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   Jacket 34 — October 2007        link Jacket 34 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

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D.G. Jones

Six poems:

The Sod House Crumbles
I Annihilate
Listen up, now, Longinus
War and Peace
Made in New Brunswick
Sing a Long Little Snow

This piece is about 5 printed pages long.
It is copyright © D.G. Jones and Jacket magazine 2007.

The Sod House Crumbles

The sod house crumbles
and the grass hut rots, the igloo
melting in the sun

gives up the ghost

and I rejoice
wading through the dead grass
to come upon a skeleton

of weathered stones

I am relieved
that no house lasts

But I am glad
that this house stands
and in the snow

preserves the order of green plants
your hands sleeping now
let go

that it protects
an extra season dried
roadside flowers

and for a week or so
this one green sprout
and fist of petals breathing


Tomorrow, next year, let the sun
fall like a hammer
among stones

I Annihilate

I annihilate the purple finch
In the apple tree

it is a winter dawn

it is “La Guerre” Henri Rousseau
saw charging through the shattered space
of the Second Empire

it is a faint
in the silent cosmos

c’est une tache
sur la page blanche

un cauchemar en rose

c’est le Québec

a bird

c’est ça
un oiseau dans un pommier

it may fly off
but it won’t go away

I neglected to mention the snow

Listen up, now, Longinus

For Maria

It was something about putting
your dress on the line

what it did in the breeze
to dry
                    the morning

it had to do with the earth
fire, air, and water

sex, I suppose

all the heavy stuff poetry’s made of fluttering there
near the rooftops
à la dérobée

                                   typing, “Hi!”
typing “Hey, just saw myself fly
past the kitchen window”

notes on the sublime, in haste
between spaces

pica by pica, fingers and toes
partitioning morning

War and Peace


the day shut down like Napoleon
at Moscow

a day for art

the marvel of flight and of stillness
commotion and silence: the medieval
Japanese paintings of war

the warriors
                              birds, arrows, the armour
slatted, just like the feathers–all
flying with horses, what not, the pigments
over the centuries

lightly and deadly and pretty

nothing like it–well
maybe Dufy
the horses, jockeys, ladies with parasols

oh, the races in summer

oh, the summer in winter, the war
in art

Made in New Brunswick

chimes from the raw air rinse
a kind of music
                                        as hard times
or war
wring from the unspeakable miracles and
stories like tears

                                        it helps like
whistling in the dark or
crossing the Kwai

                                        or the old
music of the spheres

mere string and brass, sounding
the wind
                              rain or snow

it is craft and chance in a wrangle, the yes
rhyming the no

Sing a Long Little Snow

ario davi diverchi
like atque
between ave and vale
                                        the profound
and the patter

the days

the days and the weather

verchi saslaris and lightly

neve e mente

and candid, candido e lente

ario, ario, ario
the treble in branches
and davi the ground
diverchi in medias res

D.G. Jones

D.G. Jones

D.G. Jones is one of Canada’s major living poets. He was born in Bancroft, Ontario in 1929 but has lived most of his life in Quebec. He taught English literature at Bishop’s University and the Université de Sherbrooke. In 1969, Jones co-founded the bilingual literary journal Ellipse. His 1978 collection, Under the Thunder the Flowers Light up the Earth, received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. His translation of Normand de Bellefeuille’s Categorics One, Two and Three received the 1993 Governor General’s Award for Translation. He has twice received the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, for Balthazar and Other Poems (1988) and The Floating Garden (1995). He currently lives and writes in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

Acknowledgments: “The Sod House Crumbles”, “I Annihilate”. From Under the Thunder the Flowers Light up the Earth (Coach House Press, 1977). “Listen up, now, Longinus”. From Wild Asterisks in Cloud (Empyreal Press, 1997). “War and Peace”. From poetry pamphlet. Standard pose (above/ground, 2002). “Made in New Brunswick”. From Grounding Sight (Empyreal Press, 1999). “Sing a Long Little Snow”. Previously printed in Vallum: Contemporary Poetry (Vol. 1. No. 2)

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