necessary whispers

observe. connect. make new.


September 2016

Hush, My Dear.


Quiet now

You half of a whole

Who in being seen

Meets your goal

And being touched—

Like a violin—

Strikes a chord

Dissonant but

Silent still.



Hush my dear

Let it trickle down

From eyes

Mixed with brown

And a shade of

Wisdom not profound

As much as weak

With a penchant

For not sticking around.



There was a word

I longed to hear

Tied to the back

Of your throat—

Loosened by

Bubbles in a beer

Or stinging swirls

Inhaled between

Being okay and

Shrugging in fear.



So now is now

Or, at least no more then,

Moments away from


Years from yesterday

But stuck in a pondering

Swimming in a wondering

Of drowning letters

Detached and suffocating

Signed with your name.



But still, you say nothing.



Presently, a sentence forming—

Then, conceived as a question

Now, shaped as a warning—

Spray painting the sides

Of my mouth

Colors brilliant but

They taste like doubt

Still, let the cans be emptied

And the sentence come out

Arrayed in vibrant display

Like a vomiting spout.



“I give no credence

to what they thought—

the ones whose judgment

was tied like a knot

at the center of you

and I

and the time that went by

in silence and

steam pouring out from

the sides of my ears

like a cartoon whose head

might explode.”



Sorry to unload.

Oops. No, I’m not.



“Rolling inside my tongue

are the anchors of love

and I promise

they were enough

to keep us grounded

instead you jumped out

and drowned in the

waves of ‘goodbye and

I would try but my courage

spilled out’

like oil contaminating, suffocating

innocent ducks and

the part of my heart

that gave a fuck.”



Your visage complex

Shaded with light

Contoured in darkness—

Three dimensions of

Your one-dimensional lack—

Rises from the back

Screams to the front

Where you speak

Like Big Brother

Thirsty for blood

And for the hunt.



The projector is filled

With your face—

My god,

What a waste—

And the taste of regret

Pushes behind my lips

Clenched with force

Like fists

And you tell me,

Almost fell me,

With the words

That are signed with your name

Now composed

In the quiver and taking aim,

“You are to blame.”

Hit me in my chest—

Where you used to

Lay your breast—

And watch me resist

The temptation to fall,

“I will wear the blame

like a badge of atonement,

like an arrow doused in flames,

but there is one thing

I cannot do—

could never agree to—

this badge will never

undo the truth

you know is true,

I will stand here for them

clench my teeth for them

look like the monster for them

but the weight of the guilt

will reside


of you.”



Be quiet now

And I will too.



There was a time

When the rhymes

Hidden in these unformed words beat

Like a drummer on repeat

Syncopation rattled me

And all I never said

And the dread

Defining the we I knew us to be—

But there is a free,

A settled and buried and a—

What is the word?—

A me

Whose jaw has been loosened

With the rusted metal

Of speaking what is real

And what is no longer





copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by mixed media artist Mark Waldman‘s piece, “Psychpuppet lll,” available at El Cuervo Gallery, El Segundo, CA.)




Spoken Word: Unsticking What Was Stuck


(Photo Credit: Isabell Kamp‘s painting A Secret is a Trap (Oil, Acrylic, Fabric, Yarn, Paint
50 x 70 cm).  You can visit her website here, )



The lines of a mind aren’t written in rhyme.

They stagger and stretch and bide their time

‘Til the day they make their way to drop into light from deeper night inside.

Insight can’t stick to the walls of my brain,

Insane with round and round and round

Like a merry-go-round, grounded.

Rounding out “abouts” and doubt with flares of

Insignificant thought bursting into flames of fear and where do I go

From here

So near

To both a tear and a smile

All the while

Hiding in go seek and find

Or sit and stay the day away with idle nothingness and

Wishes and

What ifs. . .

What if?

What if yes and what is not?

What if the what if’s I got are dreams splayed in two

Caught between memories of what I thought I’d be and what

Stands before you-


Which me will I be if the what if’s write my history?

Do I stand in the shadow and wait for someone else to give me a pen or


My hand and hold the quill and quell the inability

To walk

To move

To go to the west the south the north the east

The beasts waiting to devour make me cower


And cover my head

Stay in bed

Pound my hand into my fist and

Listlessly wait.

Wait like a tick with no tock stuck in the middle of two

And three




Not wanting to

Exploit my God-given purpose with a bowing to fear

Giving over the sheer strength of my will to move.

Which me will I be?

Which side will I see?

When I unstick what was stuck

Like a steak in my dreams

To be who God called, is calling, has made me to be?


Not free

But free.

Who the son set free is free, indeed.

The sun will no longer set in the besetting sin of worry and doubt

A panic without danger

A depression without death or tragedy or loss

A sadness with no reason to be sad

Saddened by the time I’ve wasted

Called to glory

No more hesitating

Time to be me,





A car with a spoiler

A train on a schedule

A plane with a pilot awake at the controls

Controlling the weight inside and



Breaking the sound barrier

To fly.


© Jill Szoo Wilson

Traveling Into After


There was a before

There will be an after

In the middle was a question

In the end, an answer.



