Archives for posts with tag: jewelry

Jen&cat-Lodi House
The Ring
by Jennifer Lagier

My first husband slipped
the honeymoon gift,
a tiny gold band,
onto my little finger.
I wore it ten years,
through good times and bad,
sickness and health.

After our traumatic divorce,
I used my settlement
to buy a run-down old house,
spent days pulling weeds,
pruning roses,
patching and painting
crumbling plaster.

One night while bathing
after hours of hard work,
I discovered the pinkie ring
had disappeared,
fretted, but let it go
like everything else
I had relinquished.

Months later, while
turning compost,
it magically reappeared
among potato peels,
coffee grinds,
rotten grass clippings.

I took it as a sign,
benediction of my new life,
renovated home,
flourishing friendships,
flowering garden.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, 1981, in my restored Lodi farmhouse. Taken by Bill Rickard.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I thought about the theme of “Lost and Found,” I remembered a time of uprooting and upheaval in my life—going through a wrenching divorce and starting over on my own. At that time, I lost everything, including my ring, but discovered self-sufficiency and the satisfaction of independence. Rediscovering my lost ring was a karmic affirmation that I was on the right path.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 13 books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her newest books are Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), and Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Visit her at jlagier.net.

Author photo by Laura Bayless. 

jerry w. mcdaniel
I found you in a jewelry store on a side street in Madrid
by Lourdes A. Gautier

Two young lovers, arms around each other’s waist
Strolled the streets of Madrid biding time
Till lunch when restaurants opened and shops closed for siesta.

A jewelry store window beckoned as gleaming gold
Captured my eye and I tugged at your arm
Gently pulling you inside hoping there was something we could afford.

We chose a charm for my bracelet that would remind us of our trip.
Finally a most perfect circle of gold crowned with a bit of turquoise
Made a bid for my affection for the blue reminded me of the
     Mediterranean.

The shopkeeper sensed our reluctance to spend more.
He, a kind, older gentleman with a soft spot for young love
Placed the ring on my finger where it clearly belonged.

I wore it through the rest of our time in Spain.
Went snorkeling with it on in Costa Brava as it became
A repository of memories, I loved it and you for giving it to me.

A month passed and we found ourselves in Amsterdam.
Arrived too late to secure a bed and breakfast, forced to become
Homeless for our first night, we walked the streets to stay awake.

Fatigue set in and we found a bench near the end of the trolley line.
I looked at my hands only to find my ring missing.
It had slipped off unnoticed thanks to the cold and weight lost since
     Madrid.

Three o’clock in the morning, rats scurried along the streets to the canal.
You promised we would find it and somehow on the wide boulevard
There in the middle of the street you were the first to spot it.

What were the chances that anything lost on such a major thoroughfare
Would be found in the dark and gloomy hours of an Amsterdam night?
We both took it as a fortuitous omen, a sign of good things to come.

IMAGE: “Amsterdam at 4AM” by Jerry W. McDaniel (2007-2010). Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: More than 40 years later, this ring still reminds me of the magic of finding that which we thought was irretrievably lost.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lourdes A. Gautier
is a poet and writer of short fiction and nonfiction. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in New York City she earned a Masters degree in Theatre and post graduate credits in a doctoral program at the City University of New York (CUNY) focusing on Latin American Theatre. She’s taught courses in acting and theatre history and criticism at CUNY, Drew University, and Jersey City State University and language arts in a special grant funded program at Rutgers University. Her short story, “1952,” was published in Acentos Review. Her poems have appeared in Calliope and in the Silver Birch Press  “All About My Name,” “My Perfect Vacation,” and “My Metamorphosis,”and “Me, at 17” series, among others. She is also a contributor to the award-winning anthology These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project. She has performed at the Inwood Local open mic night in New York City. Currently an administrator at Columbia University, she continues to work on a collection of poems and stories, and looks forward to when she can retire from the day job and devote herself to writing full-time.

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Losses-Gains
by Joan Colby

My onxy lost among agates
And castup stones
On a driftwood shore.
Bleached hulks
Like an abandoned city
Stare hollowly at the horizon
That hinges where water closes
On air. I plunge in
Gasping with the cold,
Swim out beyond the sandbar
Where the water secedes from
Jade to deep blue slate,
The color of sorrow.

I wore that black stone
Since I was seventeen
For luck. It brought me none.
My finger wasted
Beneath its hemisphere.
I wore it out of habit,
Out of relativity
Trusting in tomorrow
Despite the doorslam
Of the past
Echoing like these breakers fomenting their own sure
Destruction, not even grandiose,
No rocks to crash on, no
Seawall to storm, merely this
Useless fizzle, a laying down
Of pebbles, the backwash
Taking others up.

So my onyx
May have been taken
Out to the bruiseblue levels
To darken and glisten
Hexing steamers.

Perhaps it’s still here
Underfoot. I reach
For a black sheen
That, brought to air,
Dries into the sullen
Color of charcoal.

Why rue the loss
Of a bad luck charm?
Why this need to count on something
Even misfortune?

There are uncountable
Stones on this beach.
One of them my onyx
Gone to the mineral world
It missed.

My finger, riderless,
Feels strange, a lone
Survivor of some
Ineluctable disaster.

I revoke
The talisman,
That black spot,
Melanoma,
Ace of spades.

Emptied of auguries,
A ringless woman,
I begin to count
On my unshackled fingers like a child
Beginning to learn.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo is of me at 17 — I think you can see that ring!

SOURCE: First published in Voyeur.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The onyx lost from the ring was given to me by my aunt-godmother for my 17th birthday. My aunt was known for gifting unusual items such as a package of gold-tipped Turkish cigarettes that she gave me when I was 14. At a difficult period in my life, the onyx came to represent misfortune, so its loss was in a way a relief.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic, and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 17 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest book, Carnival, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2016. She has another forthcoming from Kelsay Press in 2017 titled The Seven Heavenly Virtues. She is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review. Visit her at joancolby.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

White
The Brooch
by Lynn White

We sat on the dirty stairs
holding hands and looking sad.
His name was Ralf
and tomorrow at
“la bonne heure”
he was
leaving Paris,
going home to Geneva.
He gave me a brooch made of metal,
two hands breaking a rifle in two.
I pinned it on my jacket,
the black leather one
that was stolen
some years
later.
I bought a new jacket,
also black leather,
also stolen
later.
I could have bought a new brooch,
identical to the one I had lost.
But I never did.
I couldn’t replace the connection lost.
Lost
when I lost
the brooch

PHOTO: The author, second from left in Paris, about 1965.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: 
It’s strange something so trivial can be remembered so many years later. All it took was the prompt for me to visualize us sitting on the stairs looking glum! Oddly enough this is all I remember of our brief friendship. Perhaps without the gift of the brooch and it’s subsequent loss, I would remember nothing at all!

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Not my brooch, just an identical one from the Internet.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014. This and many other poems have been published in recent anthologies, including the Alice in Wonderland Anthology (Silver Birch Press), The Border Crossed Us (Vagabond Press), Selfhood (Trancendence Zero) — and journals such as Apogee, Firewords Quarterly, Guide To Kulchur, Indie Soleil, Midnight Circus, and Snapdragon as well as many other online and print publications. Visit her on facebook and at lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com.

weiss
Obsession
by Tina Hacker

“How could I lose them?”

Like fingers of prickly heat,
those five words scratched
my memory to unearth
the hiding place
I so cleverly created
for the turquoise and pearl drops.
The earrings were all I had
to help me remember
a grandmother I hardly knew.

Mornings brought grief,
pungent as unbrushed breath.
I imagined my grandmother wearing
the delicate swirls of gold,
when she sat
for her engagement photograph,
when she watched
her children prosper in a foreign land.

Passing months, like hands
spreading balm, began to soothe
the harsh red of loss
until one night, deep inside a dream,
I heard my grandmother’s voice.
Her words sanded off
the layer of peace
that had smoothed my sleep.

“How could you lose them?”

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Portrait of my grandmother Gitel Weiss taken in the early 1900s.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have very few photos of my grandmother Gitel and none showing the earrings I inherited. This picture was torn into three pieces when I found it and now a restored version hangs in our dining room. It took me a long time to find those earrings. Actually I overlooked them time and again in my jewelry box until suddenly I realized they were there. What a relief!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Tina Hacker
has been published in numerous journals and anthologies and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize four times. She was a finalist in New Letters and George Wedge competitions and Editor’s Choice in two literary journals. In 2016, Tina was honored as a “Muse” for The Writers Place in Kansas City. Her chapbook, Cutting It, and full-length book, Listening to Night Whistles, can be found on Amazon. Since 1976, Tina has been poetry editor for Veterans’ Voices, a magazine of writing by veterans throughout the nation.

