really frustrating to figure out the technology. Someone told me Word doesn’t copy and paste well into the online format. Well that’s  no fun. Who’s in charge here anyway? No art for you guys tonight, sorry.

Plus I can’t stand this font size. Going to sleep, kindred spirits and fellow poets.

Over and out!




Posted in blogaday, poetry

An Acrostic Internal Rhyme about Trust



   Assignment for WordPress class: prompt- using the form of  acrostic poetry   and the device is  Internal Rhyme 

(Please excuse the wily coyote format)

                                                                                             skinny face

Later or soon, I had to change my tune

Over from sadness to gladness then to

Veracity and tenacity

Ever, forever, is  love and trust, to believe in the good, I must, I must.


Journal prompt: study the terms acrostic poetry  and internal rhyming and see what you come up with.  Then try writing a poem using internal rhyming. Combine them.  Do you like to play with words or are you more interested in content?

Discussion: I am having so much fun learning new things in a WordPress class. Aren’t you just so interested?

Moral of the story: It’s never too late to learn about writing and creative expression!














Posted in poetry, Writing for healing

There was a Young Spirit Named Sue


line cartoon drawing copy

Writing 201 _Limericks

There was a young spirit named Sue

Who loved to bring joy to a few.

She sang and she danced

And when happy she pranced,

So that’s how she beat back the blues.


There was an old man named Clyde

Who never ate salads,  he just fried.

When the potatoes were done,

All the guests would run,

He’d simply tricked them so his eating he’d hide.


There once was a classy woman named Jane,

Who spent too much time on the plains.

When the suitors came ’round her

They never could find her

She had left all the chaps in the rain.


There once was a dapper named Stan

Who couldn’t make peace with his clan.

His friends all went a kilter,

Because he simply had no  filter

So Stan had to shape a new man.


bif muscles

















Posted in poetry

Wake to Every Morning

 Jesse carving copy

Wake to Every Morning

The day of feasting follows months of agony.

We have been here before

In a snapshot of history

Simply because

The rule of the law

Has been made a travesty again.

In the eyes of youth around the world

Lack of representation forces the hand

Of the oppressed.


In the long aftermath of colonization

Intergenerational pathology

Sears the soft whimpering of humid Missouri streets

Gone cold by conflict,

Thickened by diversified testimony

In Ferguson.


When the flames catch inside neighborhoods

A woman cries because her store has been mercilessly torched

While the nation gorges on harvested bounty

Needless chaotic retaliation for the killing.

Some syrupy good ol’ boys ignore

Centuries of low paid workers.

Keep on, keep on, keep on,

Wake to every morning

Intent upon change.


Leaders, where have you gone?

The true speakers, labeled “protestors”

Replace apathy with fervor, don’t turn away.

Those who walk the pavement are the new spiritual force

Eons beyond mere words written in ivory castles

Or by isolated people tapping keyboards

Spewing doubt.


The phrases once used are yesterday’s news.

The point of tipping has disappeared into the future,

You are here now.

This is the future.

Stay strong, keep moving,

Keep talking.

The ancestors

Hear you calling out

In the deep night of reflection.

Wake to every morning.



Journal prompt: Have you been paying attention to the incident at Ferguson, Missouri, USA? What are your views? Do you feel the grand jury rejecting an indictment is a good decision?


Copyright 2014 by Susan E. Rowland, all rights reserved

Photo above: Jesse in a moment of reflection while carving


Posted in Jung, poetry

Dreams of the Dead and the Knight of Cups

prince of cups

October 31, 2014


The night is gnarly and fitful.

The nine of swords won’t leave me alone,

and some knight of cups is calling again,

his helmet  only a decoration

implying the creative, yet ineffective wandering

of unrealized goals… the ghosts.

Show me the proof, something real

rather than this veil between the worlds

and my shadow.


Who is calling me from the beyond

at 3:30 am?

I am in the dimension between sleeping and waking

when an old friend shows up,

I reach out to touch her hand.

It’s Sheila, the Queen of Wands,

a kindred redhead

who worked ’round the world,

administering aid to the sick

in places with exotic names.

Baghdad, Cairo,and  Quetzaltenango.


In the dream she doesn’t recognize me,

her eyes are vacant and staring.

Where are you my dear?


It’s confusing, her refusal to speak.

Is she preparing to come back again

or is the eve before the Day of the Dead

just an exhibit

deep within my subconscious?

                                                                                  maks doodle copy

Journal prompt: Write about your dreams. Be honest. Don’t leave out embarrassing or graphic detail. Study the symbols. For reference, go back in your journals and read what you wrote the year before.

Discussion: The journal is a tool for self study and is the least expensive therapy you can get.

