She was captive in a hillside house

blocking footpath entry to a Dalles-like gorge

that was greasy or grassy – two women

 

on a concrete-floored inner courtyard;

me, climbing the cherry wood rails

under the structure – to their rescue

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

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Spruce Street Greeting-Card Clerk

Because I was an offbeat adventure

I meditated regularly

 

Once I started thawing

I wasn’t an expensive restaurant.

 

Listen, that bastard even sent

a note of condolences.

 

Assuming it’s true, your ocean

is the color of a storm cloud.

 

I could be clever or observant

except where they overlap.

 

Which can’t be said regarding

the sympathy cards that followed.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Volunteer at the Weekly Soup Kitchen

A regular came in at the last minute and was irate

we had run out of pizza. “Why didn’t you come earlier?”

 

“I won eight thousand dollars and was buying a BMW.”

So he should have been able to go out and buy his own pizza.

 

“No, I spent it all on the car. Which is why I’m here.”

 

And then I was in the middle of conversation with one woman

when she looked at the clock and said, “Oh, I have to go,”

telling me of a movie she wanted to catch on the TV.

 

“What channel,” and she told me it was cable.

After she left, I realized it was on a premium station

I can’t even afford.

 

I guess it’s just a matter of your priorities

and perspective when we pass the plate.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

So politely, as though comparing                   

classified advertisements

or new model cars no, I should recognize everything

when she leads me to the graveyard

 

in snow-covered woods, the way death

is also a divorce, as much as bells and incense

how uneasy quietude sits in the glinting sunlight

 

why shouldn’t I have expected to become

another bead in her rosary or gun sight

rather than spending the night in her bed

after evening vespers?

 

no way to begin an animated conversation

with ease

solid earth, ground not selfish or proud

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Revivalist

Let me tell you about Jonah, swimming in deep water

when I suddenly panicked before resigning myself

with a strange kind of calm and accepted survival as

a gift inevitable for those who keep their wits and

instead let the shark decide with undue temptation.

 

The horrible surprise was the feminine face of death.

With her hairy nose, almost like a mustache.

 

It was quite different from helping someone

with the zipper on her dress. Someone

with so much bottled up, secretive, and guarded.

 

Let me tell you about Jesus and the Disciples

carrying lawn chairs to watch fireworks

on the high school lawn on the Third of July.

 

And then that’s it.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

As for the introductions, so far one’s

a heavy smoker who manages

a multimillion-dollar recreation department

two executive secretaries

the head nurse in an emergency room

who tells me physicians are fleeing

because of legal and financial difficulties

a junior high math teacher known as the Wicked Witch of West

a hair-designer who gave me a fifty-buck haircut

in exchange for a jaunty Italian dinner

plus a four-eleven Korean who never showed up

after I’d driven an hour-and-a-half

through a snowstorm to meet her

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Working-Class Violinist

When I fiddled you said I lacked self-assured

Indian summer cornsilk on my strings even though

I’d filled jars of sunflower honey on slatted hoppers.

 

I don’t take those remarks personally, should I

have carved pumpkins rather than backing out

of polished jade in the apartment next door

or my galleries of crystallized inquisitiveness?

 

All along, looking on the devil in your angel’s face,

I wanted you to believe I was the answer your dreams

on a bed swimming through the crack of night.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

Sun, all fire and warm workings high standards

indulging in a good joke now and then;

could always be depended on

by a few friends, family, coworkers

 

long journeys, publishing, philosophy,

higher education,

hopes, humanity rising, shy, careful, businesslike

add to calculations almost contradictory

in their natures

 

even though lively, she should enjoy sports and

outdoor life

but didn’t, except for the dude ranch

usually a difficult place for a woman

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Weightlifter, Conversing with a Computer Technician

I majored in philosophy

which hardly provides a living.

 

It’s a lot like pressing three hundred

or delivering drywall in the rain.

 

The first time I felt melancholy was adolescence

returning to my bedroom on a rainy night

 

after the family dined out in an old gristmill.

The new vinyl disk on the turntable was Chopin.

 

The pensive or wistful terror or blues has taken

many incarnations since, and I’ve learned to lift them.

 

“So how’s your social life?”

I bought a fishing boat. I enjoy the quiet.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.