Sunday, October 25, 2015


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I’m thinking about what happens when you go back
to a place that was once fond of you and see all
those strangers you’ve known for many years,
and how so much will have changed, undoubtedly,
but not the fact that you are still wondering who you
are and how all of this is supposed to fit together,
somehow. There are bridges that convey us between two
points on this Earth, and others that take us
on entirely different journeys. I’ve stood on both.
I want to see the ducks, yes, of course, the ducks of
the ducks that once held my confessions, hear the
yellowed beech leaves crackle beneath my boots,
and try, very hard if I must, to remember
things that I never thought were important. Somewhere
along the winding brick pathways and boxwood-edged
gardens, I’ll stop and say my hellos to some soul or another.
I’ll mean everything I say in the words that follow. A poet
is always earnest. The trouble is though, we never truly
find our way home. And, we know it.

© 2015-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
Published by Talking Waters Press 

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Friday, October 16, 2015


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

On these mornings you can hear the trees themselves
speaking, not the birds that have lifted into currents
and gone on two miraculous wings. There is grief
in their voices, and relief. You know what this feels
like, if you have lived. Leaving: letting go of what no
longer serves the body and soul, often the heart. I can
standby, beside and underneath, and give some sense
of comfort by telling them how beautiful this process
is, how I admire the way they do it with the bold
prospect of witnesses.

I think that relating to the leaf is harder than relating
to the tree, unless you consider that the bird left
the tree for some grand adventure, and then you go on to
realize that we are all leaving each other constantly.

Our old selves, too.

It was a tree, on one of these delicate barren mornings, 
that said to me: 

“I love to watch you change and grow.”

© 2015-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Plant Songs" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mountain Stream Poem

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I’ve looked, but I cannot find a poem
that Mary Oliver has written about
a rushing mountain stream, the
kind that takes on the tongues
of gods after storms have done
their cleansing and prepared the
land for what is next to come. How
could she not? How could her pen not
have stopped here, so many times
before, wondered, listened, and then
told the stories that the gods want
us to hear, want us to live?

I have written one for her.

© 2015-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Conversations with Mary" (a work in progress)

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Water Ways

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I took form in this aqueous place, this place of 
tentative buoyancy,  in this life, decades ago, in 
other lives, perhaps, long since, in ways that I 
cannot understand but some part of me
recalls as belonging.

As a child, I meandered in brooks, turning over 
rocks for crayfish and salamanders, salamanders 
that still had gills, indicating that they were still 
young in the way that we are still young.

And, in the summers, I went to the beach, where 
waves taught me how to take hold and how to let go, 
and where I learned that I am ruled by the moon at 
least as much as the sun and other stars.

Have you ever noticed how the moon has chosen 
water to hold her reflection, only water?

I am not a fish, but I have looked into the eyes of fish, 
many. I am not a whale, but I have looked into the eyes 
of whales, a few, and each time I find myself there. Other 
orbs too. Like blue marbles that sparkle iridescent in the 
sunlight and in the gleaming of those who hold them 
between thumb and forefinger.

Have you ever noticed that when you walk up to a fountain 
with pennies in your pocket in a grand city or some out of 
the way little town that your heart beats differently than it 
did the moment before you stepped onto the bricks, or 
cobblestones, or asphalt that led you there?

Rain. A metal roof. That’s enough.

I have had relationships with puddles that are deeper than
with those who have called themselves family, some who
have called themselves friends.

You? When was the last time you jumped in one?

What was the point of this story?

It had something to do with water, how in water you can
drift back and away, and how despite – but I believe because of –
this drifting, this floating, this letting go of some proverbial
shoreline, you can come back from some place remembering
every thing, everything, that is essentially you.

©2015-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wonderment: New and Selected Poems" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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