Two Poems By J. M. Jordan

Flint River Basin 

No, this is not the spring foreseen:
from sudden frost and then to flood
of piled-up jetsam, fields of mud
and trash and not a sight of green.

No fields of flox or flowers here.
Just torrent, storm and shingles torn
from off the roof, the laurels shorn,
the wind-wracked water rising near

the top step of the creaking porch.
We watch a crack climb up the wall
then split. The pictures in the hall
fall one by one, and like a torch

that gutters in a trough, the light 
begins to flicker and go black.
The cabin shudders, and out back
a grinding rumble rends the night. 

We prayed the world would be remade
in proper season, that the earth
return in prearranged rebirth. 
This is not that for which we prayed.

The rafters crack. The walls begin
to tremble as the door blows wide. 
Convulsed by fear, we crouch inside.
A deeper darkness rushes in.
NOT TODAY

One day this flimsy world will slip away
With all its pomp and sorrow, all its play, 
Into the great dark sepulchre of night,
But not today, my dearest, not today.

The songs we sing, the ancient prayers we pray,
Will be forgotten and the texts decay.
Time will erase every line we write, 
But not today, my dearest, not today.

The memories we gathered on the way,
The youthful loves we knew and swore would stay,
These things will fade and disappear from sight,
But not today, my dearest, not today.

The look you gave me on that perfect day
As we sat drinking cocktails by the bay
And marked a moment warm and clear and bright, 
Yes, even that will falter and decay. 

Whatever all the lofty prophets say,
There is a simple price we all must pay
For standing for a moment in this light, 
But not today, my dearest, not today. 

J. M. Jordan recently began writing again after a twenty-year hiatus. He is a Georgia native, a Virginia resident and a homicide detective by profession. His poems have appeared in Arion, Carolina Quarterly, Image Journal, Louisiana Literature, The Potomac Review and elsewhere.

2 comments

  1. I enjoyed both poems, but especially “Flint River Basin”.

    The poet’s use of sound is masterful! Just listen:

    “No fields of flox or flowers here.
    Just torrent, storm and shingles torn
    from off the roof, the laurels shorn…”

    Like

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