Amy Jackson

Writings 2016

Hope for Him

There was this guy
One night at the mailbox
With young dreads and a kind face
But he asked for a number on our dead-end street
That didn’t exist, which was odd
So there were no directions
To give him and he was lost in space
As it were, with his innocuous backpack
And face, such an innocent face it seemed,
With so many shadows just under the surface.

I remember thinking at the time, so young for
So many shadows.

That was in the Summer and now it’s January.
January fifth and it was so many days ago now.
And still I’m afraid to walk that very walk
Down to the mailbox
Even in daylight.
For what if his ghost is there?

Now who knows who it was really now?
The man they found on the lawn on our street
At one am January second
Shot dead by five rounds
Everyone heard and called the police
No one heard a car
Twenty year old African American male.

No one recognized him in the neighborhood.
And all I can think of is that guy.
Four months ago.

And walking to the mailbox is
Well even looking out the farmhouse window
Is a changed thing

For death has come to us in a violent way

And we know not how
Conjectures abound

Peace and safety?
They are relative
And of the mind as well
As of the ground
I’m finding to my dismay
Each day where the Sun comes to see
Where death came and left its mark

I can only pray for the soul of the young man
I saw that day
And hope one day to see him again
That the shadows underneath the surface of his skin
Did not ultimately come haunting him

That there is mercy
Hope for him

Amy Jackson

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Zen Riddle


I can't feel the strength
of my bones
I've never broken a bone
Though I've had eight surgeries
How I crave the hardness
of my teeth with my tongue,
soft lady that I am.
How I long to crack them
against each other,
break them in anger.

The inevitability of age
for the young girls I see.
I shake my head.
Death comes to us all,
but at 51 I cannot say
that to the young,
so I just smile.
Today the sunshine
is glorious all around.
But we know the forecast today:

Tomorrow it will rain in torrents all day long

But in today’s Sun we cannot see
a trace of tomorrow’s


No more can we as we
trudge forth in the
midst of the harrowing storm

remember the rays of  the Sun
upon our skin
glistening on a sandy beach?

Somehow in the midst of
chronic pain remember
no pain and find distance from it?
Finding our center in the
midst of terrible death and negativity
Only to remember our
greatest blessings and change our
perspective back to the positive
and the whole oneness of things?

So it is with extremes,
to strive to find the balance
in the light and the darkness,
the peace practice of
conscious life and breath.
It takes work to solve the Zen riddle.


Amy Jackson

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With so very much indifference
Will the world generally greet you
Outside your home town
And maybe just the same within

You nonetheless are bound to hold
Your head up in some sort of way
Indicating hope
Nothing less than sheer determination
Steer the course 
As well you should

Being a human as you are
You feel like light filling the sun
of the new day as you walk
the fresh street and you
want to smile at each and
every passer by 

Willy nilly

For this you have created
Smiles and laughter

Remember now the laughing
school girls in Africa
who could not stop?
And how this became
contagious as laughter rang
from village to village?

Imagine then how you
greet the daily indifferences
of the world …

The red light
Waiting in line
Taking a number
Being put on hold
Someone refusing to 
Look you in the eye
Refusing to smile
To acknowledge your
Humanity with the slightest 
Nod of the head

Not to be obtuse

Not to be all small town and 
It takes a village


We are all walkers on this
This is one neighborhood

Why not nod?
Why not try smiling and
Making eye contact in a
Low key pleasant hey human
Being kind of way

Pass the peace
Hey, pass it on

Cool, yeah.

Keep smiling, the Sun is
brighter than we know.


Amy Jackson

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