Posted in Poetry

Rilke in Orlando

It is always dangerous to read Rilke
You say, picking up the book
Again today

And in the moments after
Reading The Bird-feeders
A thousand words
Pass over your face
Perplexed and searching
For a piece of truth and that
Gravitational pull
Keeping us grounded
While our collective cages are
Rattled and we change our plans
About visiting the market tomorrow
That lies mere blocks from the world
News and get our berries
Closer to home

©  Jilly’s 2016

Posted in Flash Fiction, Photos

Farewell to Solstice

There was death for the asking in the sweet, saturated air, catalpas in flower and green garden hair of wisteria. Baskets hanging heavy with Love Lies Bleeding, strangling tendrils enfolding themselves around mold and moss covered pillars.  Humid and dank, the air grew headier with each step, the door disappearing in the bottle green light.  A pandemonium sky, clouds sprinting frenetically overhead, but in the garden all was hushed, save for the wasp bouncing against the window, stabbing at the sun, grabbing for the grass, the trees.  This was her dominion; chipped clay pots, bins of compost, decayed to perfection, seedling trays, and toads finding refuge under darkened benches.

Sad, she shot summer until bitter autumn, clothed in rags and finery moved in and set up light housekeeping in her core. The Maples, wretched and angry, reached into her eyes and yanked tears to water their dry and dusty roots, purple veined leaves mirroring the lingering welt on her throat. “If I live like that storm,” she whispered in her evening of despondency, “I will become unvarnished wood.”  She reached for the rotting bench to steady her weakness and longing.  As night fell, she wrapped a wool cloak around her shoulders and walked the stony avenue to his grave and danced lightly upon it in the moonless dark and returning late, she only knew it was raining by the pock marks on the lake.

© Jilly’s 2016

Posted in Poetry

Always Summer

“Why, it is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb.
It’s she that makes it always winter.
Always winter, and never Christmas; think of that!”

~ C.S. Lewis from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
(The Chronicles of Narnia)

Occasionally it is fall
Briefly it is spring
I know this by the trees
Growing along the river

Once upon a time
I put on coat, hat, boots, gloves
Shoveled, swept
Drove to the market
For sad hot house tomatoes

Now upon this time
I grab purse, keys
Drive to the market for
And sad hot house tomatoes

Always summer, never tomatoes; think of that!

© Jill’s 2016

Hey, Y’all!  Stop by dVerse for Open Link Night!

Posted in Photos, Poetry


The longhorn cows are know-it-alls
Come to the fence
Thrash me for my politics

When I try to defend my
Position, party, candidates
Horns a-tossing
He turns and offers
© Jilly’s 2016

Stop by dVerse Poet's Pub, where it's Open Link Night!
Posted in Poetry

Thou Orchid

Thy face
lifted to the sky
fed of pre-dawn’s dew
evening’s loitering clouds
lengthening the shafts of
sun, filtered, fading
walk by the day called
ever moving, ever looking forward
tireless in bloom
© Jill’y 2016

Posted in Poetry

Mean Man Blues

Heave my blues
Up in that dark sky
Trudge that ugly water
A bitter boiling roiling sleep
Soaking those tossing and turning sheets
Summer sweat panting
Drunk out of my mind
With loving you
Hot winds surround me

Chant those rusty water blues
Oxidize my fool heart
Battered, bruised
For loving you
Turn your mean face to that shadow
Of night’s betrayal star
And tell me when you will
Burn back to me
Hot winds surround me

My nerves
My wild nerves
Jumpin’ all night long
That aching bad blood
Intuition of the soul
Take my tired feet out on that dry
And dusty road
Slog beside the river
Hot winds surround me

Cyclone round the mountains
His hot ash words
Breathe the lonely road
Dust and gravel in my throat
Hot winds surrounds me

Each easy flame
Hubcap the need
Like there are no crossroads
Can’t flag a ride
A virus in my mind
Hot winds surround me
© Jilly’s 2016

Join Mish and the rest of the Pub crawlers over at 
dVerse for a bit of song writing
on this Poetics Tuesday!

