Poet Commentaries

Bagged Joy

Bagged Joy

a journal and poem compilation

Empathy has to be taught and honed and frankly it is the main purpose of life. It is why we are given time and stages. It is what we are responsible to work out with our understanding and judgements.

We have so many tools at our disposal to do this.  Experience, family and friends.  There is humour, journaling and reading; all the arts, philosophies, religions and sciences are tools.  There are only two proofs that you have done your lessons well though. You have Grace and Peace.

Too simple or too hard?  Maybe you cannot really define those two terms; I know I can’t and this blog is not going to attempt to do it.  Think about it.  Every Time the phrase “may Grace and Peace be with you” was the start of a letter it was followed by a sometimes really long prescription.  There always is a prescription but I am no pharmacist.  A person can be charged for impersonating you know.

There is a way of determining your health though;  whether you have Grace and Peace in the right measure.  Your joy is full.  Here I get a chuckle.  I imagine myself going to a doctor.  He asks me “what’s wrong” and I blurt out tearfully “nothing”.  “Well” he says, “why are you here then”.  It should be obvious I suppose but I say “I just need you to tell me what I am doing right.”

Bagged Joy

In the Cellophane Church
the killing floors are hidden
and feathers do not fly.
in a box.

I still hunt joy.
I get the messiness
of the kill.

I roll in warm blood
and ignore screamed prayers.
The knife resonates
with skinned leather;
each scar a different note,
each callous a percussed glitch.
I turn over
and the song ends
with the last trapped breath
bubbling and gurgling out.

And yet I do not hate Joy,
how it impels and lures
till I am cornered.

I lie down submissive like;
exposing my throat
and under belly.
I let it tan me.
I am patient
as it counts
my scalped hairs
and makes cross references.
I scream as it peels back
my thick skin of lies
and presumptions.
I have trophies
of what once was me.

Most do not get it;
that knock on the door
the next morning
and there, on the threshold…

all smiles
brings a balm.


I Blush

Christ’s footprints
through my fields
discarded corn husks

transparency a rose
on my cheeks

Dam it.  It seeps out. Oozing from once unknown parts and always gross innards. It is embarrassment.  The punkiness and rankness of my anxiety, anger, words and ignorance makes blood flow.  So many spelling misteaks!  I blush in shame.

It must be musty, dark and damp to plant the seed of shame and germinate a shoot of joy.  The process of shame is sheer lunacy of course but only because we are under the misguided spell that it matters or that it is avoidable.  I blush in exuberance.

on my cheeks
transparency a rose

discarded corn husks
in my fields
Christ’s footprints



The skin taut
and bone white
Every elbow and union
unwieldy and cold.
One must contort himself,
taking such care
with every touch
and each movement;
cringing with each snap
and entanglement

I purposed this time.
With each step in
a question.
How does the wind change?
What is the difference
in the light?
Of the ion level?
The relative humidity?
The snow depth?
How do I feel?

I felt cold
and wanted warmth
without fire
so I took the time
and crawled deeper
into the cold of it all.

There deep inside,
leaning against an old trunk
there was no hint of wind.
Not one stray gust
or shivered memory.
The light and smell
whiffed with dank
and still.
The air dry and uncharged;
uncrouched and unsprung
to expectations.

old dead and bents limbs
his cozy thatched thicket
the rabbit burrows

Follow Fragrance of Sage on
%d bloggers like this: