Maundy Thursday

Harp strings flutter their touch through me –
Soothing my soul.
“Holocaust” symphony –
That does not flutter.
It seeps into you –
behind your eyes,
within the wailing wall of your heart.
How could such beauty and gentleness
in the twinkling music
Co-exist with the knowledge of such terror –
knowing that this could happen is horror.
Living it is unspeakable,
And yet, must be spoken.
Was the harp played in a German home
as Jewish families were herded to their death?
Could beauty and this horror co-exist?
Not with the knowledge of the terror –
only in blindness,
cold, dark blindness –
stone silence of deafness.
You can’t hear a harp
and hear their anguished cries
with the same ears.
You’d go mad.

Susan Ceely Phillips

Turning Point


A time when a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results.
A point at which significant change occurs.

Imagine a dancer.
You choose.
A ballerina spinning with supreme control.
A modern dance interpretation.
A jazz gyration.
Swing dancing in synchronized, yet wild enthusiasm.
A powerful footfall through hip hop.
Do it yourself rock n roll.
Salsa swirling.
Hindi twirling.
Imagine the dancer
and the turning point.

Turning, spinning, whirling
Now and then
Or on and on.
But, each turn has a point
When a decision occurs in the dervish
To continue to repeat the cycle
Or to move into a new step,
A fresh pattern,
A solo exhibition,
A cling or clash with a partner,
A fusion with the corps,
Or to just stop.

Turning Point
A time, a point when a decisive change, a significant change, occurs, especially with beneficial results.

Easter – a “turning point”, both grand and minute.  I pray that it’s lovely and kind, either way.


Susan Ceely Phillips



Hope Sun 1

I barely can sense it’s shiver of awakening.


I stop in stillness,

Searching for the shimmer.

In a drawn down lip-line,

In a shallow breath,

In a tear-drop caught in its passage.

My consciousness whispers that it’s there.

My footsteps inch toward it.

It must be!


I hope for it.

By Susan Ceely Phillips

Hope Sun 2


Sometimes, Heaven


Sometimes, Heaven is right under your feet –

shoes off, velveteen blades

caressing your sole – soul.

Sometimes, Heaven hides behind your furrowed brow –

waiting –

for the right moment

to crawl down your cheek

in a single tear

into the light of day.

Sometimes, Heaven floats on the gentle currents above –

that shelter you

from the treachery

of the undertow below.

Sometimes, Heaven hammers at the door of miscommunication –

clambering for

and scrapping with the truth.


Sometimes, Heaven soars.

Sometimes, Heaven screeches.

Sometimes, Heaven caresses your cheek.

Sometimes, Heaven slams you against the wall.


But, sometimes – sometimes –

Heaven is just that.

Susan Ceely Phillips



Weather not always balmy

obstacles appear

amid swirling wind and storms

former experiences illumine

strong ropes:

faith, hope, love

Biblical passages apply over centuries

these guide

provide balance

become sources

of courage and strength

when mountains overwhelm

grasp ropes tightly



I Corinthians 13

“ And now these three remain: faith, hope, love. But the greatest

of these is Love.”



Lynn Doll



Winter wanes into Spring.
Slate to granite to Italian marble
slide on feathered wings

The burden an oxen would struggle to bear.
Winter wanes into Spring.
Spirals to about face to thrusts
buffet in swirls of caress
The force Thor would struggle to resist.

Winter wanes into Spring.
Slithers to worms to injections
burrow through slivers agape
The stealth the stock still buck would struggle to discern.

Winter wanes into Spring.
The burden.
The force.
The stealth.
In the tip of green at the edge of life.
In a flash of azure gasping through the nebula.
In the flutter of a wing lighting for sustenance.

Susan Ceely Phillips


Like a seed imbedded in feathery wisps
Carried on a gentle breeze.


Like a torn shred of sea grass
Floating on the surface as the Gulf rocks and rolls.


Like a spinning pinwheel released from the tree top
Carried by its own delicate balance despite the stillness.


Where to alight is up to You.

Susan Phillips 1

Susan Ceely Phillips

The Gift of February

It can be hard to see the gift
if the country you’re in is North.

It can be hard to see the gift
if cold walled you within a fort
Of slouching and huddling
And turning towards ‘in’
To seek refuge from ‘out’
And bow low in chagrin.
It can be hard to see the gift
When love is all around,
But stretched far into your distance
Untouched – lost, not found
In chocolate or roses
That drug stores now sell,
Trying to say ‘alone’
Is equally as swell.

It can be hard to see the gift
If your faith calls you to walk
Toward the end before beginning.
Marching forth begins to balk
at commitment to let go,
at commitment to commit,
at the stretch of 40 days
Before the gift can remit.

It can be hard to see the gift,
But I can sense it in the air.
I can see it in the evening slant
Of light that wasn’t there.
‘February’s’ clunky with
a mystery in the ‘r’.
Is it shadowing a rodent
as the sun blinks from afar?
The gift we find in February
may press for searching long
to find the glow, what’s precious
in the shivering, wintry song.

If your find the gift in February
Do fan the spark of longing
to erect your self
and dissect the wall
To re-enter the world of belonging.

Susan Ceely Phillips

A Trail of Poetry

Over the years I have written to friends needing support and encouragement.  Learning my words helped another gave me a great feeling.

Several years ago, poetry sparked my interest and I attempted this genre.  A friend said a poetry group met at a local library.  With some trepidation, I decided to attend.  The poets have varied voices and styles; I found most are phenomenal writers.  At meetings we read our poems aloud.   Then the others in the room convey corrections and ask questions about parts of the poem.  Sometimes quiet is a response.  At first, when my poem was met with quiet, I discovered I needed thicker skin.  Listening and assessing the comments can be a catalyst for improving.  Revision is needed sometimes.

These poets are broadening, encouraging and inspiring.  My voice is my own, unique and distinct, I drive on Tuesdays to the library with anticipation.  Courage helped.  A trail can also be a leap and for me this is a choice I made in my seventies.

Meetings held with individuals having had varied life experiences–things seen and hills surmounted.  There are poems of joy and poems depicting tears.

There is acceptance and understanding of each other’s journey.

Friendships ignited and are blossoming here.

I am grateful because this trail led to enlightening my journey.


Shared by Lynn Doll


Sunset Susan

I’ve left footprints upon grains of sand.

I’ve left footprints in the dirt.

I’ve left my footprints on a wooded path.

They became a trail where I could leave my hurt.


I’ve left wet footprints on the sidewalk.

I’ve left crunchy footprints in the snow.

I’ve scattered leaves with shuffled footprints,

And each print felt seasons come and go.


I’ve scuffed footprints in the carpet.

I’ve trudged footprints in the mud.

I’ve padded wet footprints on the bathroom floor.

I’ve even left my trail of blood.


But of all the footprints that I’ve left,

And each has left its mark,

None has touched my heart so well

As those from my beloved Monarch.

The “King” that we all longed for

Left his footprints for me to match,

Or follow, or feel upon my soul;

No swinging gates or creaking doors for me to latch.

This Guide, this Ultimate Sustainer,

Shines an all encompassing light

To show me where my footprints have been

And trust in His delight in my flight to becoming alright.



Susan Ceely Philips