3 Poems by Melanie Simms

Here’s a collection of 3 great poems  reflecting the extraordinary beauty of an “ordinary” town. Thanks to award-winning poet Melanie Simms for her submission.

(“SUNBURY,” “Ode To A Lover On the Susquehanna,” and “The Return”)


These are the recollections of an old town

Where streets are encumbered with uneven pavements

And small businesses face uncertain economies

Yet it is here, in the midst of faces, hardened by poverty

That the rich tones and memorable notes of Sunbury must be remembered; the

Susquehanna shifting alongside her shore, as lithe boats flit across iridescent waves

And an old grey wall stands sentinel, offering testament to the tales of a great


It is here where the moans of the daily trains chug down the old tracks,

And the air, electrified with the past, still echoes the librettos of Lorenzo Da Ponte

This is where you breathe the daily Market Street aroma of the Squeeze In, where

even now one can feast on hotdogs, chips and soda for a beggar’s fee

While enjoying its notoriety for its inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records

For its smallness.

There are other memories not to be forgotten; a certain Hotel Edison whose

ghosts whisper of a time when Edison arrived, searching for new

Methods of light, and photos, still clinging to the hotel lobby walls

Depicting an image of a little ghost boy, still mesmerizing guests and reminding us

That even in the fires of regret, one can still arise victorious!


Ode To A Lover On the Susquehanna

“Ever newer waters flow on those who step into the same waters”


Love needs no language,

Not here,

Along the Susquehanna, watching as she twists and bends

Returning to mouths,

Where sunlight and lovers meet.

Not here,

Where the silver maple and black cherry sway patiently,

Amidst the romantic odes of the meadowlark,

Or the ecstasy of the osprey,

As they dive and reemerge,

Fed by the river.

Not here,

Where the haunting tales of lush mountains

record through the ages,

Those first seedlings of love.

Here, along the river, she reveals us to one another,

As we confess our love, baptized between her gentle waves.

How has she found us?

Here along the Susquehanna, reflecting in our gaze,

the memories of our ancient love’s return.


The Return

The voices of seers

Wage war with their lips

Foretelling a certain defeat

“He won’t return”

Their proclamations beat like Thor’s hammer

Nailing the lid to the coffin

Of our love’s final hour.

But even in the place where love dies, I will look for you

And find us a shelter against the harsh words of those who witness against us.

Defying the fates of Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis

And amidst the tranquil world of dreams, between the veil of life and death

You will greet me, and we will rejoice and embrace, freed from the shackles

Of time’s inequities.

Until then, I will weep in the world of mortal men

Weep against their cruelties

But even in my weeping,

I will stand strong against the ragings of life, knowing the wisdom of the ages:

“A tree that does not bend with the wind, by the wind will be broken”

And oh how I will bend to survive, and reclaim you!

Melanie Simms is an award winning international poet. Her poems have been featured in numerous magazines, literary journals and newspapers including the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, CLAM (UC Berkeley) and Taj Mahal Review. She has been a guest poet on PCN Television and several radio shows including WITF, WKOK, WVIA, WMNF and recently the World Poetry Cafe in Canada. Currently Melanie attends Bloomsburg University where she studies Creative Writing. She currently lives in Sunbury, Pa.  Her website is at: http:www.poetmelaniesimms.wordspress.com

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