Two Poems By Jane Sherning Warren

Jack and Back

When I was young I 
Yearned to be Jack 
Out on the road 
Not looking back

I did that for years 
Travelling on 
Heedless of others 
Sine qua non 

I walked across countries 
My pack on my back 
Thinking of nothing but 
Being like Jack 

I drank all the drinks 
And took all the drugs 
I had all the sex and 
Danced all the clubs 

Friendships were instant 
Felt deep and sincere
But something was missing 
Life too austere

Then I looked at the void 
And the void looked back 
I knew change was needed 
I couldn't stay Jack 

Everyone's youth is 
A journey of sorts 
How you perceive it 
Determines your course

I left Jack behind 
And now have a home 
Two children, a job, 
But I still want to roam 

I satisfy that with 
Writing and wine 
It's no life for Jack 
But I'm happy it's mine. 
Remain

the hook and barb
the bite
the gentle latch

the catch and hold
the itch
the pleasant scratch

within the mind 
or out
it can take place

and trap or keep 
beyond
the mental space

the sacrifice
the pain
the gentle bite

the dreadful itch
the barb and hook
the fight 

stay where you are 
and learn to love 
the pain

or change and move 
the better to 
remain

Jane Sherning Warren lives and works in Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. She is a short film maker, short story writer and poet. All four of her films have been shown in international festivals, and she’s had several stories and poems published and has been shortlisted for an international award.

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