She taps words into inklings, urges
mute images to resonate.
The light. The dark. Visible yet ghostlike. Unstoppable beauty. I imagine Jesus gazing upward, drinking in the voice of Almighty, and on bone-lonely nights, calling that voice Abba.
Light is something like a story I tuck into each poem and painting, a moment or memory I leave as letters and marks and smudges. I smear paint on canvas or paper to show you what I see; I assemble letters and words and hope to help you understand; I shape rock, wood, and wire into objects you may love.
You will recognize these things, but I cannot give them life.
Yet sometimes, when I stand back, something in the work lives. Breathes.
So I try it again. Oh yes, I go at it again.
I want to know and be like the Creator who creates life from dust.
And speaking of dust—my father was a “rock hound,” among other things, so I grew up camping on the prairie, spent weekends scanning the dirt for agates, jade, garnets, and sapphires. I found good things nestled in the earth.
Any place is a good place to scout for such treasure (and I’m only slightly obsessed with stones that have a single stripe). Uh-huh. They are out there…lots of them.
A personal note: A relentless perfecter, no painting is safe from Susan’s urge to refine, no poem immune from edits.
Susan considers all art the offspring of drawing. Her media of choice includes graphite, charcoal, watercolor, oil, etching, pastel, rock, wood, and wire. Winner of numerous local and regional prizes, she also accepts commissions, including a tryptic in oil, showcased in St. Peter’s Hospital, in Helena, Montana, and commissioned portraits housed in several notable collections.
Susan Cowger is the author of a poetry collection, Slender Warble (Wipf & Stock/Cascade, 2020), and a chapbook, Scarab Hiding (Finishing Line Press, year 2006). Founder and editor emeritus of Rock & Sling, her most recent publications include Ekphrastic Review, Windhover, Perspectives, Crux, McGuffin, Presence, and In A Strange Land: Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets (2019). She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University and her BA in Art with teaching credentials from Montana State University. Contact her on Facebook and at susancowger.com