Poems by J.R. Solonche




The Best Myths Are The Metamorphoses 

The best myths
are the metamorphoses,
the ones that change,
transform, shift
shapes from one ordinary
to one more strange,
from one mere mortally
to one there immortally,
from a door to a portal,
from a casement to a window,
from a wife to a widow,
from a spoon to a knife,
from a moon-faced lover
to the lover of the moon.


The Dreams Of The Gods 

Zeus dreams he’s impotent.
Hera dreams she’s single.
Hades dreams he’s heaven-sent.
Iris that she’s sitting still.

Athena dreams she’s a dumb blonde.
Ares that he beats his sword into a plowshare.
Nike dreams she finishes second.
Poseidon that he swims through air.

Apollo dreams he has stage fright.
Dionysus that he goes to AA.
Artemis dreams she slips out at night.
Hermes that he’s lost his way.

Hephaestus dreams that he’s all thumbs.
Aphrodite dreams she finally cums.


A Place In The Woods

My daughter bought a 1000-piece
jigsaw puzzle to keep her busy while
staying at home. It’s called A Place
in the Woods. (I consulted the Modern
Language Association style manual
for how to format the name of a jigsaw
puzzle, but they didn’t provide one,
so I did it in italics.) It’s very bucolic.
There’s a cottage by a stream, a wooden
bridge over the stream, a happy pair
of swans gliding down the stream,
a canoe on the bank, a family of deer
drinking from the stream, two cardinals
in a tree above the stream, a robin flying.
There are two Adirondack chairs, one green,
one red, a well for water or a wishing well
(which one is really impossible to tell)
and there are flowers, flowers, flowers,
flowers by the hundreds all over the place,
tulips, pansies, hyacinths, daffodils,
and lots whose names I do not know.
It must be springtime, or summer,
but there is also snow. Snow is everywhere.
And icicles. Can you believe it? Icicles.
Spring flowers, summer flowers, winter snow
and icicles. It’s Eden in every season but fall.
It’s Paradise before the Fall. It’s a puzzle.


Often I Wonder

Often I wonder what I would
have done had I been there.
Would I have tried to run
through the back of the house
or leaped out of a window
or hidden in the coal bin?
Would I have fought with them
and been killed right there on
the step of the front door, right
then in the middle of the night?
Would I have gone obediently
without a murmur? Later, at
the train, would I have grabbed
under an arm for a gun, hoping
to take at least one? Or later in
the cattle-wagon, would I have cut
open a vein in my wrist with the lens
of my glasses I would have broken?
Finally, in the camp, would I have
starved myself by giving my bread
to another man? I never wonder if
I would have lived. That would be a sin.


There Should Have Been Another Myth

A myth is missing.
There never were enough.
There has always been a space.
It has always been a chasm too wide to cross.
There has always been a burning question.
It has always burned the tongue.
There has always been the gaping gap between the hills.
It has always been impossible for the moon to fill.
A myth is missing.
It should have been.
It should have been meant to explain the future.
It should have been meant to explain the origin of failure.
It should have been meant to explain how fire begat desire.
A myth is missing.
There should have been one more.
There should have been one more behind the temple door.
Certainly a myth is missing.


About the Author

J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 400 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough  (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions), Enjoy Yourself (Serving House Books), Piano Music (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Serving House Books),  For All I Know (Kelsay Books), A Guide of the Perplexed (Serving House Books), The Moon Is the Capital of the World (Word Tech Communications), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.