TO INHABIT THE FELT WORLD Nominated for da Vinci Eye Prize

The photograph is from the WaterLight series.

The photograph is from
the WaterLight series.



I’m honored that my new book TO INHABIT THE FELT WORLD has been nominated as a finalist for the da Vinci Eye prize for cover art. The cover image is from my WaterLight series.

Waiting: Fall

Waiting: Fall


For Love of Red


Red silk wet on pine needles.

Maple and sumac glimmer red against the road

neither red as the red wool blanket

in my blue room.



Coyote families sing to each other in the dusk

sun flares redden mountains

sky blue as lapis lazuli

until moonless black night uncovers stars.





Cold Blue



blue scraps of sky

crack out clouds


dull winter ground

rigid brown



snow we’ve longed for




clouds bank black against less black mountains

flying snow crosses dusky sun

fractured into winter rainbow


Red Twig


Morning fog lifts its wet weight

red twig shines

in remembrance.


Clouds in a prism of urgency

rush to the sea


An insect passes

lost in last summer’s litter.


night draws each body

over moonless horizon


Jupiter rises

stars overwhelmed

orbit toward dawn








shapeless quiet slides over the roof

colors hide

in deepening dusk

rain channels bark


fog drips on a forest mouse

somewhere near      a song

Atlantic Flight

Atlantic Flight




sky snow


scumbled over the landscape

undulates under blue clouds


late sun




half the spectrum broken

over the roiled  surface


defined by ivory-black ribbons

of frozen rivers


no bird dares the winter sky


this titanium cylinder

radiant in the stratosphere


flies high in the face of sense.



Box of Light ~ Caja de Luz

Box of Light


At six in the afternoon

the air is heavy with sun

filled with intimations of the coming evening

still holding a lovely light


A motionless moment


I put my memories of the future

in this box of light.


Caja de luz


A las seis de la tarde

el aire está pesado de sol

lleno de insinuaciones de la noche que se acerca

sostiene todavía una luz feliz


Un momento inmóvil


Pongo mis recuerdos del porvenir

en esta caja de luz.



Susan Gardner writes “with no other proof but memory.”

She urges us

“take one breath,


then one more.”

Susan takes us by the throat to Toronto Island, Montserrat, the New York Library, a hospital, into seemingly veiled poems that leave haunting images for us to reinterpret, to meditate upon. These are poems for the poet-breath within us. One reading, one long breath is not enough.  Within Susan Gardner’s writing is the deep breath we take at the end of the book that says, I have heard the roar of a poet responding to the love and pain in a private, felt world.

As a fellow poet, I am revived by this gathering of penetrating tenderness.

– James McGrath, author of At the Edgelessness of Light, Dreaming invisible Voices and Speaking With Magpies


Susan Gardner’s spare but urgent collection of poems, To Inhabit the Felt World, is “the roar of alive”

I don’t believe I have ever read lines of such ferocity, honesty and pain. Yet Gardner continues, observes, listens, “fog drips on a forest mouse/ somewhere near a song.” grows, creates,

Hand circles inside black boundary,

water reflects from black surface

ink blackens

marbles over inkstone


slowly, slowly  readies itself for the brush.

And she opens herself to pasiion, “ the body of one/ raging with joy/ against the surface of the other.” “Not the thickness of a thread is between us… nothing between us but this hour.”

To Inhabit the Felt World is a remarkable collection by a remarkable poet/panter/photographer. – Elizabeth Raby, poet, author of  INK ON SNOW