Figure Behind the Window

Lee understands I’ve been fenced in.

I’m not entering a comfort glazed earthenware zone.

No matter what, I dial a dishwasher-safe radio.


It’s a domestic scene you see repeated

throughout the undergrowth

beginning with immediate family.


I’m not grounded in Victorian aesthetic, and so

I might listen to Christopher’s Cello Concerto.

My older sister decrees I’ve been regally off-key


missing Charles,

I’m wounded by the wild-onion laced bow Allison Krauss wields

and am rarely content confined to double-breasted clothing.

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

Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Basic Drama

– for Steve Abbott

Two wingspans, as though cleaved

on a strip of exposed bedrock:

russet bands, a kestrel, perhaps.


No flesh, no bone, a few tufts nearby.


A clean attack, turned awry?

Prey turned into prey?

A weasel emerges as a prime suspect.


All the same, everyone’s

gotta eat, sometime.

Mount Agamenticus, Maine

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

Regular Mechanic

The Ace O’Spades says I’m shackled

to Black & Decker perfection.

Even though I’m finally engaged again

I’m zippered in fine-toothed doubt.


I’m not overly dripping cautious.

No matter what, I’m still not ready

to plant the damn tulips.

So what if I’ve been fired from a cannon

in Betty Boop’s bed?


I don’t demand special attention

unless I’ve been overworked oil.

See, I’m just cowboy-hat middle-age bitter.


Teri quibbles when I sort out coyote motions

but Ace discloses I’ve jitterbugged into

this compression regression transmission,


that I’m known for crooning “Doona Loona”

over joints and valves

and downing gallons of lemonade estrangement.


Yet when I build a bonfire, sweetheart,

I’m not cool tunes made in the U.S.A.

Sometimes, in fact, it’s been dotted-

snake-stripe wallpaper torn from the trailer.

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

Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Pawtuckaway Solstice

– for Jesse Metzler

Woodchuck bristled

hopping to safety

beneath a bright-

red pickup

at the trailhead

while woodpecker

beat time for the wind.


A great blue heron at shoreline

surveyed granite boulders.


Toads, tortoise,

garter snake,

and a beaver lodge

gleamed within evergreen

and beech detritus.


In the pause of mutual regard.



Flowing and howling. A cackle. A bray.


Crawling, oh belly to the earth or branch,

the slow-paced reply to hunger.


Fiddling, the friction of smoldering night

that summons sunrise.

The movement of limbs,

even snaking around a tree or

snail, scrolling back into its kernel.


Or flirting. The dance in its many degrees of shading.


Running – a trot, a stride, a gallop, a lope.

Verily, a mouse scurries

– the race of prey –


Mole, worm, cockroach, cave bat, crocodile,

a beetle from some underworld

and back.


Winging, clear veining or bright feathers

– even mottled dun –

darting, skimming,

fluttering – sometimes flustered,

sometimes fully free.


Hardly a weather vane.

Ram, cock, eagle, cod –




Who will be first?

With or without a jockey.



Bounding / Rolling / Worming / Snaking / Floating



All in this kingdom of motion.

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

Consignment-Shop Owner

You heard I’m not old money

but shrewdly investigate

skimming beehive pockets.


No Louisa May Alcott of an aeroplane

or purple-winged


revving in trendy lavender

on raked sand

fits me.


The porpoise motion, though, skirts another matter

imploring me to reevaluate my standards.


Hard times are good times, if you know what I mean.

There’s no need for me to sing a silky Hosanna.


No matter what, I’d procrastinate

snapping those cocoa garters

between needlepoint window dressings.


Though you don’t look denim destitute

you’d be wise to pick up your check

before I find a new clique where I click

rather than play mocha horsy.


In the meantime, I’ll leave you hanging.

I’m really just a beer-and-pretzels kind of gal.

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

1692 Kimball Tavern, Haverhill, Massachusetts.

House Guests


Made love, and made love.

Sweet wine, candlelight twilight.

Mattress on the floor.


“Don’t you have any games? Even a deck of cards?”

This time, I carry my own.


“You’re getting upset!” To him.

“You’re changing the rules!” He replies.


Look, all my Middle Eastern friends

cheat at cards, expecting everyone else

to venture the same – it’s just part of their game.

Cheating, eh? Maybe.


Wow! You’ve really read all these books?

I said, hoping to open his secret pages.


“So I’m going to a baby shower

you’ll never guess who for.”

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

Mountain laurel.

Memo to self: It’s time to go back

We visited Lowell, Massachusetts, last summer and toured the national park that preserved its historic mills and canals. It was a delightful day that also included some first-class cheap eats – the Viet Thai restaurant and Sowy’s Hispanic bakery, both on Merrimack Street near City Hall are delightful.

If you’ve been wondering about the location of the photos accompanying the Big Inca postings the past month and a half, they’re mostly from that outing. I could have shot much, much more if I weren’t trying to observe things through my own eyes first.

Our highlight was a boat tour that took us through a working canal lock, raising us to the level of the Merrimack River on the other side of the gate. That leisurely route took us out on the river above the dam and falls and then back to downtown – a 90-minute excursion in all. Think of it as an American industrial Venice.

This time we intend to hit a couple of museums that aren’t part of the park – including the National Textiles Museum, which houses many of the famed calicos made in our own city, and the streetcar museum (after all, the streetcar is also a legendary sandwich in my newest novel, What’s Left.)

Another draw, if you’re interested, is the huge folk festival every summer. And there’s always the Jack Kerouac trail for devoted readers.

Now, to view the trip though the canal lock, just click on the photos for the big view.