Saturday, March 03, 2018

Hiding Our Baldness

Egg Art
—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

Shaping your tongue into a flower.

“A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.”

Open the gate. Let the cows roam,
following their own free will.
Open the door. Let the children play
however they wish to play.
If the house and the grounds are both silent,
shape your cool tongue into a single white flower.
Perhaps a camellia, fat and full, bursting
with life. Lick the silence clean.
Move through your silence
like you might move through an entire life,
if only you could; do this without shame.


Slow and thick as we are.

“An invisible bird flies over,
but casts a quick shadow.”

A dark thing quickly dashes across the pale rocks,
and just as fast, is gone.
What was it, we wonder, a shadow?
Looking up, only blue sky—no clouds, no birds.

So it goes sometimes, in life.
Something very dark scurries past,
low and fast.
We cannot identify it, and, like fools
we looks to the heavens for an answer.

And even if we actually found an answer there,
would we believe it?
Quite often, no, we would not.
It wasn't the answer the ego wanted,
or is just too unbelievable. 

Or perhaps we do believe the answer,
but have no way to use the information
gifted to us that is actually helpful,
being slow and thick as we are.

No, my friend. When darkness passes,
let it go. Don’t waste the moment worrying.
A better use for the light from the heavens
is to find your own path through the rocks. 

 Journal Page

The strength of Sampson in his most righteous fury.

“Bring the curly ropes of your hair.”

Although it was well past time for me to be a man,
I wasn't much more than a boy when I spoke to her.

Bring your best holiday smile and walk with me, I said.
I’ll show the place where I hide away from everything.
There is a small cabin with a wood-burning stove,
a fresh stream, and the woods there are full of sound.
Bring your optimism and good cheer.
Bring your sunshine, bring your moonlight.

I said all of this with a hopeful look on my face,
like a puppy-dog hoping for a treat.

She asked me, "And what will you bring to this hidden cabin?"

The strength of Sampson in his most righteous fury.
(I actually said that. Can you imagine?) 
The delight of children when they run,
the way that they shine.
And also this, the strength of heart
that the stars turn to warmth.

She hesitated, then smiled, patted my hand, and walked away.
Now, a lifetime later, I still remember that day. 

 Journal Page

Forgetting to wear clothes again.

“Divide up my forgetfulness to any number,
it will go around.”


It’s true, I have more than enough
forgetfulness to share, enough for everyone.
I forgot to go to work
and then
I forgot to do my chores at home.

I forgot to pay the bills, which isn't so bad
since there isn't any money anyway.
It’s a lovely day, but I forgot to go outside,
and then my pajamas were so comfortable
that I also forgot to get dressed.
My friend, when I began this poem
I had a point, I’m sure of it.
I wonder what it was?
Alas, let's forget it. 

 Walt Whitman Coffee

Listen closely now, I am speaking my mind.

“Drink all your passion and be a disgrace.”

Speak your mind without hesitation,
and live your life without pretense.
Life is short, and what is the use in pretending?
We come into this life alone and on a whim,
and friend, we go out the same way.
Laugh as much as you please,
and as often as you please. Loudly.
Never miss a chance to love anyone.
Anger and hate are ridiculous things,
like old men who try to hide their baldness
with the hair from the sides of their heads.
Listen closely now, I am speaking my mind
and my wonderful advice is absolutely free. 

 Journal Page

Opposable thumbs and a measure of peace.

“I have a thirsty fish in me that can never find
enough of what it is thirsty for.”

Raising his head above the water,
the old fish said to me,
"I must have crossed this cold sea
a thousand times already. It’s work.
Working and drinking.
Working and drinking.
Working and drinking.
It’s easy to get caught up in that harsh cycle,
and there is no real satisfaction in it,
no peace.
I’m thirsty for dry land, for the feel
of the world under me.
if want to trade these tired fins
for the arms and legs of a true human being.
Oh, to have opposable thumbs
and a measure of peace."

I walked away from the shore.
I can't give him the kind of help he wants,
and it's pointless to try to reason with a fish.


Today’s LittleNip:

That we fill each other's cup,
and share the bread between us.
That the light of your kindness join
with the light of my kindness,
and that together our light shines
on the faces of everyone.

—James Lee Jobe


—Medusa, with mighty thanks to James Lee Jobe for his meditations on Rumi today.

 Poet Currency with Duck Lips
—Photo by James Lee Jobe
(Celebrate Poetry!)

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.