Late February, Bryant Park

The Zamboni is on the ice

And I think of how much like my writing

Is that glass surface

Through a milky cloud obfuscating

A depth of urgent meaning

In unripe spring

And I want the laughing children

To come out quickly

And skate once more before the thaw

.

By Jason Anderson

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Protests, Paper Hearts and Fireflies

Newport RI fireworks, July 4, 2004

Photo: author

This isn’t quite as somber as the past few — sorry, it kind of slipped out. I don’t know if it’s my best, but I think it’s my favorite so far. I don’t have kids, but if I ever do I’ll make sure they know this. And wear hats and gloves in the winter.

.

Protests, Paper Hearts and Fireflies

Playing on a snowy evening with stars in your hair

And a half-moon strung from the tip of your nose

Ever in motion, a grace for all seasons

In January a radical, protesting hats and scarves and demanding the fall of snow

Giving your hearts in February, a ritual you perform with more earnestness than understanding

Embattled like a general in March, making the most of melting resources

Smiling when I tell you the April songbirds returned just to laugh at your jokes

A May basket-case, so full of summery anticipation you can’t decide what to do first

A June jitterbug, so full of summery freedom you can’t decide what to do next

Benevolent in July, pardoning her fireflies after they’re tried

In August seeking cool refuge in pools, and books, and other floating worlds

Mourning the end of the world each September, and

Peering over a pencil eraser in the aftermath, at summer’s October tears on the window

Peeling November’s noreast leaves from your bright face

And gorging on December, that double cheeseburger, that ice cream sundae of a month

That finales in fireworks(!), then dissolves once more to protests, paper hearts and fireflies.

How many more cycles? No one can tell, nor what they’ll bring

I’ve had thirty-one more than you, and this is my wisdom, the sum:

You are always in motion, but in all seasons grace

Bundle up in the cold ones, jump in puddles in the wet ones

And remember the singing birds laugh just for you.

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©2013 Jason Anderson

This is an Anthem

The sun

Photo: author.

This might be more of a song, but since it’s National Poetry Month and I haven’t posted any poetry, I’ll call it a poem. Its tortured rhythm could be a result of listening alternately to “Some Nights” and “Carry On” by Fun. while I wrote it.

Be loving. Be strong.

.

Don’t look for me when I’m gone

The me in your eyes wasn’t me

I was in your eyes all along

.

And your eyes aren’t wrong

.

Once you were a little one

Your blue eyes hated the sun

You’re grown up today, blind anyway

So let it shine on

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They’re going home, they’re on the road

Be gone they say if you can’t share the load

And travel on alone

.

You know somewhere deep inside

They took bets on your flagging pride

And hoped you would call it a draw

.

The math doesn’t hold

They’ve got a hundred truths

You’ve got one

And they swear they’re right

They’ve earned the blood they take tonight

Just lie back and feel the light

One last time

.

Yeah, raise your face with a burning pride

Let the sun be your guide

It always leads you to the sky

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Now this is an anthem

This is a hundred choirs singing strong

A thousand drummers driving on the melody

.

It took forty years to get here boy

So why not make a hell of a noise

You’re not going home

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Go on and blaze this empty road

With me forever in your eyes

I swear some days you’ll be alone

.

But your eyes aren’t wrong

.

©2013 Jason Anderson

Symptoms of an underlying condition

I’ll do my homework before you get home

Clean my room, and the house

And vacuum under the beds

I’ll write all my thank you notes

Take out the trash and shut the lids

Do the laundry, all three loads

And hang your delicates

With reluctant fingertips

I’ll iron, fold, put away

Then mow the lawn, avoiding the cord

I won’t go past the end of the block

Or have over unapproved friends

I’ll throw dinner on in time

Tonight it’s for one

You’ll find me in my closet

Between my blue striped shirt

And dress-up pants

Not wearing my good shoes

Read my thank you note without fear

I didn’t write anything

You don’t want to see

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Suicide is a permanent “solution” to problems and feelings that are temporary. If you’re in distress, PLEASE contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

©2013 Jason Anderson

Writing myself anew

Chair in snow 2007

I write myself a new story

Along the original lines

Some words and phrases

Showing through

.

Old ideas I scratch out

Madly or editorially

Leaving a brief thought

If it reminds me

.

Alone in this room

Kids laughing and yelling

Beneath my window

In the snow

.

Thaw my resolve

I must keep writing

White snow and voices

Clear as bells.

.

Image: author (2007)
©2013 Jason Anderson

How to Cook Dragon Meat

Innocence, c 1904, watercolour by Thomas Cooper Gotch

Why am I at King’s Cross today

They tell me that

I’ve lost my way

A million reasons

I have to stay

But I’m off to slay a dragon

.

Why do I thread this haunting wood

I’ve left behind

All that’s good

Nothing may end

As it should

But I must slay the dragon

.

Why do I brave this ferocious sea

Are wind and waves

The last I’ll see

The horizon’s blade

The end of me?

Not til I slay the dragon

.

After all, will I waste here

Amid sacks of teeth

And vials of tears

They taught me of don’ts

And of fears

But not how to cook dragon meat.

.

Source Image: Innocence, watercolour 1904 by Thomas Cooper Gotch [public domain via Wikimedia Commons]
©2013 Jason Anderson

Kid Thunder

puddle

Find a puddle

Jump hard

Look at me!

My feet

Set the raindrops free

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Puddles beware, I got my good sneakers on!

©2013 Jason Anderson