Poetry at the Post: Doors, Dorset & Oaxaca

The Wind at the Door

I went to door; an’ out vrom trees above
My head, upon the blast by me,

Sweet blossoms wer a-cast by me,
As if my Love, a-past by me,
Did fling em down—a token ov her love.

From the series
From the series “doors of Oaxaca” by AC Jennings

William Barnes (22 February 1801 – 7 October 1886) was an English writer, poet, and philologist. Despite having a busy life as a clerk, a schoolmaster, a pastor—and tutor to Thomas Hardy, he managed to compose over 800 poems plus a comprehensive English grammar.

Barnes was known as a strong supporter of the Dorset dialect and used this dialect in some of his own works.You can download the complete Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect by William Barnes here. How cool is that?

William Barnes, poet
William Barnes, poet
“Whitcombe – parish church of lost dedication – geograph.org.uk – 533554” by Chris Downer. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Poetry at the Post: Finding Salmon in El Centro


It’s Day 17 of NAPOWRIMO and today’s prompt is to try to write a “social media”-style poem. We were to raid FB, Twitter and blah blah blah. I started with a line from a FB post but then found inspiration reading Octavio Paz.

Finding Salmon in El Centro by Alice-Catherine Jennings

We are in the city without
four rivers, larger than three
yards square, but not endless
like a galaxy. Salmon swim

in the waters of time. We await
their arrival in streets, busses
taxis, pigeon coops, and catacombs,
in the fish markets near Merced,

where time ceases to flow
and so do the four rivers


Poetry at the Post, Day 4: Dante’s Inferno

May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014
May 26, 2014

This morning I picked up Mary Jo Bang’s contemporary version of Dante’s Inferno and took it to the post. I let the wind select the passage.

I ended up on page 74, deep in mud and in the 5th level of hell. This is place reserved for those who lived sullen or angry lives.

I was standing there staring
At a swamp of naked people covered in mud,
All of whom looked as if they were furious.

What I love about Dante is that he reels me into this fantastic journey down into the depths of hell but I end up in the innards of my own life—and how I live it. I must admit. I struggle with anger. Fortunately, there are ways put it aside. For me, it is with yoga.

So, today I give thanks for The Well and Prana Yoga. If you find yourself in Marfa, Texas or Oaxaca, Mexico, check them out. They are both very special places.



*We’ll be will be reading Dante’s Purgatorio in the virtual literary salon. Date: TBD. Visit the The Global Reading Group tab more more information. Anyone have a favorite translation?