Suzanne S. Rancourt

Suzanne S. Rancourt

Suzanne S. Rancourt, Abenaki/Huron, Quebecois, Scottish descent, has authored Billboard in the Clouds, NU Press, (Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award,) murmurs at the gate, Unsolicited Press, 2019, Old Stones, New Roads, MSR Publishing, 2021. Songs of Archilochus, Unsolicited Press, forthcoming October 2023.

A USMC and Army Veteran, Suzanne is also a 2x Best of the Net nominee. Please visit:

Silent Walk

who planted this olive tree
thick with hard pressed timelessness

who are the feet that pilgrimed
pass this tree to make peace with Poseidon
feed the springs
make well their bodies
heal at the sulphur baths to be resurrected
at the alluvial of bodies buried

wrap bones in sacred cloth
carry back to hearths – homes of lost souls
sail in canvas of salt and sun

this hope of fresh love
billowed my heart
just before the horizon curved
and the mast became a bobbing dot of shadow
lost in the trough to Elysium

i can’t recall the angles of sextants sighted
on merciful constellations – my aged eyes narrowed –
search for other worlds – other times

i am breathing
this olive tree into my heart
it remembers the souls
that pass through in silent march from sea
to land and back again
i want a dolphin that arcs above white caps
thinking of lovers
where water meets shore
bleeding sun
wind that shivers across the sedges
lips grazed with whispers into the curve of my neck
until i remember my home of water
the clean feel of kisses on my back
the freedom to sluice
between troths of time

(From Old Stones, New Roads Main Street Rag Publishing 2021)

Acropolis Oya1 Overlooks the Bay

Oh, enelysios, we greet
the summer dawn
gulls quiet, doves hushed
fishing boats troll
their exit from Agios Giorgios

I woke startled from this fetid dream
a tangle of taught possibilities and discomfort
nippled volcanoes emerged
and the ocean soothed the battle bronte
washed the mythos of human existence –
goats, donkey saddles, local honey

ants – if they sleep – are the first to awaken
even they go back for the dead
cannibal or not – nothing goes to waste
is still honoring atop their shield of carapace

Oh, enelysios, I kept the oath three times
swept forth across the plains as wind shears
of justice and triage
I who remain by the alter
I who remain by the olive tree
I who remain by the sacred well
clears your way – blaze doors with the sword of Astrape
abandon not my post

More ancient than these chiseled stones
spit forth from the annals of Khaos –
I remember and return – Oh, enelysios,
I smear survivors’ guilt
on fresh bread to start my day
this is the sea you pour
on the alter rock of broken amphorae

1 Greek spelling is Oga pronounced Oya Santeria owner of the marketplace,
keeper of cemetery gates, winds of change, ferocious female warrior wields lightning.

(From Old Stones, New Roads Main Street Rag Publishing 2021)

Little Lake, Pond, or Bay

we are in
the crook of the shore
a subtle bend
like the back of a knee
not angled like a square
but curved as a fertile crescent
of jaw

a cove of moment
where my palms graze the burn
on your shoulders
you shiver from the newness
absence creates when filled
with unspoken stillness

our anticipation navigates ‘round
the precipice of bone we lean into
the tension – almost
my nipples skim your chest’s contours
our tongues swim at depth through mouths searching
we press our bodies
for roads our fingers find years later

“we explore each other,” you said,
our compass of desire

(From Old Stones, New Roads Main Street Rag Publishing 2021)

My Feet Still Burn

i am the dust between toes
thorns in roman soldiers’ feet
that marched upon the spring of lambs
exile on Milotopos Machos
cartwheeling the ridgeline
a Langadha wind-shear scythes
these medicine plants – their blossoms
sprawl across battle fields
the land holds millennia festered wounds
crickets the sound of windmills
still grind

(From the forthcoming book Songs of Archilochus)

Chamomile Agora

rest easy Parthenon warrior singers in your marble
presence along the walk to Odeon of Agrippa
the singing place with memories, odes, victories
and defeats bound by your slick innocence
stoic is your pragmatic death chiseled as fish scales
Poseidon’s crescent lappings
who were the sculptors here where Athena mourned
and Paul defended peace on the Rock of Ares?

the magpies land accordingly, set down lightly
bob from shoulder to trident to head
your muscular trunks petrified as your gaze
scans steady the southwest fountain house
skims poppies that grow along the wall
between the judas trees
and sycamores

(From the forthcoming book Songs of Archilochus)

Poetry in this post: © Suzanne S. Rancourt
Published with the permission of Suzanne S. Rancourt