J. Maak

J. Maak is a writer, educator and community-builder in Los Angeles. Her debut poetry collection focuses on climate change, the massive shift humanity is navigating, and what we can do as grassroots community members. An avid vegetable gardener, for relaxation she turns to insanely complex knitting patterns.

photo by Christopher Fragapane, Aug 2016
Màk (poppy)

orange-yellow, California state flower
petals delicate, velvet richness you dive into
wiry, fierce, sprouting despite harshest soils
	wind-seared sand, impenetrable clay, disruption --
golden meadows signal springtime
	luxurious in years with late rains
bee heaven, tumble in pollen --
	somersaults, pulsating abdomen,
	her body hairs a yellow-powdered halo.
red, that European one my grandmother likely knew
estranged from my roots I know it not.
new roots, mine,
	California taproots cling to sandstone.
soporific nervine
the dark side, toxic, poison
skull and crossbones, beware
	what darkness emerges next
poppy popcorn, here-there-everywhere
dizzying directions
(do not show the darkness -- 
	find the turn, make it bright)
she slips from my pen
	nimble, lithe, transfixing
can I learn patience with nonlinear?
my alter ego,
	my shadow, my inspiration, my delight
orange-yellow petals curl to a funnel in late afternoon
	to open again the next morning
I cannot breathe without you