~ Jane Blanchard ~

A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Jane Blanchard studied English at Wake Forest University before earning a doctorate from Rutgers University.  She currently divides her time between Augusta and St. Simon’s Island, Georgia.

Subtle Summer

The drive from hill to shore takes long enough

For tensions to subside and tongues to cease

The harried hype of home and work, the stuff

From which taut brains and bodies need release.

Upon the beach the noontime laser sun

Hits hard on pasty, soft, and supple skin

As frothy surf and fickle breeze both run

To prove which better cools it down again.

At eve a savory meal of fish and wine,

Some bread or rice, does wonders to refresh

The day until romance bids lovers dine

Upon delight to soothe both mind and flesh.

At dark the rhythmic, surging tide sends slumber

To sated souls seduced by subtle summer.


first published in descant 48 (2009)


Sometimes I worry when I can’t begin,

Much less complete, a verse in any style,

Of any length or breadth, and for a while

I wonder if I’ll ever write again.

The usual strategies no longer work—

A spectacle gives little inspiration,

A sentiment resists every translation—

Sounds fail and rhythms falter as words lurk.

I find it’s best to take a break, pretend

I’ve never been a poet, for a day,

Perhaps a week, maybe a month, until

The writer’s block has met a welcome end,

And left me confident enough to say,

Despite the lapse, I am a poet still.


first published in WestWard Quarterly (Spring 2010)

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