Susan Birkeland
January 18, 1961 ~ Nov. 18 2006


City Of Love

Sing to me from budding trees

Carry on and carry less
O My City
O My Lover

A hometown that needs no defenses?
Love without envy?
An easy life?
A happy death?

Know these blue skies and clean water
for every thirsty foreign child
friends of friends I've never met
smiling fat girls and
uncles in freedom's lucky trance.

Mercy stands by the road
drawing circles in the dry red earth
with the corner of his soft boot.

My father is an optimist.
My mother, slow and old and practical.

What holds us together.

City of Love
The Return of Mercy

Some day.

Some say.

Some do say.

© Susan Birkeland

The Bruised Angel Almanac by Susan BirkelandThis poem is from Susan Birkeland's
chapbook of poetry and drawings
"The Bruised Angel Almanac" (2006)

available from Zeitgeist Press





©Susan Birkeland

Susan Birkeland was a poet, painter, performance artist and drama therapist. Her work has appeared in Left Curve Magazine, The North Coast Review, Puck Magazine, Zen Baby, The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The North Beach Journal, The Trinity Review, Pangolin Papers, and An Eye For A Eye Makes the Whole World Blind.

Susan Birkeland lived and loved in San Francisco,


Great News! the production of
the anthology HARBORS of the WEST (sounds of harbour) has begun.

Poet Susan Birkeland starts the book with her CITY OF LOVE.
The w-site:*

Please visit the excellent production site  that Fred Schywek has made for Harbors of the West.
It was Fred and Annmarie Sauer who organized the 2nd European Festival of Poetry and chose
our dear Susan as well as poet laurette devorah major to be included.
You can read more about that below.

September 17, 2011
2nd European FESTIVAL of POETRY

Antwerp, Belgium
Two of the poets whose work will be presented at this Festival were found in San Francisco.
devorah major   Susan Birkeland
devorah major and Susan Birkeland

Poets, translators as well as the festival producers,
Annmarie Sauer and Fred Schywek the organizers for the
2nd European Festival of Poetry and Hafenklänge, Havenklanken, Sounds of Harbor, a multi-lingual project of internet publishing.  went online seeking western poets to participate in, they found devorah major, San Francisco Poet Laureate 2002 through 2006,
and our own dear Susan Birkeland. And they did not even realize at first that Susan was no longer available for poetry readings having left this worldly plane, lost to Breast cancer, age 45 in 2006.


Annmarie Sauer first contacted me in February 2011 to check on copyright.
I contacted Susan's beloved sister Debbie Birkeland and she gave her permission for them to use Susan's poetry.
Annmarie and Fred translated two of Susan's Poems and one was also translated into song, all three to be performed at the Festival. They even came here to San Francisco to visit and have a few of Susan's friends record several of her other poems which will be available to hear at the Festival as well.

Visit Annmarie's blog Muddy Roads and dusty Trailsfor more on her work and their visit to San Francisco -and the other good works she does as well.

A trilingual anthology called Harbors of the West was produced and sold online from World Internet Books (spring 2012).

I feel that what happened for Susan is of great significance.
Susan Birkeland did not even have to be able to show up - to receive this honor.
They were able to feel Susan's spirit, her loving kindness and profound compassion, through those few poems she left in her only chapbook,

The Bruised Angels' Almanac published 2006 by Zeitgeist Press
The whole experience makes me smile and I like to imagine Susan is smiling too.





















Announcement:, is no longer online. As time allows,
I will be transferring here more of by Susan Birkeland's poetry
and those poems written in memory of her by her friends.
Nicole Savage, editor,


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