Sunday, July 27, 2008


Hey, lovelies. I'm doing better -- the breathing is nearly back to normal -- but still extremely low energy. So, I'm not writing like I wish I was. Still, I wanted to share some great news that was waiting for me in my inbox just now. Three of the poems I've previously had published in the Texas Poetry Calendar -- in 2007, 2006 and 2000 respectively -- have been requested to be republished in the forthcoming "best-of-the-first-decade" anthology of the Texas Poetry Calendar, Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair: Best of the Texas Poetry Calendar's First Decade. I'm enormously pleased, and of course will accept the offer from Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen, the vibrant new-ish editors of the TPC and founders of Dos Gatos Press.

So you don't have to wait for the calendar to come out to read my three selected poems (although I do earnestly hope you buy copies of the calendar, they are great publications), I'll copy in the poems after the fold.


One autumn after days of rain, a norther blew in just past dawn
as if two pewter palms had clamped down on our patch of earth
stoppering wind, rain and light. Our sopping world plunged into chill
and froze entire: each branch and twig, each strand of grass
The clumps of clods beside our road, the arc of wires strung pole to pole
Every thing beneath that sky shimmered with a gloss of ice

We walked out into nearby woods of papershell and blackjack trees
Each step crunched underneath our feet like walking over broken bulbs
The clank of frosted tubes threw tinkling notes into the gaps
between each tree, and when we brushed against a branch, some sleeves
would slip onto the ground in piles like beakers thrown away
I heard no birds and wondered where they hid today. I was afraid
if I looked too close at upper limbs, perhaps I'd see
their rigid bodies clustered like a gelid fruit with open eyes

I was too young to have a guess that this might be the only time
I'd ever see this kind of freeze, given where I map my years
My coat was corduroy, unlined, and I had not brought gloves or hat
My breath blew out in cheerful clouds, and I cannot recall a thing
we said to one another. We did not touch, we had not yet begun
to touch. You stopped once and I came back to see what might
have drawn your gaze. You turned to face me and I had the thought
that maybe we would kiss. But I was young in that way, too
So I turned and went on in the woods.

© Maggie Jochild, written in late 2005


There's enough to go around
but only just.
Our long-ago primate promise
to store grain in jars
to raise the girl babies
to walk so's everybody could keep up
means some of us live
right next to the cracks
jostled, hanging on
like only white trash can.
And when you settle, take a break,
when you just throw out that mess, it's
been sitting too long,
impossible to clean,
when you say
"She knows the score, I'm not
really hurting anyone"
I'm telling you, no lie,
everybody has to scoot over
and one of us
one of us
loses the room to stand
slides from desperate, cramping arms
and vanishes.

© Maggie Jochild, written 6 November 1994


I know what a sleeping bear dreams
when her breath goes down to twice a minute
and the world itself abandons her

No use to shamble to her view and
wish that winter skip this year
She's in for it Covers her face

and lies back down. The only sun
is in her ribs, a buried star
She dreams not of a thaw to come

Instead she glides on berried slopes
where last October all the sweet
and tang of summer came to point

and dropletted each huckled branch
or August's shallows full of sockeye
She eats the brains and roe, then wades

to swipe another to the shore
Sitka clearing strewn with deadfall
and under brittle logs a teem of grubs

The crunchy tubers of last May
She dreams of every bite that fed her
to this point and sleeked her flanks

While ice and hunger pin her down
she fills her mouth with memory
Hope will sometimes gutter out

But memory is a magic jar
that never empties to bare glass
until it is her turn again to wake

© Maggie Jochild, 18 June 2005, 5:08 a.m., published 2006 in Natural Bridge


kat said...

Congrats, Maggie. That's great. I'm glad you're on the mend, too.

Jesse Wendel said...

Oh. My. Gods.

So beautiful.

Congratulations on the publishing offer.

letsdance said...

What a poet and writer you are, Maggie! Thanks!

la strega said...

such beautiful, evocative imagery. thanks!

and congratulations