poet Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson

Mud Love

Love should be like a hatchling butterfly:
Tearing free from worn-out skin,
Bursting with new blood its once-crushed wings, and
Ready to surpass the sky.

But middle age brings whiskery lust, for us
Or feathery, like dust - gristly with intimacies:
Mumbled in judicious teashop undertones, to a furtive
Crumpling of nylon macs, or pitched against a public
Squall of brats.
Either way: you know you ought not to be there,
Caught in the light. You ought to know better.
Shouldn’t be out, not at your age, where you can be seen and shamed.

Decrepitude is melancholy: warm, dark, moist -
Primal, I suppose; like your abode before you were even born.
What inner child survives, in me?
Ah, mine wouldn’t die.
Mine didn’t grow.
It reposes, clenched fist of a foetus that it is, gripping
My life’s misjudgements, binding them tight.
A lifetime’s chatter fills my ears.
My silence is big enough to swallow worlds.
Yet still I need to feel another’s hand.

Addled love is a clock cranked backwards.
A crab scuffling sideways
Writhing, worming pinkly on a skewer like a caterpillar:
Awaiting resurrection as a soft-boiled egg
To be absorbed into the dark belly of the earth.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, August 13, 2009
Poem Edited: Sunday, July 25, 2010

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Comments about Mud Love by Stephen Jackson

  • Suxanne Popp (8/13/2009 7:28:00 PM)

    Earthy, powerful poem about what most people don't have the courage to acknowledge. Keep em coming!

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Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken



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