Two poems by Susan Richardson

Shards of Cherry Blossoms

I fortify the foundation of my mind,
shellac the cracks to keep
the ghosts out,
but I will always be breakable.
I paint my eyes with shards of cherry blossoms,
pull the ache of memory from my bones
to make myself hollow,
but the weight of grief stains my hands.
I hide the burdens of sorrow behind my teeth,
sew the taste of loss into my tongue,
longing for a feeling of fullness,
but I will always be empty inside.

The Writer

Light flits off an empty screen
taunting me,
throwing doubt into my eyes.
Why must I always break through the waves,
only to find my mouth full of ash.
My feet are less steady each time I stand,
heart hollow from the effort.
I try and shake the brittle ink from the pen,
but the emptiness is piercing,
painful to the touch.
My words become frail in the heat,
all sense of myself siphoned into the sun.


Susan Richardson lives and writes in Los Angeles. In addition to poetry, she writes a blog called, Stories from the Edge of Blindness. Her work has been published in Rust + Moth, Amaryllis, Riggwelter, The Writing Disorder, Dodging the Rain, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and Toasted Cheese, among others. She was awarded the Sheila – Na – Gig 2017 Winter Poetry Prize, featured in the Literary Juice Q&A Series, and her poem “Letches” was chosen as the Ink Sweat & Tears March 2018 Poem of the Month. Her poetry has also been nominated for Best of the Net. You can read more of her work on her website.

8 thoughts on “Two poems by Susan Richardson”

  1. These are two beautiful poems of immense sadness and emptiness, Susan. So glad to have come back to your blog after a long time.

    The first poem has a pessimist end with the idea of always remaining empty. I think we often need to empty ourselves to be filled again. I would tell the voice of your poem: “Please, do not despair, find always all ways to refill yourself. That is possible!”. We might indeed feel fragile and handicapped. Every one person experiences this in a lifetime. Each one of us has some kind of handicap even if it is not physically or psychologically visible at first sight. There is always hope.

    The imagery of the whole piece is very powerful like these lines:

    “I paint my eyes with shards of cherry blossoms,
    pull the ache of memory from my bones
    to make myself hollow,”

    I think “The Writer” has also great poetic strength and perfeclty expresses the the thoughts and feelings of any writer, therefore, so relatable. I love the images of “breaking through the waves” and the “mouth full of ash”. I sense the white water associated with our emotions we all have to deal and struggle with. That is just human and, therefore, common to every person, where we should all try to do the best out of it, which is something you definitely accomplish with your poetry.


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