Categories
Creativity

NEW! Limited Edition Issue of MANIFEST (zine)

Issue #10, The Lola Poems

“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats,” writes Eckhart Tolle in his book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. “Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity —which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”
 
THE LOLA POEMS is a limited edition, memorial issue of MANIFEST (zine) that honors the passing of my own little Zen master, Lola, by considering the lessons she taught me in our time together.

16-page, 4.25 x 5.5 booklet, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Creativity Storytelling

Sleeping on Arch Street

A  100-WORD STORY

I slept on a cot near my grandmother’s bed in a room that smelled like eucalyptus. The aluminum frame squeaked when I moved, despite my small size and efforts to keep quiet. My grandfather slept in the adjoining room, his presence as unnerving as the Jesus portrait on the wall. The story goes he woke her once with a pitcher of water, threw it on the bed so she’d make his breakfast. I wonder if the train whistle ever disturbed him, pulled him down the tracks to the steel mill, back to the stacks and hot slag where he belonged.

 

 

 


©2022, Jen Payne.

Categories
Zine

Now Available! Manifest (zine): Heroically Found

Issue #9, Heroically Found

Taking its theme from the William Butler Yeats poem “A Crazed Girl,” HEROICALLY FOUND considers how we improvise as we go along “no matter what disaster occurred,” finding balance, like the crazed girl, in “her music, her poetry, dancing upon the shore.” Quoting from a variety of spiritual and creative sources, HEROICALLY FOUND posits that the way to find equilibrium in these challenging times is through mindful presence — a meditation that opens our hearts and minds to art, to poetry, and to unexpected blessings. For writer Jen Payne, those blessings often include creativity, inspiration, and beautiful rays of insight revealed during her walking meditations in the woods and along the shore. Come along and see what you can find yourself!

INGREDIENTS: appropriation art, collaged elements, color copies, color scans, colored markers, digital art, ephemera, essays, found art, found objects, found poetry, hand-drawn fonts, handmade rubber stamp art, ink jet copies, land art, laser prints, original photographs, poetry, and quotes. With gratitude to Keri Smith and guest appearances by Dale Carlson, Joseph Cornell, Ami McKay, Charles Simic, William Butler Yeats,  and more!

Special thanks to the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT for its support of MANIFEST (zine).

24-page, full-color 5×7 + inserts, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00.


MANIFEST (zine): Heroically Found is part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt on view, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations by 23 participating artists. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at www.SomethingProjects.net.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Zine

THE EXCHANGE: A Statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt

I am psyched to be part of THE EXCHANGE, a statewide artist treasure hunt happening in Connecticut from now until November 1! CLICK HERE for an interactive map, GPS coordinates, and video clues from all of the artists!

SomethingProjects is launching its first project, a statewide Connecticut Artist Treasure Hunt called THE EXCHANGE, on view daily, August 15 – November 1, 2022 (rain or sun). It includes GPS-tracking, QR codes, and adventuring to 15 unique public art installations. The designated sites can be accessed through a map with GPS coordinates found at SomethingProjects.net beginning August 15.

Get ready for an adventure! Plan your outing to visit the many exciting projects in which the public is invited to engage in fun and meaningful ways in the towns of: Beacon Falls, Branford, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, North Haven, Washington Depot, and Waterbury. Learn about these artists selected from your community by participating in the act of discovering what they have created to exchange with you.

THE EXCHANGE ARTISTS

Jeff Becker, Easton
Meg Bloom, New Haven
David Borawski, Hartford
Susan Breen, Bridgeport
Joy Bush, Hamden
Susan Clinard, New Haven
Jennifer Davies, Branford
Sierra Dennehy, New Haven
Ellen Hackl Fagan, Darien
Crystal Heiden, Milford
Allison Hornak, New Haven
Fritz Horstman, Bethany
Joe Bun Keo, Vernon/Rockville
Judith Kruger, New Haven
Susan McCaslin, New Haven
Bailey Murphy, Meriden
Adam Niklewicz, North Haven
Jen Payne, Branford
Roxy Savage, Fairfield
Max Schmidt, Meriden
Rosanne Shea, Waterbury
Kim Van Aelst, Hamden
Jo Yarrington, Fairfield

ABOUT SOMETHINGPROJECTS
In 2022, longtime friends and artists, Howard el-Yasin and Suzan Shutan decided to partner and launched SomethingProjects: a nomadic and provisional space providing short-term exhibitions that dually highlight artists as well as introducing communities to new viewpoints and practices by state, regional, national and international artists. As an incubator for ideas it encourages artists to step outside their boundaries and experiment with the intersection of materials, production, presentation and means of engagement with audience and space. Their locations will change, and offer site-specific opportunities. For more information about SomethingProjects and THE EXCHANGE, visit www.SomethingProjects.net.

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.

Categories
Poetry

The Pond is Quiet Today

**CAUTION** DO NOT USE WATER FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: SWIMMING AND OTHER WATER CONTACT, FISHING, IRRIGATION, LIVESTOCK WATERING, DRINKING…

Did the green heron see the sign?
Or was he given advanced notice
to vacate his perch on the east side of the pond?

As he left, did he call out to the wood duck brood and mallards?
Warn the turtles, frogs, fish?

“It’s only moderately toxic they say, but I don’t want to take chances.”

(Would you?)

The swan keeps a 40-foot distance, wonders if the chemical floats downstream, wonder if it’s as harmful as the turtle who snapped up her babes last spring.

The northern water snake who often skims across the pond knows not of half-lifes or bioaccumulations.

Nor will the field mouse debate the meaning of practically non-toxic with the bees who remain.


©2022, Poem & Photo by Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity

Upon the Death of a Friend, 1986

Of course you were the one to call. It was late, I remember, a rainy night like the last time we met. Cars on the wet, weathered pavement, wipers marking time. Starshine in puddles and you, light years away, saying you knew I’d want to know, knew he’d been important. You knew despite the distance in our orbits, despite our final kiss that birthed a galaxy between us. My heart. You knew.

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. Image: Mark Plötz.

Categories
Creativity Poetry

Summer Song at 4 a.m.



Lone Seagull

due east of the

Bell Buoy at Mermaid Rocks

is background vocal for

katy-did
katy-did
katy-did
she-did

and the
cicada cricket
chorus

while the frog
in the marsh
sings solo tenor

only
interrupted
by the
footsteps
of a deer

so I,
barefoot too,
ask her:

do you hear
the sound of stars?

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne

Categories
Creativity

Swan Song

The swan has lost her mate,
so I wade ankle-deep in the
shallow pond and

with breath like water

crossover
lie child pose
in her nest
surrogate heart
close to her side
and whisper

Far away, there once
lived a king
who had eleven sons
and one daughter…


Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. IMAGE: The Wild Swans, illustration by Joseph Smith, Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, 1965.

Categories
mindfulness Poetry

4 a.m. and I am one a part of all


Are those fireflies
come to join my meditation
or all the stars

a constellation 
above the grass
as waves crash
in a quiet ebb and flow
of breeze
that catches in trees

     and that?

a soft bowl chime
Rinpoche
reminds

or the bell buoy
just offshore
marking time
and breeze,
the tease
of stars

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. Image: Nicholas Roerich, Star of the Hero.


Categories
Creativity

Girl, Cat, Fish

Some days, I feel like the girl in the tub with the fish in the comedy show hitting so close to home but so far out in left field that eating popcorn while I watch doesn’t seem nearly as awful as eating chicken wings during an episode of Criminal Minds. Me and my dying cat curled up on the floor, my hand stroking her tail — and only her tail because otherwise she thinks I’m about to stick another pill down her throat and she’ll run to hide from me. It’s a terrible thing when a part of your heart runs and hides from you, but I don’t blame her. She likes me best now in the mornings, too tired and stiff for any chase. Instead we curl up, like the girl and the fish in the tub, floating there in the early morning hours as if nothing will ever change.

©2022, Jen Payne. Scene from Hulu’s Life & Beth.

Categories
Books Creativity

I’ll Be Right Back…

I have a confession to make. For the past six months, I have been disappearing down a rabbit hole, crawling to the backside of the wardrobe, hitching a ride on a tornado…and making my way to the empire of Une Belle Ville.

It started innocently enough — my nephew on his tablet in the backseat on our way home from an adventure.

“What’s that?” I asked, hearing huzzahs and sing-song chimes.

“Forge of Empires,” he said.

“A video game?”

“Yea, it’s cool. You build a city by collecting resources and building an army. I’m in the Stone Age still.”

When we got home, we sat on the couch together and he showed me his city. Just a few random huts, some dirt trails, an obelisk — but it had me at sing-song. So I loaded it on my iphone and away we went, my nephew and me sharing our cities and achievements.

“I’m in the Iron Age!” he announced.

“Me, too!”

“You caught up with me. I have three archers!”

“I built a fruit farm!”

We went on like this for a few weeks, comparing notes as we played dueling technologies. And then one day, I started hearing zap-zap-zap and kaboom instead of huzzah and sing-song, sing-song.

“What age are you in now?” I asked, curiously.

“I’m playing Minecraft.”

“Not Forge of Empire?”

“No. It was too boring. This is better, see…”

And so our paths diverged. He and his kabooms went one way, and I skipped along with my huzzahs from the Bronze age straight on through to the Industrial.

Ok, maybe it seems a little silly. It’s also one of those nefarious escape mechanisms that gets you strung out on dopamine.  But given the state of the world (and the state of my family of late)? I’m all in for an extra hit of dopamine thank you very much.

The funny thing is, my city — Une Belle Ville — is exactly the kind of place I’d like to spend my time if the rabbit hole jumping, wardrobe crawling, tornado clinging thing actually worked. My fellow villagers and I rank high in enthusiasm and participate happily as members of the local Guild. We trade instead of battle, we polish instead of plunder, we explore the world and give aid when we can. We have lots of trees and gardens, a rosarium and a butterfly house. There’s a mountain preserve, a Celtic farmstead, and a vineyard. We can see the Oracle of Delphi, the Arc de Triomphe, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Notre Dame, and a Statue of Zeus all in an afternoon’s walk. We can visit the zoo, laugh on the ferris wheel, take a hot air balloon ride, or climb the steps of the Observatory to see the stars.

So far, I’ve built a paper mill, am working towards a print shop, and look forward to the day I can build a library for my city, because we all need books, don’t we? Those other things that give us a beautiful out, an “I’ll be right back” excuse to leave the 21st century messes and remember what’s possible with a little bit of imagination and some escapism-flavored dopamine. Huzzah!


Categories
Creativity

Grace

The bee in the meadow
is chanting,
its words imperceivable
but for the rhythm
the vibration like my own
chanting      sometimes
before I start the day
and the bee, like me
is quick in its reverence
quick prayer
like the mealtime grace
of my childhood

God is great
God is good
let us thank him
for this food


Amen

Ommmmm

Bzzzzzzzz

ABOVE: The adoration of Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) by Bicolored Agapostemon Sweat Bee (Agapostemon viriscens). Photo and poem by Jen Payne.

Categories
Creativity Zine

It’s International Zine Month!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL ZINE MONTH! Come on over to the Three Chairs Publishing website and join me as we celebrate a month full of zine things! Find out about zines, zine libraries, zine history, how to make your own zine and more!

