25 – Cat Meditation

She doesn’t know
of time or schedule,
only that if she sits
in the spot between
the keyboard and monitor

a spot, I should note,
perfect for a cat in repose

I have no choice
but to pay her
some attention,
more attention
than whatever
had been the task
at hand.

Her soft furred back
is welcome change
from the hard lines
of time and schedule;
her head nudges up
against my hand
scratching her ears —
says yes, yes
and more, more.

Under the white fluff
of her neck,
the soft vibration
of purring
yes, yes
I could stay here a while,

eyes closed, lulled by this sound

I could stay here a while…

Photo and Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #25. For more poems like this, pick up a copy of Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK

23 – The first time she ever said Fuck

you could see it
gathering steam
from her core

from her memory

from her sadness

from her pain
from her fear
from her anger

but when it came out

Fffffffuck!

it was not nearly
as loud
as explosive
or as endless
as she deserved

I think now
I should have
saved it
dug a deep hole
and planted it
grew it lush and large
fed it back to her
sautéed in
wine and butter

Maybe then
she would remember
the day she almost
set herself free.

Image: Woman on the Verandah , Edvard Munch. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne, for my mother. National Poetry Month #23. For more poems like this, read Jen’s book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK

21 – Detour

Backlit by morning,
the regiment of flowers
sanguinaria canadensis
calls my attention uphill,
which necessitates
a certain slowing down,
enough to slip quickly
into another space

where ducks live in trees
aix sponsa
and bright blue birds
cyanocitta cristata
allow no one to pass
without alert,

where sprightly shadows
cardinalis cardinalis
poecile atricapillus
baeolophus bicolor
criss-cross my path,
sing-song as they go

where the whispers
of the tallest trees
dance and play
across the pond,

as the great ones
ardea herodias
ardea alba
practice the
yin and yang
of breath
and balance,

while overhead
— catching thermals —
magnificence soars
buteo jamaicensis

and the other world
for a while
is silent.

Bloodroot, wood duck, blue jay, cardinal, chickadee, tufted titmouse, great blue heron, great egret, red tailed hawk, respectively. Photo and Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #21. For more little poems like this, pick up a copy of EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

20 – Rip Tide

It’s time to go your own way.
Dance to the beat of a different drum.

Despite what you’ve been told,
consider the opposite option.

Forget:
accumulation
emulation
adulation
formulation
contemplation
relation in general…really

and expectation?
every…damn…one

Don’t stop believing.

Just

Stop fighting.

Stop kicking.

Stop trying to keep your head above water.

Stop!

This is the tide that binds, baby.
Rip tide.

Rip you apart.
To shreds.
A new one…if you get my drift.

And THAT’S the idea.

Drift away.

Give me the beat boys.
Free my soul.
Free my heart, too.

Because…

there is no
swimming against the current
against the tides of change
against the wind

When we were young and strong,
maybe.

But time is short…
it waits for no man
or woman, quite frankly,

So stop giving a damn.
The time has come.

Time for me to fly.

Would you like a little music with your poetry? Click here for the Rip Tide Playlist. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #20. Get a new perspective through poetry, read: EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

19 – Odds Are…Odd

No doubt,
if he had a phone,
he would have called
a friend (or two):

Hey, I just got dropped off.
Corner of Short Beach
and Maple.

Maybe someone
would have picked him up.
He could have walked —
it’s less than a mile,
as the crow flies.

But neither
crows nor rats
have phones,
don’t cha know.
What would be the need?

The probability
of slipping out
of a dumpster from
the back of a semi like that?
Slim to none, I’d think.

But I’m no rat,
now am I?
Maybe it happens
all the time?

IMAGE: White Rats, Shibata Zeshin. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #19. For more little poems like this, pick up a copy of EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

18 – Joie de Vivre (for Max)

This little boy
is howling

owooooooooo!

howling like a dog
to mimic the movie
we’re watching

about dogs

but the look
on his face
his big brown eyes
wide open
so focused
on the sound
as it dances
up his throat

owooooooooo!

head back
his neck long
his cheeks stretched
mouth all puckered up

and smiling!
how?
with his lips
pressed together
in that ooooooooo
way?

ah! so carefree!
and funny
silly, goofy funny

it just makes a
grown woman want
to howl with delight

owooooooooo!

Gorgeous photo by Porapak Apichodilok. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #18. If you like the spirit of this poem, discover 80 more in the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

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