Jnana's Red Barn

A Space for Work and Reflection

CURRENT, CURLING

1

 prevalent, from the west
clear and cooler, from the north
rain on the way, from the south
tempest, from the east

reading the wind

in a flag
in smoke
in running clouds
or water in a clear thistle tube

2

listen, a storm approaches
through leaves and hills
the same sound as falling water

surf repeats its snare drumming
along the shoreline

matching a far-off airplane

all voice great power
resounding

in a stream
in the tide
in air
even in a light bulb

what’s present, now
within some great
motion

around each wing
the flow of thought
keeps running

3

ring around the moon
as a warning

listen, rainfall
will warm the ocean

and swimming is best
just after high tide

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of seacoast poems,
click here.

TOGETHER

Of course complications disrupt and delay
the old house transaction could be an omen
nothing they undertake together would be as simple
as any movie

Of course the vacillation impeded
the insertion of daffodil and hyacinths bulbs from
cobwebbed dreams His Lady of Two Daughters considered
gardens by ambition and suspense

Of course they passed papers and camped overnight
in the empty century-old house a porcelain faucet handle
shattered in His Lady of Mount Olive’s hand nearly severing
her thumb on his birthday like a blood sacrifice sprinkling
the wood floors and they wondered about
her lacking medical insurance, as well

Of course they had no way of foreseeing
the coming weeks his lists and plans
only the beginning as for omens he’d recognize
together resolutely for the long haul

Poem copyright 2015 by Jnana Hodson
To read the full set of squirrelly poems,
click here.

 

WITH OR WITHOUT GOLDILOCKS

the hunting and fishing store’s
second-floor display window

overlooking the Auburn Traffic Circle
presented three bruins in some arrested motion

of taxidermist art
Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Little Baby Bear

as I mumbled spiraling past,
amused and annoyed many mornings

when nighttime burglars cleaned the place out
investigators didn’t look to children’s stories

rather, they sought someone with a truck bed
that wasn’t too little and not too big but just right

all the same, in the end, they
collared more juvenile delinquents

To continue, click here.
Copyright 2015

PRELUDE & FUGUE 29/

such a beautifully speckled trout
balancing on its head

*   *   *

n June
swirling
a long fish
a fish as long as the boy

a boy balancing a large fish on his head
in June swirling a long fish

a fish as long as the boy
a boy balancing a large fish on his head in June
swirling

a long fish as long as the boy
balancing a large fish on his head

red, yellow, blue, and green
under a decorative fish such a beautifully
speckled trout of a man running
back with quahogs and a tan Beyond Frog Hollow
tours halibut? red, yellow, blue, and green
man running tours under a decorative
fish back with quahogs and a tan
halibut? such a beautifully speckled trout
Beyond Frog Hollow red, yellow, blue, and green
a man running tours of halibut?
I really do need to get to know fish:
how to identify them under a decorative
beautifully speckled trout
red, yellow, blue, and green back with quahogs
and a tan Beyond Frog Hollow man runs
tours under decorative quahogs and a tan halibut or
such beautifully speckled trout Beyond Frog Hollow
I really do need to identify

~*~

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see all 50 Preludes & Fugues, click here.

SCROLL ON A SNAIL

From the stone tower atop Blue Hill
Boston’s skyscrapers resemble tombstones

“Daddy, did you build those?” A pause.
“Well, did somebody build them?”

Let us now delineate an array
of solar and lunar expectations
parenting the human condition

~*~

This sawtooth display
counters basic nature

spirals, branching, honeycomb
So which one are you coursing?

~*~

On my parking spot, Brianna’s
blue-and-purple chalk spells out

BELLE
BEAST

– perhaps she has the story straight
where beauty’s rainbow masks terror

Even a fruitcake granny can see
“He needs to get right with the Lord”

~*~

I’ve gone tracing
THE OLD SANTA FE SNAIL

Some rain. Some sun
The labor spreads before me

poem copyright by Jnana Hodson
(originally appeared in the journal Indigo)

THAT BIG BEE FUNNY MOTION

long enough we could see the flashes of ruby throat
a flash of flight in front of me
only one thing that could be, such fast motion

later, sitting in the crossbars of the feeder
before dropping to the sugar water

continue to see flits around the house
that big bee funny motion

a hummingbird at our feeder, size of a dragonfly

hummingbirds arrive late April or May
leave in August or early September
fly 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico
bulk up in Georgia and Florida adding
an ounce of fat to their four-ounce bodies …

to wit, some most amazing creatures

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
For more,
click here.

 

WISHING TO BE SEVENTEEN ONCE AGAIN

the waitress popped up with the usual
“how are you today?”
but rather than trying
to cover up with a phony “fine”
I said instead, “rotten”
and she did a double-take and came back

by the end of the meal, we were both laughing

~*~

arguing we needed music that reflected the Machine Age?
discomfort, bottled up until exploding

and when buzzed by a sailplane
I was all skull, brain, thought, memory

tried sunbathing just now: too restless
wishing to be seventeen again

SHOOT, IT’S A KILLER

the underlying reason for these orthodontics?)

~*~

“well, if you do find a way
to become seventeen, they can’t
throw you in jail!”)

two calls in a day, one wanting
the bank’s certificate of deposit department

and another an alleged beverage survey
calling long-distance from Philadelphia
for the youngest female in my household
(a likely story, probably an obscene phone call

that got hung up on) . old wounds have reopened

To continue, click here.
Copyright 2015

HEARTBEAT

she’s the one with the comb and scissors

the fruit of my womb

for her thirteenth birthday
she wanted a rented limousine
six hours, unlimited mileage, to sashay

through the Mystery Cafe “where murder
is always on the menu” but even then
adjusting our calendars was the killer

maybe I’d appreciate the suggested list
to just pull the trigger
against Mother Nature and Aging

what I was fit to tap out this evening

please stay tuned or advise with directions

crazy for lovers

Adam and Eve at puberty, separated by a large apple

a red candle-lit cloud kiosk on Copley Square in Boston

let you peruse the 

apple perched on a suspended steamer trunk

a map of European geology free of political borders

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of
Partitas, click here.

TOPOLOGICAL DISPARITY

1

any stretch of shoreline
is not two sides of the same coin
viewed from water or land

even assuming you know the twisting roads
or clusters of housing and wharves
or white steeples and beacons
the familiar melts unevenly

even the maritime charts and roadmaps
conflict
one measured in knots
and the other, miles

for many good reasons
the pieces rarely fit

even if you could walk on water
and still the rough waves

2

land is a kind of insurance
if you don’t crash

any grounding and the atmosphere
both move, often in contrary
currents, you navigate a facade

blue is never the ocean’s true nature
even on a summer day
unnoticed red or yellow modulate

when rain comes up
the beacon vanishes
in fear or arrogance

3

no matter how similar
they initially appear

waterfowl bridge this disparity
moving, air

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of seacoast poems,
click here.

ESTABLISHING A RHYTHM

greens

plant and weed     beside the kitchen     and
the forerunner of a fern bed     behind lilacs

on the swampy side     ignore omens     asking

the real question

if you’ll ever cry      Where are we going?
“it’s a big mistake”     Going     where?

my earth sinks / would always sink     if

it weren’t for stones     floating to the surface

each winter

land bridge jeopardy

cruel ground

stone soup     rather than potato     I intended
to tame     with compost, yes      and worming

so it was     holes in dirt     with next year’s
garden already planned out     she’s ready
to hear    I’ve never been fond of mowing
a lawn     but take to composting anyway

digging in

royally singing     in praise of red wigglers

like a man

so truly      the Cadillac

on my daily
commute

extending the scale      new construction
along all his options     have me wondering
how the routes would be     by the time
I retire

what will be planted     where forest was

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
For more,
click here.