Joanna Conom… The Cigar Box


The Cigar Box

that he bragged held enough of thing
to take him around the world twice
was found years later under his bed
in it the expired able bodied seaman
identification box checked cook
a picture of a small boy in shorts
holding the hand of his mother
who bought him a hot cinnamon roll
to eat on the bus trip home
from their weekly trip to market
a small card with an icon of
the virgin mary on one side
the 23rd psalm on the other
birth and death dates of his father
whose face he had a difficult time
putting into memory
four glass marbles of various color
a slingshot carved of bone
another picture well handled
of a young man in shorts wavy hair thick
grinning each arm around a south sea
island woman with belly ready to birth
a glossy of another bride
standing at the altar dressed with
a huge smile and yards of white satin
a dried red rose from her casket
documents showing baby names tiny footprints
a mugshot of indeterminate alleged crime
from unknown place assorted coins
clippings from newspapers
announcing the death of old friends relatives
an origami ring made with a dollar bill
union book local 8 miscellaneous cards
all fit into the cigar box cheap pine
worn shiny by touch and travel
and life in times forgotten

Copyright © 2017 by Joanna Conom



Joanna Conom… Salish Sea


Salish sea

crusted with black glass
speckled with color
of distant running lights
tonight cracks only
to accept their burden
easy going appendage
of the world wet
reacts to insults of earth or sky
so rarely gently
it gives no hint
of changing season
or reason it does
not warm or long caress
human flesh
will cool a person
fast back to its maker
as fast in july as
on a merry christmas
a cold and quiet sea
my home

Copyright © 2017 by Joanna Conom



Joanna Conom… How I Finally Learned to Make Fruit Salad


How I Finally Learned to Make Fruit Salad

children of the victors have heroes and flags but no tales

children of the victims hold the memories in hearts and stories

in the christian genocide which was not so named a man could watch

his children tied limb by limb to four horses while dismembered or

tossed in the air and shot the women used in all ways not be returned

men did and were done to with what they did in war

my grandfather told me these stories even as I covered my ears

houses burned while owners escaped then disappeared anyway

all they retained was misery suspicion grief and story no one wanted to hear

all the shiny things were kept by the victors to be digested by sunny children

who heard only fairy tales of things past victors who seemed

when I first met one to be of oddly good cheer a friendly generous soul

who had never heard of genocide in school had lots of

friends at his table spread thick with foods I had never tasted

and could not help myself we all stuffed ourselves with

the forbidden talk and food and music of childhood tales

all night I could not sleep wondering how I had eaten

the food of others memories without poisoning

from such indulgence so I called the next day begging for recipes

to be prepared with a big dash of story and small sprinkle of guilt


Copyright © 2015 by Joanna Conom






Joanna Conom… Everything is Lovely


Everything is Lovely

the gone dream
the essence ran
out the right eye
slow but constant
loosing sharp edges
quality of light
flat yellow california
blinding at 4:00 pm
the children that are not
gather to chop vegetables
for slumglion guaranteed
to spread and destroy
seasonal malaise beginning
with the erection of
the tin christmas tree
sparkling with aqua lights
was that a dream
and under it the icon
that was a gift
for the last lost baby
deep lapis of
the wondering eye
and value undetermined
until it was lost
everything disappears
of course she did not
last long just dream
ending in blood
looking out at infinite
sky the favorite fuschia
silk blouse sunset
neatly packed somewhere
should have been burned
what happens to the
lost loved soul
does it ascend
as wish hanging on lost
balloons or spread into
fine morning mist
noticeable only to eyes
brightened by a glimpse
into the abyss
the whole world can exist
in a drop of water clinging
to a green thing
hungering life what was
there is nothing to hang onto
but everything and
everything is lovely
with a check of
angle and filter
of the eye

everything is lovely

will always be


Joanna Conom was born into the gray mist of Seattle and continues to reside there. Poetry was a love of her young life that was lost in the fog of adulthood. Three years ago during an acupuncture treatment Dr. Wu inserted needles in the top of her head which freed her trapped poems. She has been writing ever since.

Copyright © 2015 by Joanna Conom