Tag Archives: poetry

Medea in Firelight

Medea, the mother,

In firelight

Altar of witchcraft

Hot and white

 

Eyes of the Chorus

Wild in Rage

Censure burns

The pungent sage

 

Spirits venomous

Woolly gold

Weaving the bitter

Song of old

 

Medea, the mother

‘Till a moment ago,

Barefoot in blood

And wailing woe

 

-JSMB 2017

Fire Lillies and Swans

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Invocation

Rock City Chasm

Photo by JSMB, “Rock City” Trail in WV

Congratulations,
You exist

And I don’t care
How much you resist,
I don’t care
How much you doubt it,
How much you deny
Or lie about it,
How you close your eyes
And tighten your fists,
It makes no difference
You still exist

Parallels infinite
Broken sims
Impossible dreams
And forgotten whims
Ebbing and flowing
Aspirations of bliss
Who never got
A chance like this

Young women, young men
An incomparable gift,
Congratulations,
You exist

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Plague of Fireflies

 

Fireflies

Photo by tsaiian, CC

Seventeen-Year Cicadas
You’ve heard them sing their song,
Sonic waves unstoppable
All spring and summer long

But another swarm is coming-
Oh what can ready your eyes?
For every thousand years
Is a Plague of Fireflies

Some will think them falling stars
Some will think them wild fires
Some will think they’re dreaming
When all these things transpire

Lightning Bugs in your bushes
Fireflies in your trees
Rivers of luminous insects
Blowing in the breeze

You won’t have enough mason jars
For the trillions in your town
There aren’t enough kids to capture
The quintillions the whole world round

The darkest mountain will shimmer
The clouds will glitter at night
Even the snowy poles of earth
Will sparkle twice as white

In those days the earth will glow
The moon will shine it back
The night will be a rock show
Yellow instead of black

It will be too bright to sleep or think
When earth becomes a star,
You’ll have to stay home everyday
You can’t see to drive a car

To basements and caves we’ll go then
In darkness down deep inside,
And how long will we be there?
For seventeen years we’ll hide

-Jared St. Martin Brown, June 2016

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Grace vs. Dark Justice

 

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Photo: Rob Thurman CC

Oh Grace,
You glorious Amazon,
How thrilled was I to be free?
You broke down walls,
Demolishing halls,
Saving others like me

When we were gathered,
We refugees,
For a time, we held hands and cried,
But the power of the law
Called to us all,
For a villain’s first love is pride

“Before Grace,”
Said Brother Lex,
“I was Lord of other men,
For a genius like me
Has the right to be,
I will no longer pretend.”

The naked clown winced
And pulled out his list
Of enemies before Grace,
“And I’ve not released
These insolent beasts,”
As he smeared paint on his face

Oh Grace!
Dark Justice is rising again,
It calls to us from within,
“Pandemonium bright
Flickers tonight,
This city shall pay for its sin

A dozen dirty bombs
Exploded then
And a half-dozen bridges fell,
Oh the power we felt
As the city knelt,
“We’re still princes in Hell!”

Oh Grace!
Where are the peasants’ cries?
Where are the desperate shouts?
But in the morning sun,
The rescue was done,
Grace had gotten everyone out

-Jared St. Martin Brown

April 2016

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Grace, My Girl, My Heroine

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Photo: Tom Simpson CC

Grace, my girl, my heroine

My Wonder Woman, breaker of walls
Wisdom’s pretty sister, first sign of beauty
Found me after my fall

Wild and sexy with her love of truth
In her fists, her golden rope
My prison, a fool’s paradigm
A villain’s notion of hope

And a villain was I (not super)
A genius lapsarian
Ready to crush my whole broken race
And feast on the cold carrion

My death ray aimed at the tallest tower
My vile in the water supply
My bomb in the heart of the mountain tunnel;
It was then it all went awry

I blasted myself, became disfigured
Entombed in rubble and mud
But Grace ignored my pitiful curses
And gathered me, covered in blood

Then kicking back steel with her amazing leg
And hate with her shimmering eye
The spangled Amazon fought her way out
And cleared a path to the sky

Now on wings invisible
I live in perpetual flight
No higher than any human being
No lower than morning light

