Saturday, March 14, 2020

Waves on a Rocky Beach

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

Darken the day until it becomes night,
Empty yourself of old sorrows.
It isn't just mankind that cries.
This isn't a complaint, just the truth.
The garden of living and dying
Is watered with something greater; faith.
Can we learn to forgive? Even ourselves?
Yes, friend, we can.
Shine light upon the night until it becomes day,

Empty yourself of old sorrows.

It's good to take notes on the details.

There is the spot in the sky
Where the first lip of night rubs the sunset raw.
Write that down.

Or the sound of the tire sliding across the asphalt
As the stink of the burning rubber fills the air.
Note that, too.

The looks a dog gives when it gets confused.
That's a good one.

Keep track of the details, if you can.
In the end we live with the choices we've made
And those details that we can still remember. 

How long have we been meeting this way?
Many years.
A blue jay lands on my fence
And looks me in the eye.
He goes where he wants.
Anywhere. Everywhere.
Rumi said, "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."
And so, everyday I reach for my pen.
From my mind, from my spirit, from another planet;
I don't know where these poor poems originate,
And often I don't know where they end up.

I am pleased if they manage to end up with you. 


Cool mornings, hot afternoons.
Well, hot for November.
The winter rains are late this year.
The brown finches that live in the wilds
Of my backyard hop and peck
Under the glow of a golden sun,
Enjoying the birdseed that I scatter
Just for them.

I was asleep, and I dreamed of a life with no hands.
Instead, at the end of each arm was a large, evil crow.
Whenever these crows would caw, a person died,
Not where I was, but faraway in a place that is nameless.
I struggled to keep the crows quiet, but I failed.
I woke up from the dream exhausted,
Still shushing the damned crows on my arms.
It was my own dream, and I had death for hands. 

Count the bullets, and place them in a row,
Like the soldiers that they will kill.

Now take the missiles and place them any which way,
Like the civilians that they will blow apart.

Set a torch to the village, burn it all.
The dead do not need huts or a market.

Whatever we don't kill can live among the ashes.

This war has entered yet another year.


Years pass, still all I want is to sit with her under starlight. That’s a blessing. And if she smiles, that’s a second blessing. All of this life together in the sound of a night train passing by to the south.

Gray winter in the Sacramento Valley, and herons hunt through the cold marsh waters. Let me be constant and sure, like the heron, like winter, like truth. 


Today’s LittleNip:

Our lives. Like the splash of a single ocean wave on a rocky beach. It comes in, it goes back out and is gone. Finished.


Thank you, James Lee Jobe, for a Saturday splash of poems and photos of words to carry with us! James has notified us that The Other Voice Poetry Series in Davis, scheduled for this coming Friday and featuring Bob Stanley and Izzy Lala, has been CANCELLED due to coronavirus concerns.

For news of up-coming poetry events in our area and whether or not they have been cancelled, scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right), and note that such announcements are coming in every day.



 Great Blue Heron
—Public Domain Photo

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clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
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