Untitled XIX

Fissures come from earthquakes
and it was an earth quaking
my earth trembling first
then undulating to his force.
Earth resists – that’s why it breaks –
and I said no [I said no]
until I stopped
because I was so very empty
from the last quake
and he was filling me.
I fissured with his taking
pale earth crumbling, splitting
red bands of hidden dirt
shaken free.
His waves moved through the earth
and then subsided, rumbling,
and I am left,
fissured.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Untitled XVIII

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The voice of the wind is nameless
here it rips tears through sagebrush
and its rush against rock is the sound
of fine sandpaper on soft wood
“shh-shushhhh” it whisper-roars
in long syllables cut
off abruptly at the end of the desert’s breath.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Untitled XVII

I wore a sparkly skirt today.
A female colleague says she likes it,
says, “that’s how you get guys
because they notice your butt.”
I am silent.

Let me paint a scene:
a lecture hall, packed
with my department, 100 people,
and two legends in our field about to speak.
I wore a sparkly skirt today.
A female colleague likes it,
says, “that’s how you get guys
because they notice your butt.”
I am silent.
I am silent.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Inspiration: Czeslaw Milosz

Rivers Grow Small

Rivers grow small. Cities grow small. And splendid gardens
show what we did not see there before: crippled leaves and dust.
When for the first time I swam across the lake
it seemed immense, had I gone there these days
it would have been a shaving bowl
between post-glacial rocks and junipers.
The forest near the village of Halina once was for me primeval,
smelling of the last but recently killed bear,
though a ploughed field was visible through the pines.
What was individual becomes a variety of a general pattern.
Consciousness even in my sleep changes primary colors.
The features of my face melt like a wax doll in the fire.
And who can consent to see in the mirror the mere face of man?

From New and Collected Poems (1931-2001) Harper Collins Publishers 2003.

Sevenling: Blue sweater

These are a blue sweater,
horn-rimmed glasses, forgotten
ink-smudged fingers.

She is bright,
rose petal soft, quivering
adjusting her shirt,

covering black traces of touch.

A Sevenling for today’s prompt on dVerse: http://dversepoets.com/2016/04/07/dverse-meeting-the-bar-the-sevenling-form/. Go check out the other contributions!

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Argot

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I wish I knew the language of mountains.

What does it mean:
the pattern of pine – just so –
on a western slope,
the quick clack-clack of stone on stone
knocked loose as I labor
up a slope of scree?
Words are written in dry washes
threading from the heights,
dry now and inches deep with sand,
but roaring thick with snowmelt
in the spring.

Some, a lucky few,
know the language of their bones.
Tunneling deep, past topsoil, roots,
extracting cores and samples
in this age when science is worth more
than gold. A more sophisticated tongue
than miners used to use,
long gone but still peeling wooden signs
lean along overgrown paths, cautions
to their ghosts.

I tread lightly on the surface
despite butterfly wing effects of loose stone tumbling
downslope from my feet.
I cannot know this place,
yet I feel at home
with these unspeaking peaks,
the quick thunderstorms and direct rays
of a much closer sun,
the brush-crashings of bears and elk,
all we creatures who prefer
this land of rock-brown, sunburnt languages,
these articulately voiceless mountains.

Written for the “Summit in sight” prompt on dVerse today. Check it out: http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/29/poetics-summit-in-sight/.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

The Belle Jar

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened?

A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened when I was 13. I’m not going to describe it in detail because it’s not wholly my story to tell, but I will say that it was traumatic and was something that completely upended my life. Anyway, this person that I was talking to was also present for this event; not only that, but they were already an adult at the time and had access to information that I didn’t.

As we were talking, it became clearer and clearer that my memories were not accurate – my broader understanding of the event was correct, but large chunks of what I remembered were not. Some of my memories were distortions based on a teenager’s misunderstanding…

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Inspiration: Czeslaw Milosz

A Frivolous Conversation

-My past is a stupid butterfly’s overseas voyage.
My future is a garden where a cook cuts the throat of a rooster.
What do I have, with all my pain and rebellion?

-Take a moment, just one, and when its fine shell,
Two joined palms, slowly opens
What do you see?

-A pearl, a second.

-Inside a second, a pearl, in that star saved from time,
What do you see when the wind of mutability ceases?

-The earth, the sky, and the sea, richly cargoed ships,
Spring mornings full of dew and faraway princedoms.
At marvels displayed in tranquil glory
I look and do not desire for I am content.

Published in King Popiel and Other Poems 1962.

Driving through Texas on the second day of the new year

Spanish moss hangs greybearded
and dripping in a Texas coastal rain
lending wisdom to live oaks

tired, not just their beards but even
branches sighing towards the earth.
A pale blue house gels through fog,

rain-blurred pixels crisping into
paint-peeling siding and faded white
window trim with a wraparound porch.

This porch needs a live oak chair
and greybeard wagging, somewhere nearby
echoes of laughter and children racing

through the wraparound. But the house
dissolves in mist as I am watching and a
pale blue warehouse runs beside the

highway, forward along the highway,
through the great stumps and smooth-planed
grass. There are no greybeards anymore.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

Inspiration: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Love’s Blindness
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I have heard of reasons manifold
Why love must needs be blind,
But this the best of all I hold, –
His eyes are in his mind.
What outward form and feature are
He guesseth but in part;
But what within is good and fair
He seeth with the heart.

Published in Love is a Poem (1962), an obscure anthology published by Peter Pauper Press I found in my in-laws’ house over the holidays.