Thursday, 23 September 2021

F Fic, Non-fic

Poetry by Rick Jordan

rick jordan poetry

Writing as Therapy

Had I known I was raising a writer,

I would have been more careful.

Perceptions of things done or undone,

            Said, scorned, scolded,

            Used, misused, abused, confused,

            Torn, bent, hurt, bruised,

All with good intention,

Trying to shape a child to be

            Stronger, smarter, and more successful

            Than I.

There will be another round of reflection when I am gone.

            Regret, appreciation, distortion –

            One to a dozen memories left behind

            Upon which to hang guilt, motivation, and identity.

My life exposed to strangers

            In classrooms, halls, and churches,

            Mocked or honored or some of both,

            In readings recorded for posterity.

The posterior forever accessible.

The possible ever elusive.

The probable never acknowledged.

A Fall

Paperclips, safety pins, glue, and tape –

I think I have all I need

To retain color and texture and shade -

To put the leaves back on the tree.


To lose the pain

You must give up one of three things:

Your heart, your mind, or your breath.

An apathetic heart,

A demented mind,

A cool corpse –

These do not feel the pain.

So, what would you do to lose the pain?

The loss of either should be enough.

As long as you have heart, there will be hurt.

As long as you have mind, there will be memory.

As long as you have breath, there will be sighing.

If you give up even one,

You become less than who you are.

After Karen Chase’s Before She Died

When I look at the sky now, I look at it for you.

I watch the bluebird, your favorite, swoop from branch to wooden rail

            and wonder if you are inviting me to walk the garden with you.

You loved to discover new growth, and new blooms, and to pick the first cherry tomato.

A butterfly wanders randomly over the garden.

What is it looking for, we wonder.

And what were you looking for?

And did you find it?

I glance at the night sky to see

            the Big Dipper and Orion –

            the only two constellations you knew or ever cared to know.

I wish I could scoop you up again.

I wish the hunter would find you and bring you back to me.

When I look at the sky now, I look at it for you.


“What are you doing here?”

“I thought I should come.”

“This is a waste of time.”

“I thought we should talk.”

“The time for talk is over. Our life together is over. You have a life. Go live it.”

“It’s been a year now. Just over.”

“And you came because?”

“I miss you. And, I’m sorry.”

“What were my last words to you?”

“’It’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. I love you.’”

“You should go now.”

“Let me sit awhile. I’ll peel this orange and put the peelings under this bench that reads ‘Remember.’”

“Fine. But, don’t think you are doing this on my account.”

“I know. This is more for me than for you.”

“How long has it been?”

“A year. Just over.”

“This is a royal waste of time, and you know what I’d always say, ‘…and we ain’t royalty.’”

“I miss things you always said.”

“So, you are sad.”

“Yes, I am sad. And, I want to honor you somehow. I thought coming here might do that.”

“Fine. For your first visit, you can be sad. But from now on, be inspired.”

The End

Rick Jordan lives with his wife, his cat, and a borrowed schnauzer in Lewisville, NC. When he is not working or writing, he enjoys his square foot garden, Americana music, and hiking the Blue Ridge mountains. Recent work of his has appeared in Eno Journal and in Poetry South.

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