Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Janet Jenkins-Stotts’

Ark — By Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Does and fawns swan with impunity

from lawn to lawn, foxes with their kits

saunter down alleys, no longer afraid of us

and our over-bred dogs. Pumas appear

in California suburbs, and coyotes howl

in the canyons of New York.

 

If we appear, they trot a few feet, then

turn to stare. Some refuse to leave a juicy

bag of garbage and dare us to take back

what once was ours. Impatient with our

meager leavings, will they begin to feed

on helpless homeless, sleeping on cardboard?

 

Meanwhile, deep in unnamed forests, new

plagues mutate from beast to man, a rear

guard action to revenge the lost habitats.

Will they evolve in time to prevent us

from destroying Eden, as we throw pennies

at dying species or jail them in our zoos?

~ Janet Jenkins-Stotts

Janet Jenkins-Stotts’ poems have been published in Kansas Voices, Konza Journal, River City Voices, Dash, Passager, and the Swedish underground journal, Devote. She lives in Topeka, KS. with her husband and their min-pin, Romeo.

Matthew David Manning holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and Pittsburg State University. His poetry has appeared various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review. He recently became a father and has been enjoying his transition into high school education at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS.

Editor’s Note: Recently, an animal has been rummaging around on my deck. It isn’t on the ground floor, and there are no stairs, so I assume that it climbs one of the vertical wooden beams to get up to it. I know the woods behind our house is full of animals, but most of them, like the one going through my stuff, I never actually get to see. Janet’s poem makes me feel like there’s a hidden world all around that nobody seems to be keeping tabs on. Maybe someone should?

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Casualties . by Janet Jenkins-Stotts

A dream left me aching with past tense

longing. An impossible situationjjs2

a long time ago, but dreams have no

calendar. Why wake now, remembering

 

the intensity of his need hidden

behind a triangular smile. Instead,

recall telling him you now understand

your role in his life, as a shield from

 

emotions he can’t unpack. He does not

want to grasp my message, but I see it

flash across his face. War-torn Germany,

a mother selling the only thing she

 

had to feed her son in a city bombed

to dust. His shame? Being the reason for

her shame. How long can a son’s shame remain?

A lifetime, shown in his distrust of all

 

women’s love, shielding his heart behind

the barbed wire of a camp, built years ago.

Reaching out, he grasped my hand, and pulled it

through the shredding wire, wounding us both.

 

I lock him away again in nights’ dream

casket, filled with rue and rosemary.

Stay inside forever, I whisper.

 

No, don’t.

 
Janet Jenkins-Stotts is a late blooming author of both poetry and prose.  She published her first novel “The Orchid Garden” in 2015. Jenkins-Stotts lives in Topeka, Kansas with her husband, Stan and Romeo, their miniature pincher. When not at the computer, composing, you can usually find her at a bridge table.

 

Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

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