Haint Blues

Haint blue is a spectrum of marine blue you see on porch ceilings of coastal South Carolina and Georgia homes to prevent frustrated spirits from coming into your home. Gullah legend says ghosts or “haints” can’t cross water.

I find there is something quaint and

Truly endearing to see how humans learn

History while pulled in a white, horse-drawn

Carriage. The salt-sea air and Spanish moss

Perfume and bedeck crooked-timbered oaks.

Brown leaves rattle down when the wind plays jazz

With the palms and pines. The church bell tolls but

We have our own clocks now. We keep our ghosts

At bay with haint blue: the color of the sea­

Not with four hundred years of gospel we

Used to blind ourselves Byzantine style.

(Which might have been less cruel than what transpired.)

Blindness can spread like yellow fever when

The spell is cast from the bloody ground up:

When the draft horse drums its hooves on cobble,

And cold silver cups sweat with iced bourbon,

The moss sways in the gentle breeze, and the

Marble nymph’s bare breast is exposed to the

Tiny feet of a green lizard seeking

Dainty bites in this elegant Eden.

I drink the fruit of the poisonous tree,

Letting go of my grasp of the fact that

The many who said “Yes!” to their lives made

For millions a world of “No.” Their children’s

Children, whipped by talk of afternoon tea,

Live bemused by quaint news of jubilee.

I too am caught in this spell. Forgive me.

Allegra Jordan, (c)2016.

 

My Old Dock

Resilience, humility and all those

Other over-rated commodities­–

You can add compassion because that’s what

They bred in me. As I look at the property

Given back to the bank I feel the cold wind

Whip through the marsh grass. It startles a boar.

The tides are low and the mud’s pocked with tracks

Of unchurched creatures great and small. And who

Is to say I left no mark in the mud

Of hearts I touched when I bled money,

And being gutted, filled my husk with life.

Allegra Jordan (c) 2016.

 

Croak

I wish God did not respect my freedom

So much. God would keep me from grasping for

The delicious temptation of “I’m right.”

I feel like such a toad, blinkered in mud

when I bring debate to a dogma fight.

Allegra Jordan, (c) 2016.

 

Pascal’s Reed

High tide sparkles in over crab-tracked mud.

Warm sun and lavender skies embrace reeds

Soon to find their degrees of freedom cut

To a few inches from the top. Oh snap!

The thinking reed had just been pondering:

“Which am I? The crooked timber of Kant’s

Humanity or the glory of God being

I’m a being fully alive? It’s hard

To say when the tide conspires to test me

Beyond my limits. After all, no man

Is happy on the rack. Watery depths

Have mysteries unseen, only felt. I stand

Between mud and sky: at once in each world.

My love is the only bit at home in both.”

-Allegra Jordan, (c) 2016