Welcome to my poetry page, and thank you for reading my work! Please scroll down to see all poems.

 

The following poem won a national prize from Blue Mountain Arts, and is published in the book, A Daughter Is Life’s Greatest Gift by Blue Mountain Arts:

THIS GIRL OF MINE
by Jenny Buchner Scott

My boy came like rain —
expected and needed.
There was no thought to love;
it just was, like the beautiful tea-stained
birthmark that leaked onto his tiny stomach,
like his fluid blue eyes that searched
for the next good meaning.
As soon as he could hold a book — he did.
We read to the heart-like ticking of the clock,
the steady, wintry hum of the furnace.
He listened to what I had to say 
like I was a sage, a song, a mother.
I knew I'd never love another child,
not like that.

Still two years later came my girl —
a girl who grabbed for life the way 
dawn grabs for light.
When she was able,
I put a book in her tiny hands
and she threw it across the room —
threw it like it was an old toy, 
a handful of wilted flowers,
a slightly broken heart.
How could this be?
This girl of mine
who doesn't love to read,
who doesn't love the weighty feel,
the inky, rooty smell,
the brainy, secret nerve of books?
Well ... she loves the things outside of books.
She loves the things that books are about.

A teenager now, 
she still hugs as loud as she yells.
She has a garden of friends,
girls like her.
They have brittle, dramatic conversations.
She feels so bad, so bad,
for a friend who has been forgotten
by a boyfriend.
But I can tell she doesn't really feel that bad.
I can tell she's just trying on compassion,
like one of those balled-up sweaters
in the corner of her whirlwind room.
I hope she'll choose compassion.
I think she will, her brown eyes are filled
with refracting pools of wild love.

In the city she links my arm tightly with hers
and kisses my cheek, which surprises me —
as if a butterfly has quickly landed there.
When she was little, her legs ached often —
she'd cry and say her legs felt wobbly.
But her legs aren't wobbly anymore;
they're strong and quick.
Her feet click along in high-heeled,
polka-dotted shoes,
going where she wills them to go, 
fearless, fast, and headlong into life.

I don't just love her.
I fall in love with her everyday.

                ###




The following poem was inspired by Michelangelo's The
Creation of Adam, and was published in Batavia Library
Writers Workshop Eleventh Literary Annual:

CREATION
by Jenny Buchner Scott

First. I am not.
I am next, I am destined, I am willed,
but I am not.
Yet when your flawless, pregnant finger reaches mine,
I will stagger, stun, and amaze.
I will possess a total beauty that I am unaware of,
and so be all the more beautiful.
I will be the first to hear the birds
quivering like tiny bells in the steeples of the trees,
and the first to see these birds jump into the air
and remain with the clouds.
I will be the first to smile.
I will be the first to feel a velvet shawl of water
on my shoulders. The first to see the sun touch the 
flowers, grasses, creatures,
lending them color so achingly beautiful
that man will find the means, in time, to paint them.
I will be the first to cry.
Love — I will know it first, and my heart will be 
heavy, joyous, wrenched with it.
I will be the first to see the surprise of birth.
The first.

Yet, I too will bewilder, sadden, disappoint.
I will be the first to hear the roaring, squawking,
whispering night, and of that night
the first to know its terror,
the burden of a darkness that cannot be lit through.
I will use my will as my will, as will all children
after me.
I will be the first to see death.
I will discover want, a disease from which I
shall never recover.
I will know my beauty and run tripping over it
in my efforts to increase it.
I will wage savage wars while in my heart
all I desire is a light sweet peace.
I will see what all my wars have done
and I will know that I am lost.
I will suffer, cry, despair.
I will reach my strong hands right and left
for something solid to grab hold of
and I will grab nothing.
Then I will remember the miracle of my birth,
and, once again, I will raise my hand to you.

                    # # #


SECOND SEASON
by Jenny Buchner Scott

After winter
even the name of the next 
is nascent, intimate.
The "p" contracting the lips
after the first low
hissing sibilant,
"r" descending
in a visceral growl,
and the suffix expelled
in a halting vibration —
a cord stretched taut,
shaken free
of swarthy moistness,
shaken free —
a dripping season —
everywhere dripping,
and I resent the wetness.

Tears,
tokens of winter's esteem,
slide off the slick backs
of vulnerable animals
who twirl, saying,
with a cocky show of color,
"Come dance with me."
Parts swell like crested waves,
buds protuberant on
tender tips and hold
until like fingers pried
they know to open.
Embryos fade to blastulas,
egg membranes weaken like old hearts.
With an egg tooth,
a chick
in unconscious agitation
begins the journey toward 
its first confusing bath of sun.
This place is full of raw,
tangled emotion,
and some choose
to marry here.

I do
feel touched by
lichen and cobwebs
plastered in earnest
by beaks and rodent paws
onto hidden nests,
for dubious camouflage
against the likes
of snakes and me.
Once, at the lake,
from out of her muddy nest
under the shore station's
canvas top,
a barn swallow flew out at me
and quickly returned —
flew out like a pudgy slingshot
to skim my head in warning.
As if I had an interest 
in stealing 
her folded naked babies.
I know the strain
of guarding the young —
the terror
at the thought of
the rest of the bulging
laboring, dripping 
world
crouching to spring.

         ###


WASTED DAYS
(Or Social Drinking in Illinois)
by Jenny Buchner Scott

Grape-sponsored one night too often,
I aspire to love,
to charm,
to live forever in each floating, amethyst evening —
under the foggy, crimson eyes of Dionysus.

The prairies are out there, solid, sober,
glacier-grazed and tap-rooted. 
Cordgrass and milkweed wave, but to no one,
while I carry on in some friend's kitchen,
teasing, teetering, getting things wrong.

Tomorrow, I'll grasp for water
the way I grasp for peace, or God,
or loved ones lost.
Desperate needs tied to desperate deeds —
that's what this is all about.

Nature thinks she's so damn smart.
A compass plant tilts its blossoms
to avoid the scorch of midday sun,
protects itself by itself in cascades of self-worth.
Somehow I could learn from this, 
but somehow I do not.

I'm not the only one amiss.
They're often wrong about the rain,
and sometimes even flowers err, 
bloom before a coming frost, 
then wilt, perhaps contrite like I,
their courage gone, their heads — hungover.

                   ###


HOOLIGANS
by Jenny Buchner Scott

Years ago I sat with my grandma
in her ghost-filled kitchen
around the big table topped with sliced meats and tea,
and she told me, with her slow mouth moving too quickly,
how "The world is going to hell."
I couldn't help feeling indignant, to blame,
for even if it wasn't me,
wasn't she hinting it was others like me —
with our hot music and cool talk,
our transistor radios, our push-button phones,
and our roller-ball pens —
who were ushering my grandmother's world to hell?

Years later, my daughter texts like she breathes,
always, always,
and when she broke up with her boyfriend
it was online the minute it happened,
maybe before it happened,
and everything is sound-bites and booklets and virtual.
The pencils seem lonely, and I see now that 
the world is going to hell.

But.

What of Johann Gutenberg?
Did his grandmother stand over him with the spoon 
from the sauerbraten
posed threateningly in her hand
and say, "YOU! You and your type. You and your
moveable, undulating, fluid, adjustable, changeable,
dancing type. Vat good do you think it vill do
to bring literature to the masses?
Boccaccio to the shoemakers? Petrarch to the bakers,
Dante to the mothers 
with the babes at their breasts? (Spit.)"
Surely, she thought, "The world is going to hell."

Could it be though,
that the world is not hurtling toward hell after all?
Could it be that we're all just playing with toys?
Homemade talk, cups with string,
looking for a million different ways to say,
to hope,
to pray...
"I'm right here, 
are you?"

        ###