Archive for the ‘Poetry of Mary Strong Jackson’ Category

Waiting, Eternal Return, Nietzsche, art, dogs, words   Leave a comment


as I wait for water to boil
dogs everywhere
use back legs to scratch their ears

in every country
while I wait
sons and daughters cry out for the first time
and mothers’ answer in tears

still I wait
the moon wanes
a fish is thrown back to a previous time
to grow bigger to be caught again

while I wait
a writer finds a word
to build an image like the sculptor
showing time through a window’s memory

while waiting for water to boil
the postman in a film
speaks lines of eternal return

a shy person wishes she had spoken
another wishes he hadn’t

while at the stove waiting for water to boil
a woman remembers her mother saying
if wishes were horses beggars would ride
and her father’s return was always
if wishes were pancakes they’d eat till they died

Mary Strong Jackson

Scuptural references:
“Window Memory”
b y artist R. Edward Lowe.


Entries and Exits   2 comments

Entries and Exits

She writes of winter in summer
of ice hanging in glassy spears
while sweat fevers her brow
makes skin slide and stick
in an unwelcome rhythm

when prisoner of a desk and chair
she pens her longing of the road
in curves and segues to canyons
where erosion etches rock walls
in ways Picasso and Pollack
dreamed but never remembered

she writes of warm bread
slathered with butter
while her stomach aches for food

and when she’s as blue as a New Mexico sky
a few fat clouds hanging low enough to make her weep
she writes of kitchen dancing
brothers who let her grasp the tail of their shirts
of racing her yellow dog in the town lake
the scent of her freshly washed newborn
she writes all the colors that green can be

how happiness enters and exits
exits and enters

Mary Strong Jackson

Is it true that sadness is thick and melancholy is thin?   Leave a comment

Is it true that sadness is thick and melancholy is thin?

From Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions

it’s true that sorrow’s thick blanket

settles on shoulders

pushes into bones

as true as a girl’s thick braid

cut off as punishment

true as the thick-soled boot cracking the back

of the black beetle

thick as the dog shedding his last fur

onto her body

it’s true that melancholy lurks its thin sheaf

of self


unexpected where memories


the woman combing her hair

remembers father’s scissors

cutting, cutting her braid

melancholy wraps its coat

of hesitation,   asks

“are you enough?” “are you?”

then pulls it’s glum

coat tighter and say’s

“I’m thin. Not a thick blanket like sadness.

Constant ache or sharp pain what do you want

thick or thin? We both lick your bones clean.”

Mary Strong Jackson


 Some butterflies live only one week 

                 There Is Time

six and a half days to make memories
to rub wings against another
to flatten your silhouette
then open wide for what awaits

thousands of seconds
to sit with friends in orange and black Echinacea flowers
to lay your head into the gusts and become the morning’s kite

a half day to carry the memories made
to settle in a bush that steals shadows without malice
to sit with your many legs        still as Buddha
and feel breath pulse your wings
then listen

to the sound
     of your six feet clapping

Daughter   Leave a comment

she is the clutter of glitter 
caught in the light 
then gone  
while I am still pondering  
how love enters    exits  
how it draws itself into another’s being  
long as a day’s breath   
short as a lifetime

Of Enchiladas and Poets   Leave a comment

The poem
like the enchilada
and the poet    like the cook
cannot be discerned
from a glance

as affection from a lover
cannot be guessed
by brawn of muscle
or bulge of belly

Poems and enchiladas
come long
skinny, stout
or smothering

Their builders are likewise of varied shapes
and though I've heard, "he has a poet's face"
I cannot trust
the truth of an image

until the taste of poetry
and the impact of enchilada
lie on the tongue
roll across the palate
seize the pores

The Injured All   Leave a comment

sometimes a person
words like such and whatnot
and such whatnotness
and hears real words like milk and wire

it’s all so bloody serious
this walking around with regular faces
looking uninjured
as we pass the salt, buy a beer, sell underwear,
teach names of persons, places, and things,
go to wars,
say I love you so
really, really, and such and so on etc.

Mary Strong Jackson
February 16, 2011

%d bloggers like this: