Posted in Poetry

Edgar Apocryphal Poe

Lines on Ale is, by some, attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, but disclaimed by the Poe Society of Baltimore as apocryphal. The story behind this bit of verse is as shady as a raven.  Whether or not the man himself penned these lines, I wrote this silly bit of response poetry about a week ago, but must beg apologies of Charley at Life in Portofino for the resemblance to his recent post for this same challenge at dVerse. The wives must have their due.

Lines on Ale                                                                      The Ale-Wive’s Response

Fill with mingled cream and amber,                    Filled with mingled irk and ire
I will drain that glass again.                                    I will trench your gutters clear.
Such hilarious visions clamber                              Such indignant visions mount
Through the chamber of my brain —                   Through bed-chambers of this house–
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies                Direst thoughts – retching children
Come to life and fade away;                                    Come to spew, ailing with the flu;
What care I how time advances?                           What care you while drinking ale?
I am drinking ale today.                                            I am home with mop and pail.
formerly attributed to Poe                                               © Silly Jilly’s Response


Posted in Poetry


Ars longa, Vita Brevis!

Art is long, life is short!

Vita Brevis, The New Poetry Magazine has published Sycamore, a previously unpublished poem of mine!  Look for it in today’s edition of this successful new Literary Magazine and while you are there, browse around at the gallery of classic artwork and the new poetry of some very gifted writers. For the first time on my blog, here is


We come to the place
we call Silent
to forget the sound
of cars on the highway
setting up our camp chairs
with an eye toward
the water
where a heron fishes
squirrels tatter over territory

The wide hand of a sycamore leaf
drops from the tree
lands at my feet.
Its scent lingers
summer’s green spills
on my hands
as I peel the flesh
along the veins, pouring
its dust onto the breeze.
Only the thin bone
of a stem remains.

A new breeze gallops
before the cold front, rustles through
Silent —
a frantic four or five fallen
leaves mount the wind,
crossing the grass.
They gather at my feet

© Jill Lyman (Jilly’s)

Published by Vita Brevis, The New Poetry Magazine, January 18, 2018


Posted in Poetry

The Snake’s Keening (A Response Poem)

I am guest-hosting Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poet’s Pub.  I challenge my fellow poets to write response poetry.  (See Marlowe and Ralegh’s poems for examples.)  I have written a response in the voice of the snake to Denise Levertov’s poem, To the Snake.  Her poem follows below.

The Snake’s Keening

Bright Girl, when you plucked me from
the grass and round your neck I hung
felt your seering warmth
and whispered in your ear the secrets
of a serpent’s curse
the weight of sin and shame I bare
wounded in your ears —

Bright Girl — I swore to my scaled children that certainly
you were sinless! But truly
I had no hope of ever passing your heel, only desire
and be held by you, for that thrill,
which bereft
of guilt, as the grass closed
behind me, and you with that dark
assurance in your eyes,
I shall never share.

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

To the Snake
by Denise Levertov

Green Snake, when I hung you round my neck
and stroked your cold, pulsing throat
as you hissed to me, glinting
arrowy gold scales, and I felt
the weight of you on my shoulders,
and the whispering silver of your dryness
sounded close at my ears —

Green Snake–I swore to my companions that certainly
you were harmless! But truly
I had no certainty, and no hope, only desiring
to hold you, for that joy,
which left
a long wake of pleasure, as the leaves moved
and you faded into the pattern
of grass and shadows, and I returned
smiling and haunted, to a dark morning.

To the Snake, by Denise Levertov
Poetry Foundation, October 1958

Posted in Poetry

It’s Only a Syndrome to Peter Pan

Jacks on the kitchen floor
Mom had the advantage
she could do the splits
I could only try

Casting aluminum stars
silver, purple, red, green
Tossing the red ball


Over the fence!


ever a child
lesson learned
never drop a star

© Jilly & Silly Jilly  All Rights Reserved

A Quadrille for dVerse where De has us bouncing into a fresh week of poetry!

Posted in Poetry

The Neglected Lives of Poets

Forgetting breakfast for tea and last night’s scrawled
lines over wine and a midnight muse,
we finally break eggs, butter toast, call it brunch.
The pan, long-cooled, ignored on the stove —
coffee is poured, the landscaper’s bill
pushed behind the sugar bowl —
a laundry marathon spins out at the top of the stair,
wringing thread-bare towels of their last hope.

We are picking peaches with Li-Young Lee

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved


Two poems by Li-Young Lee: The Weight of Sweetness and From Blossoms


Posted in Casting Bricks Collaborative Poetry


Completing Sarah Connor’s Challenge poem for January’s edition of Casting Bricks.  (It went a little dark;  perhaps I have been reading too much Ahkmatova of late?)  Sarah is such a gifted poet and this was a delight to complete!  Everyone is welcome to join in and Cast Bricks to Attract Jade, a collaborative poetry challenge.  C’mon and give it a whirl!

Sarah’s words are in bold and mine follow.  (Also went out on a limb & created a Sound Cloud, in spite of being sick for a week. I felt Sarah’s words come alive with the audio.)


It seemed like we were always dancing,
though the music was sometimes too fast,
and sometimes a little too slow,
and sometimes we hardly heard it at all

Frantic though the band played long
through black ruptured days of pitch,
and sometimes we heard our arteries thrum,
and sometimes we hardly heard their call

Until caesura broke the chest voice
and I let you leave without your hat and gloves.