—James Lee Jobe, Davis
When this night lifts away from the world, like a blanket
torn from a bed, I will finally leave this body.
I have been waiting, counting
years like days.
What comes next is something I cannot know,
but it doesn't matter.
My spirit rode the ark
through the flood.
My soul was a window to stare through
and day dream.
I will leave this body, and some day
you will leave yours, friend.
These shells we ride in are like used cars, parts wear out,
until finally it is done.
It has been a long night,
empty, and cold.
My only companions are a clock
and a worn out book of poems.
And that's alright; even now the first rays
of the newborn sun are kissing the earth.
THE NIGHT SHE LEFT THE WINDOW OPEN
—Jame Lee Jobe
Lovely indeed, she had lit many beeswax candles
of yellow and white; the tiny flames escaped
one by one through the open window, flying
off to heaven to become the stars. The scent
of her perfume and her oils drifted out
on the evening breeze to cover the flowers,
the jasmine, and the honeysuckle. And she sang!
Her song gave life to the moon, whose dance
pulled the tides in and out, wave and splash,
the waves of another day, another chance
at living. At being human. Life escaped
through this window only to return as love,
as the kindest dreams of our children,
as a chance, a slim chance, of a future.
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
Here's the shop on Main Street with
its windows blank. For Lease. Nothing
inside. It used to be a bookstore,
window on the world, and time—
mankind's history and his prospects,
every imaginable adventure
bound in words. I'd pick a volume
off the shelves; flip through pages. Feel
its heft and fiber, comfort of its spine.
The bookstore's out of business.
Now there's Nook and Kindle. I hold
a brand-new one in my hand,
there are no stories stored inside.
It weighs less than the book I close
like a window on the ages.
I stroke the buckram cover
as if I could feel, slipping
from the printed pages, its life.
The moon is a merchant ship sailing
half-rigged across the ocean of blue sky.
Graceful as Arabic alphabet,
those lovely, curving letters in her sleep
fresh as bed-sheets never were,
in this tedium of lying on a fever-tide.
A week past novilune, in the Latin
way of telling a waxing moon
that's come sailing through east-window
on the waves of late afternoon,
foam writing some alien script full
of unknown meaning, still fresh as salt-
water lapping at her inner ear.
Listen, it says.
THE FOUNDLING AS SEEN FROM A HIGH OPEN WINDOW
—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove
There was something about his breathing,
Quick short breaths, as if a spider
Monkey was doing the breathing. There
Was no way to explain why this was.
He moved with a liquid elegance
Seldom seen in any interior space.
The sky seemed to lift his body
Higher than one might expect just
Looking at him standing there.
The room began to attract many birds,
Way too many birds. The noise was
Becoming overwhelming. It was as if a dream
Had broken away from the great
Cart of dreams somewhere on a high
Path and began to hurl itself down
A road never meant to carry more than
One or two riders at the same time.
I should have warned you this kind
Of thing was going to happen.
That all the principals in the poem
Would be forever without identity,
Tossed over a cliff high up on
A mountainside before anyone
Caught a good look at them
Or could construct any idea of why
This might be occurring at all.
The night quickly gathered all the
Players in her arms. The wagon
Spun into the open air off
The cliff edge, high above the
Town. Townspeople thought it was
A meteor rather than a discovered
Bit of language working as hard
As possible to become a great
Mystery. Within three-quarters
Of an hour everyone had forgotten the
Incident, only noticing the
Way the crowd took sharp, quick
Breaths and made their way away
From the windows, to their homes
Moving as quickly as possible.
There was a break in the cloud
Cover just as we reached the meadow.
The moon had been busy arranging
Things and when she poked
Through the clouds it was like
A lute solo had been remade
With shadows and that yellow-blue
Moon light bubbling out of a crescent
Cauldron and changing the entire landscape.
We could read the night of a sudden.
The fingers of light seemed glass-like
And more nervous than memory,
As if anxious to explain why this
Had happened just now, in this way.
“It’s just the moon breaking through
The clouds. You seem to think it is some
Kind of beautiful mystery.”
I was taken aback. I could feel
And touch and taste my own center.
“Of course it is,” I said. May we applaud this whole
Thing? It is so much more jewelry than anything else.
SOME FRENCH PIANO MUSIC
Tonight I will follow the plain
Out to where the adagio lives,
Where the Pavanne is still danced,
Where the melody takes the bass
Out against the cloth of night
And presses it as close as breath.
Where we are the prayer in
Ravel or Poulenc or Satie,
Or Deodot de Severac, or Fauré.
France comes to our bed and
Caresses us as we have never
Been touched before. It settles
In our heart and in our hands,
In our memories of something we did
Early on in life, when every day was long
And every night, longer still.
We will keep this close. We will
Breathe and the music will pulse
Through, yet remain, and we shall sleep
In the hands of the masters.
WORD-A-DAY NAANI FOR NEW YEAR
The skull's a mazard,
a fragile brain's helmet.
Tilting at windmills
spins our thoughts dizzy inside.
Through the window,
morning dawns numinous—
by 10 o'clock bored.
Where does awesomeness hide?
the whole world's knowledge
at a mouse-click.
Too much thinking; set it aside.
Thanks to today's master chefs for our Kitchen fare! Taylor Graham is checking out the Word-a-Day link at the bottom of our green box to the right of this and using it for inspiration. If you're wondering what a Naani is, go to "Forms to Fiddle With" higher up in that same box. And have you ever used the word, "novilune"? Every day brings new surprises, yes?