Slate Roof Press

QUICKENING by Susie Patlove


Price: $11.00
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 978-0-9760643-3-6


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Poor Patriarch

The rooster pushes his head
high among the hens, trying to be
what he feels he must be, here
in the confinement of domesticity.
Before the tall legs of my presence,
he bristles and shakes his ruby comb.

Little man, I want to say
the hens know who they are.
I want to ease his mistaken burden,
want him to crow with the plain
ecstasy of morning light as it
finds its winter way above the woods.

Poor outnumbered fellow,
how did he come to believe
that on his plumed shoulders
lay the safety of an entire flock?
I run my hand down the rippled
brindle of his back, urge him to relax,
drink in the female pleasures
that surround him, of egg laying,
of settling warm-breasted in the nest
of this brief and feathered time.

From the Windy Hill of mature womanhood, Susie Patlove writes timeless lyrics both flooded with light and rooted in many kinds of dark. Her poems ring with "joy in what the earth gives" and are themselves a graceful giving back.

-- Ellen Doré Watson, Director, The Poetry Center at Smith College

Susie Patlove's personal poems breathe us in and out through rich, sensory moments of wonder and desire, insight and anguish, questioning and connecting, always connecting. Her spare yet flowing, resonant words remind us of the porousness, the permeability, the non-separation, the timelessness of all that surrounds us. Reading Susie's poems or hearing them read aloud always leaves me feeling nourished, and grateful.

-- Randy Kehler


Susie Patlove lives at Windy Hill, a thirty-two-year-old intentional community in Charlemont, MA. Her poems have been published in the Atlanta Review, Monkscript, Sanctuary, and other journals; inĀ Crossing Paths: An Anthology of Poems by Women; and in 5-Minute Pieces (Arms Library, Shelburne Falls, MA, 1998). Susie is the assistant librarian at the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls, MA.