This morning at 2,
while a wet snow
formed heavy burdens
and the things I cannot digest
boiled bile to a froth,
I awoke



At the day then, the smaller tasks —
always most productive —
seemed best acceptance:

wash the dishes,

feed the cat,

water the plants.

A domestic meditation
designed to sooth while
outside, that snow
threatened to break things.

And so small me
in a small effort
(it felt)
changed what I could —
donned coat and boots
and in the quiet dark
brushed snow from branches
of a dogwood set to bloom.

If not wisdom, I suppose,
one at least
can hope for flowers.

Photo and poem ©2019, Jen Payne

We Are Two Kindred Spirits in August


Can you just be, she says to me

and we do then, there

on a tepid summer Sunday,

throw out our lines

to catch hold the juggernaut

of passing time

slow it just enough to

eat curried pea soup

without spilling

and fresh raspberries

one by one

from a crystal bowl,

to read poems

one by one too,

until time comes to leave

and one from one we part

for now and then and sometime yet again

soon, we hope, soon.

Poem & Photo ©2018, Jen Payne.

5 – In the Moment

The ant

in the deep grout

of the tile floor

in the bathroom

of the Welcome Center

at mile marker 8

stops every few inches

(for itself a mile)

to inspect

then turns




while I wonder

what it eats

and where it sleeps

and if


it ever scales a wall

to see what comes next.

POEM ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #5. If you like this poem, then check out the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth

It is so simple
there at the beginning.
There is no imposition —
or / and what imposition
is barely an itch against
that soft, soft skin
sweet, sweet skin
to kiss and kiss again.
It is so simple
there at the beginning,
before nature and nurture
nurtures nature away,
and nothing,
no nothing,
is so simple
so soft
so sweet

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne, author of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind. IMAGE: Snake Dancer, 1910s postcard for Salon de Paris. Poem title from Genesis 2:4 (KJV).

Words, Crazy Words Reviews Evidence of Flossing

“Payne’s other work as an essayist is evident in many of the narrative poems. Strong sense of place and point of view carry the individual poems as a cohesive whole. This collection is one I will turn to again and again. I anticipate greater appreciation for this thoughtful collection each time.” — Tara Huck, Words, Crazy Words

CLICK HERE to read the full review!

This post is part of a month-long, nationwide blog tour for my new book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, hosted by Wow! Women on Writing. Buy the book today!



Before sleep had left bones
with dreams still whispering,
as fleeting as the sunrise,
for one short ray of understanding

Without need for scripture or sacrifice,
tithe, temple or testament.
No spokesperson or man behind a curtain
pulling levers of smoke and smite

Not all-knowing, all-powerful,
no rules and regulations in 6-point type.
Just you and me and our daily bread:
how we love one another

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the new book by Jen Payne. Click here to buy your copy today! ©2017, Jen Payne

The Promise of More

Oh good, I just read
we’ll have a new store!
I was worried a moment:
where would I buy more?

More trinkets and whatnots,
more must-haves and then,
not one or two thingies
but eight, nine…no TEN!

Ten more things to purchase,
ten more for display,
ten more for the storage
I rented today.

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the new book by Jen Payne. Click here to buy your copy today! ©2017, Jen Payne

Evidence: Glacier

Glaciers across much of the world are retreating in response to changing climate. Since 1967, the Teton Glacier, seen here in 2016, has lost 15 percent of its surface area. If current trends continue, the glaciers of the Teton Range will disappear. Their passing will be one of the many transformations this landscape will experience in the face of climate change.

Photo ©2017 Jen Payne, from the upcoming book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.