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The Casualness Of Casualties

In the intimate interlace of chance and fate, in the ultimate interplay of time and place, and with the consummate checkmate of my human dignity, all that is -- is over, in the stormy, swarming space of mere moments. turbulence rises as sun and clouds intersect - his calm persona A random cancellation fits in perfectly with my schedule. In the lucky twist of a Wednesday morning, the doc just happened to have an earlier time available. I arrive and set my umbrella down as I sit in the corner seat, alone with my journal, grateful to be on the fringe of the pulse around me. My thoughts swoon, intoxicated by the lush honey of last night’s lovemaking, where behind the arbor of our well-tended landscape, passionate flora still grows wild. Sensual ink sizzles in release from my amorous pen. Wanton words rush, in poetic passage, to press themselves against the wanting page. I’m still rosy with the blush of love even after twenty-five years of marriage. a wild-rose in bloom flower head full of sweet scent - bulldozer chains brush The waiting room is alive, a beehive abuzz. A community gathers, familiar with each other in their usual appointments of personal injury and workers comp claims. Bilingual conversation spices the crowded waiting room. This morning, a Portuguese dish is the topic of discussion. Morsels of tasty details are translated into English. A kiss of the fingertips releases affectionate praise for the saffron infused white wine sauce. Mozambique is declared “Delicioso!” I smile as I recall my own racy recipe; a piquant blend of long-lashes and loose curls, hazel eyes brought to a flirtatious simmer garnished with risque lingerie, stirred, shaken and served while hot. Voluptuosa! warm breath of summer - pollen-laden goldenrod colors feet of bees Just another typical day in this snug working class neighborhood. Until, a high velocity kick explodes through the door with a blasting barrage that splits and splinters the scene into a stinging hive of non-stop violence. No time to scream, or hide, or repent. No last dance, or kiss, or goodbye. Black muzzle strobe light freezes fight-or-flight into a staggering slow-motion. Adrenaline and cortisol never stand a chance. Chaos cascades in rapid-fire flash. Shell casings jump lively, leaping from their chamber and diving to the floor in a metallic clatter. A cool-minded extremist moves methodically. moving in rhythm not a ripple but in waves - wasp colony swarms Before I understand what’s happening, a force blows me back against my chair and steals my exhalation. Seized respiration struggles in vain to return. In the din, the ding and ting of spent shells reminds me of wind-chimes. Are chimes falling again and again? My waning pulse whisks my fading mind home on soprano notes… Home, to my garden, where breezy fingers tickle the tinkling from decorative metal bells. Air fuses with broken chords wafting a choir of cloudless notes in a farewell aria. How did the zephyr sense I needed an angel’s palliative song? Home, to my kitchen, the sunflower center that attracts the flock, rich and vibrant with the love that feeds us. Wednesday dinner tonight, everyone coming over, the chatter, the laughter, my menu planned - but not executed. My beloved family, promise you’ll always turn to face your petals toward the Sun. Home, to my husband; the champagne that flows through my veins. That smile, his large-frame voice, his gentle gestures that pull me in, those effervescent eyes that excite me so, the lust of our love - we tingle with uncorked joy and overflow with good fortune. A toast to you, my darling; I love you. I love you all, so much. A final tear gathers in the corner of my eye and grows a belly heavy with memories before it falls. Metallic clatter drags my tapering thoughts back to reunite with my doomed body. The passing bell within my chest is silenced by the bestial steel drumbeat. Savage intent interrupts thoughts, dreams, dinner plans, sentences, laughter, heartbeats, lives. A mortal sin throws a lasso of sorrow that will forever noose the tenderness of loved ones left behind. I slip on a knell from life to death. hush befalls garden broken chimes strewn across mulch - distant sirens scream My essence leaves a down-to-earth hollow husk. Lifting, I am softly aloft the bleeding carnage as the last moan dies. The no-longer-living ascend in a meteoric rise leaving precious belongings behind. Mine; a splattered notebook that survives me. A formation of imagination, alliteration and reality; thoughts nestled like flowers between pages, red petals of rhythm and rhymes scattered across white sheets. Emotional nectar now mingles with the red-hot spill of my blood quickly filling the empty lines of an unfinished love poem. wild-gardener wails useless thorns on fragile rose - Moon aligns with Sun Susan Ashley February 23, 2020 Poem Of The Week March 1, 2020

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 4/22/2020 8:12:00 PM
Your genius is reflected in your thoughts and pen. I am so embedded I had to read three times to tell you how much I love this.
