The Poetry of Lisa M. Hase-Jackson


Claire Bateman WH banner 2022

“One little chicken shouldn’t cause/this much grief, Gary/says. There is no small grief,/I tell him, for all are/interconnected. One touch/sends tremors through our core/like the fly in the web/that wakes the spider at its center.”By Lisa M. Hase-Jackson

Speculative Friction

By Claire Bateman

Bateman-Lisa Hase-Jackson, credit Jonathan Bohr Heinen-2
Lisa M. Hase-Jackson. (Photo: Jonathan Bohr Heinen.)

Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1 March 2022—Poet Lisa M. Hase-Jackson is the author of Flint and Fire (The Word Works), winner of the 2019 Hilary Tham Capital Collection Series as selected by Jericho Brown and has recently been nominated for a Pushcart. She is a full-time writer, developmental editor, and acting Editor in Chief for South 85 Journal. Learn more about her here.[]

Land of the Southwind
(after Melanie McCabe)

I bring to mind Fox. Kickapoo. Shawnee.
Also, Atchison. Topeka. Burnett. Entreat
the gritty Kaw. Tall figures of history:
John Brown. Carry Nation. Gordon Parks.
Adolescence accompanied by Dust
in the WindCarry on My Wayward Son.
My cot-caught merger rising above wheat, sorghum,
milo, a rural adoption in tornadic decibels.

I aspire tumultuous atmospheres, green sky before
the hail, combines in the field, morels beneath fallen
elms. In the Chevy’s bed, I stack square bales, split
wood, too. Shuffle around slurred speech that seeks
argument, past the pfst of a tab-top can. That man
who used to call me Mouse.

I imagine milkweed. Crabapple. Columbine whispers
romance and foolishness. Victory. America’s bread
basket. Dorothy’s birthplace an impetus for escape.
Passage to Oregon, to Santa Fe, westward expansion
from my mother’s Kansas City. Settlers dispersing like birds:
Starlings. Hawks. The incomparable Western Meadowlark.

Land of the Southwind first appeared in The Strategic Poet edited by Diane Lockward.

Dead Birds of the Great Leap Forward

Though data linking sparrows to bluebird decline is sparse,
sparrows are often blamed for bluebird decline.
An introduced species, often regarded as invasive,
it’s long been acceptable to kill sparrows for no reason at all.

Sparrows are still often blamed for bluebird decline,
though bluebirds were never a concern for Mao.
He viewed sparrows as one of four great pests plaguing his county,
so commanded citizens to bang pots and drive them to the sky.

Bluebird populations were not a concern for Mao,
he just wanted to illustrate Supreme Control.
He commanded everyone to bang pots, drive sparrows to the sky
and force them to fly until, exhausted, they died midair.

Because Mao wanted to illustrate Supreme Control
and believed sparrows ate too much grain,
he forced them to fly until they died midair
or had them caught in nets and poisoned.

Because sparrows consumed too much grain for Mao’s taste,
an estimated billion birds were killed.
They were caught in nets and poisoned,
became known as the dead birds of the Great Leap Forward.

An estimated billion birds were killed
and crop production increased for a time:
these were the dead birds of The Great Leap Forward
whose absence allowed hordes of insects to move in.

Crop production increased for a time,
and there was more rice for everyone,
then rice-eating insects horded in
eating every crop in sight.

There was more rice for everyone for a time
and Mao’s Supreme Control seemed confirmed,
but then insects ate every crop in sight
and thirty-five million starving citizens died.

Mao’s Supreme Control seemed confirmed.
To stop grain-eating pests, he ordered crops to be mowed.
Thirty-five million starving citizens died
because no one knew sparrows feed insects to their chicks.

To stop grain-eating pests, Mao ordered all crops be mowed
before changing his mind about sparrows.
Once he learned adult sparrows feed insects to their chicks
it seemed a better idea to conserve.

Mao changed his mind about sparrows,
an introduced species, often regarded as invasive,
once he learned adult sparrows feed insects to their chicks.
Data linking sparrows to bluebird decline is sparse.

