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The Rub  

I’ve had a taste of wonder and I cannot give it back.
I’ve seen each deep state blunder and the swamp’s heart dipped in black.
I’ve witnessed this great country as it’s getting back on track.
And now, to put it bluntly, we are under grave attack.

My land, and what it stands for, is now set to plunge and break.
I’ve seen the flouting of the law by tyrants on the take—
Ignoring evidence of crime, embracing all that’s fake,
Will leave deplorables with crumbs and despots with the cake.

We’re not in this together.  We’re a realm of Them and Us.
If you’re a non-essential, you must shut up—never fuss.
The ruling class will kick your ass and if you rail and cuss,
Remember you are nothing and your role’s superfluous.

I have a dream, a vision of my freedom-loving tack:
I’ll draw on wit and wisdom, in a voice that will not crack,
To thwart the threat of serfdom from each godless maniac—
The genie’s left the bottle and no soul can put it back!

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My Covid New Year’s Revolution 

If I’d pranced off on Friday nights and partied,
Quaffed shots and danced in sequin-spun array,
I’d quit such excess, but it never started—
I’ve spent the best of one year locked away.

If I had fine-dined at the downtown bistro
And grown a little tubby round the tum,
I’d forgo munching on their mango gateau,
But since the bistro’s bust, that vow’s undone.

If I had booked vacations and I’d travelled
To balmy destinations far and wide,
I’d curb my carbon footprints—they skedaddled
When flights to palmy beaches were denied.

If I could conjure close time with my family,
A cozy day where kindred spirits bask,
I’d pledge to revel in their cuddly company—
I can’t, six feet away, clamped in a mask.

If I could bless this New Year with some sparkle,
I’d end the 2020 Covid buy-in.
But since I can’t buff up this vile debacle,
I’m polishing my inner hero lion…

If one more numbskull calls me non-essential
I’ll damn well pose a threat that’s existential!

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Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).


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32 Responses

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Amrita – I appreciate your encouragement. Here’s wishing you the happiest New Year you can muster under current circumstances.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Wonderful, Robert! I’m sure there are many out there who feel the same as I do and it’s great to reach out poetically and affirm their thoughts. I hope 2021 brings with it awareness, boldness and the burning urge to defend what’s left of our freedom.

  1. C.B. Anderson

    I’d hate to get on your bad side, Susan. Standing at my place here in the choir, I find that your poems are one of the things that make life worth living. You are unsinkable.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      C.B., thank you for your lovely comment. You’ll never be on my bad side. I don’t have one. I do, however, possess a determined and passionate side… it’s fierce. lol

      The words of Catherine Austin Fitts have sent chills down my spine and serve to confirm my worst suspicions. It looks like 2021 may not be as rosy as we’d like it to be, and my heart bleeds for the entire globe. Let’s hope those that can make a difference before the seemingly inevitable do. Although, that would mean politicians with a conscience, and I fear there are very few of them.

      In spite of these dreadful, draconian times, I wish you the best New Year possible.

      Reply
      • Gail Root

        Dear Susan,

        It’s always Christmas when your poetry is in my inbox. That first line of ‘The Rub’ is the motto that will keep me in diligent pursuit of personal liberty in hopes of averting the serfdom of us all as described by Ms. Fitts.

        I, too, love to write, but have not always loved poetry. You all are making it easier for me to do so.

        Happy New Year! Best wishes–Gail (Dowler)

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Gail, I really appreciate your encouragement, and I’m glad my opening line of “The Rub” will serve to spur you on in the name of freedom. It also heartens me to hear that even though you’re not a huge fan of poetry, the poets here at the SCP might be changing your outlook. It’s wonderful to hear you love to write. It would be a real treat to see your first poem published here. Here’s to a year of creativity and, of course, liberty!

  2. Russel Winick

    These are both great, Susan. Wonderful meter and rhyme, with a clear and relatable message. The type of poetry I love most. Your usual fabulous work. Well done!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, I appreciate your wonderful comment and I am thrilled you enjoyed the poetry. I look forward to reading more of yours. Let’s hope 2021 brings with it extra creativity that shines from the SCP pages.

      Reply
  3. Martin Rizley

    It amazes me, Susan, how you are able to take a truly horrible situation, and by looking at it through a humorist’s eye, can make it a matter for poetry that is effervescent, witty and entertaining, with turns of phrase that are delightfully ironic. I particularly love the closing couplet of the second stanza, with the reference to deplorables’ crumbs and despots’ cake; that brought a smile to my face– imagine that, smiling as I read about stolen elections and COVID- 19! That is a gift, Susan, which serves as something of a “vaccine” against the depression virus as we enter 2021. The ability to keep one’s sense of humor in adverse circumstances is a blessing that helps us all to keep things in perspective. For that I am grateful!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Martin, thank you very much for your wonderful and encouraging observations. Until last year, I had never written a political poem in my life. It seems these monstrous times have spurred my inner activist poet into action. I am a little reluctant to admit that the humor shining through is probably drawn from a huge dose of British sarcasm running through my veins. Current affairs have it bubbling up to the surface… I write poems instead of hand-wringing and ranting. For that, my husband is eternally grateful. lol

      Martin, your poetry inspires me and I wish you a creative and productive year ahead.

      Reply
  4. Julian D. Woodruff

    Yes, Susan
    The humor is wonderful, and tempers soured reactions such as mine.
    In your first I love your skewering of the “all in this together” bs (How together do those signs make you feel? It’s the opposite that’s the real deal.)
    The final couplet of the second should be seen by every American. (They richly earn threats existential Whose mandates are so pestilential.)

