Now On Sale: Waiting Out the Storm

Poems by Jennifer A. Payne
5.5 x 8.5, Paperback, 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9905651-4-7
$15.00 (plus tax + shipping)

Poems on death, grief, and gratitude, written from the shoreline of Connecticut and the wide and windswept beaches of Cape Cod. Dedicated to the memory of MaryAnne Siok.

if I call it the Zombie Apocalypse, neither of us are as scared as we should be

For My Nephew Max

At dawn, I scoop soft flesh from native squash
separate the slippery seeds in a shallow dish,
add olive oil, salt, pepper……….wonder:
should I dry them, save them, hide them
instead in a dark corner in the cellar store?

Before too much time, I should teach you,
teach you these things you’ll need to know,
like where the wild asparagus grow,
and how to shuck oysters……….if they remain

Scientists say now the seals might die.
Will oysters follow suit? The sweet brine of clams the same?
Do I even know if seeds will store and for how long
before they……….and we……….amount to ash?

Once, an acorn took root in the cellar,
stretched its albino shoot as high as it could reach
then gave up the ghost with a long heavy sigh
that haunted the house for days.

Acorns, I am told, are edible……….with work
But I pray that won’t be you, your sweet small self
stretched reaching-thin towards the sun
……….or the rain……….or the last nut high on a branch.

Remind me to tell you about nuts,
and roots and berries, spring shoots,
and mushrooms — both kinds, just in case.


Poem ©2019, Jen Payne. For similar reflections, please purchase a copy of my new book WAITING OUT THE STORM. Click here for details.

Her Last Hurrah

No one knew for sure, but she did. This would be her last hurrah. Bold and bright and full of expectations she didn’t mean to hold onto. But how could she not? This was her purpose: to grow, to blossom, to bloom…big. If not that, then what?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. For similar reflections, please purchase a copy of my new book WAITING OUT THE STORM. Click here for details.


Behold! The sun rises on a new season as creatures great and small look to the east. Under consideration: what can we leave behind and what will rise up from the debris? What must we tear down, and what — oh what — can we build straight up to heaven?

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne. American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) watches the sun rise from a lichen perch.

Darn It

To darn means to mend, and I wonder if that’s what this Darner dragonfly was doing. Waylaid in the middle of the road, neither here nor there, perhaps it was simply mending things for itself; sewing up pieces of the inexplicable so they made sense again…or just for now. To be honest, I thought it was dead until I nudged it gently, asked “Are you OK?” out loud while I considered my own repair needs — what to fix, what to patch, and what to release.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne.


It used to be I could see through the thicket, almost to the edge where this small stream meets the horizon. The promise of the day ahead reflected in the water, and I was always sure I’d see some kind of magic. But the way is almost hidden now, overtaken by shadow and those things that grow when we’re not paying attention.

Photo + Musings ©2019, Jen Payne.