Saturday, October 14, 2017

Winterberry




















(c) Jamie K. Reaser

Her generosity sets in just as the sun becomes limited
in his givings. “Beauty can persist through seasons
of scarcity,” she says. I’ve been learning to listen to
this voice, learning to see what is ever-present.
Memories can be explored in this way. Sometimes,
that changes things.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Plant Songs" (a work in progress)

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Moon Poem
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I’m waiting for the moon, impatiently. She 
was swallowed by a cloud dragon who has
not yet given her back to the night sky. I want
to say that this is unfair, especially when she
is full, in her splendor, something that I want
to see so that the world feels right again.

Have you ever waited for things? Precious
things? In that longing is everything that
could save us all.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Mourning
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


All of our griefs come to us on the last day of something:

An unmet wish,
That which we thought was safe and true,
Someone we had permission to touch.

Now is not the time to close your eyes, but to see
your way into the darkness of mourning.

Here is where we are witnessed by sorrows too abundant 
to dismiss. Here is where we realize that we don’t want 
the broken repaired and the wounds healed. Here is where 
we are initiated into true humanity.

I want you to go below the waters and stand knee deep in 
the ash, and listen to the sound of breath withheld. I want 
your heart to pine for what had been there until it can stop 
living the dream of entitlement.

Do with your knees what they were built to do: to support
you upon the ravaged earth in that moment that you realize 
that grief is a fearsome creature who knows you by name. 
Surrender. Until you do, the gods will not reveal what it is 
that you must stand up for.

Yes, I know that you want me to tell you about beauty, but I’m 
not going to, other than to say that it will be there. It will greet 
you. And, it is possible to accept its invitation too soon.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Henry




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


“Who is he?” asked the beagle as Henry
stepped out of the car.

Henry, he said. He’s had a hard life
and he’s going to stay with us for awhile.

“Is he nice?” The beagle asked. “He’s kinda
funny looking. I’m cute. He’s simultaneously
handsome and ugly. How is that possible?”

Yes. He’s different. Different can be special.
Good special. Please, be polite and say hello.

“Hello, Henry. That food bowl is mine. And,
that muddy place under the porch is mine too. ”

Henry: I smell cats!

The beagle: (to the man) “He’s easily
distracted, isn’t he?”

Henry thrust himself into the shrubs
and grabbed a stick.

The beagle put her nose to the ground and
started walking the fenceline, “I think he should
go back to that place.”

Give him a chance. We all need a chance. Maybe
you can teach him something. You’ve been loved
all your life. He needs to learn to be loved.

The beagle looked up, raising her nose into the
air, trying to make it seem like she’d just caught
a scent. It was really an idea. She had an idea
about Henry.

Time passed. Henry learned to focus, not quite like
a beagle can focus, but something like that. Henry
learned to be loved. Like the beagle and the man
love each other.

Then the man said, it’s time for Henry to go. He
can have his own person now, someone who can
love just him.

“I want to help,” said the beagle. “I can tell his story.”

“He’s different. Different can be special.”

You can love different.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Conversations with Mary"
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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The Spider
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


I can’t say for sure what artist brought it into this world,
eight legs and beauty on its mind. I did not fare as well
in Geometry, I’ll admit. There is a reverence, an awe for
the magic it spins and then weaves in the night, mooned
or pitch. It pains me so to encounter it first thing
on a trail, feeling it thick and sticky across my face before
my eyes adjusted to the wild. To destroy a Master’s
work: how do we do this and yet keep going?


© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Friday, August 25, 2017

This Day




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I know Death’s footfalls, and what a chicken sounds like
when Death arrives upon the roof of the coop, and
descends, and rises again: accompanying two beings at
the threshold of the worlds.

This is how this day broke away from the night. Death
was there and nearly gone before I arrived, but I saw
the last of Life still embodied in one, so determined
to continue in the other, and Death, fully occupying the
small space between them: the neutral mediator.

It was like the dream that I had just left behind in which
something had to go so that something else could boldly
make its way into the world.

©2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty"
To be published by Talking Waters Press


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Friday, July 14, 2017

The Deer









o






Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I know what it is to be hunted,
to be the thing that someone wants to destroy
because it will make them feel better about themselves.

I’m not sure how I learned to be this thing,
this thing that is okay with that. I’m not a martyr.

I am an offering.

My challenge is to make peace with
never knowing
what for.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Berries




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

A container full of berries
is a measure of time
and effort,

and something
else that escapes the
lid and is the sweetest.
I could say more, yes,

but I want you to
find out for yourself
how summer frees

things. It can be hard
to remember.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Freyda's Poem




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

She was walking along the country road,
plodding with sullen eyes that, upon my
arrival, lifted, somewhat, and asked:

“Is this more pain coming?”

And, daringly:

“Could it be hope?”

My open palm offered her the kibble
that I keep on hand, in a jar in the truck,
for just these moments. They are often
enough. She took it into her jutting ribs,
and then went for the pile I put on the
passenger seat. That was my hope.

That’s how our story started.

~
There’s some part of me that understands
the texture of abandonment better than
most things. I could tell you stories, but
I can’t explain it to you. It’s one of those
tangible mysteries that defines us.

We are the legacy of the dispossessed.
~

What makes a being disposable?

I wonder about this when I pick a dog up
on a winding country road, although, sometimes,
it is a cat, or several. And, too, there are the
men with cardboard signs on the street corners,
all having written imploring words with a thick
black sharpie.

Once, it was two young women. We talked.
They had abandoned themselves. They said:

“It is less painful this way.”



~

Rumi wrote to his beloved that:

I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ‘round the corner.

And, then went on to add:

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
“more.”

What is the opposite of abandonment?

Is it this?

~

I decided to call her, Freyda.

It means, joy.

~

I think:

If we want to know joy,
we can find our way home.

Anyway, that’s my hope.



©2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

I'll Trade Places with You













Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The blind man entered the metro car.

“Are there any empty seats?”

“No,” said the man sitting next to me,
in front of the sign that reads:

Priority Seating. Federal Law Requires
that These Seats Be Available to
Passengers with Disabilities and to
the Elderly.

Quizzically, again,

“There are no empty seats?”

“No. There aren’t any empty seats.”

He didn’t even glance up from his phone.
Didn’t look him in the eye.

Arising from my seat, the words came,

“Here. I’ll trade places with you. A little
to the left. Okay. There.”

I’ll trade places with you.

I stood, gripping the metal post, my
sight coming to rest on the clearance badge
around the neck of the face-to-phone
man.

Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs?

Really?!

I couldn’t work my way to anger,
couldn’t get to a place where I could
speak my mind,

grief for this world arose so thick,
it was disabling.

I’ll trade places with you.

When did they stop teaching kids the
game in which they try to walk in
each other’s shoes?

I remember it. I had the biggest feet.

~

I don’t know where we are going.

There’s a part of me that wants to get off.

But, I am still standing here, holding on.

~

The blind man wouldn’t give up his seat.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

No Matter What


















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The morphine made her mean. We turned her friends away,
sparing them painful memories. But, we remained, bedside.
In her dying days, we learned how to push love out through
tough skin.

Today, at her grave, I found myself thankful for this:

How I can love this world
no matter what.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Water and Stone




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The Earth is showing you how it is done,
water and stone; what is hard is warn
away by the long flow of persistence.

Stay the course.

Know that tears have their purpose, and that
nothing is permanent. Have that long cry,
whether or not there is a shoulder made
available to you.

***

When I was a little girl, my best friend was
a brook. She taught me about the power of
subtle movements all heading in the
same direction.

I remember a bullfrog tadpole who had
figured this out too. I watched his tail
undulate. He created a tiny current.

***

In recent memory, I sat on a boulder next to a
mountain stream and the waters talked to me.
They said that voices are like water, they can
change things.

I started to speak more truths.

***

When it rains, we can say to ourselves:

“We are doing this. We are working together,
all of us, creating something that can become
something formidable.”

I’ve always had a special fondness for storms.
Have you ever made love during one?


© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From “Truth and Beauty”

To be published by Talking Waters Press

Feel free to share

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Roosters




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


“Wake up!”

“It is time to rise!”

***

One morning, I awoke from a dream in which
roosters were crowing, and there were
still roosters crowing. I didn’t have roosters
at the time. Well, I didn’t when I went to
sleep the night before. I caught them by
the stream, near the road, in the pouring
rain. My legs were cut by the mountain laurel
and bleeding. It felt like childhood.

I loved those roosters. They lived with me for
eight months before they decided to try
to kill each other. I put them in my shower
to wash all the blood off and then nursed
them back to health. I gave one to the lady
who works at the post office and kept
the other one – the orange one that got
along well with the dog. The fox ate that
one while I was away. It felt like having
something precious stolen – like adolescence.

I loved those roosters.

***

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking
about waking up – how we have a delicate yet
powerful moment gifted to us in which we can
imagine our way into everything that is to follow.
Every day we get the chance to emerge from the
darkness and take a dream forward to an
anticipating sky.

Somewhere, in my adult life, I have found a
grand responsibility in this – in waking up.
.
I miss my roosters dearly, but I no longer need
their reminders.

***

“Wake up!”

“It is time to rise!”

That’s my voice you are hearing.



© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty"
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Antidote
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

“The antidote can only be delivered
through an act of giving. Something
of value must be released to be
in service of something greater.”

“Oh,” I said. My heart suddenly
understood why it had needed
to grow so strong.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser

From “Truth and Beauty”
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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The Moon Said
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

"You must notice you are note alone," said 
the moon. I said that I noticed. Then the moon
said, "Good. Then, I'm not alone either,"

(c) 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty"
To be published by Talking Waters Press