Poems by Susan Hagen 2018

SUSAN GJESDAL HAGEN. I have lived in Montana much of my life. I have been in the mental health field for 16 years, and recently retired from work I loved. I have been writing for over 30 years, and now have the time to complete my memoir that focuses on Grief, Loss and the triumphs and trials that went with all the losses. Poetry has helped me express those feelings.

My Name

Where have I been?
Never have I looked up my name
Did my mother look it up before she gave me my name?
Feminine, French, great person

Finding this in Google and seeing what it says
All that in a name
Caring, Intelligent
Never seeing my beauty, but now I know it is there

Years of searching for meaning and never looking at my name
My mother gave me a gift along with her spirit
Lily a flower that relates to my name
Advisor, girlfriend, sibling and protector

This gives me strength and comfort
Even though it’s only a name
All because I joined the poem-athon
That is why I learned my name

Rejoice and feel her spirit
Rejoice in my name
Now I can be my protector
My girlfriend and continue on my path knowing my name.

The Unexpected

They are alive and moving quickly and in different directions
They are hidden or they come out when you least expect them
Let’s run into the woods and see what we can see
Let’s play near the river and go rock climbing
It might move and we may see it
It might stay still and we can miss walking on it
Nothing wrong with my eyes
They see very well
What a trip when we walk in the woods
What a trip when we sit on the grass
Hot weather is eventful in the desert sands
No time for thinking about what we worry about
No time to say I am not going in there
The fear can be overcome
Some love to hold them and pet them
Not me… they are not in my realm of fun.

My Name

Where have I been?
Never have I looked up my name
Did my mother look it up before she gave me my name?
Feminine, French, great person

Finding this in Google and seeing what it says
All that in a name
Caring, Intelligent
Never seeing my beauty, but now I know it is there

Years of searching for meaning and never looking at my name
My mother gave me a gift along with her spirit
Lily a flower that relates to my name
Advisor, girlfriend, sibling and protector

This gives me strength and comfort
Even though it’s only a name
All because I joined the poemathon
That is why I learned my name

Rejoice and feel her spirit
Rejoice in my name
Now I can be my protector
My girlfriend and continue on my path knowing my name.

My Five Angels
My five Angels stood in the wings
Waiting for me to hear them sing
They know me well maybe better than me
My Angels have stood in the wings

They each have a piece of my heart
They each have given me a piece of their heart
Frankie who laughed and gave me joy and taught me to have fun
Dorothy found me and helped my writing life.

Bernie told me stories to nurture my past
Grandma Clara whose hugs and love
Brought me Clara’s Treasures and Hilltop House B&B

Mom your love and smiles so long ago
Stuck with me long after your life was abruptly taken from me
And 20 years later I was able to begin to grieve.
When you became my purpose and the Leeza Show put you on television

These Five Angels have stood in the wings
Holding me close and now I can hear them sing!

Marry Your Muse: Making Lasting Commitment to Your Creativity by Jan Phillips


The spirit and the soul are involved
My life has been saved with creativity
It has taken over when I am sad
It has given me peace and joy

Creativity is part of my life
It is especially important today
It has become more than a thought
It has become a moral obligation

There is power in creativity
The world is filled with creative people
Writers, Artists, Architects, Designers
To name a small few

Let’s use creativity to change the world
There are people looking for ways
They are growing stronger
Never underestimate the creativity in the world

Solemn Sleep

Remembering when I use to pray, “Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
Now I think of that and wonder if it scared me so
Especially when my mother died and left me at age 9
Her death was so fast we didn’t get to say good bye

I remember back then that sleep was a way to forget and not think about my mother
Sleep was a way to cope
No one spoke of her anymore
As I remember sleeping half the day when I was young and growing every day

Now as I am older and older
I seem to take longer and longer
Yet then sometimes the night is fast
The daylight coming through the looking glass
I hear the buses making lots of noise
Sometimes I hear the bang bang of the snowplow in the early morn

Whatever it can take for me
I know my sleep is meant to be
Everything we read says get this many hours of sleep
I may have lost her long ago but my mother can come to me at night

I know that is not exactly so
It is her spirit and maybe her soul
I do believe she is with our Father
AS once I saw her as an Angel with my baby sister

So let’s all get a good rest
See if we can have the solemn sleep
So the next day we can begin refreshed
The strands we make along the way the web we spin to prepare for the day
Let’s meditate and still our minds so we can sleep for the required time.