Categories
Creativity

In the ruins of my cathedral

In the ruins of my cathedral
I can still hear the angels sing
they from their loft of branches
and I on bended knee
begging for absolution
that will not come

not from the pine at the pulpit
sheared off in the storm

not from the maple
whose leaves filtered light
more beautifully than glass

not from the elm or the ash
who lie beneath my feet
extinguished by our blaze
our red hot disregard

so keenly unconcerned
that we are of this and part of this
and crumbling at our very foundation

the beech knows
its grief spreads
like sickness now

leaf to leaf

branch to branch

tree to tree

in the ruins of my cathedral


Categories
Creativity

NOW ON SALE: MANIFEST (zine): Endemic

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers, and wounded seventeen other people, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. MANIFEST (zine): Endemic is a response that event. The proceeds from this issue will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.

12-page, full-color 5×7, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00


Part lit mag, part artist book, part chapbook, MANIFEST (zine) is the eclectic creation of Connecticut writer / poet / artist Jen Payne. Consider it a hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of whatnot that rise to the surface as she meditates on themes like change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times. Each issue also includes a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Creativity

Transformation

The vetiver potion to conceal my self and sins

is no match for the honeysuckle so full in bloom

here on this summer Sunday sweet spot

before the masses, quiet enough to hear bees hum

while I, covered with the midnight meditations of spiders,

watch as starlings rise from the meadow in first flight

and small kits feast on clover, silent and unsullied

never minding the interloper come so early to the woods

left wondering what spell was cast for Eden

Categories
Creativity

NOW ON SALE! Manifest (zine) #8

#8, Endemic

On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers, and wounded seventeen other people, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, United States. The victims were Makenna Lee Elrod, 10, Layla Salazar, 11, Maranda Mathis, 11, Nevaeh Bravo, 10, Jose Manuel Flores Jr., 10, Xavier Lopez, 10, Tess Marie Mata, 10, Rojelio Torres, 10, Eliahna “Ellie” Amyah Garcia, 9, Eliahna A. Torres, 10, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10, Jackie Cazares, 9, Uziyah Garcia, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10, Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10, Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, Irma Garcia, 48, Eva Mireles, 44, Amerie Jo Garza, 10, Alexandria “Lexi” Aniyah Rubio, 10, and Alithia Ramirez, 10.

MANIFEST (zine): Endemic is a response that event. The proceeds from this issue will be donated to Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, their intent is “to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.”

12-page, full-color 5×7, Cost: $8.00 or subscribe and get 4 issues for $25.00


Part lit mag, part artist book, part chapbook, MANIFEST (zine) is the eclectic creation of Connecticut writer / poet / artist Jen Payne. Consider it a hold-in-your-hands art installation featuring writing, photography, and artwork, along with bits and pieces of whatnot that rise to the surface as she meditates on themes like change and transition, solitude, time, storytelling, and finding refuge in these turbulent times. Each issue also includes a curated Spotify playlist. Layered with colors, textures, meanings (and music), the result is a thought-full, tactile journey with nooks and crannies for you to discover along the way.


You can pay through PayPal using a PayPal account or any standard credit card. If you prefer the old school approach, please send your check, made payable to Jen Payne, P.O. Box 453, Branford, CT 06405.

Categories
Creativity

Sunday Sabbath

The deer in the field
were startled
by the first shot,
were you?
You in your pews
a thousand feet away
there
praying for sins
praying for life
while
gun club gunshots
rang in the holy morning,
frightened the deer

and the bobolink.

Or you, while
the tactical defense cleric
in police surplice
preached a safety sermon
to the congregation
there
from the sacred pulpit:
carry your faith
defend from evil
shoot to kill
all lives matter…

amen.

 

Categories
Creativity

#30 – Vacation

#30 – Vacation

It’s hard to be

come what may

on the last day

this gray area

between here

     and there

 

every movement

with its purpose

with its label of last

 

instead of a careless toss

there is a careful folding

of what we thought to bring

and treasures found

 

the kneel to check for things

that one last time

feels like prayer

 

please, god,

let me have one more day

amen


 

Photo (Cape Cod, MA) & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#29 – What will make a bookmark…

#29 – What will make a bookmark…

 

I have a bookmark box.

(Do you?)

