The moon sang the sun out
but not for long.
You spread my hair over
fever chills like a paisley shawl.
Your tears ran down my face
a spirit veil, wet lace.
Your lips walked
from one corner of my town
to the river’s edge
while your broker’s eyes
asked always for
the goods I didn’t have.
Your hands stamped
the passport of my spine,
chased silver the leaves of
dove occluded sky. Dawn placed
the rose grey seal. And so we boarded;
one life parted from the next,
in fire, then ash, blown across
the guarded border, where
whistles shrilled and every flag blew out.
On a planet where rocks dreamed
the sun sang out the moon,
but not for long.
The drought is a dead mother, all silence and negation.
It breathes the void and makes inaction action.
It gathers up possibilities and reduces them by fraction
to a still cipher that sucks the multiples from creation.
The drought owns nothing but the dead empty and a name.
As green falters and begins to change its mind,
the bright is bleached out grey, limping down a stony wind.
The sky is stripped. There’s no giving left to find,
except the gift of wind not breath, just scorch, the whip of flame.
Serial and sere, Ceres surrenders, hushes and renders
her variegated voice silent that sought to sew the cloud
to earth in her soft singing seaming, terrestrial to celestial.
Instead the steel wind has dry lightning on its fenders;
it drives the wildfire down the highway, smoke impenetrable
and all the still or wavering things are burned up in that shroud.
As I’m burning through this empty coughing dream
of nothing where your song once sewed the seam.
Silence, poisoned with crows.
Jade candles in a porcelain oval, blown out.
Pearls in a blind man’s ear, swinging
what can’t be seen.
Lamps doored by blue clouds, shut,
freckling night luminescent;
all these things
kissed by the tongues of wasps
violent then numb
rasped by polar wind
you brought for the offering
altared before me, for the ritual
of unknowing, unmaking,
back to blackness
to the first
dividing cell struggling uselessly
to be whole;
like a yew bald of needles,
like an unborn moon.
faceted, refracting, chucking
hot white splinters to wince the eye
winking from the country of the dead
where no light stumbles except
to be changed changed changed again
in that crystalline splitrail corral
a silicant irritant a tiny mote
gets under the skin encysts
insists itself and carpenters
its own infected radiant bliss
taut ruddy and inflamed the setting
drops the pearl
crawling flat to feed
glossy grey and many legged
inserting its needle nose into the skin
drawing out what makes it fat
to bursting, obscene itching resistant
to removal except by fire
a point of steel a tiny blade
hard as the trickster’s heart
so thin, so almost invisible at the cut
except for the drip drip drip
of ruby it leaves in its voiding
wake of words
I was an accident.
I happened one day
and people just had
to learn to live with it.
There was no malice involved,
only cause and effect
as an object on one course
must meet what opposes it
in a collision that breaks each one.
The age that’s come
is another accident. I was
never meant to live
so long, past the point
where rails can go, to
grow clouds in my eyes
and traps in my bones, be the last lost
in the long gone past. This is all
And when I brushed
your hip with mine
in the crowded smoke,
when you stumbled and grabbed
my shoulder—what a trainwreck
started there! How the lives piled up,
derailed, crumpled as the force
pushing them met that stone wall kiss–
The screams! The wreckage! And the acts
as heroically we pulled
the newly shattered
from the broken twist,
set their bones and tried
to make the crippled dance again,
but things can never be
quite the same
after an accident.
All poems ©Joy Ann Jones. Used by permission.
Joy Ann Jones maintains the blog Verse Escape, where to date she has published, as Hedgewitch, over six hundred poems, one of the best online collections of poetry you’re likely to find.
My review of Gemini/Scorpio/Capricorn