Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blue Ice

Blue Ice
"They tell me of a home far beyond the skies. They tell me of a home far away.
They tell me of a home where no storm clouds ride.
O they tell me of an uncloudy day."
~traditonal Southern spiritual

Each year you've been gone
in the last warmth of ten crawling Novembers,
I wrap the roof in blue lights.

Their infant's eyes in the night
open wide over me.
I don't pull the plug

when the slow seep of the sun
lanterns the cloud-muted sky;
they are the ward

the spell that says
as I speak so shall it be:
blue eye meets blue eye

to spark the white moon,
forgiveness will make
uncloudy day,

love given will tune
out the tolling mistakes.
Home is not

it is not far away.

Each year in the dead cold
of eleven Januarys
I take the blue lights down.

They tangle in my hands like
skeins of  blue ice. There's no
feeling in my fingers when

at last they're packed in the attic,
where their blindness shows clear
 Home is not here.

~December 2013

If you'd like to hear a very rough recording of the author reading an unrevised version of  this poem, click below:

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Photos © joyannjones, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Train Wreck Point, by jack_a_daniel


I was an accident.
I  happened one day
and people just had
to learn to live with it.
There was no malice involved,
only cause and effect
as an object on one course
must meet what opposes it
in a collision that breaks each one.

The age that's come
is another accident. I was
never meant  to live
so long, past the point
where rails can go, to
grow clouds in my eyes
and traps in my bones, be the last lost
in the long gone past. This is all
an accident.

And when I brushed
your hip with mine
in the crowded smoke,
when you stumbled and grabbed
my shoulder---what a trainwreck
started there! How the lives piled up,
derailed, crumpled as the force
pushing them met that stone wall kiss--
The screams! The wreckage! And the acts

of bravery
as heroically we pulled
the newly shattered
from the broken twist,
set their bones and tried
to make the crippled dance again,
but things can never be
quite the same
after an accident.

~December 2013

Train Wreck, 1905
jill carlson, on flick'r

posted for     real toads
Weekend Challenge:The World's End
Marian of runaway sentence gives us our mission: 
"Our writing exercise today is this: What would it be like if we were stuck in (or have regressed to) the past?

I have no problem going there. It's leaving that's hard.

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Photos shared from flick'r, under a Creative Commons License

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hands of Winter

Hands Of Winter

In the time
when day runs away from night
leaving it swelling 
its starveling importance,
when shadow rimes the starling's wing
when the doe-rabbit shivers
in the scant iced grass
pretending to be naught,
winter's hands come
threaded with clouds,
sewing over living and dead
the sleet-seamed shell of cold
that can't 
be wished away.

~December 2013

55 shiny pellets of sleet for       the g-man

Photo ©  joyannjones 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Off the Shelf Archive~December

One of our Christmas pastimes this year was watching a few movies we picked up at the used book store. Among the usual uneven lot of hits and misses was a flick called The Raven, starring John Cusack, and it was a pretty terrible film, yet Cusack gave a rather endearing, if historically less-than-accurate portrayal of Poe, complete with pet racoon and raven, in the days shortly before his mysterious death, the explanation for which no one has so far discovered. (The one contrived for the film was definitely ingenious, if hardly believable.)

All this reminded me that I have not continued with my spotlight on that author very assiduously, so I have here

 on the Off The Shelf Page, the second selection in my Poe-a-thon, called,  Alone.

~ * ~

Below is last month's poem, exhumed for a final reading before being interred ("For the love of God, Montresor!") in the archival vaults: Spirits Of The Dead.

Spirits of the Dead

by Edgar Allen Poe

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Image: Le Pont de Courbevoie, by Georges Seurat, crayon 1886
Public Domain, via

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Repost: The Yule Goat

Thanks to  jane davitt hewey   for reminding me of this poem.

Happy Yule to All!

Goat watching

Yule Goat

In December’s dark descent
across crackled breaking sky ice
slivered with dagger snow,
bells ring in whitened night, sharp
hooves stamp on the cloudcloth
shaking pearl dust stripes on
viridian spruces, candelabra arms
turquoise and white pinwheels
circling their wands
of bitter bark raven haunted.

The god of thunders 
pulls the sun's shadow,
flickering hammer tucked
in his brace of clouds,
drives his twin goats
toward the time when day
and night are strait, equals at last
as Odin's wild hunt 
passes damned, mad,
howling overhead

The Snarler and the Grinder
fleet of foot, heedless of fate
run on; tonight's feast, tomorrow’s
feat, killed for meat this starveling
night, raised at dawn.
Spread the skins and 
let each bone 
fall with care so
those here reborn 
race again on the solar wind.

O bright black eye
split with too much knowledge
devil’s mask, canting voice
of the abyss, god's bearer, hunger's enemy
come bless us this Yule with your
yellow stare, ignite yourself
against the hag’s winter storm,
flute your flames through a straw ribcage. 
Watch us make the old dance new again
under the reckless stars.

December 2011

In Norse myth, Thor was not only provided with his mountain-shattering hammer Mjölnir, his magical, strength doubling belt Megingjörð, but a chariot in which he traveled through the sky pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir (Old Norse "teeth-barer, snarler") and Tanngnjóstr (Old Norse "teeth grinder") spoken of in the Prose Edda, who could be slain for food at Thor's discretion then resurrected with the power of Mjölnir and returned to the traces.~ from wikipedia: 'The Yule Goat is one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbols and traditions. Originally denoting the goat that was slaughtered during the Germanic pagan festival of Yule, "Yule Goat" now typically refers to a goat-figure made of straw. It is also associated with the custom of wassailing, sometimes referred to as "going Yule Goat" in Scandinavia.' As always, I've taken a few liberties with the letter of the myths.You can read more about the folklore of the Yule Goat here  and the Wild Hunt here.

Header Photo: Goat watching, by on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons License 
Footer Photo: The Gävle goat burning, author unknown
All copyright belongs to the copyright holder

Thursday, December 19, 2013




I'm just a blogging poet
despised by academe.
I don't count my atonalities.
I rust my cast iron dreams
in a rain of ruinous lunacies.
I polish twenty syllables
to spin you a ragged dime,
I sonnet from non-portuguese;
I don't hold my nose at rhyme.
I'm just a blogging poet:
read, rinse, repeat online.

~December 2013

55 blithering logorrheic units for    the g-man

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! I plan on taking a blogging break till the New Year, but I will be lurking around in case someone makes me a prompt I can't refuse. 

Best of holidays to all and so many grateful thanks to all my readers who take the time and energy to visit, read, rinse and repeat all year long.

Image: Untitled, by Janiana C Falkiewicz on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons License