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But time passes, and visions die as new ideals are born.

We can never be sure of what’s next—prophets or not.

And pirate flags just don’t seem appropriate anymore.


                 from; Hubristic by Jason Sturner




















1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Jason Sturner


Jason Sturner grew up along the Fox River in Illinois. He currently lives near the Great Smoky Mountains. Of his many jobs, the most interesting were elevator operator, rock drummer, bird bander, graphic designer, and botanist. His stories and poems have appeared in Star*Line, A Prairie Journal, WestWard Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, Every Day Poets, and Sein und Werden, among others. Website: http://www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com/







Regarding Sylvia Plath


She is polished by the sun,

the moon, the veils of sorrow


So hurt by, yet so in love with memories

that forge concepts into poems.


And they wax the eyes of our melancholy days—

Could we accept pages less cold to touch?


An unopened birthday gift rests on her desk

as benevolent bees sting blue stars


And death is a concept buried

beneath that future winter.





On the roof of night, stars dangle umbilical

cords like worms over starving fish. It’s the

vision behind a moon spitting out poison


over American cities. It’s a massacre of our silent,

invisible angels. They fall on their faces,

wings breaking as they convulse in flowerbeds.


But time passes, and visions die as new ideals are born.

We can never be sure of what’s next—prophets or not.

And pirate flags just don’t seem appropriate anymore.


What’s this? Tigers meandering through traffic jams.

A new, terrified generation ignorant of lush green

jungles and bolting prey. But this animal does not


anti-exist as an animal. It never cared about our art,

or the industrial revolution, or if our eyes roll into the

back of our heads. And as we continue to nail our


egos to Roman columns, we may one day know a

giant who plucks no humble thing from life and

wipes its hands of it. This we should require.


Evolutionary gifts such as this, which know kinship

to angels and poets, will surely prevail—for the

fruit of today rots on the untended vines of tomorrow.





It sits, like a wet cotton ball.

Covered with dust, hair,

and false starts.


Hours have dropped from the clock,

the insolent wind has carried them away.

But time still goes, and goes, and goes.


The cotton ball? It lies, it lies,

it stays put. Festered. Festering.

Willful, but left without device.


What’s been muddied in the mind of it?

How many tires have squealed by

and yet it does not flinch?


It is restless, waiting for a wave to crash,

to wash away the washed-up rhetoric

which convinced it it had nothing left to say.


To leave its dead crab countenance

on the shore of this black-ink sea—

And my brand new feet come by


and kick on it the white sands.

To cover it. To bury it.

To see it dead, and something new arise.





I hear you in a dream calling out.

Searching for that someone

you have never known. I sit alone

in a rotating corner—shadows forming

all your favorite shapes.


My dream-self does not know

where it belongs in such dreams.

Always wishing it could tell you

that I am findable. That in your equation

I can be proven.


You’ve seen my silhouette, coming off the walls

you walk along. It hinders the burning sun for you;

is a barrier when it’s cold.

But have you looked closely, lately?

Look now.


And though not in the shape of a crown

or a single, confident rose,

it is not a dangerous thing.

It is not meaningless.

Did you even know, you’re its maker?


These are the things I want to tell you.

But my dream-tongue must hold.

It holds because I know that in the place

where we actually speak

we are speaking our last words.





It’s a perfect time to release our birds,

Caged for far too long and submerged in dark.

Constant fright has hurt their eyes,

Trembled the beak and silenced the song.


It’s a suitable time to drain our home,

Flooded for years and unknown to breathe.

Rising water has wrinkled its design,

Drowned the art and soaked the dreams . . .


Birds explode from waterfall windows,

Ignite their songs and fill up the trees.

Bloated sharks writhe in the sun,

Cough up the tar and spit out the bones.


Today we sail in the wake of an albatross,

Colored by sunrise and bound for the sea.

It’s an auspicious time to leave ones past,

Desalt the eye and lift the anchor.





