Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda

Poet, Artist, Educator

                 

 

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In the Poet's Spotlight for December 2007:  Jane Ellen Glasser

Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, such as The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Poetry Northwest. Her poems have garnered numerous awards from the Irene Leache Society, Puddingstone, and the Poetry Society of Virginia, and she has been recognized for outstanding articles on teaching poetry that were featured in Virginia English Bulletin and English Journal. In the past she reviewed poetry books for the Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the Ghent Quarterly, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review.  A first collection of her poetry, Naming the Darkness, with an introduction by Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet W. D. Snodgrass, was issued by Road Publishers in 1991. She won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005, and her award-winning book, Light Persists, published by Tampa University Press in April 2006, received an honorable mention in the 2007 Library of Virginia Literary Awards.

Index of Glasser's Poems: Scroll down or click on Poem Title

Poems of Jane Ellen Glasser (below)  © copyright Jane Ellen Glasser, All rights reserved.

The Parrot-Ox

 

 

The parrot-ox

is clearly confused,

as evidently

so were his parents.

 

Being both heavy and light,

he can neither

fly nor root,

which makes his life

 

a kind of hovering

between two things

that cross each other out.

All play is work,

 

all drudgery is sport,

and so he spends his days

busily doing nothing,

circling square

 

fields of thought

like a practical idealist.

At night he holds forth

in a neighborhood bar

 

in his undertaker’s suit

and Indian headdress.

He drinks to sober up

and tell again

 

the sad joke

of how we die at birth

into opposites.

And then he laughs

 

till he cries and cries

till he laughs,

sorrow and joy

mixing it up in his blood.



Back to Index   

The Moronic Ox: A Fable

 

 

Because he hated the brand

of the sun on his back

and having dirt on his feet

even on Sundays

and found a life

braced to a groaning weight  

was getting him nowhere

 

and because he dreamed of seas

of grass and the pool

of a shade tree

where he could lose himself

in the anywhere of song

 

when he refused to work the fields

the villagers called him

weak in the head,

a good-for-nothing

who would set

a dangerous example

 

so they tried him

and found him guilty

of plotting to overthrow

what their bones knew—

that life is its own burden,

a blind pulling from birth to death—

 

and then they turned him

on a spit and feasted

and carried him

in their bellies to the fields.

Back to Index

Country Relics

 

 

Nothing is scrapped.

Rusty as hens,

plump-bellied Fords,

the old Deeres

of tractor and plow

root where they stalled.

They mark the land

like headstones.

Even the earth

with its screen of weeds

cannot claim them.

 

Nothing is torn down,

Carted off.

Weak-kneed, abandoned

barns tilt, open out

airy ribs. Scarecrows

staying against wind

and nevermore,

why don’t they fall?

Like memory, wisteria

climbs their splintery limbs

in purple skirts.

 

And the old homesteads,

gutted, absent

as the soft eyes of cows,

still stand.

Silent patriarchs,

they look down

on the latest crop:

generic tins

of mobile homes; satellite

dishes set

on invisible fields.

Back to Index

June Birds

 

 

Almost everyday now it happens—

that splat against glass.

 

Seen from outside, these large

windows of my stucco house

float a mirage of trees and sky

 

like rooms mirrored to repeat themselves.

How they repeat themselves!

Since sunup, a party line of old news

 

ricochets, tree to tree. Now one

sounds his single song from the elm;

distant pines are a choir of mimicry.

 

Like lovers constantly needing

to reassure each other, themselves,

they give to get back.

 

Only the pitch, the emphasis alters,

as in: “I love you”; “I love you.”

Any phrase, repeated enough,

 

is a small death. Undressed

and jewelled in white, I find them

in bushes, in beds,

 

or sometimes, on the cement steps,

only dazed and leaking

burgundy under the belly.

 

Daft by the berries’ wine, June days

they sail blind. Lured by the bird

that blooms on a pane of glass,

 

like the bodies echo

soaring back into itself,

they break whole on impact.

 

Loving you is like that.

 

Back to Index

Come back each month and discover the work of other poets to be featured in the "Poet's Spotlight."

 

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