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

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

BOOK REVIEW: Nicole Pyles Reviews Evidence of Flossing

“I was so impressed with this book. It conveyed a beauty and yet sadness at the same time. I could sense the spiritual struggle within the poetry and a reflection of the world around (and the masks society often puts forward). This book is definitely a conversation piece and I can’t wait to share it with others.” — Nicole Pyles, World of My Imagination


Click here to buy the book now!


Photo ©2017, Jen Payne from the book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.

17 – At the Crossing

Of the 30 homes
about to be built upon
the decimated soil,
not one will know
the cool shade of
the 100-year oak,
the soft whisper
of ancient pine,
the after-hour call
of the hoot on high.
The clear-cut yards
of painted grass
and rolling asphalt,
their fabrications
of flora and fauna,
offer picture-perfect
advertisement
of humans at the crossing,
of choices made
soon before the fall.

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #17. If you like the heart of this poem, discover 80 more in the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

14 – Interloper

In the thicket
of tall red oaks
set among
the human
complex,
five deer
walk silent
up the path,
fearless and
unhurried here,
their Eden.

Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month 2018, #14. If you like this poem, you’ll find 80 more the book EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND! Purchased your signed copy today! CLICK HERE

Words, Crazy Words Reviews Evidence of Flossing

“Payne’s other work as an essayist is evident in many of the narrative poems. Strong sense of place and point of view carry the individual poems as a cohesive whole. This collection is one I will turn to again and again. I anticipate greater appreciation for this thoughtful collection each time.” – Tara Huck, Words, Crazy Words


Click here to buy the book now!