Archive for April 2012

Homeless in Santa Fe by Mary Strong Jackson and Martha   Leave a comment


Posted April 24, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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Close This Winter   Leave a comment

close this cold house
this eating morning eggs with oven door open
dinner next to the wood stove
parceling out wood like Mother Hubbard

long winter on these white legs
bones whiter still
come sun
burn me spot me with age
before winter swells my middle finger joint

come sun take this slow winter
from these white bones

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted April 18, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

Read the Signs   Leave a comment

blood on newborns
tells of the messiness to come
how life squeezes the head
makes you squint in bright light
yearn for snug warm covers

Posted April 18, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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Who Do You Love?   Leave a comment

I want to write about the night
Bo Diddley died
good long lives
kitchen dancing with my fat babies

I want to write about Suella
bringing me salsa, chips
and cold beer

this day brings news of bloody baby photos
American soldier kills 16 people
someone’s baby too many tours of duty
injured sent back
impaired sent back
damaged sent back
a return package

American soldier,
“Did you listen to Bo Diddley?”
“Smile at Suella bringing you chips, salsa
and cold beer?”

soldier kills 16 civilians

I want to write about Bo Diddley
and triangle rhinestone Fender guitars
and long lives
long tender lives

Mary Strong Jackson

after reading a poem with
the same title by Joseph Miller
and after an American soldier
kills 16 Afghan civilians

Posted April 18, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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Leftover Poem Parts   Leave a comment

the sun heats wood so dry
it crackles before it’s lit
and wrinkles skin
into leafy parchment
and one fall-lit day
as the trees light with gold
my father shrinks
before my eyes
massive no more
so small a nursing staff person
slips the Black Hills gold ring
across his bent arthritic knuckle
over the swollen joints of a life

and whisks it away in a pocket
of deceit    to where?
a gift to someone loved?
sold to a pawn shop miles away?
the ring lives on with a new life

Dad never knew it was gone
though we tore the room apart
searching as he slept the sleep
before death
he wanted recognized for riches he never had
did he know not dying alone is rich
I think so         finally

as a child,
my mother lived in a basement house
tapped a dance on the roof
while her blacksmith father did whatever blacksmiths
do to make their arms hefty and strong
she saw soldiers on horses at Fort Robinson
where Crazy Horse was killed then whisked away by family to hide his body somewhere
safe and escapable

soldiers scared my six year-old mother
trouble rides in on horses
and other innocuous ways

leap on the color you choose
but sometimes the horse picks you in the watery dark of night                  sometimes in the dry light of day

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted April 8, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

Anatomy of Light   Leave a comment

shifts of light            of being

occur in this life
as if like the raven
a bird’s eye view opens on an ocean of earth
a place with deep underwaters
where black sea creatures make light
using a cell from their own body
it’s what we must do isn’t it

make light from our own being?

a silent quake
moves pieces
concave parts settle in places
one doesn’t know exist
fills convex shapes that have waited
years for the match

this shift
has no words to say “I am different”
like a baby bird waking and remembering
that she flew on her own yesterday

years later
another bird’s eye view
this time it isn’t about creatures but the waves
they ride and the water that rises and dips bringing pieces of the present hooked with the past

memories of eyes so green they startled
sounds of feet tapping and shuffling around you
made the music heard only a few times in a life

a life shaped with an innocence beyond control

Mary Strong Jackson

Bullet Babble   Leave a comment

he rides on his mother’s hip

settles into the curve of her waist

weaves her hair through

the fingers of one hand

child and mother meld into sculpture

art that walks to market

                                                       on both sides of an ocean

                                                       war skins the minds of children

                                                        provides packable scars to carry 

                                                        and pass to unsuspecting newborns

she buys the child

fruit and fish and bread

he counts the pieces of fruit

clever boy she whispers

into his finely shaped ear

he claps her cheeks between his hands

                                                     a newspaper reports that strange as it may seem

                                                         years into these latest wars

                                                         bullets are a controversial topic

                                                         the M855 designed decades ago

                                                         to puncture a Soviet soldier’s helmet

                                                        does not do well at close range

                                                        against smaller-statured, lightly equipped

                                                        lightly clothed people

                                                        meaning the bullet goes through them

                                                        and they may not die

the woman watches the small-bodied

lightly clothed child

and suddenly she is frightened of the breeze

frightened of the rain’s slip

onto seeds planted yesterday

under a different sky

                                                       hollow point bullets expand in the soft body

                                                        making survival less likely

                                                         so barred at the 1899 Hague Convention

                                                         the U. S. was not a party to the agreement

a flash of fear    a strangle of screams

a sleeping baby’s mat is hit

hollow point, M855 or smart bomb, does it matter?

at the market

a woman carries the memory of a child on her hip

her vertebrae ache for the want of him

phantom legs of lost limbs encircle her waist

where are the bones of him

and his eyes

those shining sacraments of trust

Posted April 6, 2012 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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