Jan 7 – – Jim Janda, eyes to notice places that turn out to be sacred

Monday, January 7

“Snow was blinding
and blowing from
a fierce wind . . .”

Over these years of the Work Day/Hard Time poetry list I’ve learned to expect surprises. Strong poets almost never slip in an unnecessary word. “Flint-hard language” is how Joseph Brown describes a strong poet (he is one himself). Expecting surprises becomes a method of praying, of noticing what waits to be noticed. The mystic poet, Jim Janda, needs you to read him out loud, with pauses — better two reads too. What does he notice here: winter wind? bitter cold? grocery cart as one’s closet? two dogs? warm enough? the social worker?

Surprises everywhere in this poem with no title. JJ died ten or more years ago. I am one of many who miss his eyes, his ears, and his voice.

Have a blest day,

john sj

Today’s post

Snow was blinding
and blowing from
a fierce wind
almost obliterating

one of his dogs
curled up on
his sleeping bag

in the basket of
his grocery cart
next to the storefront

and the snow kept
blowing while

another dog was slowly
wagging its tail
and looking up at
him explaining to
the social worker,

“Ain’t no shelter that
allows dogs and I
can’t part with them

“don’t worry lady
they plus the sleeping bag
keep me warm enough

“I got all I need—sure
is cold today, ain’t it”

J. Janda

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