JaradBushnellPoetry

In my work, I expound on small moments, explore silly questions, confront tough emotions, and honor my great love. I celebrate the infinite ways structured verse can stir emotion. Indeed, my imagination runs freest when focused. Thanks for reading.

Drop me a note at Jarad.t.Bushnell@gmail.com. Click each title below for the full poem, or follow the link to the publication.

Anniversary Poem 2022
Published Jan 2023. Read it in Sparks of Calliope.

While tidying up I uncovered a tote
Buried beneath a closet heap
A pouch of prints showing how I’d dote
On that girl whose heart I continue to keep
Of adventures had in distant days
A multitudinous display

There were campers in Iceland and Coney Island;
Her bob cut, my jeans and black shirt;
In the former days when I was too thin
We’d shoot pool and stay out and make out and flirt!
Enjoying all there was to find
I came across two of one kind

In both that eager Emerald Eye
Held trance with chin turned low
In both on breeze a tress let fly
To barely brush her even brow
Wait – Do curls compared appear
To differ by a millimeter?

No sense in keeping dupes to cherish
But if unique and one be tossed
With it a piece of me will perish
With it an instant will be lost
It’s an awful thought to entertain
So back in tote I placed prints again

Where Someplace Now a Downy
Published Jan 2023. Read it in Sparks of Calliope.

The moon has risen up
The snow has fallen down
The cold has set itself inside
Each member of the town

While on my porch in quiet
I breathe the misty chill
Remark to self the silence
Of each surrounding hill

Where someplace now a Downy
Is sleeping in a tree
Waiting out the cold snap
Alongside wife he be

In bed of woodchip blanket
In home of limb of dead
He spends the night deep dreaming
With fluffy belly fed

And once near morn he stirs
To sound below on ground
His little lady hears it too
His warming wing spreads ‘round

Her slender shoulders, tense
Her dark red open eye
Her velvet head is burrowed deep
Into his side, she sighs

As little chests return to
The night’s deep rhythmic beat
Before the sun stirs up the hills
Before the moon’s retreat

Light Travels Long and Along
Published Fall 2021. Read it in WestWard Quarterly.

When the robe of the night pulls over all of the trillion points: pick one.
Even a close glow is so remote, it might be another world’s sun.

For the sight in the eye is time ago, the finite speed says so.
When it parts from first point to course through cosmos:
Light travels long and alone

In a ray made of stripes (giga-pile of time), what was when the light left home.
Through expanse of space, over the blackness great – all the while it bides bright and strong.

What belights the profound through the sight is found not by nose nor tongue nor thumb.
The unknown is told through a single mode:
Light travels long and alone

Not always so, but we see it go in right lines proved by shadow
Just to bend and bow (when the motion grows slow) through the water in the cup you hold.

From the moment of invoke, right to closeout, all the ticks, for us, tock on,
But the photon knows not an interval:
Light travels not at all

When the robe of the night pulls off the dome, of the trillion points now one:
The almighty Sun, the world’s engine; light’s powered all for long.

In a sight from afar our Sol turns star, it might sit in a constellation.
In another night, in a time unlike, while it twines spacetime to one:
Light travels long and alone

Catfish
Published Sep 2022. Read it in The Literary Hatchet # 32.

When I come home, I am never alone,
Never in want of wish.
The scene turns to sea as I dock in the lee,
And look down upon my own catfish.

Over wood floor I wade through living room waves,
He zips through my legs like a mist.
I stoop in the sand, extend out my hand,
He zips away quick, my grey catfish.

Atop carpet choral, we drift and we whirl,
I follow along with his swish.
His tail cuts the blue, propels him right through,
My just-over-three foot long catfish.

On top of cliff counters, sun sets through deck doors,
The rays upon creature doth kiss.
He sleeps against edge of couch-ocean ridge,
My big-eared and whiskered-face catfish.

 

Light Objects
Published Aug 2021. Read it in Grand Little Things.

A switch of light that sits like its
Dimensions are times three;
A rod of bright that inch by inch
Rolls cross the table freely.

Recall my own belongings and
Remember not I own
A thing of any that looks like this:
A severed ray from morn.

Suspended effulgence, a flash
Frozen on a surface;
A gleam like glass, a fulgor cast,
A structure from formless.

A funny gift it is to give
A mortal without merit.
Or is it dross to Sol, and I
Its worth exaggerate?

But if he really thought it be
A scrap from sky to thrust
Then why does he demand it back
When day turns into dusk?

The truth is that he loves to make
The thing of which I note:
The beam that takes a solid shape
That I attempt to hold.

 

Limited
Published Sep 2022. Read it in The Literary Hatchet # 32.

Make time for times that memory will store;
Pursue evermore events to accrue:
When there are no more, a moment’s worth more.

No bother the day adored or abhorred;
Resigning to amour at evening you
Make time for times that memory will store.

For when the end is drumming at your door,
And one trice new is jewel of true value:
When there are no more, a moment’s worth more.

Returned not the time of moments ignored;
The past is a ruling you can’t argue:
Make time for times that memory will store.

Think back to the missed and regret will pour.
But now you know all that you should have knew:
When there are no more, a moment’s worth more.

Events gathered then now play an encore
When eyelids dark dive. Thankful are you who
Made time for times that memory will store;
When there are no more, a moment’s worth more.

 

If I Were a Ghost
Published April 2022. Read it in The Horror Zine.

If I were a ghost what would I do?
Enter your home just to scare you?
If it were mine
Before I died
Then you’d be the one to intrude

If I were a ghost what would I say?
Whisper at night your own full name?
Or would it be
A howl or scream
Or some other saying or phrase?

If I were a ghost where would I go?
Travel through space from this world?
Am I confined
To my own time
Or am I allowed to explore?

If I were a ghost how would I move?
Freely on beams of the full moon?
Would I be quick
Or slowly slink
And rattle a chain while I do?

If I were a ghost how would I look?
Human or mist or demonic?
Hopefully I’d
Look like a guy
With only a tad of translucence

If I were a ghost what would I see?
Other ghouls floating just like me?
Would they be peers
From over the years
Or would I just be the one only?

 

Silver Seeker
Published April 2022. Read it in The Horror Zine.

I sometimes visualize
A silver lining in my hellstorm’s side
Snugly guarded by a thunderous galloping
Gushing gallons underneath streak lightning
Discard hail particles to guzzle cloud cover
Sucking on the silver ‘til my teeth tarnish metal
‘til I’m less man than mineral

It’s true.

Here the remnants stand of a good man
Once fresh flesh now wretched health
Once wholehearted now a honeycomb chest
Whittles a whistle from my weakened breath
I offer up a bold and villainous request
“Spare the specters of my better half!”
The sky laughs
The weather attacks
I slither seeking silver in the sides of cloud cracks

 

The Death Crawl
Published April 2022. Read it in The Horror Zine.

The death crawl was inevitable
When I was eighteen I started the prowl
What grew from the ground would be my self-brought downfall
While I hide out in a bombed out hall
Of pipe lung organs and smoldering cackles
Soon, I’d be a corporate tank driver to terrorize the favors nature gave me to hold

My mouth is a smokehouse with hot teeth coals
A charred wood throat and tongue like a hangman’s rope
My clothes smell of five dollar bills set in flames to the timing of staccato smoke rings

Poison halos paused posed as image and poor style
Suppose the rings were strangling politely over time
Preposterous! I’m one hundred percent all the time! All the time!
That’s the lie, that’s the cherried line
The record in my head skipping on a skull crack

Brain tricks body tricks nervous social outings
Tricks a perverse use of a morose endurance
While the reassurance of right is a pain
With a ball and chain for each lung chamber
A ball and chain for each lung
Stained outbound blood via rotted-out heart veins