16 – Wordsmiths Over Coffee

She says she is losing words
at her age, hard to come by

What is the name of that purple flower?

Crocus?

No. No.

She shrugs her shoulders as if to say:
I never wrote about flowers anyway.

Hyacinth?

I’m trying to put words in her mouth,
fill her up so she doesn’t forget……..or worse,
leave me to fill in the blanks myself.

Yes, Yes, that’s it.
She nods and we laugh,
the pair of us relieved.

Hyacinth.

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #16. If you like this poem, discover 80 more the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

13 – Extant

The nautilus shell
is complicated.

Mathematical —
its presentation
logarithmic,
mirror of the
greatest storms,
the largest galaxies…
Miraculous!

Its whole wide whorl
compartmentalized,
with past lives
in secret chambers —
where poetry is found
no less.

The poetry of time,
this old soul,
reminder of
roots and bones,
our beginnings
and our end.

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #13. If you like this poem, you’ll find 80 more the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

12 – To Be Privy to Process is Priceless

How the poet pens
the writer wrestles
the artist achieves
just the right recipe
of positive and negative
space
and their spaces
for process, too…
from studio, work table, tablet,
drawing board
bulletin board
comes
brilliance
broadcast by
rhythmic rhymes,
novel narrative,
proportion
perfected!

IMAGE: Red Studio (L’Atelier Rouge), Henri Matisse. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #12. If you like this poet’s process, then pick up a copy of the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

10 – In the Company of Spiders

A

spider

dropped

from

the

ceiling

this

morning.

Dropped and bounced on a fine line
between fear and fortitude.
We have been interacting ever since —
she to my left while I lean ever so slight to my right;
she out of sight so I step to the kitchen for a spell;
she now along the wall and towards the window,
and I with a cautious eye.
I do not know how long we will play at this —
living in the company of our fears.
If I spoke spider, I would offer her quid pro quo
I will not murder you today if you stay

just

so

far

away.

Photo: Long-bodied Cellar Spider, Pholcus phalangioides. Photo and Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #10. If you like this poem, then pick up a copy of my new book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

8 – Sky Burial

This morning she was blood red,
so freshly gone, I thought I saw
the last breath, her spirit leave,
but it was only a breeze
softly caressing the underside
of her soft furred belly.

Now she is curbside,
brown and gone —
curled up fetal and food
for flies and birds,
this her sky burial,
memory aloft and scattered.

Promise me this…
that if we come back
you will make sure I return
in as many places as possible:
the field and the fen,
the hollow of pine on the back bend,
that long wide beach of Nauset.

Photo: Nauset Beach, Cape Cod. Photo and POEM ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #8. If you like this poem, then check out the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

7 – On the Discovery of an Owl Pellet by a Poet

This absurd amalgamation
of bone white memories,
what once was
now something
wholly other!

Holy other,
this reliquary of
god’s creation,
every moving part —
what made it tick —
left here for time.

On bended knee,
the witness poet
should whisper
some ancient prayer
of gratitude.

Yes, gratitude…
for this is poetry incarnate,
the muscle and bone
of our experience,
how we ingest
and re-create,

How we take
what was…
make it new,
make it sacred

bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh

A pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a bird’s food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird’s pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth. Photo & Poem, National Poetry Month 2018, #7, ©2018, Jen Payne. For more poems like this, order a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind today! CLICK HERE

6 – The Writer at Dusk

The characters –
a time traveling
old soul mystic type
and a limping drug smuggler
with a green thumb
and a big heart –
stand in a kitchen
at daybreak
drinking coffee
while I sit beneath
the layers of the day,
heavy and bearing down
on me, here
(with barely a moment to spare
for characters in books or otherwise)
dreaming of morning rituals:
the dim light and incense
the guru’s chant (or silence)
water transformed
to magical infusion,
and fresh, fresh words on a page.

POEM ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #6. If you like this poem, then check out the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND today! CLICK HERE

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

left

left

right

while I wonder

what it eats

and where it sleeps

and if

perhaps

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