Age: senior citizen
Publications: Several poems in the 8-book series A Cup of Comfort
What’s your background in writing?
I began my writing career in a light-hearted way many years ago, jotting down limericks and silly poems for family and friends at work. As a young teacher, I found these frivolous poems a fun way to relieve stress. Never would I have anticipated that one day I would be penning serious spiritual poetry and devotionals! That didn’t happen until I took early retirement due to chronic back pain. At first, I was distraught and lost, wondering, “I used to be a teacher. Now who am I?” With a lot of quiet time thrust upon me, I turned to writing for solace. The Lord began to pour poetry into my soul. I can only credit Him for any success I’ve had.
What do you love most about it?
Writing poetry can be very therapeutic. For two years I taught a class for the Cancer Center on “Poetry and Expressive Writing as Therapy”. Poetry is a succinct way to get one’s thoughts and feelings out and to deal with them constructively. I’ve always loved words and playing with them. Poetry enables me to use words in a creative way, much like a painter uses his brush and palette, or as a sculptor uses stone and chisel, or as a composer uses notes to express himself. I enjoy poetry, as it employs rhythm and sound to create a picture artfully arranged–much like music. I write primarily Christian-themed poetry and devotionals, and I find that the process helps me focucs on the beauty and goodness of the Lord. It’s a form of worship for me. Writing poetry draws me more deeply into His heart.
What inspires and motivates you to write?
Knowing God’s love-beyond-love for us inspires me to put pen to paper in order to share His perfect, unending love with others. Our two self-published books were birthed for that very reason. The Way Home is the Gospel message and was written to share the Lord’s beautiful way of redemption with those who are lost. Grace Notes was written with believers in mind. It’s a book of encouragement and comfort for Christians who are going through difficult times. I find it very gratifying when our readers share how they were comforted and sustained through my words and my husband’s photographs.
Are there other areas of your life where you express creativity?
I enjoy doing readings as Bible studies, church luncheons, and women’s teas. I also enjoy playing piano and ukulele. I am trying to teach myself the harp right now.
An amber afternoon, offspring of autumn,
Gently adorns the woods for fall.
Sunlight sifts through crimson foliage,
Speckling the forest floor with elegant eyelet patterns.
Exquisite hour, you etch this sylvan world in gilded splendor,
Even as dying signals the imminence of winter,
And the world is tinged with muted melancholy.
Gone is the wild, winged freedom of summer,
And the lingering twilight of lush, halcyon days,
Attended by comforting, cricket-song vespers.
Gracious harbinger of the loss that is to come:
Your cool hand soothes the furrowed brow of time.
The year’s youth is slowly fading…
Into an amber afternoon.
–Susan E. Ramsden
jagged shards of self-esteem
battered brittle bits of dreams
splinters of declining wealth
shattered glass of broken health
fragile, faltering, fractured prayer
hardened hopes dashed in despair
vanishing, vanquished expectation
reaching up in desperation
who can salvage scraps like these?
to bring some comfort and appease.
who can gather the debris
and make it beautiful for me?
I am the Artist of your soul.
I’ll redesign and make it whole.
Relinquish to Me every care.
Release the things that laid your bare.
These broken pieces I can use
To form true beauty, if you choose.
I’ll gather all that has been shattered,
And create a lovely pattern.
My love will make from stones of strife
A graced mosaic of your life.
–Susan E. Ramsden