a poetry e-zine

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Poems By Patricia Wellingham-Jones

 

Sea Creatures
for Marty

Sturdy as a bollard, she crouches
beside a tide pool. Lug soles grip rock
slippery with braided ribbons
and air-puffed bulbs of just-flung seaweed.

With the gentle stroke of a mother’s finger
on baby skin, she stirs the cupful of life
caught in the salt crusted rock bowl.
Raises eyes brimming Pacific green.

On her back, snug in the rising wind,
her first-born, late-born daughter sleeps.
Only days from her swim in mother
fluid, the infant cells fill with fresh sea air.

For this pair the swirl of the tide
is hardly distinguished from their heartbeats,
skin drenched with ocean spray, rinsed in falling rain,
as natural to them as tea by a landlubber’s fire.

Published in California Quarterly, 2002



Common Threads

Afghani woman sits on sand,
legs outstretched. Her backstrap loom
strains from body to tent pole, weaves
a prayer rug in rich red on natural-wool white.

In Japan, a woman soaks then shreds
cocoons. Another spins filaments
finer than spider dreams, destined
for a silk kimono in night blue.

In a jungle stained brown by bombs,
an old Hmong shows a young woman how to snip,
fold, stitch her village tale to a story panel,
primary colors in reverse applique.

On a Caribbean island
a Kuna mother and daughter sit cross-legged,
snip, fold, stitch their orange and red cotton
mola, telling the story of their lives.

American women bend heads over frames,
cut old clothes into intricate shapes,
piece their pink and yellow
flowered histories into quilts.

Needle in fingers,
unbleached linen on my lap,
I knot my story to the threads
of women weaving the world.
 

Patricia Wellingham-Jones, a former psychology researcher and writer/editor, is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work is published in numerous anthologies, journals, and Internet magazines, including HazMat Review, Red River Review, Rattlesnake Review, Phoebe, A Room of Her Own, The Raintown Review, Ink & Ashes and Ibbetson Street. Recent chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer (PWJ Publishing), Hormone Stew (Snark Publishing) and Voices on the Land (Rattlesnake Press). Her website is www.wellinghamjones.com

 

 

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