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Mother, daughter, photographer, writer (sort of).

Poetry | Prose Poem

Scrittura Wednesday Prose Poem Prompt

My mother bears a mark, a pantyhose line, an exhausted by the squeeze of formal life bumpy reminder of the day she met me face to face. Her body still carries me, there, on her belly, in the reality of everyday glances in the mirror. My daughter left her own mark, a keloid smile, that was numb for months; they go about certain operations differently now, for the tough who can’t get going. Born by the grace of professional gloved hands: both of us, givers and bearers of scars. …


Mary Oliver references William Carlos Williams


A Postmodern Love Poem, via a Prompt

I knew
what you were
I would send you
so many letters

in hand
each new phrase
I consider
I think of Marat

his bath
was he just
a product of
the system he loathed?

in bloody progress

in hand
with his heart
blazing fire
his words stoked the blaze
til woman put his out

I thought
my feelings
were nothing more
than a social thing

would degrade
into ashes
lit by shame’s fire

set down
I give you
my hand to hold:
to hell…


Poems from an afternoon at the Laguna Gloria

I went to Austin’s gorgeous Laguna Gloria for an afternoon of photography and writing, and I had a great time! Below are three polaroid photographs of three different pieces of artwork, with their corresponding poems. The poem titles are the artwork titles. For more info about the location and (hopefully) each artist and their work, please click here.

Lost Conversation Piece
(this poem is pasted in as a screen shot photo because I can’t figure out how to make Medium format it the way that I very particularly want this poem to look; if anyone knows how to do that and…


A reflection on the wonder of Manhattan; a love letter to the New York I knew

So many of us have a story of where we were that day, how the news hit us, the terror and uncertainty, the sorrow and disbelief, the shock, the crushing grief. The aftermath. Three years later, I had the privilege of living in the metropolis that had been reshaped by that catastrophic event. I felt the full force of a beautiful community spirit and a sense of common good that long-time locals told me had been born out of the ashes.

However, I had…


On the camera, that artful liar

The shutter eye makes its clicking blink
in a solitary moment’s wink
so in that instant what’s recorded
is what the iris might have hoarded
in shades of purple, blue and yellow
refined, developed, now in sorry
from which some future years will borrow

The calendar shows a certain day
which with its passing will have its say
how many candles, and how much breath
will put past wishes to a new test
and with what joyful exhalation
will watchers make their exultation
voicing their notes of celebration

Yet quiet moments bring reflection
on this…


I try to claim ye, but instead ye maim me

I remember
past Septembers
bathed in golden light
summer embers
smolder, tender
welcoming the night
the rushing blur
of school-time measure
not without a fight
the subtle taper
of fading nature
gentle, without spite

I remember
days of temper
harrowing with might
the reaping render
torn, dismembered
no mercy in the plight
alone, bewildered
unwilling shoulders
burdened in their fright
borne up by a loftier
loving counselor
blessed with further sight

Years pass in splendor
yielding grander
versions of respite
healing ardor
bestowing richer
meaning to hindsight

Safe at recollection’s…


Variations on a theme. . . .

Listening to the tuner at work
gives my heart a rending jerk
the strings that groan as they are turned
from sound to sound and back again
the note with insistence repeated
until the proper pitch is meted
my mother-flutter call to arms
ignites, perceiving one in harm

But there is no need for alarm
it takes a little tweak and stretch
to bring alignment back to best
like a body, it needs maintenance
to keep it singing in pure countenance

So later, when the job is done
I’ll rattle all those ivory bones


On not photographing something and the ensuing regret / on living and learning

upon my return
I applied what I had learned
looking with new eyes
upon the place I had spurned
my old thoughts all overturned

for years I had yearned
with a viewpoint seen, unearned
vision hypnotized
a nobody, long sojourned
from pressures undiscerned

More photography discussion??? YES. Because as the parts of a body are connected, so everything I do is connected. Today on my photo website I shared a brief version of the story that prompted the above poem — a rhyming adulterated two-stanza tanka piece…

Amy Jasek

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