Woman by Amy Jasek

Grateful to Forever Endeavor for sharing this poem of mine! Thanks y’all!

This body is a conduit

between the earth and sky

she sings to the moon

pulls heaven down

to wear across her shoulders

This body is a shadow

of glory, a powerhouse

of creation, sealed with the Divine

she soars through her cycles

cries out wrenching

new beginnings from the

canyon of existence

She vibrates to the rhythm

of the spheres, in tune

with the perfect pitch of forces

no eye can see

derived, one half of a whole,

but not derivative

This body, the restive palace

for the vast ocean of a soul

that sashays proudly

through a world crowded

with her counterparts

bringing the sweet wind of chaos

in the light of her storytelling eyes

bringing the whisper of delight

that only her curves can hold

This body is the fickle idol

that would bring a multitude

to its knees in the worship

of form’s perfection,

this temple…

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Taking Sides

Georgetown, TX | Sterling Gloves | medium format film photograph by author

the Joyful Conqueror arm wrestles
the Sorrowful Scared Cynic
who’s used to losing

Wild Dreamer kicks
the Careful Rule Follower
in the shins under the table
so Sh*t-stirrer starts up,
knocking over a chair
into Peacemaker, who spills
her drink onto the stifled
Realist’s crisp white shirt

the Diplomat steps forward
but procrastinates for an instant
and gets shoved out of
the way by the Bitter Gossip

Rebellion lets out a whoop,
sensing all-out war,
but Purity pokes her head
into the door, with Conscience
close behind, and it’s all over

with a grumble from reluctant
Understanding, everybody
comes together and settles
back down



This poem is in response to an exercise from Poemcrazy (of course!) that suggested identifying all the different sides of yourself – something like that. It didn’t suggest having them brawl, but this is what I came up with when I let my mind wander into that idea. I had fun writing it, especially thinking about what ridiculous turmoil it is, not just inside of me, but inside of every beautifully complex and ultimately fascinating human being on the planet. (This includes you!)

Thank you for reading!

Groundhog Day

Last winter | Holga film image by author

Up north, trouble is steeping away
a cold brew in the works
an icy blue cloud on the weather map
like a smudge of something borrowed
turning up where it doesn’t belong

The kitchen is a greenhouse
snug and tightly stocked as the fridge
where heat, not freeze, means calamity

But the storm, if it arrives, is hours away
so for now we are just waiting
as anxious in our anticipation
as the crowd who delights
to see grumpy, waddling Phil
rousted from his seasonal sleep
to wink his eyes in the direction of winter


True story: I scratched this out this morning for today, since we are indeed waiting for a winter storm on this Groundhog Day. Repeats are nice, but maybe not of the snowpocalypse we experienced last year down here. . . . Thank you for reading!

Earth

35mm color film photograph by author

stripped down now,
she adorns herself with winter
an invisible layer exposed by absence
a rough coat of ragged bark
and spindled sticks
with a scarf of last summer’s decay

little birds hop at her shoulders
while squirrels dig at her feet
the hoard of autumn now silent
the revelry of abundance
put away but also strewn about

everything suggests the whiff of ice
everything harbors the promise of growth
and she is asleep but wakeful
paused and still, waiting but wandering,
a bedhead unbrushed, a bright yawn,
a beautiful mess


I am not a fan of being cold, but I love the quiet, bare beauty of winter all the same! Living in a place that has a short, mild one, I welcome the chance to enjoy the season while it lasts. (I will admit I did not feel that way when I lived in New York.)

Thank you for reading!

Shadow

35mm film image by author

my shadow is tall
she can reach all the glasses
on the top shelf

she fills them to the brim
with strong cocktails
because alcohol doesn’t
bother her stomach,
and neither does any
quantity or combination of food

she drives fast
and says “f*ck it”
more than I do, because
that field of hers really is barren
and she lords over it
a lanky scarecrow in
bright red Jimmy Choos
waving a shotgun at the
crows who come to troll

she speaks her mind
without regret, picks fights, and wins
doesn’t hold on to the past
or worry about the future:
my shadow is the present’s present
a gift blissfully
unencumbered by memory,
family, or responsibility

she does what she does
wild and free, hooting and hollering
as she passes you in a cloud of dust
wheels spinning, middle finger
raised in a salute
with a perfect nail painted
to match the sparkle in her
gorgeous, long-lashed beguiling eyes


This poem is a result of an exercise in Poemcrazy by Susan Wooldridge (you can see a photo of it on my homepage). Basically she suggested invisioning your shadow self, in the Jungian sense, and having a conversation with it, among other things. I didn’t stick to the guidlines offered in the prompt, but I did let myself imagine the opposite of what I see in the mirror and feel inside my own skin. This poem is what emerged!

