Check it out…

db40a873ad4373e6a1bd9a368dd2b003

Suzy Hazelwood does a beautiful job of curating the literary journal “The Writer’s Garden” here on WordPress. I’m honored to be in the current issue. The Writer’s Garden

 

Akimbo

abstract 6

~

there are no round corners

my imagination is akimbo

jolts of current spark within context

without setting light

What to do?

~

I gather the dexterity needed

and carry it to the scales

only to find

it weighs more than I do

~

my skin is transparent

I employ a magnifying glass

angling towards the sun

the beam passes right through me

blazing and unhindered

~

I bulk up

looking for muscular advantage

and slip easily into the crowd

our words are hot but cool off fast

leaving nuggets between my teeth

~

I turn invisible

and pass easily through the crowd

floating a few inches off the ground

I still stub my toe

while leaving no footprints

~

I want to weep like a child

but worrying about the leak

I put duct tape on my face

covering my mouth

leaving space for my eyes

~

awkward and exploding

my imagination

is no longer rooted

in safe ground

I am uncomfortable

I am vulnerable

profusely sweating

in the slipstream

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

painting and poem: Jana H. White

 

Neon nightmare dog

~

Neon nightmare dog frightening a child’s dream

Each curly golden hair aflame with water drops prisming the sun

~

Coyote jaws salivating raw fluids wetting lips held in grimace face

Smiling on my small life. I am alive. I am alive. How long has it been?

~

You appear now as if we are friends old man, for man dog you are

Holding all life’s genders in your jaws, all our unpaid bills

~

Your karmic pinball game has kept me lean with a taste for wine

Too often a static cliche′ tumbling through icons of improbable possibilities

~

Show your real face and prove me wrong

There are no mirrors in this dark place. No broken glass. Only song.

~

Another “form” to tackle. This time an Epistle. I decided to wing it. See what came up through the pipeline without placing “form” anywhere near it accept while writing it down. I woke up this morning and there it was. This is the first draft. The nightmare was real and one I remember having around 3 years old that has stayed with me visually. Made me wary of dogs for years until my father told me dogs need to hold their mouths open to breath. Perhaps they drool. When I was looking for who to write an epistle to, the face of this nightmare coyote showed up. It was thrilling physically to address this nightmare face and I thoroughly enjoyed writing this. I am going to start thinking of writing forms as a “form tango” and learn to hold my own.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Artist: Doug Lawler

Momma clock

~

You were never adventurous

insisting on sticking to interaction

proscribed a sure thing

trying to be a “good girl” but always told

you were never good enough…

I spent my days intoxicated by a flower’s breath

building new homes out of cardboard or snow

exhuming pets I was curious about death

and bones and teeth

climbing trees listening to their heart sap

nipping change from Norman’s penny jar

just for the sneak of it

not caring much about showing my girl parts

to the neighbor boys

And there you were pushing me off

unsteady on two bicycle wheels

as if your moods weren’t the day’s bad weather

and me always approaching you with the caution

of the kid held flat out in high winds

and now you were casting me off like a baby bird

as if you yourself knew how to fly

Well…little did I know your strange insistence

was giving me more than wings

your internal Mamma clock was saying

it was time I learned to really fly

even though you knew

I’d take off and keep rolling

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Art by Terry Turrell

Pencil Dust

~

Indomitable as a sovereign species

progress draws its discordant lines

straight through the rhythms of my days

move…

A bucolic bovine sound?

Or a swarm of ooooooo’s

persistent and indicative of shove?

five toothbrushes

pail of sponges

caustic powders

poisonous sprays

My disciples of progress

grooming the delicate interstices of

refrigerator seal

baseboard cracks

faucet edge

I wash the wood and plaster body

My thoughts anointing and releasing

each surface that held the poems, the remnants, the family,

the guests, the conversations, the discipline that twisted time

into sailor’s knots and tied dreams into a body of words

able to float in this deluge of constant progress

This particular move (one of too many to count)

This wood and plaster body

that held me disciplined within panes of glass

where I grew words into lines, into paragraphs, into pages, into life

enclosed in winter and summer solitude behind the glass

Erasing all outward signs of a life

We have nothing in common

this place and I

We have nothing now in common

except the fine pile of pencil dust

intentionally left behind

scrumbled raw into the grains of wood

in the floor of my kitchen

Finished, I set the keys on the counter

leaving progress

behind

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The past few weeks have been a scramble. In mid March my landlady informed me that she is downsizing, selling her house, which she has run as a Bed and Breakfast, and will be moving into my apartment! In a city with a 1% vacancy rate, after 3 years tenancy, she asked that I be out in 34 days. She also holds my last month’s rent and a considerable security deposit. She apparently needs to legalize the fact that she has three units behind the house that she successfully rents by the day, week, or month through Air B&B. This is illegal in this city unless the owner lives on the premises. If caught this may incur a $500 a day fine. I think she still may not be in full compliance because two of the units are unattached, but she’s getting closer to her cash flow.

