Operating Dixie cups

Operating Dixie Cups

two in the morning
is a space

where your
voice lingers through
the sounds of the heater’s
warm hum

and the dog’s rhythmic breathing.

The birds are asleep
at two in the morning

but the owl is awake

translating your words with
an eastern winter’s air

and the words make their way
beneath millions of stars

over thousands of dead leaves
around hundreds of naked trees

through the one small crack in
the black pane of
my only bedroom window

to land as an intact conversation on my ear.

Two in the morning is the round black record caught beneath

the needle moving only from the
beginning to the end and back
to the beginning

of the song that is the tone
of your voice lulling
my words back to you

a telegraph operated by children separated by one thin

string and two dixie cups.



to life eternal.

The things that grip me are eternal

and a mortal fight cannot end them.

The sacred wheels that drive my

carry me through streets that shine wet in the night and smell of rain.

I wrap myself tighter into my warm sweater and sit still for the ride.

I just look up, waiting for wind to hit my face

and stars to fall into me.

J. Ann.

365 days of presence

Wake up to the excitement inside of your home.

And tuck me into your pocket and into
your breast and keep me

rooted under the Christmas tree.
An ornament that is hidden in the branches.

A song that sings merrily even after
the gifts are unwrapped and the

lights are taken down from
365 days of waiting for a moment

to arrive and leave the heart
a little less sure of what it was

spending all of the money on.
Then, when everyone goes separate

ways to work and school again,

Pick me up and look at me.

To a man who casts light on what is fantastical

The carnival is emptying of
all of the dancing trapeze swingers and painted ladies.

The elephants are walking back to the cages for a show that ends for them every evening after dusk
and their tired legs collapse.

But the music
holds us captive still.

The elderly walk hand in hand toward the west where the sun set beacons an end to all of the
frolicking that kept them alive.

And the little ones fight the orders to ” sleep ,child, sleep”.
But they never want to go to sleep without the promise of a dream.
They know that every day the magic fades to the fainter hue of the brightness of the day before.

But the music holds us captive still.

Stars overhead are holes in the
Big top where

we are left alone after the end of the world

and everything fantastical is brought to life

by your eyes on mine.

a shape shifting savior

I look through the
condensation of the window behind the pipe of my
wood stove where
fire burns what is not for safe keeping.

A bird sits on the winter branch.
Like a wooden idol
worshipped by leaves that
hang on tightly  to their savior before falling away.

I look closer.
The bird does not move.
And I see it is only a shape shifted leaf posing in the image of what is needed.

J. Ann.

Conversations (VIII) — to one haunted by a ghost

Translations from the English


Conversations (VIII) — to one haunted by a ghost

The key worked. The locked door opens.
I cannot see the word that troubles you.

Empty bottles line the windows. Looking
Out you are still looking in and the inward

Look is contained and darkens as

Sometimes when a word mispronounced
Shakes its muzzle loose unleashes itself

From its owners’ meaning and ends
Up meaning more as in what I am

Thinking of you away from this ghost

View original post

The ties that are not always bound tightly

I.  When daylight drops like pearls slipping from the ties that bind, I will wear the night wide eyed  and unadorned.


II.  I cannot tell if I miss you or if I miss the heartbeat.

I see why the forbidden streets are lit up by eyes after dark

and why pulses race to the beat of another or fade in the absence.


III.  I think it strange that you can turn it on and off ,

so that I am constantly caught in the electrical current of your indecision.

the compass is in my pocket and a lover is in my head

I am the scorning
of my shaven head
of  all
of the lightening
strike disaster that
I recompense
for my own sin self.

The walk upon the water
swallows me whole by what is holy.
And I am consumed by the beauty
of  waves,  wind,                                 and all that is him.
I sink, I know,
again, to a place
where I will need
what is left of all
of Your grace.

But right now
I want
a simple sweet sensual
flesh of flesh,                                           a complex  enrapture                          of spirit to spirit ,
I need to feel the lines
of this  writer’s hand
living the curves
of who I am.

J. Ann.

the funeral and a birthday in May.

On my birthday in May, when you had to come home to grieve with your family,

I snipped a piece of honeysuckle vine and placed it in a small glass jar

so that I could watch the roots grow and fill the lighted space.

It was not the same vine that
you reverently plucked,


that made you smile as a child
at your grandmother’s funeral,
where you hid outside

and remembered

this place that we share
with Blue ridges and white rivers.

But to me,  it was the same vine
as I dutifully rooted it for you in my kitchen window
for your own goodbyes that you were not ready to see,
and for the things that we could not grow.

I have planted it now
that it has proven its growth,
flowering in spite of the confined space of a tiny jar.

the roots were wrapped around one another so tightly that
you could no longer see where one begins and the other ends.

you could no longer see the drops of a day between the spaces.

Now it sits in soil.
In a pot that was formed of earth.
It stretches around my kitchen window and yawns warmth into the sun.

Every time I look at it,
I see you smiling as the little boy
on his grandmother’s knee as she
tells him a southern lady’s tale with laughter and sweet tea.

And I know no good thing ever dies,

but remains
tangled in love at the roots, resting,
waiting to be raised to light.

J. Ann.