Posts by J.L. Smith

I am a writer/political scientist based in Eagle River, Alaska. I hold a BA degree in English/Creative Writing and a MA in International Relations. Best of both worlds, I write everything from naturalistic poetry to Russia and the former Soviet Republics. Recent publications: Academic Nonfiction: The Syrian Dilemma: Moscow's Motives in the Syrian Uprising (2013). ISBN: 9781304283931 Creative Nonfiction: "The Important Things" - Alaska Women Speak - Winter 2015 issue Fiction: How to Eat a Bagel - 50-word Stories - Sept 15, 2015 The Devil and the White Room - Down in the Dirt - July/August 2016 Poetry: "Sara" - Grassroots - Fall 1999 "Femininity" - Cirque - Summer 2015 "Sitting in the Bathroom" - Yellow Chair Review - July 2015 "A Happy Poem" - Eunoia Review - August 2015 "Willow Rebuilds" "Spectators" "Fire Angels" - Alaska Women Speak- Fall 2015 "Dark Clouds Descend Low" - Three Line Poetry - Issue 33 - Sept 2015 "Da!" - Peeking Cat Poetry - 8th issue - Oct 2015 "Three times my baby's stroller passes by" - Eunoia Review - Oct 2015 "Babushka's Samovar", "If I May Speak", and "High Tea and Fancy Things" - Alaska Women Speak - Winter 2015 Issue "Joanna's Child" - Cirque - Winter Solstice issue 2015. "Away with the Bitterness!" - Peeking Cat Poetry - 9th Issue - Dec 2015 "Away with the Bitterness!" - Alaska Shorts (49 Writers blog) - December 22, 2015 "The Reflex", "The Drop Off", and "Crossed Eyes" - Eskimo Pie - Feb 2016 "The Fragments You Carry", "The Fireweed Dies", and "Crabapples" - 13 Chairs - Spring 2016

Poetry Post-A-Thon: All Things Mundane

This one was published in Alaska Women Speak.

All Things Mundane

 

Years ago, my right eye lost sight

of the spring leaves. The ones I passed by daily,

unimpressed by their freshness, their greenness,

their joyful triumph over the barren winter,

as I carried my backpack in hand and

my university degree in sight.

 

Though, as spring turned to summer,

the eye clouded and blinded, and the

eye chart on my bare knees

was gray like water

in a used watercolor cup,

and my canvas was as blank as could be.

 

Uveitis, a strange word, never really explained

the summer’s lost colors

and the air conditioned exile

of photophobia

and sunglasses worn inside.

Nor could it prepare me for the steroids,

the pills,

and that last shot,

directly into my blue iris,

that brought back more than my vision.

 

As the fall leaves’ edges no longer blurred and

smudged like an eraser correcting a mistake,

but cut sharp around their respective

burnt orange and yellow perimeters,

the terminating season gave me their colors

and my vision a refined sharpness,

a rebirth of something that was once taken away:

a gift of all things mundane,

never to be taken for granted again.