The Beauty of Stark Things – Jo Angela Edwins

A celebration of the plain

or the natural, however

full of emptiness

a thing might be.


The rusted hinge gone green,

marsh reeds bleached blond

in winter, the grayed feather and bone

of the hawk dead and plundered

on the highway’s edge.


Inching closer towards the human.


There. At a table in a quiet café,

a woman sits alone. Sometimes

she gazes at a spoon or doorknob so long

her mind must be elsewhere.

Or not. Perhaps the sheen

of industrial light on cheap metal

captivates. She wouldn’t be

the first. Either way, look at her, not

what she looks at. Notice

the face, no longer young, so stiff with thought

you cannot help but imagine pain,

and somewhere there is no doubt

pain. Yes, look at the face,

pinched a bit now, eyes squinted,

lips cracked, not what this muddied

world would call beautiful. Still

you know it is beautiful, as beautiful

as fire or flood, as beautiful as

a stopped heart, beautiful like all of us,

terrible, beautiful, so terribly beautiful.

Jo Angela Edwins

Jo Angela Edwins has published poems in various journals and anthologies and has received awards from the South Carolina Academy of Authors and Poetry Super Highway. She is a Pushcart Prize and Bettering American Poetry nominee. Her chapbook Play was published in 2016 by Finishing Line Press. She lives in Florence, SC.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Lynne Stevensonreply
January 26, 2019 at 10:45 PM

I used to work for Dr. Edwins at Francis Marion University a while ago. I am so proud and honored to call her my friend, as well as my former boss.

Friday Reading Rainbow – Pacereply
February 2, 2019 at 10:18 AM

[…] Jo Angela Edwins in Parentheses: “The Beauty of Stark Things,” a poem I have come back to several times this week. […]

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