J.K. McDowell

… or chance?

Imagining the silent violence of a

Poet’s dark passing.  To be struck, fractured pieces,

Shattered to less than letters; no words; no poems.


Did de Kooning like his sirloin with some pink?

A canvas painted and scraped, many times over.

Oh, the taste of a finely finally finished work.


Some say dreams are a message.  The key breaks in the

Lock.  You are no longer welcome home.  The slings and

Arrows of outrageous fortune are upon us.


Stay clear of me, I have lost any lightness of step.

Sheltered in place, dreams rest, untrammeled for now.

Where does our trust lie, in the misguided unseen?


Fingers glide over the rosary, prayers

Hover over the soul.  Thirty-three times three plus one.

Mary says He is not there.  James, tell us the truth.


There are different realities playing out there.

Pray tell, did we profit in the suffering of others

And press our advantage of privilege or chance?

… the crossing

The roads of empire take ever flowing forms,

As do their rise, fall and transformation.

The body of the Rubicon was Caesar’s crossing.


Ever tumbling decisions seem to block the path.

There is a confusion about where we are today.

The choice made long ago, now this is the crossing.


Alexander searches for the chains of Prometheus.

Everywhere else today is just Tuesday, yet

Fearless magpies challenge the eagle’s crossing.


Biases collude as the waters stretch beyond sight.

Future’s loss, a poem comes to mind as I

Study the photo from your Atlantic crossing.


The other maiden stolen by underworld demons.

What was her name, sounds like Aphasia?

Sometimes James cannot recall the word for crossing.


Before, after and in between, the times echo.

We need the edge of doom to remind us to hold

Close the ones we love.  These coins are for the crossing.

… true memorial?

What to read for a Friend who has passed into dust?

In any case, his audience – inescapable.

Turn to the attending of this one memorial.


We are the flesh and blood of soulful glances.

Grief and love are always entwined as we gaze

At the dust whirling in the wake of our memorial.


Thoughts are fractured and shattered to something

Less that letters, shallow breaths and the slightest signs

Of living.  Can we last till the memorial?


Sonnet 116 – you just cannot beat The Bard.

Wine suggests a few minor edits, best ignored.

A sober, sharp, heartfelt reading at the memorial.


Looped marimba, how steadfast your rings and chimes.

The bow draws across the gypsy cello as chords

March on and our grief follows in memorial.


Refugees of the future, is this your only hope? 

James, the workweek ending floods in homeless dreams.

Is the Abyss our one and true memorial?

J. K. McDowell is a poet, artist and mystic, an Ohioan expat living in Cajun country.  Always immersed in poetry, raised in Buckeye country by a mother who told of “Sam I Am,” “Danny Deaver” and Annabel Lee” and a father who quoted Shakespeare and Omar Khayyam. In the current century a deepened study of poetry has inspired a regular practice of writing poetry that blossomed into the works presented in the collection “Night, Mystery & Light” published by Homebound Publications.  Lately, mixing Lorca and Lovecraft, McDowell lives 20 miles north of the Gulf Coast with his soul mate who also happens to be his wife and their two beautiful companion parrots.