Inspired by her senior year mentor, Jordyn Rourke, a Boston native, adopted poetry as her favorite form of art expression, while studying English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since graduating, Jordyn has relocated to Southern California, from where many of her poems are inspired. She divides her time between exploring the Pacific Coast, working towards becoming a teacher, and freelance writing.
Then he rocked and stroked it with husbandry touch.
After that day when the snake was killed,
I walked gingerly between house and hutch,
pushing past the panic at that spot of dirt,
holding so tight that nothing could hurt.
Vigilance and Vigils
His porcelain angel, His china doll. He didn’t need a papal council to vote
his daughter into sainthood, to mark a feast day on which he could pray to heal all
bruised by his iniquities. He understood retribution. Because of his sowed wild oats,
his porcelain angel, his china doll
fell to earth, lived a scant two years with the stench of milking cows and goats,
with tractors that tip, rattlers that strike, coyotes that call, with lethal
chemicals that bleach and bleed, frayed electric that smokes into throats—
Appalling, all on the farm that stomps, mauls or kills. How could he foresee the most
deadly was that small pet door through which she could wriggle, crawl,
waddle to pool deck? He found her adrift on reflected sunlight, her spirit afloat.
His porcelain angel, His china doll.
A California native, JCM Eldred received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and now teaches in the MFA program at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of two nonfiction books: Sentimental Attachments and Literate Zeal. Her latest book, of collection of poems entitled More Sonnets from the Portuguese, is forthcoming in Fall 2016.
Note: The poems “Living in Heat” and “Holding the Quick Shiver” are used by permission of Whitepoint Press LLC. They will be appearing in More Sonnets from the Portuguese this fall.
On a hill nearby
stands an old, rugged tower
of steel pipe and rust—
sunk in parched ground
of tumble-dry scrub,
of sand-rock and dust-
swirled devils, pirouettes
of fleeting grace, amid
the howl and gust—
heavy, rigid and erect,
arms stretched in silhouettes
of dish and drum, zag and bolt.
The silent signals echo in the void,
and on the cross-
bar, almost unseen,
the sparrow sings.
Michael Orlich began writing poetry in 2011. Since then, he has hosted a small monthly poetry group in his home in Reche Canyon, in Colton. He has lived in the IE since 2008 and works at Loma Linda University as a preventive medicine physician and researcher in nutritional epidemiology.