Poetry

For most of my writing life I’ve focused on poetry. My poems have appeared in such print and online publications as The Christian Science Monitor, San Pedro River Review, Concho River Review, Texas Poetry Calendar, U.S.1 Worksheets, Flycatcher, Bellowing Ark, The Aurorean, Folio, Melancholy Hyperbole, Your Daily Poem, A Year of Being Here, Naugatuck River Review, and many more. I’ve also had poems in a number of anthologies, like Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems (ed. Scott Wiggerman and Cindy Huyser, Dos Gatos Press 2016), Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems (ed. Jonas Zdanys, Lamar University Press 2015) and Grit, Gravity and Grace: New Poems about Medicine and Healthcare (ed. Rhonda L. Soricelli, M.D. and Jack Coulehan, M.D., M.P.H.; College of Physicians of Philadelphia 2015). I’ve been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best of the Net. Below is a sampling of some of my published poems.

The Truth of the Sun

This poem appeared in Red Weather, the annual literary journal of Minnesota State University Moorhead, in Winter 2014/2015: The Truth of the Sun Something so ancient, so immensemust hold grudges and desiresin its core for an everlasting age, yetits spent eons are a catch in the throat of time, its fulminating gases, dropletsin the oceanic universe. Trailingthe links of an infinite chaininto the crazed blackness, it knows itself a dying star, and wishesthe finish were a nearer certainty.Consuming itself it swells, an endless hellof burning on the long stake of its axis. Such agony. Such tyrannous delirium. We with our shorter lives, our coolbodies black as blots of frogspawnswimming in a soothing jelly, knowourselves the focus of its brazen jealousy. […]

Read More
Like a Cotton Sheet Unfolded with a Snap

This poem appeared in Texas Poetry Calendar 2015 (Dos Gatos Press), and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize: Like a Cotton Sheet Unfolded with a Snap The desert dust billows before sinking, lying smooth. Sometimes the winds, hot or cold, will lift the edges with a flap, a gritty flutter. Dust is the fitted suit we come to wear. The sky bores us all to death, white-chipped cobalt blue, a coffee mug upended in a “none for me, thanks” gesture to the great hands above that hold the pot tilted over someone else’s land. They say dust is made of the skin cells we shed into the air like smoke, of meteoric bodies sifted through the fine weave of space. […]

Read More
A Marriage in the Hands

This poem first appeared on Your Daily Poem February 13, 2014, and subsequently on A Year of Being Here on March 25, 2015: A Marriage in the Hands You make a fist, that I might see your skin grow tight again, smoothed across your hand. Those big hands that you like to joke are too heavy when carried all day at the ends of your arms. Then you relax your hand, and all the skin relaxes, letting go the taut shine of youth, and I see your sacrifice, the thirty years you’ve held us close, held my strength for me, and all your tenderness. I put my own hand out, relaxed, palm down, next to yours. You are aging, so […]

Read More
Autumn Reliquary

This poem first appeared (in a slightly different form) in Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination in June, 2014: Autumn Reliquary Into the still, cold sky, a china teacup spills its light.  Mesquite trees gather at the front porch, bare arms lifted, slender wrists braceleted in mistletoe. We sit outside in an emptiness that runs for miles, bundled against the year’s wane, wondering what it is to end. Is it true the dying need to be held? Around us day lies down to the embrace of darkness, mesquite roots sink into the clutch of flint earth. A drained moon nests deeper into the night, which needs nothing, having grown too vast to hold.

Read More
August, at an Ebb

Concho River Review published this poem in the Fall 2014 issue: August, at an Ebb Light rain pocks the dirt around our cabin before rolling south; earthworms rise to it, and leave their runic castings behind. A month before autumn we have fallen into hot confusion, unable to do much but sit on the front porch observing the damp calm of afternoon. A distant bobwhite calls, and social insects pulse endlessly in their rote corridors of Hell, numbering themselves in the pasture weeds. Mark me, they say, I am here and I and I    and I until we know them all. Biting flies rule the porch, dictating how we dress to foil them, honing the reflexes in our swatting hands. […]

Read More
Near Year’s End

This poem appeared in Texas Poetry Calendar 2014 (Dos Gatos Press) and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Its latest appearance is in the 2018 Texas Poetry Calendar, the last from Dos Gatos Press: Near Year’s End In these burnt candlewicks of days, the dry north wind blows the scent of cold fires. The cindered sky lets fall no water. Through the night hours we huddle, listening. Coyotes like dark surf surge through the yard, babbling of stars and smoke.

Read More
After the West Texas Fires

San Pedro River Review published this poem in the Fall 2012 issue.  It was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize: After the West Texas Fires One year later, char still creeps across the bluffs and gullies like the fingers of a dark frost. The highway here and there is fringed with green from last week’s rain. The trees, though, are mostly dead for good, those still upright eroding to sharp black trunks as their limbs weather away.  This land is stark, a stoic witness to the ancient seas that swelled and drained.  To volcanoes that burst their glowing seams and slipped their hot, slow tongues into every crevice, every gorge. Of those prehistoric trials, little evidence remains.  Fused coprolitic clumps […]

Read More
Susan Rooke – Author | Copyright © 2024
Site Development by Tuned In Design
menuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram