Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Simple Man, Breathing

—Poems by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA
—Artwork Photos Courtesy of James Lee Jobe 

Using the space heater like a stove top to heat beans and cook hot dogs. Beer outside on the windowsill to stay cool. A common bathroom down the hall. A dump of a room in a hotel full of the lost and the broken. And you and I? We were the lost. We were shadows against a city street. We were the rain that rinsed the dirty sidewalks and the gutters. Yesterday and tomorrow were just words with no meaning. No one knew where we were, and no one cared anyway. Life was lived by the day, and by the night. If we wanted to leave, we could be gone in minutes.


In the fourth and fifth months the leaves return, reborn, the flowers bud and bloom—and who am I? Just a man. I have no words worthy of being carved in stone.

If you argue Right and Wrong
You will always be one or the other.
Live by cultivating.
Live by nurturing.
Live with awareness and compassion.
Even on the grayest of days
The sky is vast and beautiful.
The sky is endless.

Here. It's a good place to be.
I no longer dream of new places to go,
And I no longer miss the places of my youth.
To be where I am is enough.
This patch of earth.
Here. This place.

Dawn sitting.
I breathe in peace,
I breathe out kindness,
And again.
In this life I am a simple man,

That the earth might go on, that the rain might go on, that the sun might shine on, that the forests might still grow; as these things continue, so will life continue. This is my prayer.


Today’s LittleNip:

Even the birds have gone silent.
My son's ghost must be passing by again.

—James Lee Jobe


Thanks, James Lee Jobe, for today’s fine cuppa poetry and photos! Today is a busy one in poetry in our area, beginning this morning at 9:30am with Maceo Montoya, Javier O. Huerta and open mic at Writers on the Air, Sac. Poetry Center, Sacramento. Then in Placerville, Poetic License will meet from 2-4pm at the Sr. Center lobby on Spring St. Tonight, Three Men & A Mic will feature three poets plus comedian Marcelis Flores at Magnus Opus of the Stars on 12th St. in Sacramento. 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.


(Celebrate poetry!)

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