Poetry: Sherri Jens

Sherri Jens
Sherri Jens is a poet and university writing instructor living in Savannah, Georgia, USA. Her works have appeared in the literary journals The Blue Mountain Review, Share Art and Literary Magazine, The Old Red Kimono, and Poetry of Moon. Her degrees include an M.S. in Education and a B.S. in Psychology. Sher is also a yoga teacher and Reiki Master and is a Continuing Education Provider for Yoga Alliance.  https://www.facebook.com/sherrijenswriter/

Distilled Dissolution

I want to dissolve in your presence
To yield completely into nothingness
With you into the unknown

To melt into a painting of the moment
Complete reciprocity
Pure balance of light and shadow
A zeroing out for fresh sight
To catch the present’s vivid colors

The meetings of lines at the epicenter
of the lemniscate ∞
The intersection of our storylines
Merging once more.

Unanswered questions
Dissipating into the divine
Unsent prayers answered
All at once with divine timing
With divine knowing

To embrace you
In perfect balance of give and take
And unconditional love

To heal your wounds
And free your soul
From concerns worldly and otherwise
From pains unspoken
But in your eyes

To hold a mirror
Of what I see
The wonderment of you
Your strength and resilience
Your humility and warmth

And have you know in your very depths
That you are loved

No pretenses
No illusions
No sugar-coating the raw truth

Just you and me

I’d rather gulp bitter coffee
Than sip sweetened tea

I do not judge your path
I do not judge your past

Your path, as mine, filled with joys and griefs
Your choices and mine
Doing the best we can with what we have
At any given moment

And in this moment
We are free
To just be.

Not to defend our stories but release them
Not to chat away idly but speak and listen

To look into your eyes
Receive your download
With comprehension and acceptance
In perfect reciprocity

The full truth
Bared beneath the light
Of the simplest of your questions

The release and self-awareness
Thirty years unasked
Thirty years unmasked
For clarity and purity of heart and mind
Not reading your story but knowing it
Not hearing your tale but living it
In compassion and acceptance
And empathy for your journey

Releasing lofty expectations
And hold the beauty
Of thirty years compressed into a few days
A few hours
A few moments
Of communion

I see your beauty, your value, your worth
Just as I did when we children
A spiritual connection I cannot explain
Or justify
But appreciate and hold in sacred esteem

I want to let you take the wheel
And drive
I want to see where the road leads
And to be frightened in the curves
Not complacent on the straight and narrow path
But live in the full excitement of the not knowing

The undefinable
The uncategorizable
That without a label
Existence that has yet to take shape or form
But that we can design
To our own wishes
Our own needs

Or even taking it off-road
And Baja-ing it across bumpy terrains.

It matters not.

I leave this map here in your glovebox
And when you’re ready
You can drive us all the way (back) home.

Still I Railed

Children holding hands
Beneath our coats

Grinning with braces
And kisses in the park

Holding me tight

I never forgot
The sweetness

The tenderness of it all.

When you went away
Your letters were harbingers of joy for me

Opening each one breathlessly
Tasting every word

Seeing every line and curve you had penned
As a road map
Leading me home

Drawing me in with every loop of ink
Me, cradled in every U
And held aloft in each Y

I was the dot of your i
The cross of your t

That stack of letters I kept safe
Five years’worth
Tied with beautiful ribbons
Met at the center
Adorned with a bow
Treated like the precious gift they were.
Five years
Ten years
Fifteen years

I fought and yelled for them
Refusing to yield them up
To one undeserving and unreasonable demand
Of another
Of multiple others

I lament having been defeated
Ultimately losing that fight
On the argument that
If I don’t give them up
I must still have feelings

Selfish and jealous
Of my treasure
I would not cede.
Not this spoil.

No, I defied.
No, as I hid them behind my back. Not these.

Not my innocence.
Not my declarations of pure love.
Not my proof of its existence.
Not my hope.


Enraged at the thought
There was such magic he could not witness
A gate through which he could never enter.

Still I railed.

For three days, I railed in defense of logic.
Of humaneness.
Of compassion.
Of trust.

I grew weary.

I acquiesced.

Nausea flooded
In heated waves of shame and rage
As I let them fall from my hand

And I wept for them and me
And the loss of them and you

And that masterpiece
We had created as children

As sacred to me as any holy book,
More dear than any bible.

And with them went my Self.

And with them went half my respect for him
And three quarters of my trust
And a third of my love.

And still I railed.

Discernment in Starlight

I look up into the night
Among the infinite numbers
          Of stars
And fix my gaze
          On the brightest one there.

This star outshines the lot of them.

Orion standing
          Off to the east,
          Sporting his glittering belt
Has no appeal to me.

But this star,
          Strong and constant,
          Unwavering in its position,
          Set high above all,
Draws me in.

I trust its light,
          Its understated presence
          Apart from any constellation,
          Serene in isolation.

I trust its solitude,
          Assured by its existence
          And ask nothing of it
          But to appreciate its simple beauty.

I believe in this star,
          Though it shines regardless,
          Unaffected by my admiring eyes.

This star spoke to me once,
          But I thought I was dreaming.

Speak again, Bright One,
          And I will answer.

Nocturnal Intrusion

This morning
At 2:14 a.m.
I went outside
Lit a cigarette
And lay down
In the dark
Looking up
At the stars.

I thought of you.

I found Ursa Major,
A pattern
I recognized,
Among the twinkling display,
The endless array
Of spots before my eyes.

You were there
With me,
Beside me,
Lying still and quiet
In their presence.

I thought I heard you
Breathing in the night air,
Felt your hand
Squeezing mine
In agreement,
In silent appreciation
Of the stillness,
The calming sight,
Loving the cool distant fires,
The dim lights
Amongst the darkness—
Against the blackness.

I heard a noise
And started,
Jumping from our bed,
Rousing from conscious reverie,
Pulling me away
From our shared dream,
Our brief moment
Of contentment.

I am angry
At the intrusion
And bewildered
At my imaginative powers,
My magic
In bringing you here
Against your will.

Are you angry
At the intrusion?

Did you notice
That I’d stolen you away
From your world
For a while?

Did I have the right
To pull you away,
To selfishly have you
With me for a moment?

Did you know
You were absent?

Was it unkind of me
To take you
Without your consent?

To have you lie beside me
In peaceful pleasure,
Away from your joys
And sorrows,
Away from your life
To share
A few minutes of mine?

Did you, too,
Hear a noise
In the dark?

Did it make you jump?

Did it startle you
From a dream
Of your own?

Were you lying
With someone else
In the darkness,
Gazing at the stars
In peaceful appreciation?

Did I wake you
From your stolen moment
Of peace?

I hope not.

I never want to be
An unwelcome noise
In your night.

You Spoke to Me

You spoke to me
In riddles
And I guessed
The answers
You spoke to me
In code
And I deciphered
You spoke to me
In numbers
And letters
And notes
I read them all.
You spoke to me
In laughter
And tears
And confessions
In a language
No one’s ever heard
And I got the message.
You spoke to me
In kindness
And patience
Forgiveness and acceptance
I’ll never forget.
You spoke to me
Plainly and clearly
The most powerful
Words of all
—Heavy with import—
And I couldn’t hear them.

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