Friday, January 31, 2014

Part II

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

So I remained still,
and what found me were ghosts
wanting me to give them names.

Though they had come and lingered before,
they had never asked this of me before,
and it wasn’t hard,
it was like remembering the names
of lovers,
or the one name they shared,

and, actually, it was this,
exactly this,

and I was astonished by the profound simplicity
of it.

One ghost,
One name.

And, it wasn’t God.


I didn’t pay much attention in church growing up.
I scribbled on the yellow-toned donation slips that 
were tucked into
the back pocket of the pews.
It provided distraction from my father’s sobs and
my mother’s down-turned face,
and the shame-cast looks of those sitting in front,
and to the sides.

But that was only for one year.
The ministers didn’t want us back after he left.


I’ve been thinking on things, like:

Angler fish
and alligator snapping turtles
and venus fly traps.

In clever ways, they say:

“Come here,
I have something to offer you.”

You think it’s something good.
Something you want.
Something that will make you feel better,

and all the while they are just hoping
that you are gullible enough
to let them devour you.

It’s not personal.
It’s just what they do,
and it wouldn’t seem reasonable
to apologize for it.


And that’s when the white dove
to me,

alighted so gently within me.


She is my re-membrance of me

as something holy.


That ghost is no longer Holy.

I am.

© 2014-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
This poem follows another entitled, 'In the Morning.'
Published by Talking Waters Press
Available from and other major retailers

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

In the Morning

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

Do you know mornings that refuse
to fully release
the night’s dreams?

I do.

I’ve learned to apprentice to them,
their want for me to re-member
that I am alive in other places,

that what we most long for can find
us when we are still.

A small white feather drifted, downward,
falling in gentle swinging motions, coming
from the clear blue sky onto land
that we had stood on together, side by side,
so very long ago,

I could remember the texture of the warm
soil under my bare feet,

and the view of the side-sprawling mountains
on the salty-blue horizon that we had
walked towards with an intent to be
something else,

and I wondered

how the white dove you had gifted me
found me again.

© 2014-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
Published by Talking Waters Press

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Sound of Snow

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

She asked me how to describe the sound
of snow falling softly in the mountains.

I stood among the flurries until the tears came,
until I couldn't stop them. Not even
if I’d wanted to,

and I didn’t.

And, after a good long while, I replied:

“You must let your heart break for want of love.

You must listen carefully when it does.

Whatever it is you hear then,

that is it;

That is the sound of snow falling,


in the mountains.”

© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight" 
Published by Hiraeth Press

~  for Ann Dye  ~

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

I Will Choose a Bluebird

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

In the so-many-days-of-grey


I will choose a bluebird as
my god.

It is not hard to do;

The heart has needs - like being pleased
by the flit-about presence of little-winged spirits
in meadow and wood,
how they can remain so cheery through it all.

I haven’t mastered that.

There’s a good chance, I never will.

Still, sometimes, I’ll give it a go.

But, mostly I’m a creature of seriousness
who wonders on things as a way of
finding the holy in the unspeakable truths.

Does this warrant an apology to my maker?


maybe not:

I have to believe that bluebirds
aren’t quite done
making us human.

© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wonderment: New and Selected Poems"
To be published by Talking Waters Press 

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Woman and the Wheelbarrow

Photo: Jamie K. Reaser

The dog can’t explain her odd behavior.
Or, how she became so ill-prepared for this world.

One day, she will certainly starve.


There she goes again,

fetching the old, rust-bottomed wheel barrow
from the depths of the cold garage.
Boots and jacket and determination flustering;
hunched and pushing her way,
single wheel-spade cutting through the morning air,
turning and turning , writing its mucky name across
the mud-patched lawn,
                she stops
at the nose of the remains of the deer carcass
that her dog dragged home, for her, again.

What to do but stand there, wondering on death
while looking down upon this
empty dishevelment of a car-struck life

while awaiting a strategic plan

from the angels.

One, two…

And, finally,
seconds having passed,
it arrives.

So there she goes, lifting the stiff and soggy,
chunks and bits,
of skin and bone and still-binding cartilage,
and things she cannot put to some knowledge of 
former use, each
into the belly of the chariot.

Onward to the open field,
onward to where the sky is a doorway for those
transiting Heaven and Earth,
onward until
this is the perfect place to stop
and dump it all out.

Then, she leaves.


And the spirits descend:

Turkey vultures flanked by their darker, smaller kin
became deliriously crop-stuffed under the brief 
winter sun, lifting off with much effort not long before 
the red fox skulks in at dusk, hoping the night will keep 
him secret until he has made his stomach full, after which the 
patient little deer mice, a pair, scramble out of the tall grasses 
and onto a broken rib and gnaw its sharply-curved edge for 
treasured calcium, oh, up!, they spring away just in the 
nick of time, the coyote family taking over, survival greedy, 
yielding to no one
other than dawn.


The dog can’t explain her odd behavior.
Or, how she became so ill-prepared for this world.

One day, she will certainly starve.


The very next morning, she returns to check on things
and finds little there to find.

She is pleased.

She smiles,
and thinks to herself:

“It feels so very good to be of service.”


And then she goes home

and feeds the dog.

© 2014-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wonderment: New and Selected Poems" 
To be published by Talking Waters Press

~ For Grace Cangialosi and her dog ~

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