She goes about pressing plants beneath her step

eyes inside the sky pondering her faith in flowers

a cornerstone of heaven

which for her, nowadays

must be outdoors or no where at all


There is a hand and heart

silent like embers across the old sea

threaded through twilight and alight

till morning, a glorious time

when dreams are mirthful

and nectarine-light kicks away city shadows


Once he could touch the long hills of her restless body
and see a soul shimmering beneath his fingertips





Everyone is dead.

Slumped against steering wheels,

on the floors of kitchens and bedrooms,

face down in swimming pools.


Bodies litter the malls,

the halls of prestigious universities,

they're in hospitals and sports bars,

at desks in corporate offices.


In the center of the oval office

lays the body of our president,

maggots crawl out

from beneath her eyelids.


The rats beneath the streets

lift their heads and twitch their noses.

Vultures fly off trees

into waves of decay.


Remnants of humanity crumble,

are buried, eroded and grown over.

We are dust and fossils; we are history.

The planet is lush and productive.


Out in an unnamed ocean

a new breed of dolphin is born,

its flippers more like modified claws.

One day, it will use them to grasp the shoreline.




for Kelly Sturner


I have longed to be

the quiet, fading light

that helps you sleep;

and sunrise through the open door.


I've stayed awake for hours,

wondering how I could channel

the most beautiful things

through your eyes,

and into your heart.


I have wished to be

the warm, child-long summer

that stirs your playful curiosity;

and dreams across the long winter.


For a time I doubted

I could be any of these things,

or the myriad others

that fill my head each day.


But the stronger my life

bonds with yours,

the less I doubt my abilities,

the more revealed is my part.


With love, all possibility follows;

it follows me, it follows you.

And all these things wished for

are already true.





While I sleep

throw ropes down my mouth.

Climb in—

But beware of the biting words

that linger along the throat.

They are bitter, always questioning

destiny's decisions.

When you reach a path lit by embers

Grab your cross, and hold it tight.

There, bits of heart decompose along the turn.

You should cover your head, for it drips still

off the ribs


of a splat-




You may even see her against the starless dark.

A ghostly angel playing the loose string

of a smashed violin . . .

(It is true: sometimes the old sounds are deafening

and you can't hear the new ones)

But I digress.

Follow the map that I gave you

and gather the props as you go:

The rusty crown.

The bloody pile of nightingale feathers.

The broken teeth of one genuine smile.

And don't forget the dried up pen and quill.

I should remind you now

to leave by morning,

for tomorrow I will sit at the edge of the world.

There I will smile into the rising sun

and without a thought


drop off.





The sun begins to warm the day. Soft light filters through the fields. The flora awakens to reclaim its place among the ecosystem of our world. A lone red-tailed hawk sits peacefully on the Braeburn Marsh Bird Sanctuary sign, facing the incoming men with their hard-hats and construction maps. Keys to giant yellow machines hang from thick belts around their waists. Steam from a coffee mug rises into the brisk morning air as they huddle together for the day’s instruction. The proud raptor sits quietly upon his perch, anticipating a good day for hunting. Much time will be spent soaring across the wide open sky, far above the mayhem that’s seeping across the earth. And he knows his life here is near its end. Soon he will have to go away. No one will say goodbye and no one will wish him well. Still, he will go away quietly, and he will go without complaint.



3 - Publishing History


A LAMENT FOR SYLVIA - Published by Skyline Magazine (2004)

HUBRISTIC - Published by Red Owl Magazine (2004)

KICKING SAND IN THE FACE OF INDOLENCE - Published by Message in a Bottle Poetry Magazine (2010)

LAST WORDS - Published by Eye on Life Magazine (2009)

LEAVING THE OLD US - unpublished

SHIMMER - Published by Every Day Poets (2013)

STOPWATCH - Published by Down in the Dirt Magazine (2008)

THESE THINGS - Published by The DuPage Valley Review (2009)

THE PROPS AT MY FUNERAL - Published by Poetry Super Highway (2009)

THE HAWK - Published by Red Owl Magazine (2004)


4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think. 

We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

Thank you for taking the time to read Caught in the Net.  Our other magazine s are Transparent Words ands Poetry Kit Magazine, which are webzines on the Poetry Kit site and this can be found at -