Friday, November 11, 2016

I Wish I'd Written This

Better Kindling
By De Jackson

The moon’s on fire
again, akin to the dance-skip
of her own bright journeyspill.
Do you know her
bubble-lull-shimmer-green-grin, the way she melts
a shadow-sky; leaves us
Her spark
starts our
twisted-crimsonrose fire,
held breeze-soft in open
jars for all these
cloudy years.

By the time this is posted, we'll all know the results of the US election – but right now, while I am creating the post, I don't, as polling day has not yet begun. But it is very clear that whatever happens, there are going to be people, not only in America but all over the world, who are disappointed and worried – to put it mildly.

And in Australia and other Commonwealth countries, the day this post appears, 11th November, is Remembrance Day, when we think of those who have fallen in battle. Also, in Australia specifically, it is the day of a political coup about which many of us 'maintained our rage' for decades.

So I thought I would choose something beautiful, to take our minds (if only briefly) off sad and contentious things.

I'm sure De Jackson (aka Whimsygizmo) is well known to many of you, being one of the most active poets in the blogosphere. This is a recent poem, which you may already have seen. If so, I hope you agree it's worth enjoying all over again.

I am always entranced by De's brilliant wordplay and its unexpected, delicious effects. Sometimes it's witty, inventive, startling; here it is simply beautiful – and with some joyous surprises.

De says that she wanted to be a Poet Pirate Princess when she grew up, but is currently cultivating a quiet, content life in Southern Nevada raising two teens, penning ad copy, and scribbling poems in the margins of life. 

I assert that she has certainly achieved the first goal. Scribbling 'in the margins' is OK, so long as there is scribbling! It's usual for poets to support themselves by doing other work. Poetry itself, as we know, is unfortunately not a lucrative occupation. 

Motherhood is pretty important too – and after all, we do need some life to put into our art. I would go so far as to say that life stimulates art.

I think many excellent poets are to be found online only, these days. But if publication in literary journals and the winning of awards are measures of poetic ability, De is doing all right in those ways too.  

Her words have made their way onto the pages of such journals as Curio, Garbanzo, Burning Word, Bolts of Silk, Miller’s Pond, Moon Hollow Press, Shot Glass Journal, Tuck and others. She is a regular contributor for Phoenix Soul, was honored as a Poet Laureate for Writers Digest Poetic Asides in 2012, and she won the Poetic Asides 2015 November Chapbook Challenge. 

She says she has been paid for her poems in 'journal copies, garbanzo beans, and one time, a whole dollar'. Ah well, at least the principle of energy exchange is being honoured. (And very few literary journals make a fortune either.)

De writes something just about daily at her 'Whimsygizmo' blog.

Because her lovely poem above is short, I'll treat you to another (also recent) in farewell:


The way the sky cracks
to allow
the rising of the moon.
The way your lips part
just before
we bid the day adieu.

PS I completed this post before the sad death of Leonard Cohen, but it's a sweet, if poignant, coincidence that De's second poem above is called 'Partings' and opens with lines reminiscent of Cohen's 'There is a crack in everything, that's where the light gets in.'

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.


  1. Thank you Rosemary for the share of two excellent poems by De Jackson. Her word play often mesmerizes. And the article is brilliant.

  2. Beautiful! We are just getting our blog to take off. Please take a look!

    1. Perilously close to spam! But as the revamped blog still includes some poetry (and as I loved the poetic riches at the old blog) I won't delete this comment.

  3. What a treat to find De in here this morning. Almost every poem she writes could be a Poem of the Week. Thanks, Rosemary, for this bit of lightness, and thank you, De, for being such a blithe and beautiful spirit. It is always a joy to read your work.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this about a wonderful poet and wonderful poems!!

  5. Thank you for the openness, the beauty. Both of you, sparing of words, a peeled spirit rising.

  6. Thank you so much, Rosemary, for the honor of this feature. What a gift it is to be in any way compared (or inspired by) the words of Leonard Cohen. The world lost another amazing soul.

    And thank you ALL for your generous comments.

  7. Funny fact about Better Kindling:
    It's a Quadrille, which is an exactly 44-word poem form we play with over at dVerse every-other Monday. The idea is for the poet to write a poem of precisely 44 words, using one word we provide. Each Quadrille challenge, a couple of us also try to write a poem using ALL the words we have provided so far. This poem is made up of 19 of the Quadrille words. ;) As you can see, hyphens (one of my favorite poetical playtools anyway) came in very handy. ;)

    1. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think it's cool that a heavily prompted poem can go beyond the prompt. We write and we write and we write, and we never know what will resonate with someone, what will stick. But the very act of writing, itself, allows us to continue to create things that reach out and mean something to someone. That's the power of it, I think. That's how each of you continue to inspire me, whether it's with your incredible prompts, or the poems you share.

    2. Ha! Even though I love the quadrilles and usually participate, I missed the realisation that this one used all the words so far. (I see them now.) Transcending the prompt indeed!

  8. Oh, how I love De's poems. What a great share today! And, yes, her wordplay is impressive. Sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, but always excellent! What a wonderfully creative mind. Thanks, Rosemary, for this uplifting feature. Thanks, De, for your poetry!

  9. Love De's poem/s and the challenge of using the prompt words in a post ~


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