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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Finding Something New

By: John Jacobson

A spring flows across

an overgrown meadow

between blue and yellow clouds

of wild comfrey and buttercups.

It pushes against a boulder

as if it wants what is

on the other side,

but the boulder holds

its place, and when the water

meets another, it bends

the other way. Contours of land

send it to places it wouldn’t go

otherwise. It meanders on

beneath a fallen tree,

passing a basswood

with pale new seed wings

that will soon bloom to flowers

and over roots of a willow with

narrow leaves. It passes

unfurling ostrich ferns

and gathers into a dark mirror

under shadows of maple and beech.

There I ask you, “Isn’t that

like life? The shape of its course

is formed by constraints.”

And you say, “It’s wanting

what can’t be reached, then

finding something new.”


John Jacobson lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York. His writing has appeared in many publications including About Place Journal, Aji Magazine, The Curlew, Intima Journal of Narrative Medicine, Longridge Review and Remembered Arts Journal. His poetry has been internationally anthologized. His essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and a John Burroughs Nature Essay Award.

"I never really know where a poem is going when I start. I work it over and over. It turns one way, then the other. I read it aloud, listening to how it sounds. I re-write it again. Writing is a way to figure things out.

I’ve been a caregiver for my wife Claudia for almost fourteen years. She has a rare neurological disease, Neuromyletis optica. It has left her bedbound. We face obstacles rising from her illness every day. We have to find new ways to do nearly everything.

One day I passed the spring described in “Finding Something New.” Water flowed up against a rock, turned the other way and went on. I thought about how obstacles shape our lives. Beyond them there is always something new."


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