Transformations - Poetry

Jewel Hanley: ‘Magic Eyes’ and ‘A May Trip’

Posted:  Monday, August 18, 2014 - 11:00am

Jewel Hanley is a Maine native who loves to travel and write. Now that she has recently retired from business, she is doing both with passion. Currently she is working on revising a mystery novel based in Maine, collecting research for a second mystery, and plans to organize and expand her extensive travel and journal notes on her month-long solo travels in Portugal. Jewel Hanley

Magic Eyes

He came to pick up my roommate for their date

His eyes—blue with a girl's dream lashes
Eyes that crinkled at the edges when he smiled

His teeth gleamed white between his mustache and his beard
He absently stroked the bottom of his beard as he talked
Caressing it between his fingers

I was in love and I hadn't heard his name yet
He was dating my roommate

But that was their first and last date.
She gave him to me
He had spent her evening asking about her roommate

We dated all summer
Played games like children in the park
Made love in strange places
Made that summer hotter than it was meant to be

I remember nothing of that summer
But him
And the heat

Our youngest daughter has his eyes

A May Trip

May evening
Warm enough for the dock
"Let's walk down and check for flowers. Shoes?" I ask
"No shoes, Mamie," she says

Her little hand in mine
Her steps big, touching stepping-stones only
Johnny jump-ups we stop to see
white flowers on vines—strawberries to be

Hosta unfurling
Sedum tight curling
Forsythia blossoms falling
Loons calling

I look for lady-slippers
She looks for goose poop
The pond is rippled glass
The wispy breath of future summer kisses us

"We need to go back," I tell her
"Let's come again," she says.

We tell stories.
We tell stories to make sense of our lives.
We tell stories to communicate our experience of being alive.
We tell stories in our own distinct voice. Our own unique rhythm and tonality.

Transformations is a weekly story-telling column. The stories are written by community members who are my students. Our stories are about family, love, loss and good times. We hope to make you laugh and cry. Maybe we will convince you to tell your stories.
— Kathrin Seitz, editor, and Cheryl Durbas, co-editor

"Everyone, when they get quiet, when they become desperately honest with themselves, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there." — Henry Miller

Kathrin Seitz teaches Method Writing in Rockport, New York City and Florida. She can be reached at Cheryl Durbas is a freelance personal assistant in the Midcoast area. She can be reached at