 

In it, a random set

of handmade helpers

who save pages for me,

say YOU WERE HERE

as a reminder.

 

(But I dogear, too, much to their chagrin.)

 

When not nearby

or in a pinch

a gum wrapper maybe or

 

ribbon

feather

fob

 

once, a pressed ginkgo leaf

 

often, a friend’s cross-stitch

 

sometimes, his father’s 3×5 notecards
from New Guinea c. 1936

 

most recently, a note from my host to please remove my shoes before climbing up the ladder to the loft where I read Mary Oliver by moonlight.


Photo (Cape Cod, MA) & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#28 – Camouflage

#28 – Camouflage

A lone spring peeper

disclosed its location

by chorus too soon

then disappeared —

so I hid behind

my walking stick

hoping to mimic a tree,

share in its secret song

one more time.


 

Photo (Cape Cod, MA) & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#27 – I saw a secret to share

#28 – I saw a secret to share

 

it’s my secret

here

this wide beach

this wide, wild ocean

the wind, waves,

white caps

Whales!

 

(shhhhh!)

 

there, at the horizon

 

*p*

f

f

t

!

 

{ applause }

 

shhhh!

 

Whales!


 

Photo (Cape Cod, MA) & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#26 – JOY!

JOY!

 

How does one not

clap for

JOY!

at the sight of

one

whale

breaching?


 

Photo (Cape Cod, MA) & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#25 – Goddess of Mercy & Compassion

GODDESS OF MERCY & COMPASSION

the moon

at 3

whispered

I am here with you

cast its benevolence

danced

with the stars

above the

windowsill goddess

She pointing up

with great compassion

says her mercy

will not wane

together we bear

hardship —

here, let me help you…


 

Photo/Collage & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#24 – Room of Books

ROOM OF BOOKS

I live in a room

          of books

their authors here

          or gone

their final breaths

          on my pages

remembered or

          forgotten

is by luck

          of the draw

their posterity

          (and mine)

feat of might

or feast of mites

          you decide.


Photo & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#23 – chills are a stress response

chills are a stress response

the wave hits
like a surprise
makes me
shiver
hug myself
as it takes
the ground
beneath my feet
leaves me
precarious
balancing

laugh?
cry?

start the day
no matter

there’s a
come and go
to everything
an ebb
and flow

remember?


Photo by Hrvoje Abraham Milićević, Pexels. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#22 – You Spin Me Right Round (for Earth Day)

You Spin Me Right Round (for Earth Day)
 
From my window
all I need to know of Earth
this morning:
her ombré sky indecisive
her sun bold no matter
glowing green buds of spring /
that flash of red? a cardinal
who was singing just a moment ago
a duet     like a record baby
spider spinning another masterpiece
as shadows fly across the lawn
they bob and weave and somersault
punctuated by
bee     bee     bee    bee
the pond ripples with morning traffic
turtles and ducks and frogs
peep    peep    peep
while the trees in unison sing
Watch Our Here I Come!


 

Photo by Hrvoje Abraham Milićević, Pexels. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#21 – Surface Tension

Surface Tension

 

what is the surface tension

of water that rises

before a storm

 

that great heave of breath

 

right

at

the

tipping

point

 

before breakwater

and beach

conceded the flood

 

what begets her

saturation point

when enough

is too much to bear?


 

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#20 – Lip Twitch (So Sayeth Dr. Google)

Lip Twitch (So Sayeth Dr. Google)
 
caffeine
specifically: caffeine intoxication
 
mixed brain signals
(i.e. pandemic, politics, Putin)

[insert opening scene from Jaws]
 
STRESS!
 
fight or flight!
fight or flight!
fight or flight!
 
drugs
narcotics
 
potassium deficiency
 
hormone deficiency
(fuck you menopause)
 
parathyroid
(paragliding accident?)
(guilty of too much paraphrasing?)
 
hemifacial spasm
Bell’s palsy
 
Trauma
Tourette Syndrome
Parkinson’s Disease
ALS
 
TUMOR!
 

