Saturday, January 04, 2020

The Burning Bush

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

To write poems is to sit inside of the burning bush. Li-Young Lee said that. The bush is no god, but it continues to burn and to make commands nonetheless. James said that. Climb inside with me. Bring pen and paper with you. There is much yet to do.


A shooting star crosses high above my valley and I think, “Take me with you.” Why not? I have already had a good walk on this earth, found a corner where I fit, and lived a life there. Why not shoot across the universe in wild ball of flame and disappear in a flash? Do you think I plan to live forever?

A summer afternoon.
Late, almost evening.
Still. Quiet.
The dove of my heart breaks into song,
And I open my chest to release her.
This lovely dove only flies
As far as the pines across the street,
Where she chooses a branch to land upon,
Sits, and then continues to sing.
Look at me;
My heart is a singing dove on a summer day.

What are we? We are those particles of dust that float in the sunlight pouring in through the open window. A good breeze and whoosh, we’re gone. Friend, we are not invincible. And that’s alright; did you want to live forever? Come. Let’s open all the windows and see what happens.

How can it be that the sun and moon still rise and set so lovely while America keeps people in concentration camps? Children and parents kept apart and locked in cages like dogs at the county pound? There is a new Gestapo called ICE, so why is it that the sun and moon don’t know? How can they still be so beautiful, shining down upon this ugly nation?

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.


Today’s LittleNip:

May there be enough light to see your footsteps in the darkness. May hunger and sickness be strangers to you. This I pray.

—James Lee Jobe


—Medusa, thanking James Lee Jobe for releasing his singing dove for us as we fly headlong into a new year!


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.