Light of the Tempest


What is louder than a sigh

of doom before the rain

when it tastes like despair

or the perfect memory

and winds saturated with

the will to destroy, to

spill themselves like devotion

upon everything you were so sure

actually mattered?


You show up because it has—

you heard the call of the infinite

in thunder, branches in flight

and trilling frogs

waiting for glory. 


There's a swarming city,

a world actually,

80 feet in the air, 

swishing madly without me: 

an applause of leafy happiness

and untouched faith where

I am not invited.


The private citizens of 

wooden empires have seen this

enough times to know

devastation is birth and 

terror is life,

and I too should know it 

by now—


I'm not the body I travel

inside of on this human adventure

or the pieced-together persona

straight out of society's 

central casting . . .


So beautiful, 

this false night of rage, this 

crumbling palace, this darkness

I wasn't aware of

oiling to the surface.


What is more cleansing than

an avalanche of sky and raw truth?


To be so perfectly annihilated,

so angelically shattered,

so mercilessly empty,


so new.


Patricia Joan Jones


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Cascade's picture

Stunning!! I am ( perfectly

Stunning!! I am ( perfectly innihilated), (angelically shattered), (mercilessly empty), of words. I am stunned! And moved! And new!  And I will be back for more of this majestic thunder. I show up because you do...yep!




patriciajj's picture

It's an honor just to have

It's an honor just to have you show up. To receive such a kind reception from the word virtuoso is beyond gratifying. It means so much. Countless thank you's!  

Pungus's picture

Nature is the Way

You wave your wand and eliminate the fog. Something so simple, pure and honest is always working---we can only hope to notice its nectar like you do, let alone apply it as intricately within our own fated experiences. The Sun forever crowns a friendly face.

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for your profound

Thank you for your profound and awe-inspiring perspective. It made my day! 

word_man's picture

you`re welcome

you`re welcome

ron parrish

word_man's picture

a spiritual basking in

a spiritual basking in words,a city in the sky

where eagles soar and we never die

ron parrish

patriciajj's picture

What a gorgeous reflection!

What a gorgeous reflection! Thank you for your support. 

allets's picture

Cadence, Symbolism, And Unrelenting Rhythm

Not heavy here or near the happenstances of here. Here is natural analog with no mirth; outted intrinsic lists merge human to the ecosystems of enlightenment. These lines are example pointing the purgatoried toward a best lit future. This is the 14th blackbird in owl feathers. A coin with a third side triangulating truth, righteousness, and common sense. God is her shadow, her insurer. Faith is the theme here and in all her work. It is the mirror not the reflection.  It's a kind of in your face sermon with humanity locked between the lines. " avalanche of sky and raw truth."




patriciajj's picture

Thank you for drilling deep

Thank you for drilling deep and mining my words for their purest essence. Your ability to almost intuitively scour the depths of my intentions and processes, then emerge with such eloquently delivered discoveries is always a fascinating and humbling experience.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to read and leave such stunning feedback. Coming from a writer I have admired for almost 20 years, it means the world. 

J9thxciv's picture

In her excellent book, Words

In her excellent book, Words Chosen Out Of Desire, the great critic and interpreter of Wallace Stevens, Helen Vendler, offers some reading strategies for those who (like me in 1982, when I first read her work) had started with some difficulty deceiphering his poems.  I am going to try to use a couple of them here; not because Patriciajj is difficult, but because her greatness exceeds the usual comment of saying "Great write."  I will not minimize any poem of hers by saying that.

   Like Stevens, her titles do not fully disclose their subjects.  And, like Stevens, the centers of gravity of her poems are never right at the beginning.  The poem expects you to work your way through it.  And what the Poet Dara Weir told me, in October, 1978, about Stevens applies equally to Patriciajj:  The Poet "makes you work, but pays you back for the effort" (Dara's words to me in the quotes).  I have never found that to fail in regard to Pop Stevens; and I have, equally, never found it to fail in regard to Patriciajj.

    Helen Vendler also said that Stevens illustrated his emotion in the largest or broadest possible terms.  Patriciajj does not just write "I am feeling" [this or that] "today."  She sometimes illustrates the poem's emotions on a cosmic scale.

    Another similarity to Stevens, and to Eliot in his early poems, she uses weather tropes, particularly in this poem, to metaphorize the processes that the poem is describing. 

    Like a binary star system, the poem has two centers of gravity, and they orbit each other:  the second stanza, and the last four lines.  When you locate the center(s) of gravity in one of her poems, then you can begin to observe the poem, properly, like an astronomer.  You can catch its light in the barrel of your telescope (whether you are on Mount Palomar or in a suburban backyard, its shimering light is the same), but it will always, ultimately, remain as part of the constellation of her entire collection---a constellation which expands and grows more profound with each poem she adds to it. 

    Part of a Poet's greatness is when poems of that Poet remind readers of other Poets' work:  Stevens reminds some readers of John Keats; Eliot, of Paul Valery; and both remind some readers of Mallarme.  When I read Patriciajj, I think primarily of Stevens, and of Eliot---and they help me to locate the right ascension and declination of the star of her greatness.  Just as Hubble and Humason measured the velocity of galaxies by comparing their Doppler shifts to other galaxies', so the comparison of Patriciajj's poems to other Poets' poems helps us to trace her velocity.  I believe she is postpoems' greatest Poet:  I have believed this for over a year, and I have seen nothing---from her, or from any other commentor on her poems---to dissuade me from that assertion.  To read her is to have an expectation of excellence that she never, ever, has disappointed.  And, to repeat Dara's words from over four decades ago, Patriciajj's Poems make you work, and pay you back for the effort.  And to paraphrase Pound's words about Eliot in 1965:  READ HER.

Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.

J9thxciv [fkna, Starward], 

patriciajj's picture

I'm always astounded by your

I'm always astounded by your luminous astronomical references, intricacy of observation and long, personal relationship with poetry that makes your feedback such a precious gift. Countless thank you's for your magnificent and sincere words. You're an inspiration.

J9thxciv's picture

Thank you.  I appreciate the

Thank you.  I appreciate the kind words and I gladly admit that my comments are always inspired by your poems, not just a reaction to them.  Your poems make me work, and then pay me back; the payment is always far more than the effort expended.  As I said over a year ago, although Stevens, Eliot, and Vergil have this effect from me, I had never seen it in a living Poet, until I found your poems.  

Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.

J9thxciv [fkna, Starward], 

patriciajj's picture

Speechless. Thank you! 

Speechless. Thank you!