• Series: Modern & Contemporary 16
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-916272-15-9
  • ISBN-10: 0-916272-15-X
  • Pages: 68
  • Size: 6 x 8.5 x .3125 in
  • Price: $9.95

No Moving Parts

Susan Strayer Deal

Susan Strayer Deal’s language is sanded, paint-stripped, and polished to airy and remote simplicity, as though language itself must be kept spare and light to survive the Nebraska landscape from which she writes. But for all the spare language, the poems have a natural weight that keeps them earth-bound and necessary. The poems are not simply about the landscape, or the poet’s experience of it, but about how the mind and soul operate like the prairie: starkly, relentlessly. This was Deal’s first collection of poetry, published in 1980 by Ahsahta Press; The Dark is a Door followed from Ahsahta in 1984.


The full text of Susan Strayer Deal’s No Moving Parts is stored at Albertson Library at Boise State University, and can be downloaded here. You may also purchase a copy of the book.

No Moving Parts


No moving parts today

in any direction.

All is a piece of

perpetual motion.

The motion of full

gorged trees and

thick grasses

and clouds ceaselessly

moving without cogs,

without wheels.

Today I too am without

gears. The heart

pumping without beginning

or end. Without stops

or starts. And birds

that are motorless,

little brown bodies,

high in the air.


No engine scares this

place with noise and

greaseless parts.

No shifting of reluctant

gears but smooth as

waves oiled over and over.

Ungauged we climb

out of our thoughts

and have nothing to measure.

All runs with no effort.

Pathless. Completely

designed in our favor.

Thinging itself, like

blooming, everywhere.


We are not going

to stop being as we are,

or profound ourselves

with thoughts that make

pieces, that divide into

functions and factors,

into bellies and brains.

When we reach the gate of

that open pasture, we

will climb it and keep

going. Without moving parts.


Copyright © 1980 by Susan Strayer Deal