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Susan Ashley
Date: 4/24/2020 9:57:00 AM
Dear Lonna, to know that you enjoyed my poem is so gratifying to me since I admire your poetry so. Thank you for sharing your treasure thoughts with me, I am humbled and honored to receive your inspiring comments. Your presence is uplifting, my talented friend. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/22/2020 5:26:00 AM
I am back again to read this immensely inspiring and very , very beautifully crafted piece my friend. As always your talent, drive, dedication and keen poetry style amazes and awes this old, tired poet. I agree with Richard--this could easily be voted Poem Of The Year! God bless, your inspiration is so truly appreciated...
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Robert Lindley
Date: 3/23/2020 4:18:00 AM
Thank you my dear friend. My family and I are doing well. I have myself been a bit ill but it was my usual- and certainly not related to current deadly virus in any way. I pray such a great blessing to you and yours my dear friend. God bless...
Ashley Avatar
Susan Ashley
Date: 3/22/2020 8:30:00 PM
My wonderful friend, I'm so delighted to see you here for a return visit. Thank you so very much for gracing my poem with your inspiring and shining presence. I haven't been here all that much this past week, but I hope that all is progressing in the positive direction for you, dear Robert. Your golden friendship, kindness and encouragement is always truly treasured. Thank you for sharing your valued thoughts with me and your time with my poem. God bless you and yours, dear poet.. ~Susan
Date: 3/8/2020 9:42:00 AM
My vote for Poem of The Year. What an exceptional piece you have orchestrated. I have the feeling this one just flowed from you. I find that the best pieces usually do. Thanks for this exceptional piece.
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/8/2020 8:37:00 PM
Dear Richard, your precious comments are held in my deepest appreciation. I am honored and humbled by your thrilling response to my poem. It didn't exactly flow freely but it did flow steadily.. lol! Thank you for your kindness and warmest wishes to you, my friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/7/2020 5:54:00 AM
(((( :o))))...my sissy!...proud as heck!
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/7/2020 10:06:00 AM
That I make you proud, big bro, is a crowning achievement for your lil sis! Thank you for your radiant words and for the smiles. You make me proud too, my wonderful bro bro! Dragon Fire and Unicorns want a group hug! Lol! Lotsa lotsa love.. your sissy.. Illum <3
Date: 3/3/2020 9:25:00 PM
Congratulations on your POTW, dear Susan.. An absolutely exquisite write!! Totally took my breath away, my friend.. I wanted it to continue ! Flowed fabulously ... A definite fave, dear Poetess! Blessings to you..
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/6/2020 5:46:00 PM
Dearest Robertina, your inspiring comments truly lift my spirits. Thank you for your precious comments, dear poetess, I treasure your encouraging words. Your shining friendship and your kind congrats are deeply appreciated as is the honor of your fav. It's a privilege for my poem to be graced by your sincere and graceful presence. Warmest wishes always, my wonderful friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/2/2020 7:25:00 PM
Congratulations on POTW! A beautiful poem from a talented poet! Well deserved my dear friend!
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 9:06:00 PM
Wren, your presence here brings me a warm smile. Thank you for the honor of your heartwarming congrats and for your uplifting comments. You are appreciated, dear poet. Warmest wishes always, my friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/2/2020 6:55:00 AM
Congrats on POTW Susan. I recognize how much work goes into a series of haibun and just how clever you have to be in following prose up with a haiku….You succeeded on bot counts here. Great poems.
