Archive for October 2013

Raven and I hop from Curb on Luana Street   Leave a comment

We met eye to eye that day on that curb
me crossing the street to Jambo Café
Raven crossing to the bin – one of her usual lunch spots

she opened her wings with a sexy shiny shake
I with my flesh-covered, goose-bumped unhinge of arms
trying to be wings —  made us both cackle

she cocked her head
gave a bounce
we jumped two-footed off the curb

for a moment suspended in air
I believed I could fly
and looked down from my bird’s eye view
I saw more gold in the world than not

we landed
just two lucky birds


Posted October 21, 2013 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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Touching Loren Eiseley   Leave a comment

at the Nebraska State Capital
across marble mosaic floors
stone carvings
columned chambers  rise
in surprise from the Plains

I walk the line of sculptured busts
pass Buffalo Bill Cody and Father Flanagan
until I find him

“Do Not Touch”

but I close my eyes
and put my fingers on each
eye, then his nose,
and the full fruition of fantasy
at last his lips that I might have kissed if
others did not intrude

if not for lines in a book
we would have never met

“I am what I am and cannot be otherwise because of the shadows”
he spoke to me

safe to love a dead man
I’ve never met
don’t give me his melancholy
frailties in biographies

just his words
across my senses

Mary Strong Jackson
October 2013

That’s Another Poem   Leave a comment

that’s not this poem
this is the one with
dogs on the bed
cornbread with too crisp edges
this one isn’t young
or fresh-faced
it’s cold in an October house
that hasn’t got the heat on yet
there’s time for that
this is a hold-out-as-long-as-you-can poem
and sometimes you get hot coffee with cream
and sometimes hot water
with yesterday’s tea bag

that’s not this poem
that’s the one that Howls
to make people famous
or turns into a song
and saves the day
this one is the lost-
trampled-on-by-skittish-mice poem
with messy memories
and mixed metaphors

this is the one read
in a cold theatre at open mic
at Teatro Paraguas
with a sore throat
for tomorrow’s work
that comes with a stiff neck

that’s not this poem
this poem is this day
with curves and feet
and shallow places
where tadpoles become frogs
and the small of the back
shows its gorgeous arch
and your grandfather’s ears grow long
as his words disappear
this poem is about shedding
and storing and sleeping
and birthing

that other poem was yesterday


let me try once more

that other poem
slips in with old rhymes
but it’s a different day
or different 100 years ago
what does it matter
it’s the poem of this setting
of this seat in these shoes
with a particular floor under
the heels and toes
each toe is its own poem
but not the poem of yesterday
not the same fleshy words
a moving river
each part heading the same way
but never the same drop of poem

that was another poem
another day
another river
not the same poem
do hear what I’m rhyming here
one day with the next
but not in the same poem
I’m trying to tell you
not about that other poem
that different woman
but this one
here now

Mary Strong Jackson
October 6, 2013

Posted October 15, 2013 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

ICU   2 comments

In the ICU

like guinea pigs
we lay our little ears
on a warm belly or chest
like a dream

and tap our tiny teeth
on baby carrots
pulled tender and pointed
from a soft garden
not round, peeled and put in plastic bags

somewhere the sun circles up
to greet a child tasting sweet corn
or the squirt of an orange
for the first time

three of us from work
visit our gray-haired friend
I rub her stiff shoulders
and cut her coarse hair
sometimes a guinea pig
sits under her jacket
and holds his own carrot

if we could remember all the “firsts”
those moments of no return
would death be even harder than now

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted October 11, 2013 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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