Hope Poems


My Heart, a Stone

I’d like to start
a bonfire in my heart
but today there’s just
a stone; last night,
a whirlwind; before,
a broken mirror.

It seems there
was once a beacon,
perhaps, or at least
a candle. A candle
in the wind, perhaps,
or at least a match.

Out, out.

But a stone, perhaps,
can build a hearth,
a shelter for the flame,
a repository for molten ore,
a place to bake
the bread we’ll break.



My Heart, A Desert

My heart
was not broken,
not at all.

It bloomed,
wildly potent,
like peyote

in the desert
of my childhood.


My Heart, The Sea

When I decided to live,
I made a space
for myself, dancing
an incantation, casting
a spell, creating
a joy bubble in my living
room, radiating
magic, enveloping
my heart, cocooning
myself like a parrot
fish, excreting
the sands of paradise,
resting and hoping
the sharks wouldn’t
sense my beating


Animals and Me

There was a long stretch
when beasts would appear
bearing sage advice,
lighting my path
like divine apparitions,
chimeras in flames,
fleeting reflections
in a crystal ball.

Spirits on the wind.

Jade jaguars or
polished wood.
Clay songbirds.
Metal roosters,
golden snakes.

Bobcats in the flesh,
crossing left to right,
deer dead at the door
of my enemy,
snowy owls diving
across the windshield,
downed eagles
on the road.

All of them waking
me from the slumber
of self, helping me
shed the outgrown parts.

Now, I just watch
them with wondering
awe, how the screeching
hawk flaps, then glides
away, invisible, save
for a line of wing.

About Jill Robbins

Jill Robbins lives in Catheys Valley, California, with her husband Arturo and dogs Archie and Mandy. During her career as a scholar of contemporary Spanish poetry, she held academic posts at Florida Atlantic University, the University of California (Irvine and Merced), and The University of Texas at Austin. Her most recent book, Poetry and Crisis: Cultural Politics and Citizenship in the Wake of the Madrid Bombings, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2019. She recovered her own poetic voice in 2020 thanks to the writing community she has found at writers.com.

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