“A Tornado Rips Past My Mother’s House”

& “She Wrote Me a Poem”

Poetry by James Croal Jackson, Photography by Anthony Maes


A Tornado Rips Past My Mother’s House


I was silent in the basement during dire warnings

waiting for the storms to pass. Unfurled sleeping

bag then curled inside all through an endless night,

flickers of light racing through the room to leave

as soon as it arrives. I’ve adjusted to all this loss,

a byproduct of the years. I want your yard

unburdened from the presence of society

fallen. I hope you’re inside, I know

as safe as possible, where the invisible threats

in this world can’t crawl to you. A ceiling of steel

where even trees can’t fall through. Please,

please let me keep this last hope alive.




She Wrote Me a Poem


And my eyeballs

are on fire.


I used to like the sound

of a brush in flames,

and this is the same

thing. The burning

beneath me,

molten soil.

Running is my prerogative,

but my heart has to be

a certain way,

not not.




James Croal Jackson (he/him) is a Filipino-American poet who works in film production. He has two chapbooks (Our Past Leaves, Kelsay Books, 2021 and The Frayed Edge of Memory, Writing Knights, 2017) with one forthcoming: Count Seeds With Me (Ethel, 2022). He edits The Mantle Poetry from Pittsburgh, PA.




A native of Denver, Anthony Maes is a Chicano Visual Artist who is well known for his editorial & documentary photography. Anthony’s eye has allowed him to beautifully storytell with his work as well as encapsulate a very intimate view & cultural identity of his subject. Anthony’s work has helped him to create a diverse portfolio of art works ranging from photojournalism, concert & fashion photography to portraiture. Additionally, Anthony is a cofounder of the Denver Photo Swap and a member of the photography Collective Theyshootn.