Thank you for reading!

Skin

iPhone hipstamatic photo by author

just a scratch
and the library bleeds
words and sentences fluttering
page by page gushing forth
a gouge or a stab
will yield a hemorrhage
of information,
heavy stacks, puppets,
even CDs,
the weighty atlas strains
on the reading table
with a longing to break
free of the bricks and iron
that hold it in place,
so many maps
and destinations
burgeoning, just beneath the skin


Hi and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’ve been absent from here for a while now – basking in holiday time and trying to get myself back together when it comes to my creative life. I didn’t write much over the past couple of months, but I’m working on getting the engines fired back up. My first step was to open up a book that has served me well for inspiration for a while. . . . in fact I feel like I have written some of my favorite pieces over the last year thanks to prodding by this book . . . . .

If you are searching right now, I would highly recommend getting a copy. My local library had it, but I found it to purchase because I like to write in my books (and I don’t think the library would appreciate that much!).

Here’s to a productive, joyful, and creative 2022, y’all! Thanks for reading.

Notice — Pact

Reposting from my daughter’s blog! The writer’s journey continues. . . .

So I’m back, and as you may have noticed I did NOT overhaul the website like I said I would over the holidays. Instead, I decided “hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea if I rewrote the entire thing in a completely different time period and with a majorly tweaked story?” So. Um. Yeah. I’m […]

Notice — Pact

After the Front

iPhone photo, Hipstamatic app | double exposure by author

After midnight the storm’s breath
came fast and fierce between
the houses, snuffing
trees and patio furniture
like errant candles
it gripped the stars and stripes
like a sail, unmooring
our flagship with a single blow
so it drifted into the
depths of the garden
fences folded like a
house of cards, harkening
to the maelstrom’s beguiling whistle

But you would never know
it now – if it wasn’t for
the debris, chaotic markers
of weather’s late night
party, litter from the
cold front’s powerful parade –
you’d never know the
remnant is this blue sky
and golden sunlight
where the trees toss in
their autumn splendor
like proud ladies just
back from the salon


More on breath, this time from the whopper thunderstorm we had the other night! Thank you for reading!

Breath

Holga and kodak film | multiple exposure photo by author and daughter assistant

Breath – indicator
“Breath our own personal tie with all the rhythms of the natural world”

The wind that blows in through open windows
I pull in through my own musical pipe
aeolian tunnel, the long gateway
to the myriad of tributaries
that swell and feed my body through the river
of lifeblood that meanders through its parts
east to west, and north to south, pole to pole,
tip to tip, in and in forevermore
becoming a part of my living self,
this body that cages my spirit
while I stand looking out of the casement
through my own personal, screenless windows.

This wind enters my house and enters me
and for a time I hold onto it
until my metronomic brain exhales
and pushes the wind forth again, upward
animating the music of my voice
so it becomes part of the push and pull
and whispers its way back up to the clouds.

The wind will shift from south to north again
as the earth tilts her way along the year
and my breath will enter the tapestry
as I weave my own way along, in time.


I wrote the above blank verse poem in response to the idea and quote at the top, which I noted come from page 3 although I’m not sure if that was from Mary Oliver’s Poetry Handbook or from her Rules from the Dance. It’s one or the other! Thank you for reading!

Morning Song

Maggie the Magpie, Taos, 2018 | iPhone hipstamatic photo by author

This morning a song is happening
outside in the trees
kissed by sunshine
slyly slanting in
the window frames the din
notes tumbling and fine
sneaking through with ease
this morning a poem is happening


A little something for National Poetry Day, which is today in the UK (not that I am in the UK, but I did call it my home for a while, once upon a time). Thank you for reading!

PS meeting Maggie the Magpie was a memorable experience. She is / was a very sociable bird.