Thursday, July 4, 2013

Old and Older Verses

I've decided to publish some of my old poetry.  This first one was when I was 16 years old, close to High School graduation. It is the kind of satirical verse I still love to write.  Wish I had my second semester college  comps, too; they were a stitch.

An Epic Tale by Susan M. (Schnitman) Hernandez
Dedicated to my dear Cousin Izzie Lubman (my mom's cousin): April 20, 1967

For a week I’d been waging a war,
And believe me – I was getting sore
Running and charging the enemy,
Smashing an elbow, banging my knee.

I opened the door a tiny crack,
Hoping, praying it hadn’t come back.
But there it was – that nasty FLY –
Trying to land right in my eye.

“No!...No!” I cried in vain,
For the dratted thing was back again!
I reached for my swatter, but oh! – too late:
The monster was diving for my pate!

Quickly I ducked under the nearest chair,
But before I knew it – IT was there!
Jumping up, I banged my head:
One of us will soon be dead!

In desperation I reached the kitchen
For by this time I was really itchin’
To finish with this fiendish foe:
I was going to end it all, by Joe!

It was going to work; I knew it – ZAP!!!
The bug was falling for my trap.
I inched my way to the refrigerator
And opened its jaws like an alligator.

There it lay on a silver plate,
Now all I’d have to do was wait.
The six-legged beast came sniffing ‘round
And leaped to its death with a single bound.

For on that plate was that wondrous oleo,
Poly-unsaturated all aglow.
Liquid yellow, flavor – mellow:
This was the trap for that dastardly fellow.

Thanks to the miracles of modern men
Once more I am free again,
Secure in the knowledge that I know:

Flies can’t swim in oleo.

I wrote this next one at the end of winter, 1985, while working at Living Way Christian Academy. It's dedicated to my longtime friend, Dorella Shields.

RESURRECTION  (for Dorella)

It’s almost Spring.
Trying to be.
Dandelions and clover poke through crusty earth.
Daffodils are smiling at curious sparrows,
Reminders of other spring times, other places of the heart.
Fragile blossoms pop out on pear and cherry trees.
Wistful willows weep not their lonely song,
While fickle winds tantalize the birches,
And sticky sap grabs at fingers that caress their paper bark.

Resurrection’s in the air.
Not like the fleeting desert blooms
Or momentary thaw;
Not just a sentinel of summer yet to come.

Resurrection’s more the evergreen assurance
Of days grown longer with promise raised again.
Hope’s found in life restored in dormant forests
Now arustle with green shoots.

Resurrection’s in the rushing stream,
Strident in its yearning for the ocean’s wider shore.
And resurrection’s in the joy of friendship
Recalled ‘crost oceans more.

Come dance with me and celebrate the Resurrection morn’!

Susana Hernandez, March 12, 1985


After I started teaching university again, we were doing the unit on expressive texts and I decided to write some poetry to join my students in the experience. I had recently had to say good-bye to a dear old friend, y Guild D50 guitar. It was very traumatic to discover its neck broken beyond repair, warped by the harsh tropical climate. I have since acquired a new guitar, a wonderful Takamine classical electro-acoustic model, not nearly as costly, but equally sweet to my older ears.

Jeremiah (May 3, 2011)

How put 36 years into a few words?
Today is laid to rest a faithful friend,
Witness of a thousand life-and-death battles
On two continents and shores

In love, in anguish, in pain, joy and sorrow
I’d only to reach out and be reassured by the strains
That issued from your dulcet tones
Made sweeter by rosewood and phosphor bronze

You were chosen to last a lifetime, like a marriage
Though often I took you for granted, ignored you for long times,
But fell in love with you every time we played together.
Who will be your equal now?

Like so many things we expect to last forever,
Your days were numbered, too, as mine.
Not to be inherited by one who may not love you as I did,
Your glory was for me alone.

You became mine in a time of many tears and troubles;
So you were named for the weeping prophet,
A true minstrel’s harp you were; instrument of my own and
So many deliverances as my hand was moved upon you

Now when I long for new sounds and words
To extol the greatness of our maker,
And produce the sounds of grace –
I miss you all the more.

It seems I must remember that we truly worship as we did
When first we breathed the air of life,
No instruments, no flags or accompaniments,
No man-made imitations of Your lights and perfections

Then let my voice rise again to praise you,
The instrument you gave me first anoint again
And let me hear the melodies of heaven
As You sing in the midst of Your brethren.

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