Jen Hughes


I am and always have been on the periphery

And every now and then I’m reminded that I’m ignored.

That I’m not the shining light people are drawn to

But the secondary thing that orbits it.

Just close enough to be obscured by something superior

Just close enough to feel the glow on my face

Not close enough to be enveloped into it.


Maybe it is a good thing

That my sense of self is of rock and not candlewax

That it doesn’t melt into People Who Seem More than me

Who are louder than me


I’m not a liquid metal,

Who drives people mad.

I’m not a lifeless rock

I’m so much more than that

I’m so much more than that




I was once a sinner man

No angel promised

Sorry eyes spoke not

My long nights lone

An empty bed. But persecuting

Private childhood secrets

Some blues I’ve had

Falling down on me like rain



I met a Lady Poet

Too sentimental, and much too gentle

Someone to care

Exchanging dreams with

For fear of flying

Taking my chances in a dangerous world

I don’t tremble in your arms

Then can I greedily consume

Your laughter brave?



In golden riot. Each day is

Going some place

On other worlds some

Masterchart of old ideas erased. The

Tender evening poignancies of

Love linger between

Your hands

Lay stretching until the dawn

And grinning still.


How long will

I hear again the laughter?

Those sweet excesses that

Screams, races my heart?

You, your brash insolent beauty

Brightening my days with the light in your eyes


Lying in green grass

But until I see you

Let me humbly say

I’ve never been so strong.



NOTE: With snippets from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou (1986) reassembled with love by Jen Hughes on a late Thursday night in February 2016.



Play me a game like Blind Man’s Dance

Your hands easy

With a kind of



Love by nature exacts a pain

We, unaccustomed to courage,

Watch behind the curtains

I wait in silence

To stay between the unsung notes of night


Dreams are petted like

A psalm to love

Have I known your lips

Had I known that the heart

After a period of peace blooms


We can be. Be and be

Knowing something

Cascades of brilliance, astrally

Dare us new dreams, Columbus


Love arrives

I wait in silence

Beside you, prone

To liberate us to life.



NOTE: Made lovingly with snippets from Maya Angelou’s 1986 collection And Still I Rise plus poems Touched by An Angel, and When Great Trees Fall, viewed online. Reassembled into a cento in February 2016.