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Since 1996 Volume XXI

Janell Moon

Janell Moonís Salt and Paper,  an experimental poetry-prose collection won the RAW Art Press 2011 Experimental Contest and publication of her memoir. Her sixth book of poetry, Riding Free in a Blue Studebaker was selected for publication as the Main Street Rag's Editorís Choice in their 2010 national poetry contest. Stirring the Waters and three other spiritual books have been published by

Elements (Harper/Collin UK).


The Night Breeze 

     to my brother as a boy


I want you to feel the heat you own,

to acknowledge the fire within yourself

to steady suffering.

You have suffered enough.

I have seen you with your gnawed chest

bawl out in pain.

I was there more than once

(survivor of family and societyís temples

that bow in the service of convention)

when your chest quivered in cruel lessons

taught to break the tenuous connection

to your hub,

freedom almost rubbed out.



I reach for you into the high branch

through the vein of spring leaves

concealing a cardboard fort,

touch something small and human

against the farthest wall

shaking in terror and dread.

Why should a young one know injury?

What should anyone learn to bear?

I reach and feel a living thing who whimpers

but edges towards touch.

I whisper to human harm lightly.

I wouldnít hurry a wounded thing.

Itís the most silence Iíve heard,

not the quiet falling into aloneness

Iíve mastered,

but resting in quiet breath.


Further I dare touch your cheeks

where tears have dried and fall again.

My hand settles on fuzz that will be the beard

on your face once youíre a man.


I know to be with a child in softness

 for a great well formed

in my own gutted chest

that now spills its quarry.


You scoot forward, arms and body into me.

You come small.

I hold you against me.

I am quieted too.

Together we hear what else lives in the night:

the car engine, the old dog scratching

on the front door of the near house,

murmurs through the August windows

from the summer tree.



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