Saturday, September 27, 2014



Was it your lover
you saw in the dream,
a spirit bear on fire,
or perhaps
the chupacabra, a steam
 given off/
absorbed  by
too-hot night?

Some cryptid regardless,
a cambion that comes
when eyelids fall down
before the stare of stars
dropped silent with a burn
from black sky
as morning turns to face you

Fragments of him
of you
litter the lawn.
Meteorite dust
hangs in the air;
the smell of old longings
seeps from the roses

powdery as the skin's
 memory of a hand
that still feels,

of lips that know words
are the dark subsidence
down which you will tumble
to the place of live shadows
where two become one.

~September 2014

posted for    real toads

Challenge: Play it Again
The artful eye of Margaret Bednar (ArtHappens365) once again takes us back thru time to revisit old toads' memes that are gone but should not be forgotten. I chose this one of Kerry O'Connor's,  Superstition or Science? which I missed due to windowsh8 malfunctions earlier this month. 
(I told you I had a poem for it, Kerry!)

Process Notes: A cryptid is a creature which has been reported (or imagined) but not proved scientifically to exist, such as the yeti, or vampiric dog-lizard chupacabra. I have written about  cambions before here

Shared under a Creative Commons License
Footer Image: copyright joyannjones 2014


  1. The whole second stands is amazing. I'm left with a feeling of "did I dream this or did it really happen?" The photo on the bottom is gorgeous - a beauty from your garden, I'm sure.

  2. I'm struck by the equivalence of the lover to the imaginary beast, and the questions that arise therefrom: did the lover /love actually exist? Though that appears to be answered affirmatively in the final stanza. You've woven that sense of loss, of light dimmed ~

  3. Having had to face more than my fair share of cobra-hooded morning these last 2 weeks, I feel like this poem could have been written for me.. which is the mark of a skilled poet. You make us look our own personal demons in the face. It is uncomfortable but necessary. Thank you for returning to this challenge.

  4. This is filled with absolutely glorious images, Joy. The spirit bear on fire, the meteorite dust and roses....who combines these things so seamlessly except you? As Kerry says, another mark of a skilled poet. The feel of this is murky, bittersweet, sharp-edged and foggy all at the same time. I was going to say "if that's possible", but the evidence is in these lines. Ah well, as you once wrote, it's nothing that reincarnation won't cure.

    1. ps--it is indeed the Season of the Witch, as per your side bar!

  5. Strongly elegaic, with these very interesting words and sounds-- they are unusual enough that they could break the flow but you manage to weave them in here very musically. The cobra hooded morning is especially compelling for me and the sense of that overhang of night and relationship and longing into the day. The two becoming one like not just the you and he but also dream and day, I thought. Great weaving and enjambment especially.

    I had one for this challenge I dropped due to too many interruptions and completely different (ha! Opposite spectrum) but great choice and working out of prompt too in the sense of unique direction . Mumbling now. K.

    1. A little mumbling fits right in here, k. Thanks for your reading; as always your eye is sharp and spot on.

  6. what is or more so what isn't is carefully crafted in our thought-wanderings; nice write
    have a good Sunday

    much love...

  7. the last couple lines descend to a very cool place joy...this feels like it would dance with your series on incubus just a bit...the old roses smelling of old longings...ha...i can smell that...smiles...cobra hooded morning is cool, but everyone is saying that...smiles.

  8. Love the way you introduce the animals - like totems from a shaman's drum. To find that connection in the last 2 lines even after the ordeals of cobra hooded mornings sounds great.

  9. It's like various phases of a consciousness having come apart and then put back together not quite right. The reader wonders, 'Has it happened, will it happen?' and then, 'Oh, it has happened!' And then rereads to see if it stacks up, but oh that maleficent "dark subsidence" of words seems to implicate the reader into the process of unease, as if the poem itself were a spell cast.

  10. Hedge (I will always call you Hedge, regardless of the fact that your name is Joy; Hedge is so evocative!), you outdid yourself with this one. Your writing is always filled with magical imagery, but the line..." as morning turns to face you/cobra-hooded," was a stunner. I never know what morning will be until I open my eyes, and sure enough, it can be looming there, ready to strike.

    One of your best, in my opinion. Loved every bit. Amy

  11. I love the leap from lover to chupacabra--wild, dreamy and surreal. And your last two lines, oh Hedgewitch, what a delicious pair.

  12. Cryptid is one of my most favorite underused words. I love the subtle alliteration in this.

  13. Love the animal spirit that you bring throughout this, Hedge. Enjoyed this!

  14. I fell so many things from reading this....I faced a cobra hooded night last night..It wasn't because of a lover...sadly it was the strike of venom from a family member. I digress...this poem is powerful in its imagery and mystical feeling...It feels like dreaming wide awake. Fantastic!

  15. My goodness, how fantastic. Moved - lilted, lifted, dipped - like a musical composition. Like lifting a veil from the dividing line between the real and the imagined. Possibility lies in the two (real/imagined) rarely being diametrically opposed. I loved the cobra-hooded morning and the fragments on the lawn. Had me smiling like a madwoman.

  16. So love is the drug, the opiate fling, pulling the devil's bestiary from the shelve and reading it out loud, saying the word of what is but can never be--or is it the other way around? In the desiring heart all things are possible, are real (or is it in the imagining mind? or are they fully in accord in these situations?), so that the "spirit bear on fire" comes in the dream's embrace, at once the steam "given off / absorbed by the too-hot night." A collision of heaven to earth, an encounter that causes "Fragments of him / of you (to) / litter the lawn" and "meteorite dust (to) / hang in the air" -- lawd amighty what a pregnant moment. Of course the morning come with those "cobra hooded" eyes and the venom of all that the day refuses; yet the antidote is sure in this poem, enough at least for the span of its stanzas. It is good to reiterate these things, healthy and wise: but the freshest nail you drive in here is with ""lips that know words /are the dark subsidence /
    down which you will tumble // to the place of live shadows / where two become one. Subsidence so much more than "substance," which is a surrender to an immaterial (hence dark) truth rather than the invocation of some physical proof. Perhaps love is the insomnia that cooks up the drug. Cheers.

    1. Or insomnia the drug that cooks up the love? I'm struck by how much difference one word can make--in your poem today it was 'spiculation' that set the fire in my brain--here, I had a much different and far less potent, clumsy even, set of words before I had 'subsidence' go off in my nerves somewhere--it completed the poem's circle, which had been nigglingly less, before I found it. And thank you for seeing everything I wrote both in and between the lines, B.

  17. I learned a new word in this- subsidence- and love how you use it to snap my head around to a new understanding of the power of words. This poem is stunning.

  18. Always blown away by such rich and vivid imagery each time I visit. You're amazing.

  19. This requires repeated reading. I even found myself speaking this to hear the rich imagery. Love it!!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats