Saturday, May 05, 2018


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

The land doesn’t have a name, and neither does the ocean; it's people who do that. Narcissism and humanity walk this earth together, often sharing the same shoes. We have it all backwards. The world doesn't need us. We need the world. You can't own the world, but if you live well, the world might own you. And that's somewhat better.


I am dreaming. My Uncle Richard's ghost
Tells me of the horrors he endured in the Pacific
During World War Two. He weeps for the friends
That were lost, and for the starved American POWs
That returned to America on his ship.
He cries against my chest and I tell him that I love him.
And I do, in life he was my favorite uncle.
In life, we also had this same conversation,
Over thirty years ago, when he still lived,
And we would drink Pabst beer and talk,
Often late into the night.
"I never had a son," he tells me, looking up
Into my face with his red, watery eyes.
The alarm clock that wakes me
Sounds tinny, cheap, and far away.

The view of the earth from the moon is lovely, but we had hoped for better rooms. These are so small and dusty. Seeing the sun and the earth from your balcony on the moon is a thrill, and as I write this I am watching dust particles illuminated by the afternoon light from the window. They float in the still air of the small room like tiny planets, like tiny galaxies. My, my; isn't this universe something? And life—that's something, too.


The sun never sets on the American Empire.
There is never a moment when the troops stand down.
Like the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys
In the Wizard Of Oz, another attack is always prepared.
The Americans are always ready for the order to come down.
What could America build if all the war machinery
Was melted down? Every tank, plane, and rifle.
Every ballistic missile and helicopter.
America could build a bridge all the way to Heaven.
America could walk right up to God and pray.
"Forgive us. At last the era of war without end is over.
Forgive us, please." 

You live among the green trees of the forest,
And sleep on the bare earth.
Your dreams rise up from the roots and the soil,
As a tree rises up.
You think that perhaps you will be come a tree.
Or a shrub. Or the warmth of things growing.
Your life is touched by the earth,
And by the sounds of your footsteps on the fallen leaves.


I have little to defend
And nothing to explain.
Weeks before spring,
A warm spell
Has the trees budding.
Looking inside myself,
I find that I can smile
Without willing myself
To do so.
This is my life
My little joy.

Today’s LittleNip:

May I breathe in joy and breathe out gratitude.
May my every heartbeat be the rhythm of kindness.

—James Lee Jobe


Many thanks to James Lee Jobe for the hearty breakfast he brings to the Kitchen this Cinco de Mayo

For a New York Times article about Cinco de Mayo, see


 —Anonymous Photo
May you empty out all your suitcases, one by one…
(And fill them with poetry!)

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