“Takeaway: Lip twitching is normally harmless.”
 


 

Image: Mouth (Brigitte Bardot’s Lips) by Gerhard Richter. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#19 – Morning Respite from the Fray

Morning Respite from the Fray

Tempest at 3

with winds that

blew away dreams

but saved the tree

left us writing

by lamplight

and you

wanting to play —

how you love a good shadow

love the tease of a pen

on paper scratching —

until day broke

our moment

the beast arose

chased the tempest

back from the day

its tasks now swollen

and barely as sweet.


 

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#18 – One of a Thousand Lives

One of a Thousand Lives

One sea gull drops its catch on the rocks

and I think there’s a poem in that

but only the names have changed

since I last wrote a poem about the

one sea gull, its catch, and those rocks

that can be seen from the house

I thought for sure we’d buy

when it was for sale,

the year I wrote that poem about

the sea gull, its catch, and rocks

There was room there for

his design studio

and my writing space

for my art supplies

and his art collection — mostly Cape Cod,

our shared heart space —

He knew the artists’ names

looked up the owners of our house

they were artists too

and that life   oh that life

was as beautiful then as this morning

the seagull having breakfast on the rocks

and I, in starshine, nostalgic

 


 

Photo by Kunal Baroth/Pexels. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#17 – God: The Anthropocene Interview, Part I

God: The Anthropocene Interview, Part I

 

I will miss

the birds most,

said God

when asked.

 

He, like all of us,

has been wondering

about things.

 

Wondering if a

pandemic

is natural cause

and effect, or

defense mechanism?

 

Wondering if evil

simply becomes itself,

or rises from the ashes

of what could have been?

 

Wondering how He

became the excuse

for so much violence

and unkindness?

 

Wondering what

“act of god” or

“mass destruction”

equates to a

serious reckoning?

 

Wondering why He

gave the most complex brain

to homo sapiens and not,

for example,

the osprey, the robin,

the starling, the crow?


Photo by Kunal Baroth/Pexels. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#16 – On Easter

ON EASTER

It occurred to me

that an apt solution

might be to go sit

in a daffodil patch —

sink deep into the dirt,

commune with

the immortal blooms

that once grew

in Elysian fields,

become heaven myself,

rise to the occasion

or if not —

just return

again next year

hope a long sleep

yields sun

and sustenance.


 

Photo & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#15 – Ghosts

I’m sleeping with ghosts again —

my shapeshifters life savers

throw me a line in a dream

Here! Here!

they lie down beside me

curl into my spine

rest a hand, lend a shoulder

faces clear as always

voices, laughs

I know you.

They are my familiars

taking shape and form

as Comfort and Consolation

reminders

of love spent and saved

stored in a cupboard

with sheets —

eye holes to see me

clear as always

buoyant

in memories


 

Photo by Ron Lach/Pexels. Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#14 – don’t save me from this morning

don’t save me from this morning

 

birdsong catches

at my hem this morning

pulls me into the light

 

I saw the light,

said the twenty-something

at the diner yesterday

I saw the light and I was saved

 

he used the word 8 times

while I ate my burger

saved from sins of the flesh

 

(irony there)

 

saved from celebrating     too much

saved from loving      too much

saved from seeing god

in the birdsong

that catches at my hem

 

Do you think Jesus was a vegeterian?
Do you think he danced with the disciples?
Made love?     Oh! Holy! Night!

 

It’s sad to be so sure at 20  (so convinced)

leaves little room for magic

on mornings like this

 

and little room to dance


Photo & Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

Categories
Creativity

#13 – Dream 4.13.22

DREAM 4.13.22

 

I rub his bare belly

like a Buddha

it’s smooth and firm

 

and warm

 

he laughs

as a secret

 

street lights

stop lights

moon light

shows a face

I shouldn’t see

and I wake

hot

and tangled

wondering

if it’s just good fortune

or an explanation

of more than

I can grasp


 

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.