Out to the Ocean

I needed space from my space.
The walls of our home that hold us in a loving container
began to feel like a well-meaning,
yet overbearing mother.

And so I drove,
up and over the green-bosomed hills
that contain our towns,
our busy-ness,
and out to the ocean.
This element of Earth who is unapologetically,
like that one, offbeat bohemian auntie
who let you take sips of her wine when no one was looking.

Shedded the shoes that bound my feet
and walked barefoot.
Each step sunk deeper
into her sands
and let the world fall from my shoulders,
because what was I thinking that I could hold a planet with only my bones?

Her waves thinned into lacy foam as it crept upon the shoreline,
skimming beneath my soles.
This wild auntie revealed her jewel box.
A display of magical stones, stolen from faraway cliffs
the vacant homes of mollusks, patinaed to an indigo blue,
the bleached clam shells, ribboned with deep green
that looked more like woven baskets from Navajo deserts
Plucking each one as a fine treasure,
her waves ambling ashore seemed to whisper,
“Take one more, you’re my favorite.
And so I did.

~Jennifer Brinn, copyright 2021

Lady Banks

I paused this morning
to smell the roses, Lady Banks
growing in garlands
of white and a pale yellow,
the latter, a shade closest to
morning sunlight.

With their delicate tendrils
languidly splayed
over a willing, yet
infirm cedar fence,
they called to me,
the way they’ve been
calling to me every morning.

Passing them on my walk,
I call back, not now, later,
much like a wayward parishioner
rushes by their pastor
on a Sunday morning
on their way to something busier
and consumingly more important
than praying.

And I wonder
who was Lady Banks
to have such an outpour
named for her?
Wife of Sir Joseph Banks
is all that is written.

A conjuring places her
perambulating her Victorian grounds,
the tiny stem of this rose twirling between
her fingertips,
thoughtful matron of her estate.
Or draped in her best expedition finery,
side-saddled over a wise pachyderm
who ambles her through the quite wild places
of India.

Nonetheless, I cup their clustered offering
into my lined hands.
closing my eyes, inhaling, allowing
the sense of smell to precede.
Breathing their fragrance is
as if to breathe the Madonna
directly into your heart.

Filling the well so generously,
so abundantly, so it may once again
shine it’s light out into the world.
Transmutation with one sip of a rose.

copyright 2015, Jennifer Brinn

Bay St. Blues

Waiting for you with stardust on my skin
and sunlight in my soul,
bounty is upon this table.

And yet
your pale face blank
at its sight.

Grayest matter pleading me
to flee…
though the heart
undulates at the hope
of your warmth.

Your lips now dry
and wooden,
sunken under their creaky lies,
Stories you’ve confessed never true
in the deepest shroud of midnight.

Your soul a churning bystander
at the accident of your mind.

Day breaks
your body lies aimlessly,
a faded leaf whirling
in the shallow of  a street puddle,

Gulls chant, breaching the Presidio fog
calling you to walk in sunlight.

10/2005, copyright jennifer brinn