From the archives – May 30th by Patricia Wallace Jones

May 30th

A year ago I wrote to you
of temple bells, about the silk-tassels,
how they grow like weeds, shimmer
in the wind beneath my window.

After a mild dry winter,
scant spring rain, you sing to me
of homemade tortillas, the sweet
heady taste of vine-ripe tomatoes.

Out of step with your seasons,
these cool windy mornings
my catkins dance early, grey faster,
fall even softer this year than the last.

And to think—
before you came
with this uncommon friendship,
the remarkable beauty
in distant correspondence,
I would have missed this day,
used it for a calendar, a decoration
for my wall if I noted it at all.

 

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, May 30, 2017 — by Patricia Wallace Jones

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Winter Landscape With Deer and Stevens by Patricia Wallace Jones

Winter Landscape With Deer and Stevens

I cannot sing today.
The waves are too big and the wind
is crying a high-pitched whine
that makes me restless, unable to paint,
write, even read much more
than a poem or two.

The windows fog, beat to a rain
so iced and slanted that I can barely see
past Pomo Point where women go
to pray their men home on days like this.

With no palette to capture the morning
stretched taut before me, I become the lines
I read—another weeping woman
until I see them composed on the bluff
feeding on a hint of spring in all that grey.

by Patricia Wallace Jones

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Editor’s Note: This poem’s opening line sets the tone for the narrator’s intensive sadness, but the ending provides a note of hope.

Christmas Passing by Patricia Wallace Jones

Christmas Passing

Dressed in green and arriving by creek
instead of the path, I startle the dogs.
They circle me to protect a man
I assume is a drifter, the bearded one
who built a fire, slept on the beach
on Christmas Eve.

He calls them in, offers me coffee
from a stainless cup, looks to the bluff
and thanks me for the light-strung tree.

We talk a bit, throw sticks to the dogs
until taken by a rise of sea-bound gulls,
flashes of white on a winter front,
we lapse into silence
to let the season pass between us.

I climb home, look over my shoulder,
see only the great heron
closer to me than he’s ever been.

by Patricia Wallace Jones

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Editor’s Note: The close of this poem carries the entire thing.

All Lovers Entitled by Patricia Wallace Jones

All Lovers Entitled

Upon learning of your illness
the sky dimmed.
By morning, fog woman arrived
riding bare, low on the back of a heron.
She was followed by high tide, the sea
fiercely dressed in blue-black moiré,
her best autumn combers.

They are primed, ready to fight
alongside your wife and me
and your muse, since the cradle,
the resolute moon—
with all of us this coming rain.

By early evening I had handpicked
and planted ninety new bulbs,
all of them tulips, Sissinghurst white—
fifty plus eight for your party come May,
the balance for us all to crow on.

by Patricia Wallace Jones, first published in The Flea.

Patricia on Facebook

Editor’s Note: This poem’s use of gorgeous imagery underscores the frantic difficulty of loving someone who has fallen ill.

May 30th by Patricia Wallace Jones

May 30th

A year ago I wrote to you
of temple bells, about the silk-tassels,
how they grow like weeds, shimmer
in the wind beneath my window.

After a mild dry winter,
scant spring rain, you sing to me
of homemade tortillas, the sweet
heady taste of vine-ripe tomatoes.

Out of step with your seasons,
these cool windy mornings
my catkins dance early, grey faster,
fall even softer this year than the last.

And to think—
before you came
with this uncommon friendship,
the remarkable beauty
in distant correspondence,
I would have missed this day,
used it for a calendar, a decoration
for my wall if I noted it at all.

by Patricia Wallace Jones

Patricia on Facebook

Editor’s Note: The internet has given us the ability to easily form friendships with people on the far side of the planet. This poem addresses that sometimes surprising mismatch of seasons, and the gratitude that knowing one another brings.

December Migration by Patricia Wallace Jones

December Migration

She sets her gaze
the way she used to choose
a patch of night and patiently wait
for stars to fall.

One by one they pass,
blow and breech on a Solstice sea.
She is captured, filled with the magic
of moon and giant, gifts unknown
in a glittered past when halls decked
and candles lit, she waited on wishes
instead of whales.

by Patricia Wallace Jones

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Editor’s Note: The deceptive simplicity of this poem belies the complex story behind the narrator’s words. Time passes. Wishes evolve.

Asked, I Cannot Tell You What He Feels by Patricia Wallace Jones

Asked, I Cannot Tell You What He Feels

I can only say how they begin and end–
an arresting cry then a startled look
as vocal chords contract seconds before
his hand flies skyward and legs give way.

Shorty, part Aussie herder, beats me to him;
attacks his pant leg, the perceived intruder
until, freeing a hand, I can shoo her away.

Lumpy, sweet feline familiar, hangs in,
rides them out near his feet alternating
between wide-eyed and yawning.

Within a minute he blues about the mouth,
shakes violently and goes rigid; then comes
the grinding, blood and saliva, the soiling
and it’s over.

He will remember nothing;
may or may not ask why his jeans are wet,
his left eye bruised and tongue is sore.

Gloves are advised but I never use them
convinced that touch can be curative.

by Patricia Wallace Jones, first published in Wordgathering.

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Editor’s Note: This heart wrenching poem speaks to the caregiver in all of us. Love pushes us into difficult wildernesses.