Monday, December 23, 2019


YES! It's been far too long since I've portmanteau'ed my name into anything.  This one is a real winner.  This year I have written a collection of poems.  It happened that I was just writing them because I love it but then I thought since I had a few going and since I think it's a fun way to track time and season, etc, around midsummer I decided to deliberately continue this jenthology for the remainder of the year.   

It's been a fun project and has only fueled my love-fire for poetry.  I hope to continue and develop this thing that has always been a thing for me ever since I could write, but it's a fun challenge to try a bit harder and make myself do more. To bring it out of myself. The thing about poetry is it is really bleeding hard. It feels like a crapshoot every time so that when/if I happen to come up with basically anything, I feel super satisfied and proud of myself even though I know it's probably junk. It's not great poetry, but poetry is effort. It's throwing your creativity into the fire and praying something decent comes out.  I tried. And I don't hate 100% of it, so, good enough for me.  

Also, it really makes me wonder where poetry comes from.  I know that certain moments or settings or life events can inspire poetry. Visions. Feelings.  But what really compels a person to do it?  I feel like it's always been in my blood, life flowing unnoticed.  It's a great mystery, but here you go-- a collection of poems chronologically through the year 2019, starting with some elegant prose called Dishes:

Dishes shmishes, if I had wishes,
I'd be in need of only one,
That all the dirty dishes shmishes
Could SNAP--just like that--be done.

Of all the things I like to do
I like them best when I'm with you
Of all the trips and chances to take
I take them with you, for heaven's sake
Of all the shows and things to see
The art to view and new melody
The food to eat and games to play
Of all the frigging words I say
Of all the challenges, of all the chores
Of all the opening or closing doors
Of all the jokes and every prank
Of all my lucky stars I thank
I'm just so happy it's all with you
My life feels best when it's lived with you.

Favorite, favorite, favorite boy.
Favorite friend and tickle toy.

Favorite reading buddy and nighttime talker
Favorite walk around the block-er.

Favorite prankster and co-surpriser
Favorite theorist and philosophizer

Favorite pal and my dream come true,
Yes, my favorite favorite thing is YOU.

Mountain Spring
Mountain spring, oh, what a thing!
The greenery its fountain
The emerald isle lasts but a while
Before brown becomes the mountain.

Summer days, when life's ablaze
Every morning presents its glory
The world a-bloom, the vanquished gloom
Forgone to a shiny new story
Breath begins, tho the spirit chagrins
That none of this will last
But we contend or perhaps pretend
That summer will ne'er avast.


You can try but you shan't defy
The blistering heat monster called mid-July
He sharpens his knives in continuous supply
And waits for you with plans to subdue
His kitchen swells until he's satisfied.
Bakes and sets and wins each time.
Nestled in the crockery tin
His stewy breath blown in your eye.
The fiery glint shows his new fry
Resigned and brined, no you can't deny
The new cook in town with a plan for pie
The new cook in charge, called mid-July

End of August

End of August, when summer hangs 
Frozen in the air before you
And you watch it,
Warm and waiting and wondering
When it will fall.

It begins to ebb 
In the mornings and evenings
Evaporating a little more each day
Until eventually, a midday moment
Is the only sign 
It was ever there
At all.

One Word
There's the life I've been given, first of all
I supposed I could end this here.
But there's surely more to say, to call
As the season beckons near.
It is the body all mine
That stores my soul
And holds every organ dear.
All the little miracles, each their own
That I may never even see or hear.
It's the joy of a moment,
The luck in a step
The new thing learned or lost.
It'll be the sobering reminder
The choice to be kinder
The things we relinquish at cost.
It's you and it's he,
And it's she and it’s we,
The riches of people who share
It's beauty and thought
Ideas that are wrought
Distributed by those who but dare
And that light in the mist
Increasing the list
The One on whom everything banks
For all these things,
And all the treasured beings,
One word: that'll be 'thanks'.

Once upon a time in college, my younger sister lived next door to me and my older sister left a message on the apartment's answering machine. She was discussing some plans and in a slightly hasty, awkward ending (as all voicemail message endings are), she blurted out, "ok, well, that'll be thanks! er..bye"  and hung up. And it was funny and has been a joke ever since, and now, at long last, finally made into a poem.

Morning Glory
Fluffy and white
A cloud of light
A golden sun
Just out of sight
If you're not there
After each night
There is no chance
My day will go right.

I scribbled this on a post-it note one morning and then later shared it with Sean and Julian and had them guess what it was about.

Both of them:  Awww, the CAT! So great! She really is the best. [continuous love expressed for the kitten...]

Jen: Um... no. That's not it.   It's an ode to a poached egg.

They were 100% convinced, and it's really funny that it definitely absolutely perfectly could also be about the cat.  Cats + poached eggs, my two great loves.

Unworthy Mountain

The mountain stands to tower o'er
To tower o'er and o'er.
Its purpose dauntless to all things lower
To all things lower and lower.
Its peaks alone know the wild storms 
In that stratospheric realm
That may never reach the lesser forms
Of the foothills they overwhelm.
For worthy is the upmost point
Which only sometimes decides to breach
That line where the snows disjoint
T'where the rest of us just reach.
But a mountain is still a mountain
And as reason tends to stand
We're all worthy of the storms that come
To every outstretched hand. 

The Christmas Cookie

The Christmas cookie
as any Christmas rookie
Will tell you stoutly
And no less devoutly
Is to be, on the hour,
One's goal to devour
So varied, raspberried,
And lemoned, and merried,
And shuffled and truffled, 
One dines a bit harried,
But each frosted jewel
Is Christmastime fuel
And each given the honor
Of soon being a goner. 


Alone is where the quiet lives
When buried thoughts return
Alone is where the magic might
Compel the soul to burn
Alone is when we introduce
The things placed on the shelves
Alone is giving time and space
To reacquaint the selves
Alone is when new things are heard
In whatever form the sound
Alone is when the work takes shape
A solo journey-bound
Alone is creation's precipice 
The crushing of the morn
Alone is where the hope is crowned
Where miracles are born.


The twinkle of the morning
The hush of glinting dawn
The twinkle of my night dreams
Thus dissipated yon.

The twinkle of the tree light
The highlight and the low
The twinkle of good intentions
Potential promises bestow

The twinkle of things quiet
The twinkle of things bright
The twinkle of the shifting time
As Day becomes the Night

The twinkle of the twilit blue
The sparkle of the dust
The twinkle for my heart subdued
The cradle for my trust

The twinkle of the watchkeep
To quilt a frozen sky
The twinkle of the stillness swift
And of a life gone by.


Joel said...

This is lovely. Sometimes i think that because I spend all day at a computer writing boring (or at least work-y) things, it robs me of my creativity and desire to write on my own time. I need to figure out a way to do a little pure creating like this.

Also, I want to go call my wife "Organs Dear."

)en said...

Organs Dear? Or "Organs, dear"

Pure creating. I once read about a woman who had accomplished amazing things including writing projects that felt inspiring yet allusive to me. She had a bunch of kids and would write while on the toilet during bathtime and stuff and I was like, dang. Disciplining myself is the greatest challenge. It's something I'm working on this year in tiiiiny baby steps.