Members Of The Jury

Members Of The Jury

A Poem by Linda Marie Van Tassell

The only difference between a flower and a weed is judgement.


Members of the jury please be seated.
I am about to present a poem.
May it be received and oft repeated
among many others if you know them.
I neither weep nor sleep for flowers cast,

neither bow before the chantry of death.
I humbly submit the present and past,
the now that is bathed with fortunate breath.

I appear before you a sacrament,
a revenant born of beauty and pain,
a daily reminder and punishment
of that which has fallen when echoes remain.
A conversant belle in a sacred shell,
a fledgling born with wings of midnight sun,
a ponderous depth, a merciful swell,
I am the lamplight of a dream-span spun.

Members of the jury, both wise and brave,
there are no shadows in this wholesome release.
We all want heaven, and heaven we crave.
There can be no guilt in the arms of peace.
I place before you all the evidence:
the pillars of truth, the boulders of guile,
the washbowl of unstained deliverance,
the half moon gleaming in back of my smile.

My hands are silently decomposing
like petals fading in gardens of stone.
My eyes yet open are slowly closing,
loosen the teardrops and lashes of bone.
My words verboten are a requiem,
a surge of faith in an ice-bed of reeds,
a lover’s song in vaunt compendium,
a rosary of confessional beads.

Members of the jury, I acquiesce.
I painted the bridges; I burned the sky.
Perfectly human, I have no regrets.
Shredded remains are my only reply.
Let my words be enough to understand,
I dragged my fingers through layers of dust
as my heart was pulled through a desert land
erecting such treasures as hope and trust.

I write that I might breathe in every line
to live long beyond the breath of pages,
to linger on lips that rise above mine
with the sovereignty of golden ages.
Members of the jury, I gently close.
Judge as you will for it is your duty.
As an albatross fell, a songbird rose.
A prayer bird soars on wings of beauty.

© 2019 Linda Marie Van Tassell

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Author's Note

Linda Marie Van Tassell

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It been awhile...welcome back.

As thought-full as ever. Anything new?

Posted 3 Months Ago

I came to you because another poet recommended it, just clicked on the first poem, and damn! I'm sure I will enjoy your entire body of work. Though I will admit a tinge of jealousy in reading something so good.

Posted 7 Months Ago

Best poem I've read in quite a while. You will live long through poems like this.

Posted 11 Months Ago

Simply one word "WOW!" this is amazing, love the art work as well. nicely done

Posted 1 Year Ago

As usual your structure and rhyme scheme are lovely and show no sign of stricture and the flow of your conveyance bleeds thru so nicely:) As for me in relating these lines... no jury could ever be more harsh than the one tween my ears LOL! As a man of whom had no children that feeling of leaving a legacy in words is a strong one. I think it comes from the hearing of so many others, of whom have left the threads of existence in lines on paper and canvas whispers in notes, and within them a hidden plea of take this and don't just take this but wrap yourself in it and then make it fly further:) add voice to the myriad others and billow the sails of humanity! I can see no greater purpose than that dear songbird scribe Van Tassel:) please keep singing... its a lovely tune

Posted 1 Year Ago

Stunning work. Just that!

Posted 1 Year Ago

I really like your poem. The honesty you put into it is so strong and so real.
Thank you.
Take care - Dave

Posted 1 Year Ago

A lifetime’s journey through the different hills and valleys teaches us many things. Chief among them is the discovery that we are acceptable and admirable as we were created and that there is not shame in our past, but rather a necessary journey.

I like the message here of refusing to look back with regret, but rather choosing to see the beauty in what has made you who you are. We all have a choice in how we see ourselves, and even though sometimes it’s easy to forget that, it is good to return to the place where we see the light dusting experience with grace.

I suppose when we choose to share ourselves in this way, there is, in a sense, a jury of judgment that will evolve over time. But, this poem tells me it matters less what that jury thinks than what we think of ourselves. And that we can, in some ways, be masters of our fate.

It’s beautifully painted. Delicate at points but also strong in discernment and decision. A lovely mix of ethereal and corporeal points of reference.

Posted 1 Year Ago

I enjoy the painting you carved here. I enjoyed this piece.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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18 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on November 15, 2019
Last Updated on November 15, 2019
Tags: Members Of The Jury, Linda Marie Van Tassell, Judgement, Life, Reward, Freedom


Linda Marie Van Tassell
Linda Marie Van Tassell


Poetry has been my passion since I was about fifteen years old, and I love the structure of rhyme and meter moreso than just randomly throwing words upon a page without any form whatsoever. Whi.. more..


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