Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ten Thousand Mountains

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

The street is lit with the beam of years, 

The swallow and crush of living, 

And the kindest thoughts of solace. 

We are the cherubs in an ancient painting, 

We are the stone gargoyles 

That protect the stone grayness of the buildings. 

Moonlight to dress the city for bed. 

Moonlight to court and seduce 

Those who need to be courted, 

Those who lack seduction. 

The old clock in the tower strikes midnight 

And the gates to the next world open; 

Dreams pour into this world 

And souls pour into the next one. 

Are you coming, my friend? 

This is the hour for which you have waited 

So very long.


It rained hard all day,
And the bucket that I left out
Is full to the top. The moon,
Nearly full herself, shines
Like a gem, reflected across
The surface of the still water.

I dream some mad adventure where reality has no place, and wake to the reality that dreaming only keeps me separated from the present. Only the present is real. All of this with my morning coffee as the new dawn slowly floods the sky and the earth with its perfect and beautiful light.


I can say the names of my ancestors,
I can say the names of their places.
I know their years. All of that is a part of me.
I know this, but I don’t obsess on it.
Their DNA is my DNA. The past is a fog
That you walk through, nothing more.
I cannot know my descendants.
They will come when I have gone.
I can try to improve the world a little for them,
And I can leave them some poems.
Perhaps that way they will know my name
And my place. And my DNA will be their DNA.
There is a pattern to it all. Can you see it?

Ten thousand mountains, and each of them has a heart of its own. Wind and birds for crowns, forest and snow for robes, or rock and cactus. The mountains are the kings of the earth, and the oceans are the queens. And the soil where life grows from seeds? That's the royal offspring. We are family, and family is us, and time is our silent partner as we orbit the sun, again and again.

This is the first night of your solitude.
The window is closed;
You are on one side of the glass,
And the strength and power of night
Is on the other. The darkness cheers you on,
Like cheerleaders at a basketball game.
Someone has passed the ball to you,
And you were not expecting it.
You are moving quickly down-court,
Watched by the eyes of a thousand strangers,
And yet alone.

There's that song from The Wizard Of Oz,

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow;"

That could be a clue. The blessing of life 

Came here from over a rainbow,

Flying through the invisible tunnel

From the universe to my mother's vagina.

There was an orgasmic explosion of life

Empowering my father's sperm. There I was,

Leaping out with with a poem

And a head for nonsense.

Oh life, thank you for the ride.


Today’s LittleNip:

The instructions said to plant the seed in moist soil and then worship whatever grows there. The wind whispered to me as I turned the soil.

—James Lee Jobe


Our thanks to Davis Poet Laureate James Lee Jobe today for singing to us about ten thousand mountains and the whispering wind! Christmas decorations have been up since before Halloween, but Thanksgiving comes before that—and visits us every day, as James Lee reminds us…

—Medusa, celebrating those ten thousand mountains ~

 This is a wonderful photo that appeared on Facebook 
of Davis poets James Lee Jobe, Andy Jones, 
and Sacramento poet Mary Zeppa
Kudos and thanks to Katy Brown, who took it!
Both Andy and Mary will be hosting readings this
Thursday; scroll down in the blue box for info.

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