Poetry, by Mary Jacob


‘The curious position of the index finger propped meditatively on the chin’ – Andre Breton  

I peer at the world through computer screens  
when I type, cat paws paddle on my hands  
then my hands brush cat coats  
cat coats reflect multiple suns  
sun sprinkles days with enticements  
enticements pull me into the wind  
wind pushes the boundaries of my body, drawing halos  
halos make me think we are all angels, when we are merely mud  
mud slips my feet in treacherous ways  
ways braid and twine, leading me home  
where I peer at the world through sizzling windows  

Leaves of change  

no sound underground 
rhythms in ridges pressed 
into sand and stone  
leaf prints wing prints foot prints 

this is my face rising 
my face printed onto 
your face 
your face printed onto  
old bones  

I rise up 
seek colour 
slash of blue vermilion fern  
layer over me 
hot sea round words 

a mouth opens to reveal  
a voice inside a voice 

we pull into a circle 
arms raise arms link 
feet step feet stomp 
we dance  

now it is your face 
overlaid with my face 
my face 
merging into sun  

we need these feathers 
we need these songs  

The Arm is a Bridge 

“The arm forms a bridge,” he said,  
a passage outwards, a vulnerable opening, 
a chance connection. 

At the end of the arm 
is a gesture, handwriting,  
my hand grasping your hand. 

Let me pull you through mist 
into this 
little patch of sun. 

Let me convey you 
through the murk,  
as the ground gives way beneath me. 

Let me draw you down through the bog 
below the island of vegetation 
pierced by needles of light, 
as water strokes your cheek, 
and then let me burst open 
the soggy sky above, so you can emerge 
into the realm of air, 
and collapse, gasping and laughing. 

Let me lay planks  
over the floating wilderness 
so you can walk to what passes for 
solid land in this world of ours. 

I give you this word, this hand, 
a handrail, a trail, 
a guy line, 
a song line 
a bridge.

Mary Jacob is Californian relocated to Wales. Her poems appear in US and UK journals such as Ink Sweat and Tears, Uut Poetry, Surreal Poetics, Visual Verse, Long Exposure and more. From 2015-2018, she organised the Words& poetry series at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

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