Jackie Thorne, Catching The Light

Jackie Thorne in front of Battenkill books where she and the other students in Jon’s writing class will be doing a reading on Saturday at 2pm.

Jackie was dropping off her new book of poems, To Catch The Light, at Battenkill Books.  It was the perfect excuse for us to have lunch at The Round House Cafe.

Jackie is a natural writer, and I think it’s our creative connection that made it easier for us to get to know each other again after loosing touch for over 10 years.

For a while in the 90’s we worked in a frame shop together.  That’s how we became friends.  She introduced me to the writings of Angela Carter.    We also shared a love of animals, old houses and our creativity.  Although when we knew each other back then, creativity wasn’t a big part of either of our lives.

Now Jackie’s is in Jon’s writing class and has just published her second book of poetry.   She has a blog, Creative Journey Woman, where she posts her poems and essays.   She’s also a photographer.

I love having Jackie back in my life.  We can be honest without worrying about offending each other,  and laugh easily.

A few months ago I asked Jackie if she would find homes for our animals if something happened to me and Jon.

It’s the kind of thing that I would think of when I woke up at 3am.  What would happen to the animals if Jon and I were killed in a car accident.  Now I don’t have to worry anymore.  I know Jackie would take good care of the animals until she could find homes for them.

This Saturday, February 9th at 2pm, Jackie and some of the other students from Jon’s writing class will be reading their poetry and prose at Battenkill Books.  Several of them have books that they’ll also be selling at the bookstore.

I don’t know which poems Jackie will be reading, but I imagine some of them will be from her new book. So come to Battenkill books if you’re in the area.  Meet and hear the writers, reading their own work.

The other writers who will be at Battenkill Books on Saturday at 2pm are Rachel Barlow, Caroline Ashton, Amy Herring, Sandy Van Dyk, Susan Popper, Jen Baker-Porazinski and  Caroline Smith.  I think Jon might be reading too,  from his next book Gus and Red.

You can order Jackie’s new book To Catch The Light by calling  Battenkill Book at (518)677-2515 or  by click here. 

to catch the light        By Jackie Thorne

between bright leaves
of my crooked maple tree,
turning green to gold,
light is catching fire,
where the brighter eye
of a stark sun shines through,
silvered by passing clouds.

drawn in by the delicacy
and quickness of light,
how it struggles to stay,
then so gently fades,
touching the clouds, leaves,
and ground below,
I bear witness to its passing.

but what I truly long for
is to catch the light,
hold it fast here in my hand,
write it all down,
trap its rays in a jar of words,
like fireflies glowing
after a long day’s end.

yet the harder I try to hold on,
grasping at the warmth,
happy in its gaze,
the faster it slips away–
sudden and silent,
fading into shadows,
slipping behind the clouds.

still, I see real beauty lies
so often in the loss,
its impermanence of presence,
inescapable, insurmountable,

beautiful and brief,
like our own lives–
such light never can stay.

there is only that instant
when it returns
and I know such warmth again,
feeling all the joy
fill me full anew,
that comes after its absence,
when understanding dawns.

so living in a moment
underneath its glorious regard,
is the only way–
learning not to fear its loss,
demand its cooperation
or concession,
or beg it politely to remain.

if the clouds and leaves
can brush by then pass on,
embracing it all fully and well,
then I must learn to also–
to be alive and glowing,
if only for a moment,
then simply let it go


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