Ah Grace! So powerful, tall, and gorgeous
In your spandex trimmed with gold
Your immodesty offends the arrogant
You’re a bombshell, brash and bold

Grace, my girl, my heroine
My Wonder Woman, breaker of walls
Wisdom’s pretty sister, first sign of beauty
Found me after my fall

-Jared St. Martin Brown

July 2011

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Little River

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There was a little river
With aspirations grand
To be the first to circle the earth
And cut through every land

He, through the narrow canyons, passed
Through woods of thirsty trees
But found all his ambitions lost
When he fell into the sea

-JSMB

Photo by ASMB

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Declining

We want to live to be one hundred
Because we do not think that the last 20 years
Will be so lonely and so painful
That they will mar the joys of our youth
And when we watch our children go into their
Own declining years
And hear of our grandchildren giving birth
To descendants we will never know
We realize it is a mercy to forget them
Name by name
As they forget us
Year by year
“Do you know who this is Grandpa?”
Said one middle aged fellow pointing to another
They were both familiar
“Yes,” I replied but it was a lie
“This is Tim, Elizabeth’s son.
He got married last week.
He’s got two step kids now.”
“I know!” I said but that was a lie too
The two men stayed a while then left
And after some strangely brief amount of time
It all happened again
And like a magnetic tape stripped
Of its particles by the very machine that plays it
I forgot them
Name by name
Year by year
We want to live
“Do you know who I am?”
Name
“Sure I do”
Declining machine
“I ‘m Susan”
Familiar particles
“I know”
Name
Year
Stripped
“Dad?”
Me?
Forget
Name
“I’m Susan, Dad.”
Name
Year
“I…”
“Dad?”
Name
Year
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Pandemonium

 

 

I

Hugh Hefner bought a place in the cemetery

Next to the grave of Marilyn Monroe

Just as Faustus asked to kiss Helen of Troy

As he stood on the canyon rim of the Abyss

“Ah Mephistophilis!”

It wouldn’t really be a man’s world

Unless every Beauty could be juxtaposed

Next to her pornographer

Now would it?

Beauty is Truth, and Truth Beauty

And someone can get rich selling one without the other

And, Dear Beauty, that is a sad Truth

 

II

All of the street art

On the walls of Pandemonium

Points toward heaven-

It’s very rebellious in that way

 

Beelzebub scoffed when he saw

The immaculate spiral of painted hosts

Tumbling from ethereal light

Tattooed in wild graphics

Branching into infinite fractals

Down the columns of city hall

As if Gustave Dore was a punk

With a can of paint, a million stencils

And the speed of an archangel

 

“Keep Hell Tidy!”

He shouted and peered

Through the sulfurous haze

Grumbling something

About church and state

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Spring

The Truth of Spring

It is the truth of the mist of thawing mud

Heavy grass clumped and crawling

Waking

Writhing in its saturated bed

Exhaling winter

And every cell in my legs is reborn

Each singing operatic into my joints,

“Run!

Atrophy will not win this year,

You are resurrected,

You and your woods,”

And I remember old infatuations-

Enamored with the trees-

I go and scream unmitigated life

To those blood covered roods

And my spirit elated

Leaps from me to sail mythic

Into those red splattered branches

And feel them right upon my naked heart-

And my lover born again

In the flowering fields

Trillium, violets, and laurels of eternal wisdom

And my children in the water bathing new skin

Not for filth, but for the sake of sensation

For the cold,

For joy

It is the truth of the emerging canopy

Which will soon be heavy with its own fruit

And will bend low to touch the rising grass

Clover and wild onion

And clasp hands in the shadowy cathedrals of spring

 

-JSMB 3/1/09

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City

 

A COUPLE MILLION PEOPLE

a CITY is a couple million people pretending

not to look at one another

 

but they must steal secret glances once in while

because they are all wearing the same expression,

skillfully mimicked to the last talon of each crow’s foot,

emulations of fiction

and even the freest of them

must feign disinterest

of those millions pressing against him

in apartments above and trains below,

the millions he must pretend not to notice,

who, in turn, pretend not to notice him

in the CITY he joined to escape the vast emptiness

of the natural world

 

A CITY is also a couple million people pretending

that none of this is true

-JSMB 3/4/12

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