Majorette as a Dancing Pear

I was wearing all my dental braces

fully embroidered

when Jack O’Diamonds saw at a glance

I wasn’t always objective.

 

You called me a delicate alloy chain

not blinded by anger

but in Wonderland disquiet

crying for help – yet

helplessly

 

ever so timeless

as the swift kick of a daydream

at the fringe of the downpour

you saw approaching.

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

Deerfield, Massachusetts.
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Merchant of Canterbury

Suppose Chaucer had looked at his neighbors

instead of his band of wayfarers. Their Halloween costumes

or masked ball or Mardi Gras or the prom.

 

The identities we donned from our closets. The artist

with his tie-dyed underwear or gaudy shirt and beret.

The banker in a Jos. Banks pressed wool three-piece suit.

 

The women and children, especially, or laborers.

How much did he observe himself  when investigating

these pilgrims? The masks they sport prove telling.

 

The bright Hawaiian shirt worn with Jimmy Buffett

or Warren, on the weekend. Their choice of wine in the bag.

Their heroes and villains. Their lists of people they hate.

 

The stories they repeat for generations.

Some are just mean. Or fearful. Irritable. Restless.

Their style. Their lie and denials. All ticking unevenly.

 

No matter what he wouldn’t write was that I

was a free-gospel minister who rehashed showering

outdoors naked while the deer watched.

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

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Kindred Spirit

Kilroy enjoys eavesdropping in a bar or diner.

Bragging, especially, proves instructive.

Pays attention to what they claim they are not

and you’ll find half the time, it’s true.

 

When he observes people at the mall

or on the street, they become

cartoon figures. Sometimes he starts

seeing himself, too, fishing in a rock-dry stream.

 

Even though he said I was ugly

I never ignored the arrival of spring.

The truth is, I was beautiful beyond words

thrown from that bronco called devotion.

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

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Academy Headmistress

When I was black-shutter agitated, my students said

I wasn’t their only calming influence.

 

Yes, my faculty became Surf City discouraged

each time I was confined to a dusty crate of crab shells.

 

The trustees knew, at least when I walked the Scottie

I wasn’t spinning a sleepless dime.

 

My mother recalled even when I’d been stone green,

I wouldn’t join yonder aviator forces

without an escape hatch.

 

I crammed self-imposed obligations and

unfinished tasks into my house and office.

 

When I fell asleep, a thousand books

and seven hundred albums

would watch me. And you wonder why I drank?

 

There was no flight once we entered

except up those stairs, to start working.

 

Still, I knew how to manage the phone or a room

on behalf of my mission and avoided my aunt’s inevitable

coffee blot when I entertained or redecorated.

 

Now what did I do with the mail?

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

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

A Voyeur Confesses He Was No Peeping Tom

Without the social strata, you told me to just listen

to what people said and then match it against their actions.

 

You found similarities in daily worries, their self-denials,

their aspirations. Their love lives, especially.

 

You insisted we’re all alike, once we got past

the job descriptions or ethnic and religious distinctions.

 

That’s what you said in this hamlet, but I saw otherwise.

One woman left every light on since childhood.

 

Another was adept at covering up shame.

With one newly met couple at the bistro bar,

 

his hands roamed all over her with wealth and ease

while telling her he’d be away, working, all the next

 

Saturday, so they must move with all speed

all the while her smile grew ever more welcoming

in the available glow.

 

Our wounds and reactions make us different.

Our clothing and bandages. Our secrets, especially.

 

Just look, discreetly. With or without the field guide.

Or the rooster in my dreams that disturbs me.

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

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

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.

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.

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.

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.