It’s been good to see the Monarch butterflies, the roses of Sharon and the morning glories, the sun and even rain, these things that are beautiful ephemeral, living and do not need to be preserved, during this time of downsizing, purging — how many pounds of excess paper can a house hold? like 1000 or more clowns coming out of a car meant for 2 or 4 people? Why didn’t I do this cleaning and sorting earlier (or do MORE)???
The movers (three cheerful young men) are here now — some stuff to storage, some to my/our new home. As my son said once while packing, “Too many books” — even though I’ve given many away.
I was going through some nerves — would it all get done? how would logistics work? — and also sadness for leaving my home, garden, neighbourhood, people I can see frequently — but now there is also a feeling of excitement, moving toward something new and deeper. I have been rediscovering old letters from my family — my dad, in particular, who wrote infrequently and sparingly but always with love — and also poems about love, opening to life, to non-isolation. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood — and I am taking this one…
Listen to Ellen reciting poetry.
“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.” White Queen to Alice, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll.
peach and gooseberry
sweet-tart on the tongue
spread on toast, muffins,
bagel with raisins
and cinnamon –
spice of the sabbath
now her body is jamming
itself, cells stuck and clogged
blocking the vital
flowers jam in the garden,
jazz musicians gone wild,
cacophony of tulips
trill of daffodil
violin tones of violets
and weeping redbud,
one gooseberry bush
bursting into flower
to be picked.
Ellen S. Jaffe, 2016
for Sharon H. Nelson (2 January 1948 – 12 June 2016)
published in Persimmon Tree, Summer 2017
- Written On the Body, #28, November 24, 2020: November Highs and Lows
- Written On the Body #27, October 28, 2020 — The Uncertainty Principle
- Written on the Body, #26, October 6, 2020 — Another Poem
- Written on the Body #25, October 2, 2020 — Poem for the Times
- Written on the Body, #24 — September 10, 2020: Anniversaries and Changes