Poem of the Week, by June Jordan

My new poems podcast, Words by Wintercan be found here.


First there was childhood, with the woods and the fields and the wondering. Then came college, where the roof of your life disappeared and you found your tribe. Then came all the years of struggle and love and longing –to be a writer, to be a mother, to be a transplant in a new land, to be a someone. And then there was the breaking, and the reconfiguration, and now there is the Reckoning. E1A4EEB4-48CE-45F2-8516-A11D28953DB0

I’m talking to myself here, trying to place pattern to my life, to reconcile past and present and possible future. Taking stock of what I’ve surrounded myself with and what I’ve put forth. If all these books and poems and teaching and essays and blogs and letters and cards and now a podcast mean I’m just fragmented? Chaotic?

Then comes this poem by a woman I idolize, a woman who wrote as many different kinds of words as I do, and it runs through me like cool water on a parched day. Maybe all these words, no matter their form, are the through-thread work of my life. My invisible hands reaching out to all the invisible people. 


These Poems, by June Jordan

These poems
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
are you ready?

These words
they are stones in the water
running away

These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.

I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me

whoever you are
whoever I may become.



For more information about the astonishing, fierce, and brilliant June Jordan, please click here.


Words by Winter: my new podcast

Poem of the Week, by Adelia Prado

Photos 997My daughter at eight: What would happen if you die? I tell her she would be very sad but everyone would take such good care of her, and she says No, they wouldn’t. Because I would be dead too, of sadness. My son at four shuffles out of the bedroom in his first pair of flip-flops, having put them on himself with the strap between his second and third toes. It’s fine, mama, don’t worry, they don’t hurt, I can walk. My grandmother, flustered and red-faced in the small kitchen where she’s trying to make dinner for me: Oh Alison, I’m just no use at all anymore. Me outwardly protesting but inwardly stricken by the knowledge that in that single instant, everything is now changed.  

“Because living is just too much!” I always say when someone in an audience asks why I became a writer. “It’s all too hard! I’d lose my mind if I didn’t turn it into books!” 

I laugh and they laugh, but do they know I’m not joking? Writing makes it possible for me to live in a world without my grandmother in it, a world where my heart beats outside my body in the form of my children, where every new day brings a thousand possibilities and a thousand losses. Writing is my way of cheating time.


The Mystical Rose, by Adelia Prado

The first time
I became conscious of form,
I said to my mother:
“Dona Armanda has a basket in her kitchen
where she keeps tomatoes and onions”
and began fretting that even lovely things
eventually spoil,
until one day I wrote:
“It was here in this room that my father died,
here that he wound the clock
and rested his elbows
on what he thought was the windowsill
but was the threshold of death.”
I understood that words grouped like that
made it possible to live without
the things they describe,
that my father was returning, indestructible.
It was as if someone had painted a picture
of Dona Armanda’s basket and said:
“Now you can eat the fruit.”
So, there is order in the world!
—where does it come from?
And why does order, which is joy itself,
and bathes in a different light
than the light of day,
make the soul sad?
We must protect the world from time’s corrosion,
cheat time itself.
And so I kept writing: “My father died in this room…
Night, you can come on down,
your blackness can’t erase this memory.”
That was my first poem.    


​For more information on Adelia Prado, please follow this link.​



Facebook page