was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Her poems have been
published in many magazines and a couple of anthologies. She has
a Master’s Degree from U.C. Davis and has taught at colleges,
women’s centers and prisons. She lives near the Sacramento River
with her husband, Peter Rodman, and their cat, George.
Jane can be reached at
Jane Blue Poems
Or Like a Broken Bone
I dreamed of a destroyed city
that had been built up again stone by stone.
Somehow this construction was wrong;
the city was raised up on a foundation of sand,
or like a broken bone set improperly
it had to be re-broken painfully.
The architects ordered it pulled down again—
this was long before the flood—I had
no conscious thought of prophecy.
There were no weakened levees, or indeed
any levees at all; it was an ancient, ruined city,
a desert, with no stunned neglected people—
there were no people at all,
as though even my dream had forgotten them.
Every missive from my sister is a weather report.
But how are you, really?
The sky is busy catching the sun’s rays
on its castled clouds, hiding and revealing the sun.
Lichen-encrusted limbs on the sidewalk,
a nest cast out of a tree, half done or half undone.
What am I? Half done or half undone?
Ash-blond grasses streaked with a little gray
are wound into the walls of a basket, or a chignon.
It seems a robin’s nest, or an attempt at one,
with just a twig at the bottom where there should be mud.
The robin, liking water, shores up a tight little ship.
We all have a good bit of mud
woven into our lives, to remind us
of what we’ve weathered. Did the nest cushion
two or three little robin’s-egg-blue ovals last year,
or was it just a failure in the stormy spring?
She thinks sometimes that her life is a failure.
No life is a failure, it is life. Think of your bravery
in the face of it. Eye-blue forget-me-nots
look up from the lawns. Yellow oxalis—a weed
[Kolleen: leave space here]
covers empty lots like sunshine. We are weeds,
my dear, like turf daisies and dandelions
and the pale lavender stars of wild onions just beginning.