38 | Poetry by Alison Jennings, Pushcart Prize Nominee
Messages from UFOs
Warnings come too late: Marley’s ghost’s a no-show;
soothsayers sink beneath their wisdom like a stone.
We blunder on blindfolded,
worshipping clock-bound household deities
at altars of daily progress, ignoring what is
doggedly chasing us, answers in its open hand.
In the wounded spaces where we cower, undiscovered
voices, like Dickensian orphans, clamor for attention.
Traverse this lonely territory, locate desperate places
where borders are crossed, and there’s no going back.
Just look to the heavens:
striated azure bands, pockmarking the dark
like pinpricks, suspended in an elliptical collage.
Multiple revelations are dropping down
from on high, condensed into a few signs.
Write everything down.
There’s no mention of a blood-dimmed tide,
or the moon running out of time; no name
for this impossible occurrence. It doesn’t matter—
the moment’s tiny and cheerful. Ink it all in.
The Truth Is Out There (Alien Abduction)
What you’ve done
lit out for the territory—
moments of liftoff
without boarding a plane,
locked in metaphor,
unbelievable as a UFO,
but not a lie.
Through a telescope,
you let us see
a minor miracle
a soundtrack we can’t mute;
a watchful presence
of a strange
into the limitless deep.
(thanks to William Todd Schultz)
Hovering hypersonically through layers of wind-driven clouds,
a spheroidal shape paints a chiaroscuro of light and shadow,
evoking either alarm or excitation. Rain floats atop a darkened
sky, as the flashing object obscures daylight, reminding us
of unreal aspects of ordinary lives. Can we believe our eyes?
Across the horizon, the moving mass accelerates and expands,
‘til the dimming of the day shrouds it from sight, as an emerging
night of sparkling stardust silences fear with unearthly wonder.
Editor’s Note: Recently, Alison and the other twelve members of the Poets Thirteen were nominated for the Pushcart Prize by this publishing house for their renku, “Quantum Entanglement,” which appeared in the debut issue of The Lotus Tree Literary Review.