Jane Scharl

Then Without Warning, Winter

Then, without warning, one day it is winter—
no more sky like glass, no more blue time
streaming in a line that runs just tangent
to this life I know; no more rampant
bright horizon. The cold wind chimes
once and all is turned to glass, and splinters

into fractal cloud-lines streaming, baring
like a mirror the secret behind everything:
things are always changing, till they’re changeless
in their changing. Here is time, ageless
and unveiled in that sky: a churning
waste, vast, at once far-off and staring

me in the eye. Crouched beneath the light-bled
clouds I clear—too late—the ravaged garden,
and at the base of the lifeless peony shrubs
I find the last of the curling June-green grubs,
satin-fleshed, coquetting against the barren
stems, not knowing that it’s already dead.

Resurrection After a Headache

Ah, no longer tempted to succumb
to mindless panic that this is the one
that will not end, that this numb
agony means at last that I am done
with the simple thing called Health, that balanced
state in which no part disrupts the quiet
whole, for that is how we love our lancing
flesh the best: by dwelling not on it.

And yet, after the headache comes the creaking
joy of recognition: ah, frail unwhole,
it’s you! Eyes not throbbing with the gallant
light; keen awareness of throat calling
I am coming—I, body, on which soul
has stumbled, caught itself, and once more balanced.


J.C. Scharl is a poet and critic. She writes from Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two young children. She loves working in form, as it helps her find unseen patterns in circumstances that might otherwise seem chaotic. Her poetry has been published in Measure Review, Euphony Journal, Presence Journal, Ekstasis, The Scores, and Convivium Journal, among others. Her website is www.jcscharl.com.


Jane Blanchard
Maryann Corbett
Jean L. Kreiling
Libby Maxey
Susan McLean
Amanda Ryan
Jane Scharl
Wendy Sloan
Myrna Stone
Faith Thompson
Cara Valle
Elinor Ann Walker
Doris Watts
Marly Youmans


This issue of Mezzo Cammin is dedicated to its Founder and Managing Editor for 15 years, Dr. Kim Bridgford (1959-2020). [Photo: Marion Ettinger].

The 2020 Poetry by the Sea conference was canceled due to COVID-19. The next conference is planned for May 25-28 2021.

MaryAnn Miller: And now we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, everything I’ve done seems small compared to the suffering happening in our country. Artists have been jammed up by these hard, hard times, unable to work, unable to think or write. Part of the creative life is getting used to fallow periods, expecting them to happen after I have given everything to a project, and the empty time when it’s over. After a terrifying period of fallowness, deeper than I had ever experienced, finally, I had a response to the unbearable sadness. We who remain live through these sad times and say our goodbyes so unwillingly. To those we know, like Kim Bridgford, to those we don’t know, like the millions of Covid-19 patients. I remain terribly sad, but I continue to work.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers