sunday spotlight dr noelle sterne marilyn l davis

Sunday Spotlight: John “Jake” Cosmos Aller

By: Marilyn L. Davis

I suffer from poet envy. I can’t ever get past thinking that roses are red, and then I get stuck. 

One person that I’ve always admired is John “Jake” Cosmos Aller. His poetry seems to reflect many thoughts I’ve had about life, love, loss, and loneliness. 

Touched by Jake’s Words

We know that any writer who touches us stays with us, and with each subsequent Poetry Break or fiction submission for the Best 1000 words for an Image Prompt, he hasn’t disappointed me.  

Sunday Spotlight: John "Jake" Cosmos Aller marilyn l davis two drops of ink

Take the image of the bench above. Several writers tackled it in the contest, but no one brought that bench to life – literally –  as Jake did in his entry for Best 1000 Words for the Image Contest: John Cosmos Aller: The Cosmic Bench in Lithia Park 

Excerpt:

The bench woke up and spoke to Sam.

“Sam, how are you doing? Old friend of mine, I am delighted that I can speak with you.”

Sam looked around and could not find out where the voice was coming from but realized that the bench had spoken to him. Sam laughed and said, “Well, bench, if you can speak, tell me what you know.”

The bench spoke of Sam’s life and of the lives of others in the community that Sam knew. The bench said he knew everything that occurred in the lives of the people that sat down to rest, reflect, or remember.

And the trees knew, too, as did the cosmic cat and even the squirrels. But people, well, they just did not know how to listen to nature and to the world around them. In a way, it was too bad because the bench had so much wisdom to implant.

I See His Poetry 

When I started at Two Drops of Ink in 2014, I claimed the job of finding images for posts. Scott Biddulph was a great editor, but his choice of images sometimes seemed lackluster. Don’t worry, we had that conversation, so I’m not talking behind his back. His response was, “I don’t have an artistic talent; you do.” 

So I scoured every known site and found Pixabay and Upsplash. If you need images for your blog, these are two free-to-use sites that never disappoint me. 

I loved the job then and still do. Some of Jake’s poetry has been especially fun to image. It might just be me, but if you squint, I think you can see a little of Jake in the image for Just An Unhinged Lunatic Howling At The Moon

Sunday Spotlight: John "Jake" Cosmos Aller marilyn l davis two drops of ink Excerpt:

And finally, I had to say something

So I gathered up my manly courage

And walked up to her

And she looked at me

And instantly bewitched my soul

With a devilish grin

I lost all reason

And became a raving lunatic

Just an unhinged lunatic

Howling at the moon

Switching Gears

From a female perspective, we sometimes wish we had that kind of influence on a man. But then, Jake switches things up for us in Howling at the Moon. Our love-struck man transforms under the effects of the moon:

Excerpt:

Beneath the lunatic rays

Of the blood-red full moon

The lunatic lights of the moon

Casts a wild primeval glow

On me

The hormonal chemicals are unleashed

The wild beast within

Escapes it chain

And I howl with delight

A werewolf

Free at last

Understanding His Characters

The other thing I like about Jake’s poetry is that he writes about subjects I know, if not first hand, then in the retelling by countless men and women I’ve worked with for 30 years. Addiction either robs us, or we give it away, all the things that some people take for granted – a job, home, children, car, or food on the table. 

Some of the characters in his poetry are downtrodden, not necessarily from addiction, but the sentiments and experiences of his character in Just Enough for Coffee sound hauntingly familiar. 

Alzheimer’s, homelessness, and out-of-work are subjects that most people wouldn’t tackle in poetry, yet Jake does so admirably. 

Excerpt:

The homeless man

Had been on the streets

For too long

Barely remembered his life

Before early-onset Alzheimer’s 

Robbed him of his job

His dignity

His wife 

His life

His money

Now he drifted

Waiting for the grim reaper

To call him home 

Any day now

He prayed nightly

To a god

That he no longer believed in

Lonely and Laudable Words

Jake delves into loneliness with wonderful mind/word images in many of his poems. Here are some that express the despair of all humans cut off from contact, friendship, and love in Reflections and One Crazy Day. 

