Near the Airport of Kabul, 16 August 2021 by Jane Blanchard

Near the Airport of Kabul, 16 August 2021

“. . . the dreadful martyrdom must run its course . . .”
—W. H. Auden, Musée des Beaux Arts

And so it goes, another fall—
Of those who thought themselves too small
To fight against the mighty clan
Now moving through Afghanistan,
Where fear has long kept hope in thrall.

The images—the plunge, the sprawl—
At least are able to appall
Some there, elsewhere without a plan,
. . . . . . .And so it goes.

If only such a shock could stall
The suffering to come to all
Opponents of the Taliban
Let loose by one American
Who failed to follow protocol,
. . . . . . .And so it goes.

by Jane Blanchard

Editor’s Note: The lyricality of this rondeau chillingly belies the utter disaster of its subject matter.

Seen and Unseen by Jane Blanchard

Seen and Unseen
. . . . .Saint Simon’s Island

Wind from the east drives cloud by cloud toward shore—
enormous cotton balls appear to swipe
the too-blue summer sky—their shadows turn
the ocean from dull gray to duller tan.

The tide continues getting higher while
wind from the east drives cloud by cloud toward shore—
the sandbar is submerged—pelicans
routinely glide, then dive-bomb schools of fish.

Swimmers return to help sunbathers move
all chairs and towels out of danger as
wind from the east drives cloud by cloud toward shore—
remaining beverages are soon consumed.

Beyond the seawall stand palmettos, fronds
waving—above them flies a dragon, tail
wiggling, string held by someone not in view—
wind from the east drives cloud by cloud toward shore.

by Jane Blanchard

Editor’s Note: This viator poem features a refrain that threads through the narrative, placing the reader firmly within the leisurely pace of Saint Simon’s island.

From the archives – Black and White by Jane Blanchard

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Black and White

In an old photograph
Of the first Halloween
That I can remember,
I stand as a clown
Next to my sister, a witch,
Who later says way too soon
While sitting in my room
And coloring with my crayons,
“There is no Santa.”
I recall running to the kitchen
And asking Mama for the truth.
Late each and every year
As the days grow cold and short,
I still long for a lie.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, October 28, 2015 — by Jane Blanchard

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Black and White by Jane Blanchard

Black and White

In an old photograph
Of the first Halloween
That I can remember,
I stand as a clown
Next to my sister, a witch,
Who later says way too soon
While sitting in my room
And coloring with my crayons,
“There is no Santa.”
I recall running to the kitchen
And asking Mama for the truth.
Late each and every year
As the days grow cold and short,
I still long for a lie.

by Jane Blanchard, first published in The Stony Thursday Book.

Editor’s Note: Sometimes you don’t know where a poem is going until the very last line.

Assurance by Jane Blanchard

Assurance

This too shall pass, this latest rite
of parenthood, a lengthy night
of high-school tributes, just before
commencement. Dinner done, I pore
over the program, but the sight
of more than sixty names makes light
of early exit, and soon spite
makes me suspect the age-old lore,
“This too shall pass.”
If only. Boredom picks a fight
with patience as words true or trite
provoke applause from most, a snore
from some; desperate, I implore
heaven for help, hear from that height,
“This too shall pass.”

by Jane Blanchard, first published in Time of Singing.

Editor’s Note: Rhyme and repetition are the characteristics of a rondeau. In this poem, the subject matter and form are perfectly complimentary. Also, this poem makes me smile.