Order Jenna Weston’s new book of North American Haiku poems, Written on the Leaves. Order Now


Most of my poetry and all of my haiku explore the connection between nature and human nature. Although I find amazing beauty and inspiration in the natural world, I am deeply concerned about the alarming rate at which so much is being destroyed. I want my poetry to draw readers closer to nature, while also showing how vulnerable and in need of protection our planet has become.


Doing seventy

in the passing lane

ahead a dark form

takes shape

lurches toward the median

in slow motion

big turtle.

Going too fast

to brake

can’t change lanes

semi to my right

got to line up the wheels

calculate my fast and his slow

and make a split second’s chance

for his life to continue.

In the rearview mirror

he makes it into the weeds

still two more lanes to go

what are the chances

he will find the mate he’s seeking

produce another generation

survive our world?


I feel the split starting
Before it happens.
The shell cracks,
Falls away in one piece-
And with it, the memory
Of all those years spent underground,
Waiting, preparing for this day.

When I finally crawl out
From the dark husk of my past,
I leave behind that empty thing
That looks like me,
But isn’t me.

Ascending to a higher level,
I find I have a voice,
That I can join it with others,
And together
We might be loud enough
To wake up
All those that still sleep.

Interior in Green

Inside this house

Plants find their way

Into my poems,

Vining sideways

Along the page,

Wrapping their tendrils

Around my pen.

Beside the silent radio

The lemongrass plant,

From a circle of bound dirt,

Explodes in green fireworks.

Asparagus ferns dangle

Languid fronds over the sides

Of hanging bowls,

Stirred by a whirling ceiling fan.

With multiplied spines

Reflected in stainless steel,

A cactus bristles

At sharing space with pots and pans.

Atop a bookshelf

The prayer plant

Folds its leaves for the night,

A closing of oval pages.

I dip my fingers into soil

To check for moisture,

And feel the shock of contained growth.

These plants remind me I am alive

In rooms of so many inanimate objects,

Where daily, within these walls,

We breathe in

Each others’ exhalations.

Black Light

We are dancing

under the blacklight

and the dayglo

posters are as loud

as the music.

But that purple bulb

also reveals the

things we want

to stay unseen--

Specks of dandruff,

cat hairs, spilled food

all suddenly luminescent

in celebration of

being recognized at last;

These spangled sequins

of the unacknowledged

float and bob

through the dim room

doing their own dance.


daylight conceals

what only darkness

can reveal.

Night time

lets secrets out

into their natural habitat;

silence made visible.

The dark

has at its core

its own illumination-

A different kind of

shining that nurtures

what is under ground;

A grow light

for the roots

of our souls.

Payne's Prairie

This very ordinary
afternoon walking

through the wetland
I become witness

to a snake whipping
its long body – caught

between the blades
of a white egret’s bill.

Suddenly tossed, it is
swallowed head-first –

remaining tail
coils around the pale

feathered neck,
tightening a noose.

Bird and half-
eaten snake fall,

both thrashing in the mud
while a dark row

of partially-submerged
alligators watch and wait


Pulp floats
Like cumulous clouds
In the black vat.
A square of sky lifts,
And water comes out
The bottom of the screen
In thin lines,
Raining down
On my rubber boots.

I stand in puddles,
Pressing leaf after
White leaf
Into squared strata.
Aquatic to dryland
Takes place within hours:
Miracle of moving air.

The flatness
Of measurable time
Whispers between my hands.
Each sheet is
A field of snow,
A trackless desert,
A landscape of possibility.

Torn by two desires,
I must choose:
Maintain this purity?
Or place my marks
On the new-made surface?