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 9:03:00 PM
Dear Charlie, thank you for the honor of your kind congrats and for sharing your precious thoughts with me. They are beautiful and encouraging and are truly treasured. Warmest wishes always, my friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/2/2020 4:14:00 AM
Well, bless my eyes...Congratulation Susan on POTW...Welcome home
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 9:01:00 PM
Thank you, mon ami, for the pleasure of your return visit and for the honor of your kind congrats. Thank you, Arturo. Your warm welcome home is truly treasured, my dear friend. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 7:09:00 PM
Dear Susan, it has been a while since I have melted into your imagination. You take me there in each moment. Sometimes, I blush and my heart races. (Most of the time) Actually. This is beautiful and emotional, all at the same time. Congratulations, on Poem of the Week. :) Brandy
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/6/2020 5:38:00 PM
The beauty of your response to my poem sweeps me up and takes my breath away, Brandy. Such precious thoughts so exquisitely expressed. My soul flies with wings of elation upon reading your elegant comments and receiving your heartwarming congrats. Thank you, dear poetess, for gracing my poetry page with your special brand of magic. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 4:34:00 PM
Susan, congratulations on POTW with your excellently penned poem!
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:55:00 PM
Tania, it is a joy to receive your visit. Your heartwarming comment and kind congrats are held in my truest appreciation. Thank you. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 12:08:00 PM
- An admirable poem, Susan ... how talented you are ... congratulations on p.o.t.w. :) - hugs // Anne-Lise :)
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:53:00 PM
Your gracious visit is a pleasure to receive, Anne-Lise. Coming from a poetess I admire, I am humbled and honored by your lovely comments and your heartwarming congrats. Thank you.. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 11:28:00 AM
You had me with every line! Congratulations on a well earned POTW.
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:50:00 PM
Alison, I'm so glad we had the chance to share a poetic and emotional connection through this poem. Your precious thoughts and kind congrats are truly appreciated. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 10:00:00 AM
Congratulations on this gem , this beauty being honored as POTW! A most worthy and well deserving choice. Such depths and creativity awes me my dear friend... God bless...
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:47:00 PM
Your return visit and heartwarming congrats are held in my deepest appreciation, Robert. Thank you for your inspiring words that encourage me to continue to reach ever higher. Warmest wishes always, my wonderful friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 9:33:00 AM
Back with congratulations Susan on a well deserved POTW honour. Tom
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:44:00 PM
Your return visit is twice as nice, Tom. Thank you for your heartwarming congrats. I am truly appreciative of this poem receiving such an honor. Warmest wishes always, my friend.. ~Susan
Date: 3/1/2020 7:12:00 AM
exceptional poetry Susan i never wanted the story to end and many congrats on a very well deserved poem of the week. Should be poem of the year in my book, into my faves:-) hugs Jan xx
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:37:00 PM
Jan, that you never wanted the story to end is music to my ears. Thank you, for sharing your heartwarming thoughts with me, for your kind congrats and for the honor of your fav. All are held in my deepest appreciation. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 2/29/2020 10:29:00 PM
This is an amazing tour de force of love, tragedy and spiritual destiny. Great write in every respect. Applause.
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/5/2020 8:34:00 PM
Eric, your heartwarming words are truly a joy to receive. Thank you for sharing your precious thoughts with me, I hold them in my deepest appreciation. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 2/29/2020 11:56:00 AM
A master class in poetic verse, to have been gone so long then toss this upon the cluttered table filled with every poet's offering as a welcomed example of what poetry is when done well is as a cool drink of water after crossing a dry wasteland of windblown brambles...You and your poetic mind have been missed, my friend...welcome back
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Susan Ashley
Date: 3/3/2020 7:55:00 PM
As always, my dear Frederic, you leave me humbled, honored and breathless with the deep and meaningful beauty of your treasured comments. I hold your lovely sentiments and your warm welcome back in my deepest and truest appreciation. It is as much a pleasure to receive your warm words as it is to read your soulful poetry, both are exquisitely expressive. Thank you for gifting me your precious thoughts, dear poet. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 2/29/2020 4:43:00 AM
A masterpiece of profound poetry dearest, Susan! Much admired!
