POETIC BLOOMINGS

POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

OLD MULES AND PLOWED GROUND: A Poetic Memoir by Jane Shlensky

1a0w   from leepay’s media

Let “plowed ground” serve as a metaphor for what is over and done, the past, though memory causes us all to walk that ground with new angles of vision.   Looking back across my early life to write poems for this memoir project was a little like hitching an old mule to a plow and slogging along over clods and upturned stones, the plow biting into settled earth.  Willing clouds to block the sun, I squint at white hot skies, at the curl of broken ground opening to possibilities , and at a mule’s posterior, as I struggle to lay rows straight and true, worthy of planting.  Some poems are mulish and unmoving or hell-bent on veering off toward high grass.  Some are fallow fields or neglected expanses where broom sedge and nettles grow and thoughts are bloodied and torn.  Some are breezes on the hottest days, easy reprieves, gifts.  All of them are children of memory and perception.  This memoir project was worth the doing, generating dozens of poems, for it helped me ransack memory to find some seeds that promise harvest with a little cultivation.  I’m still tending this crop.  Know that.  And that’s as far as any metaphor needs to be stretched.

Growing up in Piedmont, North Carolina on Edgewood Farm with four siblings and hard-working parents has fed who I am and my imagination of who I might be.  I guess the past is never past in this regard. Thank you for reading this group of selected poems, and heart-felt thanks to Walt Wojtanik and Marie Good for the work they do in encouraging poets at Poetic Bloomings.
Jane Shlensky

-i-

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CONTENTS

Uneven Ground ………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Me, in Three ………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
In- (Plain) Sight……………………………………………………………………………………. 3
On Edgewood…………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Leaf, Flower, Fur, Feather………………………………………………………………………. 5
Imaginable Friends………………………………………………………………………………. 6
Mama’s Mincemeat Pie…………………………………………………………………………. 7
Radar…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
The Genesis of Revelation……………………………………………………………………… 9
Healing Sounds………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Beach Trip………………………………………………………………………………………..  11
Churn-able……………………………………………………………………………………….  12
Chances…………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
Movement………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
The Museum of Broken Things………………………………………………………………… 15
Any Day I Wake Up……………………………………………………………………………… 16
Cat Pants………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
Hoarfrost Lessons…….…………………………………………………………………………. 18

-ii-

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Uneven Ground

(a Rondel)

Sometimes we walk uneven ground
but seek the well-worn paths we know
through woods and pastures, past a row
of pear trees, tracking pulse’s pound.
Across a twisty life, we’re bound
to shun treacherous highs and lows.
Sometimes we walk uneven ground
and seek the well-worn paths we know.

What makes a simple thought profound?
Some slight of light, some caw of crow?
Some wisp of wind parts weeds to show
where we might stumble and fall down.
Sometimes we walk uneven ground.

-1-
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Me, in Three

(an Acrostic)

Jellied and jammed, I
Assemble ripe fruits, plump ideas that
Nourish and nudge me, that
Engage and enliven me.

Characters and chords caper,
Rhythms and rhymes reverberate,
Apsaras dance on bubbles of thought,
Voices become veins of light and
Effervescence, flight
Ranging over landscapes of possibility.

Story
Humbles me.
Love
Enlightens me,
Narrating nows and thens.
Salvation lives in
Knowing that life is
Yearning, yielding.

-2-

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In-(Plain)Sight

“On long treks, purchase only what will fit into your stomach or your palm.”
from “Advice to Backpackers,” Jane Shlensky

Some of them will travel, I can tell,
perhaps to places I was never bound,
to places in the heart and in the head,
to places filled with wonders they won’t doubt,
their working hands made strong by reaching out.

I see them hunger, fingering a map,
asking to hear the story of a trek,
an artifact, a book, a small dear thing
still foreign, though their feet itch for the track
and travel visions lead them forth and back.

Some of them will backpack in the rain,
eat insects, learn new ways to speak their hearts.
Leaving home, they’ll find home in the world,
and some will love the worlds found within books,
their explorations primed for deeper looks.

Choice is their own. I’m happy I could stand
before them, loving words, beliefs, and ways
of being gentle with all that is earth,
praying for courage, real integrity,
like lenses for their eyes to help them see.

Before them, I have grown eternal eyes
to see a future worth the dreaming of,
made up of what they grow to be and love.
For some of them will travel, I can tell,
their purpose ringing in them like a bell.

Perhaps I’ll travel still, though not so far,
charting a pulse, a river, or a star,
good memories of teaching like a psalm,
all of creation now a traveler’s balm
I bartered for, that fits into my palm.

-3-
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On Edgewood

A wooden dough tray my grandfather made
from half a trunk of oak, whittled and smoothed,
always reminds me, should the memory fade,
of who I am, from where I come, my truth.

I don’t make biscuits in it, though I could.
Instead I conjure, touching working hands,
the calluses of kindred on Edgewood,
who, cultivating home, met love’s demands.

Sometimes I see them walking my mind’s fields,
these ancient forebears, following a plow
or picking apples, as the orchard yields
rich harvests as they once were, but not now.

Like every wanderer, I carry time—
memory like a candle in the dark.
I see the faces, hear the voices climb
into a night crowded with blinking stars.

I know home lasts forever, for my dreams
return me to green rolling hills and ponds,
through pastures, into forests, down to streams
where my own people planted lasting bonds.

I know our stories passed down through the years—
the best of heirlooms, for each feeds the blood.
I walk the land where all our sweat and tears
for generations taught us  life is good.

-4-

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Leaf, Flower, Fur, Feather

There are times when people tire me,
when I seek solace and peace
in a thing with wings and feathers,
in a furry four-legged thing,
in a tree that reaches outward,
in a plant with cheerful blooms,
in a plum or pomegranate
like a house with many rooms.

I take refuge in warm stained glass
as the sun lights sanctuary,
but I think God may be reticent
to come inside and tarry;
when the sun is shining golden
and the world is green and blue,
I bet He’s like me on those days,
wanting deep breaths and a few

more instants of reflection,
silent, hearing tweets and calls
of his people with their wings on
and with fur and teeth and claws
who are true to their creation
and whose natures are belief,
who look up in celebration
and praise all that lies beneath.

-5-

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Imaginable Friends

With our nearest neighbor woods away,
with pets and siblings weary fun,
I found myself some perfect friends,
quick-witted sorts who stole away
on rafts, risked ship-wrecks,
stood their ground, wrote stories, learned—
who knew well what they didn’t want,
like me.

With them, I rode dark horses
and solved crimes,
survived wars, diseases, failures,
suffered to become a fully realized self
despite being a girl, more keen on substance
than on wealth, willing to think about
most things, tomorrow and tomorrow.

My buddies were often poor but smart,
kind and loving, though abused,
exemplars of common-sense morality,
and darned good company, as we climbed
into the big maple with the outstretched arm
or stretched atop sunny rocks by the creek.

Content to be the side-kick, I let them talk,
time travel, seek and find, after long travail,
imagination pulling at my leash.  At night,
I tucked me in with Anne of Green Gables,
Scout, Scarlett, Jane Eyre, the March girls—
Huck, Jim, Oliver, Robinson, and the boys
camped out by the pond, learning bad habits.

I walked that red clay of our farm,
working in dust under the sun
and imagined how I’d stow away,
change my name and see the world,
their lives simmering in my brain
where I kept us both alive,
clear that happy is
for endings.

-6-

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Mama’s Mincemeat Pie

She only made it once a year—
and only under pressure.
“It’s so much trouble,” she would say—
“too much work for small pleasure.”

And even if it took a day
to grind the tender meats—
the tenderloin that she hand-picked
that made it savory sweet,

even if currents, orange zest,
apples and raisins too,
made labor for a single meal,
we loved it.  Wouldn’t you?

The fruits and meats would harmonize
and bubble in the crust,
the raisins plump, and oh, the smell,
would cause taste buds to lust

for just one bite—or ten or more—
what sweet moans we would make,
but she weaned us away one Christmas Day
with a fluffy fresh coconut cake.

