Fall Wonderings

Photo Credit: Shoutout to Alex Motoc

Fourteen years ago today, I gave birth to a perfect and beautiful son, David Carl.

My third son.

My heart’s desire.

When a child is born still, our state writes no birth certificate and signs no death certificate.

It is as if the child never existed.

But no worries.

The hospital gave me a stuffed bear to carry home.

As if the gaping emptiness of my heart could be so easily filled.

You can read the whole story here.

Fall

It happened again.
October.

I hate October—
acrid leaves,
dying,
death.

My chest hurts
from breathing.

I try to forget.

But the accuracy
and tenacity
of the body
to remember
what the mind
wishes to forget
holds on.

I kept looking
at the clock,
wondering when
it would end.

I remembered
watching the clock
as my body strained
wondering when
it would end—

knowing how it would end.
Wishing it would just end.
Trying to remember,
hoping to forget.

But that’s not how it works;
I had to learn how to work
the angles of grief.

Every October
I fall into myself
like cliff diving
without water,

and I measure my worth
in treasures of memory.

—cjpjordan

Wonder

I wonder if he would have eyes the color of the sea.

I wonder if he would devour books instead of read them.

I wonder if he would prefer running outdoors or playing legos indoors.

I wonder if he would like mushrooms and tomatoes and mashed potatoes.

I wonder if he would be a music lover and a story teller.

I wonder if Evan would be different with a sibling close in age.

I wonder....everything.

All I will ever do is wonder.

I never saw the color of his eyes or read him books or cooked him a meal or sang him to sleep or heard his voice.

Even so, David lives.

He lives in my memory as an unfulfilled dream--
a set of wonderings--
until I see him again one day.

He lives in my heart
as the eternal hope
of my Eternal Hope.

—cjpjordan

Life In The Middle

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Thanks to Damian Patkowski @damianpatkowski for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/T-LfvX-7IVg

Watching the first episode of the Netflix Original “High on the Hog”, listening to the news stories of the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and reflecting on the documentary of the Holocaust in Hungary, my heart became weighted down.

The grief was real. And heavy.

But I know the importance of wading through the ugly parts of history. We must know where we’ve went been to know where we are going.

We remember the past, so that we don’t make the same mistakes again.

Life In The Middle

A story has no beginning
and it has no end, which leaves me
living somewhere in the middle.
Though I’m not one who came before,

I’ve no breath without the exhale
of my ancestors. I come home
to the place they left; I hold on
so that place is not forgotten.

We must know where we have been,
and where we are in order to
understand where we are going;
if we choose to ignore the past,

we ignore a part of ourselves.
Light shines in the dark, and sunshine
chases away the dim shadows,
but where do the memories hide?

Where does the past leave the present?
In the stillness of the night skies,
there lives the anguish in our blood—
fragments of a lost memory.

If we don’t valorize the past,
who will? I’m not the beginning
of the story, and I am not
the end. I sit here with you in

this moment, knowing who we are,
understanding our connection,
convening with our ancestry—
and choosing never to forget.

—by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 20

Image

The prompt for the day was to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma.

In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise.

For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.

Loss

The startling blue sky woke me from my slumber; I begged for sleep.
The old dreams returned at dawn, stifling the sun with their darkness.
Eyes open, the daylight blinds me with reality; you are gone.

-a draft poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

NaPoWriMo2021 Day 13

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Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-image-japanese-archipelago-western-pacific.html

Today’s prompt was to write a poem in the form of a newspaper article you wish would come out tomorrow.

I’m not sure this was the idea they had in mind, but I wrote a poem from an NPR news report that came out this morning.

Let’s just say it’s my twist on the subject. ☺️

Open Your Eyes

The quake and tsunami
contaminated water,
crippled plants.
next summer, they
will run out of space
for wastewater.

Environmental groups
remain skeptical
of broken promises,
of 20,000 dead or missing,
of empty assurances
of safety.

The danger is real;
oceanic release imminent.
Protestors rally
on uninhabitable land.
The black rockfish
tells the story in its flesh.

Don’t worry,
the diluting effects
of the vast ocean
will neutralize toxins.
Don’t worry,
poison won’t seep

into our shores.
Anyway, tritium only
slightly increases
the risk of cancer—
just a tiny little plop
of poop in your dinner.

Go ahead, eat up!
Enjoy! Who cares
if it poisons someone
else’s fish? I guess
that life and water
don’t matter to everyone.

Some express
deep regret—
so sorry
your life
is threatened
by our greed.

We are so sorry,
but we...
we don’t see
any other way,
we just don’t.
see.

-A Draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day Four

NaPoWriMo 2016The prompt for today is to write a poem in which I explore what I think is the cruelest month, and why. So here it is…  

fall from grace

all due respect to the poet,
september is the cruelest month.
our children and our harvest, whisking away;
silence and dying leaves, singing melancholy in their place.
my sorrow complete by empty playgrounds reminding
of joy, but stark and barren like my arms.
i rode my bike to town, to the library, to the gym, and took myself out to breakfast.
george from the diner singing
the blues about the breakfast club dwindling down
to a few elderly patrons chewing–
a symphony of gums smacking against dentures.
an occasional heatwave bursting through,
dismal grey looming,
a goodweatherahead omen lying through the teeth of pre-winter storms.
ah september you wicked,wicked man!
your seductive sunshine belying
a heart of pure winter ice.

Day #29

National Poetry Month: Day #29

The prompt for today was called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. There were twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem. I used ten because my day was too full to work all twenty into my poem.

the new road

i wonder…

emily says dying is a wild night and a new road.
i say dying is sort of like walking too close to the rails when the chicago el whizzes by: whooosh!
nowyouseeme nowyoudon’t!
dying tastes like a quiet color
in explosive rainbow proportions.
i hear the clacking coming;
i feel the rush of wind
and touch the steamy air
just before that silver bullet train starts whizzing toward me.

i wonder if the actual moment of death feels like being a rider on the train watching the people stare as i pass by them.

i wonder if death feels like new life.

i wonder if becalmanddie would make a good slogan on a billboard advertising dying.

perhaps emily is right after all;
perhaps the billboard sign should be lit in blinking neon lights
guiding the way home on the new road (which just happens to pass a tad too close to the el train tracks).

…whooosh!