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Cecily Jones: a poet for today

Posted on June 12, 2020, by Martha Alderson CoL

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The Porch of Possibility, Vol. II, by Cecily Jones SL (1924–2017), is available for purchase. The book, published in 2018, includes 33 poems, most com-posed after Vol. I was published in 2013, but there are a few older poems that were found among Cecily’s private papers. Below is an excerpt from the collection’s title poem. “The Porch of Possibility” takes us into the future, which was a gift of Cecily’s. 

“In a Certain Light,” a complete poem from the collection, is a metaphor for faith in dark and in bright times. There are more, each fascinating and inspiring. 

The Porch of Possibility 

Like the dawn that wrestles us awake 
or dusk enfolding us, 
without our ushering or consent 
the future boldly comes. 
Not missioned grandly to its making 
(willy-nilly it will arrive), 
we must plumb the possible 
where deeds and dreams abide. 

. . . 

On porch of possibility 
the Spirit gently bides 
as windows focus vision 
and doors keep swinging wide. 

In a Certain Light 
“The Truth must dazzle gradually.”  – Emily Dickinson 

In a certain light 
I see a faintest arch 
grooved into the whitebricked wall, 
like thumbprint drawn on dusty shelf, 
where once a window let in golden streams. 

With art the lemon glow 
from window’s twin bestows asymmetry, 
but were there other goals for blocking off, 
some scheme to halve the light? 

Would the brilliance pierce me twice 
if panes were still in place? 
Could I discern beyond the trough 
indented mortar makes 
in a certain light? 

This narrowness of gleam, 
this funneling of rays 
may thinner focus luster 
the twins of glass had made. 

I squint to seek the arch’s trace 

and muse upon the vacant hues. 
Emblazoned be the Mystery, 
though dim or even dark, 
when shadings of the luminous 
create a prism of belief 
in uncertain certain light. 

Cecily Jones 
August 2013 

Order by sending an email to: [email protected]. Books are $10 plus postage. 


Martha Alderson CoL

Martha Alderson has been a Loretto Co-member since 1984. She is retired from the publishing industry and more recently from being on the Loretto Community staff as coordinator of co-membership services. She served one term on the first Community Forum. For several years she was an editor and layout person for Interchange (Loretto's internal newsletter) and now edits two issues of that newsletter. At the present she is on the Special Needs Committee and the Motherhouse Coordinating Board. She does the occasional proofreading and editing of Loretto publications.
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