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Posts Tagged ‘Lynnel L. Jones’

A Blizzard for Grandma

August 17, 2011 3 comments

by Lynnel Jones

I watch your snow-white
camouflage, the mechanized rise
and fall of your breath,

a skinny tube up your nose,
another pegged to your middle,
the third draining

a catch of amazing topaz.
I remember you wanting to die
in Pool, in your house,

just yourself and your stuff, intact.
I imagine for you real
snow, a killing

dose, like the one in ’40 —
surprising scores of hunters,
dead quickly

from cold and lack of care.


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Lynnel Jones’s poetry is steeped in the joys and struggles of Minnesota’s immigrant mining community and the lives of the people of rural southern Virginia and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. A people-watcher since childhood, above all she aspires to write poems accessible to the ordinary folks she writes about — and to do that with sensitivity, originality and gratitude.

Categories: Imprisonment Tags:

Coals

July 29, 2011 1 comment

by Lynnel Jones

Big Richard pokers the coals, toasts
heart and liver, sips the moon,
considers The Club, fine as any white man’s:
blues, barbecue and booze
up the back mountain.
No drugs, no back-room whores,
no revenue stamps, no income tax —
there’s the rub. He took the fall.
The deal? His partner cut it
with the Feds. They beat him down,
squeezed until he was as dry as ham in salt
but still he owes. The coals light up in bars
along the grain of the oak; five years
he counted them; he almost broke.
He taps his poker to the steady beat
of whip-poor-wills, savors the question
called by an owl. He’ll hunker there all night,
feed slivers of green pecan and peach
to the oak, tending the cure.


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Lynnel Jones’s poetry is steeped in the joys and struggles of Minnesota’s immigrant mining community and the lives of the people of rural southern Virginia and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. A people-watcher since childhood, above all she aspires to write poems accessible to the ordinary folks she writes about — and to do that with sensitivity, originality and gratitude.

Categories: Imprisonment Tags:

Cold Blood

April 8, 2010 Comments off

by Lynnel Jones

Without
Each nine-millimeter flash
its own still shot
played on mind’s blank screen.
Picture a family album
erased mid-air.
Trace tears
dry as rain sucked back
by August lightning heat.
Forget that once I was
a wife, a mother.

Unction
As if I should makeup the tattoo
of inner thigh bruises
patch both eyes
recoil the screen
cast mind immobile,
all flash and no portraits.
As if I could will memory an over-ocean bird
exhausted albatross without rigging
beg snowfall thick and numb
along the windrows.
As if denial would forever fill the space
and emptiness turn haven.

Mad
What’s left
on anger’s table
are my bones
worn thin
as knees in 6x jeans,
thin as tears,
strikes that shape graves’ stones,
skeletons that swell to fill the holes
with shadow shapes.

Survivor Quilt
No forward without refuge
Amish neighbors — beyond time —
scrapple and tomatoes
canned without the taste of tin.

Sometimes the winter women,
neighborly along the quilting frame,
are bees pollening their fuzz
with murmured Dutchy buzz
around long spears of blue delphinium:
“…all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well.”*

Jacob’s Ladder, Lone Star, Nine Patch,
Saw Tooth, rollered secure.
New scraps, strong threads, small stitches.
Sometimes a hymn slow-sung:
“Upon the rock of Christ I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Bloom
Night times I want the chariot
comin’ for to carry me.
Daylight my feet set firmer
on the sand.
Sometimes I smell the honey in the bee.

*The Inner Castle, Julian of Norwich

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Lynnel Jones’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as The Lehigh Valley Literary Review, Persimmon Tree, Flutter Poetry Journal, Mad Poets Review and Watershed. Her chapbook, Rocks and Crazy People, was published by FootHills Publishing in 2008. She was Pushcart nominated in 2009.

Categories: Health Tags:

New Year’s Eve, 1913

October 20, 2008 4 comments

Many apocalyptic sects believed the world would end in 1914. Some taught that possessing pictures, “graven images,” violated the second commandment, the punishment: burning in hell rather than enjoying the millennial peace of the righteous. Thus my grandmother’s dilemma.

The other graven images they burned
Thanksgiving Day, buffet of frames and silver
plate drifts God-ward, mercuric vapors, sepia
fragments rising. But Oskar, she keeps back,
he’s featured only when she grips
his sailor-knickered pose—stilted shade
of a first-born, dead and quick to evanesce.

She soothes a finger down the outline
of his jaw, strokes bones where baby softness
scarcely keeps the round. It feels abandon
not to conjure him, blue-eyed. Although she
dreads the certitude of hell, without the
children living now, she’d make millennial
trade-off for clear sight of him.

Last night again the dream of altar rock
so sharp it slices through her swollen gut.
“Ma, where is the lamb for the holocaust?”
In torture she lays him on the pyre—
hope against hope for a ram—
but only the ash of this photograph
she paid for with chickens floats back.

by Lynnel L. Jones

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