Author Archive

Age-Old Kindnesses   Leave a comment

remaining decades will attach to wings

why spew words when one might pull them from better places

form their designs like molded art offered to listeners

 

many have seen, smelled, tasted what doesn’t work

time to bless the weariness of it all

kiss soldiers of every ilk, offer tea and quiche

paint a wall yellow

pick apples

 

why spew words when

one might use them

to caress

 

Mary Strong Jackson

August 2018


		
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Posted September 3, 2018 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

Komorebi   Leave a comment

there is a wren’s breath of silence
when a herd’s last hoof comes to rest
and dust drifts back to the ground

this same kind of quiet beckons a body
to become a bit of flotsam
filtering through trees in a sunbeam

to nearly escape in silence
and light is enough
to succeed is sublime

Mary Strong Jackson

Komorebi – Japanese word for sunlight filtering through the trees. The first symbol
is for tree, the second symbol means escape, and the third is for light or sun.

Posted August 20, 2018 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

Jayus   3 comments

Jayus

accidents happen

closest to home

one last orange blossom beer

and the stoop’s last step

twists your ankle

on what’s supposed to be the landing

 

turns out home is for sloppy punchlines

 

ill-timed quick jabs and sideway

glances that slip down the wrong-way

you forget the pause

the one that leaves the audience hanging

 

off start beginnings- you slept with who?

confused middles – maybe if you just bought a red convertible

quick endings – grandma died at the casino in Deadwood, South Dakota?

 

you can’t help but laugh

as the bad-timed baby

coos up at you with eyes like stars

 

Mary Strong Jackson

Jayus – Indonesian – A joke so poorly told and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh

Posted August 20, 2018 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

3 Women   1 comment

3 Women

What was sad is now spring
wetlands waiting for her trees to leaf

What was joy wears the same pants,
orders the same lattes, wonders of her new
resistances with the same old curiosity

What continues to yearn for answers
becomes a weathered bow with strength
too slight to pull the feathered arrow
the one promising long flights
of possibilities but slipping
into a downward drift
of point over feather fall

 

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted May 11, 2018 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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What Withers Us Old   Leave a comment

something pulls collagen from the bones
frays the heart with too many rubbings
each shallow exhale wearies the body
expelling all we’ve got in the same old words
given only a finite number of times
to unmask declare affirm who we are

every word spoken is one word closer to our last
tread across our own and another’s senses
closer to one last shudder as we lay
“etherized upon a table”

sensing death’s hover we spew words
believing it natural to become old
when the fountain of youth exists
in the choices of our syllabic exhales
the sincere listening on the inhales

 

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted May 11, 2018 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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Found Sacred   2 comments

A child chooses a space where pine tree branches hang low, where no grass grows giving the bare ground beneath the tree a circular religious feel, perfect for the child to be unnoticed. Sometimes she settles inside a metal culvert under a road, a dry tunnel for her to sit where no one blames, no one intrudes. She places rocks in the shape of a heart, and other found objects, a rubber molded doll with a green Robin Hood hat and brown boots, a stack of sticks for a pretend fire. In these places, she wonders over thoughts and feelings. She raises her voice in song, and words formed from interpretations of her world all become a sort of prayer, sometimes solemn, sometimes joyous.

 

With no indulgences, blessings, or lessons needed, she consecrates the earth beneath a tree and in a metal culvert.

 

The child becomes a woman. She decides what is holy, and what she will make holy. If God, Jesus Christ, gods, or the blessed trinity exist, they exist in her, even if, or, because, she is a woman or neither, because it should not and does not matter.

 

She discovered the sacred between breathy ideas, curling leaves, deadly goodbyes,

times held in limbo, and the thoughts before the brush of paint meets the canvas whether it remains or is wiped off, before words mark a page whether they are erased or not.

 

With no indulgences, blessings, or lessons needed, she consecrates intentions and all else that keeps her alive.

 

The child grows old under the tree and in the culvert. She lies on her back now feeling the packed ground under her tree and when she rolls to her other side, she senses cool metal. Her toenails have grown into talons, yellowed and thick with lines of strata marking years. Her nails contain chalk, soot, earth, algae, scars from a once-smashed toe, they are rough-edged catching on blankets reminding her of loving someone those summers when she hoed the garden barefoot with callouses so thick she stood a quarter inch taller. Loving all those someone’s in a lifetime.

