Winners' Circle

A Gray Day #2, photo by Lynn B. Connor

Two Poems


Dear God

I saw your billboard today – the one you signed, 
the one that said:  Life is short. 
Eternity isn’t.  
I wondered about your punctuation, why you created two 
stand-alone sentences.  I would have used a semicolon 
because it seems more powerful to connect the two –
you know, like dying may seem scary on its own 
but if you think this short life is like a day in the park compared
to what comes next, the threat of eternity really picks up some steam.  
I’m sorry – it’s presumptuous of me to instruct You on punctuation 
but I feel more and more presumptuous these days.  It could be eternity
but I think it’s really just another day looming like the next  eight or 10 hours 
and all it will take to make my way through.  I’m tired, 
you know?  You must know.  Have you ever considered 
reincarnation – how nice it might be to have a good long rest as a tree, rooted 
in earth but able to rustle and sway?  It sounds pretty great to me.  
The thing is, I’m not clear about your whole eternity plan.  Keeping people out –
that part feels familiar – it’s pretty much the way things work around here too.  
But have you ever considered just letting us all in – every single person 
you made no matter what our short lives offered 
or withheld?  I don’t know.  It is lovely to think about
though.  I like to picture you pondering it; (semicolon) 
I like to picture you considering the possibility of another way.



Northern Spring Peeper

You’re a nickel 
of a thing, same
color,you fling
yourself akimbo and not
like a frog at all.
You’re a child
no matterhow old,
you heedless bit, 
squashable from lack 
of consideration 
for stomp, 
you and your 
careless gaze.  
No grace, no reason,
all go.  Plaintive peanut
of perpetual resound.
You common 
with ground.
Water born
lung breatheryou
too small to be called 
quitswhen come
what may.  You’re hope
looking down, every kind 
of possibility


Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris & Other Great European Cities
by Judy Wells
Night at the Musée d’Orsay: Poems of Paris & Other Great European Cities is a vibrant memoir of travel poems centering on Judy Wells’ appreciation of well-known European painters, architects, writers, and musicians associated with great European cities. Her poems explore artists in France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Spain, from Van Gogh, Chagall, Matisse, and Balzac in Paris, to Velázquez and Goya in Madrid, and Gaudí in Barcelona. Wells interweaves her own personal life into her poems, which illustrate her creative responses to her travels at different times—from young adult in France to older woman confronting aging in Barcelona. Her poetry encompasses various poetic styles—lyric, narrative, and surprisingly for a book on European travels, haiku. Night at the Musée d’Orsay   If the curators knew I, a moth, was in the Van Gogh room they’d be shocked! But what do they expect— I love light and I’m particularly attracted to a painting of stars—globs of light reflected in a river.   I’ve sat on top of these yellow blobs and survived though I can feel the heat of these stars right through the paint. Light bulbs are cold by comparison though I’m not singed by Van Gogh. I’m transformed and waves of ecstasy wander through my wings.   I rest on Van Gogh’s stars all night. In the morning I flit to a cottage and settle on a deep blue iris. The tourists think I’m part of the painting. I laugh. I’m just a moth with grand taste. Available from Amazon,, and


Susan Carlson lives and works in southeastern Michigan. Her work has appeared in various journals including Passager, River Heron Review, Gyroscope Review, Typishly, and Persimmon Tree and has been nominated for Best of the Net.

With degrees in Asian history, Lynn B. Connor  planned to be an academic. That was short-lived. She realized that sharing stories that explore other times and places is what she enjoyed. Her stories and poems have appeared in literary journals over the last fifty years. A few years ago she remembered the title of a book, Painting with Light, which she’d read as a teenager. The only thing she remembered about it was the title, but that made her see differently when taking a photo. Go to ArtsMart to purchase her work.


  1. Carol and Alicia, thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate you sharing your feedback with me! Susan

  2. Both of your poems, Susan, powerfully impacted me as I began my writing day today. The voice in each felt familiar and comfortable—delighting but also encouraging me to keep my own voice (poetic and otherwise) strong. These are simply wonderful!

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