Saturday, December 01, 2018

Send Out the Call

Davis, CA—Rain
—Poems and Photos by James Lee Jobe, Davis, CA

Bring forth the silent, still surface of the lake at midnight,
And bring forth the smell of the pines, the smell of dirt.

Light the incense and the candles. Strike the gong and call
The humans to the gathering. Kneel together as one.

Bring the sound of a child's first footsteps
Against the wooden planks of the cabin floor.

Send out the call—across the valley, through the hills.
Send out the call—the hour has come at last.

You are welcome here, just as you have always hoped.

This is the hour of offerings, this is moment of genuflecting
To something that is greater than us, and cannot be seen.

Bring your hearts in their finest offerings of love,
Love that is pure and untouched by want or need.

There is no past, no future. There are no sins or regrets.
Leave all the darkness behind you and step into the light.

Bring the children and the elderly and the infirm.
The hour of offerings is for everyone, for every soul.

You are welcome here, just as you have always hoped.

 Davis, CA—Rain

The thought was immense.
It took all of us to think it through.
Thinking a thought like that required tools and an assistant.
All day we worked under the sweet valley sun,
Laboring with mindful attention.
When the evening came we put that thought to rest,
And all around us was the sound of crickets. 

 Davis, CA—Rain

A Cuban torch song from the 1950s plays in the background,
A little too loudly. Perhaps the song is actually in the foreground.
It is a beautiful spring day, but I cannot bring myself to go outside.

My son has been dead for one month, and his ashes wait
In a little box on the table beside the hallway to his old room.
During the day, when I walk past, I touch this box very lightly.

My, how long the days have become. How slow.

 Davis, CA—Rain

In the middle of the night I woke up. I often do.
I went into the living room for a while. I sat.
From a dark corner I heard a voice, rough, harsh.
Or did I imagine it? Had I dropped off for a moment
And dreamed this voice? That’s possible.
It seemed to want something from me.
Was it my dead son? I wondered that, alone in the night.
It could be him, I thought, angry at me
For being a worthless father,
For failing to teach him enough to even survive.
“Go, Son, rest now. Don’t stay here.”
I said it out loud. “It’s been over a year;
You should be resting now. Sleep.”

I left the living room and went back to bed,
But I didn’t sleep right away.
For a long time I stared at the lamp
That I just couldn't bring myself to turn off.

 Davis, CA—Rain

The universe is a river and often she bathes
And swims. Lovely in her nakedness, even
After so many years, she slips into the water
And lets the universe wash her clean again.

The universe is a river and often I bathe
And swim. In the rushing water I can lower
My guard, be weak, show my vulnerability.
I can let the universe wash me clean again.

Come to the river.
Lay down your clothes and swim.


The stars tonight shine like love.
The moon glows in agreement.
Your lips and your kiss are enough
For me again tonight. Wife.


Today’s LittleNip:
Restraint and patience. Wisdom and diligence.
Above all, kindness and generosity.
May I seek out ways to practice these every day,
And be thankful that I can.

—James Lee Jobe


Our thanks to James Lee Jobe for his fine poems today, and his photos of Davis in the rain! This blessed rain…

Tonight is the annual fundraiser for Sacramento Poetry Center, an event which is now called The Miller Party in honor of Burnett and Mimi Miller who hosted it for many years at their lovely home. Tonight it will be held at the home of Bob Stanley and Joyce Hsiao, 4010 Random Lane in Sacramento, from 6-8pm. There will be food, fun and frolic, with music by the Elizabeth Unpingco Duo and poetry by Lawrence Dinkins (NSAA). $30/person at the door.

Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about this and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 Welcoming Rain!
—Anonymous Photo
Celebrate poetry!

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