a positive path for spiritual living

Cardinal – a poem by Sue Oringel


Easter, 2023

A slash of blood against the snow,
against the black, barren trees of grief,
this regal being in red robes comes
with black moustache and beard–
his consort nearby flitting in pink
petticoats and pale lipstick–to tell you
what you loved has not died,
but is only sleeping, in another form

and will return to you in the season
of new growth, will take root
in your heart to flower again. Cardinal:
basic, fundamental, of highest importance,
spirit’s great gift winged to you
in the body of a bird.

—Susan Oringel

about Susan Oringel

I am a local poet, writer, and psychologist whose full-length book of poetry Carnevale was published by David Robert Books the end of November, 2023.  Carnevale is a journey in poetry through the lives and deaths of my parents–who both grew up in Coney Island in the 30’s and 40’s–and of my partner Don Howard, all of whom died within a five-year span from 2002-2007.  It is also a remembrance of foods, cooking, laughter, get-togethers, Kennedy’s assassination and the bombing of the Twin Towers, memories both personal and national, and of my passage through grief and the trudging steps taken back toward the living.

book cover“The poems of Carnevale grow in intensity as they go––as recollection grows closer in time and intimacy, they invite the joys of Eros in, and then, with ‘the awful fact of after…’ deal so movingly with loss and the transit of grief: ‘What’s left, a love that flares inside…’ And, in their strong cadences and the eloquent parallels of their images, the poems open that interior to us, ‘And then begin again.’”
—Eleanor Wilner, Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems

Sue will offer a Poetry Reading on Sunday, March 17 at 12:00 pm
Copies of Carnevale will be available for purchase.