18 – This is me

Molted self,
a variation discarded
on this wide expanse
of storm-washed beach,
where winds give and take
and waves give and take

am I the given or the taken?

how does one know
it’s time to change?
make one’s way
from this to that,
from here to there.
what is the calling that says
writhe out of these confines
wade back in — raw and ready
for surely this is the raw state
shorn of the old, naked and exposed
lacking familiar comfort
save for legs that move me
ever forward,
this blue ocean in my veins.

 

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #18 and NaPoWriMo poem. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

17 – I’ll Take B Words for $200, Alex

Balanced
Balmy
Ballsy
Bangin’

Beaming

Beauteous……..Beautified……..Beautiful

Becoming
Beguiling
Bejeweled

Beloved

Beneficial
Benevolent
Best.…….Better
Bewitching
Big-hearted

Blessed.

Blissful
Blooming
Bodacious
BOLD

Bootylicious
……..Bouncy

Boundless
Bountiful

Brave
Brazen
Breathtaking

Bright
Brill
Brimming

Brisk
Broad
Bubbly
Buoyant
Burly
Bustling

Brilliant?

 

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #17 and NaPoWriMo poem. IMAGE: Theme & Variations Decorative Plate #363 (Bee on Nose), Fornasetti. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

16 – Hoping for Magic, A Found Poem

She wonders

What is the weight of a soul?

And

Where does it go when we die?

Asks in the dark

Are there such things as ghosts?
Can they speak to the living?

Please…

What of spirits, demons, fairies, and angels?
Can dreams hold portents, visions, foretellings?
Does magic exist?

say yes

 

because I miss her.

Text in italics from The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay. For MA on 4/27/19. Poem ©2019 Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #16 and NaPoWriMo poem. IMAGE: Scream, Nuri Iyem. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

15 – Unheard

This silencing here

on the wild and wicked coast

the grief, the loss, the sorrow,

choked and suffocated

in manic whorls of wind and sand

not unlike the experience

of my family who

when spoken to

lift shovels of

finely ground resentment

into my mouth.

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #15 and NaPoWriMo poem. IMAGE: Scream, Nuri Iyem. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

14 – At Race Point Beach

At Race Point Beach
whorls of wind……….or ghosts
……….howl at times
enough to steal a Banshee’s wail……….or mine

mine, loud and silent
this long, slow lament
undulating months and miles

months and miles to here,
where confessions of grief
keen to wind and waves

wind and waves wise enough
to hold me up

hold me up
a borrowed resolve
‘til buffeted right again

moved
……….despite myself

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #14 and NaPoWriMo poem. Photo ©2019, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

13 – Prayer

If nothing,

grant me this:

this quiet walk

undisturbed

by anything

but winds and waves

but gulls and crows

but the long slow roll of the tide

and this

this welcomed solitude

the illusion of peace

and respite from memory

if nothing,

let that be enough

for now

amen.

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #13 and NaPoWriMo poem. Photo ©2019, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

12 – She is Walking, Spent

She is walking, spent

remembers: the recoverable wave energy resource here is 160 terawatt hours per year

160 terawatt hours per year = energy resource from waves

enormous potential

consider: just 1 terawatt hour per year of energy could supply 93,850 homes with power

could……….potentially

if recoverable

can it be recovered?

While an abundance of wave energy is available, it cannot
be fully harnessed everywhere for a variety of reasons…

One might need a Dragon to recover.

A large-scale effort

that reacts to pressure and stress

to generate power

the necessary power for 93,850 homes

or one

one person walking

walking by the waves one might harness

for energy resources

could……….potentially

if recoverable

but is she?

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #12 and NaPoWriMo poem. Photo ©2019, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. Statistics from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

11 – This Bridge

Here is the coming
and the going,
the where we cross over.
Attraversiamo,
says the traveler,
Let’s cross over.
Let’s find a way
from this to that,
from here to there.
Move.
Change.
Navigate.
Negotiate

Don’t hesitate

Let’s cross over
this coming and going
crossover,
become again

once again

what’s next.

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #11 and NaPoWriMo poem. Photo ©2019, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

10 – Missing Iguana

It was an all-points bulletin: MISSING IGUANA! Jake likes to roam, be on the lookout. Don’t chase! I was a little busy when I first saw the news; parking my car outside the hotel was proving more difficult than it should and the sun was in my eyes. Maybe that’s why I had a hard timing believing them when I saw the iguana on the hotel lawn, sitting atop a purple octopus. I didn’t think to ask how the octopus was managing out-of-water, I was actually deep in thought, wondering: what inspires an iguana to roam in the first place?

100-word prose poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #10 and NaPoWriMo poem. BONUS video footage. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!

9 – The Blue Room, Version 1

In the blue room where I stayed at my grandmother’s house
all those long afternoons and evenings
the only things blue were the walls and the ceiling
everything else was white —
a dull white that reminded me of mushrooms,
like a mucousy Campbell’s mushroom soup—
really, white and nicotine-stained from a toxic tonic
of acrid smoke and dog dander that made its way under the door
despite best intentions

maybe my parents could see the difference between that smoke
and the fine, gray mist of the humidifier set high on the dresser for maximum results,
but I couldn’t……………….breathe

at least the ceiling was blue, almost like the sky,
but even it assumed a certain dullness of spirit —
it was hard not to in that room

that room where the only real contrast was the black door
the creepy black door that led to the creaky attic ……………….and bats

now that’s something to think about while you’re trying to breathe
the bats……………….or the kids playing in the yard beneath the window
all those long afternoons and evenings
running and laughing with deep, unasthmatic shouts

one could think about them, too, but I rarely did

stay focused on the breath, my yoga instructor reminds me now
and I take it for granted……………….oh how I take it for granted
back then, in the blue room, breath came at a price
the cost of which included that odd solitary confinement
and drugs to induce my fight or flight to breathe

one would think not being able to breathe was induction enough
to fight or flight the fuck out of there,
but the shiny white pills were too much for my ten year old self
who had no choice but to sleep off the tremors
and lose herself in the pages of words and worlds
all those long afternoons and evenings ……………….breathing still

Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #9 and NaPoWriMo poem. #NaPoWriMo. For more poetry by Jen Payne, purchase a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK TODAY!