because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

it’s a process

head tipped back and lens out of focus
i sip the last dregs of sunlight
from a summer fast fading,
etching her colors black-inked into tomorrow,
tracing my words into the wet cement of eternity.
my steps quicken to match the fall
of the leaves over old brick in the city’s
East end, my footfalls small
miracles of blurry substance in a brittle

but the words
just won’t flow like
they’re supposed; they start and they
stutter over roots in the sidewalk, getting lost in the
mutter of leaves and passing traffic and sometimes
when the light recalls just perfectly
the way it used to fall
through your bedroom blinds in
September’s late mornings, then
the muscles at the top of my throat
close up and in the sudden rush of air
that i swallow to
push the memories back

down into oblivion, they
vanish altogether,
leaving my shadow to
walk alone through the early October

41 responses

  1. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 29 (Sept 23-29) | Jingle

  2. Pingback: Agreement 4 Thursday Poets Rally Week 29 Participants | Promising Poets' Parking Lot

  3. Great poem.
    it built up to an amazing last verse

    September 23, 2010 at 4:59 am

  4. nice…the last dregs of summer…luckily autumn is a a frosty cold one as well. smiles. nice write.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:41 am

  5. a beautiful process,
    lovely done…

    September 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

  6. magical ending,
    I see your walking shadow in October sunset, very stunning…
    Thanks for the participation.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

  7. J. Elle

    really clever, well done.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

  8. Wow. You’re a damn good poet. I think I am gonna enjoy reading through your archives. Your style fits your imagery so damn well, makes me want to go practice writing until I can match your linguistic jujitsu. Awesome poem.


    September 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

  9. penelopephoebe

    Well constructed with great imagery. I especially like the last ending.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

  10. Joe Suzz

    I think the ending was really awesome. very vivid and had a good flow to it. Beautiful.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

  11. Dear Joanna… Wonderful start with the sip of sun set… and then walking out without the shadow… i loved reading this one…. Beautiful.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya

    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay for a verse everyday about love, longing and life

    September 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

  12. Arts, Jingle, penelope, Joe: seems everyone likes the ending. i’m partial to it as well. thanks so much, you guys. 🙂

    brian: too true. thanks for dropping by.

    J.– appreciate it.

    Fool: linguistic jujitsu? now you’re making me blush… especially coming from as fine a poet as yourself.

    cheers all

    September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    • Hey, I call it like I see it. Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated.


      September 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

  13. ‘early October sunset..’ nice way to finish… I need one. Nice work

    Warmest Salad


    September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  14. Beautiful!

    September 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm

  15. I like the way it draws you in. Great read.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

  16. Oh that is gorgeous.I had such a beautiful Chicago neighborhood visual like Lincoln Park!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  17. Shashi–thank you so much for your lovely words. I’ll be sure to check out your ‘twitterverse’–sounds very cool.

    pamela, Kimberly: appreciate you dropping in. thanks for your thoughts.

    Luke–Thanks. It’s mid-90’s here in Virginia right now, and I agree: an early October sunset sure does sound nice. Salad tossed back atcha.

    Kristen– I’ve never been to Lincoln Park, sadly, but I imagine it would be something like this, an old neighborhood with lots of character and funky little corner cafes. That’s what Church Hill (the Richmond neighborhood I was drawing inspiration from) feels like. Definitely an autumn type of place.

    alright, i’m out for the evening, off to chase down the last shreds of summer (or run them off, more like)
    peace all,

    September 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  18. Awesome write that drawn me in right from the first line!! Fantastic craft of words my friend xx

    September 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm

  19. Amazing work, that held my attention and capivated me.

    September 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  20. I really love this, and your style, especially the way that the words are given their own consciousness.

    Great work! 🙂 x

    September 24, 2010 at 5:15 am

  21. Someone Is Special

    I loved the ending .. It was beautifully said..

    –Someone Is Special–

    September 24, 2010 at 9:18 am

  22. touching . your feelings are felt in every word.

    September 24, 2010 at 12:38 pm

  23. aww, thanks buttercup; a visit form you is always a pleasure. hugs 🙂

    thoughts, Someone: thanks for your sweet words; glad you enjoyed the piece.

    Kiera, likewise. i had never thought about it that way, giving the words their own consciousness. i like it.


    September 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm

  24. dancingfreak–thanks. glad they resonated.

    September 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  25. Rätsel Ewig

    I have to agree, wonderful ending…
    beautifully constructed… Adding to favourites 🙂

    September 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm

  26. From start to finish a wonderful read. Love and Light, Sender

    September 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  27. just one word : marvelous !!! this was pure beauty …

    September 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm

  28. Rätsel, Sender, nimue– feeling overwhelmed by your comments. so glad this found its way to the ears and minds of so many; thanks much for all the positive feedback, y’all. 🙂


    September 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  29. Remarkable poetic skills, lovely lady! I’m going to visit often…your words invited me in and then I was simply…there…captivated.

    You have mad poetic skills!

    September 24, 2010 at 9:29 pm

  30. J. Elle

    gahh, really lovely!Well done.

    September 25, 2010 at 6:01 am

  31. Brilliant word-painting. Perfect for the season.

    September 25, 2010 at 11:45 pm

  32. annie– you are too kind. you’re welcome around here any time!

    J.– 🙂

    Victoria– I like the phrase “word-painting”; that’s really what we do as poets, yeah? paint pictures, moments, turns of mood or season.. not with brushes but with words… Thanks for stopping by.

    cheers all,

    September 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

  33. thewhitebuffalowoman

    I really identify with the city imagery you use to explain the words & feelings. One of my fav poems in this week’s Jingle rally!

    September 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

  34. Sina Saberi : The Blog

    but the words DO flow and they flow well !
    good job

    September 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

  35. wow thanks buffalowoman (cool name!)

    and Sina, thanks for dropping in 🙂

    September 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

  36. Pingback: Fabulous Treats In Poetry (Highlight of Thursday Poets Rally week 29 Poetry) | Promising Poets' Parking Lot


    Greetings, friend! How r u?
    I sincerely invite you to join us for a Monday Poetry Potluck party, bring in 1 to 3 poems to share, let our fellow poets read and encourage your creative work, and have fun reading other poets from our list and discover fresh friendship as well!
    This is only once a week opportunity, your talent and hard work deserve attention, I encourage you to sign in and follow our blog so that you get the most updated information about our other features….
    Hurry up, the more you share, the happier we are.
    Hope to see you at our party soon!
    to link in, click on the link via this comment from above, then look at the blue link button at the end of the post, click on the button, have your poem link copy and pasted in the first box, then enter your name, then, your email address…let us know if you need help by leaving a comment under the same post…

    October 11, 2010 at 5:30 am

  38. so beautiful and nostalgic.

    visiting you from jingle’s TRP (Thursday Rally 4 Poets).

    October 16, 2010 at 10:18 am

  39. joe

    Good one Joanna

    November 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    • thanks, joe. 🙂


      November 8, 2010 at 11:15 am


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