.

Everyday Angels 

inspired by Guadalupe Amejorado (1955-2021) 

They don’t appear in swathes of white   
__On scintillating wing.  
Their heads aren’t crowned with rings of light.  
__They never claim to bring  
Salvation to an ailing Earth,  
Yet I can feel their weight and worth  
__As silently they sing.   

They don’t descend from pearly plane  
__Where shining seraphs fly.  
Instead, they trudge through mud and rain  
__Beneath an iron sky.  
Their poise, their peace, their air of care,  
The wealth of warmth they’re swift to share,  
      Has never passed me by.  

Their joyous voices lift my soul    
__When dawn has lost its song.  
Their presence makes my spirit whole.  
__Their essence makes me strong.   
They are the meek who seek me out  
To crush my fear and quash my doubt   
__When everything’s gone wrong.  

They are the ones (the golden few)  
__Whose gentle splendor gleams—  
The ones who pass the superglue   
__When hope rips at the seams.  
They bathe me in a beaming smile  
That makes the bleakest day worthwhile.  
__They silver tarnished dreams.  

.

.

 

A Woman by Any Other Name 

Reality is fixed. It won’t retreat.  
Contorting words won’t make her obsolete.  
A label’s just a label. It won’t beat  
     The spirit of the female flesh.  
     The splendor of her traits enmesh   
To lift her matchless form above deceit.  
The truth’s beyond syntactical defeat.  
By any other name she’s still complete.  
     She shines in her Creator’s eyes.  
     She’ll never be annulled by lies. 

.

.

Enlightened  

a rondeau

I won’t be played. I won’t be swayed.  
I feel the fire. I’m unafraid.   
I know what’s false. I know what’s true.  
I know what vicious lips can do   
When avaricious souls are paid.   

I see the glint in eyes of jade.  
I witness tricksters ply their trade.  
I hear the slew of spin-and-skew.   
__I won’t be played.   

Too many times I’ve been betrayed— 
Now deaf to Satan’s serenade,
I smell the greed. I watch it chew  
On jellied spines from gutless stew.   
I see right through his masquerade.   
__I won’t be played.   

.

.

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.


NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.


CODEC Stories:

30 Responses

  1. Russel Winick

    I love all three of these. You are one of a kind. “The ones who pass the superglue [W]hen hope rips at the seams.” Special!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you so much, Russel. I needed to keep the poem focused on the realm where these ‘everyday angels’ tread… superglue made it happen and I’m most grateful for the glue and your appreciation.

      Reply
  2. Brian Yapko

    Susan, these three poems are stunning in subject matter, technique and feeling – especially “Everyday Angels.” You use the rondeau form to admirable effect in “Enlightened” – a poem which shows you (figuratively) girding your loins in the battle against the Satanic evil which many yawn at since it has become the new normal – but you go forth exposing lies, calling evil out and never surrendering. There can’t be enough of such poetry lest we become numb to this new normal.

    Your “Woman By Any Other Name” is a proud and articulate homage to authentic womanhood. Truly-born women are endowed by God with certain attributes which cannot be manufactured, not the least of which is the ability to bear children. I share your anger with those who use surgery, chemistry, hateful ideology and linguistic artifice to claim otherwise.

    But of the three I am most moved by your “Everyday Angels.” First, I assume that you are mourning the loss of a friend and for that you have my deepest condolences. Second, you put all cynicism aside as you beautifully recognize your friend’s angelic role in your life and the fact that, like Abraham in Genesis, we sometimes entertain angels without immediately realizing it. This poem delightfully shows how angels may appear with warts and wrinkles, that instead of wearing a halo they may come bearing a tube of superglue. I have the feeling that Guadalupe (a great, resonant name which in Mexico refers to the Virgin Mary) is up there beaming with love and pride. And what a wonderful poetry challenge it would be if we were to all write poems of appreciation to the unsung angels in our lives!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you very much for your perspicacious and generous comment. I’m thrilled you spotted my point with ‘Enlightened’… I simply had to mention the opposite of those everyday angels in case we do indeed become numb to the new normal… a passionless, godless society is my worst nightmare.

      Thank you too for your observations on “A Woman by Any Other Name” – a hard concept for some to get their heads around these days. I’m glad you’re treading the true path with me.

      I am over the moon ‘Everyday Angels’ grabbed you. I often find when I’m standing tearfully close to the subject matter, the words don’t come out quite right. I’m glad they did for you. I have met a few everyday angels in my lifetime and what an honor it’s been. Thank you too for your beautiful words on Guadalupe. She was the church janitor when I worked there, and she made every day shine with her care, appreciation, and love… treasured traits that never passed me by. She shines on in my heart.

      Reply
  3. Sally Cook

    These are very different and, in my eyes, increase your versatility. The first is my favorite, as it speaks of meeting angels under oridinary circumstances.. I know this happens. The world is far more strange than we realize.
    Thank you, Susan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, dear Sally. The world really is strange and getting stranger by the day… in good ways as well as bad. I say we need more of the good, and it comes in many different guises… and shines when and where we least expect it.

      Reply
  4. Jeff Eardley

    Susan, as powerful as ever. I love these three but “Everyday Angels” hits the spot, and the Superglue reference is pure magic. Great work, as ever.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Jeff, thank you very much for your lovely comment… I’ve appreciated that superglue being handed to me by an everyday angel… an experience I’ll never forget and one I simply had to share.

      Reply
  5. Michael Pietrack

    Their essence makes me strong.
    They are the meek who seek me out
    To crush my fear and quash my doubt
    __When everything’s gone wrong.

    This line made me pause and say, “that’s the kind of person I’d like to be.”

    You have such a mastery of the language and use assonance and internal rhyme so well.

    Wait! Am I allowed to tell a married woman “nice assonance!”? If not, sorry Mike!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Michael. I’m thrilled you like those lines. I’m striving to be that kind of person too. I’m most flattered by “nice assonance!” I’m gonna strut my assonance with sass! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Joshua C. Frank

    Susan, these are wonderful, all of them! “Enlightened” and “A Woman By Any Other Name” are both really good, and when I think about it, they have related subject matter: Satan’s various deceptions.

    As a side note, I love women and therefore hate both how men have caricatured women in the manner of a minstrel show and how girls are being encouraged to sacrifice everything that makes them special to the pagan gods of feminism and transgenderism.

    But my favorite is “Everyday Angels.” Clearly, it’s about a departed friend who helped you and others just like an angel… what a blessing to have a friend like that! I’m sure she’s with the actual angels now…

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Josh, thank you very much for your lovely words and wonderful depiction of my poetry. You get exactly where I’m coming from and appreciate what I have to say in days that leave all traces of womanhood trampled on, obscured and mocked.

      “I love women and therefore hate both how men have caricatured women in the manner of a minstrel show and how girls are being encouraged to sacrifice everything that makes them special to the pagan gods of feminism and transgenderism.” says everything, perfectly. I am most grateful for your spot-on take.

      Thank you too for your kind words on Guadalupe… she was one of those people who made a huge difference to my life… and the lives of many others I am certain.

      Reply
  7. jd

    I loved all three too, Susan, especially, “Everyday Angels”. I suspect most of us have met at least one. The question is did we recognize them. It’s obvious that you have and have done such a beautiful job of sharing their goodness.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      jd, thank you very much for your kind and beautiful words. Your question on recognizing these everyday angels is a great one. We are often so focused on the wickedness of today’s world, we are blind to the glorious wonders that surround us… I’m sure there’s a lesson there for us all.

      Reply
  8. Yael

    All three of these poems are gems which display best when set close together, because they enhance each other in depth of meaning. I love how you address the truth of womanhood in the center, in a way which acknowledges and honors the Creator of woman; below that center, in the foundational position, I see your personal testimony of your experience with falsehood and the author of it, who would deny and falsify womanhood (with the ultimate intent of murder). At the top of the ladder you uplift the memory of a now departed woman who has uplifted you during her lifetime and together you succeed in bridging the gap between womanhood and the angelic realm of eternity. Thank you for bringing such truth and beauty into my life today!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Yael, I thoroughly appreciate your fine eye and your astute comment. These poems were linked in an angels/demons theme in which I tried to get across the significance and beauty of the Truth and where that leads. Your comment has lifted my heart. Thank you for your beauty and your honesty… always a ray of sunshine on this site.

