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

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



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

Consider the Lilies

Lilies 1

Through heavy curtains
Morning steals in–
Gray, sullen, frowning,
As though carrying a grudge
Against yesterday’s tumultuous birth
That scattered its gold everywhere,
Bursting through windows,
Streaking through the willows,
Blushing the face of the pond,
Then rousing soft twitterings
Tucked under feathered wing.

But this day arrives, perfunctory,
On schedule since its Genesis.
Duty bound to serve, and bestow
Its allotted measure
Of mercy and grace
Upon pilgrims passing through,
Who, because of the somber gray skies
And the sun’s truancy,
Are apt to fail to consider
The lilies of the field
Whose faces are lifted up
In celebration,

By Lena Coapstick
Copyright 4-22-09

When Lena wrote this poem ten years ago, she was in the last stages of a valiant struggle with Cancer and would pass away later in the year.  Our Marble Women’s Ministry Blog honors her today and her family who shared this amazing poem with us.

The Easter Lily represents Christ’s resurrection, a new season in Christianity and rebirth.  In a way, sharing this poem about lilies on our blog this Easter, we give Lena a chance to reach and inspire more people.

Lena was a self-taught poet, who lived her entire life on a farm in Indiana.  Her works were published in her community and statewide.  Her favorite American poets were Mary Oliver and William Stafford.    She had a love for nature and found joy in music.  Many who loved her shared that she created beauty in everything she put her hands and heart to.  And even a when she was facing difficult times, she always looked at life with great hope.

Another thought from the poet:

“There are no detours on a spiritual journey.”  Lena Coapstick