week of August 22 - 28, 2005
Patricia Wellingham-Jones and Crystal Dawn
BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click. here.for. submission .guidelines
Patricia Wellingham-Jones of Tehama, CA is a former psychology researcher and writer/editor, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work is published in numerous anthologies, journals, and Internet magazines, including HazMat Review, Red River Review, Rattlesnake Review, Phoebe, A Room of Her Own, Pebble Lake Review, Thunder Sandwich, Ibbetson Street Press and Niederngasse. Chapbooks include Don't Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer (PWJ Publishing), Apple Blossoms at Eye Level (Poets Corner Press) and Voices on the Land (Rattlesnake Press). She has a 26-article series called "Getting Published" on A Long Story Short, has a monthly poetry column in East Valley Times and will be featured poet in that online journal and in Ink and Ashes this summer. Patricia is also publisher of PWJ Publishing and edits and produces books by invitation. Her website is www.wellinghamjones.com.
The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Patricia Wellingham-Jones and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Afghani woman sits on sand,
legs outstretched. Her backstrap loom
strains from body to tent pole, weaves
a prayer rug in rich red on natural-wool white.
In Japan, a woman soaks then shreds
cocoons. Another spins filaments
finer than spider dreams, destined
for a silk kimono in night blue.
In a jungle stained brown by bombs,
an old Hmong shows a young woman how to snip,
fold, stitch her village tale to a story panel,
primary colors in reverse applique.
On a Caribbean island
a Kuna mother and daughter sit cross-legged,
snip, fold, stitch their orange and red cotton
mola, telling the story of their lives.
American women bend heads over frames,
cut old clothes into intricate shapes,
piece their pink and yellow
flowered histories into quilts.
Needle in fingers,
unbleached linen on my lap,
I knot my story to the threads
of women weaving the world.
Can of Worms*
I opened a can of worms
last night. Should have left
them in safe confinement.
As if packed under pressure
they surged over the rim,
spattered my glasses,
dangled from a lamp shade.
Across the glass table top
they slithered and slid
to fall blindly to the floor,
wrap their wriggling bodies
around chair legs.
Sleepless in the long dark
I scurried after worms,
tried to cram them
with my unruly ideas
back in their can.
After much futile scrambling,
tangled thought, I found
the elders were right to advise
against this activity. I pushed
the last little worm head
down among his brethren,
tapped the lid smartly,
tucked the can out of sight
in the farthest cupboard
of my runaway mind.
*To "open a can of worms
is to start something you
will come to regret.
Behind Stanley Market
Her mast carries stained canvas,
her hold contraband. She
slides seaward, ghost-silent,
rounds the jagged rocks, is gone.
I stand, toes buried in white sand,
empty beach shaded with palms.
In the cup of bay-blue water
one last junk ready to sail.
Behind my left shoulder
Hong Kong's market seethes:
metal clangs on plastic,
vendors scream their wares,
small boys with slippery fingers
glide like silverfish through the crowd.
Smell of leather and bean cakes,
sweating humans, rotting fruit.
He visits his new mountain retreat
in the bright colors of mid autumn,
stays home while his young wife
goes shopping. Stretches
his city-pale body
in the hot tub overlooking the lake.
Sighs in bliss, scrunches down, lifts his wine.
The first rain drops ice on his face, his chest.
Like a jack-in-the-box he leaps high. Regards
his soaked body, shrugs, sinks back in the tub.
Moments later, snow flakes dot his hair,
melt on his out-stretched tongue.
He slides deeper into warm water,
into a doze. Dream-fogged
eyes fly wide at a rustle by his ear,
alight on the muzzle of a black bear
sniffing close. Both parties blink.
One screams. The bear
Spirit of the Water
I wake to your voice.
No other place on the planet
holds my heart.
I have no wish to leave your side.
You've spoiled me.
You bounce children's laughter
on tubes in spring
bathe my limbs in summer.
My eyes rest on your steady flow
on salmon churning
upstream in autumn
on winter crash of flood.
You teach me to slow my heart
to rhythms of the land
its steadying bass voice
throbs under human rushing.
The riffle of your tongue
soothes a brain fevered
I live beside
your musical journey
as you slide from Mount Lassen
to the river, to the sea.
Let me listen
every waking sleeping hour.
I do not wish to impose
my voice on yours.
I have little to say.
My voice breathes in whispers
o spirit of the water
when I speak of you.
Crystal Dawn was born in Virginia in 1974. She now lives in Norfolk, Virginia. She has been published in The Gyre, 1994, and her first poetry book, The Sensitive Callous will be available in 2006. Visit her website at http://www.geocities.com/crystaldawnpoetry for more information.
The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Crystal Dawn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Waiting for pearls
To slap against me
Shaving your favorite parts
Take control of me
................Treat me bad
Your inchworm movements
Caught around my ankle
You better be worth my time