But Wishes Breed Not

Fallow time, moon-dark: no power

of words nor healing much less

smiles tears or beauty-making

(feeble light flickers in clouded lantern)


You know the black river under

starless skies ever cold and silent

No remedy but surrender

touch bottom (source-love)

and resurface


Title borrowed from “We Lying by Seasand,” by Dylan Thomas.

42 thoughts on “But Wishes Breed Not”

  1. Got to be honest and say this is Advanced Level Poetry i.e. way out of my comfort zone or comprehension range. That said I can appreciate the depth and feeling that went into it. Can imagine those more honed in this form of writing will love it.


    1. Paul, you inspire me to work harder, because I do want my poetry to be accessible. I’ll allow it to be out of your comfort zone, but not your comprehension range. 🙂


  2. This is lovely, Jennifer. Reminds me a bit of Adrienne Rich’s Diving poem (can’t remember the title). One of my favorites.


  3. P.S. I think poetry should require a little work. Not intentionally obfuscating, but you have to linger on poetry, take time to hear each word. I think that’s a good thing. IMHO.


    1. Yes, linger. We really aren’t in the habit of reading that way, are we? These days, when I read a poetry collection, I’m always wanting a blank page in between the poems, to give my brain time to digest.


  4. This one is so rich. I can keep reading it over and over…”the black river…” I love the resurfacing. You get so much into your 42 words. Thanks, Jennifer.


  5. Thank you for ending on resurface! Dark and true, a beautiful poem. I love the parenthetical line : )


    1. Thank you. I am just getting into more of Dylan Thomas’ work–been reading his Collected Poems. I love his word-play.


  6. Fan-flibbity-tastic, Jennifer! Your use of hyphens added an element of a game being played that is unexpected. Like a teeter totter? Or maybe more like a tug-of-war? Moon-dark, source-love. Am I overanalyzing?


    1. haha, I admit I have a fondness for hyphens–and dashes–I think it started with Beowulf and that kenning thing 😉


  7. Dang, those last three lines in particular. But really, every word was perfect. I really loved this poem, Jennifer. It is so beautifully constructed. And the images – “fallow time,” “black river” – gorgeous. Really nicely done. Thanks for linking it up.


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