Jessica Juice and Joy

The Stamp House

As far back as I can remember, snippets of verse pop into my head. Sometimes I actually write them down (on whatever is handy – grocery receipts, envelopes, iPhone notepad). Sometimes I actually write a complete (“complete”) poem and do something with it. “The Stamp House” came to me on a Saturday morning, and I knew I had to “complete” this idea. Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, the ‘Mama” in this poem.
The Stamp House

The clicking spin of the black plastic wheel inside the green box
I watch from tiptoes
Each slot a number
Pale green stamps inch out

Each trip the same
Mama gathers the stamps
Collects the curved rolls

Saturdays (especially rainy)
She’d lick them in rows
In a gray paper booklet

Drapes for the kitchen and long hall
A hand mixer with three settings
(Think of the cakes!)
A record player, a clock, a wok

By the time I got a new bedspread
(blue-grey with tiny white flowers with
matching curtains, plus porcelain lamps with
wee white flowers etched against the blue…
grown-girl bedding at last all my own)
The Stamp Houses were closing

Shutting down one by one
Green stamps replaced by plastic bags
Rotary wheels removed
Along with manual cash registers
And five cent gum

I suppose I circled my choice in the catalog
And we bought my livid blue beauty
Drove to an unknown town with the last Stamp House
I loved those matching curtains (floor-length)
Blowing in the spring breeze
That bedspread with piping and ruffles skimming the carpet
The lamps’ white shades casting soft shadows on my blue made bed

Mama had leftover stamps
(she tried to spend them all)
A few rippled pages remain
Tucked away in a drawer
In a filing shelf of my memory

–Jessica Vance, May 2015

Jessica Juice and Joy Life in Colorado

This Wind Though

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, and the wind has been howling here in Boulder for three days. It’s been an obnoxious wind making me wonder if it’s worth it to live here. In honor of the wind and National Poetry Month, I’ll share a draft of a poem I wrote on a windy day a couple of months ago.

This Wind Though

I live in a place where the wind has a name
and grows wild
whistling tunes through the door
tossing mats swings or bins to the side
shaking bird feeders and tangling chimes

This wind means to snatch your hat
and laugh as it carries it,
watching you chase with your arms reaching

It will slap
right in the eye
with hair turned to a sharp whip

This wind can shatter your car glass
leave you stunned
while you lean into it to stay on your feet,
dipping like an embrace you don’t want to give

This wind though

This wind

Is the one you love
bringing warmth overnight
shoving aside the freeze,
dragging in air 35 degrees warmer
(From where?
where does your wind find this air?
how does your wind convince the warmth to follow and obey?)

This wind though

Is the wind that sways the aspen leaves
those beloved shimmering ovals of gray green
that mesmerize and cast love spells on visitors
this is the wind that makes love to those trees, the quaking trees

This wind though

Too is the one that bends the grasses in a way that breaks your heart,
the grasses set against that blue blue sky
in a way that makes you want to run through the field,
lie down and cry tears that belong to the world

This wind with its name
that swirls around your mouth
that forms on your tongue and lips like a kiss
the name said just for the pleasure of saying it
hearing it

Shin ook

Chin ook


–Copyright 2014, Jessica Vance, all rights reserved

Juice and Joy

Tis the Season of…

The World is Too Much with Us

by William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God!

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I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.


Jessica Juice and Joy

i carry your heart

A forgotten post
waits for an uploaded pic
penned may 17

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)

I shared those lines from the famous poem with Joshua tonight. I had written them years ago to my father on Father’s Day (back in college when I had no money for a gift so I made a gift). It’s overwhelming at times to look at my children. My cup runneth over.

The Summer of Creativity is dawning. I’ve put running and exercising on the shelf for lots of reasons. I’m not interested. I’m extremely busy. I don’t care. I’m tired. I’m not training for anything. I really should exercise, but other interests tug at my minuscule amount of spare time.

Cooking is really fun. Baking is even better. Watching the mama bird get food for her chirping babies in my back yard is so peaceful. Sipping tea and reading is luxurious. Watching Joshua’s baseball games is what spring is about for us. Listening to Elijah play the piano while doing dishes is life. Running? I think I am ready to play soccer again. Not in a league though. Maybe just kick the ball around in the yard with the kids. I need new cleats though.

I did run with Joshua at Chuy’s Hot to Trot. He’s 7, and this is his first 5K.

Jessica Juice and Joy

Anniversary Poems

For David

Peach blossoms bloom a
soft pink smile to you and me.
Wedding day tribute.

This poem is from our wedding, read by Aron during the ceremony.

“At the Wedding March”
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

GOD with honour hang your head,
Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed
With lissome scions, sweet scions,
Out of hallowed bodies bred.

Each be other’s comfort kind:
Deep, deeper than divined,
Divine charity, dear charity,
Fast you ever, fast bind.

Then let the March tread our ears:
I to him turn with tears
Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock,
Deals tríumph and immortal years.