Original Poetry / Poetry

Bloom Creative Writing: Poetry by Jane Barnes

With this selection of two poems by Jane Barnes, we continue our series of original fiction or poetry by writers who either published their first book at 40 or after, or who have yet to publish a book. Writers interested in submitting work should see our guidelines.

O CHILDREN

O children I forgot to have you
Didn’t want to be a bad parent
Like they who always said they’d


Get their revenge when I had you
But I fooled them didn’t I? O
Children we would have had some


Fun your mommy took 45 years to
Grow up she’s almost ready to start
To write O children go back. The


Genetic terrain is rather steep
And I’ve raised you others up
Fine without bodies and when you


Sang I set you here some left
Made their fortunes but you were
dying to live in the house of a book

Artwork by Anne Abrams

BACK DOOR, CAMBRIDGE, 1996

I sit at the back door, my hand
making a shadow on the page,
the maple is chartreuse now
this first cool night and gold


slants from the west like a
sword guarding the flame
summer softens a man strolls
home a girl runs to her lesson


soon I’ll go to my green counter
tomatoes, basil in hand from the
garden. The sun shuts down,
the cat chews on a weed, the


last roses bud, everyone off
somewhere, you in the living room
playing Chopin under an oil of
“Woman Playing Her grand piano.”

Artwork by Anne Abrams

Jane Barnes’ work has appeared in over 50 publications, including Harvard Magazine, Ploughshares, and the Massachusetts Review. Her most recent work was published in Wrongdoing Magazine and the Gay & Lesbian Review. Jane lives in New York, NY, where she taught as an adjunct professor at Medgar Evers College, City College, and NYU.

One thought on “Bloom Creative Writing: Poetry by Jane Barnes

  1. To bring children into a world that I thought so horrible at 18 seemed criminal at 18. So I chose not to in the late 50s.
    And it’s even darker and more bloody. One grows the garden, stands for the light and keeps resisting the evil. Both poems touch on places many are digging in for the coming battles.

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