A Poem & A Picture (Hemingway’s Beloved)

Hemingway’s Beloved

by Janna Hill

shotgun shells (1024x430)

Did you shake his hand – the hand of a man’s man?

Did you see how his eyes searched the space around him as the world grew smaller?

Did you learn the secrets of Africa or discuss his tomes over drinks?

Of course not.

You could not for we were mere children – our wedding day marking the twenty second anniversary of his exodus… his rise to immortality.

He won the Nobel Prize for Literature the year you were born – did you know that?

I was but two months in the womb when he placed the beloved twelve gauge inside his mouth and obliterated the ciphering pheasants once and for all.

Did you see how he caressed her? How her cold, soft metal against his finger was as pacifying as the perfect daiquiri… how she (his beloved) alas cured him of the demons.

In a flash she rooted them loose one by one from their hiding place – a place liquor nor currents could mole; a cavern so deep no joule or watt could grasp. Ahh but she did.

She exorcised them, set them to flight riding on soft grey tissue laden with hemochromatosis and fragments of bone.

Christ might have offered the fiends a swine but not her or better yet not him…

A sacrifice for the Bay of Pigs?

It was all such folly — such unholy madness for a simple man and a literary saint.

 

* Hemingway’s Beloved appeared in HWA Poetry Showcase Volume 1

A Poem & A Picture (Getting Me Back)

Getting Me Back

by Janna Hill

Web of Time

Tissue thin transparent bits and pieces by the millions I gave to you…

To be received, to be tended or to be rendered useless,

as you deemed fit old inhabitants of terra firma.

Slivers of my soul….

 

What did you do with these pieces of me?

Where are the misplaced microscopic stars of my spirit, where are they laid?

Did they dissolve beneath a soft autumn rain? Or burn in the heat of a cruel summer day?

Were they consumed by the dust mites of fate?

Giving me away was easy…

getting me back seems nearly impossible.

 

I saw a fleck of glitter this morning, caught in an abandoned web of time.

I retrieved it ever so carefully, pulling away the tiny choking strands;

polishing it in the palm of my hand till it shone bright like a minuscule star…

exploding…

and I recognized it as the twinkle I once saw in a smiling photo of me.

A Poem & A Picture (The Essence of a Poet)

I mentioned reading this in The Voices of Our Future a couple of years ago.

The Essence of a Poet

by Janna Hill

Reading The Essence of a Poet

The thing that forces them to write

When flaming words from head take flight

What sees them through a wakeful night

The burning soul of a poet

 

The gentle eyes that make them see

The deeper beauty of a tree

And grieve for things that should not be

The tender heart of a poet

 

The unseen thing that makes them vie

That lures a tear drop from their eye

That prods them till the day they die

The fate of every poet

 

Though some may write with sticks on sand

While others write with pen in hand

A million keyboards strike commands

For the essence of a poet

A Poem & A Picture (Madre’s Mexican Blackbird)

Madre’s Mexican Blackbird

by Janna Hill

Mexican Blackbird

She reins me in

Her strong swollen hands tangled inside an unruly mane

Uno  ! Dos! Isilencio!  Tres!

Three dull thumps convince me to hush

and settle between beefy thighs

 

Gnarled fingers of assurance tug at my scalp

She plaits my hair with promises

Wisdom weaved among coarse strands of unnumbered mañanas

My head is left tender and spinning

with knitted rows of old wives tales.

 

**For the final week of NPM I will be posting my own poetry, a mix of published and unpublished. Is that selfish? Yes. Yes, it is. It is also easier — and right now I need easy.

I am grateful to everyone who submitted or suggested a poem. Hopefully we will do it again next year.