 

With no indulgences, blessings, or lessons needed, she consecrates layered strata.

 

Her children don’t see the sacred strata of her nails. They only hope the nurse can cut through the yellowed bird-like nails on her feet, and dispose of them, not seeing what’s to be revered, what sacred lines she’s layered into mighty talons to claw her way towards death.

 

The nurse cuts away at the claws. Soon more ways will be found to intrude, though, she understands, it is done with good intentions. She rolls over and returns to her place under the tree, and in the culvert; the spaces she made holy. She will die and meet her maker or meet nothing and either/or is okay with her. She will die knowing she found sacredness the only way possible for her, not through the trust of others, but through her own self, soul, being, and let it be known, it is good, holy, revered, and right.

 

P.S.

This is what she meant to express:

This is judging. She’ll work on that or maybe she won’t.

The above was written because the woman has been thinking about the word sacred. But she realized part of what wanted to be expressed is how pissed off she is at men who attain power and dominate women (and children and other men), men who are priests, movie executives, politicians, mass shooters, bosses, the guy next door, a husband, a father.  She does not want or need any of you. Go away! She loves men (and women) who do not need to do these things. Men with insight and heart and confidence and kindness. She knows if women rise to power they will abuse it too, maybe in different ways, but still the chances are high. You asshole men know who you are and if you don’t, you’re even bigger assholes with no awareness of self or others, have you found nothing excluding money and power to venerate, revere, love? anything but yourselves? Stop it, just give up your power and money. What? You can’t? You are afraid of everything without it! Yes, you are. Crawl into your own vulnerable openings and eat shit.

 

 

 

Mary Strong Jackson

Posted November 6, 2017 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

   Glory Be to Odd Ducks Who Have Lived Across My Streets and For All Us Odd Ducks Everywhere   Leave a comment

 

“We push the same earth ’round and ‘round trying to make a life,” said my neighbor who painted his gravel driveway like a highway – black base, white-striped edges, and yellow-center marks.

Were you crazy like everyone said, or did you want to trick a teenage boy into mistaking the driveway for the highway and catch him and his buddies who called your brilliant daughter cyclops because of her one drooping eye?

From my kitchen window, another neighbor in another city, flits across my yard making me believe in middle-aged fairies, so waiflike I wonder how she survives her mild-mannered-blank-as-a-slate man by day, alcoholic ogre by night who waits until neighbors sleep, then screams, “I AM JIM MORRISON” over and over. He does this 3 to 4 times a week. I tried turning lights on, stepping onto my porch, after weeks of this I yelled under a full moon, “SHUT UP”, then YOU ARE NOT JIM MORRISON, then OKAY, YOU ARE JIM MORRISON, NOW GO TO BED. Nothing stopped him until he was ready to retire in early morning. Police might come, talk to him, he’d go into the house, police leave, he’d return to his post and begin again.

The fairy picked lilacs from my yard to give me, and said with a sweetness only fairies must have, “He’s okay. He just drinks a little.”

She wished me well and worried over my move away. She tried to pay for my garage sale rugs held tight in her skinny arms. Her black fingernails dark against weaved beiges.

All us odd ducks walking around aware and unaware that our senses continue to touch as we push this ball of earth ‘round and round’ shoulder to shoulder even if we pretend we don’t see, smell, touch the one next to us or those across the tracks. Like Sisyphus the big ball keeps rolling back over us even as our anomalies slip up the rotation each time one stops to paint gravel, yell from a deep echoed well,  believe in rock-n-roll reincarnations, or any other out-of-aligned step.

What does a collection of odd ducks, flitting fairies, and all those Jim Morrison’s of the night do but cause a stutter in the earth’s roll, a break in time. This lapse from what some consider forward progress of the earth’s roll, this pause, offers others a time to touch, mend, apply the gauze, offer water, use our feelers, until on any given day, we might hear, “If I was any happier, I’d be dead!” Words of my next odd duck neighbor.

 

 

Posted September 24, 2017 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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