Reading Repentance


He says he’s a slow reader, and I envy his time to savor words.

I have been skimming for months now.

Careening through stories and carefully-chosen observations

gives no respect to these masters of their craft.

I apologize.

Squinting to see phrases through tired glasses —

even they have exhausted their patience with this pace.

Oh the glory of that waltz of words — now allegro! now presto!

I will take you to bed and stay there for days —

Henry, May, Alice, Michael.

What will the neighbors say?

WORDS: ©2014, Jen Payne
IMAGE: Woman Reading, Will Barnet, 1970

A Canadian’s View On Our Disrespect Of President Obama’s Presidency

Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake!

By William Thomas

There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm.

Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become the glaring exception to that unwritten, patriotic rule.

Four days before President Obama’s inauguration, before he officially took charge of the American government, Rush Limbaugh boasted publicly that he hoped the president would fail. Of course, when the president fails the country flounders. Wishing harm upon…

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Books! Chocolate! Magic!


Saturday, November 8

Join me for a book signing of my new book, LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, at Rock Garden in Branford, this Saturday from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. There will be some special give-aways, and we’ll be serving coffee, tea and chocolate truffles by Carol Monnerat.

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“In a fast-paced world that often makes us forget our humanity, we need to be reminded that life is more than work and paying the bills. Life is about breathing and soaking in the magic that comes with being alive. Look Up! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness offers both an exploration and reminder of how nature can save us from ourselves.”

- C.B. Wentworth, Goodreads Review

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Rock Garden, a metaphysical gift and book shop, is located in the old Branford Theater building across from the Blackstone Library, 17 South Main Street, Branford, CT, (203) 488-6699, Click here for additional upcoming events.


This affliction of longing


do you feel this too?
the congestion that holds breath captive
the rapid pulse marking time
that is not ours to occupy

once, I dreamed we went to the theater,
you sat behind me in the dark
so close I could feel us breathe;
when you stood up to leave,
your hand touched my shoulder and it was…….delirium

do you feel this too?
a fever of the skin and flush on cheeks
the persistent ache of want
no prescription will resolve,
no dream will assuage

WORDS: ©2014, Jen Payne
IMAGE: Gustav Klimt, University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings (Medicine)

Nesting Area


According to Urban Dictionary, “nesting” is the act of settling into a cozy convenient corner and surrounding oneself with all the comforts of one’s vices.

I’m not sure napping, daydreaming and reading fall under the category of “vices,” but that’s me in the corner. And happily so!

There’s a meandering collection of happenstace around this recent nesting period, which lets me know I’m exactly where the Universe wants me to be…

As I was packing up my creature comforts for last week’s Cape Cod Bug Out, this sweet cartoon from Robot Hugs crossed my sightline.


A nest! I wanted one, too. So, I packed up a couple extra pillows and big, warm crochet blanket my gradmother made, and away I went. Nest in tow.

Of course, my makeshift hotel blanket fort/nest was nothing like this fabulous creation from OGE Creative Group! It’s so weird and funky and colorful—and would fit perfectly in one of the small rooms in my house. The “Nesting Room,” ahhhh, can you imagine?


I spent a lot of time roaming last week—down morning beaches, through ancient sand dunes, across great lengths of ocean shoreline. The water was still warm enough to wade in. The air was cool and restoring. It was quiet and calming. I saw shorebirds, seals, and a great white shark. I collected shells and heart-shaped rocks, feathers and smooth ocean stones.

That deep breath and expansiveness is not exactly nesting, I know. But the last find of my trip, as I walked down the sand of my favorite beach? This precious reminder that to everything there is a purpose…


fate sealed


what are those? asks a stranger
in the quiet on october dunes
watching seals bob and weave

his salt and pepper lips,
the glint of amber eyes
invade my solitude…..still

are they dangerous?

not as much as the sharks

i’m thinking of going for a swim, join me?
I watch as he peels off layers hiding

will you meet me for dinner?
he calls, diving into hungry waves

just desserts

Words ©2014, Jen Payne