-7-

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Radar

(a prose poem)

Tommy Joyner was too old for me by a dozen years, but he rippled when he shifted gears on that big bus, and he was gruffly gentle with children.  My little-girl radar was comforted by a man kind to women and children. Old ladies, telling my big sisters that they would “just know” when they’d found Mr. Right, were talking radar.   My unskilled apparatus located a winner, and I wooed him with gum and giant auto air freshener roses that stuck right onto his windshield.  He was my protector from the evil Donald who tied my pigtails to the bus seats and made rude comments about my favorite hot pink crinoline.  Bastard, my radar asserted, especially in comparison with my prince, soon to graduate and leave me to grow up, go to college, only occasionally remembering him as my first crush. At a recent family reunion, when I declared that Tommy was my first love, my sister who was in his class told me he was as dumb as a box of rocks in school, and said we would have made a beautiful couple.  She did not see him as I did at five.  There are all kinds of seeing, all kinds of loving, some with more depth than others.  Eyes, like x-rays, can focus on muscles or the bones beneath.  I tinkered with developing depth, first setting my sites on beautiful bad boys who intrigued me in delicious ways, like a pedestrian shopping for aircraft—impractical, but fun to imagine slicing through the sky, engines at full throttle.

-8-
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The Genesis of Revelation

Farms cycle birth and death,
seed and stubble, raising up
and cutting down, harvesting
beginnings and ends.

Old dogs, like ancient elephants,
wander into woods alone
for last breaths; old cats climb
into haystacks or beneath
shed floors to settle into darkness;

cattle, pigs, chickens, animals
wild and tame, alive and beloved today,
are garnished on a platter
disconnected from their living selves.

Working pets live and die,
each making room in our hearts,
each buried with a view
of the pond and woods beyond,
with a fond farewell and gratitude.

Do such deaths prepare us
for human loss, for grandparents,
parents, siblings, children?
For the death of innocence?

I wish cycles did not touch
and reveal me for what I am.
Surrounded by the vibrancy
of life and death, I am
perpetually unready for loss,

perpetually tussling with ends
of days, always and forever
unprepared.  Believing, still
I mourn the stillness of a beating heart
and wonder with all my being,

Why?

-9-

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Healing Sounds

The old upright grinned,
missing ivories,
a snaggle-toothed
and homely instrument,
but it had music in it,
and my touch
could tease out melody,
like feeding something
wild from my own hand.

I wanted the music in me,
at once released and retained,
harbored until it was
ready for hearing, my hands
finding harmony even when
my heart had not.

I asked for an instrument
to yield to me, so that I became
music, moving, moved, tuned to
everything beneath the stars.

Sometimes when days are bleak
and I’m confused,
I sit to something classical
and hard
and let notes cleanse me
of a troubled mind,
my sweet piano
wiping cares away,
my fingers playing what
my mind can’t play.

There is solace here
within me, and sometimes
I feel it grow, when
my hands and heart
can heal me
at piano.  This I know.

-10-
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Beach Trip

My father loaded the car with food,
fishing gear, bedding, towels, snacks,
beach chairs, and suitcases,
strapped us in, Mama plus one of us
up front with him, the rest squeezed
into the back seat, squirming and slapping
at one another until he said,
“You kids settle down”
in that voice we never failed to hear.

Sometimes we even brought a friend
to join our family of seven, forcing
another car to caravan behind us,
one or more of us liberated
from the family car and riding
with Uncle Shorty, who was
neither our uncle nor short, but a fine
fishing buddy and tall as a tree.

Mapless, a man with a mission,
my father settled us in with a vat
of Kool-Aid  the size of a small child
but refused to stop except for gas,
thus instilling in us an appreciation
of existential dilemmas, the quenching
moment turned treacherous
and urgent. Each child learned
to distinguish want and need.
We developed camel bladders, our
tissues firm yet liquid, on vacation.

We were forever lost: the roads
he claimed were absolutely right
twisted through an unknown landscape,
circled on themselves—lost with a father
who would not ask for directions, once
following a man  into his driveway
because “he looks like he knows
where he’s going.”  He did.  Home.
I wish we had asked this man
to accompany us to the beach.

There was generally weeping involved
in any  beach trip, weary, sticky, bored,
sleepless misery, wondering
when, o god of vacationing children,
would we be there, walking wet sand,
our eyes peeled for perfect shells,
blue water crashing its invitation
to come on, come in, tobacco fields
and cows the last thing on our minds.

The smell of the sea erased
the road from our brains, arrivals
departed, so ready were we to ride
the waves, laugh too loud, and burrow
crablike into sand, playing joyous
children until we got home.

