My name is Sue Paraszczuk. I was born 50 years ago in Oldham, a small mill town in the North West of England and thus acquired the name Susan Dale. My current surname was acquired by marriage to a British born Ukrainian from whom I've been separated for two and a half years. I escaped him after a 20 year reign of psychological terror for which I accept part responsibility. No one is totally evil and he was brought up in the long shadow of Stalin by parents who were unable to voice the suffering they endured and unable to understand the true nature of their demons but then we all have trouble doing that.

After working as a nurse in Accident and Emergency for several years I went back to school in 1995 to study for a degree in psychology. I now teach part time in Higher Education and have been involved in a few small research projects. I'm considering doing a Ph.D. next year if I can get the funding. Last year when I was at an all time low emotionally and financially I met Neil who was also suffering and I guess we saved each others lives. We now live together in a house that costs us less than £40 a week ( a miracle find) with a huge garden that has become almost sacred. Its a place where we escape from the world, entertain good friends and neighbours and their kids and pets and potter away in the sun when it shines. We may even decide to divorce our respective spouses and go legal..................right now, though, other things seem important like trying to figure out why it is that we live in a world where it gets harder and harder to speak the truth of what we really are. A world where it seems that our species has forever been promoting with the rhetoric of human kindness some amazingly innovative ways of being cruel to each other......


You held me to you too close
Believing I was a part of yourself;
So close that you couldn't see me
And I forgot myself
In the tangled compulsion
Of your needy arms.
My I drowned in your powerless parsing
Of objective clauses.

Your fear of amputation
Made the heavy bricks of obligation
With which we built our stronghold
Calling it fidelity.
We built a deep moat and closed the drawbridge.
And you kept me tethered there, inside
With a cord that must never be cut.

But how you suffered as I festered
In your cold womb;
Poisoning you with the oozing toxins
Of my impossible grief
Which I somehow kept concealed, refused
Beneath the stretched and smiling skin
Of commanded love.

You must have felt me writhing inside you
Struggling to get out;
Yet you resisted parturition for so long
And my birth
After such a long and painful labour
Has left us both worn out and you

Now I'm free from your confinement
I feel like a motherless child
Can't you recognise me now
And understand my cry of hunger?
Won't you listen for the empty spaces
Between my verbs to be
Which are full of my desire for complements?

Copyright © 2000 by Sue Paraszczuk


Mind is method
Communicating body
…………..a speaking
in three dimensions.

Which is also
Which is inside them
Caught up in the movement
Of time's

Are pointilist paintings
we can't unframe ourselves
…and all our points
are spoken into
some of us weave
while others spin.

Copyright © 2000 by Sue Paraszczuk


I'm not the place
Where you might find some secret

Hidden there with just your name on it.

If you think you see this when
I look at you
you're looking in the glass
at some manufactured self
not me simply
at you

Copyright © April 1999 by Sue Paraszczuk