Hard to write Mean Man Blues when you love and live with
such a fine man as mine! Crawled into a low-down narrative
soul for this one!
Posted in Poetry

Ever at Fernwood

Three alarms, one ironic, one aromatic and a third that is only essential if we talk very late into the night and are found sleep-deprived at 5:30.  Brubeck, Desmond, Morello induce us to Take Five at five fifteen, a jazzy irony not lost on our sleepy heads.  Ten minutes later the ritual of filter, water, beans and timer launches into a jet engine grind one flight down, set each evening before.  Your hand reaches for mine, or some days, the other way around; the perfection of another day with you.  Your feet hit the floor as you reach for the blat, blat, blat clock that would be; insult averted. And you bring coffee, not a mystery, except that of which cup you choose – yellow sunshine, blue cobalt, or the I Love You / I Love You More set.  Fifteen stolen minutes with the curtains drawn back to face east and see the sun rising or the rain falling, the hawk and jays in combat, and you and I, harmony of souls.

The rhythm of days

Seasons play out before us

Perennial are we


© Jilly’s 2016

June 8, 2005 Fernwood Botanical Gardens
For C

Join us over at dVerse!
Posted in Poetry

Daily Visiting NOAA

Disturbing, how it begins, something to be watched, fueled by heat and tropical moisture, organizing itself coming out of Cuba and paving a path before it into a number (three) and then a name (Colin). Status achieved, cones are issued and planes are issued and we move our deck chairs while eyeing that broken branch on the foxtail palm dangling too close to the entry window.  The first storms, strident and thick with rain, come through like tourists, a disorganized cluster, lost and confused, a full day before Colin will spy the coast from his crow’s nest.  I remember that winter morning, finding myself iced in my car after driving to campus, in the days before cell phones, stripping out of my cumbersome coat and crawling through the window because my horn would not waken mom to rescue me, the day’s classes a loss.  The shoveled mountains higher than the roof of my car on either side of the driveway, dad rising at three to risk heart attack.  That blizzard when we ended up in the ditch along I-94 while trucks barreled within inches, terrified in the back seat. That year in Chicago when the frost gathered on the inside walls because the minus 25 was too much for the apartment heater.

I’ll take my chances

Disturbing names and branches

No northerner,  I

© Jilly’s 2016

Ah!  Hurricane Season is upon us, & that means daily visits to
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA) for updates.
With Tropical Storm Colin in the Gulf of Mexico, I am gathering
updates every few hours.

We are writing Haibuns about things we do daily over at dVerse 
starting at 3:00 EST. Come join us! 
Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts, Poetry

Fear: Arriving at Gate Ten

“All the lost fears are here again.” ~Rilke

The clouds across the lake launch two flights, the bright yellow jet, rising isosceles from the runway, belly-revealing, terrifyingly steep, and a great blue heron, bully to the comical cattle egrets, coming in arched wings of perfect geometry, sticks his landing, stakes his claim to the near shore.  Not that jet, but another, the Tuesday red-eye, took you away from me and now, as before, I do not sleep. Fear, like the heron, bullies me just after midnight into wakefulness, arguing soundly with reason and logic. Perhaps he will never return.  I will circle the airport Sunday at 3:30, while your flight circles the airport for a 4:10 gate call.  He was never here; he lives only in your imagination and longing.

Gasping I surface

call you, two time zones away

it rings no answer

© Jilly’s 2016

In response to Writing Prompt #2
A Haibun
Posted in Mining for Lines Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt #2

I have been Mining For Lines again, this time in my beautiful volume of Rilke.  (A gift from The Poet I Love.) This wonderful line comes from the prose work of The Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge in the section called [Fears].  If you have never read these passages by this amazing poet, I highly recommend it!

“All the lost fears are here again.” 

What does this spark for you?  Poetry?  Prose? Fiction?

Let me know; I would love to read what you write, my friends!

Cheers, Jilly 🙂