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Julian – I thoroughly appreciate your comment and I’m thrilled my poems have tempered soured reactions to the current chaos. I also love your rhyming couplets, and hear a political poetical animal beneath your smooth melodious surface. I think he may need to break loose in 2021. I wish you a very Happy New Year, Julian, even though things are pretty rough on the governance front.

      Reply
  5. Joe Tessitore

    Happy New Year, to Susan and Mike and to all!
    Strange to be wishing that, given our collective state of mind.

    Yours is a remarkable gift, and The Society is truly fortunate to have you as a member.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, Mike and I wish the same to you and your family. Perhaps knowledge really is power, and now people all over the globe know exactly what their governments have been doing, they will now be willing to stand up for the freedoms that have been slowly eroded over decades.

      I really appreciate your encouraging words on my poetry. You yourself have been an inspiration to me. You write with a fearlessness and an honesty that spurs me on. It’s tough to speak out in this age of shaming and cancel-culture, and your boldness is admirable. Thank you, Joe, for being the great person and poet you are. I would like to echo your words in saying, The Society is truly fortunate to have you as a member, and I am privileged to be able to read poetry that speaks to my heart. Never stop writing!

      Reply
      • Joe Tessitore

        What a wonderful thing to say!
        I am deeply touched!

  6. Peter Hartley

    Susan – Your poems should be made compulsory reading in all schools from the ages of eleven to eighteen. Children should be tested on them every day, made to recite them verbatim and bastinadoed on both feet when they fail. This isn’t the sort of poetry one should just be allowed to read for leisure in tranquil moments. This is poetry that should be force fed by the bucketload, with the odd salutary kick in the inguinal appurtenances for failure. It is poetry the stegophobe and anybody else frightened of heights should be forced to sing boldly from the rooftops of every cathedral. And do you know what the best bit is? I’ll tell you what the best bit is. The best bit is rhyming sparkle with debacle. That is the most inspired bit of a poem where every other bit is as good as the best bit is, and better.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Peter, what an absolute treat of a comment! Your shining lexical delights make me want to suggest a comment contest to Evan… the criteria being, at least three words that have to be looked up in an historic dictionary, the intellectual capacity of Einstein and the wit of Wilde. But, I have a feeling you would outdo everyone, and I must put the gob iron and Tyrolese bugle first! I almost busted a gut sniggering at the fate of those ‘inguinal appurtenances’ and, as for ‘stegophobe’, this new find has lifted my spirits to the rooftops. As for my sparkle/debacle effort… I always try to find a rhyming gem in mayhem, so I’m thrilled you spotted it.

      Peter, thank you very much! You always manage to make me guffaw with laughter in the face of disaster – I’m sure that would have the PC police itching to gag me. I wish you a poetic year ahead, and I look forward to reaping the benefits. 🙂

      Reply
  7. BRIAN YAPKO

    I always, always enjoy reading your work, Susan. I particularly enjoy the way you combine a rather wry feistiness with humor wrapped up in an elegant, carefully controlled package. I’m not quite sure whether to laugh or cry — maybe a little of both — but you certainly inspire me to think.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you for your comment. It’s wonderful to hear of the array of emotions my poems evoke. The seeds of my political poems begin to sprout with sheer disbelief and anger at what is unfolding before my eyes, and then despair, and then a burning desire to nurture these shoots of thought until they burst forth and bloom on the page with passion, sarcasm, and just enough realism to wake the world up… and then all is calm in the Bryant household… until I start reading the news again. lol In spite of the world’s troubles, I wish you a very Happy New Year, Brian, blessed with poetry and peace.

      Reply
  8. Christopher Flint

    Susan —

    The rollick of your roughshod rides
    that laugh in terror’s face
    paint liberty as self-esteem
    of grit, beholding Grace,
    that understands the sacrifice
    so many dared to face
    who willed to us the destiny
    that courage must embrace.

    Well done!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Christopher, thank you very much for my New Year’s gift of a poem. I love it! I have enjoyed reading your truthful, enlightening and hard-hitting poetry and hope to see much more of your work in 2021. We need to keep our readers informed… albeit poetically. Happy New Year!

      Reply
  9. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, I agree totally with Peter’s Pulitzer winning comments on these two, and all your other work which never fails to stimulate, educate and entertain in equal measure. At this dark time, when it feels like all the joy has been hoovered out of our nation,
    we send best wishes, from this side of the pond, to you and Mike for a happier 2021.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, you and Peter have been pivotal in spurring me on poetically. I am sure I wouldn’t have written half as much if it wasn’t for the encouragement I have received on this site and I thank you for it.

      I am sorry to hear of the draconian measures taken in the UK, and I feel sure we will follow suit… there’s talk of this new Covid strain already, and the implications surrounding the government’s measures should be brought to public light… although, I will admit to feeling like burying my head in the sand and writing about seashells and mermaids at the moment.

      Jeff, Mike and I wish you and your family a better and brighter year ahead. I look forward to reading more of your poetry… I hope the lockdown brings forth verse in abundance!

      Reply
      • Jeff Eardley

        Thank you Susan. I have been trying to write a poem about our present administration. I was going to to call it “Shenanigans” but nothing rhymes with that, so I changed the title to “Frolics”. Best wishes once again.

  10. David Watt

    Susan, it’s always difficult to choose which of your poems I like best. In this instance, the second piece for its emphatic closing couplet.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thank you! I am laughing – the closing couplet of the second poem is such a far cry from the poems I wrote when I lived in England. It serves to prove I’ve turned into a Texan badass.

      Reply
  11. Frank De Canio

    Yu are truly protean, Susan! And for the record I’d never call you non-essential!

    Reply

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