“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” Henry David Thoreau , A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers


Generally we celebrate romantic love on Valentines Day.  Instead I choose to celebrate stalwart friendships with Ann Emerson’s serious but unutterably exquisite poetry.

  • This post is dedicated to my old poetry buddy, Ann Emerson, and celebrates her poetry and photography. Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Ann’s transition into the realms of Light.
  • It is for Mike P., a college friend of Ann’s who asked after her this morning.
  • It is for her husband, Dan.
  • It is for all the members of the support group to which Ann and I belong, a Group for people with life-threatening illnesses, and for our Buddhist Chaplin, Mick B., who gathered us together and was always there for us.  It is for those who have passed on ahead. Their seats at the roundtable may be empty, but the very thought of them still fills our hearts with joy. / J.D.


Sometimes I walk among the
orange maples standing in the dark
dead stream behind my house.  Then
it’s like remembering childhood,
the smell of dirt ground into hair.
Fifty years later; my tears are no different.
I do not twist words to discover meaning
the way I did not discuss my father
who kept me like a stolen animal
never given back. Shuffling about
among the copper leaves,
I turn around to view my kingdom:
a nine by twelve foot room with
inward-looking windows. Some
piano music of Ludovico Einaudi
and two old cats who trust in sloth
and play. And what kindness is left in me
and when to close this poem down.


In my fever, I can’t go without saying
that if given a little attention, I have something
more to share: that death is waiting for you
just a little walk ahead behind the house
you thought you’d never escape, a place
next door like the quietest place on earth.
Between the wall and the bed, a woman
cast in blue television light sits in Buddha
position: there is something inside her love
belonging to you that in your past was dead:
years of grass and air, and a stray horse ambling
in your direction with eyes squeezed tight
with sweetness.  And you will come alive like
another month of summer just as the blue
woman lifts your picture to her altar, even as
you are licked asleep by the long-haired mare
and the sunflowers turn away.


This is what I’ve come to know:
dark mornings, white books
on the bed splayed open like wings,
slippers on the floorboards,
affection for medicine, red wine.
I lost perspective months ago,
trying to read the fine print.
I sit by the window: this is life
still worth saving, rain in my eyes,
the glittering glass work of trees.

© 2012, photos and poems, Ann Emerson estate, All rights reserved







Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton


  1. Thank you, Jamie. Poignant poems. Beautiful images. Ann evokes the life and impending death that are so intertwined in ways that comfort me, as I age (mostly) in place. I’m grateful this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Jamie. Poignant poems. Beautiful. I’m caught (and held) in life and approaching death. Comfort found in Ann Emerson’s words, as I age, largely in place. I’m grateful this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Day of Friendship Love and Poetry.
    Dear Jamie Ji, What a pleasure to read these poems by Ann Emerson. ‘Winter’ ‘Fever and ‘Cats all expressing familiar sentiments, brought nostalgic memories of my malarial fever romance
    .’ O what shall I say of this fever of mine,
    in the morning it’s normal, in the evening, 99’
    Winter is here wearing a ‘white shawl’, sitting by the window, watching the rain or the glorious white flakes falling silently softly, warming the Earth, a pathetic fallacy of the season. Beautiful poetry
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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