If you do record your dreams, the symbols and images can be landmarks of your personal development. Dreams can be inspired and prolific. They may represent issues you are working on in the subconscious.

For example, last year on October 31, 2013, I wrote, “My lower back has been sore and I need to get a massage. The arthritis has flared up. ‘I was dreaming I was getting a facial and loved the attention. In the dream, there was a wide stairwell in a mansion type place and X was there. I was walking down the stairway, and she was walking up. I was sharing my experience with the facial and how great it felt. She replied from a place of  smug superiority, dismissing me…with a retort . She didn’t need that kind of pampering.'”

In the dream, as usual, I’m dealing with the body because of injuries and aging. The journal is private so it’s the raw juice of real life. No fakery. So body issues, ad nauseam, are primal. That’s just the way it goes.  I physically can’t do what I used to anymore. Where as I formerly dismissed massages, yoga, and chiropractic adjustments as fluffy, now I do it regularly to keep my sanity. It makes me feel better and allows me to keep going. So the dream can represent aspects of myself, and not necessarily be about another person. Dreams are multi-dimensional and multi-layered.

Note to journal facilitators, therapists, and teachers: Journal writing and dream work for clients or students with issues around bullying, abuse, and eating disorders is essential. People are often too ashamed or unwilling to talk about personal problems, even in therapy. Expressive arts, dance, and music therapy are great tools when people can’t find the words to explain the experience. Nobody wants to appear uncool. Until the real work of uncovering core issues is addressed, therapy is stagnant, or for writers, the work is bland.

I decide to use tarot archetypes for this poem. It’s been a fascinating area of study for over 20 years. I collect decks and love studying Jung and his research on the  Tarot.

Anyway, enough rambling.


copyright ©  2014 Susan E Rowland

Posted in earth friendly, inspirational, poetry

Top of the World

top of the world

Dear Readers, I’m still dealing with some interesting challenges with technology and the internet. Who isn’t?

I am probably going to retire this blog soon. I have changed the title for now- just so that it’s not confused with another blog that showed up recently ” Journaling With Sue”-with an exclamation point. Confusing, nevertheless, I’m not going to quit writing.

 I will be putting up a notice with my newsletter address and new blog address in a few months. For now, I will do some weekly posts until the change happens by the first of 2015. And-since change is the only thing we can count on in life, here we go. It is the fate of every woman…and man…but you ladies know what I’m talking about…hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and the whole chalupa! After that big old masterpiece, then it’s all  about weight-bearing exercises and bone density. Lots of fun. I’m remaining polite about men-o-pause (pause from men) and do not want to hear from anyone who “sailed right through it.” My response is, great… **Q*@*&Q#^*** and back to you.

Here is this week’s poem.


There’s a place

at the top of world

where all is peaceful,

where rushes rustle together

and blackbirds command the marsh.

I watched the seasons clearly

with every turning, a young mother, strong and steady.

We were  caretaking  the neighbor’s horse

so we raced together, your little arms

clinging to my back

as we galloped without a saddle up Boogie Woogie Way,

giggling like crazy from the bumping and holding on,

madrone leaves crunching underneath Smokey’s hooves

on Christmas day.

You have all grown up

but said you had returned this autumn

to take care of serious business,

to clean up after him.

Your father did the best he could.

Problems-that’s all it was-problems.

The good people

and nature spirits


at  the top of world;

the celebration is a magnificent show.

The admittance charge is only the gift of gazing

and a thank you

for your bravery and kindness.



card from willow and chey

Journal prompt: Write about a relationship situation without actually talking about it. Use prose or poetry. Does it help to hint at the situation? Or would you rather get the real issue right out in the open?

copyright ©  2014 by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in friends, poetry, Writing for healing

Something Like 106

 beautiful building plus clouds boulders my name

It’s something like 106 and the sweltering mirage seeps into my vision

as I pause for a long moment under the mesquite

dreaming about a river or the ocean.

Days such as these are meant to be poems or paintings,

scenes in a film.

You lose yourself in the sky.

Childhood memories creep into moods,

the glances of two friends,

little ones again…

in a black and white photograph,


Before the sarcasm of background noises

rearranges our senses,

the little ones play so  long and hard

they pretend not to hear the call to come in.


Journal prompt: Write about childhood memories. Pick one or two feelings that have filtered into your adult life.

Discussion: I chose to write about innocence, a time before self-consciousness when we enter the journey of judgment, competition, shame, and triumph…and now, total distraction.  I can remember the heat of the summer and endless long hours of play where we would fall out from exhaustion. As adults many of us have to remind ourselves to take the time to enjoy life.


Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland