Friday, January 30, 2009


watch where you step
honey bee
hills like Cambodia
got dying grasses
and Princess Diana
digging land mines
with mommy-mommy hands

the future's a fist
of dead ends
happy balloon dead ends
tied to your wrist
yellow pop pop pop

I got pieces of my feet
in jars
Princess Diana
you missed one for every step
pop pop pop
so don't step
stand right the fuck there

honey bee in the tree
don't care about my toenails
in jars
just this ruby
now tasting now
fists bloomed wide
drop cut string umbilical cords
shedding blood
more delicious than tears

I walk just fine


JaneyV said...

Very powerful Jason. Landmines are one of the most offensive things ever invented. The numbers left after conflicts are staggering. Often they are planted as the side in question leaves to continue their terror for years to come. The victims so often, children.

Beautiful photograph too. The deep red evocative of life's blood.

Catvibe said...

I was in Cambodia last year, and land mines are still being planted. There are several maimings a week and at least one death. When you visit the temples around Angkor Wat, victims play music around the temples, and there are signs not to go off the paths. It is very edgy in Cambodia. Those who were the children of Khmer, (the children who killed their families), are now middle aged and they have issues. And there are other problems in their politics... not really fodder for a comment section. But one gets the sense that at any moment, a rebellion could arise.

Your poem brings all that up. Good job! I like the photo, and the kind of child like way you told this story via the poem.

Catvibe said...

Jason, I am awarding you with The Lemonade Award for you community building efforts. Please pick up the award at my site.

Sarah Hina said...

Taking steps is only difficult when there's something desperately sought, or something to fear.

If only we were all capable of unfurling those fists, shedding those lead balloons.

Very powerful poem, Jason. Its beauty sinks as deep as its sting.

Charles Gramlich said...

Surreal and horrific. The machine gun like delivery works well for the subject matter, I think.

paisley said...

a rocky road that has been traveled by way to many innocents.. . excellently done.. quite a journey....

Karen said...

This is absolutely jarring. I nearly flinched when I read the third stanza, with its pop, pop, pop and its shouted order. I can just hear it.

I also love these lines:

just this ruby
now tasting now

and the summary point. Even though "I got pieces of my feet in jars," "I walk just fine."

You're really good with that camera; beautiful ruby flower photo, too.

Barbara Martin said...

I agree with Charles. Strong poetic writing here.

the walking man said...

...and in the catalog of things we do to each other there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the last page.

"If you've read this far without acting on the things you've seen; we are not responsible for your indifference."

The Preacherman said...

I'd forgotten she was dead.

Like yer style man

Anonymous said...

JaneyV, yes, they are a terrible blight on humanity. I'm glad there are people trying to eliminate them.

Catvibe, sounds like the people are set to explode even more than the landmines. I'm sorry humanity can twist itself into such darkness. (Thanks so much for the award!!!)

Sarah, you've captured the essense of the poem. How badly our emotions and fears box us into a few safe, but unsatisfying paths. The landmines are of our own making. No one can remove them for us. It's a tight tension to try to walk--to go where our heart tells us, yet risk the mines that may still be waiting.

Charles, thanks. :) I did like the structure and flow of this free verse.

Paisley, I hope those journeys ease. I hope the dangerous paths disappear.

Karen, thank you! I'm very happy that the poem had that kind of acute impact. A slap of emotion. Paralysis tips on a fulcrum with anger. The frustration can lash out.

Barbara, much appreciated!

Preacherman, for some reason, the fact that she campaigned against landmines stuck in my head. Thanks for the compliment!

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Could hear it in my head.Gave me the goosebumps!

Karen said...

Jason -- even your comments are poetic! That's why I'm asking you to come by and pick up the Lemondade award. Here's to ya!

Anonymous said...

Sameera, thank you. :)

Karen, wow! Thanks so much for the award!! I'm glad to have met you via the contest. :)

Vesper said...

I have to repeat what others have said, this is a very powerful poem, Jason, it has a surreal rhythm that paints this nightmarish landscape...
I love it!

And the photo is magnificent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Vesper. :) I enjoyed some bright photography in the winter.