Saturday, May 12, 2018

Pull Out a Lawn Chair . . .

Poet and Wife, James and Alex
—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

She is the river where I soak my tired soul.
She is the morning that finally arrived
After the night that seemed endless.
She is my tired little smile when I settle down after supper.
She is the street where I walk when I need to feel better
About something hard.
She is the perfect sky on the night when I learned the truth.
She is the heartbeat in the body of this marriage.
She is my faith.
She is the day that I did not die after all.
She is more than I ever deserved.
She is the footpath that I chose to follow,
And there were so many to choose from.
She is the rich soil where I planted the seeds.
She is the home that became my own.
She is the light and the darkness of our breath.
She is as much a part of my life as I am myself.
She is.
She is.
She is. 


I’ll stand here and bleed, thank you.
No, I don't need a thing.
What am I but a beast in a man suit?
I am a road that goes from nowhere you've ever been
To somewhere you don't want to be.
A smile, a frown:
What's the difference in the darkness of the void?
Go deal with your brambles, your lob-lollies.
Your Spencer Tracy attitude with the over-sized lapels.
Put your ideas in alphabetical order.
Nietzsche and Jesus don't always have the answers.
Sometimes, no one does.
I'll be fine.
Move along, there's nothing to see here. 

 Reading Poems

These are the eyes of my blind life.
These lumps are the ears
That do the listening for my deaf soul.
They rest without thought on a face
As plain as a plate of mashed potatoes.
I see the ghosts who reach out to me,
And I hear the internal words,
The eternal words.
The sky is a friend that comes from so far
Just to sit with me on the porch.
The earth is a garden where I till and plant.
I am blessed with a good heart and a tall spirit.
I live on the rich soil in the big valley
Where my family grows, and this is a good life.
Who needs money to be rich?
Not me.

 Poet Daydreaming

In this dream I am as I truly am.
In most of my dreams I am far younger,
No wife, no children, and strong as an ox,
As I once was.
Not in this dream.
I am past sixty, have asthma,
And swollen, arthritic feet that hurt.
I am myself.
I am talking to a girl in a wheel chair,
Who is clearly paraplegic,
Although she never says exactly what is wrong.
She is really rather pretty,
Perhaps forty years younger than I am,
And very upset.
In the dream her name is never said.
She is angry and crying and often quite obscene.
No one will ever want her, she is telling me.
No one will ever even so much as hold her,
Much less make love to her.
I am trying to console her.
I tell her she can't possibly know that,
Not as young as she is.
She has years yet to be, to meet someone.
She says a very harsh word
And laughs a derisive sort of laugh.
What about me?
Would I take off her clothes?
Would I make love to her just as she is?
Would I kiss her body, lick her, enter her?
I would, I insist, but I am married, so I can't.
I have a wife who I love
And who is very much alive,
And I am a faithful, honest man.
And what about my age?
A young girl can do so much better.
She curses again and calls me a liar.
It's the chair, it's her legs, she tells me,
And nothing more, and she rolls herself away.
I feel terrible and begin to cry,
Weeping and sobbing.
I would hold her... wouldn't I?
Am I so shallow?
I put my head inside my chest and look at my heart.
In this dream I can do that.
My heart is tiny and looks worn out.
How much longer will it go?
I wake up wheezing with asthma
And my albuterol inhaler isn't enough to ease it.
I have a breathing treatment from my nebulizer
As I type this out, and a dull sort of headache
Lays on the left side of my head.

 Sacramento River

What can you trust,
If not the end of the world?
Tidal waves. Flames.
Nuclear winter. The wrath of god.
That’s something you can get your head around.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Riding straight at you.
Lots of running and screaming;
Yes, especially that. But why?
Isn't it better to go out with a little class?
Raise your glass and toast the onrushing tsunami.
Jump into that crack in the earth.
Embrace the chaos.
Pull out a lawn chair as the meteor comes down,
And just sit and relax, enjoying the view.
I love a good show.
Did you have a hard day, my friend?
Take heart. It's almost over.


Today’s LittleNip:

That we might breathe the air of truth
And so be come truly awake.
That we might live as a single family of man,
Sharing the world even as we nurture it.


Our thanks to James Lee Jobe for this morning’s fine poetry! See more from James at Book of Jobe: James will be hosting The Other Voice in Davis Poetry Series this coming Friday, May 18, featuring Dennis Hock and Tamer S. Mostafa (plus open mic) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis on Patwin Road, 7:30pm. Then next Sunday, May 20, he will be hosting the Davis Art Center Poetry Series at Davis Art Center, 2pm, featuring William O'Daly and Traci Gourdine. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 —Anonymous Photo
Celebrate the poetry of the daydream . . .

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.