-11-
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Churn-able

You milk the cow.
You skim cold cream.
You churn until
your shoulders scream.

It helps to have a churning song,
a ready rhythm to set the pace,
the cream in a well-used
pot-bellied rotary churn, slogging

like a plow horse, plop-plop
under the wooden paddles.
Every arm-aching turn thickened
the cream, the bits of butter

dropping away into buttermilk.
I packed the soft butter
into wooden molds, one carved
with violets,  one with a homestead,

turning the fat cakes of gold
onto waxed paper to wrap and chill.
The leftover bits strained
from the buttermilk, I spread

with honey or home-made jam.
A churner’s reward exceeds
a job well done—perhaps
love’s labor melting on a biscuit.

I’ve handled some slippery situations
since my butter days, been forced
to wait for plots to thicken,
for the pieces to come together

into one  delicious golden lump,
for designs to be molded beautifully
across the tops of my best efforts.
But churning taught me timing,

meter, rhythm, rhyme, reason.
It gave me a working song.

-12-
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Chances

Some days my memories with you fog,
and I cannot imagine your voice
or mine, as we were when you were
most yourself.  Still, my hands are yours,
worn and busy, stained with foliage,
and my hair, white long before its time,
traces a gene back to your mother.

I carry you in me, as I concentrate
on opening earth to seedlings,
trying to sense seasons’ change,
smelling soil and new buds,
spring rains and twilight,
checking old growth bark for new life—
all learned from you.

I gather words together, arranging them
like posies, pruning and shaping
just as you taught me,
a poem helping us share a moment
of observance, a recognition
of overlooked wonders in need
of second chances: the first crocus,

a jay’s feather, a gnarled twig like a cross,
a stone laced with red veins pulsing
the heart of the earth,
a dead hummingbird
curled like a small fist,
lying still and iridescent
among wild flowers.

I know when you became uprooted
from yourself, you longed for death,
but I could not wish you gone,
even knowing all I’d learned
of pain and loss, that death is not
the worst thing, still I could not imagine
a world depleted of you.

I cannot now say “never” in a line
that has you in it.  You are ever.
As long as I can remember,
I will feel you living in me
and take every spring’s resurrection
as a chance to hold you again.

(first published in Beyond the Dark Room: An International Collection of Transformative Poetry)

-13-
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Movement

power confronts students
as a single unknown man stands
before a moving tank

democracy, freedom,
they chant, without defining terms
nothing is ever free

-14-

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The Museum of Broken Things

You had a gift for locating perfectly good
useless items at yard and estate sales,
damaged things that could be fixed
with only a little effort, though seldom your own.

Eye of the beholder, Mama would mumble,
suggesting blurred vision, your eye focused
on impossibilities—the dream that the broken
might have value, might somehow be redeemed.

Sheds and workshops were cluttered with the dead
among the dying—rusted tractors, mowers,
cars, carts, hitches, tools, even the sheds themselves
finally leaning into imminent collapse, guarded by

dogs abused by their last owners, big-pawed
love-starved animals you adopted, welcoming
ragged boys who came to pilfer your junk,
hungrily searching in all that waste for useful parts.

We dreamed of bulldozers with giant scoops
clearing away your museum of broken things,
of us spreading seed on that ground, planting a tree
to memorialize earth salvaged from your hoarding.

But finally, even we squinted to see what you must see,
hoping one day you would look at us this way,
hoping one day we too would grow resurrection eyes
to see damages as paths to understanding.

(first published in Bay Leaves, 2012)

-15-
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Any Day I Wake Up

I’ve said “I do” to one or two—
important days, make no mistake;
I’ve nurtured loves and watched them go,
blessing and curse, for loving’s sake.

I’ve seen some wonders of the world,
strapped to a camera and pack;
I’ve lived through cancer, every day
saying a prayer it won’t come back.

The mountain range that is my life,
its peaks, valleys, and waterfalls,
is built of such important days
when I learned lessons, answered calls.

Such lovely people call me friend,
such blessings, ordinary bliss,
but asked which day’s the very best,
I must say, it is this one, this.

-16-
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Cat Pants

(for Alice, 1948-2010)

Our play suits were identical, for rough play—
a halter top and bloomers full and wide,
elastic in the waist and in the legs
and useful to put many things inside.

