Here’s a collection of 3 great poems reflecting the extraordinary beauty of an “ordinary” town. Thanks to award-winning poet Melanie Simms for her submission.
(“SUNBURY,” “Ode To A Lover On the Susquehanna,” and “The Return”)
These are the recollections of an old town
Where streets are encumbered with uneven pavements
And small businesses face uncertain economies
Yet it is here, in the midst of faces, hardened by poverty
That the rich tones and memorable notes of Sunbury must be remembered; the
Susquehanna shifting alongside her shore, as lithe boats flit across iridescent waves
And an old grey wall stands sentinel, offering testament to the tales of a great
It is here where the moans of the daily trains chug down the old tracks,
And the air, electrified with the past, still echoes the librettos of Lorenzo Da Ponte
This is where you breathe the daily Market Street aroma of the Squeeze In, where
even now one can feast on hotdogs, chips and soda for a beggar’s fee
While enjoying its notoriety for its inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records
For its smallness.
There are other memories not to be forgotten; a certain Hotel Edison whose
ghosts whisper of a time when Edison arrived, searching for new
Methods of light, and photos, still clinging to the hotel lobby walls
Depicting an image of a little ghost boy, still mesmerizing guests and reminding us
That even in the fires of regret, one can still arise victorious!
Ode To A Lover On the Susquehanna
“Ever newer waters flow on those who step into the same waters”
Love needs no language,
Along the Susquehanna, watching as she twists and bends
Returning to mouths,
Where sunlight and lovers meet.
Where the silver maple and black cherry sway patiently,
Amidst the romantic odes of the meadowlark,
Or the ecstasy of the osprey,
As they dive and reemerge,
Fed by the river.
Where the haunting tales of lush mountains
record through the ages,
Those first seedlings of love.
Here, along the river, she reveals us to one another,
As we confess our love, baptized between her gentle waves.
How has she found us?
Here along the Susquehanna, reflecting in our gaze,
the memories of our ancient love’s return.
The voices of seers
Wage war with their lips
Foretelling a certain defeat
“He won’t return”
Their proclamations beat like Thor’s hammer
Nailing the lid to the coffin
Of our love’s final hour.
But even in the place where love dies, I will look for you
And find us a shelter against the harsh words of those who witness against us.
Defying the fates of Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis
And amidst the tranquil world of dreams, between the veil of life and death
You will greet me, and we will rejoice and embrace, freed from the shackles
Of time’s inequities.
Until then, I will weep in the world of mortal men
Weep against their cruelties
But even in my weeping,
I will stand strong against the ragings of life, knowing the wisdom of the ages:
“A tree that does not bend with the wind, by the wind will be broken”
And oh how I will bend to survive, and reclaim you!
Melanie Simms is an award winning international poet. Her poems have been featured in numerous magazines, literary journals and newspapers including the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, CLAM (UC Berkeley) and Taj Mahal Review. She has been a guest poet on PCN Television and several radio shows including WITF, WKOK, WVIA, WMNF and recently the World Poetry Cafe in Canada. Currently Melanie attends Bloomsburg University where she studies Creative Writing. She currently lives in Sunbury, Pa. Her website is at: http:www.poetmelaniesimms.wordspress.com