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/29/2020 6:34:00 PM
Dear Demetrios, your precious comments are held in my deepest appreciation. I am honored and humbled by your thrilling response to my poem. Thank you and warmest wishes to you, my wonderful friend.. ~Susan
Date: 2/28/2020 7:29:00 PM
The mourning of words done well in this awesome haibun!
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/28/2020 7:31:00 PM
Thank you so much, Kim! Your lovely comment and visit is truly appreciated. Warmest wishes.. ~Susan
Date: 2/26/2020 10:48:00 AM
Outstanding Dear Susan, nothing left to say...
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 6:40:00 PM
Dear Charlie, your comment is so heartwarming, especially as I hold you and your skillful poetic artistry in such high esteem. Thank you, my dear friend for your precious thoughts. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
Date: 2/26/2020 6:45:00 AM
WOW! This is brilliant, Susan. What a way to come back. Your haibun has me captivated the whole way through. You may have been away for a short time, but your pen has never stopped it's golden touch. So great to see you back. Love & Hugs to you my dear friend. Warmest wishes ~Charlie
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 6:45:00 PM
Dear Charlieku, you have a way of always making me smile :) I'm so pleased to know you were captivated by my poem, knowing that makes all the hours I spent working on it that much more fulfilling. Thank you for your precious thoughts, my wonderful and always charming friend. Warmest wishes.. ~Susan
Date: 2/25/2020 8:03:00 PM
A great Welcome back my super sis...a super fav from me...I choose my sissies well lol...what a write...bro bro :o)
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 7:05:00 PM
Oh, bro bro, thank you for such a warm welcome back! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my poem and I am truly honored by your fav. And thank you for being such a wonderful big bro :) Dragon Fire, Puff, and I are all so fortunate to have you in our family.. You're always looking out for us! (..the Unicorns agree and you know they're not all that agreeable lol!) Me and crazy sis chose our big bro well too :)) Love and hugs from your sane sis, Illum <3
Date: 2/25/2020 8:03:00 PM
What can I say except 'Wow'. I was memorised from start to finish dear Susan. You are an exceptional writer. Bravo. Good to see you again. All well over here, and I hope you and family are well too?.Take care, love and hugs....Maria
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 8:53:00 PM
My dear, sweet sister, Maria, it is so nice to see your lovely avatar on my poetry page. Your beautiful comments are cherished as I hold you and your poetic talent in such high esteem. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming thoughts with me. I'm so glad to hear that all is well with you and your family. Here, I have been extremely busy the last several months, and sadly inactive on PS, but all is well with me and my family. Warmest wishes, love and hugs.. ~Susan
Date: 2/25/2020 4:28:00 PM
Let me start by saying that this must go to my favs, Susan! It's excellent, poetically rich, captivating phrasage, sensual, passionate and with a perfect change of tempo. Even though I love short poems, I did not want this one to end!! Pity you can't devote more time to writing. ~ Warm regards & Hugs // paul
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 8:45:00 PM
It is always such a wondrous joy to receive your beautiful comments, Paul, and when you tell me that you didn't want this poem to end - well, that just has me soaring on wings of elation! Especially, since I know of your penchant for short poems! :) Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts and for the honor of your fav. Your presence here is precious to me and enhances my poetic experience greatly, my dear friend. Warmest wishes and hugs always.. ~Susan
Date: 2/25/2020 1:44:00 AM
And you did this all at a doctor's appointment...love the idea of a 575 after each stanza...takes you to the imagine...and most importantly, the beating heart of the your words...YOU see feel and care...
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Susan Ashley
Date: 2/26/2020 6:36:00 PM
I'm gratified to know that you could feel the beating heart of my poem, Arturo. Your beautiful comments are treasured. Thank you, for always being such a dear friend. Warmest wishes always.. ~Susan
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