About jftoomey

I'm many things, among which is a linguist, a therapist, a scientist, a business owner, a student, a traveller, a dreamer, a poet, a friend, a dog lover, and I'm sure some other things that I'd rather not mention here.

Violet Crocus Uprising

Like a springtime uprising
tiny violet crocuses
forge their firm
brave cup-shaped petals
through the ice-crusted
crevices of glistening
jagged rock

thawing
from the long, dark
frozen winters of arrogance
aggression
oppression & fear
a culture of regression
hidden

hidden, deeply
in the eerie
mischievous sweetness
of Cheshire grins
firm manly hand shakes
clever adages & the everyday
civilities of conscienceless
cowardly kapos
from unsuspecting
fair-minded
peace-loving
men

brave women
and queer folk
wanting justice
tired of the boys’ll
be boys’ club status quo
blooming resplendent
restoring hope
in radical colors of truth
respect, loving-kindness
inalienable to all

to all
that is sacred
to this tiny, spinning, star-lit
blue-island-orb
snatched savagely
from its heavenly course
into the sweaty, greedy
clutch of fear
and the shock
of a red-headed
cyclops’
vengeance

Dishwashing & Sweaty-Mile Zen

Sitting hard, sitting tall,
sitting flat
on the carved wooden surface of the stiff oak kitchen arm chair
hitting the books from 5 to 5,
thinking I’m actually getting somewhere
– all the while
I’m chugging, chug, chugging cups & cups of hot black joe, plus too much inactivity’s the perfect mix for stiff old muscles to lock.

From the curve of my lower spine to the nape of my aching neck, muscle turns into long, tall, solid planks of cemented lower back pain.

Standing now, and feeling the stretch, the clear liquid soap drips slowly, downward
onto a blue ceramic plate, like honey from nylon bristles, swirling chocolate threads spiral ‘round its beveled edge to meet the bulging milky-blue center:

like the bulging flexed biceps of a beefy young man, or the silvery satellite image of a pitch-black, twinkling, Cape Cod night, or the inward curling conch shell of 20 Parisian arrondissements nestling tightly ‘round the Seine.

I push the suds out & ‘round to trace a circle ‘long the rim, ‘til a creamy white foam builds slippery & thick
then suddenly squeals like a happy pig indulged by the whiff of his wantonly whafting dinner, then’s if by chance the faucet trips,
– no such thing as accidents
a clear warm-water jet sprays the soapy surface, rinsing the pearly suds, while my middle finger brushes mindlessly, striking a piercing squeak from its porcelain edge, the steely white foam slips silently,
downward
into a swirling watery vortex draining the stiffness of my aching neck, I feel the purge of release climb my spine like an intoxicating endorphin rush, in the after glow of a 20 year-old self,
running a slow &
sweaty mile.

Blue-Eyed Scribe

my tanned,
pale-cobalt blue-eyed
scribe
peers dazèdly into
my ravenous eyes
while a rapturous three-
breasted african queen
hovers like a hungry ghost
over his high & tight
golden-brown
halo.

and a baby suckles,
at her perky third
breast
as he chugs, chugs, … chugging
cups and cups
of hot black joe

Practice for Living

The clock’s
tic-tock’s sometimes
louder
than a careening
cartoon bomb
One like
Wile E. Coyote’d launch
from a Looney Tunes’
cartoon cliff
Smack/Splat!
and lurching
toward the 8.23.58
bull’s eye
painted on my head
Some say: Congratulations!
I say: turn this tour around,
let’s start the clock
all over again
Then suddenly I realize
there’s NOTHING
to be done…
A calming whisper
urges gently:
“Release, be at peace.”
and the more & more yielding
I manage to become
brings a silence, then surrender
Tic-tock’s stopped
and NO implosion.
After all the anguish
said & done
the clock ticks on…

And life’s windingest
& lush & muddiest
expeditions
wet & churning
– infinite with grace
hardly ever, almost never
certainly never
seem to cease
In yet another calibration
of the endless
possibilities
of this zany, ever-looping
Looney Tunes’
parade

Dauntless

Like a legion of ancient
Roman soldiers
suffering silence in the sun
an ancient olive grove
stands boldly, face to face
with the pressing, midday
Mediterranean heat

For nearly 20 centuries
it waits, tirelessly
for the searing star’s command
as undaunted by passing
thoughts of time & death
as it is content to thrive
putting down roots
ever deeper
at a rate of one foot more
for every passing century

Proffered trunks
like chiseled chests
stand firm
stand tall
thick undulating limbs
buck coltishly
‘gainst the shifting, sand-hewn
swords of pressing winds
outward, upward
towards the sapphire summer sky
rolling leaves viridian
on the one side
shimmer silver on the next
flamboyant tongues flicker
urging peace with life’s rhythms
surrender to its flow
its feasts, its famines
its dawning, its dusk
in silent harmony
I might have heard
them sing..

Dance dauntlessly
in the fierce
and biting wind
buoyantly
friskily, like a sea of rippling silver leaves
in the sweet and gently
shifting breeze, Be quick
to make waves of joy
of rage! Bear fruit
– abundantly
then in silence, yield
unwaveringly
to each and every
pulsating caress
of the glistening, fire-white
fecund, golden star