Monthly Archives: February 2010

In Shadows

I came across his image, alive upon the screen; my breath caught suddenly within my throat, my heart grew heavy, mind suddenly weary, and still I could not look away. For in that brief and fleeting moment, taken completely unawares, I gazed into the shadows of my very soul, remembering what was lost there.

image and verse© jillterry


He was an intrusion, of absolute proportion; penetrating her world after ingesting her soul in words; adjusting his intention to mirror her verse; and yield to him she did, as a scent on the breeze. He fooled and beguiled, wrapping her so tightly in his web of illusion, so as to not draw breath, in the absence of his presence.

But in her darkest hour, when his debauchery was arrogantly revealed, she did not succumb to the iniquitous pain; but gripped the dagger determinedly in both hands, withdrawing it from the gaping wound; raising it to the heavens, a goddess of just punishment and vengeance.

A victim escaped, from his kingdom of abysmal darkness. A defiant act he could not discern; infuriating, frightening, invading his calculated demeanor; pulling him to the edge, as she resurrected from certain death; causing him to strike unabashedly, showing himself the fool within his own pathetic realm.

She allows him these glimpses that keep him coming; an end to satisfy their story; in his angst-filled world that is without end; the poetess wielding a witches pen; hovering over past lives, this one and the next; a bitter enemy writing the text, an unbeatable opponent, an avenger rejoicing his downfall, delighting in his much deserved punishment.

© jillterry

Wherever she leads

Words pour forth
Clock ticks on
Night falls deeper


© jillterry

Valentine’s Day

But were I Loved
~Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

But were I loved, as I desire to be,
What is there in the great sphere of the earth,
And range of evil between death and birth,
That I should fear, if I were loved by thee?

All the inner, all the outer world of pain
Clear Love would pierce and cleave, if thou wert mine,
As I have heard that, somewhere in the main,
Fresh water springs come up through bitter brine.

Twere joy, not fear, clasped hand-in-hand with thee,
To wait for death-mute-careless of all ills,
Apart upon a mountain, tho’ the surge
Of some new deluge from a thousand hills
Flung leagues of roaring foam into the gorge
Below us, as far on as eye would see.


We were at the Renaissance festival in Washington Gardens; a beautiful southern park which sits along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway. A place where you could lay your blanket and picnic under the canopy of ancient oaks, as pods of dolphins breech the surface and play in the blue green waters just a few feet away; an enchanted place to say the least. He’d taken me there when we were dating, and we’d returned each year for the past thirteen.

I left him alone for a short span of time, as I made my way to the water’s edge, to capture the moment in photos. Upon my return I noticed a woman sitting on our blanket beside him. I stopped for moment, observing them from afar; their conversation lively, their body language a little too familiar; the feeling in my belly an unwelcome one.

I approached slowly, and as if he felt my presence upon them, looked up and briefly met my eyes. She was mid-conversation, enthusiastically laughing and jovially pushing her body into his. I approached and politely said, “Excuse me, but I believe this seat is already taken.”

Her head shot around quickly, my words obviously startling her. Her eyes met mine and held them, filled with defiance and challenge, as if I should dare interrupt whatever was happening between them. I turned my gaze toward my husband, who had averted my eyes and was now looking toward the ground; a cowards stance, in every sense.

I took a deep breath as I drank her in completely; noting her age, far more advance than mine, the black leather vest and matching boots. Her jewelry was cheap and distasteful, hair poorly dyed, straight and stringy; her make-up outdated and haphazardly applied. A tawdry tramp if ever I’d seen one. And still she did not flinch. In fact, she leaned into him further; her hand wrapped around his forearm, offering support or protection, I couldn’t be certain; but refusing to relinquish her man nonetheless.

And in that moment, I was sickened and saddened; knowing full well that all was over. Not angry that he had met a woman with whom he connected on every level, but saddened and unable to believe that after the years we had spent that it should come to a close in deafening silence. I thought perhaps by now, he knew me well enough to know that my mind and heart are open and receptive to not only change, but the staunch belief that life is too precious to waste.

I walked to the edge of the blanket, slipped on my sandals, picked up my bag; and though my words were mounting into what would surely be an unpleasant eruption, I fought them with every ounce of my being and left them in silence.

My heart threatened to explode from my chest, my hands trembled and my legs were unsteady, but I squared my shoulders and held my head high, as I made my way toward the path; an unfamiliar path whose direction I hadn’t a clue, but vowed to follow even in this darkest hour.

I made it to the opposite end of the park then was forced to stop and steady myself against a tree. I took a deep breath, fighting back the tears; then suddenly I heard his voice, calling out to me from the distance, and before I knew it, his arms were embracing me…

“Baby, you slept through the alarm,” he whispered into my ear, as he nuzzled his face in my neck, pressing his warm, naked flesh against mine.

© jillterry


She reached with trembling hands
In the one direction
She knew she shouldn’t

Precariously she traveled
To the edge of deaths ledge
Desperate to feel anything
Craving his rejection

She raised her arms
As if to take flight
The ground shook violently
Breaking night’s silence

She heard the hoof beats
Coming hard and fast
Over her shoulder
Half beast
Half man

He snatched her away
From deceptions cruel embrace
With the key in possession
He spirited her away

To gaze no longer
Into the blackened abyss
Reliving past mistakes
Suffering fools pain

© jillterry

Idle hours

Night falls
And the door of
Opens once more

Wandering thoughts
Leading deeper
Endless hours
Pass by idle

Tears born of
Wanting so much
To believe

While truths falsities
Ebb and flow
Raging as the sea

To shed tears of happiness
Heart swollen with joy
From the gift of truth
Another should bestow

But what illusions spring
From a bounty of words
While reading the pages
Of one’s very soul

A beacon in the darkness
Wrapping round the heart
Come to life on a virtual page

Where freedom is found
Chained spirits do soar
And the abyss calls you
By name

© jillterry

Stop, Pause, Rewind

It had been a week since they buried their eldest son; something that no parent should ever have to do. She sat alone in the den, her husband having long since gone to bed. There wasn’t much communication; it seemed there was nothing left to say; only grief, sadness and deafening silence hung between them.

She emptied the wine bottle into her glass, pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders, picked up the remote and pressed play; and there he was, alive in her eyes once more. Running across the lawn with their old dog Dixie, splashing in the bathtub, bubbles flying everywhere, as he giggled and smiled into the camera. She sobbed into her glass and reached for a tissue; images, memories and a life that was no more, flashing across the screen, illuminating the darkened room.

Then she heard her husband’s voice calling out from across the room; “Tommy, get daddy a beer,” he said, as the little boy, just barely two, ran in front of the camera, bare feet slapping across the tile, his diaper sagging as he stopped and took the empty can from his father’s hand.

The camera followed as he made his way up the step into the dining room and on into the kitchen, where he stopped at the trash to dispose of the beer can, but not before he raised it to his lips, tipped his little head back, emptying the remaining contents into his mouth; his parent’s laughter, captured forever, as they delighted in his shenanigans. A moment later the refrigerator door opened, the light came on and back into view he came, all smiles, holding out the cold, full can, “Here, dada.”

She didn’t dwell on why her son was dead, the cause and effect of actions all his own. All she saw was her precious child, taken too soon, lost to her forever. And she didn’t stop to think about the mother on the other side of the city, who was grieving the death of her own child, whose life was snuffed out by the drunk driver who crossed the yellow line and hit them head on; begging for just one more moment to hold her baby in her arms, driving herself insane wondering what she had done to deserve such cruel fate.

© jillterry

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