My name is Susan Jarvis Bryant and I love photography and poetry. I had immense fun combining my two passions to create these three poems. The Texas Coastal Plains, with the breathtaking beauty of wildlife and scenery it provides, has inspired me to pick up a camera and start capturing the images. I hope my poems convey that joy and I hope my joy is contagious.

Many eyes go through the meadow,
but few see the flowers in it —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Still

I aim and shoot with fierce alacrity
As artistry unfurls before my eyes
In all its charismatic clarity:
The gauzy glint of scudding dragonflies;
A butterfly’s sartorial gaiety
Caught wafting in kaleidoscopic skies.
I wonder at God’s windfalls on the wing
And capture the euphoria they bring.  

I focus on a crocus clad in dew,
And snap its purple sparkle in the splash
Of morning’s titian prelude to the blue,
Immortalizing solar-swathed panache.
I revel in the panoramic view
Of dawn’s ensemble freeze-framed in a flash.
On nimbose days of rayless, grey despair
Pictorial glory begs I stop and stare.  

I gaze on pollen-peppered legs of bees
And sticky flicks of toads’ tongues trapping flies;
The whisker tips of squirrels in the eaves
And ramrod ears of deer seized by surprise;
Cicadas’ amber husks on limbs of trees,
A shy moon on the rise as twilight dies.
I marvel at the techno-alchemy
That floods my thirsty eye with ecstasy.

Gifts of every ilk and every shade
Scurry, stalk and scamper, sway and soar.
The feathered, furred, and petaled scenes portrayed
Are accolades to Eden’s sacred core.
I ponder on celestial hands that made
Each miracle my lens draws to the fore.
My camera’s splendor and its untold worth
Lie in my glimpse of heaven gracing earth.  

Exposure

Coiled upon the flinty ground—
    A fiend of scaly skin.
Goosebumps spread. I hear the sound
    Of terror pound within
Just as glamor strikes my eye;
    Its checker-patterned draw
Is treasure that invokes a sigh—
    My fear begins to thaw.

Awe melts the fool who saw a ghoul
    (A horror to abhor)
When witnessing a graceful jewel
    Adorning my drab floor.
The russet eyes and olive head
    Are flairs of fine design;
This pretty reptile’s quelled my dread—
    This phobia of mine

Is laid to long-awaited rest.
    A garter snake is proof
That my abode is often blessed
    From basement to the roof,
And then beyond to pondlife bliss
    Where un-kissed caudates dwell;
Where once upon a croak or hiss
    I used to run like hell.

Though remedy is not complete;
    There is one final battle.
I’ll know I’ve got this torment beat
    When unfazed by a rattle…
But only if my camera zoom
    Grants the gift of distance,
And brings me to the beastie’s bloom
    Sans shivers of resistance.

Shots

a rondeau

I feel the buzz; I crave the gleam
Of stratus cloud and citrus beam.
My camera simply can’t deny
The rush in spark of firefly,
    And cirrus trips in tangerine.

I’m lifted by lush leas of green,
The bird, the bud, the beetle’s sheen,
Is in each fix that hits my eye—
    I feel the buzz.

I’m up for kicks—I’m ever keen
To hit the phlox and foxglove scene
Neath summer’s glow in sun-drunk sky;
My click addiction makes me high.
With every shot that fills my screen—
    I feel the buzz.


About the author: Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Bryant 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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