Dead Birds of the Great Leap Forward first appeared in Fall Lines.

One Saturday In March, We Deal Again with Mortality
Chickens are behaviourally sophisticated, discriminating among individuals. Psychology Today.

Gary researches chicken psychology
after finding a patch of gold feathers
scattered in the backyard

and we realize that Buttercup is gone.
He wants to know if the other
three hens will miss her, if they are

traumatized by her attack
and sudden disappearance.
The barred owl that has been

visiting the bird bath for the last
week, conspicuously quiet,
has apparently gained from our loss.

Living on the farm, I used to fish
the creek bordering my land, slipping
sinkers on the line to keep

it taut and tense, which is how I feel now.
One little chicken shouldn’t cause
this much grief, Gary

says. There is no small grief,
I tell him, for all are
interconnected. One touch

sends tremors through our core
like the fly in the web
that wakes the spider at its center.

It’s been 20 years since the farm,
but I still remember every chicken
lost to a coyote
or feral dog. Gary rakes
up Buttercup’s feathers and places
them in an empty feed bag

that he deposits in the trash
bin. The three surviving
hens graze greening grass,

stick close to the shed
and the house. Goldie
is the only brown chicken

now. The other two
open ranks,
let her in.

One Saturday In March, We Deal Again with Mortality first appeared in Kakalak


Stonehenge is maintained with a push mower;
the groundskeeper marching back and forth
in crosshatch strips cutting the grass short, even
like a haircut, like a golf course. This is not

the way it looks after my husband passes the Phillips-Norelco
through hair left on my mother’s pale scalp, a good ½ inch
that the stylist just could not bring herself to shave.

Fluffs of charcoal dust the deck planks while silent
birds watch. The walnut tree sheds, too, dropping leaves
in early June. For ten years we assumed this a harbinger

of the tree’s demise, but time has proven that it does this
every season.

Yield first appeared in Cimarron Review

Her Own Girl

When you answered
the woman who asked
whose little girl I was
that I was my own person,
that I did not belong to anyone,

there was a pause,
one might call it pregnant,
because no one expected
you to answer that way.

I stood quiet, too,
because I wanted
you to claim me
to say that I belonged
to you and you to me
and that we belonged
together in a way no other two people
in the world do.

That was our first year
in Albuquerque,
your first semester
at the college; the year
of Darwinism and feminism,
of never telling
your child no,

the summer of painting
back to bananas and trees
on our neighbor, Quintin’s,
VW bug,
the year he drove
his motorcycle off the side
of a mountain.

When I walked away
unannounced from camp
that summer, found the restaurant
where you worked
using landmarks and pointed questions,
you made an extra key
to the apartment
that I could tie around my neck,
then showed me how
to take the city bus
to the grocery store
and the laundry mat
and how to use the bus map.

When late August arrived
we walked together to
Eugene Field Elementary

and to UNM campus
where you showed me a structure
near the art department
we called the rook
because of its resemblance
to the chess piece.
This would be our meeting place
for the next four years.
There were a dozen other little tricks
you showed me, too,
skills I used to become
my own girl.

Her Own Girl first appeared in Mom Egg Review/VOX.

To order copies of Claire Bateman’s books Scape or Coronology from Amazon, click on the book covers below.Bateman ScapeBateman Coronology

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Claire Bateman’s books include Scape (New Issues Poetry & Prose); Locals (Serving House Books), The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan University Press), Friction (Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize), At The Funeral Of The Ether (Ninety-Six Press, Furman University), Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose), Leap (New Issues), and Coronology (Etruscan Press). She has been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Surdna Foundation, as well as two Pushcart Prizes and the New Millennium Writings 40th Anniversary Poetry Prize. She has taught at Clemson University, the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and various workshops and conferences such as Bread Loaf and Mount Holyoke. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina. (Please see Bateman’s Author’s Page for links to all her publications, and go here for further information about the poet and her work.) (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)