Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rolling Snowmen

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I can’t remember the last time I rolled
a snowman. I would have been a young girl,
wearing my hair in two long brown braids,
and blissfully naïve to what was coming,

ignorant of the fact that childhood can
end so abruptly,

and without warning, explanation, or apology.

Had I been wiser, I would have cherished
everything about that day:

I’d be able to tell you the color of the sky,
the rate of snow fall,
the size of the flakes,
the thickness of the pack,

and if it were wet or a little too dry.

Was it particularly cold?  Had my mother 
knitted my cap, or scarf?

Was the snow still falling while I made him,
or had it stopped?

How big was he? 

Certainly, I used a carrot for the nose. 
Rocks for eyes?  Was he smiling?

Did someone help? Younger sisters? The neighbor-kids?
And, what did it all smell like? There were pines 
in the front yard – one very big.
Is that where I learned that each species of pine 
has a different odor? Was I wrapped
in a perfume of pine and snow and happiness?


Now I’m going to show my age, and maybe some experience.

I have chosen to apprentice to
that which teaches me
to cherish every moment:


The sky is platinum.
The snow is falling fast;
a dizzying cascade of thick, wet flakes
forming fluffy biceps on the boughs
of the evergreens, which,
yes, I can smell from the threshold of
my open front door – made of solid mahogany.

A male cardinal just called out.

I want to be sure to acknowledge him -
this crimson guardian of winter hope.

After all,

this could be my last poem.

Or, yours.

© 2014-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight" 
Published by Hiraeth Press
Photo available thru Fine Art America

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Monday, March 24, 2014


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I see and hear
is some form of life, saying:

“I want to wake up.

I want to be alive again.

I have slept long enough in darkness.

I am here.”

The titmouse in its song.
The daffodil in its bloom.
The wood frog quacking in the pond.

On these early spring mornings,
I want to arise with active hope.

I want to exclaim, “Me too!”

And, I want to find moments under
the crisp vibrant-blue sky to wonder
about things that it can seem
so dangerous to wonder about in winter.


The possibility that we too can awaken
and save the world
that is ourselves simply

by showing up.

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

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Flame

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

Sometimes you have to pour out the melted wax,
or it will drown the flame.


One winter night when I was twelve,
my father started a fire in the fireplace.
Just as the flames began to rise,
a large, hairy wolf spider emerged
from under the bark of one of the logs.
I squealed, afraid for its life and
grabbed for crumbled newspaper and kindling
in the hope of urging it to me.

Instead, it ran through the fire, its two back legs
igniting, dragging, singed and paralyzed.
I screamed, unable to stand the pain.
And, then, mercy took it all at once,

and left me wailing.


I’ve lost count of the campfires I’ve known, and
the bonfires too. And, forgotten the names of most
of faces that were there, circled, in the 
captivating flicker of light.

Not so long ago, our kinship would have
been a matter of survival, and the stories that
arose, like smoke, would have been our bloodlines.



Greek: salamandra

Fire lizard

Spotted salamanders will crawl through the snow to mate
and place opaque egg masses on plant stalks in the shallows
of temporary ponds.



We put many things into the flames –

to heat our bodies
to nourish our bodies
to free our souls...

To kill the projections of our fear.


The phoenix arises from the ashes.
But, not just any ashes: the ashes of its predecessor.

Manifestation is not possible without destruction.
Destruction is not possible without manifestation.


Ask a prairie what it knows of fire
and it will answer you
with flowers and grasses
and gratitude for your question.

Thank you for taking the time to notice
what brings it alive.


What do I know of lovers and candlelight?


Sitting here with this flame,
on this night,

I know that I can love this world.


Pour the wax slowly.

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

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something Uninvited

Photo: (c) Brenda Clements Jones

“No good ol'coon,” they’d say,
brown-spotted, tongue-lulling
hounds baying
at the base of the tall, grey
poplar, standing stark, innocent
in the pickup’s fierce, white headlights.
It, the tree, has no desire to host this killing,
screaming as a tree screams.
Unable to run.

I imagine them laughing like drunken men do,

delivering the still-spirited mass with a thud.

I won’t say what happens next.

But, this evening, you are our secret.
And, here I stand in dark chill of night,
glancing up at the first stars,
contemplating what I want to feel.

There are options:

Do I fluster and furiously call you,


I could. Yes, I could.

Or, I could

take a deep in-breath and, ah wonderment:
I could set my sites on praise for your cleverness
and skillful hand-paws.

                I could. Yes, I could.

How would you know that the thick, pasty
block of lard and little seeds was bought
– with my hard earned money –
for what makes me happy in the daylight hours?

It wasn’t meant for you.

Darn it.

why not for you?


it’s a worthwhile question.

I see the thinness of your winter belly.
The thrill in your eyes.
The hope that I’ll come no closer,
and, oh please, leave an escape route open.

Yes. I see

how you are holding it to your heart.
How you are praying.

Yes, I see how

sometimes we need to change our plans;

Something uninvited can come along,
and, oh look here, a new opportunity

to love.

Breath in.


I say:

“How very clever you are, Love.”


© 2014-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From: ""Winter: Reflections by Snowlight"
Published by Hiraeth Press (

Feel free to share