necessary whispers

observe. connect. make new.


March 2017

I Will Tell You What to See



I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

A variety:

First, the shape my lips take

When I smile

Then, only aspects of my style—

The ones that deceive the senses

Lower your defenses

Make you wonder

Confidence thrown asunder

A breeze

Whizzing by your certainty

A tornado—

Or a reverie—

Where the facts

Are art-i-facts

Designed to twist

To burrow in your mind

Then to grow

Into trees of truth

Where flowers of falsified youth

And branches that carry the load

Explode into blossoms and




Time evaporates into years

My collection has piled

Your recollection defiled



Into unknown

Unsuspected, unsuspecting

Wisdom flown

From your mind

And into my hands

Like clay

Shaped, reshaped

The size of the holes

On either side of your nose

Where what you see

Is only dreams—

The ones I dare to


Deflected from the truth

Reflected onto the marquee

Like a refugee memory

No longer sure

Which way

Is home.



I will choose the color,

You will trust my hand

Not because your will is irrelevant

Only because

You cannot understand—


You trust

The choices

I make

Wait for the plans

The paths

That I take

Like a child—

Hope outstretched

Faith recklessly displaced—

Still you smile

And wait to see

What you will be-come

When the operation is done

Your vision restored

To my point of view

The illusion of Truth

Wrapped inside

Like a film reel


My cinematic lies.



The seed is sown

The deed is done

Now water it with your tears

Blink until you make it your own

Follow my finger

First up and then


First left and then


“Don’t fight

let it be

trust me

I know the plans

I have for you:

to kill the boredom

to steal the dream

to destroy the blinding vision

to replace it with soothing

fabrication and


for today.

Today is all that matters.

One more spin

Your view will be new—

you will thank me

when I am through.”



“I can see”

said she who trusted.

“Thanks for your selection.

How can I repay your

close attention,

touch easing apprehension,

voice soothing

the searing dissonance of


She wiped a tear

From the corner

Of her newly installed




She who answered

Leaned in



Bestowed the wages

To be collected on

Another day,

“Only three things I pray:

go further than you intended to go

stay longer than you intended to stay

pay more than you were willing to pay.”



I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

I will whisper in the breeze

Rolling from the sea,

Caress your lips

From a hot cup of tea,

Sing in your ear

On the notes of a melody,

Just as long

As you agree


To set me free.


-copyright Jill Szoo Wilson


Photo Credit: this poem was inspired by German painter Justine Otto‘s piece, New Shine. 120 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015.  Please explore this amazing artist’s work at her website or on her Facebook page: Justine’s Website , Justine’s Facebook.


Café of Islands



A brick wall

Falling down

Not down and around

Only down

Crumbling toward the ground

The way crumbs

Tumble from scones.


The drone of the machine

Espresso ground

Milk being steamed

Coins dropping

Into a glass mug

Tips for a job well done.


Each table is a life

Unto itself

Every person an objective


Breaching other island-tables

Not an option


We are all alone

In this crowd.


Unique and new

And yet,

All seen before

The way Carl Jung

Said that even our dreams

Are shared—

The archetypes of those

Who have gone before

Sit now

Working, stoic,



Fiddling with their pens


In an effort to find the right words

Or look right

While writing

The words meant to fill

The page and the time.


A woman wearing

North Face,

Facing the window

Speaks loudly about her travels

Every sentence

Some new place

Every description

Some old face

She talks and talks and I wonder

Who she wishes to hear


The her she shares

With those at the table


Filled with he’s

Who listen—

They have no other choice,

To share stories of their own

Is not afforded—

An audience of many

To a line-up

Of one.


A quilted vest across the room

Turquoise in color

Hugs the center of a woman

Gray and wrinkled

Smiling as she gives and takes

With a she whose hair is blond—

Old and young

Combine to share the moment

With a muffin at the center

Polite picking apart

Not too much taken

At any one time

By any one woman—

The art of give and take:



Chocolate chips and

Careful sips.


A man just walked in

He met a girl

She fixed her collar

Flipped her hair—

Her secret is simple:

She was waiting

But made it seem

Like not—

Her waiting there

Anticipating there

Was filled with the papers in front of her hands

But only doodles,

Nothing but google searches

Social media and

Watching the clock on her phone—

A carefully timed dance of

Looking busy and

Hair flipping

And the kind of hello

That projects

Emotional control.


A gentleman with glasses

At the tip of his nose

Two cups of coffee

But he sits alone

Well, not alone,

He is surrounded by Us

Who he cannot hear

Because his earbuds

Sing close

Like a hug around his ears—

His eyes focus down

Never around

He did not come to socialize

He did not come to share his mind

But maybe the space—

Better than being alone.


The brick walls crumble

As this intersection of lives—

The communion of me and the others—

Breathes through the coffee-filled air

Together but

Separate and alone—

Until one of Us says,



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This piece by German artist Miriam Vlaming is entitled, Subground.  160 x 130 cm, Egg tempera on canvas.  Please feel free to further explore Valming’s art at her website and Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook.

Behind the Mask



The false self has no soul, an empty shell

Projected into being by the grief

Of he whose true self, buried, longs to tell

A story not of knowing but relief.


The shadow of this man behind the mask

Creeps through the eyes of plastic, painted face

Allowing glimmer only of the task

He failed to conquer:  victories displaced.


Alone inside his painted, breathing frame

The vacant heart he feels displays his pain

To those whose eyes, ignited, bring a flame

Of hopeful truth won through the fight; sustained.


Comparison of dead and live cannot be made-

Bartered to the hidden self is life betrayed.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson


Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Mark Slavin‘s piece, Life Review.  If you would like to further explore Mark Slavin‘s art, please visit his Facebook page and website: Mark’s website , Mark’s Facebook.

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