PHOTO: The author in a Belly Tank car restored by her cousin Geoffrey Hacker.

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My Mother’s Emerald Ring
by Julia McGuinness

circled a finger on hands that tended me;
deft and gemmed with green stone,
bringer of healing and calm; exotic
as Crème de Menthe or depths marine.

Ring set with a 9 by 6mm emerald
exquisite as a baby’s fingernail;
father’s gift for the gift of me,
birthstone for my month of May

and green years of bare feet
on dewed grass; lime-tanged sweets
in sticky hoards; her ring’s flash
as she made me a dress to match.

Her hands wrinkled, mind slowed
to ringless days in the Care Home.
I placed her emerald safe in a box,
dulled to a pebble of memory.

Her hands grown cold as stone
still I kept her ring in the dark;
carried it close as a secret
till I could gaze on it again

and see more clear and deep
a heart gardened with light,
pure-bodied green flawed
in patient containing of other.

I stroke its grazed edge,
put emerald on my finger;
brush my lips across its face;
cushion it with a kiss.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Mum’s emerald ring.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
My mother died in January 2016, shortly after her eighty-fifth birthday. Putting on her ring a couple of months ago was an important step in my grieving. I felt reconnected to the lovely mother I had known before Parkinson’s Disease and dementia took over in her last few years. Writing the poem was soothing, drawing me towards a richer encounter with both the emerald and my mother’s life. As I wear the ring now, it has come to represent her continuing precious presence in my memory. The poem celebrates this new-found permanence.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My parents John and Josephine Burras with me, Julia Denise, as a baby, in 1958. This was taken at home in Formby village, a few miles north of Liverpool, where my father worked as a buyer of fabrics for Littlewoods’ Department Store.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julia McGuinness lives in Cheshire, north-west England, with a husband and three black cats. She is a writer and therapist who also combines the two in running creative Write for Growth workshops as well as writing with cancer patients. Her books include Writing our Faith (SPCK) and her first poetry collection Chester City Walls was published in 2015 by Poetry Space. Follow her on twitter.

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Mum’s Wedding Ring
by Margaret Adkins

It was on the hand that held my grandmother
as a baby — and my father as a baby.

It was on the hand that held me
as a baby — and my daughter as a baby.

Ellen Boardman married Thomas Butterworth
on Saturday August 21st 1897 and every day since

(except for five years spent in a drawer
waiting for Mum)

my great-grandmother’s wedding ring
has been worn.

Now it swivels, smooth against mine
woven with Welsh gold

and I can but wonder
if there will be a photograph capturing

honeyed Victorian gold on the hand
cradling a great-great-great-grandchild

of Ellen and Thomas Butterworth.

 PHOTO: Ellen Butterworth, Royton, Lancashire, UK (b1868) and (inset) her wedding ring.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For reasons that the poem explains, Mum’s wedding ring is a possession that I must not lose. It is invaluable to me and yet has no value — as I would never sell it. Originally, it was my paternal great-grandmother’s wedding ring and after her death in 1951, it became my mother’s in 1956. It never had the sentimental value for her that it has for me. I understand that: I would not have welcomed any feelings of obligation to accept a wedding ring that had first belonged to my husband’s grandmother. So I feel sadness for Mum. I know she felt disappointment when she agreed to adopt the ring that meant so much to her mother-in-law. However, I am very grateful for her lack of resistance. It wasn’t until after her death in 2003, when the ring became mine to wear, that I realized its value to me. On my finger, the ring is a “living” part of my family since 1897. It knows five generations. On different fingers it has witnessed the joys and sorrows — the hopes and fears — the truths and secrets of each and almost every day throughout 119  years.

PHOTO(above left): The author on her first birthday held by her mother, with her wedding ring visible.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Adkins is a second-year mature student at Worcester University. After a career in nursing and midwifery, she is now studying for a BA (Hons) degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. She has poetry appearing online at: I am not a silent poet, The Fat Damsel, and Poetica Botanica (in association with Ledbury Poetry Festival 2016).

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One Ring to Rule Them All
by Devon Balwit

Like the queens of old with their signets,
I bear mine, encrusted silver, heavy.