I beat the deadline she set by ten days. Sanctuary! I am now back in the garden….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Noh mask: Acrylic and graphite on black paper….  j.h.white

~

osmosis

~

thought hovers

is this thought mine?

~

I watch the few words

just there

I look askance to see if they move

do they move of their own volition?

no

they hover

simultaneously

we’re moving through walls

what does this mean?

~

I once could hear through walls

I’d lost my skin

rendered immobile

I heard nuclear indifference

red lights green lights

flying metal and a dying jesus

I wet myself

although the bed stayed dry

~

I looked for what was left

at the time

I was empty

much later I understood

this was the right place to start

~

it takes awhile

starting from nothing

to un-know everything

~

we hover

not knowing

we move through walls

~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Acrylic on paper….j. h. white

Lumens

~

The push the pull the moon’s sculpting hands

Its broad face spilling transparent

over lunar mountains

Full bright

but veiled by cloud’s chattering

Obscured

yet still felt in the marrow

~

With a tactile sensing

for the peaks and dark hollows

My blood its own compass

I map the edge of the sea

as the tide recedes

filling the carved pools as it leaves

~

The clouds drift away in their own mystery

as the moon glides free

in luminous ascending

and I sway as a puppet in a shadow play

bathed in luminous manna

~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pencil sketch and poetry: j.h.white

note: a photo attributed to Joshua Black Wilkins was the inspiration for the sketch. ( I was unable to verify the source however)

 

Jazz

 

Peter Harskamp

~

The beams, thirsty in their plumb aligned structure,

drink deeply of the improvised sound issuing from the garden

The cello’s notes satiating the kiln dried wood

~

In an upstairs bedroom a woman moves to the music

unbidden thoughts seeping in slow aching, wandering

the intimate landscape still mapped within her heart

~

Shaking them loose, she leans precariously out of the window

listening to the ripening tenor notes, admitting she’s

grateful now to be by herself yet questioning…

~

What am I to do with my internal tenderness?

There is no one here to reach for

listening to the first bird’s song?

~

This softening moves through her

seeking to be moored in the infinite, not in the observed

third person distance of Wife or Her or She

~

Bending her head to the low deep notes of the cello

the forest memory of its burnished wood

resonates between her thighs

~

I’ve reawakened the elasticity of my flesh

by becoming weightless, a quickening again

There is no measure in this

~

Vulnerable it moves too fluidly to have a name

it spreads out and collects

like dark pools reflecting sky after rain

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

~

Painting….Peter Harskamp

I dream of being a weed…

 

~

I dream of being a weed

traveling in my roots carving deep,

just carving, scraping away

letting go more of the surface

each time I tap deeper

~

These are restless nights

waking with soil packed tight

at the corner of eyes picking at

worm castings under fingernails

the scrim wrapped tight round my head

caked with quartz shards and clay

filaments of memory scattered about the floor

the moon an aboriginal instinct

~

I’m a veteran miner

more comfortable in the dark

where I can keep an eye on things

~

On the surface my tough rosettes

of green continue to vitamin the grassy bank

the untamed sun persisting in its pursuit

until finally … reluctant with abandon

~

There is no letting go. Why would I?

There is nothing of worth to carry…

All I can do is bloom

~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 drawing and poem …. j.h.white

Slow Infestation

~

He was a wolf …

a solitary wolf culled from the pack

expertly herding his words

through her undulate terrain.

She welcomed the seduction

amply savoring his patois.

~

Beguiled by his seeming intimacy

she failed to assimilate the slow infestation

of his oblique aural patternings

insinuating edgy consonants

and limbic vowel howls.

It was her stomach at first that resisted the enchantment

with small flutterings of continual distress.

Slowly she became aware

that his words were predictable

acid but effervescent

lying tips of tongues

corroding her silence.

They dangled from her

like wind chimes with little meaning

Their fractured light cascading

from her now weary ears

pummeling the surface.

So she gathered herself

and sent him,

and his errant words,

away

Though at times she could still hear their echoing…

The scent of him having so easily

permeated her skin.

~

To ward off this sonic residue

she bathed daily in lovage root and vervain

and made a tincture of his words,

a verbal potion dissolved in fine brandy

She took one dose timed exactly

as the cusp of the horizon split day into night

Delicately,

Three drops under her tongue,

with a twist…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had fun with this one. Looking over older work I saw a story weaving between a few different poems and so I threaded a needle and sewed them together. The drawing is an old one too. Newer than the poems, it is cut from the same cloth.

~

PoePoem and drawing: jana h white                 Drawing: Pastels on black paper