Thursday, April 24, 2014



Who have we seen?
Who have we been
on the back of the other self?

You had a monkey
on your shoulder
and you gave it apricots
as if a piece of dried fruit and you
made up for
the whole lost jungle,
the tiny tribe.

Under a sky of sin and cyan
drenched with a pearl grey ruin
we walked as you fed me those words,
an inking of dry kisses
apricot sweet,
in exactly
the same way.

Who have we seen?
Who have we been
in the jungle that lost its self?

~April 2014

Process Notes. Another dream. Apologies if this seems a bit incoherent--I have left it as it was given to me, beyond a little minor tinkering. 

Image: Two Chained Monkeys, 1562, by Peter Bruegel the Elder
Public domain via

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Five Charms

by  lolamouse or babymouse 2014
Five Charms

Five charms I picked up
from the dimestore dust,
all silver and blue and black in my hand:
A vase, an acorn, a button of fire,
two eyeballs with a look of command.

I strung them up quick
on a spaghetti string, tied as
tight as a tattoo on my wrist
but the vase tipped over and spilled its blood,
the acorn poked, the button burned
and the eyeballs saw more than they should.

So beware of the luck
that you find in the dirt.
Some things should be left,
some things charm up hurt.

~April 2014

posted for     real toads

 Challenge: Whozits and Whatzits
Lolamouse (Mouse Droppings)  has given us some truly unique photos of various arcane and odd ..stuff..taken at a shop she visited  on a trip to Portland, Oregon with her daughter. Bizarre as it may sound, I had already had the dream (including the eyeballs) that sparked this poem and written  a few lines of it down--I couldn't ask for a better pic to have enabled its completion. Thanks, LM!

Image by lolamouse or babymouse.
Used with permission.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Tumbleweed Maker

The Tumbleweed Maker

You are the thing that
makes the tumbleweed,
the thing that consuming,
consumes itself.

Not the snake but the fire,
not the mirrored serpent but
the serpent in the mirror,
not the rain, ever,

but forever
the dustbowl wind
that takes everything loose and light
breaks what tries to stand

that    pushes              pushes
to have its way
then getting it,                     
                             sighs away.

I hide from the sun
you pull out  
to smile benignly
dripping gold on yesterday's wreck

while trusting flowers come, 
tumbleweeds sway in greengold balls
the cat lolls on his back
forgetting to crunch up the doves

and things seem--

until the smile 
opens its can of hell,
curls leaves, drops flowers as
the panting cat thins in parched dust

the warped wall,
the emptied weed
the hiding heart

are light and loose and broken
ready for you,
the black wind
that blows it all away.

~April 2014

Images: Homestead and farm in Texas County, Oklahoma, USA, during Dust Bowl.
"Dust Storm Near Beaver, Oklahoma"1935
USDA, NARA respectively, public domain via wikimedia commons 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Heart Warrior

Heart Warrior

That gone summer, my heart was rolled flat
to cut out the shape of water
with a sugared silver punch.

Ever since, light passes through me
giving neither shadow nor
reflection, and

what falls away uses the petaldrop
of old flowers to synchronize
its random strip, sliding

unimpeded through the moon
shaped holes
while the red warrior glow

is just a waver
waived to witchlight in
the bloodshot eye of night.

~April 2014

Image: Untitled, Zdislav Beksinski
May be protected by copyright. Posted under fair use guidelines

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Epistemology: Prayer

Epistemology: Prayer

what       do
we      know   of
prayer?  A   hundred
 nights   I've  prayed
let       me    stop
loving      you
  let    me
looking   for     you     in    wind's
twisting    of    clouds,  the  dead
face   of    full   moons,   toppling
piles  of  shut  books   in  tumbl'd
rooms.  Let  my  soul  grow  still,
calm,  old   as  it  should.   Let  it
laugh  in    dog's   tongue,   learn
love   with  small  things, dropp'd
stars,   dawnsongs  of   sparrows,
down  of    new    hatched   birds.
But no                   these prayers
like  every   other   I  have   ever
prayed         return  to   me   un-
answered.     Perhaps for prayers
to  work   they  must   know  you
for what  you   are:   a  loss  with
every gain,  candle  where   no
flame can be;   perhaps   prayers
are only the   match   we    strike
to light desire;  or  perhaps   you
must not care,      beyond fear,  beyond mind,
 if they come true.   I know nothing about prayer.

~January 2014,
extensively revised, April 2014

Another in a series I've written on  various epistemological conundrums of mine.

posted for    real toads

Sunday Challenge: Shape Poems
Kerry asks us to provide a poem in that form known as a concrete, visual or shape poem--one whose shape on the page reflects or is an important element in its subject matter. I have done my best, but I must say the "new, improved, updated" version of blogger makes it very very difficult. Please excuse any irregularities.

Here, for karin, and any curious others, is the original, unshaped, unrevised version written in January. It is a bit different and more rudimentary, as my finished poems always morph and develop a bit from the drafts, but I think it says much the same thing:

Epistemology: Prayer

What do we know of prayer?
A hundred nights I've prayed
let me stop loving you
let me stop looking for you
in the curl of the clouds
the dead face of the moon
a  toppling pile of books  in a tumbled room.

Let my soul grow old as it should,
let it laugh at dogs and love only
the song of blackbirds,
 the soft skin of a quiet child
but this prayer
like every other I have ever prayed
goes unanswered.

Perhaps for prayers to work
you must know them for what they are
a light where no light can be
a loss with every gain

perhaps prayers
are only the match we strike
to light desire  or perhaps
you must want them
 to come true.  I think
we know nothing about prayer.

~January 2014

I really think the revision is a better poem, so thanks to Kerry for the challenge.

Image: Woman Praying, 1883, by Vincent Van Gogh
Public domain, via

Unless otherwise indicated, all content © Joy Ann Jones 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved.