Category Archives: Janet Eigner

#189 An Empty Glass by Janet Eigner

Blood-orange house finch, all the bright autumn morning
hasn’t darted and flown from under the feeders
like the junkos, the ladder backs and white crowns.
He rests, nibbles a bit of the fallen sunflower, the thistle seed.
Hunches in swift instinct when the jay’s shadow passes overhead
when a canyon towhee bullies, running at him, pecking at power.
Resting, maybe for transmigration, its last earthly hours.
Rocks on its cradling wings, barely at balance
no longer attempting flight.

A defeated soldier, any war, returns not as himself
lurches from sleep, nightmares swooping in and out
like vultures, sniffing and tugging at the ravaged
shattered soul that sags under the death of others — comrades
those he’s been taught to kill in order to protect.
All instinct for life or thought sucked away by this top-brass irony
human compassion blown away with these cynical lessons.
He clenches to stay afloat like a half-starved polar bear
on his calved and melting ice-flow.


#99 Before the Prescribed Blunder by Janet Eigner

A tease of miracles, the raven rose just over my head
clasping a giant red jelly bean as it sailed above

the pine tree. I hiked the Santa Fe Southern rail
where it showed cleanly as any saint

its attribute, a vulture’s engorged beak.
Pinon-perched or swooping the currents

she’d likely tracked the bonbon
among this Eldorado Easter morning’s

hard-boiled chits of rebirth
blown-clean and faux.

Rising out from the sand, her wings sang wind
beak clasped around the burning egg.

The raven carried fire’s shine
its infinitely mirrored tunneling

a meaning I couldn’t ken
an unfolding

soon to be unleashed on Los Alamos
after the Lab’s prescribed burn.

Eigner’s  Cornstalk Mother, Pudding House, precedes the forthcoming, What Lasts is the Breath, Black Swan Editions. Also: Adobe Walls,Blue Mesa Review, Earthships, Echoes,Hawaii Review, Manzanita, Mudfish, Natural Bridge, NM Poetry Review,  Poets Against the War, Sagarin Review,  Daily Bleed, Poetry Foundation, SFLiterary Review, (poetry & dance).