The mouser in the barn bore eight kittens,
and we could think of nothing else to do.
Although we had been warned to leave them be,
we soon devised a plan to hide from view

a brace of little fur balls, two per leg
and sit down quietly in morning sun.
No one would be the wiser—darling girls—
with cats inside our pants, meowing and fun.

Of course, our mother caught us right away,
suspecting where our kittens had to be.
We stood before her lying, brazen, bold,
until we saw a twitching tail set free.

We learned a few great lessons that have served
us well into adulthood from that day:
don’t dare your mother to spank you, don’t lie,
especially since  tiny claws can flay.

We learned in growing up, older and wise,
to mind our pants and what we let inside.
We value clothes that stretch and hide our flaws,
adopting skirts and trousers soft and wide.

We have respect for animals (think cats),
for motherhood and longings of a child,
but we still love connections warm and sweet
and truth above all lies, no scratch of guile.

-17-

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Hoarfrost Lessons

(a sonnet)

“I never dared to be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.”  Robert Frost

When I was young and futures long and slow,
I said, “I don’t do grief, regret, or fear.”
I should have added “shame”—I didn’t know
that life has means to shape our sojourns here—

has ways of teaching us to speak with care,
has arrows piercing deeper than the heart,
has ways of reinventing all we dare,
has tools for taking our beliefs apart.

Now in my slate-gray moments, I perceive
how much I squandered on unthinking deeds;
despite rich blessings, I regret and grieve
when I knew right but followed where wrong leads.

Youth’s lessons offered paths I could pursue,
but age instilled in me what not to do.

-18-

43 thoughts on “OLD MULES AND PLOWED GROUND: A Poetic Memoir by Jane Shlensky

  1. Pingback: LIFE IS A BEACH – A MILLION FISH IN THE SEA | POETIC BLOOMINGS

  2. Pingback: OLD MULES AND PLOWED GROUND by Jane Shlensky | POETIC BLOOMINGS

  3. Jane is an exceptional poet. I immensely enjoyed reading this chapbook!

  4. Jane has ‘grit’. I like the poem, “Chances”, best of all.

  5. Oh Jane, I do love your poetry! “Genesis of Revelation” and “Healing Sounds” definitely touched me. Keep writing! 🙂

  6. William Preston on said:

    I’ve read all your poems several times today; at first in moments between tasks, and just now altogether, in one reading. It’s trite to say so, I know, but words really do fail to convey how much I like this collection. It’s superfluous to say I like any one more than the others; each one is, and all together are, magnificent, in my opinion. The overarching feeling I take from the collection is storytelling; even your short poems, such as Movement, do that. The collection tells me about you, but also tells me about everybody, most notably in Any Day I Wake Up. All in all, this is a breath-taking collection of works. Thanks for sharing it.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Thank you, Bill, for your kind comments. Reading your work daily or weekly makes me want to come out to play, for you just make poeming fun to read and to write. Your opinion means so much to me. Thanks.

  7. So much to love in “Old Mules and Plowed Ground” – from the title on through … hard to pick favourites when the poet writes with such quiet assurance as you do,Jane but, as a former school bus-driver, found “Radar” tickled me and stays with me. Also kept going back to “Healing Sounds” and “Any Day I Wake Up” … but really, this is exceptionally fine. Memorable memoirs, Jane. Glad to know you at least poetically…

  8. Jane, you already know how much I admire your writing. You are one of the most consistently outstanding among us, in my opinion. But the chance to read a complete selection of only your work is a special treat, indeed. Words like “magnificent,” “exceptional,” and “breath-taking” are not overstepping the bounds of reality in the least. We are blessed and thankful to count you among us.

    Marie Elena

  9. As always, Jane, I love every single word you write! I did a quick read-through and look forward to coming back to really soak it all in!! *hugs*

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Paula, you’re the reason I pulled poems back out and decided to finish the memoir project even if it was late and, um, untilled. You’re right. I am glad I did it. Thanks for being my nudge.

  10. Jane,
    Reading your weekly and daily works is always a treat. Reading an entire collection is like going to the record store and getting the LP with the new released single tucked away inside and “discovering” hours of new music that opens new veins and stirs new pulses. There is not one that stood out as a favorite. They all stand so well on their own, striking their own chords in time. Wonderful, Interesting, Moving, Heartwarming… Great write! Thanks for sharing this!

    • janeshlensky on said:

      David, this is the most beautiful comment. Heck, it’s a poem! Makes me want to put it to music! Thank you so much for reading me and for your encouragement.

  11. Lots of good stuff here, Jane. I like the rhythm of Any Day I Wake Up, the alliteration in Unever Ground (some wisp of wind parts to show where we might stumble), S4 of On Edgewood is beautiful and S4 of Beach Trip made me laugh/smile. Memories of Broken Things…oh, yes. Totally relate to that one. I very much like Healing Sounds. However, my favorites are, without a doubt….(insert drumroll here)…Hoarfrost Lessons and the prose poem Radar. Excellent!

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Linda, thanks so much for this great comment. It helps to know which ones work and which need some (more)work. But Radar? Really? That got a chuckle from me. Hugs to you.

  12. DebiSwim on said:

    Jane these are all wonderful. You make it difficult to choose a favorite but I guess the philosophy behind “Any Day I Wake Up” would put that one at the top. Your acrostic tells so much about you as well as your love for the past and identity with your forbearers in “On Edgewood”. In “Leaf, Flower, Fur, Feather” I so identify with the first two lines and esp. love the second stanza. “Imaginable Friends” and “Movement” round out my list of personal favorites.
    This is a beautiful collection, Jane.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Debi, I so appreciate your insights and hit list. I frankly don’t publish more, because I cannot for the life of me decide what others will like and after a few days, I see problems in every one of them. It helps to have poetic friends to guide me. Thank you so much.

  13. Patience, persistence and proficiency – a great combination with which to assemble this wonderful collection. Well worth the wait, Jane!

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Uncle Walty, you are the possessor of those three delightful p’s and exerted the first wondrous well with me. Thanks so much for your help and expertise. You hang stars, man.

      • Henrietta Choplin on said:

        Jane, Based on your poetry and comments, I think that you are one of the finest human beings that I know… Thank you for all that you write… I Love your work!!

  14. Hank Fearnley on said:

    “Magnificent”, “exceptional”, “excellent” have all been used to describe your work, Jane. What’s left? Brilliant? And, as I see it, all within the finest tradition of Southern literature. Thanks for sharing this with me. Perhaps it will serve as an inspiration for me to sit down and write now that I’m retired.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Hey, Hank, my sweetheart! Thank you so much for reading this batch. I’d love for you and Amy to visit; we can inspire one another to write and do lots of other fun things to celebrate retirement. Love you, man.

  15. Uneven Ground, Chances, On Edgewood, and Imaginable Friends are my favorites from this stunning collection of writings. Also, I have just spotted your Rispetto in Writer’s Digest, and loved it.

  16. Fantastic job Jane as seems to be every poem you right. I am still most in love with Museum of Broken Things with its clear imagery and haunting conclusion. It should be made into the theme song for hoarders since I think the people and families involved with every collector must feel that way. Your example is an inspiration for me. Your talent is a beacon. And your poetry is a salve for my soul.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Oh, Linda. This comment is a salve for mine. I suspect most of us have a tendency toward hoarding one thing or another. For me, it’s books, music, and people. I just don’t stack them like hardwood and let them corrode (smile). Thank you so much for these kind words.

  17. Sorry it took me so long to get to this, but all I can say is wow! Each poem is special, but I will mention only a few. Your ability to use words,phrases, and images is a joy to see.

    In uneven ground I love the repetition of “Sometimes we walk on uneven ground.” My favorite phrase in “Me, in Three” is “Apsaras dance on bubbles of thought,” even though so far I don’t know what that first word is. I could not find it in either the dictionary or the poetry dictionary. I’ll ask Google later. 😉 In “In-(Plain) Sight, I like “charting a pulse, a river, or a star.” Chances” is so beautiful in its thought, and “Movement” is powerful indeed. I remember your “Imaginable Friends” from before. In “Healing Sounds” I love that “snaggle-toothed” piano.

    Well you get the idea. I love this collection of poems.

    • Thanks, Sheryl. This is such a helpful comment. Apsaras in classical Indian tradition are heavenly nymphs, like angels, sort of. Sometimes they are represented with heavenly musicians too. Thanks for reading me.

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