      Reply
  9. Paul Freeman

    A thought-provoking trio.

    In trying times the often unheralded angels amongst us do indeed deserve the spotlight.

    ‘A label’s just a label.’ Nothing’s truer, though for some folk labelling is a convenience.

    I was intrigued by ‘Enlightenment’ since freedom of thought leaves us with a spectrum of opinion on which one person’s enlightenment (revelation) might not tally with another’s.

    As always, thanks for the reads, Susan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m glad you found these poems thought provoking, Paul, and you’re most welcome to these reads. Unheralded angels among us do indeed deserve the spotlight – the drive behind ‘Everyday Angels’.

      As for my second poem, I’m not talking about labeling as a “convenience”. I’m talking about skewing labels as a means to cause chaos, division and eradication. I’m talking about labels used to annul women – everything they’ve been through, everything they stand for, everything they are, and everything they want to be, which includes being a champion in their field of sport, and not being written off as a birthing person. Take a look at the comments above for further enlightenment. The good news is many are waking up to this wicked idiocy… hence my final poem.

      Freedom of thought may well “leave us with a spectrum of opinion on which one person’s enlightenment (revelation) might not tally with another’s” – that is exactly what led to Senator Marsha Blackburn asking that contentious question of a SCOTUS nominee… the question everyone could answer a year ago and those who mocked the question can’t answer now. I’m not into the “current thing” – it causes such a mess when it comes to calling a woman a woman or a rose a rose, which, by any other name would smell as sweet. I know that calling a rose a cabbage is a lie.

      Thank you for dropping by and affording me the opportunity to make the point of my poems clear.

      Reply
  10. Mike Bryant

    Susan, Lupe was a real woman. She always took the high road. She was there for us when the truth really mattered. We are surrounded by angels just like Lupe. Your poem honors Lupe and so many other angels in our life.
    Your second poem, also beautifully realized, is also about truth. We live in a post-truth world. Many have fallen for the lies… we see and hear them every day. The lies all stem from the first lie in Eden… that we, not God, are the arbiters of “good and evil.”
    Everyone remembers Herod’s question, “What is truth?” while Truth was standing before his eyes. Our rulers still believe they hold the truth. I can appreciate how easy it is for our rulers to fall into that trap, after all, power corrupts. What I find confounding is how easily the powerless fall for the current lie. I guess there must be some kind of warm fuzzies available to the justice warriors.
    Your third, a perfect rondeau, completes the thought… truth must be held up. The New World Order, transhumanism, and the watered down “justice” that must always include one modifier or another… are not Truth. You stand up for truth… beautifully.
    Nil carborundum illegitimi… and, yeah, your assonance rocks!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, biggest fan… your beautiful observations and continued support mean the world!

      Reply
  11. Geoffrey S.

    You pack a lot into A Woman by Any Other Name. I like how the pronoun “her” could refer to woman, reality or truth. In the Bible, she’s wisdom. “The truth’s beyond syntactical defeat,” is a line for our time. (Forgive me, but I couldn’t help but think that your poem is absolutely true, except for Rosie O’Donnell!)

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Geoffrey, thank you very much for your perspicacious comment and for the smile.

      Reply
  12. Norma Pain

    “I smell the greed. I watch it chew
    On jellied spines from gutless stew.”
    Susan, your creativeness in poetry is so inspiring. I also loved all three poems, especially Everyday Angels. Thank you for these wonderful poems.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Norma, what a lovely comment – I thoroughly appreciate it. Thank you very much.

      Reply
  13. David Watt

    This is a lovely trio of poems Susan. What ‘stuck with me’ in particular was the striking image of passing superglue to allow the mending of torn hope. We need plenty of these repair facilitators.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, you are absolutely right – we do need plenty of these repair facilitators. I am lucky to have met a few during the difficult moments in my life. Thank you very much for your comment.

      Reply
  14. Margaret Coats

    Gentle splendor does indeed gleam in everyday angels, wherever we find them. Thanks, Susan, for noticing one in Lupe, and giving her the tribute of these words that bring others to mind.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Margaret. Lupe was very dear to me indeed. I believe there are more everyday angels than we know… I’ve met a fair few of them on this poetry site.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.