2014 Poetry- Jennifer Swanton Brown

Birthday With Horses

How do the horses know
where to stand
so the bay shimmers behind them exactly
and Mt. Diablo rises above the watery basin
precisely centered like a waiting wedding cake?

Cresting Page Mill Road, 10 a.m.,
I come this way every day.

How do they know, dozens of horses,
where to stand—the sky
widest there.
They are all the colors
of Santa Clara Valley in September.

For your birthday, I notice them
and tell you.
You have lived here all your life
and you know, too,
where to stand.
Hello, love.

September 17, 2013



A poem for the Philippines

call her name, Fury.
In her blue train
she splits the land.

Fury breaks her own
before the story is written
to the end.

Pick up your paints
and guitar;
in Fury’s spent echo
step forward
to sing.



Jelly Making

Making jelly is women’s work:
hot, sticky, tasty, important, red.
Any job worth doing will have its perks,
and making jelly is women’s work.
Men might linger, and children lurk—
a jelly-making woman must keep her head.
To make her jelly, a women chooses work
that’s hot, sticky, tasty, important, red.

November 11, 2013
For Ann

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Prose, Poetry and Art