Old Stones, New Roads / Suzanne S. Rancourt


Old Stones, New Roads

poems by

Suzanne S. Rancourt

ISBN: 978-1-59948-857-8, 90 pages, $15 (+ shipping)

Release Date: April 19, 2021

The Advance Sale Discount for this title has now expired. For those who prefer to pay by check, the price is $19/book (which includes shipping + applicable sales tax) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. 


Sundress Best of the Net Nominee, Suzanne S. Rancourt, is of Abenaki/Huron descent. Author of Billboard in the Clouds (Northwestern UP) received the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award, and murmurs at the gate (Unsolicited Press, 2019). She is a USMC and Army Veteran who holds degrees in psychology, writing and expressive arts therapy. Suzanne is widely published. Please visit her website for a complete publication list: www.expressive-arts.com

Old Stones, New Roads is a poetic journey that crosses landscapes and histories, as both human and animal. Rancourt’s strong and lyric voice does not back down when challenged by memory or history. Old Stones, New Roads is a poetic journey of capture and release that is weaved with the poet’s own perfect gossamer thread. ~CMarie Fuhrman


Grounded in the good earth, the past is ever present in the these poems that are, in and of themselves, collectively and individually Old Stones New Roads. Borne of an old soul, translucently touched by the spirit of elders and ancestors as they mist between us on the slightest breeze, the merest ripple, the first and last light of this hour to the next. An invocation to the ancients for guidance through this dire present. ~Mike Jurkovic


We’re long accustomed to the idea that lyric and narrative threads are two different things, and images, too, are their own spool of yarn, and that even past and future should have different tenses. Suzanne Rancourt’s Old Stones, New Roads takes poetry out of its compartment syndrome. Her poem is not a bird in the sky—her poems are the sky and the long winding path up the mountain to bring us there. ~Barrett Warner



I am a child again
perched as eagle in lean
extending white pine
ignoring the earthly hunters
I cannot stop this pull
my heart tethered to the sky
I climb to teetering ethers
I stretch as mist
along the silver thread thrown from the heavens

I am the breath
I am tall as tops of trees dripping rain
making wood slick and stones shine
mountain’s breath settles into chill
people are calling my name
my mother calling my name
my father calling my name
my grandfather



Two Fingers On The Rocks


It’s always Happy Hour in the kitchen at Dad’s house
because my sister is too short to change the bat’try
in the clock over the china cabinet filled with delicate aspirations
and memories that Mum held precious
for as long as possible
until the morning the cancer transported her
zipped her out through the hole of the braided sweet grass circle
that still hangs in the elbow of the brass wall lamp
that hung above Mum’s hospital bed – a beacon –
a lighthouse – a moon – a star – to follow across
it’s always Happy Hour somewhere

We walk into this bar fresh off roads of light
stars for feet and we believe in service
we believe wherever they touch
sacred plants grow or water weeps blue crystals
that tumble through this pen stirring Gin like swirls on paper,
on flesh – cursive conduction of air on grasses razor edges
shrill with scraping

It’s always Happy Hour somewhere
just not here





tufts of new powdered snow
flutter to ground

by idyllic blue sky
morning sun – stars glint from dry powder
across the back meadow

a gentle nudge and
snort from horse nostrils

puff blown across dandelion seed heads or
the underbelly breath feathers Eagle gives
this vision

this reminder that shape and form
is a manner of containing
that which cannot

receive white feathers from the sky
brush against darkness
preen the way for light



Old Stones as Photo Albums


my brothers fathers lovers husbands are in these stones
mottled with glacial nicks, gouges
softened by moss hands cupping roundness
lives stopped
by a sudden pull down into earth’s center

paused by swirls of lives that continue
these stones are snap shots of each hope crashed
and still glisten
in autumn rains and spittled snow flurries

fragrant memories with each marriage
burnt to powdered ash
blown to the readied soil by each graveside I stood
i think of this
watching snow tuft feathers flutter to hallowed ground
melt with a whisper

the coltsfoot wheezes its stark yellow into spring
between concrete slab cracks moist with top water run off
still thick with last year’s moss
and waits for sun


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