From Heathrow to Houston

I heard my words would never change a thing
From those who had a nose for senseless stuff.
They warned me that my odes would never bring
Me joy. They cursed my verse as puffs of fluff—
Wisps of worthless whispers in hot air
That blew of blissful spheres that don’t exist.
They brushed off all my lithe, linguistic flair
As feckless fancy clouded in Scotch mist…

Until I rose on silver wings and flew
To one who thought my words beyond compare—
To one who felt my passion burn through blue
To roar in soaring dreams that poets share…

Dreams that braved naysayers and wild skies
To dance in rhythmic souls with lovestruck eyes.



Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.

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30 Responses

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Julian. Mike and I are celebrating our eleventh wedding anniversary today – poetry really does change lives 😉

  1. Mike Bryant

    Happy Anniversary Sweetest Heart… I never thought your words were beyond compare… I knew it, and I still do.
    All my love…

  2. Russel Winick

    Lots of senseless stuff out there, while only you can soar as you do. Congratulations to you both!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, what a lovely comment… I thank you wholeheartedly for it!

  3. Brian Yapko

    Susan, I see giddy joy, immense satisfaction and a heaping, piquant side-dish of “take that you cynical naysayers” in this delightful poem which shines with your usual flair. Your use of alliteration in this one is confined to the cynics who apparently babble on — clearly stuck in their pessimistic, tongue-tied narrative while you soar on into poetic, romantic bliss with words that are unusually straightforward and, ironically, more powerful as a result. The “to one, to one, to roar” sequence is dynamic and dynamite and your final couplet: “Dreams that braved naysayers and wild skies/To dance in rhythmic souls with lovestruck eyes” — though highly restrained in poetic devices — is sheer poetic bliss. I love this poem. Happy Anniversary to two of my favorite poets!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you so very much for this fabulous comment. I’m sniggering at the ‘piquant side-dish’ observation. I have every reason to snigger.

      This was one of those poems that came straight from the heart onto the page, effortlessly. I think that gives it more of a natural conversational feel, which I think suits the subject matter… it’s me without my mascara and lipstick.

      Brian, thank you very much for your beautiful blessings on our special day.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    The hardest step in any human being’s life is to recognize who you are, and what you are meant to do, and to disregard everything and everyone around you that is screaming the opposite.

    Congratulations, Susan. You’ve gone from Heathrow to Houston. God bless you and Mike, and sincerest best wishes on your anniversary.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, you are so right. It took me over four decades to trust my own judgment above those judging me, and since then I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been.

      Thank you very much for your wise words and your wonderful anniversary wishes.

      • Damian Robin

        Hi courageous, determined, and multi-talented Susan!
        Thank you for your poem (ringing with a bit of England — that brings the question of why you went to Texas — Perhaps it was to be with Mike who you’d already met — and perhaps he had a plumber’s magnet to draw your steely being in).

        Here’s some more perhapses and projections . . .

        Perhaps (I’d say, because I do not know you that well)
        you once were marginalia and put away,
        were told “some poets do make ’it’ but yours won’t sell”
        and so in conversation they became the ‘they’
        that bloat big in their boots to trip you on your way.

        They’d gloat, “Your stuff could cover up a chocolate box,
        a picture of plumped airy-fairy filler-in
        because it is so simple and too orthodox,
        naive, part-childlike, innocent, . . .” Yet brimming in
        straightforwardness, and to the point, and genuine.

        And, as you showed sweet subtlety right off the bat,
        with fruitful charms of inner rhyme and figs of speech,
        they’d pat your head because your meaning seemed off-pat
        and then they’d clamber to a rambling hammered speech
        about the mores of ‘poesy’ only you could reach.

        Perhaps my sketch of unseen setbacks in your life
        conveys a sense of inner strength that saw you through
        to find your core as poet, soul, supported wife,
        to trust your judgement over those who would judge you —
        for me (and maybe many more) your tale rings true.

        “ It took me over four decades to trust my own judgment above those judging me, “
        a quote to savor.

        Congrats to you both in big cowboy hats!!!

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Damian, your comment and the beautiful poem accompanying it has brought extra sunshine to my day and I am glowing in the golden wonder of your perhapses, all of which could be metaphors for a huge swathe of my life. I adore your poem! Thank you very much indeed!

        I will say this – love is simple. Love for poetry, love for family, love for friends, love for one’s one and only… if love becomes complicated, perhaps it’s not love. To me, love means understanding, and if you don’t, putting yourself out to try – if you don’t want to try, then it’s not love. You wouldn’t believe where that little bit of philosophy has led me… well you would, because I’ve told you while wearing a Stetson and cowgirl boots. 😉

  5. jd

    Your verses could never be “puffs of fluff” unless you tried
    for them. Many congratulations to you and Mike on your
    special day.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment, jd – I’m growing to like “puffs of fluff”, especially when they’re scudding above me while I’m sipping a glass of bubbly on my anniversary. 😉

  6. Jeff Eardley

    Susan/Mike, your poetry has changed our lives over here. Can we wish you the happiest of anniversaries. You guys are amazing.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, thank you very much for your continued encouragement and support, and for your beautiful anniversary wishes. You are amazing!

  7. Yael

    That’s beautiful Susan! Happy anniversary to you both and thank you for enriching my life with your linguistic flair. I hope we get to share eternity together on silver wings.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Yael, thank you for your wonderful wishes and your beautiful thought… I am hoping eternity together on silver wings is on our horizon.

  8. Norma Pain

    I believe your words of truth and beauty will have changed many people across the world. Thank you for this lovely poem and congratulations to you and Mike on your anniversary.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Norma, thank you very much for this lovely comment. Thank you too for being a poetic blaze of sunshine on this site. You always manage to bring a smile to a world that is in desperate need of one.

  9. Shaun C. Duncan

    You seem to be able to write these faster than I can read them. That you can do so with such impeccable craft and linguistic flair is awe-inspiring.

    And I hadn’t even noticed you and Mike share a surname. Happy anniversary to you both.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sorry I missed this, Shaun. Thank you very much for your lovely comment and your anniversary wishes. As for writing poems quickly, if I’m extremely passionate about a subject, the poems seem to write themselves… there’s an awful lot in the news just lately to stir me into action. I am hoping it won’t always be like this… we could all do with a little peace, and I am certain visitors to the SCP website will soon get tired of my name… now synonymous with doom and gloom. 🙂

  10. Margaret Coats

    Susan, I’m sure Mike thought you were a sonnetful of sugar served on silver wings. Lovely poem to recall the flight!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Margaret. I hope your silver wings fly you home from the Jubilee festivities safely and smoothy.


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