Crocuses bring joy
white, orange, green colors array
first to come through dirt

In news grizzly bear
reported close to humans
summer mistake death

Separate Self

As I learn from the great teachers I learn I have separate selves
Some of those Separate selves sabotage my efforts to heal
The healer in me thrives on serving others and staying strong compassionate and loving
To say I’m healed is the hard piece of this journey
Healers have hard roads if they have healing to do along the way

Many selves that get in the way
Integrate they say and it will come together as a whole
Boundaries come into play
Set those auras with the rose says Jeffrey
Forgive those that need to be forgiven says Vishen
Just do what you love and believe says Mr. Frost

God is always sending me messengers that lead me to the answers
He sends me surprises along the way that are helping me find my voice
Trust yourself and integrate the separate selves into the Whole self the true self

This has become my mission and purpose
I have learned so much with God’s help
I cry and the tears say; “It’s okay you will make it.”
You are moving on your path to heal and the healer is alive and present
March on little soldier March on as you are now on the right path.

Definition-  Passion:  “strong emotion” is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos.    Came from the etymonline.com resource dictionary


Intense and meaningful
Full of life and love
Anger with a message
Emotion coming out strong

Putting life into an idea
Bringing about change
Not giving in to society’s chorus
Compelling and ardent expression

Leading to a calm
Making life serene
Teaching and learning from experiences
Not giving up on a dream.


1st) To take us lands away

2nd) That bears a human soul

Emily Dickinson


Reading and imagining
To take us lands away
Romance, drama, adventure, mystery
As a youth Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys
Recently reconnected
To feel the years when they were so needed

My mother had died and this was a way to make it through
They shared their lives and one could take part on the page
Waiting to find the next book in the dime store
Kept me occupied with something to look forward to
To live in their lives as mine was now depressing
No girls my age and alone with all boys in my class

Like now writing a memoire
Looking at the page
Reading Memoirs by other writers who feel compelled to tell their stories
Different themes and purpose
That bears a human soul.

Birds Flying

Everywhere they flutter around in the trees
The sounds are hard to pinpoint
The obnoxious crow continues the caw caw caw
Yet in-between there are so many more sounds
Many birds sending out their identity
They fly away if I open the door
Sit still in the doorway and watch and wait
Observe the Blue Jay, Junco, Sparrow, Chickadee and Finch
Hurray for spring as my heart sings

A Quiet Surprise

The soft sound of the rain
Left the birds to move swiftly from tree to tree
Two Blue Jays were back amongst us my first to see both in one spot
Jumping from tree to grass to bird feeder stopping only briefly
I try to step out on my deck but the door as I want to join them, but my door is not quiet and off they fly until they return and on it goes…. The joy of seeing their bantering

Opening my Mind

I am here and it is 10:00 a.m.
Listening to my meditations
Oprah & Chopra and Mind Valley
Enjoying my energy dance with Titanya Dahlin
Keeping my brain balanced is an everyday occurrence
My trauma brain continues to challenge me
The deaths were felt like rejections
They persist and my journey is constant
Now I am free to focus on me
To nurture my soul
To nurture my body by walking and my mind looking at the mountain in front of me
To create and stay focused
To think about my classes and connections
This is the time of the day to begin the creative process
To discover and become open to the day
Whatever that will bring…

The Office Dream

Work is done, of course, I would have a dream
A mysterious girl and a strange setting
It came from the stillness of my sleep early in the morning
I had spoken to a person relating to my job today
Could it have triggered deep feelings?
Was it the meditations with Chopra and Oprah could that triggered deep feelings?
The place was packed with people I knew and didn’t know
There was a strange door that was split leading out after we were in
A young girl and I dressed in pretty pink dresses were moving around like we were invisible
It was obvious when we could not be let in or out of the door
In my office someone was helping a young woman with dark hair in a wheelchair holding a
baby in her lap being pushed up to my desk, but I had no memory of the person
I had forgotten the girl with me was supposed to be in school
Realizing no one was home to pick her up I said, “We have to get you to school.”
In that moment she shrunk into a tiny little being sitting in a chair, and I had to push her with my fingers
She looked a little like my younger sister
I picked her up and put her up on the edge of the counter where the door split
We waited to have someone see us so we could get out the door
I finally snuck out when someone came in, but she found a little hole to fall into
When she came through her pretty dress was all dirty but there she was her regular size
I asked her why she didn’t wait for me to help her and she looked at me and smiled
Then it was over.


What creates stillness is meditation
A way of stilling your mind
Took a long time for me to find this stillness
Trauma brain winding and talking and disrupting so the noise would not stop
To learn about the energy that can pulsate in your hands
Feel it in your body and feel it warm and mine
Stillness to hear your inner voice and find answers that only come when still
Quieting the noise down and seeing colors like blue and green
Tuning out the world and drowning out the negativity
This was a mystery and a feeling of joy to be able to sit there and not fill my head with nonsense given to me by others in the past
Choosing who I want to be is filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and my personality and soul are authentic
Power is a calling that lifts my burdens and lets me write my story.

Birds or Squirrels

Watching the birds out my patio door creates joy
The squirrels are not part of that joy
We have been having it out with the sunflower seeds
Me with my water spray bottle and two of them with their little claws and beady eyes staring back at me
Saying, “Catch me if you can stupid human.”
The birds enjoy the trees, and the birdfeeders that I keep full
They are Juncos, Nuthatches, Chickadees, and recently the Finch
I even saw a blue jay in my trees making its noise that can be annoying, but today it is exciting
They are saying? “Spring is here, but why are we having snow?”
I just watch it melt and take each day as it comes
It can’t last forever. I think the squirrels are here to stay, however.


Summer and winter in Western Montana are not the same
Summer is green and warm

Winter is cold and white

Summer is blue skies and rain
Winter is gray skies and snow

Summer is people hiking, fishing, swimming, farmers markets, and boating
Winter is people skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, and snowmobiling

Summer is barbeques and picnics
Winter is restaurants, and winter carnivals

Summer is crowds heading to Glacier Park
Winter is the park is closed and people planning to come to Glacier Park

Winter is driving on winter roads of snow and ice
Summer is driving on roads clean and maybe summer rains

Winter is snowstorms and snow plows
Summer is work crews and detours

Winter is people lost in the snow and deaths from ski accidents
Summer is drownings and bear attacks

Yes they are opposite with tragedy and adventure
Beauty and splendor
This is Western Montana


Silence comes in many packages like this one
There not paying attention to me
I feel like I am not even alive
They act like I am not here
What did I do wrong?
I don’t know why they are so mean
Silence can be cruel and it can hurt like hell
This silence is controlling and used in many societies
Let’s get away from this silence my inner voice says as I become still
I don’t have to put up with that silence
I have choices and staying in that silence is not my choice…


A body of water with purple hues from the sky
A recent rain that left a slight mist with the glare from the sun peeking through the cloud
Where before seeing this picture in front of me
I felt vacant thinking I could collapse where I was standing
Yet wanting to regain that feeling, and to share this moment
Suddenly, two people older and still in love
Came to look at this peaceful scene playing out in front of us
Watching them, seeing her standing next to him, did give me that feeling of a flame burning inside me
Once again leaving me to write as I reached for my pen letting the words spill out onto the page.


Some days it is a blessing
Some days it is welcome and beautiful
Some days it is playful
Some days it is spectacular
Snow is white soft and a blanket that covers our earth
It can be seen all over the planet
It can cause tragedy
It can create havoc
It can create smiles
Some say it is a gift from God?
Not always a blessing
Not always fun
Controlled by Mother Nature they say
I love it at Christmas time walking and its soft flakes landing on my nose
Children playing, sledding and people running to the slopes to ski
However, today is not one of those days for me
Yet my birds are filling my trees out my window and enjoying my birdfeeders
You got to bless them!
Happy Spring you can’t come too soon!


My love for flowers grows strong
I see them in their last days and am sad as they sit in my vase dying
Yet they are also drying and that gives me ideas for a wreath
Then my thoughts go to my Tulips and my crocuses
Some popping out of the ground as today the ground is showing through.


I Sit Alone

I sit alone watching looking to see if I see a friendly face
No one to connect to that is safe
No one to connect to that sees who I am
No one to connect to that understands my energy or lack of
No one who understands what I say and Mean
No where to go
No where I can be Me
Alone in this valley of beautiful places
Yet feeling connected to this earth and nature
Only an outcast in my mind