The answer I sought

Was not what I found

You were not what you said

Still, I played your clown.



I performed my role

With the grace of an actress

Bowing before the crowd

As the grand curtain came down.



I knew more than you know

Felt the crack before it showed

Hoped you would apply the glue

Yet somehow—I knew.



Not all was lost

Time to count the cost

Pick up the pieces and

Move into after,

Without you.

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson


(Photo Credit: Gabriel Pacheco.

The Padlock and the Keys


In his hand he held it

Cold like the air around him

Heavy but no heavier than his heart,

Metal and the color of

The sky just before the stars open their eyes

And sunlight tiptoes into

The tops of trees to sleep

With changing leaves.



He clicked it closed

Turned the key again

To watch it open

Like the door of an old friend

Who he could not wait to see—

The silver glistened against

The subway lights

As he held their padlock a little too tight.



All across the city he wondered if she

Would be there to meet him

As she said she would be—

But she said it once before

And he was alone

To hold his own hand

Hardened like stone

And breath that could not breathe.



That was before. Perhaps not today.



It was the plan

For each to bring

The keys to the weight he carried

To toss them to the sea

Mirroring pitches made all along

By lovers whose promises

Were promised and




He found the place

Like a scout on a trail

Where their solidarity of heart

Would be stayed in the midst

Of a garden of colors and

Words etched with pride

The dates of a thousand choices

The names of two thousand tales.



A bridge high above

A sleepy canal

Where glitter and shadows

Fold into themselves

With wrought iron twisting

From railing to floor

This is the place he had chosen

To seal relation with she he adored.



He stepped off the train

And into the night

Passing by strangers

Pale in moonlight

Walked to the place—

The bridge and canal—

Where he waited to see her

With sighful exhales.



He clicked the padlock

Then twisted his key—

Open and closed—

A ritual he relied on

Until her face he could see

It kept her close

Inside his hands

Mirrored the place she held in his soul.



The evening cool

Turned to midnight cold

He fluffed up his scarf

Looked left and then right

No one in sight but a lonely dog

Sniffing the edges of a lowering fog,

Who looked with sad eyes

Then curled up in a doorway to sleep.



The clock in the tower

Struck only once

Four hours passed

The time they had set

The anniversary

Of the first time they met

Now come and gone—

The lonely dog stirred and then yawned.

The man remembered a time

When first they decided

To secure the padlock

Hours beyond their bodies uniting

It was a gesture of “yes”

A wish of “again”

And he realized now

They should have done it then.



The time had passed—

Too much time—

From the first to the last

So she changed her mind

She left him behind

Which never could have been

If the cold metal was clicked,

Their keys making love to the sea.



He sat on the edge

Looked into the glitter,

Which looked more like litter

With no light shining down from his eyes—

He remembered the sunshine

Climbed to the other side

Whispered her name one time, then

He dove into the water

With the padlock at his side.



The lonely dog sighed and walked into the night.

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: this poem was inspired by German artist Ruprecht von Kaufmann‘s piece, Under Water, 2004. )

The Visitor


Do not rush

My love

To be at my side

While the moon is high

The tide hushed against

The nighttime sky


And do not enter where you

Should not go.


Come when the sun

Is dancing between clouds

And flapping wings

When birds sing to one another

Their notes dropping

Low to nudge the ears

Of waking children

Nestled between

Fathers and mothers, dear.


Make your way

Through busy streets

Paved with weariness

Lined with dreariness

In the eyes of

Disappointed souls

Whose dreams

Were caught in the chasm of

Time and long ago.


Wear the clothes

We sewed together

With cotton soft and

Buttons in places

Meant to keep you safe

And secure

Through hot and cold


When I could not be with you.


Send forth your words

On currents of wind

Raise them high

Let go

Watch playful rhythms

Rise and rescind

As you trust your voice

To the sky and my ear

To recognize.


Quake the edges of the earth

Where you know

My body stands

As a call to stillness

In my bones

Make my muscles moan

With anticipation

Of your presence

Flesh and bone.


Spare your hands

Of arduous work

No sweat or silt

Should soil your fingers

Or stiffen the skin

My heart sits in

The folds of your palm

Until, once more, you lay it gently

Inside my cavernous chest.


You have come—

But no rising sun

To warm the blood

Icing over

With a memory

I forgot and

Kept forgetting

Like a child

Panicked and sweaty

Waking from a dream

That should not be.


I see you there

My muscles do not dare

To move

From the place

That is my tomb

Under the sky

Where there is no you.


I can smell you close

Taste salty tears

Dropping from my fear

And the years rolling on

Without your jar

To catch them in.


I tremble with sin

Tied like a noose within

From atop the fissures

Of my mind where I climb

And hope to fall.


Today is like a


With no place new

To go and so—

I sit and pray

You will not rush

But I will stay

In the place where you left me

My heart in your hand

As the moon continues to glow.

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(This poem was inspired by artist Alessandro Sicioldr‘s piece, La Visita.  Website:  –  Facebook page:

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