Tag Archives: poem

GREAT AUNT JESSIE – poem

, or we don’t talk to the ones

who

know and survive

          It is past time

          to call you back again

          The old ones are dead

Like water bright

in the eye

           The brush of memory is too wide

           And the surface is shimmered and wrong

Long afternoons listening

to the old woman about 

her old women

           The algae of remembering obscures

Again and again.

Jessan Dunn (DeCredico) Otis  © 1985

Wednesday Prayer ~ June 3, 2020 ~ by Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer

“Begin each day with gratitude – for your life, for the sun, for the rain, for your breath.

Begin each day with love – for your life, for the sun, for the rain, for your breath, for yourself, for each other.” @JessanDunnOtis 6.3.2020 (c)

“I stand alone.” ~ Jessan Dunn Otis ~ #poem

I stand alone.

 

I stand alone.

Splattered by a bolt of sun.

It’s morning.

  (c) 9.7.18

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

       

Sun's rise / September, 2018 / photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis, Writer (c)
photo credit: Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer / September, 2018 / Rhode Island (c)

Sailing With My Father – #poem

Sailing With My Father 

 

Historically a quiet man with an

extraordinarily dry wit

 

When sailing your quietude

became fierce, sailing on

the edge

 

The hand with a piece of shrapnel

from a war on the tiller, holding

steady

 

Face turned windward, eyes

noting obstacles, checking

cat tail direction

 

The rush of wind caught to

fill the sails

 

We were happy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dedicated, in Love and Memory, to my father, Mahlon Hendrickson Dunn, Jr., 1914-1992 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, August 6, 2018

Weeding With My Mother – poem

Weeding With My Mother

 

I learned to weed a garden

    squatting next to my mother

 

Once I began to learn what was wanted

    and what was unwanted

The rest was easy

 

Bend down

 

Get my hands dirty

 

Smell the earth

 

Look carefully

 

Make clean spaces

 

    Talk softly.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Dedicated with Love and Memory to Helen Constance Smith Dunn ~ 1912-1980 / Until we meet again.

 

© Jessan Dunn Otis, June 30, 2018

The beauty of this place

The beauty of this place

 

Sweet, salted sea air     Pine and palm     Sugar sand and St. George Island – sand dollar, shark tooth   “TomTom, how you doin’?”  “I’m doin’ alright.”   Tillie Miller Bridge between here and Tiki – Plump, Gulf shrimp and Apalach oysters   Hickory smoked chicken and ribs (no rub) and sunfried jellyfish

 

Seagulls     Sea terns     Great blue herons     Dolphins spyhop and blow every now and then     Distant light on Dog Island in a 2:20 AM blueblacknight

 

Sopchoppy   Eastpoint   Panacea   Alligator Point

 

A few days back Julie and Artie left, again, having returned from leaving once before and we all walked this beach, beyond the pine tree point, further than any of us had gone before – sea-silvered driftwood, beheaded brown pelican in the brambles of sea grass and pine needles     Warming sun     Cool, hard-packed, low tide sugar sand under bare feet   Sassy leaping pine-stained, sepia rivulets

 

The laughing gull has returned each morning, greeting and reclaiming its territory and, more than likely, calling out “Sea urchin!” to the others that, eventually, return — glide, drift, rise and drop, land     Eat, stay — then, again, depart  —  leaving this length of calm, shallow bay to terns, herons and egrets to forage

 

The beauty of this place is as intricately delicate as the silent glideflight of eleven brown pelicans in singular formation, skimming the shallow wave crests – moving from east to west – becoming, eventually, a pulsing line disappearing into the horizon

 

The beauty of this place

 

The red smirch of Crystal hot sauce spilled at the edge of a previous high tide line, scattered with Apalachicola oyster shells from our early evening appetizers, has been consumed by the storm-driven, rough chop of last night’s rain, wind and the approaching full moon     Wind out of the Southeast, breaking diagonal crests of gunmetal gray and the red buoy strains on its chains as the tide shifts and the channel churns

 

There is violence in the beauty of this place, too  –  ships lost, lives swallowed whole, coyotes grab dogs, alligators grab anything

 

Waves meet land and visibly reverberate back into water, again –

making     unmaking     remaking

 

A broken buoy drifts     Freed until it’s caught on low tide sea grass before this tide turns     The sun breaches darkening, layered afternoon storm clouds to the West, while brilliantly illuminating the etched, white sandbar over there

 

Burble of language bounces inside my ear – “Hey! How you doin’?” heard so often it becomes as familiar and unnoticed as the wave and the air and this light

 

The beauty of this place is as much a mystery to me as you

 

Bert and Kathy, Hattie and Zack – come and met and gone     Orange and onion salad, frittatas made and shared   Al and Sandy, Sharon and Larry, Scotty, Doug, Gen and Ted     Sun-warmed, woman laughing with Pat — LaVerne with her easy, flashing Apalach smile     Kim and Tony and oystering all Monday morning across from St. Vincent because the rip was too chopped

 

Three brilliant, crested egrets graze along this shore, dolphins pass and blow and continue on, as heedless of us as the swarm of terns that rise and twist and glide away to feed further down on this storm-tossed, driven gloss

 

WOYS, Oyster Radio, 100.5 FM, plays softly as the shrouded sun journeys further West     The playful pinwheel whirls and chatters, stick jammed between the weathered 1st and 2nd boards of that well-worn picnic table     Just outside this open window, burlap oyster bag flaps

 

Steelwater, forbidding wind along this coast of Carrabelle     Another invisible finger whips this water, etching new (yet ancient) patterns

 

Tide turns, distant sandbar, barrier beach revealed     Unseen fish school as flocks follow and feed, far off

 

Damp, salted air     Thin, singular electric line that leads from shore to dock light               Whisper of wave and wind

 

The beauty of this place

 

No matter where I go nor what I do, the beauty of this place will taste like home as salt is in my tears

 

The apparent void dissolved     The horizon I can never reach will always draw me in, seeming to want to go further than my eye can see, when the greatest daring starts within

 

The beauty of this place…
~ ~ ~

Dedicated to: Suzanne Creamer, Stephine McDowell, Marlene Moore, Jennifer Moro, Albert Otis, Jennifer Pickett, C.J.(Joe)Pouncey, Sassy, Judi Rundel

~ ~ ~

HoHum RV Park/Carrabelle, Florida/January-February, 2004

 

(c)Jessan Dunn Otis / 2004-2017

 

Happy Birthday ~ poem

Happy Birthday

Can you remember;

or, is it only a story

told and told until it becomes

what you believe is your reality

 

That day you mysteriously passed

from one realm into the next,

having floated in that seawomb

of oblivion

 

Yelping, speechless, totally dependent –

one year later a celebration of one year

passed; and, on and on until there are

no more

 

Some I’ve known have come and gone so fast

it took my breath away and, to this day,

their sudden loss is felt

 

Others stayed for many years, celebration

after celebration until, finally, all the

vital parts slowed down, faded, failing, slipping

into Rest

 

Loved short or long (some unknown, but

told of or heard on the evening news)     It is

the way we all must go — from flesh to flesh

and dust to dust, we do not know the number

of our days

 

(In this dark, still night I think about these things)

 

The coming in

The going out

 

It is the Spirit that survives, lives on

 

Only for a moment or two (however short

or long that is) does Spirit take body and is

named

 

Happy Birthday

Birth Day

Birth

Day.