I was listening to an interview with the great poet, Marie Howe, and she descirbed poetry as a form magic that can provide counterspells against the inner mean girls/boys in our heads or the actual ones in our lives.  I LOOOOVE this idea.Of course, I’ve been thinking about Chris Cornell this week and actually started a blog post about dealing with the worst of the inner mean girls/boys, which is “I can’t handle this,” which is really just another way of saying, “I am not enough.”  But I just got lost in the words.  An icon of my generation taking his own life after surviving for so long is just too close to me.  For now.So, instead. I am offering you two counterspells i.e. two poems of mine. They are like bookends for me.  The first is titled “Salty Detox Bath” and was written as my marriage first began to dissolve (or at least the first time I admitted that out loud). The second is titled “The Year of Embodiment and Beauty” and was written just a few weeks ago when I started decorating my new house.  (Yes! I bought a house! More to come on that for sure :).  I hope that one serves your needs for whatever dark forces you are trying to counteract these days.

Salty Detox Bath

Staring down the griefAngry fisted and clenchingTeeth chew through my bitter pillAs I shake off the remains of Our HistoryLike a dog after a bear fight

Who are you to say I’m worthy?Only because I let you butPlease consider your privilegesHereby revoked.

Inhaling deeply I close my eyes(And trust in something biggerThan you or me or usIn the stars that meltOn my skin like raindropsAching to be and yetAlready reborn) andI exhale the rest of youAway.

The Year of Embodiment and Beauty

A piece of quartzA swatch of paintA steel faucet, an apron sinkCarefully curated finishesThe palette from whichI am painting a new life

A throw pillow hereA piece of art thereSoft rugs and warm sheets becomeSacred objects placedwith irreverently reverent laughterAll that is holy(And it all is) is welcome

She sees meAnd I see herMy soul at peaceWith my once wasAnd future selfShe smiles brightlyWe love freelyI open my heartShe holds my tears

Together we begin.Again.

Until next time…

xoxo, Jenni

P.S.  “Salty Detox Bath” was just published in Soul by Southwest, which is the annual arts journal published by my school, the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.  You can check out the online version for free!

P.P.S.  The two photos are of a stone made by a dear sister of mine during a recent completion circle we went through together.  Pain and beauty are two sides of the same stone. We cannot have one without the other. Embrace the pain.  Receive the beauty.  More on that later.P.P.P.S.  The photo below is of me reading “Salty Detox Bath” at the release party!  I was soooo nervous but it was sooo fun!