Of the twelve from which I came
there are some true and some false —
costae spuriae and costae verae.

I know well Spurius.
We have sparred for decades.
Fueled debates and bruises,
broken bones and hearts,
fed poetry and prose.

Vērus is a stranger,
yet as familiar as breath
when he finally appears,
surrounds heart and hope
as if bone from bone,
and flesh from flesh.

If I can uncage belief —
tear off this scar tissue
that congests and confines —
I may just love him forever.

Words ©2015, Jen Payne.
Photo, Morbid Anatomy.

Angel Wishes


It’s not often I ask for specific things — make a wish and blow out the candles usually yields a simple request for a good and healthy year.

Sometimes, I’ll ask for a little guidance — never a lot, just a little. In the point-me-in-the-right-direction-I’ll-take-it-from-there kind of way.

“What do you want to know?” the psychic always asks before she begins. But I never really have questions, I just want hints. Hints about what comes next maybe or something I haven’t considered.

Is that wishful thinking?

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

— Matthew 7.7 (KJV)

I just never know what to ask or what I seek specifically and in detail, although I know some people who do.

Last week, in anticipation of candle blowing and wishes making, I sat with a deck of angel cards — a gift from a like-minded friend. Quietly I asked what I needed to know, on what I should focus my intentions. Their reply?


Simple requests. A little direction. Hints whispered. Angel wishes.

• • •

©2013, Jen Payne.
IMAGE: Voices of Evening, Gustave Moreau, 1885.

Cultivating Weeds

At some point, during the course of each year, my front garden is beautiful. There is good, healthy soil as foundation; there are bright green shoots of promise and buds of anticipation.

But then, before I know it, everything is grown up and over itself. Small patches of this and that are suddenly one giant patch of something else entirely, and you can’t see where one left off and another got started.

How did this little space of good intentions get so side-tracked and overgrown?

The thing is, there’s a lot of great stuff in the front garden—big ideas, beautiful dreams, and goals ripe for the picking. But if you don’t tend to them, if you don’t give them attention and help the best ones grow — you end up just cultivating weeds.

“He will clean up his threshing floor and gather his grain into the barn, but he will burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.” — Matthew 3:12

©2012, Jen Payne