Friday, February 01, 2019

Miracle Story Poems


This month I am writing with my Poetry Sisters. We are all writing prose poems in the style of Marilyn Nelson’s “Minor Miracle,” about a small, miraculous thing you have seen or know. Click the link in the poem's title to read Nelson's poem so you know where we are headed. The Poetry Sisters have been writing together for over ten years now, which is hard to believe. This year we are excited to be joined by Rebecca Holmes, starting next month.

What I love most about Marilyn Nelson's poem is the exquisite details in her setting. You can just feel yourself on that bike ride through the countryside, and hear the dialog rip. Also, of course, the amazing turn as the miracle is revealed at the very end. I have been racking my brain for an experience of a small miracle that would fit in a poem. I can think of so many miracles, as God is so good. But they are not small. Maybe none are, right?

So anyway, we got a kitten just after Christmas this year. Talk about small, this cat's tiny. And full of zip. The more I thought about him, the more miracle I saw. It seemed the Spirit was showing me a miracle to write about and share. Here's what I got:

Talk About Minor Miracle

Which reminds me of another bit of fluff
that saved us. When the littlest kitten
skittered into our house, it was a house of broken
hearts, wrung out, stretched thin fears, and
no more family dinners. We’d got to when no one
could stand to sit down together
in case tears choked or fists flew.


After losing so much, there was plenty of space
for a tiny flutter of pin prick, skinny boned,
all sass curiosity that could dash up and
down silly with wide eyed jade gaze. Hungry. Bold
enough and fool enough to catch any dangling
loose end; forgotten strings, crumpled receipts,
dust bunnies or tumbled scraps left too long
for want of care, want of will. We’d lost a child.
Lost a brother. Lost.


“Where’s the kitten?” The youngest son would say,
tipping his head around my door; come out of his cave,
from out the silence around the screen glow. He’d scoop
up kitten from amongst my quilts, pretending
to toss him over. But really, snuggling
that beating heart. The way a teenage
boy grabs a hug, sliding sideways as if.
The wonder of how a curl of fur
fits in a hoodie pocket, finds a warm lap,
accepts kisses. All start and go and what? Eager
to trouble the waters.
-Andromeda Jazmon

Please go visit the blogs of my Poetry Sisters to read their poems, 


Also, please visit the Poetry
Friday Round up at Tabitha Yeatts' blog The Opposite of Indifference. Happy Friday!

Friday, December 07, 2018

List poem

This month my poetry sisters writing group and I are creating list poems. It seems like a good choice for December, what with checking all the lists for gifts, and books, and end of the year things. I have been toying with list poems in my head all month. Here's one of mine, somewhat based on possible reality (any resemblance to real people's laundry is purely coincidence, I'm sure).  The Poetry Sisters challenge was to include at least two of these words: paper, stars, messages, promises, dirt, flour, rum, hope.


In the Laundry Room

Emptying his pockets
in the size 14 joggers:

ear buds, tangled
half a tiny flash light
    (where'd the batteries go?)
candy wrappers
a gamer stylus
Mario Cart DS game cartridge
three dirty pennies
his morning meds
crumbled up paper dated 3 days ago
     with two messages from his teacher:
       "Please call me."
        " It's important."

                              -Andromeda Jazmon





Please visit my Poetry Sisters' blogs to see their fun and amazing list poems today:

Laura Purdie Salas
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tanita S. Davis
Sara Lewis Holmes
Kelly Ramsdell
Trisha Stohr Hunt

 And then visit the Friday Poetry Round up at Elizabeth Steinglass. Enjoy!

Friday, November 02, 2018

Anaphora; a November Poetry Sisters challenge

Every month for the past several years I have been challenged by my online writing group to take on a form or a style of poetry and create an original to share. (Mine are linked here.) I haven't been able to keep up this year, but last month and this I have been back in the game.


This month we are challenged to write something using the poetic technique of anaphora. Our theme is gratitude and grace in loss. Losing keys, books, earrings, memories - surrendering them to the void and chaos that is life, and looking for and accepting what we receive in return. I lost my oldest son last year and am still reeling. 

Anaphora is the repetition of words or phrases in a poem, as a way of amplifying or intensifying the meaning and effect. It's used in speeches and songs, as well. Here is my attempt:




Living In The Space Between


Between the tight green bud in hardness,
And the sweet rose open in tenderness,
There is a movement of spreading shimmer; a bloom.

Between the moist pale pillow of dough rising,
And the crisp crust of brown bread baking,
There is a movement of rising fragrance; an expanse.

Between the sweet sharp joy of each childhood breath,
And the blind weight of his iPhone after death,
There was a movement of growing discovery; a potential.

Between the last warm time we hugged goodbye,
And the hollow nights when I do nothing but cry,
There was a movement of dim confusion; a dissolution.

Between bright then,
And darkest now,
Movement.

-Andromeda Jazmon 11.1.18

Please take some time to enjoy the other poems shared by my Poetry Sisters at these links:

And stop by the Friday Poetry links hosted by Jama's Alphabet Soup!

Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday Poetry: small animal poems



I'm joining in with my Poetry Sisters once again, to post small poems (six lines or less) about animals. The challenge is to include the three words spike, roof, and shadow. I've done a couple drafts, and am sharing this one about my dog Jax. He's been such a joy to me in the past two years.








Fur Therapy

Across snowfields
my puppy Jax gambols
biting my snowballs into dust;
a spike of laughter
to raise the roof
of my spirit’s shadow.

Andromeda Jazmon 







Please enjoy these links to the other blogs of my Poetry Sisters, where the variety of ways 
they meet this challenge is truly amazing. Also, please find time this weekend to enjoy all 
the poetry links at the Opposite of Indifference - the Poetry Friday Roundup





Tanita S. Davis

Liz Garton Scanlon

Kelly Fineman

Trisha Stohr-Hunt




Friday, September 01, 2017

Back in the game

It's September and I am pulling myself together to get back in the saddle for Poetry Friday. My poetry sisters have been publishing poems every first Friday while I took a break, but this month's prompt was just too enticing for me to pass up. Sara shared a photo she took while working at the Highlights Retreat Center in Honesdale, PA, and it really inspired me. We are writing ekphrastic poems, which are simply poems in response to art and can take any form.





20 questions



What person would wish home to end?
What end person would home wish?
What would a home person wish to end?
What wish would end a person’s home?
What home would an end person wish?
What person wishes home would end?
What end would home wish a person?
What would wish a person’s end home?
What wish a person’s home would end?
What home’s end would a person wish?
What person would wish?
What end person would?
What would a home?
What wish would?
What home would?
What person wishes?
What end?
What would?
What wish?

What home?
-Andromeda Jazmon
9/1/17


Please visit the other poetry sister's blogs and enjoy their poems!


And make sure you stop by the Friday Poetry roundup this weekend, hosted by Kathyrn Apel.



Friday, December 02, 2016

Cloister Ekphrastic Free Verse



 This month, in our year of writing poetry together, my Poetry Sisters have called on me to supply the art for our ekphrasic poems. I've chosen to share my photos of the cloisters of Glencairn Museum, a place I love to visit. You can read about the cloister here. The mansion was built as a family home for Raymond Pitcairn and his family in the 1930s, and later turned into a museum for religious art. Of the southern side of the house a cloister garden is built, surrounded by columns carved into depictions of 12 different bird species.



This is the place I find a peaceful retreat most often now. The family that build the house was railroad/oil baron rich; sort of like an American Downton Abbey, if you will. Now the house/garden is open to anyone, so it ends up being for the people in a way. The Pitcairns built the house with the cloister to be their family home. They had 11 children and raised them in the house. Raymond collected medieval art, and wanted the home to display his collection. When I am there I always imagine Mildred, the wife/mother, living there. Her bedroom is just above the cloister, where she had a huge bathroom with windows over the tub (they were one of the first to have lavish indoor plumbing) looking out over the cloister, gardens, and open valley below. They also had a sleeping porch, and could spend the nights out under the stars.



Cloister Home

She gathers
on the grass; children,
wine, cheese, bread, and
veggies cut and diced.
The littles fling
round the fountain,
laughter rising
on the cool evening
air. Light soft, stone hard.
They circle her. Their eyes
bounce from bird to bush
and back to her.
The older ones want to talk.
They hesitate,
spill stories; seek what
she knows but never says.

Bold Miss will always ask -
Where is daddy?
Still at work, darling.
Here. He comes
up the hill, seeking
them in the cloister.
Where cool breezes
find and lift
sweaty smocks,
limp locks,
sometimes torn knees
or slight limps.
Nearing end of day
and no one’s cleaned up yet.

Their voices lilt
across the valley
hidden behind the stone.
Stone carved to birds;
wings, bills, eyes
downcast. We must lift
to look; they gaze low
reminding us
nothing is heavy
that sings.

And then
in the dark
all comes to rest
on the sleeping porch
above the white garden.
Above the shushing
fountain catching
peace as it rises
off the star lit 
magnolias.

 Please take some time to visit the blogs of my Poetry Sisters and enjoy their poems as well:

Laura Purdie Salas
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Sara Lewis Holmes
Kelly Fineman
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tanita S. Davis 


And don't forget to visit the Friday Poetry roundup, hosted by: 
Bridget Magee at wee words for wee ones. Enjoy!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Clogyrnach: a Welsh poetic form


My Poetry Sisters and I are trying out a new-to-me form this month, something I have found quite tricky. I only just pulled something out that I am willing to share. I need to work on this one a bit more; it's a challenge!

Trisha had posted about the Clogyrnach form on her Monday Poetry Challenge last year, explaining it this way:

Clogyrnach is a Welsh poetic meter that falls under the poetic form of awdl (odes). Clogyrnach are composed of any number of 6-line stanzas. Each stanza has 32 syllables. The first couplet is 8 syllables with an end rhyme of aa, the second couplet is 5 syllables with an end rhyme of bb, and the final couplet is is 3 syllables with an end rhyme of ba. In some variations the poem is written as a 5-line stanza with the 5th line composed of 6 syllables.  

I had a terrible time trying to write something that didn't sound completely sing-songy at first, then awkward, and finally falling flat with cliche. Finally I started to concentrate on a sky view I had enjoyed a few days ago on my lunch walk, and my thoughts seemed to fit the form. 



Above the Valley

Puff clouds stretch out across the sky
Above the treetops, float and fly
Boats that bob and toss
Made of cotton floss
Race across
Wave goodbye
      - Andromeda Jazmon

Please go see what the other Poetry Sisters have done with this form- they are so clever!

Laura Purdie Salas
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Sara Lewis Holmes
Kelly Fineman
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tanita S. Davis 


And don't forget to visit the Friday Poetry Roundup at A Penny and Her Jots!