Archive for June 2014

It Ain’t Midnight But It’s Dawn   Leave a comment

It Ain’t Midnight But It’s Dawn

 

met a man from Savannah

said his town wasn’t like

midnight in any garden good or evil

 

though he’s heard a rooster crow

felt a child’s hand on his shoulder

as he helped her dress

one small foot lifts then steps

then the other fresh soft foot

like a slippered dream

cotton t-shirt slides down raised arms

this is the garden of soft flowers

 

many ask how does your garden grow?

Mary, Mary quite contrary

I might have answered that I’ve never made cheese

or carried a basket on my head

so never lost its contents

and all that might mean

I’ve shot a gun but not to kill

though once I plucked a chicken

never went to jail

but I’ve seen fish gulp

 

I’ve cracked an egg and watched cartoons

pulled fuzz from between my toes

wrecked a car and seen falling stars

solar eclipses and three dot ellipses

 

after surgery I  felt the garden hands

of the nurse      I’ve shaped bread into bits of buttered heaven

heard a son sing at his mother’s funeral

danced without a partner at a BBQ

sang without pitch

never drank a  mint julep

I’ve grown leaves with yellow tips

let others burn in the sun

carried a basket of vegetables

to the kitchen

reds, greens, yellows, and that color only eggplant is

Mary Strong Jackson

 

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The Mythic Life   Leave a comment

We have to make myths of our lives; it is the only way to live them without despair.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        May Sarton

A Mythic Life

you have been crazed with joy
by the collective dips and swirls
of red-winged blackbirds in a blue sky

you have been stilled
by the power of pain
until a new face grew
over your old one

a rattlesnake and a three-headed dog
attacked your best friend
her brown eyes showered glints
of gold for saving her

the color of her eyes
like creamed coffee
almonds and tree bark
or the brown sea shells packed
in a velvet bag of charms
carried at your waist

you birthed three gods
fed and wrapped them warm
covered them with enough light
        dark comes on its own
to make their own myth

you knelt beside beds
of the dying
swallowed their last breath
and all the last breaths
they had swallowed and so on
until ancient roots fill you

you are the hero
of your mythic life
able to carry despair in a skin-covered
pouch with a tight clasp

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted June 4, 2014 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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