Excerpt:

One dismal night

One lousy, lonely, loathsome demented night

In a godforsaken bar

In the global south

In a tropical hell hole

Drinking my way to hell

As fast as I could

Drinking alone with my buddies

Jack Daniels, Jimmy Walker

Wild Turkey and Old Grandad

Excerpt:

I looked up

Looked out at the window

At the full moon

Saw by its lunatic light

Your face

Was in the moon

And I looked up

At the light

That crazy light

And dreamed

I was with you

Again 

And I woke up

Again

And I woke up

Alone in my bed

Climate Change in Poetry? 

I am so impressed with Jake’s ability to take a hot topic and turn it into poetry. Ten Years After Climate Change Collapse envisions the collapsed world through a poet’s eyes.  Sunday Spotlight: John "Jake" Cosmos Aller marilyn l davis two drops of ink Excerpt:

Sam Adams carried heat

To protect himself

Against the wild animals.

The lions, tigers, coyotes, wolves,

And their running feral dog gangs,

Who prowled the city streets

Preying on deer, feral cows,

feral cats and pigs

Who grazed among the ruins.

And the two legged neo-savage gangs,

And what was left of the city police

Interchangeable with the gangsters,

Battled it out for control.

The second poem in that group, sizes up the situation from the Lion King’s perspective. We’ve spent years killing animals and they finally decide that enough is enough. 

Excerpt:

The lion king,

Addresses the animal parliament

The question before them

Was simple.

Will humans have to die,

To atone for their sins,

In almost destroying the world.

Through pollution, mismanagement of resources

Subsequent climate  change,

Fueled by greed and corruption?

Are all humans guilty as charged

Will they all have to die?

Positive Poetry from Jake Aller

Before you think that all of Jake’s poetry is maudlin and melancholy, there’s a humorous and positive side to many of his poems, too.  Dora , The Intergalactic Explorer and Dragonfly in My Mind are two that show his playful, positive side. 

Excerpt:

Dora, the intergalactic explorer

Is traveling to the strangest planet

of all the known worlds

she is traveling incognito

with a video crew

making a documentary

the planet earth

is known as a planet

of intelligent monkeys

Excerpt:

Oh, difficult, negative thoughts

Be gone

Like the bugs

You are

I’ll squash you like

The evil creatures

You really are

The sweet music

Invades my soul

Driving away

The evil bugs

And I soar

Like the majestic

Dragonfly

Far above

The chaos below

Piqued Your Interest for Jake’s Poetry?

I hope I’ve gotten your attention and that you read Jake’s posts here at Two Drops of Ink. Here’s four more for your enjoyment:

A Wild Man Sits in a Gilded Cage

2019 The Last Year of America’s Greatness

Mocking Faces Staring at Me

God’s Confession

I Bet He Could Improve on Roses are Red

I wonder if Jake could help me with my roses are red? Oh, sorry, I digress. But I just know that with the imagination Jake has, he could do something magical. I might just ask him. 

Bio: John “Jake” Cosmos Aller 

Sunday Spotlight: John "Jake" Cosmos Aller marilyn l davis two drops of ink

John “Jake” Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer, having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department. He toured in ten countries – Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Korea, India, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Spain, and Thailand, and traveled to 45 countries during his career. 

Jake has been an aspiring novelist for several years. He is pursuing publication on:

He has been writing poetry all his life and has published his poetry in electronic poetry forums, including All Poetry, Moon Café, and Duane’s Poetree and literary magazines.  

He is looking forward to transitioning to his third career – full-time novelist and poet after completing his second career as a Foreign Service officer and his first career as an educator overseas for six years upon completing his Peace Corps service in South Korea.

LINKS:

https://kr.linkedin.com/in/jakealler

http://www.Writing.Com/authors/Jcosmos

http://www.poetrysoup.com/me/jakecosmos

http://www.moontowncafe.com/members/view_profile.asp?id=28083

https://allpoetry.com/Jake_Aller

 

 

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Sunday Spotlight: John "Jake" Cosmos Aller marilyn l davis two drops of ink

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DDD

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