Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day 18 – Fusion

Songs of Unreason by Jim Harrison is the source for 28 Days of Unreason.  28 astounding lines of poetry become writing prompts.  Here is today’s line by Harrsion and my response entitled Fusion.

“We were born to be moving water not ice”  ~ Jim Harrison


When the blue is missing
I ask my cold
February self
for a map to
that I


might speed up
the molecules
returning to the
blue back-
swallowing the sky

© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day 17 – Flood

The Harrison quote for day 17 of 28 Days of Unreason, taken from Songs of Unreason:

“Saw a poem float by just beneath the surface”  ~  Jim Harrison

My poem:


Rising, I took a broom
and began to sweep
clutter and debris
from the kitchen floor

Cares and concerns, moving
them toward the door
I slowed a bit as I passed
the bedroom’s posted
No-Wake Zone
dreams are still
hiding there

The junk accumulated
and rolled before
my sweeping strokes
as I moved more determinably
catching neglected repairs
an appointment or two

they tumbled and glittered
in a shaft of sunlight
a to-do list got caught
in a small eddy
near the corner
I saw it circling there
and with one deft movement
captured it
cajoled it into the flood
that I drove before me
and just before I reached
the open door
I saw a poem float by
just beneath the surface
leaning on my broom
I bent to pick it up
but it darted away
and then dove deepling

I returned
with some consternation
to my task of clean sweepling

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

Today’s quote is my personal favorite of all 28, so much so that last year I planned it on my birthday as a gift to me!

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day 15 – Bathing in Art

“Art often isn’t [nice] though it scrubs the soul fresh”

~ Jim Harrison

Welcome to the second half of 28 Days of Unreason in which I have taken 28 lines from Jim Harrison’s collection of poetry, Songs of Unreason, and used them as writing prompts.  The quote above is today’s prompt and below you will find my poetic response to it, entitled Bathing in Art.  If you find inspiration in any of these lines, please drop me a comment and let me know; I always welcome the opportunity to read your work.

Bathing in Art

The photographs, excruciatingly clear,
scrub the soul
revealing those annoying
gnats of truth orbiting
round your head.

They toss you a bar of astringent soap

© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day 14 – Proverb of Unreason

Half way!  Here is today’s Harrsion quote for the mid point of 28 Days of Unreason, followed by my poem entitled Proverb of Unreason.

“The moon is to blame.  I am innocent”  

~Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason

Photo by Jilly

Proverb of Unreason

In that prove-you-wrong paradise

where the moon is a powerful

feather eating your liver

for lunch

guard your days build

walls around your blamelessness

constructing alibis of devastation

© Jilly’s All Rights Reserved


Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day 13 – Shores

This is the second time I go through the 28 Days of Unreason, where I have pulled 28 lines from Jim Harrison’s collection of poetry called Songs of Unreason.  The practice stretches me as a writer, some days more than others.  This one was especially tough for me.  Thank you to those who have joined me during this month of writing.  If you find inspiration in this or any other line during this challenge, please drop me a comment; I would love to read what you write, my friends!  Here is the Harrison line for today and my poetic response entitled Shores:

“Only the water is safe” ~ Jim Harrison


Floundering on the land
without boundaries
without edges
is living
without comfort

Only the water is safe

Three directions of land
one of limitless lake

Fishing from the pier, we
fourteen years old
a swell unexpected
sweeps the tackle
into the cold water,
he jumps in, a stupid thing
to do, nearly drowns
the tackle lost;
how different would my life
be if he
had gone the way of the bobbers
and lures?

Photo: Sheila Miller

Only the water is safe

We fell asleep last night
with your hand cupping
the side of my face.


© Poetry by Jilly
All Rights Reserved



Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Twelve – Ballad of the Rattlesnake

In order to read this here ballad y’all are gonna hafta git a good old south kinda sound goin’ in yer head.  Feel the rhythm of it, c’mon and swing yer partner, do-si-do. 

Day 12 of the 28 Days of Unreason, Jim Harrison’s line from Songs of Unreason is:

“The beauty of the rattlesnake is in its threat”

My quasi-poetic response is this here Ballad of the Rattlesnake which ain’t a true ballad in the poetry sense of the word; but never you mind that.

The beauty of the rattlesnake is in its threat
been bitten twice, ain’t dead yet
been bitten twice, ain’t dead yet

Went down south to see my Paw
plays in a jug band, Granny plays the saw
plays in a jug band, Granny plays the saw

Took my lovin’ sweetheart for to meet my kin
married in the church house for his heart to win
married in the church house for his heart to win

Rattlesnake she came a witness for to be
struck me on the ankle, turned around to see
then struck me with heart sting, turned around to  flee

The band was all there playin’ their music just for me
Granny wields a wicked saw and now that snake is three
Granny wields a wicked saw and now that snake is three

© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Eleven – “He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not”

[Open Link night at dVerse]   The struggle over today’s quote from Songs of Unreason took me to my favorite little coffee shop with the cool writing vibe.  The words tumbled just as the coffee cup clacked onto the table. This is Day 11 of 28 Days of Unreason.  (see below for details)  Here then, is today’s line from Jim Harrison and my zany poem in response:

 “I’m unsure if all of me returned” ~ Jim Harrison


The bold orange blossoms sporting
mini-skirts and pom-poms, chests thrust
forward in warning
cross the street
in the warming
afternoon haze
heatwaves monroing
their skirts
a gladiola giggle issuing
from their freshly bursting

hootie did his best
blowfish face
fantasizing forward
until next morning
bitch-slapped his crumply
weedy face leaving
him with an ugly case
of vertigo
and an odd sense that pieces
of him were missing


© Jilly’s Poetry & Photos  All Rights Reserved

A shout-out to the amazing poets who have joined in with the The 28 Days of Unreason:

Lynn Burton at Colorful Pen

Frank Hubeny at Poetry Short Prose and Walking

Charley at Life in Portofino

Qbit at The Quantum Verse

Jenna at Revived Writer

Care to join in?  I have culled 28 lines from the poetry of Jim Harrison’s collection called Songs of Unreason, using them as daily writing prompts.  Each day I post his line and my own poetic response to it.  It is very informal; if you find something inspirational in the line and write a poem, drop me a note in comments.  I would love to read your words!  I am on Day 11, so we are less than half way through.  Poem onward, my friends!  Jilly

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Ten – “Feeding the Lost Beast”

The Harrison quote from Songs of Unreason for Day # 10 of 28 Days of Unreason:

“Much that you see isn’t with your eyes”

My poetic response to that quote, entitled “Feeding the Lost Beast”


The notes only confuddle your eyes
play with that recklessness that feeds
that lost beast who runs
your life with dank
smoldering anger
and regret

Snub the crowd what
do they know of the music
eighth notethat clogs your arteries
with syncopated blues
diseased stones
hidden in your kidneys

Sense the horn
it is of your own
sinews wrapped
around muscles
heart valves


© Jilly’s   All Rights Reserved


Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Nine – “Tracks”

I admit to today’s line being one of my favorites because of it’s obscurity.  In Songs of Unreason, Harrison often confounds me with a question, explicit or implied, that must be answered.  For this quote, I asked myself how it is that we remain in the air and then I stopped being literal and wrote poetry.   Thank you to everyone who has joined in as we make tracks through these 28 Days of Unreason!  Here is today’s Harrison quote and my poetic response to it with “Tracks” in Haiku form.

I love the tracks left by hundreds of species of birds that remain in the air like we do  


IMG_1658 (3)
Photo by Jilly


Words clutter the air

Rambling authenticity

Bird saviors fly off





© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved

Posted in 28 Days of Unreason, Poetry

Day Eight – “One of Life’s Puzzles”

“I’m not sure what it is, life’s puzzle.”  ~ Jim Harrison

28 lines, quotes from James Harrison’s poetry collection Songs of Unreason comprise these 28 Days of Unreason.  Lines from the poems in that collection are used as writing sparks, posted here, along with my poetic response.  This one triggered several poems for me, each a hard wrenching.  Here is the one I have chosen for this post.  Again, if you find any inspiration from the quotes, please let me know.  I have enjoyed seeing the words of several of my poetic friends!  Jilly

One of Life’s Puzzles

silos stand brick on
interlocking brick crumbling
against astringent sky

heft of corn years pressed
mortar sags sighs breaks ranks
tumbles to the ground

bleat of the last sheep
penned beside the washed-out barn
suns rise set forgive

angry winter dawns

© Jilly’s  All Rights Reserved