Pillow Talk at 18 Years by Jonathon Penny

J. Penny image for Pillowtalk1

Tell me, she whispered, when the kids were down
And the dark of day had drifted over like a welcome shroud,
What is your love? Continue reading “Pillow Talk at 18 Years by Jonathon Penny”

Look with Wonder on the World by Jonathon Penny

The poet and his maker regard each other.

Look with wonder on the world
And on the walkers in the world
Familiar and strange as if on God,
For gods they are, unknowing. Continue reading “Look with Wonder on the World by Jonathon Penny”

Dreamhome by Jonathon Penny

J.Penny image for Dreamhome

I wish I had a home—
No, not my own—
A place I’d shared with others
All the summers of my life
Or all the winters.

But, as it stands, the candidates
Are fallen into disrepair
(False friends!), or usurped by
Some false, pretending owner
(Who would, her eyes askance,
Refuse me ingress or relief),
Or scattered as the family bones. Continue reading “Dreamhome by Jonathon Penny”

Remembered Dream by Jonathon Penny

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Love wilts. Love whispers.
Love loves to make a scene.
Love wills. Love withers.
Love’s a remembered dream.
Love plants. Love hollows.
Love hijacks every life.
Love grants. Love borrows.
Love still insists it’s right.

Love makes a merry game.
Love kicks you when you’re down.
Love sparks and smothers flame.
Love follows you around.
Love grieves. Love grovels.
Love lifts and love upends.
Love shears. Love shovels.
Love breaks but never bends.

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Jonathon Penny has published poems, reviews, and short fiction in a variety of places. He is WIZ’s poetry editor, amanuensis to Percival P. Pennywhistle, PhD, and a literature professor winding up at one place and looking for another. He loves his wife and children, even when he’s with them.

Photo credit: Wendy Penny, July, 2009–“Ragazza bionda sul balcone di Giulietta a Verona.”

Theodicy (for Connecticut) by Jonathon Penny

Toppled_Stone_in_St.John's_Graveyard by Calum McRoberts

I’d rather it had been a whimper than a bang €”
The way the year went out €”
In dim-lit winter, while the choirs sang;
I’d trade those screams for joyful Christmas shouts.

I’d mar those deaths with lowdown, high-rise, hallowed Birth,
Were I the wondrous Way,
Cast out the grieving from the hall of mirth;
I’d give that love-lit night for darkened day.

I’d spare no cherub angel, nor her flaming sword
To guard that Eden’s gate €”
Would perish one, were I the two-edged Word;
I’d pinch and pluck the sickly cells of hate.

But I am not I AM. And we’ve been here before:
Clean blood has darkened soil
For all of earth’s trite time, and grief and gore
Alike are her familiars, are Salvation’s foil.

As it always does, a haggard, flagging wisdom
Occasions comfort rare:
Our view is short, His long; He takes them home;
All that would be undone were He to interfere,

And He will not; but He’s not silent €”Heaven weeps
For sinners and for saints
Alike; for all, alike, were heavenly once, and His,
Bought for pearly price, deposited for taints,

And mantle-made. Perhaps such comfort’s cold right now.
But then, it’s winter there.
The leaves lie bitter brown. A shroud of snow
Might clothe the vacant, precious dead, and clear the screaming air.

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For Jonathon’s bio and more poetry, go here.

Photo by Calum McRoberts   by way of Wikimedia Commons Images.

The Tree of Knowledge by Jonathon Penny

393px-Pears Tree of knowledge

What are we but flawed copies of the gods?
The blind-eyed sons and daughters of the Lord
Sown in the fallow field, a motley yield,
A haunted harvest on the eve of war?

What are we but his tender-bellied babes,
Sky-sprung, far-flung, let-fly, but kept in view?
The watching gods record our wounds and weep,
Not for what’s done, but what we daring do.

As a bright boy €”a gangle of loose limbs,
All knees, all ears and elbows, and all heart,
A green and guiltless prophecy of sin €”
I learned to ride the vagaries of hurt.

I learned to seek the salvages of joys
Best unsought, the soul-blown bold surprise
Of Godlit, growing girls and feckless boys
Before the world and wisdom claim their eyes.

Before the world and wisdom weather them,
A gangle of loose limbs they ride and run,
As if by running they’ll out-stride the stain,
And keep the fresh-field knowledge of the young.

My love, we’ll get it back. We have it still,
Our heritage essential as the veil,
As thick-and-thin; a sacred covenant
As sure as Christ, as revenant, as real.

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Jonathon Penny took his MA in Renaissance literature at   BYU and his PhD in 20th Century British literature from the University of Ottawa. He has taught at universities in the U.S. and Canada, and now lives with his family in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates where he is Assistant Professor of English at UAE University. He has published on Wyndham Lewis and apocalyptic literature and is currently at work on several books of poetry for precocious pipsqueaks under the penname €œProfessor Percival P. Pennywhistle. € Bits and pieces may be found here. In addition to verse published on WIZ, his poetry has appeared at Victorian Violet Press and in Gangway Magazine and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Several of his poems have also been published in the landmark, recently released poetry anthology, Fire in the Pasture, from Peculiar Pages Press.   Jonathon also is Wilderness Interface Zone’s poetry editor.

Dogged Pastoral by Jonathon Penny

473px-Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_032 Die Hinton

Sometimes the shepherd, too, is lost
And lonely as that sheep;
As tender and as terrified,
As restless in his sleep.

Sometimes it’s him needs looking for
Among his scattered flock.
Sometimes he’s moss and martyr, though
The sheep prefer him Rock.

Sometimes the shepherd’s crooked and
Sometimes he is forlorn.
Sometimes he bleeds and maunders, for
Sometimes the shepherd’s shorn.

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Jonathon Penny took his MA in Renaissance literature at   BYU and his PhD in 20th Century British literature from the University of Ottawa. He has taught at universities in the U.S. and Canada, and now lives with his family in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates where he is Assistant Professor of English at UAE University. He has published on Wyndham Lewis and apocalyptic literature and is currently at work on several books of poetry for precocious pipsqueaks under the penname €œProfessor Percival P. Pennywhistle. € Bits and pieces may be found here. In addition to verse published on WIZ, his poetry has appeared at Victorian Violet Press and in Gangway Magazine and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Several of his poems have also been published in the landmark, recently released poetry anthology, Fire in the Pasture, from Peculiar Pages Press.   Jonathon also is Wilderness Interface Zone’s poetry editor.