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5 thoughts on “JANE SHLENSKY

  1. Levitation for Vacation

    No motor home, no blacktopped road,
    No bus or train or boat on waves,
    No packing, toting, load, unload,
    No budgeting or plan that saves

    A dollar here a dollar there
    To maximize per buck, the rate,
    I seek vacations in the air
    No plane—I want to levitate.

    Perhaps this is the way my mother
    Traveled from her rocking chair;
    Eyes closed, she’s smiling at another
    Destination far from care.

    But I don’t want imagination
    Storing travels in my mind
    No, I want various vacations
    Leaving home and work behind.

    Imagine floating Poppins-like—
    No umbrella we’ll need, of course—
    Above it all, like we’re on strike
    From people-moving schemes, and worse.

    I want that roar of silence and
    The joy of momentary flight
    That lets me move over sea and land
    Like eating life to the last bite

    Horizons beckon, shores and reefs,
    Exotic rivers, desert scapes,
    In comfy shoes or scroungy briefs,
    Or evening ware with velvet capes,

    It doesn’t matter what I wear
    If I light out with sunscreen on
    Just think a place and I am there
    And leave my worries—and my phone.

    Prompt 44: Where the Rubber Meets the Road, March 2, 2012

  2. Trolaan from In-form Poems, February 25, 2012


    The winds blew in a heavy rain
    That thumped the ground like fists on clay
    Thick storm clouds rushing past again
    To get to somewhere else that may

    Have need of purple-clouded skies
    Hard down-pours and swift-moving streams
    Homes dry as dust who realize
    How water figures in their dreams

    A drought may last for months and we
    Ask daily for a kindred shower
    And pray whatever gods there be
    Assuage our thirst, if but an hour

    Droplets of rain depend upon
    Dry earth to hold them for a while
    Damp seeds can sprout under the sun
    Drenched, quenched, the earth can bloom and smile

  3. MY BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS FROM WALT AND MARIE: Thanks for the posies!

    Prompt 39

    Marie Elena’s Selection

    Even though the field was once again ripe with luscious blooms, I have chosen to return to the same poetic vine as last week: Jane Shlensky. “Gouache” seems to epitomize a color prompt, in my view. We begin by “driving along the coastal highway, Nova Scotia.” This immediately sets a colorful, scenic view in the mind’s eye. Nature’s palette gives way to “village houses painted in screamingly vibrant hues.” The descriptive language throughout is colorful in its own right, and pleasurable to read. The gallery scene intrigues me, as Jane so artfully paints both synthetic and natural; setting and sentiment. She ends with a brilliant reference to American soil, and a “steady diet of red, white, and blue.” Thank you, Jane, for sharing your gift with us, week after week.

    Gouache, by Jane Shlensky

    Driving along the coastal highway,
    Nova Scotia bore no resemblance
    to American crowded beaches littered
    with the refuse of entertainment.
    This pristine stretch reminded me
    of Greek islands of my youth, back
    when we both believed in getting
    away to lands far off, where we could
    see our own country more clearly.
    Getting away had always spiced our food
    and added color and texture to our palette.

    Village houses painted in screamingly
    vibrant hues were set along that seascape,
    all shades of shy and muscular blues,
    flecked with whites of cloud, sea foam,
    and sand, the road itself trailing lazily
    through trees like a black ribbon dropped
    by a careless goddess dressing for a party.

    There in that small gallery—remember?—
    we saw paintings that so reflected the colors outside
    that we stood for hours shifting from one foot
    to the other, looking first out the window and
    then back at the framed work on easels and walls,
    the best water-coloring ever was really gouache,
    a media I almost wanted to eat just to get it
    firmly within me where it could satisfy
    a color deficiency, a craving I hadn’t known
    I felt until I saw what would relieve it.

    That drive should have told us that our lives
    had fallen upon a gray patch, a July dry grass
    and muddy pond patch, our bodies themselves
    yearning for the vitality of a blooming spring—
    Kelly green, coral, lilac, saffron, magenta,
    indigo, sun flower, scarlet, and umber,
    wanting to take that festival of brightness
    home with us, so we would not waste away
    on a steady diet of red, white, and blue.

  4. Beautiful Bloom from Prompt 38:

    My choice this week, Jane Shlensky’s captivating Praying with One Eye Open, was stirred by Mary Mansfield’s Splash from Prompt #37. Both Jane and Mary grace us regularly with the beauty of their words. It gives me pleasure to be able to honor them together with a “Bloom.”

    From Mary Mansfield’s “Splash”


    Faith was not as blind as he let on
    depending on belief with its eyes closed,
    understanding without knowledge,
    ears closed with palms
    and voices raised
    to stifle honest questions that
    God can surely see.

    Belief for her embodied studying,
    asking and seeking,
    sometimes finding,
    always knocking and waiting,
    reaching and waiting,
    craving openings, vision and revision,
    and praying from the deepest heart
    for clear and useful answers,
    still with one knee bent,
    with one eye open
    to see
    the world.

  5. Prompt 6: Using color without naming the color. June 12, 2011

    As one who still finds a fresh box of sharp crayons one of the joys of life, I chose Jane Shlensky’s “Garden Art” as my pick this week.

    Jane’s “friendly acronym” introduces us to color’s energy. After all, “…color did not live in a box of worn wax.” The words that follow conjure vivacious images of nature’s rich diversity of color — complete with taste, scent, and sensation — along with “the promise of rainbows,” and “the magic of mixing life with life to create new hues.”

    Now, where did that eighth crayon go? 😉

    GARDEN ART by Jane Shlensky

    we memorized
    this friendly acronym,
    pointed toward our crayon
    boxes with each wax stick
    labeled, but color did not
    live in a box of worn wax.
    We imagined a kindly man
    in overalls, Mother Nature’s
    gardener, our Roy, an earthy
    dirt-squeezing gentleman,
    conversant with leaf shapes
    and tints, fruiting vines,
    sun-kissed citrus, berries,
    tomatoes, radishes, and ripened
    squash, their waxy necks entwined.
    His middle initial conjured
    freshly mowed lawns, string beans
    hanging from staked vines, cucumbers,
    lettuce, cabbage, jungle-striped
    fleshy-hearted melons,
    corn stalks and pale ears,
    pearly kernels hidden
    in layered shucks,
    the foliage of all vegetable life.
    Mr. Biv, we imagined, had
    his grower’s thumb involved
    in every step of gardening,
    pocketing seed pods, shelling
    sunflowers for birds of
    every feather—grosbeaks, chickadees,
    cardinals, finches—rushing
    to feed at his hands,
    his head firmly planted
    in the overarching depth of sky,
    thundering clouds a lullaby
    to his ears, piqued for the plunk
    of droplets on dry soil, his nose
    tweaked for the smell of ripening
    and ozone after rain,
    his eyes lifted for
    the promise of rainbows,
    the magic of mixing life
    with life to create
    new hues.

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