Photo: Lia Brooks

Lois P. Jones, a member of Westside Women Writers, has published poetry and photographs in American Poetry Journal, Raven Chronicles, Qarrtsiluni, Rose & Thorn, Tiferet, and other print and on-line journals in the U.S. and abroad.  She is co-founder of Word Walker Press and a documentarist of Argentina’s wine industry. Since 2008 she has hosted KPFK’s long-running radio series in Los Angeles, Poet’s Cafe(90.7 FM Pacifica Radio), produced by Marlena Bond. Lois co-produces Moonday West in the Pacific Palisades and Moonday East at Flintridge Books.  She is the Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal and a three-time Pushcart Nominee as well as a 2010/2011 nominee for Best New Poets.  In 2010 her poem “Ouija” was selected as Poem of the Year by judge Dana Goodyear.  Lois has been featured in Prague and mostly recently Southampton, England as well as in the Distinguished Writer’s Series in Tacoma Washington and many venues in Southern California.

 

Unmarked Grave

 

All I want is a single hand,

A wounded hand if that is possible.

–Federico Garcia Lorca

 

Beautiful man, with your brows of broken ashes

and eyes that migrate in winter,

 

a hollow in your hand

where the moon fell through.

 

I could have kissed your mouth,

passed an olive with my tongue,

the aftertaste of canaries on our breath.

 

But the shriek of the little hour

is spent, and there is no road back.

 

The day it happened

there were no good boys

or dovecots filled with virgins,

 

just a sun imploding

like a sack of rotten oranges,

 

the scent of basil

from the grove near your home

and the piano that still waits for you.

 

No one will remember

the coward who shot you,

but the sheets,

 

the white sheets you sail on,

coming home.

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  • Lois January 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Laurie, Susan, Charles, Millicent, Ben, Alice and Sharmagne I am deeply grateful for your comments, support and appreciation. Wishing you the best that a year can offer!

    Lois

    Reply
  • Sharmagne January 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

    And there are still more reasons why we nominated UNMARKED GRAVE for the 2011 Pushcart Prize.

    Lois is the poet I want to be when I grow up!

    Sharmagne Leland-St. John
    Editor-in-Chief
    quillandparchment.com
    guest passwords:
    Userid: january
    Password: ants

    Reply
  • Alice Pero December 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

    If we take the universe apart to find the poet, we will discover Lois P. Jones speaking. We find Lois speaking to other poets, peeling them apart, finding their essence. This beauty is rare and this rare beauty finds us and makes us weep. Thank you so much for posting this exquisite poem.

    Reply
  • Ben Johnson December 31, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Always good to read your work Lois, this poem is such a treat for the senses being so full of tastes, smells, sounds and colour. The result is that I feel so much more a part of the poem by the end of it.

    Reply
  • Millicent December 31, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Wow. Such a beautiful poem and lovely comparison to Elizabeth Bishop (comment above). WVFC IS a wonderful site for new voices that might not otherwise reach such a remarkable audience as is brought together here, in this safe and fascinating place!

    Reply
  • Charles Bane, Jr. December 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    This is invaluable; the twentieth century’s greatest poet was, arguably, a woman: Elizabeth Bishop. This site encourages new voices of her kind.

    Reply
  • susan rogers December 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I am haunted by the beauty of this poem. It carries that which cannot be spoken in the spaces between its lines, the hollow it carves out in lyric space. I find myself falling into that hollow following Lois’ description of the moon. In Lois’ deft poetic hands I fall into and through Lorca’s hand and spin into a poignant descent.

    This is Lois’ singular gift: to speak what ordinarily cannot be spoken, to reach into the heart of grief and loss and make what is intangible, palpable. She recreates worlds with her words and infuses them with the ache of living in this world and with the mystery that lives in the worlds beyond our reach. Her voice is distinctive: intelligent, passionate, rich with an appreciation for music and color, full of empathy, resonant and complex. She writes from a place deep within the spirit using the language of spirit, bringing me and all those who truly read her poetry to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the circumstances of our lives.

    I am honored to know her, to read her poetry and to benefit from her generosity as a friend and as a patron of poets. I recommend her poetry to all those who appreciate great poetry, beauty, and who long for a deeper connection with the realm of heart and spirit. Please read her poetry wherever you can find it. It is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself.

    Reply
  • Laurie Byro December 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Lois is a treasure and it is good for me to read this as I am not all that familiar with Lorca’s work.
    “brows of broken ashes” is lovely because if eyes are sometimes referred to as “coals” or “burning” with passion, excitement, ashes is something i would not have come to, but it makes so much sense.

    A gifted writer, thank you for putting this up.

    Laurie Byro

    Reply