Sunday, July 14, 2013



Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I have learned their language,
some of it,
low scolding screes and chip notes

“There is a snake in the berry thicket.”

I ask:

“What kind of snake?”

And go to take a look.

I determine the species and declare it,
as if they didn’t already know or
have their own way with details.
We discuss its length,
and intent.

I’m not sure why we discuss intent. Perhaps,
we believe in surprises but simply need to confirm
that this snake has nothing
of surprise to offer:

It wants to crawl among the bramble canes,
upward, until it can dip its plated head into the
twiggy, leafy, so-much-effort-it-took-to-make-it cup
cradling eggs, maybe nestlings,
and flex its jaws and consume. Empty.

Sometimes I take the snake for a walk,
though I warn that it will return
and I may not be around to hear their calls
the next time. Or, maybe I’ll be distracted.

Sometimes I watch what I know will unfold,
unfold.  Does this make me a voyeur of sorts?
There are days to engage in this practice, I think:

To be there, fully present, with an ending, maybe a death,
without begging  or balking, to bring curiosity with you
as an offering of escort to the other world. I can do this.

But, sometimes, I simply turn and walk away, saying:

“I’m going to see if there are butterflies at the coneflowers,”

because, sometimes, I have to remind myself
that there are wild things playing in the sunlight.

~Jamie K. Reaser, Author
Published in "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
Feel free to share

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The dusks of humid summer days
have a magic about them
called fireflies.
Watch them blinking above the long grasses
and in the dark woodland.
Catch one, gently.
Hold it in the cup of your hand
and let it tickle-walk across your
palm, all six legs striding, until it can’t bear
the tangible for one second more and spreads its beetle-
wings and becomes – how high can it go? -  a star.

Now you are back in your childhood,
aren’t you? And the glass jar is big
and has a metal lid. Probably, red.
It once held peanut butter,
and it makes a particular sound when you
open and close it. Do you hear it?

I remember what it felt like to spin the top on,
and spin the top off, and how you had
to be fast to get one in and not let the others out.

Back then,

Did you ever imagine all the things that
a single jar could hold?

Mine has in it the voices of the other kids,
and their mothers calling them in.
Cars going down the street,
dogs barking,
lawn mowers falling silent for the night,

Illusions that I thought were truths at the time.

And yellow. Luminescent yellow.

“Come and be my lover,” they said
“Go away! You scare me,” they said.

I adored them and adore them still.  

They taught me how to ask questions.

They taught me how to get silent enough 
to hear answers.


They taught me how to be with things that go on
in this world beyond our understanding.                                                          

How often the child of me
has saved the adult of me,
because she can remember fireflies.

~ Jamie K. Reaser, Author
Published in "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World" 

Feel free to share