- “Mantua, 1606” Second Place, Raynes Poetry Competition judged by Joan Larken. Published in Jewish Currents, Spring 2015.
His Grace, Duke Gonzaga, exemptedSalomoni Rossi Hebreo,
respected court musician and composer,
from wearing the mandatory Jews’
Yellow Badge of Shame
Rossi always kept tucked
in his sleeve as he walked
from Mantua’s ghetto to the court
he fingered it like his viol,
polyphonic voices winding
in his head singing
the badge of shame was pride
no badge of shame was shame
no badge of shame was pride
the badge of shame was shame
as he walked
the no-man’s land between
the ghetto and the court
© 2013 Michael Jackman
by Michael Jackman
This barn was newly raised, once. This patch
of ground was hallowed by its arching ribs,
aromas of the earth rose through the thatch
of sweet straw quilted over new-made cribs.
The hay-loft pulley, swaying in the sun,
was an eternal lamp, the double-doors,
an entrance to a tabernacle one
approached to worship during morning chores.
And now the roof is broken. Now the rain
pours through the holes and floods the hallowed ground.
Wind blows among wood skeletons, the stain
of rotting hay, its protest made, a sound
raised up to summon us to patch the roof.
Far from abandoned barns, we stand aloof.
Thomas Merton Poetry of the Spiritual Contest (Runner up, 2001)
Thomas Merton Seasonal (2002)
Buck Owens – so underrated as a wonderful songwriter, picker, performer. Here’s one of his clever songs – at-home recording. These are bare bones – just enjoy. My music feeds into poetry and vice versa. So I do this. Garage band, home studio, usb mic – and minimal digital editing.
Just fiddling around with guitar overdubs and in general enjoying getting some rough cuts of my playing/singing. Enjoy,.
After playing the flute again yesterday I pitied my poor 1970 Guild D-35 sitting in our “guitar corner” gathering dust for a few weeks – this absolutely wonderful acoustic that I had rebuilt a few years ago, that I bought with Bar Mitzvah money 45 years ago when I was 13, with it’s great varied intonation…we missed each other, so while Sarah Dugan worked hard on her facebook updates in her livingroom corner office, I grabbed the guitar and sat on the couch tinkering around with it. Before any time had past I was lost in airy extended major chords, riffs, playing around with 5/4 time, which Sarah really dug. Then I closed the session with one of the first songs I learned for her, “Winter’s Come and Gone” by Gillian Welch. Always nice to get tarnish on my fingers and keep the calluses hard. It makes any day worthwhile.
Been feeling down about two things lately – a year of poetry and poetry manuscript rejections, and the fact that the publications in print journals – this poetry I’ve written to be read and enjoyed, disappears into obscurity because, really, who reads journals? So, feeling for the first time in a long time that no one gives a shit about my poetry and not wanting to even go to one open mic lately, I decided to listen when Sarah encouraged me to blog more. Today I’m off from school and meetings, so you’re getting the outpouring of the tiny blog posts. Which is the best way to write on the Internet, I think.