Monday, November 20, 2017


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The bittersweet vines hung there, in the trees,
by the dusk-cast river, orange berries bursting
from papered-sheaths.

I understood bittersweet.


Sometimes we walk in circular paths that
make what is new seem so familiar,
sometimes, because it is.

This is our challenge: to distinguish reality
from mystery while never choosing
reality over the other.

You know what it is like when something
that lived a certain destiny becomes something
else entirely because it was loved in
a certain way.

That’s the nature of all things. Or, it could be.

When the sun set, I knew that it was still there,
on the trees, but I walked away anyway.

Bittersweet remains.

There is a dear, dear sweetness in that.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Plant Songs" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, November 4, 2017


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I wondered if the katydid sitting atop the zinnia
knew that this will be its last day. Autumn cares
something about beauty, but she’s not one to
get attached to things, never to moments.

My garden is telling stories about what has been.
If you listen closely, you’ll notice that they are
stories about faith. That’s what seed planting
is: a practice of faith. That’s different than a
practice of promise, mind you. Pay attention
to that.

What will the waxwings do for full bellies
this winter? They are at the frost-softened
persimmons and those wild grapes high in the
red maple much earlier than usual. Is it
wisdom or foolishness that has them there?

Ah. Now that’s a question, isn’t it?

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, October 14, 2017


(c) Jamie K. Reaser

Her generosity sets in just as the sun becomes limited
in his givings. “Beauty can persist through seasons
of scarcity,” she says. I’ve been learning to listen to
this voice, learning to see what is ever-present.
Memories can be explored in this way. Sometimes,
that changes things.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Plant Songs" (a work in progress)

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Moon Poem

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I’m waiting for the moon, impatiently. She 
was swallowed by a cloud dragon who has
not yet given her back to the night sky. I want
to say that this is unfair, especially when she
is full, in her splendor, something that I want
to see so that the world feels right again.

Have you ever waited for things? Precious
things? In that longing is everything that
could save us all.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Friday, September 8, 2017


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

All of our griefs come to us on the last day of something:

An unmet wish,
That which we thought was safe and true,
Someone we had permission to touch.

Now is not the time to close your eyes, but to see
your way into the darkness of mourning.

Here is where we are witnessed by sorrows too abundant 
to dismiss. Here is where we realize that we don’t want 
the broken repaired and the wounds healed. Here is where 
we are initiated into true humanity.

I want you to go below the waters and stand knee deep in 
the ash, and listen to the sound of breath withheld. I want 
your heart to pine for what had been there until it can stop 
living the dream of entitlement.

Do with your knees what they were built to do: to support
you upon the ravaged earth in that moment that you realize 
that grief is a fearsome creature who knows you by name. 
Surrender. Until you do, the gods will not reveal what it is 
that you must stand up for.

Yes, I know that you want me to tell you about beauty, but I’m 
not going to, other than to say that it will be there. It will greet 
you. And, it is possible to accept its invitation too soon.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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Saturday, September 2, 2017


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

“Who is he?” asked the beagle as Henry
stepped out of the car.

Henry, he said. He’s had a hard life
and he’s going to stay with us for awhile.

“Is he nice?” The beagle asked. “He’s kinda
funny looking. I’m cute. He’s simultaneously
handsome and ugly. How is that possible?”

Yes. He’s different. Different can be special.
Good special. Please, be polite and say hello.

“Hello, Henry. That food bowl is mine. And,
that muddy place under the porch is mine too. ”

Henry: I smell cats!

The beagle: (to the man) “He’s easily
distracted, isn’t he?”

Henry thrust himself into the shrubs
and grabbed a stick.

The beagle put her nose to the ground and
started walking the fenceline, “I think he should
go back to that place.”

Give him a chance. We all need a chance. Maybe
you can teach him something. You’ve been loved
all your life. He needs to learn to be loved.

The beagle looked up, raising her nose into the
air, trying to make it seem like she’d just caught
a scent. It was really an idea. She had an idea
about Henry.

Time passed. Henry learned to focus, not quite like
a beagle can focus, but something like that. Henry
learned to be loved. Like the beagle and the man
love each other.

Then the man said, it’s time for Henry to go. He
can have his own person now, someone who can
love just him.

“I want to help,” said the beagle. “I can tell his story.”

“He’s different. Different can be special.”

You can love different.

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Conversations with Mary"
To be published by Talking Waters Press

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The Spider

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I can’t say for sure what artist brought it into this world,
eight legs and beauty on its mind. I did not fare as well
in Geometry, I’ll admit. There is a reverence, an awe for
the magic it spins and then weaves in the night, mooned
or pitch. It pains me so to encounter it first thing
on a trail, feeling it thick and sticky across my face before
my eyes adjusted to the wild. To destroy a Master’s
work: how do we do this and yet keep going?

© 2017/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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