Alice and the Chinese Jar 4

Here are five additional poems from our recent Twitter poetry party, with prompts taken from Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems by Maureen Doallas. Something unusual happened with this group during the Twitter stream of lines; you’ll see it in the last two poems.

Alice and the Chinese Jar 4

By @doallas, @llbarkat, @jejpoet, @mmerubies, @lschontos, @lauraboggess, @LoveLifeLitGod, @amykiane, @SandraHeskaKing, @Dancinbutterfly and @bibledude. Edited by @gyoung9751.

Song of the Mermaid

My hopes and dreams seem
too big for this world;
I’m limited, cut off, yet
every song wants,
which is why I sing,
my lock of hair, wearing thin,
becoming a memory.
Didn’t you want me to hold you?
Wasn’t I cast for this very moment?
Anchor! Anchor? Why do you hold
me so tight? she cried.
And the mermaids laughed
and the fish swam
past and I wanted them,
I wanted them.
I dip my finger in the moon,
in the hair of the blue mermaid
in shadow tales, in tales of woe
The sea swallows them up in mystery.

Silver Fish

I dip my finger in the ocean
to make it rise; however
imperceptibly, I alter
the surface of the earth.
Unseen, unknown
that which is thrown returns
on the backs of silver fish.

Their tears run upon their scales
on silver backs of light, a flash
of light, a turn of tail, tales told
of depths we long to plumb.

The fish are just now swimming
up the silver creek, their silver backs
waving you on, soft flashing.
Silver fish dim, their light
beneath a moon grown heavy
The sky breathes light,
shadows dance alone.

Fireflies ride the fish,
brilliant lantern cowboys
with wings. I will catch you;
I don’t need a reel or a thread
or the dead of night
just a simple jar and
a song.

What would you hear,
in the splash of a silvery tide?

The Eye of the Moon

The falling night
brings stars unseen,
what would you see
in the eye of the moon?

I ‘d see that the eye of the moon
would see the eye of me.
I am Stella, I am star,
I am the only light
that you could ever be .

Is she fighting for me?
Is she hoping I’ll be
the one to kill our devilry?
Stella, do you fight for me?

Stars whisper songs of want,
crying out to their creator
who holds them high
to the dark night sky.
Stella Luna, your eyes are white.

White eyes
like a chalice tipped,
the moon dips out his light.
Stella catches it
in her silver chalice,

wanting what she denied, that love,
its magic might she work on one not left.
And how long before this moment
becomes yesterday and I’m forced
to catch another?

Grandma, you can have my wings
By @mmerubies

In my past, two great grandmothers, married men and birthed children. One was a midwife and chose the life/of a healer. The other woman killed the life inside herself/coat-hanger abortion/shrinking outhouse walls. Grandma, you can have my wings. These yin and yang women gave life to Stella and Willie and they birthed Frank and Frank emptied himself into me. And now I have those warring women in my mind, birthing and killing with every violent raping breath. The waiting and waiting never seems to end. You only think you have a boundary-line that keeps you from making that mistake, the one others made before you.

Heather, child, you are haunted and you know it. Stop fighting her. And just let go.

I kiss your pearly throat, when you gulp, and I whisper there are pills, pills that I can get for you. You throw these words back at me, shattering glass as they fall. But I keep whispering, and sometimes, you almost seem to listen. You wrote about the fireflies in the Mason jar, but you forgot to tell how you are trapped there with them, with their pretty lights. I have changed you, with my fingers on your skin. I have changed everything about, exactly who you are, and no one cares but me.

Grandma, are you laughing at me, knowing I am no match for the curse your Jehovah came to be?

Off meds,
obsessive brain,
perverse images stuck
and cannot be dislodged.
I trace the lines of your unscarred wrist,
and I consider slicing it. Open like a fish.
I won’t win though. I know I won’t win.
Even as I stroke your golden hair
and nurse at your healing breast,
I know I will lose.

I sing my song
By @Dancinbutterfly

I sing my song
of wanting to hear
little feet , a child’s
I sing my song
of wanting to God,
wanting a house
to call my own
wanting to give
my grandparents back
all they have given to me.


  1. says

    Wow. I am humbled to find my words here. I was, most definitely, unmedicated. LOL. My imagery is much more vivid when I am off my meds. A gift amid the madness. Thank you for posting these, Everyone was so beautiful that night, with all the silver and shooting stars.

  2. says

    Wow. Every favorite symbol is covered in these poems…especially mermaids and moons, and fireflies. Loved these painterly words. Great job everyone. :)

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