Sunday, June 30, 2013

Into Darkness


In darkness I struggle,
gasping for air,
a soul awake
and fully aware.

Longing for freedom
from a life repressed,
full of purpose and meaning,
of a will expressed.

Devoid of illusions,
of meaningless sound,
I imagine the possibilities
of a life unbound.

Then into the darkness
there comes a light,
obscuring the madness
from my sight.

And with day's dawn
new hopes emerge,
at the intersection
where dreams converge.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Flower Bud in Snow

A delicate young bud
longing for warmth
in the depths of an early Spring snow

She shivers and clings
to the promise of Spring
when gentle rains will help her grow

Bathed in sunlight
firmly rooted in soil
a wondrous flower will appear

A proof of life
and strength of will
a sign that Spring is almost here

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Photo by Jen Mandell © 2013. All Rights Reserved.


A world out of rhythm
a world without rhyme
life without purpose
lost in vacuous time

Grasping for footing
while fleeing the past
searching for meaning
in things that don’t last

A stormy darkness reveals
a soul left behind
struggling for answers
the soul cannot find

Yet out of the darkness
a light does emerge
from that deep inner space
where dreams converge

Lending their strength
before fading away
bending to the will
of another new day

© 2013 Jennifer Mandell. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Broken Branch In Winter

In a silent moment’s calm
on a still and somber night
I hear a distant call
a beacon shinning bright

Illuminations of a path
of purpose without doubt
A mind that stands strong
never wavering about

A soul that understands
this weak and lonely life
a broken branch in winter
encircling a world of strife

A life of mere illusion
loudness without sound
a constant stream of motion
left frozen amid the crowd

We are never really one
our paths divergent things
Each on separate journeys
in search of separate springs

Yet in those stormy moments
we reach out and cling on
searching for that solace
that delivers us to dawn

In the chaos of the moment
this heart still beats strong
a broken branch in winter
waiting for spring to come along.

© 2013  Jennifer Mandell.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Dog and a Bush

         We once had a bush by our back door. It seemed much in need of a trim. I had never owned (or even used) a pair of loppers before and, so, became a little drunk with my new found lopping power.  My boyfriend asked me to stop…then pleaded, then insisted, then finally just walked away. It was not long before the bush became a stump and then the stump became an impaling stick. Since it was so close to the doorway, the impaling stick seemed like a real liability.  A heavy-duty truck had to be employed to remove this sharp little nubby because, apparently, mighty bush roots grow deep and wide.  To his credit, my boyfriend remained with me in spite of the bush episode and hundreds of other moments just like it.

      I was reminded of the bush incident tonight, as I continued to trudge through a basement filled with boxes upon boxes of old records, fully equipped with my trusted black Sharpie.  Even though our new fire-pit arrives via fed-ex tomorrow and my boyfriend has begged me not to waste time “redacting” personal and financial information from the paper scraps that are intended to be tinder, here I am at 12:00am with marker in hand and going strong until, finally, my “redacting” project is done.

       Cognizant of all of this as I scratch out my personal data with a vengeance, I ask myself why I do these things.  Lop, lop, lop with the loppers.  Scratch, scratch, scratch with the marker.  Then, as if in response to these questions, I came across an old credit card bill.  It is strange just how much going through old boxes of papers in your basement can be like an archaeological dig at the site of some long-lost civilization and how an old credit card bill can tell quite a story — short, simple, and blunt.

      March 7, vet visit (dog has scratched his eyeball and it is now infected), $315.  March 9, vet visit (dog is having adverse reaction to eyeball medication), $298.  March 13, emergency vet clinic (2:27 am, dog manages to get small object lodged in his nose and starts making a horrible choking sound), $267.  March 14, follow-up care with regular vet (new medication regime is prescribed requiring hourly dosing), $99.  March 15-17, vet care plus boarding (because, dear mother of God, I have a trial in 2 days to prepare for and I just can’t keep driving to the vets every other hour), $197.  March 18, Giant Food Store for wine and cheese (trial is over, client's custody case has been dismissed because she did not show up for court for the third time in a row, and client has left voice mail message emphatically stating that she will not be paying her legal bill), $37.92.  March 19 (at approximately 1:58 pm), beloved dog decides to dine on a tarp, requiring yet another visit to the vet's office (tarp removal), $212.87.  March 19 (3:05pm, while dog waits in car), ABC store charge for Jose Cuervo and a bottle of lime juice, $38.95.
      Suddenly, the reasons why moments like the bush lopping and the paper mark-ups occur seem very clear and simple to me.  Lop, lop, lop.  Scratch, scratch, scratch.  Drink, drink, drink.  And people ask me why I don’t have children.

© 2013  Jennifer Mandell.  All rights reserved.