Monday, April 8, 2024

Wishing for Persephone

In this sludge of wildflowers
I grieve for their petals 
trampled by feet oblivious
to their pain.

Like astronauts from another planet
humans chased the perfect landing
to place a photograph as a flag,
conquerors who never considered
the legacy of their shoes.

I’m sure the valerian craved
their pink and white blossoms
could have sedated the callous plastic sheep
before they ever reached anything green.

Oh, I too love photos, bright images
capturing a countryside rainbowed with spring,
but I look where my feet are going as to not
assault euphoric rebirth with the crush of my boots. 

If I were Persephone, I would pluck
the spotted spurge of armchair busybodies, 
and turn them into fodder for Aphthona. 

©Susie Clevenger 2024



  1. My old next door neighbors, an old couple, had gorgeous peonies lining their side of the common fence. I loved them. Then a boozy new neighbor turned that side of the double lot into a gravel parking spot for his trucks. The peonies kept trying for a while, but then last year, his yard man weed whacked the remaining ones right down to the ground not long before they would have bloomed. It kind of broke my heart--both the damage and the obliviousness. Like your armchair busybodies, some folks have an appalling lack of regard for beautiful things.

  2. Beautifully expressed. I empathize with those beautiful wildflowers whose petals are trampled & definitely hope that those who walk in spring pay heed to what is beneath their feet. Ha, I included armchair busybodies in my response poem too. An enjoyable read.

  3. Humankind has forgotten how to mind the tread of their boots. I so appreciate this poem, which reminds us to mind our footprints. I am also aggrieved at Shay's next door peonies laid waste by her neighbor's obliviousness. Sigh. Awesome to read you, Susie.

  4. This is great and such a tapestry of words and images, i am not sure where to land !! Great work.

  5. This is masterful, Susie. You've a deft hand and crafted this most expertly. Great to read you!

  6. Your impassioned indictment pierces the heart, Susie. I read it in the context of what's going on in the news these days. There seems to be no lines our power-hungry leaders aren't willing to cross, crushing the good and the beautiful, the helpless and innocent. Turning armchair busybodies into Aphthona seems good to me.