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


Author's Note

Linda Marie Van Tassell

My Review

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Reviews

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 2 Years Ago


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

Posted 2 Years Ago


This poem is why I am so glad I found this place. Aside from classic poetry, (particularly the English Romantic period,) which I adore, I read lots of poetry on the net; but nowhere, do I find such devotion to the craft and pure accomplishment as I do here.

This, simply put, is poetry of the highest order.

Beccy.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Dear, sweet, Beccy. Thank you so much. Writers' Café is definitely a gift, as are you.
"I write that I might breathe in every line
to live long beyond the breath of pages,"

I'm going to do my best to keep fit, eat my leafy greens and, with any luck, become one of the first immortal humans.

Because...

"I am the lamplight of a dream-span spun"

...I'll never forget that.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you, Christoph. I am glad that you liked the poem. I appreciate your thoughts.
Linda, I read this yesterday and again today. I also studied the artwork and music. You deliver again on poetic class. It requires not only life experience, but a deep, solid of understanding of poetry to write a poem like this one.

I can’t comment on this poem without mentioning the artwork. Among the many elements noted, I found the woman’s hands in the ideal position (over her heart). And, her bowed head conveys the same sincerity and humility as your poem. I also noticed she’s grinning! At first glance, it seems to not fit the poem. But, as I thought about it, I found the harmony. As the narrator expresses in the poem, she’s not ashamed of anything she’s done. She owns it, and she’s saying to the “jury” her experiences, good and bad, made her, as if saying “I survived!” I believe this is further illustrated in her curly, gold hair, which pops out in the image.

As I finished the last reading, I thought the final line, keeping with the theme, might’ve been… “Members of the jury, I plead no-contest.” Perhaps that’s what you intended for the reader to discover. Another remarkably well-crafted poem with a lesson for all.


Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you, R.E. I actually couldn't believe my good fortune in finding this picture. I think it re.. read more
R.E. Ray

2 Years Ago

You’re welcome. Always a pleasure to read your work. (And, I noticed the bird, but failed to menti.. read more
Ohhhhh my....this is fabulous. It does seem like it is necessary to apologize for wanting and attempting to write something beautiful. Sure a handful understand, kindred hearts and emotive friends. But bring out the jury should we spill to much blood. I loved this!

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you so very much. I really appreciate your kind review.
you have a gift Linda ... i think "Members of the Jury" is compelling, beauty in words, a story ... we want our words to have permanence like grave markers will say we lived ... to all who are left behind .. i have no interest in being published (too lazy) but i have a notion to put poems i particularly like into a book for my children ... i am thinking leather bound ;) ... but alas .. i am lazy :( ... great job, Linda ... the whole thing flows with purpose and grace ... and straight forward honesty about writing and reading ... a delight to read :)
E.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you, E. I'm sure your children would cherish your words forever.
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JTD
This poem is top-drawer. It is deep and precise, painting a picture of one seeking
justice as the fate of her life is being decided by members of the jury. Nice.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you so much, JTD. Your visit means everything.
i firmly believe our faith is our poetry, and the poems our prayers...
we do life and we write about it...our religion...we confess hurt and anger and betrayal in our words...
the muse is our priest.
i agree with John on the rhyming and the imagery...some of the best.
j.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you, Jacob.
The word that emerges after reading this one a couple of times is "survivor." I get the feeling the speaker has come a journey, a good part of which was through valleys. There is no bitterness or self pity, however. Responsibility is accepted: "I painted the bridges; I burned the sky." Neither is there any resignation. Rather, as the last verse indicates, the albatross, or difficult times, has fallen, and a prayer bird is rising. In other words, spirituality has triumphed over adversity. This offering contains some of the best rhyming and most unique imagery I have seen in a long while on this site.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Linda Marie Van Tassell

2 Years Ago

Thank you, John. You interpreted everything correctly, and your last line makes me smile. :-)

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603 Views
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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

Author

Linda Marie Van Tassell
Linda Marie Van Tassell

VA



About
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..

Writing