I’ve worn it thirty years since bartering
for it from an Ecuadorean street vendor.

I didn’t get a good price, but to me, it’s
magic, a talisman of knobs and swirls.

Once, taking my daughter to overnight
camp, it fell off in her shoe, and I despaired.

I thought it gone forever as I scoured the
parking lot, the woods, the paths.

She’d kept it safe for me the whole week,
knowing its power. It grounds me as I teach,

let’s me await my students’ answers without
pacing. It’s seen me through asking for raises,

talking to the in-laws, meeting my daughters’
boyfriends’ parents. The mojo never dissipates.

I want to be buried in it like a queen of old
surrounded by all, that for her, was hard won.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every morning before I teach ESL to adults, and every afternoon/evening after work and walking my goofy yellow lab, I write. It is my greatest joy. I draw my inspiration from the events of the day, from prompts, from the news. I like to explore new forms and play with language.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me standing in front of my birthday dumpster. The ring is on my reaching hand. You can see it if you look closely!

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The Ring
by J Newton

I hunt frantically through the dusty box,
a mausoleum for once shiny things.

I find it in a tangle of broken glamour;
tarnished, tawdry.
In my open hand, the ring;
a whispered ghost of gold and smoky quartz.

Throw it away
he says.
I shake my head.
It was a present from my mother.

I feel the salt scrape my throat
as I remember what it cost.

A winter wearing open-toed shoes.
Worry over rent and arthritic bones.
Choking back pride;
selling her wedding ring
to bring me this emblem
of unconditional love.

I hold it to my lips.
It is priceless.

SOURCE: “The Ring” was previously published in The Linnet’s Wings.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: A ring similar to the one my mum bought for me when I turned 21.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The ring in question is real. The circumstances around the ring are also real. The ring was broken, along with other bits and pieces in the jewelry box.  The stone was missing and it was a bit buckled and dull.We were having a bit of a clear out and I had all this old costume jewelry that I never wore.  As we were sorting out what could stay and what could go, we came across the ring and my husband thought I should throw it away with the rest of the stuff.  He didn’t realize the significance. My mum and dad split up when I was 10.  My brother was 19 and took on as much responsibility as he could.  We had no help or input from dad, so she had to manage on her own.  To be honest, she managed brilliantly and I have memories of a wonderful childhood.When I was 21, my mum wanted to buy me something special.  She sold her wedding ring and engagement ring for the cash to buy me my ring.  I don’t think by then they held too much sentimental value for her but it must have been hard for her anyway.  I found this out later when she confessed! My ring symbolized every little sacrifice she ever made for us. I always meant to get the stone replaced but I put it away instead.  Unfortunately, the jewelry box was stolen when we were burgled and the ring with it. Luckily, my mum’s frugal days are over and she’s living it up on her pension now. We should never take for granted the personal sacrifices the ones we love make for us every day. Unfortunately, the actual ring was stolen in a burglary. I do hope Karma has a field day with the perpetrators!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J Newton is a 40-something Scottish lady who remembered how much she loved writing after a very long sabbatical. She has gone back to her first love of poetry and has had some pieces published. She is also an enthusiastic member of Write Words and spends most of her time in awe of the lovely people on there. She lives in Rochester, Kent, U.K., with her husband and her cat, Bagpuss. She is covered in scratches on a daily basis.

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Grandfather’s ring
by Jesse Holth

made by his hands,
tarnished by age
and by air

smooth inner side,
outer pocked steel
the craters feel
full, not empty
it’s the life
inside, breathing

too wide to see
little knuckles
beneath, and
much too large
for tiny fingers

must hang from
dangling chain to
wear, around such
a small head
as talisman to
call forth: love,
patience, empathy,
compassion

a treasure beyond
measure, fashioned
from an unliving
generation —
passed down, created
through family to span
an eternity of ages

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My grandfather’s ring, today.

NOT FROM THE AUTHOR: My grandfather made at least two handcrafted rings — one was given to my grandmother, which she still wears every day, and the other to my mother (who handed it down to me). Since his passing, the ring has become a symbol of his generous, selfless spirit and the patience and kindness that he imparted to me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jesse Holth is a freelance writer and editor. Her poetry will be featured in a forthcoming gallery exhibition, and her writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, Popular Archaeology, and Seaside Magazine. You can find her at jesseholth.com or on Twitter @jesseholth.