A Mirrror, A Window, A Door

A mirror holds
Your gaze
With alien hands
As you try
To reach through
And touch who
You thought you
Might be

A window puffs
Some life
A suburban bellows
As you strain
To breathe air
And see where
You may fare
Be free

A door creaks
An invitation
In dulcimer tones
As you step
On the road
Lay down a load
And just go
To see


Reflections On Things That Do Not Exist

Refelctions ofThirteen (13) has ever been an ill number, and I feel sick in the pit of my stomach, in the depths of my soul, on this the 13th anniversary of the 2001, 9/11 terror attacks. Those Satanic attacks wreaked havoc on The World Trade Center, The Pentagon, the US economy and most importantly took the lives of more than 3,000 of our fellow citizens and foreign workers, and terrorized the larger numbers of their extended families. The martyred US citizens and foreign workers, came from every walk of life, truly representing the multicultural “melting pot” that is the United States of America. 9/11/01 changed everything and ushered us into a truly apocalyptic era; we are no longer post-modern or even post-ironic, we are post-everything…and we do post everything. We post it here, on the web. Here then is my post, in memoriam.

On 9/11/01, I arrived at my relatively new desk at WebEx, Sacramento, (now Cisco Systems) at 6 AM PST, to begin remotely calling on my sales territory…to begin calling on The World Trade Center. I was specifically chosen for a tough, New York sales slot, because I was, and am, a “big mouth”. I was brash and brazen in the interview process with my superiors at WebEx, and they correctly pegged me to sell web conferencing to similarly, loud, no-bullshit New Yorkers. I was honored! I was finally selling at a level that merited my first six-figure salary! My superiors were proven correct, as I maintained a 102% of quota figure for the year leading up to the attacks. That ill morning, as I stirred my coffee and muddled around, while firing up my 2nd PC, a co-worker, with another “early” and East Coast territory, emailed me something like this: “Hey Jenkins, a good reason to call into your territory?…attached was the earliest AP news report, indicating that “It appeared that a small plane has crashed into the side of the North Tower of The World Trade Center” The time stamp on the story indicated 9:04 AM EST, but we would later learn the first plane hit at 8:46 AM EST. I was nonplussed. I couldn’t imagine what kind of inane pilot was flying so low in the City. I quickly scanned web radio and found continually updated news reports. Almost immediately came the report of a second plane hitting the South Tower, and I knew our country was under attack. A small crowd of reps had gathered around my cube, and those of my neighbors, as more people became aware of the breaking news. We listened in horror, and then saw the first pictures of the damage from the planes. (I have included a link to a 10th anniversary pictorial story by The Atlantic at the bottom of this post) We were all dismayed, and all work came to a halt, as we began to pray and consider what was happening in and to our country.

We were not content to take our reports from the web, so a large contingency of us left the office, crossed the street and entered the lobby of a Marriott Residence Inn, where there was a TV in the lobby. The buildings were already on fire and great plumes of black smoke-filled the morning, New York air, darkening the skyline. I stood in rapt attention, in deep and unsettled prayer, and something like dismayed awe as we watched first the South, then the North Towers fall. I remember that I began to cry, finally, as I watched the South Tower slink down. In my memory, it simply gave up, rather than exploded, and it seemed to never stop descending down, down, down, in it’s sinewy death.

I cried because people I had video-conferenced with and sold software to were dying in those moments. I cried because I was unsure how much of a sustained attack our country was withstanding. I cried because I knew with prophetic certainty that the entire world was changing in those very moments. I cried as I preemptively mourned the lost naiveté our country was surrendering, along with security, along with the age of American Empire. We were losing all of this in the City of Empire! We lost it in a moment. And surely we had lost Empire in countless moments leading up to that one. We lost Empire when the hippies and gurus hit the scene in the 60’s, we lost it when Roe v. Wade declared an open season on unborn Americans,
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My Heart and My Bones – (Tragic Comedy)

As I age
I sense the hands of time
Touch my heart in the secret place
Which is bigger than I knew
Or even guessed existed in me

Quiet sadness abounds
Yet it is harder for me to cry
Still I don’t have to try
When something hits that sweet spot
That is glad to live in some pain

I am becoming sentimental,
But I sell out to the process…
In my heart
Learning to enjoy life’s ebb and flow

As I age
I feel the hands of time
Touch my bones and stiffen them
Though not so stiff I can’t laugh
At and with myself

Doubled over, belly aching hilarity
Drawing unbidden, humorous tears from me
Not from the humerus (which isn’t really funny)
But from bones I’ve chewed through
Which now tickle my gut

I am a laughing lunatic,
But I sell out to the process…
In my bones
Learning to enjoy life’s ebb and flow

Jeff Jenkins (on the occasion of my 46th birthday)


Severity – A Pantoum

It was a lean time, which made us more severe
Robed in blacks and grays, against sharp, icicle air
We came to the street, where our eyes, and our hands met
Near the courts, where the girls were, cold iron on skin

Robed in blacks and grays, against sharp, icicle air
We rendered a judgement, for the best, for every one of us
Near the courts, where the girls were, cold iron on skin
Witches we named them, then turned our backs, praying

We rendered a judgement, for the best, for every one of us
The heat of the fires, chased the chill, slushing snow
Witches we named them, then turned our backs, praying
It was a lean time, which made us more severe

-Jeff Jenkins
“For all my witchy friends…”
Witch Hunt by Rush. http://shz.am/t400278

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Communion

White, unleavened bread
Is light on the tongue
Is simple and clean
Unfettered by too much taste
So that I may taste and feel and enjoy
The one thing it represents
Pure, simple, broken
Single bite, single focus
Abundantly filling the stomach of the soul

Purple, wet, yield of the grape
Is rich on the tongue
Is flavorful and tart
Wallowing in its own complexity and depth
So that I may taste and feel and enjoy
The many things it represents
Beauty, invitation, love
Single swallow of a million ideals
Nourishing my sense of the potential of life

A simple bite, a swirling swallow
A simple path of life
A richer understanding of God

Jeff Jenkins


A Cute Boy; A Dead Girl

She and He and I and We

Exist as multiplicities

We two are one and less than love

But lovely is as deadly does

We are them that perhaps won’t

But maybe do, or maybe don’t

And blood is very definite

Friend

She lies to you, you lay with me

We kiss in a library

Where braver hearts have lived to dare

The stacks are groaning, breathing air

Muted whispers, crying boys

Faeires float above the noise

Of a vague blowjob

Shhhh!

Thee and thou

You’re guessing now

Whose best and book

Whose book and friend

And will you love me ‘til the end

But we’re already dead

We dangled first, and then we fled

Extinct

Leaves and hand and hand in glove

We steal away, with God above

Through lifeless lips, incanted spells

Though dead, we learn life lessons well

She and I and all of you

Know exactly what to do

Love

 

Jeff Jenkins

Special thanks to @darylsleepshere for use of the phrase “vague blowjob,” taken from his original tweet.


A Conflagration in Church One Day

(as experienced by Jeff Jenkins, at Sunrise Baptist Church while listening to the NABC Choristers sing, “Fire!”, a movement from a Cantata called, “Day of Pentecost” by Leland Sateren)

The choir chirps, whispers, giggles, groans and utters phrases in gibberish. The noise of many voices crescendos in this manner until the whole choir stops abruptly, and screams in unison, “FIRE!”

A lone, pure note is sung and I am swept from the church I have been sitting in. I think I still hear the choir singing in the church, but it is distant and replaced by a new sound. I have been caught up in a vision, and I “hear” a perfectly pure sound. I “hear” this song with my spirit, which is now standing before four, gigantic, circular rings of fire. The fire is alive, or there is something living in it. The fire and the life in it move in a clockwise circle around its diameter. The fire is best described as rainbow colored lightning, constantly changing hue as the power coruscates around and through the circles. The color is undergirded by shades of blue and hot white. I have the impression that there are many eyes in the fire. I see glimpses of wings and torches flying back and forth around the circular fires, like some wild, supernatural, flaming juggling act.

The second portion of the vision begins, (there is a distinct change in my awareness) and I see long, slender, elegant tongues of fire in and around the four larger circles. The tongues look more like natural fire, orange, yellow and red. The flames are in the shape of elongated letter S’s that are pointing at me. I am aware that the tongues are singing as they lap up supernatural air, looking like slow, powerful, graceful, snapping whips.

I am humbled. I am enraptured. I realize I am beholding the presence of the most glorious Being in existence. I have been somewhere near the throne of God, Himself, although I believe I have not gazed on Him directly. My soul is completely at peace, completely in love, completely vulnerable as I worship effortlessly, with a total abandon. Every fiber of my being yields to the presence of the Holy One, and the display of His glory.

I regain my conscious awareness of the church, opening my eyes. I am crying silent, hot, wet tears of joy and fulfillment. The choir is on their last note, and I see the tongues of fire still curling around them and around the front of the church. Quietly, through tears, I tell the little, old woman seated next to me, “That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” She smiles and nods, aware that I have been moved, but unaware of exactly how undone I am.

After the service, I meet choir members in the foyer, crying, thanking them, as though they bestowed the vision. I make my way to my motorcycle in the parking lot where I lean and cry for at least ten minutes. I can barely see or stand. The Living God has touched me and I am utterly undone. I make my way home, contemplating what has happened to me.

I have never experienced anything like it since.